You are All Beautiful

“You are all…. You are all…. You are all…. You are all…. You are all beautiful. You are all magical. Deserve to be adored. Deserve to be adored!”

And so I sing along to the mesmerizing beat of the Parlotones’ song Beautiful. As I am singing with passion and abandon, I am feeling beauty: experiencing it through my heart, not just through my ears. Experiencing beauty this way makes me ponder what beauty is and how we experience it through our senses. It is after all through our senses that we experience life through the world we inhabit. Our physical environment impacts most heavily not only on our interpretation of life through our senses, but also on our emotional experiences.

The cliché “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” holds true no matter how often it is uttered. Beauty inhabits a combination of different qualities that please the senses, and as we are all different, we are all seduced and captivated by different combinations of these qualities. As most of the information we process daily is done through our sense of sight, we mostly think of beauty in the way of colours, line, shape, form, space and pattern and how they interplay to create the physical beauty of our environment; both natural and manmade. The element of space, to me, is dominant when I define beauty. I feel the beauty of space in the wide, open landscapes of repeating dunes, unfolding mountain ranges or the distant horizon of an expansive lake, dam or the ocean. It is through my experience of space that I grow and expand my consciousness and why I feel a spiritual longing to linger in spaces that feel expansive. It is as if the external beauty of these spaces act as a switch that activates the beauty of my inner landscape.

Closing my eyes, and by doing so, eliminating the sense of sight, my ability to activate the other senses become more acute. It is then that the early morning birdsong becomes a symphony that draws the dawn in different colours of sound; that the soothing murmur of running water discover its ability to mesmerize the human spirit; or the silent whisper of words of love harness me with courage and strength. Touch can bypass many mind processes by speaking directly to my emotions.  It is when I am not seduced by the colours or patterns of a silk scarf, that I can truly appreciate its gentle caress of my body that transports me to the places I only inhabit in my dreams. It is when I feel the cool, prickly sensations a thick mat of grass sends through my feet that I understand the deep connection I have with the earth. It is in the smell of freshly cut grass that I can relive my childhood, and through the taste of cinnamon that I find comfort and a place of respite amidst the chaos of the world. It is in the smell of the first raindrops, as they soak through dust and sand, that I appreciate the richness of life. It is when I sink my teeth into a juicy watermelon that I can taste an entire summer, and on the coolness of an ocean breeze that I can travel to places where not even my imagination has ever been.

“You are all…. You are all…. You are all…. You are all…. You are all beautiful. You are all magical. Deserve to be adored. Deserve to be adored!”

We are not just surrounded by beauty. We are also beautiful: in our bodies, our minds and our spirits. The Divine dwells within the beauty of the world and within us. In order to honour the Divine within we need to take care of our bodies. It is after all through our bodies that we experience the joys and beauty of life. Just think for a moment or two how you experience life when you are sick compared to when you are healthy and full of energy. So often we simply take health for granted – we see it as a given, a right even. It is neither, and although we do not have complete control over our health, we certainly have the ability to take care of our bodies in such a way that we invite health into our lives, while staving off any unnecessary illness. We can choose what we put into our bodies, to exercise, what we think as well as the environment we live in.

It is when we cannot see our own beauty that we think we are not worthy. And when we think we are not worthy we tend to hide behind excuses, justifications and habits that are harmful. It always amazes me that a smoker with lung cancer stubbornly clings to the addiction, a diabetic keeps feasting on sugary treats or someone with heart problems still indulge in fast foods. Making healthy choices are never easy when they conflict with what we were taught or the social circles we move in, but if we choose to live our best lives, these choices quickly transform into a way of living in which different habits are adopted or in which we re-train our taste buds. If we start to look at food, not just as a way to still hunger or emotional pain, but as nourishment, we will be able to eat balanced diets that will remove all the unhealthy cravings we tend to give in to. When we experience the vitality of a body that is fit, strong and supple, it becomes easy to commit to regular exercise. And when we choose to surround ourselves with people who notice the beauty in life, instead of the ones who spew negativity all day long, we will start to notice the shift in our own outlook and subsequent experience of life.

All our choices impact on our beauty, both internal and external. If we start to believe that we are beautiful, that we are magical, that we deserve to be adored (by accepting our “worthiness”), then just maybe we will start to take better care of ourselves. And as a result appreciate ourselves and the world we inhabit a little bit more. Maybe then we will start to discard the things that doesn’t serve us and embrace all the beauty and magic that surround us.

The song Beautiful can be found on the Parlotones’ album Eavesdropping on the songs of whales

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