As published, Natural Awakenings Magazine - June 2018
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” - John Keats
There is a pervasive confusion in modern American culture about what is beautiful, authentic and healthy.
My maternal grandmother, born at the turn of the 20th century, used to say to me “Pretty is, as pretty does.” As much as the clichés of my mothers’ and grandmother’s eras used to befuddle me, I now hear their voices with great clarity of purpose, and the understanding of a genuinely clever approach to inspire foundations of humility and truth into my formative psyche.
Simply put, it is an idiom that means: one’s looks are not an accurate indicator of their kindness or goodness.
At the same time my grandmother also valued physical beauty. She was half Cherokee and her nighttime rituals of facial-massage with witch hazel and castor oil proved their efficacy, well into her tenth decade. At 102 years of age her skin was remarkable. I do not recall any fretting over age or disdain for the golden years. Just a joyful discipline of care for the temple she’d been given. She grew her own vegetables; she worked hard in her garden and diligently to maintain beauty as a priority in her home. She revered a ritualistic attention to natural detoxification habits and daily spiritual practices. I believe these customs are directly attributable to her longevity.
We are bombarded today, by messages about what we should or could be, indicating that we are not enough. The truth is, we already are enough.
No one can sell you a miracle cream, sensational supplement, wonder drug or supernatural treatment unless they can convince you of the lack in your life. To be convinced requires a pre-existing belief system that colludes with what is being marketed or sold. Our thoughts create our reality.
Beauty comes from within.
It is important to nourish yourself with whole, organic, life giving foods and appropriate exercise. Hydration is a well-known compliment to the care and feeding of vibrant skin and emotional and physical balance. It’s no secret that our emotional wellbeing affects the quality of our skin, facial features and vitality. Chronic negativity will cultivate lines on the face regardless of the most sensational treatments.
Beauty is an inside job.
Joy, laughter and a playful spirit are well-known attributes that coincide with radiant beauty. Gratitude is another conscious practice that raises the quality of thought, energy and resonance within body, mind and soul. Beauty accompanies such conscious thought. Mindfulness practices such as yoga or tai chi, and present-moment awareness through meditation rank high on the list for reducing lines on the face and stilling the mind. Vitality comes from a deep, self-replenishing well of compassion for self and other, and is reflected in one’s countenance, skin and complexion.
We hear a lot about “The Law of Attraction” these days. The Law of Attraction is a belief that thinking about something attracts it and causes it to manifest in your life. I have been working with the Universal process of manifesting all my life and have become quite efficient at manifesting parking places!
Seriously, all of us have been working with this concept, whether, consciously or unconsciously. Good and extravagant thoughts bring more good and abundance into our lives, just as negativity and lack breed more negativity appearing as more lack. How did you just react to the word extravagant? Is there a negative association? Is that your belief or someone else’s? These habitual belief systems create habitual ways of being, they call for a meticulous self-honesty, and a thorough examination of how we create our own realities through thought, active choice or unconscious response.
Do you love whom you see in the mirror?
“Beauty is the purest feeling of the soul. Beauty arises when the soul is satisfied.” - Amit Ray
If you struggle with self-love and acceptance, it’s important to first ask whose messages you are trying to live up to.
Take inventory of what makes your heart sing and make your happiness a priority. Be your own authority. Take back your power. You are your miracle.
Just turning up the corners of your mouth, whether you feel like smiling or not, generates a neuromuscular response that sends happy signals to the brain. Joy and happiness, just like everything else, require dedicated practice for proficiency. This will make you feel radiant! A harbinger of beauty :)
“Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to work, to play, and to look up at the stars.” - Henry Van Dyke