This is my second post as part of the contest by indiblogger.in, Yahoo India and Dove “I believe in Real Beauty ” . Under the topic ” what does real beauty mean to you ? ” (Do check their official page by clicking the Badge. )
Do read the first post : Real Beauty is – A flame lit from the inside out .
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Waking up to the real beauty around us
When on some gilded cloud, or flower,
My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
And in those weaker glories spy
Some shadows of eternity;
The Retreat by Henry Vaughan
The human life is saturated with beauty. Every moment of life is an irreplaceable miracle and to be awake to witness that miracle is the real beauty of living. Beauty is not always realized through a life changing moment or a great epiphany. It is not always hidden in a sunset or a rainbow, or found deep down in ocean or high up in sky real beauty is found though a child’s eyes. It could be anything from a blooming flower or a buzzing bumblebee or maybe just a sight of a sparrow sitting on the window sill. It can be a smile, a laugh, a touch. Real beauty is expression of joy.
Beauty is often found where you least expect it. In today’s world we are so bogged down by our schedules, obligations, everyday struggles that we have lost our sense of wonder and the joy and beauty found in the simplest things of life. During a visit to Nainital we went for a boat ride on a full moon night. The lake was shimmering silver and the hills were gilded with moonbeams, the sky deep shade of blue. I remarked to the boatman about how fortunate he was to live in such beauty. He replied that he was born here and earns his livelihood as boatmen. These are mundane sights for him and he is not affected by what I find enchanting.
I felt that in his relentless efforts to earn and feed a family he had closed himself to the beauty that renewed itself every day around him.
Beauty is all about opening your heart and mind and allowing yourself to appreciate what’s around you. Just a little quieting yourself internally and watching everything as if for the first time will bring you closer to what real beauty is. Real beauty is beyond mind. It is spontaneous.
Whenever you feel beauty — in the dewdrop clinging to the blade of grass, in the wild flowers, in the thunder and lightning or in a woman or a man – the moment grips you so deeply that you are cut off from the past. For that moment you are detached, everything ceases to exist and after a while even the visual dissolves and you are left with a beautiful feeling. That’s real beauty. To become one, to immerse yourself completely, to surrender is to become really beautiful.
Whenever I listen to music, caress, hug or kiss, when I watch a riot of colors around me or savor a dish I think how beautiful it is to be blessed with all the five senses. Appreciation of whatever we do and doing it with utmost devotion is beautiful whether it is eating food, working on a project, painting a picture, cooking a meal, anything.
To be really beautiful and to experience the beauty all around is to be intimately connected to life. We overlook all the wealth of artistry around us by being disconnected as we go through the usual daily routine. We need to change our perception and slow down.
“I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may – light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.”
We are continuously trying hard to fill the empty spaces but we forget that in these gaps real beauty is found. Spaces give birth to forms. It is through space that sound vibrates, our bodies move, the air fills the lungs and we breathe. It is these gaps between the letters that makes this piece of writing coherent. Real beauty moves silently between these spaces. Space is essential for a beautiful relationship to grow.
Satyanand says,” nothing is objectively impressive; things are impressive only when they succeed in touching the sensibility of the observer by finding avenues in heart and mind.”
Observation is not enough, appreciation is required. To spend quiet moments with oneself under a starlit sky is beautiful so is holding hands and feeling the warmth of someone you love. The energy that passes through in those moments is beautiful.
We develop an orgasmic relationship with life, it is when we surrender and flow into the infinite depth and marvel at the unknown and mysterious ways in which the universe works we discover real beauty. All this happens only if we have a child’s heart and an inquisitive mind when we are not biased and judgmental. Just as the sunlit peaks have their glory so do the deep dark valleys have their own depth, own silence and own coolness.
We can appreciate the beauty around us only when we remember that there is a beauty that lies within us that makes us unique we don’t have to travel to distant places for it. A really beautiful person is that who shares that inward beauty and encourages others to find what’s beautiful in them. Even a silent communion between a human and an animal can be beautiful.
