You are Beautiful!

Beauty from the inside out

Inner Beauty. What is it? If you have it, or see others have it, what do they have then? Can one get it, embrace it, develop it? How to overcome obstacles towards it? Is it convictions, emotional barriers, lack of purpose? Do you dare to be vulnerable?

“Now even the heavens are thankful that because of love
I have become the giver of light.” ~ Rumi

Inner Beauty expressed in the world.

When I was young I had a good friend who had an ugly head. His nose was a little sideways, his eyes had different sizes, his skin damaged, strange ears, hair that struggled to be anything. No one seemed to see it. Why? He was beaming all the time. Only when I took a hard scrutinizing objective look did I notice this. So beaming from within makes a huge difference.

I once saw a clearly overweight dancer, packaged in a little too tight ballet costume, singing “I’m so pretty, oh so pretty.” while making silly dance moves. She was expressing herself way over the top without any shame. The audience loved her. She was adorable and beaming in her self expression and self acceptance.

I saw an old man hanging backward in the park. His face radiated inner calm and gratitude for the sun on his face. His eyes sparkled as I walked by.

I made love to women who radiated enjoyment in their sensuality. They surrendered to the moment. Man, they are beautiful to behold like that.

I saw a teachers never giving up on students. Their quality of attention to the other help build trust and confidence in students to take scary next steps.

I saw a woman stand up for something she believed in and become like an mountain that could not be moved. That inner strength to stick with what mattered made her someone I could project hope for a better world on.

I saw a monk smile and be with my silly talk. I melted and calmed down.

I saw a friend share her deepest insecurities in a group. She showed her pain. Everyone else was in awe of her bravery. Many felt comforted in experiencing many similar sentiments. She was so beautiful then and didn’t know it.

“Your gift is for others to enjoy.”

Observe people you think have great inner beauty. Don’t compare yourself with them, just observe what they do, show, how they are, that they have ‘it’.

I find inner beauty makes people beam, sometimes strongly, sometimes through an inner quiet light, sometimes through honesty. To make this happen aspects like self acceptance, giving attention, compassion, sensuality, surrender, gratitude, inner strength stand out for me. None of this is about looks. None of this is about convincing others, or even yourself to be beautiful. It’s very likely you’ll not be aware when you radiate it the most. If may feel as struggle within, while others feel touched by your presence. Beauty happens because of warmly embracing what is and sharing it freely with others. It may even be a new way to approach leadership.

What aspects decrease inner beauty?

Before we turn our attention to shining more, here’s how our psychology works in essence. Desires determine actions. Outcomes of those actions create emotions. Lessons learned determine our convictions. Convictions build mechanisms. Mechanisms build behaviour and habits. Habits rule our behaviour, which in turn leads to emotions, or often enough avoidance of certain emotions.

“Desires are the source of all suffering.” ~Buddhist teaching

Intentions

We all have experienced deep trauma’s in our early youth, whether we are aware of it or not. As baby we want to be loved, we want safety, we want food. Our parents can make many mistakes. You may have been unwanted. You may have been ignored when crying. You may have been send to a dark room while your parents stayed in the light. You may have been pushed to man up, while you needed comfort and acceptance. You may have been smothered and not developed yourself enough. You may have suffered all of these. The ones that hit you the deepest determine what you’ll deepest held convictions will be. Be attentive to what you really desire and what you do to get it.

Convictions

People who didn’t get enough attention may hold as essential conviction: “Nobody cares for me, unless I get the attention.” or they believe: “I’m not interesting enough, so I’ll better hide away.” People born in large families may believe they need to fight for everything they want or others will take it first. You develop your character traits out of your deepest held convictions. These convictions will steer your actions, whether they are true or not. Thus we see people fight for things that would have been freely given, hide in groups when everyone is interested to see more or seek attention when others already thought it was enough. And then the convictions you act from get you hurt.

Believing stuff like ‘I’m stupid, bad or ugly’ doesn’t help either. Nor does believing yourself to be wise, divine and beautiful. The first set makes you smaller, the second ones have the tendency to have you blow up your ego. All opinions about yourself are hindrances. Who cares about them? They don’t make a difference. Self acceptance of what is happening in the moment makes the big difference, like in: “This moment I’m judging myself. I feel it happening. And that is okay.”

