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. 

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