What is Beauty?
Questions for finding our authentic expression
Over the past ten years, I have done a lot of personal development work. I have gone to workshops, read mindset books, earned certifications, worked with energy healers — you get the idea.
As I went to kirtans, yoga festivals, and wild edible plant meet-ups, I was around people with aesthetic sensibilities very different from mine. This made me question who I was and who I wanted to be.
Could I be a “good” Earth-lover and still wear make-up? Did I need to give up all leather? Was I going to be less free-thinking if I shaved my body hair? What is sexy? Why would I want to be sexy — for me or someone else?
Needless to say, I went through some periods of unknowing and experimentation. But, true to my Taurian nature, I never gave up my love of beauty. For a while, I just wasn’t sure what beauty was. And one day, I figured it out.
Beauty is when what’s true inside is expressed outside.
We communicate who we are through various methods — how we walk, the tone of our voice, what we say, what actions we take, and, yes, what we wear and how we present ourselves.
It is typical in our society for people to edit all of the above (what we say, how we walk, what we wear) based on the perceived reception of others. The driver for this behavior is the need for acceptance and our insecurities about rejection.
However, when we go through a period of intense awareness, asking questions like do I like long hair because it makes me feel beautiful or because of the response I get from others, we start to discover our truth.
If you are interested in digging into your truth about beauty, here are a few reflection questions to help you get there.
Reflection Questions On Being Beautiful
When I look in my closet, how do I feel about my clothes?
When I get dressed every day, how do I typically feel in my clothes? How do I feel about my appearance?
Is my hairstyle based on the latest trend? If so, do I like it? Is there another style (such as a shorter or longer length) that I have had in the past that I prefer?
Has anyone ever told me that I was beautiful or looked beautiful? If so, how did their comments influence me? Did I accept their truth as my own?
Has anyone ever told me that I was something less than beautiful? If so, how did their comments influence me? Did I accept their truth as my own?
When I look in the mirror, what kinds of thoughts do I have?
How does it feel to say I am beautiful out loud? Does it feel true? Does it make me uncomfortable?
When I say I am beautiful, are there any “but” or “except” thoughts that come up? Would it be possible to have compassion for those “buts” or “excepts”?
When you put on make-up, are you “covering up” something, or are you enhancing and nurturing something?
If you have any regular procedures such as getting fillers or laser treatments, are you “fixing” something unattractive, or are you enabling yourself to shine the way you want to?
Asking these questions can bring up a lot of “stuff.” Remember to breathe! Bringing attention to something uncomfortable is good — it helps us release whatever is holding us back from knowing the truth of who we are. (If you didn’t have any major “ah-ha” moments or discomfort, okay!)
For me, the key to beauty is understanding the connection to my feelings. I noticed that I have not been making much of an effort to get dressed and do my hair, etc. while working from home. The only person who sees me is my son, so why does it matter?
This thinking reveals something — that I only think it is important to care about myself when other people are going to see it. What about looking and feeling beautiful for myself? Am I just too lazy to put in the effort?
How we treat ourselves is tied to our self-esteem, and I would rather tell myself that I am worth it!
I decided to update my work-from-home clothes with comfortable items that make me feel beautiful. I would much rather spend my days surrounded by a feeling of beauty. And I believe that the more we connect that inner feeling of worth and beauty with the external actions of dressing and caring for our bodies, the more we may notice other things in our lives start to shift!
It was so interesting choosing an image for this post. Searching images for beauty showed pictures of faces, spa treatments, and make-up. I chose the image that says, “you look good,” because most people associate beauty with external validation.
However, I hope you take away from this article that the external response is not what matters. Finding the truth about who we are internally and allowing that to shine externally is what really makes us beautiful!
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