Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BE BEAUTIFUL IN 2014

IMAGE CREDIT // Avedon: Women at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills
With the new year comes all sorts of goals and resolutions. Jumping back into the routine post-holidays got me thinking about what I'd like to accomplish or improve upon in 2014. The fresh start is hopeful and promising, but also kind of overwhelming. Where do I even begin? I guess I'll revisit my Life List, I could work on being more patient, and I should definitely worry less, etc. Quite honestly, my laundry list of resolutions just felt daunting and depressing. I'd like to think I'm a goal-driven gal, but all this really did was make me worry MORE. I wanted to crumple up my list and start a new draft, but instead I turned on Bravo and avoided 2014 resolutions entirely. Ha Ha! Of course, that was until I read this post, Don't Be Pretty - Be Beautiful in 2014, written by Glennon Doyle Melton, the blogger behind Momastery and author of Carry On Warrior. Here's an excerpt:
"Beautiful means “full of beauty.” Beautiful is not about the appearance of your outsides- beautiful is about what you’re made of. Beautiful women are women who spend time discovering what they love – what sings to them –what their idea of beauty on this Earth is. Then they make time each day to fill themselves up with that beauty. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day... 
You will meet plenty of people in your life who are pretty but haven’t yet taken the time to be beautiful. They will have the right look for the times- but they will not glow. Beautiful women glow. When you are with a beautiful woman you will not so much notice her hair or skin or body or clothes – because you’ll be distracted by the way she makes you feel. She will be so full of beauty that you will feel some spill onto you. You’ll feel warm and safe and curious around her. Her eyes will twinkle a little and she’ll look at you really closely, because beautiful, wise women know that the quickest way to fill up with beauty is to soak in another human being. Other people are beauty, beauty, beauty. So you will notice that the most beautiful women take their time with other people. They are just filling up. 
Women who are concerned with being pretty think about what they look like, but women who are concerned with being beautiful think about what they are looking at. They are taking it all in. They are taking in the whole beautiful world and making all that beauty theirs to give away to others... 
In 2014 let us decide to be beautiful women. Let us take the time to discover what in this world is beauty to us –  and fill up with it daily." 
After poring over the article and absorbing all of G's wisdom, I was provoked to email my mom, the most beautiful woman I know. I proofread the message and decided it should be a blog post. I guess it's no secret I like to brag about my sweet family.
Dear Mom, 
This post made me smile and feel grateful. After riding the holiday high of seeing Aubrey and spending so much time with Flyboy, I also felt a sadness because it was over. I didn't get enough time with my sister, and I didn't get to see my mom and dad. Pity party, table for one. Womp womp. I guess Glennon's words reminded me that whenever we're together, I feel beautiful. Read this post and it won't sound so haughty, I promise! Being surrounded by people who make your eyes light up and appreciate the same beauty that you do is such a gift. When I'm around you all, I don't worry about my acne scars or the fact that my pants feel really tight right now. Nope, I see a twinkle in your eyes that makes me feel really loved and blessed. I see a family who may be sprinkled across the US and separated by an unfortunate distance, but also connected by cherished moments and inseparable bonds. Even though we're far apart and I don't get to see that twinkle in your eyes very often, I want to thank you for filling me up with beauty each day and for encouraging me to discover what it is I truly love. When there's a twinkle in my eyes, it's because you've filled me with beauty. 
Love always, 
Ash 
I share these thoughts because I think we can all benefit from being full of beauty. It may seem simple, but this year I'm going to continue to explore what it is that I love, take my time with other people, and spread joy to others. And if every year I resolve to be more like my mom, then that's alright with me! Whoever is so lucky to meet her will tell you she's got that glow.
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