Posts tagged Life
How to Feel More Beauty-full Than Scarlet Johansson

I’ve been thinking about beauty a lot lately, particularly in the context of creating this new home for my story and starting this site.  Because it’s about so much more than beauty as we define it in our society: fat free, blemish free, wrinkle free, scar free.  The latest of a million examples from my world: Scarlet Johansson’s skin in the movie Chef.  It is otherworldly in its perfection (Am I the only one who preferred her performance in Her??).  In theory, we know every scene is painstakingly edited, but in watching we forget.  We accept her as flawless, even expect her to be so, and with drastic consequences for us ordinary, non-digitally enhanced ladies (and men too who nowadays face increasing pressure for physical perfection as well.)

In a society as visual and as a restless as ours, there is little space for ruminating on the deeper possibilities of beauty and the profound joy it can create in our lives.  We are often too busy stressing our lack of it.  Our lack of Scarlet Johansson perfection-ness.  And that becomes our reality - that we aren't enough. Not good enough, not pretty enough, not perfect enough.  And so we struggle.  In fact, as human beings we are excellent at the struggle. We are designed for it as complex problem solvers.  

But in order to heal - our bodies, our skin, our emotions - we have to let go.  For me, it has meant examining my ideas about what it means to be beautiful and why I've always thought it was so important.  Its meant letting go of the struggle around my scars, my blemishes, and my laugh lines, and embracing what is, all of the parts of myself just as they are.  

It is from there that I have the space to create as much beauty in my life that I want.  Through loving self care of my body and mind.  Through new and uplifting stories I tell myself about all of the wonderful things in my life.  Through gratitude. Through appreciation.  It sounds a little kumbaya, I know, and I'm not saying such deeply rooted beliefs and insecurities can be changed over night.  But I am saying to embrace what you do have and what you can do from a place of love and acceptance is extraordinarily powerful.  And it will 100% show through on your skin. 

Beauty is a feeling, a way of being as much as anything else. And I love this definition because it creates space for something we have complete control over: our actions.  Beauty is a choice – one we get to make as deeply and fully as we dare. 

I choose to make today beautiful by stopping to enjoy the warmth of the sun on my face.  What can you do to create beauty for yourself today? 

Just start. Again.

I wrote the post below a year ago - before my husband quit his job; before we gave up our apartment to go on the adventure that took me a decade to make reality; before we up and moved our whole lives to Denver, hoping to put down roots in a place that costs a little bit less and is sunny (quite) a bit more.  All of this change, and I am still disappointed and judging myself for not pulling regular blog posts off as well.  

While I know challenging myself to leave my comfort zone is necessary to grow, doing it in a way that makes me feel small or incapable or too late to the party isn't going to help me move forward.  To do that requires putting aside what I've taken to calling the "inputs," the newsletters, the video trainings, the advice, the blogs, the books (yes some of us do still enjoy paper things!), and taking actual, real-world, high-value action.  In other words, just start (even if that means you're starting all over again).  Well said, Big Rach of 2013: 

Just start.  Sometimes that’s all it comes down to.  Whether it’s a new diet or way of eating, a new gym, or a new business or job search, you often spend loads of time planning and researching and consulting, with your friends, your mom, your Uncle Dave.  But in reality, its all a bunch of hemming and hawing which you do to put off the one thing that is actually guaranteed to increase the likelihood of success for your new venture.  Just starting.

For many of us, it is perfectionism.  We want things to be awesomely awesome right out of the gate so badly we scare ourselves off of starting.   So you go back to hemming and hawing until you dig yourself into a nice, deep rut.  Meanwhile, the world knows nothing of the drama that has played out in your thoughts over and over. 

As my lovely friend and fellow health coach, Katarina would tell you, it’s all in your head until you take action. 

Just start. 

That is what you must do to continue moving forward in your journey.  And that’s what I am doing today as my head and my heart are overflowing with ideas, inspiration, tips, shortcuts, recipes and more from my own wellness journey which I am so excited (and lets be honest, also a bit scared) to share with you.