beauty is not skin deep

Beauty radiates from within



August...end of summer...
let's talk about our appearance
as we go into the fall



 Take a moment to reflect on the most beautiful women you have ever known! We are not talking about the artificial celebrities that we admire from afar.  Think of someone who you have always thought of as beautiful and gracious.  What qualities do they possess.  Analyze their looks  in your mind.  Are their features all that perfect? Is their figure what we would all aspire to?  Perhaps; perhaps not.  Often, their beauty, though undeniable and readily recognized is not what fashion magazines celebrate. Real beauty radiates from within.  It comes from an inner peace and reflects a genuine joy for being alive.  Often these people possess the ability to bring the best out in other people. Do you feel better just being in the presence of this person?  Do they make you feel more beautiful when you are near them? Just what is it that makes them different?  How can you be more like them? You can, you know.
Let's examine some of the deeper qualities that reflect beauty.  Notice the photo of the swan at the top of this section.  Why do we think swans are so beautiful? Do words like graceful and serene come to mind?  These are qualities every lady can develop.  Certainly it will come more easily to some than others, but everyone has the capacity. 
It has been shown repeatedly that music can soothe and create a tranquil environment.  This does not apply to all music.  Some styles do the reverse.  Some are actually composed to stimulate passionate physical  reactions.  So, if you are going to try this experiment, you will have to select something this is calming.  Vast varieties of music are readily and cheaply available on the Internet and the convenient players make it possible to listen to high quality recordings at any time and place.  Try it and see.  Do you find yourself relaxing and feeling more serene?
 Try to avoid actions which in themselves suggest agitation.  Don't drum your fingers or tap your foot impatiently.  Try to sit quietly and concentrate on relaxing.  Think into the muscles.  Start with your toes and gradually work your way to your ankles, then calves, then knees and so on until you get to the top of your head.  If you detect a muscle starting to tense return to it in your mind and cause it to relax. Now, think how calm and serene you are.  Chances are you will even look different....even beautiful.  The trick, of course, is to be able to be like this all the time.  It will take practice and reinforcement. 
Next, you will learn to project this serenity to others.  When you can do this, they will see the beautiful you.  Yes, it takes work and you will slip from time to time as the external forces that stimulate chaos are very powerful. They can be overcome.
Along with serene we mentioned graceful to describe the swan.  The surest way to develop physical grace is to study Ballet.  Understandably, this may not be a practical solution for you.  You may find, though, that as you practice the exercise above, you become more graceful physically.  Try slowing your movements down a bit. Students of Ballet are instructed to "think into the muscle".  Just as you did with learning to relax, think into each muscle.  In this case, however, you will be moving the muscles.  Try to make your movements more fluid and they will probably be more graceful at the same time. We trust that by now, you are quite beautiful as a result of your exercises.  However, this would be quite shallow indeed if you did not now use this beauty to enhance the lives of others.  Note that everything we have done in this article so far has concentrated on the internal you which is now being successfully radiated externally.  You are now ready to reach out to others.  We speak more about that in the October outreach tips, but it is appropriate here to follow through with what we have begun.  You must take an active interest in others without being intrusive.  Put simply, notice those around you.  What seems important to them? Identify it and pick up on it.  Here is an example.  The cashier ringing up your groceries is wearing a Denver teeshirt.  There is now something you can say.  "Oh, are you from Denver?  I have always wanted to go there."  Notice the other person is not required to enter into a conversation from this statement.  It would be perfectly appropriate and polite to respond with a simple yes or no.  You smile, take you change and go on.  BUT, there has been some personal contact.  Painless but genuine.  Perhaps the most effective message is to smile.  Practice smiling.  Find a comfortable expression that you can put on your face all the time.  Not a big grin, just a simple smile.  It will make you more approachable.......beautiful....and is guaranteed to make you feel better.  Once you have this expression comfortably mastered, apply it to your face regularly...even when you are alone.  You deserve to be beautiful even when no one else is around to see it.
Is the swan smiling?

It just doesn't get any more satisfying than this!  Keep up the good work as there is more to come!