Updated: Nov 2, 2021
When we talk about becoming healthier the conversation usually involves changing how we look on the outside. Many of us begin the new year planning to eat healthier, exercise more often and drop inches from our waists. When we think about beauty, we typically visualize what beauty is, whether in others or in ourselves; we see a body type, a face, a hair style that attracts us and while evolutionarily what attracts suggests health, it no longer proves it. Hair is dyed, chemically straightened, extended, faces are burned, pealed, injected and painted with make-up and bodies are starved of nutrients even when calories are adequate.
Psychologically speaking, the healthiest thing one could do before rushing to make physical alterations to themselves in hopes of becoming more beautiful or even more healthy is to pause, experience themselves just as they are and access the health and beauty that already exists within them and building upon it. For instance, if you feel that you’re over-weight and wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, don’t rush to the gym or commence starvation. First and foremost, examine the urgency to take those actions. What are you running away from? How does it feel to sit within yourself with a few extra pounds on your body? Do you find yourself disliking yourself for being overweight, judge yourself for being overweight or fear being judged by others for being overweight? Do you want me to stop saying, “overweight?” Why? Because it brings up thoughts that are difficult to sit with? If so, like many of us, you are living on auto-pilot, enslaved by internal fears and basing your self-worth on your physical body, on the shell that encloses all the beauty and courage within you. Now, we can talk about accessing your internal perfection, which exists within in all its splendor and awaken your shell to become a reflection of the most gorgeous being you can imagine, botox-free and exuberant.
Moving toward health and beauty is a mindful act. We move toward something that is internal and kind (our true, healthy, happy selves), rather than running away from something external that is unkind (our disliked reflection, dissatisfaction with how our clothes fit, the negative judgement of others). Furthermore, in this stage of internal reflection, you may be surprised to realize that there are already things you are doing that are good, health building and key to enabling the good within you to shine through your physical body. You might enjoy the taste of an organic raw fruit or vegetable, appreciate the feel of the sun on your face as you walk from the house to the car, feel the warmth of a friendly hug or a cuddle with your pet. Start here. Sit here. Savor it and give yourself time to enjoy it. You are sitting within your inherent healthiness, your inherent beauty. Maybe you spend a few weeks simply noticing these moments and lengthening the time you spend within these moments. If thoughts or others interfere in this most critical phase of beauty building, notice it and return to your authentic healthy actions that are true and only good.
Spend a few weeks or months here, existing within the good of yourselves and relishing it, then consider expanding upon your naturally occurring beauty routine; perhaps you might add another portion of fruit or a bit more time spent in the sun. Perhaps you might add a walk around the block on the way to your car, take your pet to the park or venture to a café with a loved one and enjoy a bit more time together. Feel free to share examples of true beauty acts that are your own below. You might inspire others to recognize the good within themselves that may have eluded them. What might happen when you take these small steps? In keeping with the examples above, more time in the sun brings a tint to the cheeks and a glow to the skin that make up need no longer mimic. Eating more fresh fruit or vegetables improves digestion and reduces bloating, naturally reducing waistline circumference. Running around the park with your pet improves cardiovascular health and releases happy hormones which we feel and naturally share with others through the expressions on our faces, a vibrant and pure beauty.
Once we shift our thinking in this way, sky’s the limit. Interestingly, when practiced diligently, the way we see beauty and health changes and we no longer crave the superficiality of the past. Our goals shift. Our sense of self shifts. Our experience of the world shifts and the way we impact others shifts. The goodness within us inspires the goodness outside of us in others; they too want their own real, true, authentic self to shine. This is beauty. This is health. When we turn inward, we open our eyes, we free ourselves of illusion and we emerge into a new world of raw real health and beauty.