As I navigate the latter half of my thirties, I’ve become more attuned to the subtle changes in my face and body. I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to women who embody a more mature concept of beauty and I’m captivated by those who radiate an allure that extends beyond aesthetics. One derived from confidence, personal power, wisdom, self-acceptance & love, and a deep sense of feminine sensuality and magnetism.
My perception of outer beauty has evolved to value the intricacies of my skin, like the laugh lines around my eyes, the fluctuations in my pores, and even the shifts in the shape of my face, all in tune with the rhythm of my monthly cycle, in this ever changing vessel. It’s an inner knowing that makes me smile at myself in the mirror for the intimate relationship that can only exist with oneself.
I’m not sure when this shift began. Likely when I was still in the thick of the cosmetics industry, getting more and more disheartened with holding my team accountable to selling skincare and makeup through insecurities, perceived flaws and the right hook. “Look like yourself but better!” or “I have an eye cream that will make you look like you slept 8 hours!” as one of the most persuasive sales mavens I’ve ever met used to say. And it worked much more often than not.
We were perpetuating an unattainable standard of beauty and rejecting the idea of aging gracefully because there's a product for every concern. All the while, we failed to recognize that we were equally caught up in the very same relentless pursuit of perfection. Applying yet another layer of eye cream, venting about work-related issues, making plans for post-work drinks to unwind, and staying up late at home (knowing I needed to be up early to do it all again) all because I felt a vague fear of missing out on something I couldn't even identify. I didn't understand the connection between my own dissatisfaction with myself, the sound of my voice spouting negativity on replay, and the path I was treading by indulging in my overflowing vanity of products to conceal my external self. Perhaps if I felt beautiful and perfect on the outside, I could keep going on.
Short of completely disconnecting from social media, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the scroll through flawlessly filtered, poreless skin and airbrushed bodies. In the past, I might have said something like “do whatever makes you happy.” However, what if we've lost touch with what genuinely brings us happiness? Have we become so accustomed to the perfected versions of ourselves that the sight of our unfiltered faces no longer feels authentic? I won't assume to understand anyone else's intentions, but I would propose - not an alternative - but a parallel path to true timeless beauty.
A path that intertwines our birthright to creativity and unique self-expression (and yes doing whatever makes you feel happy and confident) with a deeply felt inner peace and acceptance that transcends external beauty standards.
Holistic beauty doesn't advocate perfection or unattainable ideals. Instead, it honors your uniqueness, encourages balance, and embraces what we consider to be imperfections or “flaws” as part of our personal beauty narrative.
The idea for a holistic beauty course came to me almost immediately after I decided to stop denying my conflicting emotions from the retail cosmetics industry and embrace the rich source of gifts and insights that came with my upbringing in the world of beauty. Tapping back into the parts of my past that sparked joy and reflected my talents back to me for artistry and making people feel beautiful. It felt familiar yet different. Because I’m different. I now come with an expanded perspective, a new level of self-compassion, openness, and authenticity that I didn’t have before.
You teach best what you most need to learn. ~ Richard Bach
As I work to complete my first self-led online course Radiance Elixir: A Holistic Approach to Beauty, I’ll be sharing (over the the next few posts) some of the practices that have come up throughout the creation process. Some are tried and true from my personal rituals, while some of these exercises I’m trying right along with you.
To begin this excavation of the way we define beauty, I invite you to first reflect on how you perceive yourself. And as you bump up against aspects you’d like to change, try writing a self-directed letter through a more compassionate, loving lens. When uncomfortable emotions surface, maybe try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping) to acknowledge the emotions and locate them in your body while you actively root into new feelings of self-love and acceptance. I’ve been practicing EFT and feeling the immediate release of tightness in the areas I hold my stress and anxiety. I’m able to witness the fears and insecurities stored throughout my body and learn to hold myself through them. Rather than staying emotionally stuck, this practice has helped me expand to hold my fear and courage together as I take steps forward into the excitement of the vast unknown.
Reflect on Your Self-Image. Write about your current self-image. How do you perceive yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally? Are there aspects you are happy with, and areas they would like to improve? By reflecting on these aspects, you open a window into areas for personal growth.
Dear Self-Acceptance, I wonder what it would feel like, to write yourself a letter of sincere, loving, self-acceptance? What would you say to yourself? Maybe it's in your journal or a letter tucked away, either way use this exercise as a resource to come back to anytime you need a reminder.
EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping is a therapeutic technique that involves gently tapping on specific meridian points on the body while focusing on emotional issues or physical discomfort. It is believed to help alleviate stress, anxiety, and emotional distress by rebalancing the body's energy flow, promoting relaxation, and improving emotional well-being.
In other related news…
If you were born between April 7, 1986 to December 2, 1987 then you my friend (and me) are in a nodal return. This transit occurs every 18.6 years when the North Node returns to the zodiac placement of your natal nodes. Currently the North Node is in Aries and the South Node is in Libra. And while my brain and fingers desperately want to launch into a full blown article on the nodes - that’s for another letter at another time, so here’s an article to dig into it for yourself. However, with Saturday’s south node solar eclipse in Libra lighting up my libra south node in the 9th house of expansion, publishing, philosophy… I am in full blown create, write, and release mode. I’m learning that shedding doesn’t always need to feel like a painful experience. I'm sharing insights and ideas that I've kept hidden for fear of judgment or scrutiny, through my creative work and writing. It feels scary and hot damn exciting. I’m letting myself write about things that fill my world in a more serious way that feels both fun and liberating.
Here’s a blog I wrote on the personal planets with some practical ways to weave them into your daily life.
If like me, you’re feeling the pull toward insatiable desires and striving to live your purpose while letting go of what no longer serves this next season of your life, I invite you to book a 1:1 Discovery Call. It’s in 1:1 partnerships where I myself feel most alive and in my element. My passion is in helping you embrace your unique expression and innate gifts as you co-create your life and step into the unknown with courage.
I hope to hear from you in the comments or by email! If you’ve got a question or want to work through a block out loud, send me a note on voxer, where I’m playing with a different approach to coaching. Like the voice notes that have become a favorite way to communicate, voxer gives you a more informal way to reach out for help, strategize, and process in the moment. To continue exploring this format, I’d love for you to try it out for free with no strings attached for the next month or so. Get a taste of coaching accountability and support with me!