Contrary to what some may believe, beauty is not a number. It isn’t a dress size, the digits on a scale, a % of body fat. It is not when you are dressed in your best, with perfect dewy makeup; it isn’t the designer labels and the latest look.
Did you know, you are your most beautiful when you are happy. You are your most beautiful when you are living fully in the present moment, no worries about the future or regrets about the past, no concerns of who is watching you. You are so totally immersed in what you are doing at that very moment and you are at one with the world and peaceful in your soul, happy in your own skin.
I bet you could say you recognise this in your friends and loved ones, but do you ever apply the same logic to yourself?
Happiness is doing what you love, being with those you love and actually loving every inch of yourself, mind, body and spirit.
In the pursuit of happiness, believing that “I will be happy when….” Is a fruitless exercise. ‘I will be happy when I am a size 10’, is likely to lead on to, when I am an 8, a 6 and an unhappy obsession. “I will be happy when I have left my job”, could lead to unhappiness without a job. “I will be happy when I find the partner of my dreams”, leads me to ask, but what if you never find them…?
Are you going to limit your happiness with events, people, places or even things?
Or do you want to be happy and beautiful now?
If you do, then it’s time to allow joy back in. And there are two simple steps that you can follow to invite her through the door. Start a gratitude journal and write your personal ‘joy list’.
Research has shown that the most joyful people are those who have a daily gratitude practice. Rather than saying “I will be grateful when…” they see the good in their life every day, no matter how small, how trivial or how significant. This can be done in many ways, in written, spoken or prayer form. I keep a gratitude journal and write in it each night, but I know many who prefer to do this on waking. Even in the darkest of times, there are things to be thankful for; ask yourself, what you couldn’t live without? Are you grateful for a new day, to wake up, to have limbs, a heart, a brain and eyes to see? Are you thankful for water, electricity, your dishwasher or washing machine? What about the smile on your child’s face, the softness of their cheeks? The arms of the person you love…? A coffee with a friend and the sun in the sky? Some days, this practice may be easy and the pen may flow and others, you really have to challenge yourself to do 5.
This is also a wonderful practice to start with children. As I kiss my children good night, we share our best bits of the day and try to compete in who has had the best day. I feel it helps them go to sleep with happy thoughts, rather than worries.
“Do what brings you joy, and you will bring joy to others.” This is the basis of the joy list. And the first step is to write down at least 5 activities when you are your most happy. It could be anything from running to cuddling your family, cooking to eating good food, being with friends to meditating alone, doing the work you love or volunteering. I have my list pinned on my bathroom mirror and my intention each day is to do at least 3 off the list. Even if I only manage 1, joy has entered my day for a moment or two. And I can be grateful for that and the cycle is complete.
When you are doing what you love, your mind is filled with good thoughts, and as Roald Dahl’ so beautifully puts, “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
It was sitting with a lovely friend yesterday, that inspired me to write this article about how you see yourself and how others see you. She always looks beautiful.