the well daily had this lovely post on beauty and aging. worth it!
Monica Watters is The Well Daily’s resident skin care expert.
We’ve all heard about it or seen it on the streets of New York: frozen face—the telltale sign of a bad botox administration. For those of us who would rather skip the injectables and go the natural and safe route—bypassing the heavy makeup, chemical peels, wrinkle fillers or surgeon’s knife—it’s up to us to first shift our thinking and embrace a few fundamental truths about what it means to be beautiful. The way I see it, understanding authentic beauty is actually one of the best things about aging.
Recently I’ve been drawn to Hema Sundaram’s six principals of transcendent beauty from her book Face Value: The Truth About Beauty—and a Guilt-Free Guide to Finding It, and I’ve got a few thoughts on them.
You must feel beautiful before you can look beautiful. It really is true that a confident person attracts others like a magnet. Do what makes you feel fulfilled and take the time to really enjoy your life. Then simply let your own happiness radiate.
Get past the ordeal by mirror. Dr. Sundaram suggests that we should try to look at ourselves the way our loved ones see us, and it makes sense. Do those who love you most focus on your crow’s feet? Of course not. Our little flaws are imperceptible to those who matter most.
Take responsibility for your own happiness. No one has the power to make you unhappy. Give your life an honest look and separate any negative circumstances into two columns: those you can change and those you can’t. Choose happiness by working to make positive changes in the areas where you can make a difference—in spite of the areas where you can’t.
Live in the present. This simple idea of mindfulness can be so difficult to achieve sometimes, but I love Dr. Sundaram’s take on the connection between mindfulness and discovering one’s inner beauty: “Living in the present means accepting yourself as you are while not denying yourself as you were or might be.” As we age, this is key to the way we see our emotional and physical selves.
Surround yourself with beauty. For me, experiencing beauty is one of the easiest ways to instantly feel more beautiful. Dr. Sundaram suggests filling your home with plants, wearing clothing that makes you feel good and spending time with people who elevate you. I’d add to that list seeking out art, books and activities that make you think creatively, which is really just another way of appreciating the beauty around you.
Do at least one thing a day that inspires you. Do the things that satisfy your soul and everything else will fall into place. If you love to run, run. If you love to sing, sing. My rule: don’t let a day go by unappreciated.
The bottom line? True beauty springs from a contented spirit. Nourish your inner self, and you’ll shine in a way that no doctor could ever replicate.