Mechanisms

We all have preferred survival patterns deeply imbedded in our behaviour. Looking for confirmation outside of you. Pleasing to be liked. Chasing people away who come too close. Claiming those whom we fear are distancing themselves. Charming, flattery, seducing, threatening, demanding, begging and many more actions aimed at getting what you want, take away shine.

“We can control our actions. We can’t control the outcome.”~Buddhist Saying

How to build better mechanisms? Essential is trust, that what needs to happen, will happen. If you charm someone don’t get hung up on the outcome. Enjoy the ride for its own sake. It’s when we cling to outcomes we may get bitter, jealous, angry, sulky, play victim or, if your claims seem to be fulfilled, arrogant, bossy or controlling; non of which are attractive. Overcome mechanisms through focus on deeper desires and values. Don’t act automatically, seek to be in the moment. Yes, be more playful. It’s free.

Habits and behaviour.

This one of the best known one. Eating junk foods, laziness, seeking perfection in the mirror for hours, or seeking confirmations in cards, I Tjing or self help books may not make the difference you hope for. They may just as well fill time with emptiness. Changing habits can be hard work. As with mechanisms you’ll have to build better habits through effort. Surrounding yourself with people who live the habits you seek often helps. Living your deeper values and purpose helps to focus on your more inner objectives. And when those objectives are more to be of help, than be feel more happy or beautiful, only then those values will start to polish your inner gold.

“I wished I had lived a life more true to my inner self.” ~ One of the biggest regrets of the dying.

Emotional layers

If you complain a lot, are angry or bitter a lot, inner beauty diminishes. Fighting to be beautiful can even be what makes someone ugly. Self obsession about being good or beautiful in the eyes of others stand in the way. Suppression of such emotions and convictions connected to them doesn’t work. Emotions happen, some welcome, some awesome, some terrible and some unwelcome. Let them pass through freely. Or as Salomon’s ring said: “This too shall pass.”

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~Alfred Einstein.

So How to Enlarge Your Inner Beauty?

Don’t get swept away by inner unrest, from emotions to mental noise. Calmly be with what is and or observe it’s causes without making a fuzz. Meditation can greatly help with this one. Playing helps too. :) It’s all about self acceptance. And, hihi, working to get more of it, can be a judgement in itself.

Be vulnerable. Sharing your doubts often helps others to understand their own pain and doubts so much better. It opens doors where you don’t expect them. Other will admire such courage, even when you wonder why. Daring to fail. Being very honest as to what happens within to others helps.

Don’t make this whole thing about you. It starts with letting go of you. Send light to others. Start helping. Be giving. It helps to go volunteer, cook for friends, make others laugh, really listen, buy presents with more attention on how it will fit others, beautify your own and other peoples house and garden, commit random acts of kindness.

Embody it. Go dance more, do yoga, everything to be more physical and get out of your thinking about this. Being physical makes you more light, less fuzzy, more beautiful and way more intuitive to what choices to make. Going deeper into blocking emotions or thoughts will not dissolve them. It makes them stronger. Shift your focus to being instead. Sing or dance or do stuff.

Don’t take it all so f#*king serious. Laugh when you try too hard. Lightness is more helpful than seriousness. :)

In the end ‘beauty from the inside out’ is not about you. It’s about making the world as a whole shine more. Doing that work in itself is the polish that will make you shine more. Working on yourself should have the focus to get better at it. Is it that simple?

I say Yes.

THE GOD WHO ONLY KNOWS FOUR WORDS

“Every Child Has known God,

Not the God of names

Not the God of don’ts,

Not the God who ever does

Anything weird,

But

The God who only knows four words

And keeps repeating them saying:

“Come dance with me

Come

Dance.”

~Hafiz

Note: The insights in this text were also inspired by dialogues with Bahar Farshchi Jamshidabady and by an initiative by Arial (Els van der Schoot).

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