Sometimes, it’s so easy to let ourselves get distracted by the way people look or dress or behave in a given situation when we don’t necessarily know the story behind any of it. The ol’ “don’t judge a book by its cover” carries more truth than we often realize.
This is one of the reasons I’m a passionate follower of Jen’s blog, and I love that she scoots to the side to let me write and share stories with you. While I think that taking care of our physical bodies is very important (like this post on skin care), I also believe that inner beauty can be learned and cultivated.
So shall we step into today’s point of discussion about natural beauty and where it truly lays?
1. Natural beauty isn’t the clothes you wear.
A couple of years ago, I got pretty frustrated with the clothing industry. It always felt like I was incomplete. I said the heck with it! I stopped clothes shopping. While in the midst of my no new clothes challenge, no one I met knew that I hadn’t bought new clothes in almost two years. But no one said I was dressed funny. No one gave me that “she’s kinda weird …” look.
We dress for ourselves more than for anyone else. Truthfully, we know that most people don’t even notice what we wear. And we probably don’t notice the details of what they wear, either. But that’s not why we’re friends with someone or why we love someone. So it shouldn’t be the way we judge ourselves, either.
2. Naturally beauty comes when you listen.
Everyone called me too shy or reserved in high school. It used to frustrate me because I could tell you all sorts of (crazzzy) stories about those people. I learned that I was a listener. I like to think that maybe I speak when there’s something important to say.
Sometimes, beauty comes from not being the center of attention or the one telling the story. You can draw strength from merely being present and aware, witnessing the world.
Being a shoulder to lean on is a powerful thing.
3. Natural beauty is in the way you communicate.
When I lived in Germany, I couldn’t really speak the local language, so just like in high school–I just didn’t talk much. I was afraid of sounding foolish or too American. I knew I’d mess up my grammar or talk with my hands too much.
I was letting my fears of failure control me.
I often wonder if my posture shifted with it. Try not to do that, especially when you’re surrounded by people who speak the same language. We all have stories and thoughts worth being heard. Listen, yes. But also share.
4. Natural beauty comes from embracing yourself.
We spend a lot of time trying to fit in with societal norms, but if you take the time to slow down and watch from the exterior, you’ll probably learn something. Give yourself a chance to reflect on what others around you are doing, but also spend some time reflecting on your own actions.
Being different doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong. It might mean you are being true to yourself.
When you’re doing things differently, you just have to embrace and love what it is and who you are.
5. Natural beauty comes from not complaining.
Humans all have their uniqueness, and sometimes that means you won’t be comfortable in a situation. I was at a conference once that included meals from sponsors with ethics and ingredients that I don’t agree with. One particular lunch was especially heavy on sponsor endorsement. I was cranky about the experience. Another woman told me, “I just didn’t attend the lunch. I went to my hotel room, laid down, and relaxed.”
My greatest hope is that maybe–just maybe–you can touch a few lives just by being you … because that’s the best you can ever be. And it’s absolutely beautiful!
What else would you add to this list? What stories have illustrated these points in your life?
|Storycatcher and award winning journal crafter Katie Clemons helps tens of thousands of folks document and celebrate their stories with her beloved mother child journals, personal diaries, and complimentary journal tutorials at Gadanke. The mother and entrepreneur has appeared on HGTV, given a TEDxTalk, and washed sticky finger prints off every appliance. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana, USA.