The key to being beautiful is not what you’ve been told. We live in a culture obsessed with defining what it means to be beautiful; it’s so bad that we have industries running the world just to make you hide who you are and hope you’ll be loved more for it.
I've seen this my whole life, I gave in to it a few times while growing up, even. But then I entered a new wave of beauty stigma and expectations immediately after having my baby girl.
Postpartum life was a wild ride. When I had just given birth, I felt so gloriously magical and beautiful that when I stepped on a scale and it read 2 kg (5 lbs) above my pre-pregnancy weight, I thought, cool!
Fact was, that scale was broken. I was actually 12 kilos (27 lbs) heavier than I was pre-pregnancy.
Two kilos or twelve, it didn’t matter. Truly! The reason why I felt beautiful had nothing to do with any number in the universe.
Beauty comes from confidence, and confidence comes from within.
When we FEEL beautiful, we affirm it to ourselves again and again. It’s effortless, and it’s genuine. We naturally choose to see our own amazing qualities, which makes us feel at peace in our bodies. Then that peace shines through and becomes true beauty in the eyes of the people around us.
I admit, I do love makeup. Not because it makes me more confident, though, but because it’s fun! The only thing I love more than makeup, though, is taking it off. I always feel a little like I’m not my true self with a bunch of makeup covering me up.
I don’t want to hide who I am because that is exactly what makes me beautiful.
That goes for you, too. Your beauty is not found in how closely you can look like someone else. Your beauty is YOU! Once you feel that deep within, how you look on the outside will take people’s breath away. But by that point you won’t even care about things like turning heads because you’ll be wrapped in gratitude and confidence and the biggest picture of all: love.
Feeling beautiful is everything! Looking beautiful is something else entirely. When we look at ourselves judgmentally, from the outside, then we obsess about weight or blemishes or wrinkles, or whatever it is. The more we do this, the more separate we feel from the miracle that our body truly is. Separation from ourselves is separation from love.
Your body is miraculous! First, it grew in another body (what!), and now it runs countless systems all on its own, it heals itself, and it keeps you safe and strong as you run, swim, dance, do yoga, travel and hug your loved ones.
Have you ever paused and thought about this incredible body of yours, and all the magical experiences it’s carried you through?
This brings me back to standing on that scale soon after giving birth (another mind-blowing thing bodies are capable of!!). Being 27 lbs heavier than my “normal” weight, I felt so gloriously beautiful and non-attached to the idea of weight that I literally just assumed I had dropped back into my pre-pregnancy body overnight. Ha!
Of course, when I went for a check-up and stepped on a real scale at the midwife’s office, and it said something drastically different... I felt completely surprised. But what did I do? Start panic dieting and obsessing over a number on a scale?
NO! I hugged my baby, dropped back into my body and worked my way back to peace.
My baby is healthy. I am healthy. I am surrounded by love — so much love it’s almost hard to comprehend. This life is beautiful, and I am grateful.
There is always something to be grateful for — that’s your ticket to feeling beautiful, and to finding peace.
Shanti, shanti, shanti. Peace, peace, peace. It’s the only thing that matters.
One year after giving birth, I stepped on a scale at the spa for the third time since my baby was born, out of curiosity. I was 5 kg (11 lbs) above my pre-pregnancy weight.
In that moment, you could have told me that a year was enough time to work off my post-pregnancy weight. I could have felt lazy, embarrassed or even ashamed.
But I didn’t feel any of that. I still felt beautiful — tired from taking care of a baby 24 hours a day, but beautiful. That’s because I was so connected with my body, my spirit, and everything that makes me and my life so damn great. Numbers had nothing on my gratitude.
As I write this, the words “pre-pregnancy weight” leave an off taste in my mouth. Maybe there is no pre- or post-anything... Maybe there is just now. This body, this baby, this moment. We’re all so damn beautiful! I think if we stopped thinking about it and started FEELING it instead, we’d all be so much more at peace.
And who doesn’t want to feel peace?
It’s something accessible to us all, and it starts within.
Love your body.
Search for peace.
Every damn day.
What makes you beautiful? Put your hands on your heart, close your eyes and feel your beauty. It’s overflowing, I guarantee it! Tell me what makes you beautiful in the comments below. Go!