Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#AtoZchallenge - Acknowledge Your Natural Beauty

I could have written about many things for the letter N. I had a list prepared to choose from: nutrition, new beginnings, never give up, to name a few.

But this morning, my husband changed my mind for me. We were in the Starbucks drive-thru, and as usual, I was hurriedly putting on my mascara while he paid for our coffee.

He turned to me as he slid the coffee into the cupholders, looked over and said, "You're looking sexy today."

I laughed, dismissing his remark. I knew exactly how I was "looking" today. Tired. Light makeup. And by light, I mean just a touch of BB Cream and mascara. And it was a ponytail day.

Working out before work means a quick shower and minimal beautifying. Especially when we wake up late.

Sexy is not a word I would use to describe anything going on with me today.

"No, I mean it," he continued. I smiled at him. Let the fool think I'm sexy if he wants to, right?

But then this video came across my FaceBook and Twitter feeds several times today:

Okay, so I've seen this floating around Ye Olde Internets for a while now, but today I finally decided to watch it. I literally burst into tears when Kela viewed her two side by side portraits. It reminded me of Karen Walrond's book The Beauty of Different. You can see her TEDxTalk here:

Karen talks about looking for and appreciating the beautiful differences all around us. I think in order to focus on the differences that make other people beautiful, we must first acknowledge our own natural beauty. In her TedxTalk, Karen tells us to "look for the light" when we look at each other. This is our natural beauty, both inside and out. These are the differences that make us expressly who we are.

Too often I look in the mirror or even down at myself, appraising how my clothes fit or how dark the circles under my eyes are. But when I look for the light, my natural beauty shines through. This is the beauty my husband sees, even when it's just a ponytail day.

I am filled up to bubbling over with passion for life. When music plays, I am completely incapable of sitting still. I laugh, loudly. Tears well up and spill down my face over the smallest of things (and poems). I spend at least a little time every day of the school week reminding children how incredibly brilliant and beautiful and powerful they are. I love my blue eyes, how tall I am, and the fact that I can bust out a workout hardcore and leave it all in the gym. I have seen terrible, horrible things in my lifetime, and I'm stronger because of it. I am inspired when my words or actions motivate others to be stronger, healthier, happier. I believe in the power of people working together for a common goal.

I may not be model thin, wrinkle-free, or sporting rock hard abs.

But I do have natural beauty, inside and out. And so do you. So the next time you're disheartened by what you feel you're lacking, look for the light.

What differences make up your natural beauty?

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