Redefining Beauty

I attended the new beauty revolution telesummit and loved it! Their goal was to REDEFINE beauty. This post was inspired by that program, particularly Shakaya Leone, a natural aesthetician who was a guest speaker there.

Beauty. This one word holds a lot of importance for a woman. What is beauty? One thing for sure, it definitely is NOT just a physical characteristic. It is soo soo much more. A leading example of beauty would be the beauty of nature. The natural world around us radiates with beauty. Just imagine a romantic sunset, a delicate flower, or a sparkling starry night sky. How their beauty is such a coolness to the eyes and just so uplifting to the spirit.

Now what makes nature so beautiful? Its beauty lies in its rich DIVERSITY. Each creation in nature has a unique color, shape, size, pattern to them, and it is in this individuality that their beauty shines. In the same way, we are also creations of God and each one of us has something deeply beautiful about us. All we need to do is embrace our beauty just like the natural world around us does so, so gracefully. We need to realize that tall, short, brunette, blonde, wide-boned, petite frame, light-skinned, dark-skinned, long nose, wide nose, etc are different pieces to that unique beauty we each possess. Ms. JoAnne Dodgson, a renowned healer, teaches us a beauty lesson from nature.  She says, “bears don’t worry about the shape of their bodies. Dragonflies aren’t distressed by the size of their wings. Oak trees don’t attempt to look more like the pine trees. Beauty sings out from the sunsets and echoes in the wind and shines down from the moon and dances in the sea and whispers on wings and howls with coyotes and lingers in the scent of the sage. Beauty calls out from the mountains and rumbles with thunder and sits quietly with the owls and soars with the hawks and buzzes with the bees and glistens in the shimmering ocean. In nature’s beauty, there are no winners or losers, and no better-thans or less-thans. Beauty is simply in the honoring of what is, a celebration of life in all its magnificent, mysterious, remarkable forms.” Wow! right? Just observe the natural world around you and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

So, basically, what this is saying is that your beauty is in who you are. Your whole being. The very essence of you. The design that makes you, YOU. Just like the beauty of a full moon or a waterfall is in their essence. The creator with his infinite ability to create has proportioned and fashioned you in a way that you are an ORIGINAL in this world. An exclusive piece. Shakaya Leone says that beauty is present within all of us, but not all of us are connected to our beauty.  We just need to connect to our beauty and then nurture it. To connect to and nurture our beauty on the physical realm, we really need to nourish our bodies with more wholesome fresh foods because “beauty is the natural result of vibrant health” as she puts it. Delight in eating more fresh crisp apples, sweet-tart berries, fragrant oranges, juicy pineapples, thirst-quenching watermelons, crimson beets, bright green spinach, cool cucumbers, creamy avocados, crunchy cabbage or just pour yourself a glass of freshly squeezed juice daily. They are filled with living enzymes and antioxidants that are easily absorbed by the body and can do wonders for your skin, hair and overall health. These are water and nutrient-rich and so detoxifying! Here’s a recipe from Shakaya: If you have a juicer: take 3 apples, 1 beet, 1 cucumber and 1 lemon and juice it. It is so refreshing and delicious. Also, a cool tip: You can stain your cheeks with some beet juice for some rosy cheeks!

Now of course, nourishing your body will nurture your physical beauty, but there’s a higher form of beauty which comes from nourishing your heart and soul. This is when your true beauty will manifest. The physical body will eventually wither away anyway, but when you nurture and connect to your higher beauty, you will light up like a brilliant star who’s beauty will remain long after you’re gone. There’s a great saying of the Prophet Muhammad in Islam (peace be upon him) that God does not look at your faces and bodies, but your hearts and deeds. This is the ultimate beauty as the beauty from your heart and deeds can bring benefits to the world and humanity long after you’re gone. In my training as a holistic health counselor, we learned a great exercise called finding your signature strength. It’s an exercise that will help you connect to your higher beauty.

Here’s how to do it:

First, make a list of your signature strengths. Some examples of signature strengths are kindness, fairness, humor, bravery, curiosity, love of knowledge, etc. Also, add to that list your skills, talents, interests. Now, think of ways you use these things in your life already. Then think of ways how you can use them even more regularly. Lastly, think of how you can use them in the service of something larger than yourself like in some positive organization, i.e. your community, school, place of worship, etc. We all have things we are good at or maybe even just average at, but we can develop them and cultivate them and become greater than we’d ever imagine ourselves to be. So, think what’s your strength? Or what’s your passion? What gives you joy? Then use it as described above.

I believe we each have a gift to give to the world especially being women. We really need to embrace our femininity because being feminine is beautiful in and of itself. We are nurturers and caregivers by nature, many times even putting the needs of our loved ones before ours. God has honored us with such mercy and compassion and these are divine attributes which he expresses through us. So, to connect to your higher beauty, find out what your gift is, develop it, grow it, and then deliver it to the world. It could even be that immense love you feel for your beautiful child, so you can use that by raising him or her in the most positive way. That is not an ordinary thing. That is an expression of your beauty and your legacy!

So, how can you fully express your true beauty?

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