Poets the world over, and for centuries, have tried to define it and yet they have been able to render but a fraction of it. Here is a small selection:
People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing you are the beholder. – Salma Hayek
Beauty is truth, and truth beauty. – John Keats
Love is the beauty of the soul. – St-Augustin
No physical grace is complete unless internal beauty animates it. The beauty of the soul spreads like a mysterious light on the beauty of the body. – Victor Hugo
Beauty is relative. Pleasure, joy or even pain can illuminate the face and give it the type of beauty that comes from within. – Mireille Maurice
Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come. ― Michaelangelo
Beauty is God’s signature. – Charles Kingsley
Beauty is a wild garden. – Anne Rice
Beauty is the mirror of life. A condensation of rapture is its reflection. – Delphine Lamotte
What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful. ― Scott Westerfeld
The most comprehensive quote I have seen so far is by Canadian mystic and teacher, Berdhanya Devi:
Beauty is the absence of all manipulations, expectations and inner interventions; beauty arises in the ambiance of purity, surrender and acceptance of what it is Truth.
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Is beauty a state of being, a process or both? With a minimum of awareness, most can understand beauty as a state of being in constant evolution. With a higher perspective, it is seen as one of the reflections of how you integrate and manifest the union of life and love as it is given to you by Mother Earth and Father Sky. You create your beauty with your creativity, what you eat, what you feel and what you think. The catch is, there is also a lot going on in your subconscious mind. That is where the challenge gets interesting.
From the mundane perspective, we know that beauty standards have existed from generation to generation, from different cultures, for age groups, for men and women, for the self or for others, within families and so on. There are physical standards of course, but the Earth body represents only 1% or your whole being. By their very nature, standards are limited and limiting and that’s how we limit the expression of our beauty’s full potential.
Beauty, as life, can be seen as a fan, immensely creative in the variety of forms it takes while remaining stable in its role. It can be left aside, closed, folded like an accordion, its fullness revealed only when it shows up fully open, fully present. Contrary to the fan, however, your beauty and life reveal themselves day by day, between the moment of your life until you breathe your last breath.
The beauty that you see… or not… depends on the perspective you adopt. Do you use your mouse eye to focus only on positive or negative details? Do you look through the eyes of a judge ready to decide if your guilty or innocent, black or white? Do you have a mother’s set of eyes, compassionate, constantly giving and forgiving? Or do you chose the eyes of the eagle who encompassed the whole of who you are?
The thing is, whether you aware of it or not, the choice is always yours. You don’t have to abide by anyone else’s judgments. Not your parents’, not your siblings’, not your husband’s, not your children, not society’s. Notice that I didn’t say it is easy. I said it is your choice.
THE UNIVERSAL QUEST FOR BEAUTY
The quest for beauty is universal. No individual is insensitive to his or her own beauty, to the beauty of others and to the beauty around us. Some may hide it for fear of being hurt, again, but it usually shows up somewhere regardless.
The best indicator of that search is the amount of energy, time and money people are willing to spend on making themselves and their children feel and look beautiful. Think of how much time you spend in front of the mirror in the morning or before you go out; how much you spend of clothes, shoes, hair, skin and nail care, teeth whiteners, make up products, jewelry, hats, perfume, and maybe on cosmetic surgery and implants, that you buy every year. Without that solidly imbedded quest for beauty and equally imbedded doubts that you can never be truly beautiful, the beauty and fashion industry would not thrive to the extent it does.
Why is that. From the spiritual perspective, we learn that the body is the temple of the soul. As such, we need to care for, maintain, solidify and adorn it. It is a deeply seated need and desire. However, the focus cannot stop at the temple; it’s inhabitant needs care too. And what about your emotional, mental and spiritual beauty?
WHERE HAS YOUR QUEST FOR PHYSICAL BEAUTY TAKEN YOU?
As a child, have you gone through your mom’s make-up bag or tried your dad’s aftershave? At an early age, most children want to be perceived as more mature than they are. So they start using make-up. It somehow is as a rite of passage but it is also a symptom of wanting to belong and a need for approval of their femininity. To those who start in the beauty contest arena, it becomes an obligation as early as 3 or 4 years old.
