More than 5 years ago now I attended a Global Healing conference in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. The keynote speaker was Desmond Tutu (who made himself very available to us!) and there were 800 people attending from all over the world. It was an incredibly powerful experience that transported me into a global citizen and expanded my awareness about life and my own contributions to the world.
After the conference I had created an additional 10 days to just be on my own and explore the amazing country and people of Bali. There were many things about this culture and these people that captivated my heart and soul. One of them was the natural beauty of the people, the country, and the way of life…and I am not talking external beauty only here. There was an essence that was felt, a light reflection of what is real substance within each living thing….. A sacredness of whole being if you will.
It was here that I was able to find and celebrate my natural beauty, throw away my self consciousness around how I looked on the outside, and luxuriate in all that is beautiful. It was here that I fell in love with myself and had it reflected back to me over and over again…and yes, I did find myself in a tub with flower petals floating in the water just as in the picture above!
As I stepped into this new found natural being of beauty others were attracted and I found love shining back at me from every possible source. The Balinese people know when a person is being authentic, and as I let go of inner constraint I was welcomed into families and villages, held Balinese children, sat with heads of villages to talk about meditation and the finer points of drinking milk straight from the coconut (oh, did I make a mess of things much to their enjoyment!), had intimate dinners with embraces and kisses in the moonlight by a lotus pond with an Australian participant of the conference, and was even invited onto the backs of motor scooters by locals to tour the island.
I found that natural beauty is something each and every one of us as women hold within, and that when we open to the giving and receiving of love with full and authentic expression and acceptance there is a radiance in our being that draws others in.
Below are 2 resources that I feel you will enjoy and appreciate. Pass this on to women you know and let’s collaborate with each other to accept, express, and celebrate our natural beauty and full potential!
The NEW Beauty
“She said, “Jules, If I didn’t know you, I would hate you.” This message was delivered to me, 24 years ago, at a critical and tender time in my life. It reverberated endlessly, from my fragile ego, to the depths of my soul, and back around my hear…t. This was a painful and difficult message for an approval-seeking young adult, who worked tirelessly to move beyond the “ugly and imperfect” obstacles from childhood adversities. I replied, “Seriously? You would HATE me?” “Yes. You are beautiful and successful. You’re perfect! You have it all. If I didn’t know you, I would hate you!,” she repeated.
Sadly, she really did not know me and all my insecurities. Her words pierced my people-pleasing persona and shattered everything I believed to be true. Beauty and success epitomized the cultural contract we were “supposed” to fulfill as super-women. But nobody told me about the part that if, or when, you fulfill the contract, people would hate you.
This was a bewildering, sick game: be beautiful, successful and hated, or imperfect, ordinary and never measure up. The pathetic irony in the entire paradigm was I NEVER felt beautiful or successful to begin with and most of us NEVER did.
In spite of the invasive and prominent media-defined images of beauty, women are waking up. No longer will we sit by and watch our daughters be put in powerless, anorexic, heroin chic boxes, destined for plastic surgery. Traditional notions of beauty are being shattered. Women no longer want to have our appearance prescribed, nor do we believe it defines who we are. We will not wear a mask that hides our identity and buy the right labels to make us feel worthy and complete.
We are re-defining beauty and wearing it proudly as it emanates deep from within our true knowing. As we discover the radiant light of elegance and grace that flows from our core, authentic self-expression is the new glamour. We are birthing a fresh allure. Our NEW beauty is raw, organic and deep. It isn’t something that pleases the eye, but rather an essence that stirs and quickens the soul. Have you re-defined beauty and embraced your mystique?
Macduff Everton said, “There is a difference between pretty and beautiful. Beauty can astonish us. Inspire us. Make us dance. Make us weep. Beauty can be magical. Beauty can transform us. Beauty lets our soul sing. Beauty can have such depth that you don’t even notice at first, or ever.” Live your beauty! Let it shine. BE YOU, beautiful, and help usher in the NEW beauty. ” Dr. Julie
By: Dr. Julie on Your Beautiful Mindful Life
Take a look at the Beautiful Woman Project by Cheryl-Ann Webster
Comments on: "Celebrating Our Natural Beauty" (2)
Oh, how wonderful Gaye — another really beautiful and inspiring post. A “bewildering, sick game….” is such a powerful description of what contributes to our losing who we really are. I love that you experienced firsthand the NEW (or, probably very ancient and sacred) Beauty firsthand and shared it with us!
My pleasure to share this with you Trista and please pass it on to all the women that you love….so that we will remember to love ourselves as we are, and express from that place. Here is to Natural Beauty! LOVE!