If you don’t already know you’re beautiful,
do NOT look in the mirror!
I love to go salsa dancing. My favorite dance partner is someone I occasionally see at a club in Boulder. He has one arm. Logically, you’d think it would be awkward or difficult to dance with someone who is missing an arm. But, instead, it’s magical.
He always greets me with compliments. He smiles warmly and conveys a sense of confidence and approval. Salsa usually relies on the feel of both arms, so it’s a guessing game of how to dance together when there’s only one arm. We swirl and together figure out how to maneuver on the fly. But, never mind, because his ability to feel beautiful and share that with his partner fills more than the space of a missing arm.
I wish I’d known that beauty was a decision, when I was much younger. I went through most of life nervously checking my reflection in the mirror, finding fault and leaving the house feeling lacking. It wasn’t until I was living alone, and learning from so many new teachers, that I learned to get peaceful, check my reflection to make sure I was, and then I just knew I was beautiful!
Really, beauty is not measured by an analysis that starts with, “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” After all, maybe you only have one pair of jeans. And definitely, just one butt. No. Looking outward, looking backward is not where you want to focus. (On a different note, a better question might be, do my lifestyle choices make my butt big?)
A woman that strikes us as beautiful brightens the space when she walks in. Her smile, her encouraging words, her laughter lightens our load. The way she moves decorates our day like a gift of art.
A handsome man’s posture isn’t slumped forward in worry, eyes down. Nor is his chin jutting out, driven to hurry to the next appointment. No, he stands tall. His gaze is taking in the people and things around him. He is open to the people and opportunities in that moment.
What we perceive as true beauty is the quality of someone who is joyful and content, including ourselves.
Beauty is inner peace. Period.
This holds two important lessons for us. First, beauty is a choice. We can choose to bring this beauty to our encounters, anytime. And second, when we do, we have chosen a simple way to brighten the lives of others. Sharing our own beauty is a simple, but powerful act of compassion.
A New Ending to an Old Worry
Each morning, a woman stands in front of the mirror and asks, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most beautiful of all?”
Next, she checks her reflection for tension in her face and shoulder. Then she checks her eyes. Oops! Tension, frustration and stress are obvious.
She does a few stretches, remembers five things she is grateful for and says, “I am open and receptive to guidance for my highest good.” She takes a few deep breaths.
She checks her reflection again. When she sees serenity, peace and joy, she asks no one because she already knows, she is beautiful.
- Think of three people that you personally know that you think are beautiful. What makes each person beautiful? How much of this is physical features? How much is something else?
- Do check your reflection each day before you leave. Yes, make sure your clothes look allright. If your eyes are pools of peace, from there, look for worry you might be holding in your face, neck and shoulders. Do a full body scan for tensions.
- If you don’t feel perfectly at ease, take a few moments to release any tension.
- Use an affirmation: “I am open and receptive to guidance for my highest good.” This will help you release your grasp on micromanaging a ‘to do list’ that might not match something bigger and better.
- Before you leave, look at your reflection and say, “I am beautiful.” Own it. When you do this, you are showing your kids, your friends and complete strangers what inner peace looks like, and that it is attainable and powerful.
I used to wait for someone to tell me
I was beautiful.
Later, I learned
to be beautiful, and needed no one
to say it.