Why is this idea of our own inner pace a cornerstone of the Slow Beauty philosophy and so important to self-love and self-care?
Healthy is beautiful. If we’re going to be aspirational here or, rather, since we’re going to be aspirational, healthiest is our ultimate goal. But getting to that healthiest, most beautiful version of ourself doesn’t happen overnight. We want to start by aiming for healthy and build on that. Have patience. This is, after all, a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race philosophy. Be the tortoise, not the hare. Channel Torti.
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Slow Beauty is a way of reframing our ideas and ideals about beauty, and expanding our definition of beauty to include health and wellness side by side with the development and design of our inner life. It is about innovating our approach to beauty in such a way that we leave behind the concept of beauty as we’ve known and experienced it. It’s about abandoning altogether our ideas that have us chasing perfectionism and fighting the aging process.
In my mind, the biggest component of any beauty program should be wellness and self-care. Slow Beauty will take you there. It will take you on an interactive wellness and self-care journey that will bring you to a place of optimal health, both inside and out. You will feel the best you’ve ever felt in your life. And the best part is that you will continue to feel good because you are going to personalize
your program so that it continues to support and sustain you for the long haul, infinitely, even as you grow and transform and ebb and flow through life.
change is the only stable state in our life (or: when chaos is a good thing)
It might seem a little bit like I’m talking at cross-purposes here, telling you that you’re perfect just the way you are (which is true), and also encouraging you to change.
Here’s the thing, though: We live in a world that is inherently changeable. The world around us is always changing and we’re always changing, for better or for worse. The point here is to direct that change toward the better in whatever ways are within our control. And, to be sure, not everything is within our control.
Slow Beauty is about two types of change. First, it is about the changing world around us the type of change that is often beyond our control. It is also about internal change the “be the change” type that the Dalai Lama so aptly expressed. We need to understand and recognize the sometimes chaotic world around us so that we don’t get caught up in the frenzy, lest it swallow us whole. We also want to give ourself the space and the opportunity to change aspects of our life the things that we do and the habits we’ve fallen into to improve how we feel about both ourself and the world around us.
This movement toward change is nothing new. It’s just the prescribed manner in which we go about achieving change that shifts from one era to the next. Over the decades the trend of the moment has run the gamut from psychoanalysis to cognitive therapy to “love-ins” to self-help to the pursuit of happiness; from aerobics to Tae Bo to Buns of Steel. The list is exhaustive. Today, we talk about finding change through wellness and well-being. Along the way, certain prominent figures and stories rise to the top, depending on the zeitgeist and what we, as a culture, need to be reflected back to us.
What does this have to do with beauty? Everything. We are always seeking beauty. Human beings are visually oriented beings. We strive for beauty, and we are always in the midst of a discussion about beauty, implicitly or explicitly, whether we realize it or not. We’re constantly defining, refining, and redefining standards of beauty based on the social, cultural, and psychological state of the times. Beautiful in its most base, common, and banal definition is a transient concept. What was considered beautiful in 1977 is likely not held in the same regard today. In other words, when we chase this sort of culturally defined beauty, we’re chasing something that can’t really ever be caught. It will always be shifting under our feet and we will constantly be trying to chase it back down. All of this only has to do with physical beauty, though. Slow Beauty, of course, involves the physical because we will always be visual creatures. But it’s so much more than that. Slow Beauty is a multisensory experience, and, within that, the visual is only a part of the greater whole.
Time is a funny thing. Einstein (and many other scientists, for that matter) tell us that time doesn’t even really exist, that it’s nothing more than a human construct. According to this theory, we, as humans, have just collectively applied some labels that represent time as a coping mechanism for
what is otherwise a completely chaotic state of countless moving parts. And here’s the kicker we are just another one of those parts. So, we have the past, present, and future, and we attach meaning and emotions to these timescapes that both hinder and help us. In a sense, time is a line or a thread we can travel along to gain perspective and lessons. It is common for us to reflect on the past, and even to get stuck in the past or be nostalgic for it. Our relationship with the future, on the other hand, is often fraught with worry and concern and a need to control what is to come. In fact, it’s probably not news that many of us struggle to be present in the moment.
I’ve always been fascinated with the future, to the point where I align with the futurists. I’m fascinated and curious about the great art movements of our history I’m always searching for cues and clues that will give me insight into what is to come so that I will be better prepared.
Slow Beauty is both what is next and what is already here. This desire for wholeness has always been present in us, it’s just that now our attention will be more and more attracted to its qualities. Emotionally, psychologically, and physically, we will yearn for it as technological advances appear to accelerate the world around us. We are seeking tools, resources, and the experiences of time standing still.
joy, oh, joy!
I’ve saved my favorite element of the Slow Beauty philosophy for last: At the end of the day, what we are really doing throughout the course of fostering our own inner beauty, space, and light, is cultivating joy. We are reworking and upgrading our system to ensure that joy runs deep within us, that joy courses through our veins.
Above all else, finding ways to cultivate the spirit of joy within helps us to maintain balance through the ebbs and flows of life. Real joy is rooted deep within and is a key to a spiritually grounded and sustainable self-care practice. Wear joy. The light of joy imparts an exclusive glow. Bask in its warmth. Joy is radiant. Elevated. Fluid.
But what if you are not feeling joy at this particular moment? What if you look within and it seems like it simply doesn’t exist? Trust me, it does. Even if right now all you have is the tiniest seed of joy, be tenacious in seeking it out. We are going to take that seed and transform it into a majestic, towering, overflowing oak tree.
For some, that idea might feel oddly scary. Yes, there can be fear in the unknown even when that unknown is joy itself! Be open to the mystery of how you will get there. To the spontaneity of not knowing what’s to come. This is where creativity lives and creativity is inherently joyful. When we create, we know joy.
And guess what? This personalized emotional, spiritual, and physical practice that you have now officially embarked upon is creative. You will create as you slow down, turn inward, and get in touch with, celebrate, and intensify that part of yourself where joy originates.
Now, let’s practice!