As women, we are inundated with messages that we are not beautiful enough just the way we are. We must pluck, dye, lose weight, wax, exfoliate, tone, manicure, highlight, paint, flatten, inject, and dress in haute couture to be “beautiful.” Well, I’m here to say, on behalf of women everywhere – bullshit.
Recently, someone said to me, “Beauty is health,” and I found myself cringing. After all, I know some supermodels who smoke crack, binge and then purge, and suffer from a weak heart. But they make it into the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and by most American standards, they are “beautiful.” When I heard this comment, I found myself flipping it around in my head. I’d argue that “Health is beauty.” When I see someone taking steps towards whole health, when I see a body being nurtured, a loving mind, and a bright, sparkly spirit, I see true beauty.
It may sound cliché, but I genuinely believe beauty comes from within. So I’d like to write the kind of beauty article you’ll never see in Cosmo. Not that you shouldn’t put on eyeliner if it makes you feel pretty or get a pedicure when you feel like treating yourself, but I believe that if you follow these tips, you’ll positively radiate.
20 Inner Beauty Tips
- Keep your heart open. See others with Magical Eyes and let love glow through you. Look beyond the masks people wear and see the beauty within them.
- Begin each day with thoughts of gratitude. Appreciate every experience, even the challenges.
- End each day by relaxing every muscle in your body. Start at your scalp and allow each hair follicle to breathe. Move to your forehead, your cheeks, your temples, your smile lines (call it natural Botox!). Relax your shoulders and watch then un-hunch. Relax your chest, your belly, your hands, your perineum, your hips, your knees, your ankles, your toes. Allow every part of your body to soften.
- Eat a whole foods diet. For extra glow, include as many raw foods as possible.
- Allow 10 minutes per day for stillness. Meditate, pray, breathe- just be quiet with yourself.
- Affirm your inner beauty. Make positive statements of affirmation to yourself (i.e., “I approve of myself. I am valuable. I am loving and lovable. I am abundant.”) Say them. BELIEVE them.
- Donate your time or money to helping the world. Being in service to those in need helps illuminate the bright shiny light within you.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes each day. Even if it’s just a walk around the block, getting your juices pumping helps quiet the mind, tone the body, ground you, and nurture the spirit.
- Release judgments and criticisms. Accept that all of us are doing the best we can, imperfect though our actions may be. Give us the benefit of the doubt as we strive to be the best we can.
- Let your creativity flow. Find a way to express yourself and allow yourself time to tend the creative spark within you.
- Smile often. Not only will it benefit your health, but it will touch others. Even better, laugh out loud. Try laughter yoga. One elderly lady wakes up each morning in her nursing home, laughs like mad, wiggles her arms and legs in bed, and screams, “I’m alive! I’m alive!” The nursing home attendants swear it’s her fountain of youth.
- Have orgasms. Often. As regularly as possible. With or without a partner. Talk about inner beauty…
- Be authentic. Tell the truth to yourself and others. Let your freak flag fly. Living outside of your own authenticity is never pretty.
- Engage in work you love. Nothing like a job you despise to make you scowl.
- Tend your spirit. Find spiritual community in a church, temple, mosque, or yoga class. Commune with the Divine. Let your aura sparkle.
- Be free. Dance. Sing at the top of your lungs. Run. Scream. Paint outside the lines. Yodel during sex. Scatter daisies around the boardroom. Pass out balloons. Give free hugs. Get unstuck and set your inner freak free.
- Pamper your body. If it makes you feel beautiful to wear lip gloss, give yourself a facial, take a long hot bath with lavender bath salts, get a massage, or deep condition your hair, go for it! But do it for you- not for anyone else.
- Avoid being mean. It’s a sure way to negate beauty.
- Practice preventative health. Why wait until something goes wrong?
- Look in the mirror every day and say, “I am beautiful, just the way I am.”
What works for you? What other inner beauty tips do you have? Let’s shake up the beauty industry and show ‘em what true beauty is all about.
Photo credit: “Empowered” by Rita Loyd 2007