• Gretchen White

7 Ways You Are Beautiful

Last year I was honored to be able to collaborate in a workshop that focused on loving one's own body. My involvement in the workshop fell in line with a project I am working on - beauty.

"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself".

The women who attend this workshop each had a story that needed to be shared. Each one had an issue with their beauty but realized that once they started sharing, their stories were similar in so many ways. As I listened to their stories, watched their beautiful faces, and shed some tears, I understood that every woman has issues with their own beauty regardless of who they are, how much money they have, what they have had done (cosmetically), size, and age. We are told or see what others (society, family, friends) believe beauty should be. And if we do not fit into this box of "beauty" then we are not really beautiful. Bull!!!

"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself". Thich Nhat Hanh

1. Being Yourself. Never forget that you do not need anyone's permission to be you. You must give yourself permission to be you. We were all born to be who we are. We were not made to be carbon copies of others. When you accept you for you, your beauty shine through. Tell yourself this everyday in the mirror until you believe it - "I AM BEAUTIFUL".

2. Giving Of Yourself. This is something simple to do if you aren't ready for the first way. When you give of yourself to others, this shows how beautiful you are. Giving of yourself does not have to include donating to a charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen. Giving of yourself can be as simple as being on the other end of the phone when a friend calls and wants to talk. Telling another woman she looks amazing (I do this every day to three women I do not know). Smiling as you walk down the street. Even a sincere "hello" or "good morning" can make a big difference in someone's day. When you give of yourself, you are sharing your beauty with others. It can become contagious you beautiful goddess!

"Admire someone else's beauty without questioning your own".

3. Supporting Other Women. Whenever I see a group of women gathered together laughing, smiling, and hugging, I see beauty. There is nothing more beautiful than a group of women supporting each other. There is no need for competition when you are in the presence of other women. Instead of stepping into the gossip ring, step back and start a praise ring. Not the church type, but one that uplifts, motivates, or empowers others. Sharing your experiences, knowledge, stories, etc shows the person who is receiving it your beauty. And when your inner beauty shines through, your outer beauty sparkles. Shine on gorgeous!

4. Self Care. I can't stress enough how important self care is to being beautiful. I don't mean self care as in makeup, but in taking the time to spend time on you. Self care can be sipping hot tea while doing absolutely nothing. Taking a walk. Reading a book on self development. Meditating. Journaling. Whatever you do for you is considered self care. Taking the time to recognize that you deserve this is telling yourself that you are beautiful and deserve to be pampered. You don't need a full day of self care. Take time each day to just do something for you. Get your sparkle going lovely!

5. Respecting Yourself. This can tie into being yourself. When you give yourself permission to be who you are, you are respecting who you are. And nobody gonna give you respect better than you. R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Aretha knew what she was telling all woman when she sang that song. If you find it hard to respect yourself, look at other women you admire. How are they showing self respect? Try to emulate the way they respect themselves...just don't try to be them. You want to learn from them so you can give yourself something you truly deserve. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman with respect for herself. Respect yourself, darlin'!

"You are either as beautiful or as ugly as you believe you are. You define your beauty. That's not a power anyone can have over you".

6. Laughing. I am a huge supporter of laughing. At the age that I am, I still watch cartoon movies...alone. My children are adults. I make it part of my day to have a good laugh. Laughing not only lifts your mood but can erase that veil you place over your lovely face when you are trying to hide your beauty. Don't believe me. When you are alone (because if you do this in public, someone may think you have lost your mind) stand in front of a mirror and start laughing. At first it will feel strange, but once you get a few chuckles out, you won't be able to stop yourself. And don't stop there, have a good belly aching, tears rolling down your cheek laugh. When you are done look at yourself in the mirror. You will notice how brighter your face is. How your mood has changed. You are looking at raw beauty. There is nothing more beautiful than that.

7. Complimenting Yourself. You are probably reading this and saying out loud to me that you can't compliment yourself because you have nothing positive to say. Well you are wrong. For years I avoided mirrors. I didn't want to look at myself in a mirror because all it reminded me of was how ugly I was. It wasn't until I decided to find one thing about myself each day that I liked about myself that changed the way I looked at myself in a mirror. It is not an easy thing to do but I am most certain you can find something about yourself that you like. Even if it is just one thing. It is a start. Every morning stand in front of your mirror and tell yourself something you like about you. You can even say something as simple as "good morning beautiful" or "hello gorgeous". When you start your day with a self compliment, you change the way you see yourself throughout the day. Try it. It does work. When you believe in yourself you stand taller, smile brighter, look freaking amazing. Wear that compliment well!

These are my seven ways you are already beautiful. What are some ways you see your true beauty? Leave me a comment below. I would love to see how you shine, you badass beautiful queen!

"Everyone has a beautiful face. Everyone has a story. Share yours!"

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