Real beauty is also about creating. Whether you create a piece of music, a poem, a painting or build a machine, design something new. It is about evolving, nurturing, growing. It is taking your imagination beyond the “normal realms “, to set yourself free. Creating life by giving birth or tending the garden, painting a fence, working on a potter’s wheel or simply making the mundane an enjoyable experience is beautiful.
It is the balance and harmony with oneself and nature that makes us beautiful. It is in simplicity of life and living that one finds real beauty.
“In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures, life may perfect be.”
Real Beauty of a Woman
Sensuousness also plays an important role when we speak of beauty of a woman. Not every woman who is physically attractive is sensuous and that is what makes some women really beautiful than others. This sensuousness comes from the inherent qualities we talked about in the previous post.
Sensuousness may differ with each woman but essentially it is that which makes her so fascinating and complex in her own way. It is celebration of a woman who is in full possession of her powers, warm, elegant, luminous with inner glow, whose persona lingers on long after she is gone. That is real beauty.
So when we talk of real physical beauty this is one inner factor that comes to play in a big way. It is more mental than just physical that counts after all. If her soul is ablaze with inner fire and passion she becomes beautiful not just momentarily but eternally.
Each woman across the globe is unique and there are beautiful differences and similarities between African, Caucasian, Asian, women from the Far East and Middle East and Latino women. Real beauty is celebration of this extraordinary uniqueness of beauty in them untouched by any outward “make up”.
I decided to do a second post for Real Beauty because I feel there is so much beauty of thoughts to share and each shared thought is a seed for a flowering tree where hundreds of new thoughts blossom enriching our lives and of others.
Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.
I met an internet friend some days ago. It was our first meeting. The bright smile that lit her face warmed my heart. She was an “ordinary” looking person, unattractive by the social yardstick of beauty but radiant and charismatic. All her unattractiveness was instantly transformed into something else. She was a kind of woman one would like to spend time with and feel whole.
What is it that made her instantly beautiful despite being physically unappealing?
Real beauty is that which offers value to others, beyond the woman, values which are inherent in us like compassion, generosity etc combined with an open inquisitive mind. It is her stature bearing personality and demeanor that makes her beautiful to large extent.
The key question here is to what extent beauty is physical and to what extent it’s something else.
The physical aspect of beauty is not straightforward. It is transient and subjective. Different cultures have different standards and those standards of beauty change all the time—they aren’t completely fixed. In the sense of physical aesthetics beauty has been regarded as reflection of health, vitality, sexual allure and social appeal.
We know that women all over the world and throughout time have wanted to be beautiful. It was often sought after, revered, and sometimes interpreted as a personal virtue. Some element of beauty is a male need in getting attracted to a woman, a crucial instinct for survival that cannot be ignored.
In evolutionary terms, physical beauty has value in that it helps females in securing a mate and procreation. These were some of humanity’s earliest benefits of being beautiful. A healthy, fuller, strong body was considered beautifully able for childbearing, nursing and taking on the responsibilities in a social context. The inherent qualities of a woman as a “life giver” nurturer complimented this desired physical appearance and were valued.
A woman was a fierce guarding mother and yet gave her children wings to fly and a friend, a healer, a confidante, a source of wisdom and courage and still emerge like the goddess kali to stand for what is right and just. She had the power to create something beautiful out of nothing and destroy what is negative and evil. She had a heart of a child and strength of a jaguar. It is this wholeness of her persona, the aura she carried that made her a beautiful woman. A woman clear about what she is and totally aligned with that.
Isn’t that the problem? That women have been swindled for centuries into substituting adornment for love, fashion (as it were) for passion? ~Erica Jong
Unfortunately the society which is mainly patriarchal created a false aura of “womanhood” in order to suppress the uniqueness and the inner strength of femininity and to please and aspire to become that “perfect illusory ideal beauty” women over the years lost touch with their own self.
Women became obsessed with their appearance and felt inadequate. Knowing that perfection is an illusion they blindly fell into the trap. Demanding perfection from ourselves is just another form of self-inflicted abuse which is worse than that inflicted by others. This desire to be what is rare and unattainable is a common element in beauty standards throughout the world. All we have now is a new race of life-size vinyl dolls perfectly proportioned to please the males of the species and in an endless competition with each other. Constantly stressed out spaced out to achieve that “perfect beauty” which we see in the idols we make. I feel that the essential feminine touch is lost somewhere in this.
