Soulful Beauty

Last week, the girls and I talked about how to make beauty a verb by choosing to find beauty in all things. Sometimes it's really difficult to find beauty in things. For example, we all have those people in our lives that frustrate us to no end. In those people in particular, it is especially hard to find beauty. But when we take the time to realize that all people are beautiful, we can carry that positive outlook wherever we go. When we radiate love and positivity towards others, that same beautiful spirit will come back in return. 

I decided to continue the conversation this week by getting the girls to acknowledge their own beauty. I don't know about you, but this can be the hardest part sometimes. For me, it's easy for me to find the beauty in others. I try my best to tell the people I love how beautiful they are on a regular basis. It's easy to compliment someone else but are we taking the time to compliment ourselves too? 

I can't speak for others so I will speak from my own experience. Being a girl in this world is so hard. Messages of ideal beauty are sent to us from an early age and we are forced into believing that we need to constantly change ourselves to fit in. I can remember being in 3rd grade when I first started to notice that my body wasn't good enough. A girl in my class would make comments about how "fat" I was and her words stuck. They broke me down, they made me feel different, and they developed an insecurity within me that I didn't have before. Those feelings of self doubt stayed with me for a very long time. Even though it started as an insecurity about the size of my body, those feelings transformed into a lack of confidence in other aspects of my life as well. The one thing that I truly helped me along the way was running. Being introduced to running in 7th grade not only transformed by physical self, but it also transformed my mind. For the first time, my concern wasn't on looking a certain way to have the "perfect body". But rather, I was more concerned with making my body strong enough to be an athlete. Running, even to this day, always makes me feel pride in my body.  I'd be lying to you if I said I never experience those same feelings of inadequacy with my body image anymore. It definitely still happens from time to time. However, what's important is that I can look at myself and make the choice to feel beautiful without letting anyone else make the decision for me. My beauty is in my hands. 

The quote above is so powerful to me. Here's this older woman with grey hair and wrinkles but when I look at her, my gaze goes immediately to her eyes. There is so much beauty in her eyes. No matter what she may look like on the outside, it is obvious that her soul is beautiful. If only the world could see past our shell and honor the beauty of our heart instead. 

When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Looking in the mirror tends to put us in a vulnerable place because it forces us to be honest with ourselves. You can't hide from the image that is reflected back to you. And unfortunately, we tend to distort the image that we see based on the insecurities that we feel inside. I challenged my girls to take a good, hard look at themselves. I gave them each a picture of themselves and encouraged them to seek out their beauty. We practiced how to find beauty in the small things, both inside and out. 

We posted their picture on a piece of paper. They wrote all of the things that are beautiful about themselves on the paper surrounding their picture. Here's a few examples of their amazing work!: 

They are so beautiful! Let's challenge ourselves to see the beauty in ourselves and others. It's not all about what's on the inside. I am choosing to nurture my soul so that my heart can shine in the most beautiful way possible. 

Always remember how beautiful you truly are. 


BEAUTY is a Verb

Hi everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all of the mamas that are reading! I hope your day is as beautiful as you are! :) 

This week in Girl Rising, the girls and I talked about beauty. The concept of beauty is something that we can all relate to, no matter what age. We all want it, we spend our whole lives trying to attain it in its most perfect form, and our definition of it changes throughout time. The problem, though, is that most of us never truly feel like we have captured it. It's easy for us to see beauty in others, but it's much more difficult for us to see it in ourselves. I know that for me, I have plenty of moments where I feel beautiful but it's never been something that I feel like I've attained completely. Lately, though, I've been thinking that maybe we've got it all wrong. Maybe the definition of beauty is what's binding us from consistently feeling beautiful. Maybe the definition is putting the power in someone else's hands instead of our own. 

If you look up the word beauty in the dictionary, it gives this definition: 

1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a 
meaningful design or pattern, or something else.
2. a beautiful person, especially a woman. 
3. a beautiful thing, as a work of art or a building. 

Something important to notice is that beauty is defined as a noun. A thing, a quality, something that we possess. But how can we get it? Beauty is so subjective in nature that one person's beauty is never the same as someone else's. Our beauty is defined by a label that someone else assigns us. We allow others to determine our beauty rather than claiming it on our own. It's human nature to compare ourselves to others and try to fit in with society's standard of beauty, but what is our role in the definition? Where do I stand in defining my beauty? 

Beauty is a verb. 

Beauty is getting part of speech reassignment surgery. Let's change the way we think of beauty. Instead of leaving it in the hands of someone else, let's claim it as our own.  Beauty is something you do, not just something you have.  Every morning when we wake up, we have the power to make the conscious decision to be beauty-full. Beauty is a way of life. It's making the choice the see past the ugliness and negativity in your life. It's choosing to love your flaws just the way the way they are. It's choosing to push past your insecurities with a smile on your face. It's actively making the decision to look in the mirror and say "I am enough" even others make you feel like you don't deserve it. From now on, let's be in control of our own beauty. 

I am choosing to live my life beautifully

I am enough. I am worth it. I am beautiful.