I went for a bike ride to a local coffee shop this weekend. In the desert, it’s finally cool enough in the early mornings to get out and about. As I sat sipping my drink, I overheard two women at the next table talking about their daughters and their daughters friends.
The quality of their skin. The length of their legs. This one has more baby fat. Oh that’s not baby fat she’s just fat. Have you seen that one?? She’s so gorgeous. I hear she’s modeling. Not for long; have you seen her mother?
It was really hard to listen to, and I lingered longer than made sense hoping for an opening to engage them in conversation about all of this.
It’s so easy to let our personal anxieties spill out onto others. There is still a pervasive thought about beauty that limits it to a size, age, look, or shape that completely and utterly ignores how we feel.
How we feel in our bodies. In relationship to them. How we care for them. Do we care for them like the newborns we once were, with care, attention, and gentleness? Or do we denigrate our physicality for betraying an unrealistic or unhealthy idea of ourselves?
I am not suggesting we not have wellness goals or hope to achieve a certain glamorous look. I am suggesting that you can have a health-centric desire (or not), and feel beautiful too.
Most of us live in societies and cultures that perpetuate the myth that our value is aligned with our size, age, shape, features. How dare we feel beautiful and not be a certain you-fill-in-the-blank?
This is a form of trauma. It’s a trauma that robs us of the freedom to live our nature, to walk the earth in our powerfulness. Power-Fullness. Without imposing crippling questions or sucking in when we walk into a room worried about assessment. Anxious at failing.
Beauty has nothing to do with age, size, shape, or features, and has everything to do with our experience of ourselves. Frame your outlook so you may cast an admiring gaze and live in the world with an ‘eye’ for delight. Locate beauty within yourself and in / on each person you greet and enjoy the buoy of love bubbles and the lens of tears beholding the tenderness of life’s exquisite texture and magic. Ecstatic, sensuous Beauty.
As we approach Fall, when Day and Night will soon be equal partners, if only for a moment, when Nature invites the death of plant parts to return to the soil and nourish what will be, I invite you to cast off these worn-out ideas about beauty, about yourself, about others.
Write them on a paper, burn it, and never indulge the crazy of someone else who doesn’t have your happiness or wellbeing or prosperity in heart ever again.
We are divinely spiritual beings having a divinely human experience. To deny one is to deny the other.
If it doesn’t honor you in this exact moment, if it doesn’t feel expansive, if it doesn’t increase wellness, if it doesn’t center you in your heart, if it doesn’t please you, if it creates harm – to you or another person, plant, or animal, if it doesn’t make you feel drenched in juicy, luscious, cosmic Love, it is not Beauty.
Beauty is a vital spiritual experience of Love, acceptance, and pleasure. It makes you giddy. Tickles your wildness. Makes you feel your timelessness and transcendence. Soothes your soul and complexion equally. Delights your body. Foments sweetness. With clear and unapologetic intention.