During teenage years, when pimples and oily skin are most prominent, the common temptation is to hide them with make-up. Miracle products (with chemical ingredients) for perfect skin are widely advertised. “Mom, older siblings and friends use them, why not me???!!!”, sometimes with painful results in the short or long term. There are other options, but they require more effort and thus are less likely to be considered unless your mom is a “health freak” or if, for some reason, you rebelled against the trendy make-up industry.
Has the image you formed of yourself in the teenage years included the requirement to put on make-up daily? Do you feel you can go out without make-up or not? Have you been on a constant diet or berated yourself for not going on one? Or inversely, are you wearing padded bras and loose fitting clothes because you feel you are too thin, your knees too knotty? The inquisition has no end.
In countries where women are seen as being worth less than men, they are measured only by their physical attributes, for their marketability for marriage, for the amount of babies they can potentially bear, and for the amount of work the can do, for the dowry, fame, honour, business or contacts they can bring. The more beautiful they are, the “better” are their chances. Unfortunately, that very beauty has never been an insurance for a happy marriage. Are we that different from them today?
If you are among the few rare individuals who can say: “I soooo love my body” or can respond “I so know what you mean by that”, do you ALSO consider yourself 100% lovable, intelligent, enough as a human being? Why or why not?
HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE YOUR EMOTIONAL BEAUTY?
Your nine emotions are the colour palette of your personality. They give you physical sensations (for example, as sadness makes you cry) and they are under the influence of your “gunas” (the qualities of the 5 elements).
Here is a list of the 9 emotions to help you with your exploration.
Their subdivisions are listed in the photo below.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR MENTAL BEAUTY?
At the physical level, the mind has three distinctive functions that are very familiar to our day-to-day logic and mental dynamics.
1. The protective mind: provides the defensive position or survival mode. It searches for potential threats or anything that is wrong in a situation. It reacts.
2. The expansive mind: gives a constructive perspective. It is action-oriented, risk-taking and searches for pleasure and expansion. It is pragmatic, flexible and imaginative. It can also give assumptions or fantasies.
3. The meditative mind: gives objectivity and neutrality. It observes, assesses and decides the best, non-dual outcomes. It senses reality, giving you stable identity, purpose and meaning. It is in tune with your duty, destiny and love. It dwells in intuition.
Did you ever consider that your mind can be beautiful or not. Chances are you judge your mind because it is not enough, or quick enough or any other even if you are not fully aware of it. Fortunately, the mind is flexible and can be trained. You can protect it, feed it, remove the obstacles to hide its full beauty.
Thoughts come and go, change form and dissipate. They are of no consequence unless you let them sit and fester by «bying them». They even have the power to shape your body and your moods, every minute or every day.
A good exercise when you notice a self-defeating thought is to watch it and let go if it as if it were a cloud that dissipates. Daily meditation and yoga are also excellent to train the mind. Meditating with a group is even more powerful.
ARE YOU AWARE OF YOUR SPIRITUAL BEAUTY? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT?
The spirit bodies are our vibrational essence. It is a very organized language of vibration, sound, light, integrity, awareness, imagination and perception. It is our body that it is formed by intelligent filaments of light and is like a complex living geometry of life.
We can compare the perspective of the Spirit bodies as the eagle high in the sky that is able to see the totally of existence and cooperate with what is needed to evolve. The Spirit bodies relate to our unconscious material and to the view of ourselves in relation to a cosmic territory with new vocabulary, dynamics and expressions.
Spend 3 minutes in front of the mirror every day for 7 days. Right down what you learn in your journal.
• What do you see? Who do you see?
• Are you already measuring, analyzing, judging, criticizing, complimenting?
• Is this a habitual response?
• Who is/are the judge or judges, the voices?
• Look in your eyes. Is there anyone else there apart from the judge? What is he/she saying/thinking/feeling?
• Now look in your heart. Who does the heart see in the mirror?
Write down your insights in your journal.