I hope this holiday weekend has been filled with sunshine, laughter, good food and of course, we all need some fireworks in our lives! I hope it also got you thinking, at least for a little while, about freedom and how lucky we are to live in an essentially free society. But I think we all have situations in our lives where we feel less than free. For me, the need for freedom meant starting my own practice. For others, it might mean a new job opportunity, or a funky new hairstyle, or even a crazy tattoo (don’t worry, we can help if you have regrets later!). Personal style and beauty are often elements of ourselves that may be subject to constraint by societal norms and judgment. Read on…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
BEAUTY FREEDOM, AN END TO JUDGMENT
What does this mean to you? For me, it’s about giving women permission to say yes to ourselves, our dreams, and our choices for beauty. Let’s take a journey that celebrates our need, even our duty to shine, as Marianne Williamson suggests. We all make choices…for some it’s enjoying our early silvery-grays, for others it highlights and lowlights, and every hair-light in between. For some it’s a facelift giving confidence in the workplace for years to come, for some it’s a few drops of Botox CosmeticÂ®, for others its clean glowing skin that needs no makeup. If choices are made thoughtfully and help you reflect your best self, who dares judge you?
I think we are sometimes guilty of judgment, especially of other women if their choices are different than ours. And we are often guilty of judging ourselves harshly too. Celebrate and accept your own beauty and allow others the freedom to choose their beauty.
Reflect on your freedom? What does it mean to you? Why is it important?
LOOK WHO’S TALKING
Kelly Meyer wrote: “Beautiful Susan! Was just having this conversation with some of my very best friends. Thank you for putting it to print so beautifully! YOU are JOY!”
The Beauty of Freedom: from the World Dharma Institute
Beauty will save the world, Dostoevsky once wrote. The idea is, in itself, beautiful, but how will it save the world? Is there an understanding of beauty that can assuage the heart of fear and end oppression? Is there a form of beauty that exceeds all others–a universal beauty that is the essence of life?
Beauty is so many things. It’s a feeling. To be stirred in one’s heart is beautiful. It is beautiful to see courage triumph over adversity. To feel solidarity with someone else’s struggle is beautiful. Kindness and loyalty are beautiful.
Certain states of consciousness are beautiful, too. Struggling for what one believes in is beautiful. Standing up for the greater good is beautiful. Reconciliation and anything that interrupts a self-denigrating habit are beautiful. Overcoming complacency is beautiful.
People, art, a poem, a smile, and a photograph–anything that provokes or stimulates us to inhabit a new aspect of reality is beautiful. And peace might be the greatest beauty of all. But could there be anything more sacred, more immediate, more beautiful than freedom?
Take away someone’s basic human rights, one’s freedom, and generally speaking, they suffer the greatest loss. Can we imagine what it would mean not to be able to move about freely, or to speak openly, or to practice our form of spirituality, for fear of imprisonment or harm?
Even for a day, it’s hard to imagine. Nelson Mandela–the pillar of strength and wisdom that he is–said that during the twenty-six years he spent in a South African prison that “I thought continually of the day when I would walk free.”
Enjoy a Positively Beautiful Life!
Susan Mathison, M.D.
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