As it is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my own interpretation of this common expression, I believe that beauty is a choice, and that choice is rooted in our power and inner feminine wisdom. By valuing our beauty and regularly maintaining to its upkeep, we have the possibility to change our inner perspective on how we feel about ourselves, which seeps far beneath the surface of the skin. In tending to our own gardens, we can cultivate the strength and confidence we need to go out into the world and build a beautiful life that reflects the inner beauty of our authentic selves.
We have a warped sense of beauty in our modern world. Our focus has been placed on achieving an ideal image spewed out to us by marketing agencies that were paid to target certain looks to represent a cultural standard of beauty. Currently worth $445 billion, (1) the beauty industry has had a significant influence on the way in which we perceive ourselves. In 2016 alone, US advertisers spent nearly $13.7 billion dollars marketing beauty products (2) which has left millions of women subject to the preconceived images of what it should look like to be, and to feel, beautiful. The concept of beauty has been reduced to a symbol of status and a commodity that can be sold on a shelf, representing all the false ideals, plastic models and shiny objects that it took just to get your purchase. How can we recognize our own beauty and potential when we have been raised in a society bombarded with projected images and ideals designed to feed off our insecurities?
The truth is that our beauty lies dormant within ourselves. It is not a look we have to achieve but rather a way of being., of living. And while it can be difficult to discern through all these images of how we should look, talk, and behave as women, it is our personal responsibility to break through the cultural barriers and limiting beliefs we’ve placed on ourselves about how we ought to feel when we look in the mirror. We have the power to choose how we want to see ourselves and it all starts with a little daily self care.
As women, we are often quick to tend to the needs of others, but fail to acknowledge when we need to give to ourselves. We are constantly giving, and often with little return of effort or appreciation. Putting our kids, husbands, jobs and all other outside responsibilities first, we end up stuck and left to wonder why we feel so empty inside, even if on the outside all the boxes seem to tick off. Like a wounded child, we end up ignoring the inner voice begging for our attention and deny ourselves of our true needs that only we can fulfill. We cannot expect ourselves to give to others and the demands of the world with an empty cup in hand and heart.
By changing the dynamics in our personal lives and shifting focus on meeting our own inherent needs first, not only will we not feel depleted of our resources, but we will be able to tap into our eternal, self-renewing capabilities that allow us to give ourselves to others.
Self care begins by listening to that inner voice, then making the conscious decisions necessary to change our unhappy circumstances.
The element of beauty in our lives has everything to do with our perceptions of the world. How we look at ourselves in the mirror reflects our potential, self-worth, and internal belief system. When we feel beautiful, we feel unstoppable and able to conquer just about anything. When we are feeling ugly, depressed and unworthy, all we can perceive is lack, fear and limitation. Establishing a beauty ritual as a daily practice can bring about more balance in our lives by ensuring that we meet our most intrinsic feminine needs first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.
Beauty ritual is a conscious act of honoring our physical body, the vehicle that serves us through our life journeys. It’s nourishing our bodies with healthy, nutritious foods, lathering ourselves in fine oils and heavenly lotions, keeping fit with our exercise regimes. It is a practice of self love to mindfully acknowledge and tend to the needs of the mind, body and soul. How we feel about ourselves greatly determines the quality and circumstances of our lives, and it begins with the conscious effort to care for ourselves first. As a creative process that has no expected result in mind, beauty becomes an act of self love that radiates from within.
When we practice beauty ritual as a sacred process of connecting to our divine feminine aspect, we begin cultivate a deep sense of inner warmth and security. And as we start to feel whole within ourselves, without the constant urge to seek validation in others, we become stronger, more confident, self-aware, intuitive, and trusting from within. What starts as a simple daily practice leads to making more empowered and self-willed choices that eventually result in creating an authentic lifestyle that represents who you truly are—not the image of who you should be. Your beauty ritual becomes a skillful art of authentic living.
As that daily reminder to take your vitamins, dry brush your skin, and spritz yourself in Chanel, your beauty ritual gives you the confidence needed to go out into the world feeling capable and deserving of what life has to offer. There is nothing sexier and more intimidating than a woman who takes care of herself. A beauty ritual requires maintenance, commitment and dedication because no one else can tend to the inner Garden of Eden except ourselves.
We needn’t search in the eyes of others the lost beauty we have within ourselves. The truth is that our beauty, our confidence, and our self-worth for our eyes to realize.
1) Sorvino, C. (2017, May 24). Why The $445 Billion Beauty Industry Is A Gold Mine For Self-Made Women. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/chloesorvino/2017/05/18/self-made-women-wealth-beauty-gold-mine/#f42031f2a3a
2) U.S. perfumes, cosmetics, and other toilet preparations industry ad spend 2017 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/470467/perfumes-cosmetics-and-other-toilet-preparations-industry-ad-spend-usa/