Many believe that the cosmetic /body care industry has cashed on to this feeling of inadequacy and manipulated its portrayal of women. We have come to the point where beauty and desirability are now racially / ethnically coded. More societies are being force-fed Western beauty ideals and assimilating them into their own. We still see that an average person is judged on her attractiveness by a “White” norm leading to various attempts by dark skinned people to look as White as they could. Girls get labeled from the time they are born for the color of their skin and endless efforts to lighten the skin tone, cutting remarks and comparisons make them lose confidence in themselves. Continuously we are so sold into beliefs through advertising, television, fashion and the beauty industry that the outside of a woman is her entire value. They try to change drastically what nature has given them instead of enhancing it.
Women have become fixated on the superficial. The “beauty industry” and the beauty myth have been very destructive and limited women, their self-worth and their potential to a large extent.
The question is, how right and justified it is.
Can’t we just BE, without having to worry about being labeled, categorized, and herded?
Beauty is beyond flesh and hairdo, make up or any such transient thing. It is the growth of consciousness in us. It’s not genetic or surgically enhanced. Real beauty is combination of what you are genetically gifted with and your own inner growth. Being appreciated by men / women for my physical assets or sexual appeal is desirable and I may use the myriad products to enhance my appearance but on the other hand if someone looks at me and admires me for my intelligence and warmth it would give me more pleasure. A well-groomed appearance as it helps in building up self-esteem and is essential to all who are part of a certain work environment, part of society at large.
If I wake up and look into the mirror with a perception that I cannot change the physical; the internal “flaws” as fast as I can change the way I feel about myself, that will make me beautiful. . The beauty or the ugliness of the body is very superficial it is the positive energy the “inner flame “that matters. In fact when we become too identified with the outer beauty we get disconnected with the inner.
You can have plastic surgery to have a beautiful face, breasts; you can change your complexion and shape but you can’t change your being. Inside you will still remain greedy, full of lust, violence, anger, greed, jealousy which will dominate you. All these things the plastic surgeon can do nothing about and it is not beautiful to me. The real beauty appears only when you stop cramming yourself into predefined boxes.
Step out of the “one size fits all” cookie-cutter culture that’s been handed over to us. Stop spending oodles on makeup, fashion, and fit in that mould.
Would you hide your light because someone else said you weren’t good enough to shine? Think Again?
A truly beautiful woman represents love, beauty, and esteem. It is time we strengthened our “self confidence muscles” and wake up to the full expression of our most beautiful Self freeing ourselves from the unreasonable standards of beauty shoved on us by society.
Outer appearance does not always reflect the inner beauty. One maybe “plain/ugly/average” looking according to the social yardstick and yet have exceptional charm, intelligence, zest etc. It is often that we miss out on such people because of our obsession with outer appearance.
“Outward beauty is not enough; to be attractive a woman must use words, wit, playfulness, sweet-talk, and laughter to transcend the gifts of Nature”.Patronius
All women have an element of beauty that is uniquely their own. At a deeper level, all “flaws” are subjective and based on our own interpretations, perspectives and focuses. We may obsess about certain aspects of our body or appearance, our personality and consider them as bad but the truth is they simply are as they are—we add the meaning and interpretation to them.
Osho says, “It requires tremendous courage to ‘be yourself’ in success and failure, praise and condemnation and a woman who can achieve it is truly beautiful. A woman understands the human soul`s wellspring, for in her unconscious mind and through it, she is directly linked to the major currents of the mind which bear us and carry us forward. When a woman knows her true self, such as courage, which facilitates one to be herself at all phases emerges.”
Source: ‘Far beyond stars
I can’t ask or expect other people to find me beautiful. I can, though, expect of myself to pour more time, effort into making my inside beautiful than my outside, whether it be thin or average or fat.
Some of the real beauties I admire
If you are a blogger and like my views, do “FB Like”/vote for me
Also read the second post on Real Beauty : Real beauty is an ecstasy, a hunger and a perfume as simple as that
Images from Google