I recently watched my friends’ wedding video. The beauty of the celebration took my breath away. As I paid closer attention to the bride, my best friend, I could see under all the excitement of this special day, through her eyes, what her thoughts were doing to her. It was loud and clear to me. I could sense her hesitancy and lack of confidence so I asked her about it. I was shocked to find out that she was nervous about the way she looked and what their friends and family thought of her if she didn’t perform well on such an important day.
“What do my eyes say about what is inside me? Sometimes we communicate more through a glance than we could ever say, and it can be both wonderful and terrible, depending on both the message sent and the one received, which of course might be different.
These windows of the soul…When we look at someone, really look, there can be many details about what is going on, behind them! Our eyes are very interesting in that they can both shine outward, and allow others to look into us.
There are many reasons I appreciate my eyes, but truly, I think the best is that these lovely lamps, these windows of the soul allow me to share myself and allow others to share themselves with me.
~Emma Hayes, The Phoenix and The Butterfly
My shock at her self-doubt comes as no surprise. Where I see beauty and grace, she sees her imperfections. It’s amazing how many people can look at the same thing, yet, each person will see it differently. If we were to fully accept ourselves and let go of our self-decrepitating thoughts about our appearance, we would begin to understand that we really are not just our body. We would see it as a vessel that carries us through this earthly plane, take care to appreciate and maintain it, and use it as it is meant to be so that we can keep it aligned with our mind and spirit. The imperfections we think we have would cease to limit our ability to open up, let others in, and shine our light out to the world.
How many times have you been inspired to do something or say something but held back as your inner critic puts you down for the way you look or what others might think about you? When we know and accept that our true beauty comes from within and choose to show our authentic self, our bodies fade away. We invite others to look past our physical self to see our true essence in all its glory.
The energy that comes from our uninhibited bliss we have hiding inside can be freed. It will draw others to us, bathe them in the joy we have, and connect us with the very core of who they are. By looking past our own bodies, we are able to look past others’. It becomes more important to us to see them on a deeper level, and in doing so, we give their soul a safe place to come out and shine with us.
Your self-worth lies not in your appearance. It is within the vulnerability of your Beingness. Accept and appreciate all of who you are, inside and out, and you will see just how beautifully radiant you really are!
5 ways you can begin to see the blessings you have been bestowed in your uniqueness:
1. Start the day off right by showing yourself some love in the mirror as you get ready. Compliment yourself and set the rule that there is no room for criticism, nit-picking, or insults. (The best way to supercharge the effect of this activity is to start from head to toe and express gratitude for every inch of you. Think about what the body part does for you, what it allows you to do, and why you would never want to part with it.)
2. Every time you catch yourself putting your appearance down, change your perspective on it or counteract it with something positive specifically directed towards the area you are abusing. (Found yet another grey hair? Reflect on the life you have had, the wisdom you have gained, and if you are not yet ready to go natural, see it as a great excuse to go to the salon for a relaxing pampering session with your favorite hairdresser.)
3. Comparing yourself to others causes you to shy away from your truest self. Don’t let your admiration of others’ qualities dim the light of your own. You are special in your own way, just as they are special in their way. When you celebrate what you love in others, they will be more inclined to find gratitude for the good energy you are sending them and return a kind word back to you about the qualities they admire in you. Also, as a result of you expressing your appreciation to others, you create a welcoming aura about you and people will enjoy being around you. Your friendliness and open-heartedness will be so appealing that people will wonder what your secret to happiness is.
4. Take care of yourself by eating heathy foods and drinking lots of water. At the very least, make sure you have a good balance and are consuming enough organic raw foods to boost your energy and raise your vibration. Many people on their spiritual journeys have found drinking and smoking hinders their connection to the divine and also obstructs their meditation practice. Exercise helps keep you energized and improves your mood. Even a daily walk has its benefits that will leave you craving the action of movement if you miss a day.
5. Put yourself at the top of your priority list. The main reason for this is that you can’t take care of others unless you first take care of yourself. Slacking off on your own personal needs (self-care, sleep, alone time, healthy meals, etc.) for the sake of others or your endless responsibilities, results in creating a vicious cycle that quickly spirals out of control. You are left wondering, “What about me? How did I lose so much of myself?” When you start to think that you don’t even know who you are anymore, you start to question everything about yourself and that vial little inner critic perks up his ears and gets all excited because you are at his mercy. He plays with your thoughts and turns you against both yourself and all the things that make you so wonderful and exceptional. All those distinct qualities that make you stand out and special and needed and worthy are reduced to imperfections, flaws, and weaknesses. Make yourself a priority; get back to who you are; find the strengths and blessings in all that you dislike about yourself. And most importantly, remember that deep inside, your soul knows how perfect you are, just the way you are, right now.
As you can see from the story about my best friend, we all view ourselves differently. Taking steps towards positive change, accepting yourself, and connecting with your true essence brings you closer to your Beingness. When you learn to love yourself unconditionally, you are able to begin to love others unconditionally. You see past all the superficial stuff down deeper to what really matters in yourself and other people. You begin to feel more grateful and make each moment worthwhile and meaningful.
Today, she can look back through her wedding videos, and together with her husband in a warm embrace, they laugh with enjoyment as they rekindle their love with remembrance of the vows they made. Her path to self-discovery has helped her get closer to love. Life became simple and less complicated once she started living a life of awareness. She believes awareness is being yourself and living a truthful life. Her search for truth has led her to meditation, and says, “The whole Universe is within me and I am within the Universe. My search started outside and ended within me.”
The journey back to ourselves is a personal, unique experience for each of us as we create awareness and strip away the layers of the ego to reveal the magnificence of all that we are within. If you are ready to awaken to something deeper and more meaningful, join us starting December 1st on a journey of self-discovery back home to your true self in our workshop: Being – Living a Life of Awareness.