JULY 2020
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The Library ...

Embodying Beauty
by JoAnne Dodgson


How is it we've come to believe that there are some people who are beautiful and others who are not? Does it really make any sense that measuring tapes, bathroom scales, clothing sizes, and calorie-counts hold the power to determine whether or not we're worthy of love? What drives us to spend countless hours and dollars to recolor, reshape and resize our bodies, over and over again? Why has the beauty of who we are become so difficult to see?

The mother earth has something to say about beauty that's free of judgment and unburdened by fears. Bears don't worry about the shape of their bodies. Dragonflies aren't distressed by the size of their wings. Oak trees don't attempt to look more like the pines. Vultures aren't hiding behind pretenses, pretending to do something other than what it is that they do. The mother earth reveals beauty that's filled with integrity, that honors the rich diversity in the web of life.

Beauty sings out from the sunsets and echoes in the wind and rains down from the moon and dances in the sea and whispers on wings and howls with coyotes and weaves webs with the spiders and lingers in the scent of the sage. Beauty calls out from the mountains and rumbles with thunder and sits quietly with the lizards and soars with the hawks and radiates from the rocks and buzzes with the bees and glistens in the shimmering dawn.

Beauty comes alive in the free, unencumbered expression of being just who you are. In the mother earth's beauty, there are no winners and losers, no blue ribbons or first-runner-ups. There are no better thans or less thans. No too much of this and not enough of that. Beauty is simply the honoring of what is, a celebration of life in all its magnificent, mysterious, remarkable forms.

Mother Earth's exuberant expression is a compelling invitation to open up to our own natural beauty. Beauty is found in the feeling of who we are, in the essence of our uniqueness. It's not all tangled up in comparisons and competition. There are no molds to squeeze into. There is no suffering and sacrifice. Beauty just isn't that complicated. Beauty simply is. Beauty is energy, an expressive vibration, a sensual awareness that resonates with the essence of life.

Remember the last time you experienced Mother Earth's beauty? Seeing the full moon. Smelling spring rains. Tasting wild berries. Breathing fresh air. Hearing the tree frogs call in the night.

        Remember how you felt?

        How full of beauty you felt?

        How beauty-full you felt?

        Remember. How beautiful. You felt.

Beauty resonates within us and ripples out into the world when we honor other beings for being just who they are. Beauty radiates from within when we simply are who we are, emanating clear self-awareness and unconditional regard. No judgments. No hiding. No looking out-there for some official stamp of approval. Just resonating beauty. No if-onlys or yes-buts involved.

So next time we're about to step on the scale or look in the mirror to figure out how much beauty we've got, we can remember to redirect our attention to how we're feeling inside. We can bring back our knowing of beauty, remembering how beautiful we felt, that abundant, expansive feeling of the heart that resonates with the essence of life. Filling ourselves up with the feeling of beauty, we are beautiful, instantly.

It's a matter of choice, of where we're putting our attention, of what we're allowing ourselves to feel. Beauty thrives in acceptance and unhindered self-expression. Beauty comes alive when we simply honor who we are—all of who we are, exactly as we are—in the here and now. 

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