18 Mar Yogalife Article: Can You Say “I am Beautiful”?
It was a pleasure to contribute this article for YogaLifeME magazine October edition, this really was an opportunity to share a piece of my journey and I hope that it helps all of us to come together and say,from a place of comfort and love, “I am Beautiful!”
Here is the full article…
“The moment you embark on any self healing journey, whether that be physical, emotional or spiritual, there is one inescapable message. It doesn’t matter which book you are reading, guru you are following, yoga you are practicing, meditation you are contemplating, retreat you are considering or detox you are braving, this message weaves its way through all of it forming the foundation upon which the art of healing rests. The message is simple, the message is love, self love.
As simple as it sounds, loving ourself does not always feel easy, being kind to ourself is, for many, extremely challenging and the idea of feeling and proclaiming to those around us that we think we are beautiful, well, completely out of the question, I mean, who does she think she’s is?!
Innocent giggles aside, it does seem that a woman who has found a way of practicing self love and admiration for her beautiful body, is not always well received, ‘OMG, she so loves HERself’, is an all too familiar criticism.
I noticed this when I was just a little girl, I never felt beautiful, far from it, so it wasn’t a statement I was ever about to make, but, I did witness the toe curling reaction of my friends to girls that did have a certain air of confidence about their appearance. I found this fascinating and I can remember thinking to myself, I don’t understand, don’t you all want to feel beautiful and confident like she does?
As teenagers this only gets worse, self love is definitely out and self deprecation is well and truly in!
Unfortunately, self deprecation seems to stay ‘in’ and even as grown conscious women, self love stays out! It feels jaw clenching for us to proclaim to the world that we are in love with ourself and say ‘yes, I think I am beautiful.’ To admire a woman for her beauty is one thing but if she appears to acknowledge this herself then that’s something entirely different and apparently not so pretty!
The question is, why? Why is it that when another woman is in love with herself and can say aloud she’s beautiful, regardless of her dress size and appearance, instead of celebrating and supporting we want judge and criticise?
I think we all long to feel love, and beauty is an expression of love, the truth is, when we are not feeling something that we really want it’s irritating to be confronted with someone who does, and for all the judgement and criticism we give out to her we are giving it back to ourselves ten fold.
As a teenager and young woman I did NOT feel beautiful, quite the opposite, and for a very long time hated my body and treated it in appalling ways. BUT, even throughout all of this, when I did see a woman, confident in her beauty, and loving herself I never contributed to the ‘hating’, I always admired her, quietly thinking wow, I’d love to feel like that. It was the feeling that I connected with most, not necessarily the physical appearance, I understood that beauty could not be measured!
Life is fascinating because this became my journey and my work, to find the beauty within me and learn to love myself so that I can help other women to see their beauty and feel their own love too.
Its an amazing thought to consider how life would be if we all supported each other in loving ourselves, congratulating our soul sisters when they discover the beauty within them and enjoying the pleasure of celebrating all of our unique, beautiful natures.
They say that if we want something we must first give it. Perhaps we could begin by giving our love and appreciation, instead of judgement and criticism, to all the women in our lives, including those who are already embracing love and expressing their beauty. In doing so we create a window of opportunity to gift ourselves permission to love ourself and reconnect to our beautiful nature.
In a world where beauty is abundant, it would be our greatest misfortune to remain blind to the beauty that is within each of us. I am beautiful, and so are you…”