Where Beauty Lies

This one is for my women readers in particular. Whenever I listen to women talk about beauty, I am reminded of the kinds of traps writers fall into when talking about publishing, though with this difference: Whereas writers have a habit of focusing all their attention on a point in the road ahead, an always shifting destination called Published, thereby pulling their attention from the thing that brings them joy and the actual success they believe they crave – i. e. the writing itself – women stop and stare at a fixed point in the mirror, wondering what this exact moment in time means about their value in the world. I understand why beauty is seen as static, a quality a person possesses in varying and largely fixed – though perhaps with age, declining – quantities. After all, your nose is your nose, your eyes are your eyes, your body is your body and so on. The roulette wheel of genetics decided your fate, and now it’s just a matter of makeup, and hairstyle, and diets, and Botox to make the best of it.

I have known plenty of women stamped with the Seal of Beauty approval, and I have seen how what these women are thinking at a given moment changes the face called beautiful. In other words, nothing in the world is fixed. One cannot be beautiful anymore than one can be ugly; we can only be. Beauty, like well being, is a balance of thought, not a place on a map.

We are always moving and changing – we cannot stop it. Every thought and gesture changes us in some small way. If the thoughts and gestures you choose are in complete alignment with what you love most, you will be as beautiful not just as it is possible to be, but as you yourself want to be on this planet. You will be beautiful not just because you will be living joy expressed, but because in living what you most want to live, in expressing what you most want to express, all your attention will be on the trajectory of light that is your truest path – not the mirror, not the photographs, not the magazine covers – and you will receive all the attention for your beauty you have ever craved and discover to your own delight you never actually needed it.

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