Everyone has an idea of what beauty may be.
If, for example, we were to play a little game where people jot down the first thing that comes to mind immediately after I say the word ‘Beauty’, it would be interesting to see what everyone comes up with.
We would probably notice that most people have a different thing or person written down. Perhaps the names of flowers, or celebrities or perhaps even more abstract things such as music and love.
But how many people would have the word ‘Me’ instinctively associated with the word ‘Beauty’?
My guess is very few. Or none at all.
My aim is not to encourage narcism in people. In fact, narcism is quite contrary to this idea of healthy self-love which we have every right to exercise.
This type of beauty I’m talking about starts from within, and extends and radiates outwards.
When we are able to recognize beauty first in ourselves, then we are able to truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
(Photo by Tatiana Kurnosova Photography http://tatianakurnosova.com/ – Used With Permission)
So how do we begin to cultivate beauty from within? We can start by practicing these three habits:
1) Stop comparing.
If you are looking at something or someone and you start to feel yourself making comparisons, STOP IT.
What is the point of making comparisons? Ok, so you feel some smug satisfaction when you see that you are skinnier, more muscular, more hipster than someone else. But that judgmental smugness is in itself quite ugly. And very quickly replaced with green envy when you see someone who is skinnier/buffer/cooler than you.
Comparisons are mental, they make people sick. So stop making comparisons and stop being sick.
2) Believe that you are beautiful. As you are.
Magazines, tv and all other forms of media are NOT the authority of what is beautiful. They foster very rigid and impossible standards of beauty.
A lot of the faces and bodies that we see in magazines and publicities today have been photoshopped and if you compare yourself to these artificial images you are going to feel very crappy about yourself indeed.
Peacefully dismiss the idea that there is a perfect image of beauty to be sought.
True beauty is not limited to physical appearance. In fact, physical appearance plays a very minor role as to what constitutes true beauty.
There is so much to beauty than looks.
Beauty encompasses nobility of character, kindness, compassion, a confident attitude, originality, all your quirky little imperfections and so much more.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus instead on everything that you do have. And be thankful for them!
Instead of focusing on how flabby your arms are, be thankful you have arms to hug your loved ones with.
Instead of focusing on how big or small your nose may be, be thankful you have a nose to smell the delicious smell of the coffee and cake that you’re having.
Be thankful for a mouth to smile with, and eyes with which to see the sun rise, and ears to hear the sound of waves.
Every day, life presents us with so many moments of beauty. And gratitude is the key that leaves us open to all the beauty and joys that life has to offer.
These habits are not developed overnight. They require time, consistency and above all, lots of patience.
Although they may sound “hippy dippy,” they do work and practicing them is essential if we are to experience true beauty in our lives.
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