The Most Important Part of Your Face.

I remember being a little girl watching my mom put on lip gloss. She got really focussed. She looked in the mirror and puckered her lips just so. The gloss always smelled really good – like berries or candy. Then she would mush her lips together making sure both lips were covered. Every once in a while if I was very good, she would let me put some on too!

That’s how I learned that my lips were the most important part of my face. The part that deserved the most attention. It didn’t matter if I was out playing on my bike or in a fort in the dirt…my lips should always be pretty and glossy and smell like candy!

Then as a teenager I started to get pimples. Like every other teen I was the victim of unscheduled eruptions that ruined my whole week. From watching everyone else,  I learned to cover my face. I used foundation, highlighter and powder to try to make my whole face look uniform. No big red swollen spots Here! No Sir!

That’s how I learned that covering up my face was the most important part. Don’t look natural. The more makeup the better. At work, at school, on a date….my face should always been that perfect shade of non-shiny beige.

Recently, my eyes have caught my attention. How did I get those dark circles? And why are my eyebrows looking so pale? I guess It’s that grey hair creeping in. I use a little concealer under my eyes although it’s hard to find stuff that doesn’t settle into my wrinkles. And draw on some eyebrows…quick!!!!

That’s how I learned that my eyes are the most important part of my face. The part of my face that I wish still look young. The windows into my older soul. The part of me that looks back at me in the mirror. My eyes that change color with my mood. Grey when I’m upset and blue when I’m happy.

From someone who has been there, please know that it really doesn’t matter if you are wearing fruity smelling lip gloss, or if your makeup is covering your zits. Whether your eyebrows are on fleek is of no concern.

What really matters is that you use your mouth to speak words filled with loving kindness. That when you do speak, you speak to everyone…the homeless, the singled-out, the nerds, the popular kids, the people who seem ok but really aren’t, the ones who need you to tell them, “You are not alone.” That you use your words to speak out against injustice and hatred. And that you also learn when NOT to speak…that’s a tough one.

It’s important that you use your face to be real. No hiding, no wearing a mask, no pretending to be something you’re not. “Perfect” is not the destination. We need you to be YOU. Because you have an individual purpose that no one else can achieve. Turn your face towards those who need to be seen and heard. Face the crowd. Face the Music. Let your face be your autobiography!

And finally, work to SEE people for who they are on the inside. Look on others with patience.  Look through their mistakes and into their hearts. Look for the silver lining. See what is good in the world and find grace for each and every soul you meet.

And then you will be truly beautiful…..

 

 

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If You Could Be Anyone, Who Would YOU Like to Be?

The other day my boyfriend asked me, “If you could be anyone in the world, who would you choose to be?” I didn’t even hesitate with my answer which was, “ME!” He laughed and looked wide-eyed at me in surprise! Maybe because of my answer or maybe because I answered so quickly. Then he began to clarify, “You could be famous, or be a movie star or someone from history!” “Yeah,” I said, “I know. I’d still want to be me.” It was a short little conversation that didn’t last very long but I’ve been thinking about that question ever since……If YOU could choose to be anyone, who would you be?

It’s an interesting question don’t you think? You could be Marie Curie and be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize! You could be Eleanor Roosevelt and inspire millions! Hell, You could even choose to be Oprah because she has more money than God! Or Jennifer Lopez – Dang she’s gorgeous! Why would you choose to be yourself? Unfamous, not rich, average old ME…

I’ll tell you why I answered the way I did. I KNOW me. I know what my history is. I know what mistakes I have made. I know which people I have hurt and I also know a few people I have helped. I know what my challenges are, what I’m afraid of, what makes me happy, what food I like and which direction I want to go with my life. I’ve worked long and hard to get where I am today and there is no way that I’d want to start all over again being someone else!

And besides, their life might look great from the outside but you can sure as hell bet that they have issues too! Oprah may have more money than God but she openly admits she still struggles with her weight. Eleanor Roosevelt was inspiring but people also made fun of her appearance and her husband had a very good female friend. (wink, wink) And Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize but died from her study of Radioactivity. JLO has an amazing body but she’s a single mom and I bet she feels lonely sometimes.

You know who I admire? I admire women who have the courage to tell it like it is – to be real. To share their struggles and be vulnerable – that takes real courage. Elizabeth Gilbert does it. Brene Brown does it. Even richer than God Oprah does it. Being real and talking about their struggles lets others know that we are not alone. That NO ONE IS PERFECT! That life is hard sometimes and we need to give ourselves a break. That is what inspires me. That is what makes me feel that I belong. That it’s ok to be human, imperfect and working on my crap.

The funny thing is, that most of my crap comes from me! From my own mind. From that loud, obnoxious, bitchy voice in my head that tells me, “You’re too fat. You’ll never make it. He doesn’t love you. You’re all alone.” Confronting that voice, questioning it’s validity and getting it to shut the hell up is an almost constant battle. And since I spend a lot of time with women- teaching them yoga, talking about our lives I know that we ALL struggle with this voice.

Luckily after 47 years on this earth I have learned (for the most part) how to listen to the quieter, kinder more loving voice that says nice things to me like, “It’s going to be ok. You ARE enough just the way you are. It’s ok to be vulnerable, real and share your heart with others. You are NOT alone.” The challenge is to keep listening to this voice over the other. To choose to Love myself instead of falling into Fearful thinking.

So I choose to be me. I choose to be honest and real about my struggles in life. I choose to be brave and keep moving forward towards my goals and things that scare the bejesus out of me. I choose to keep trying to be the best version of me I can be.

Life is hard sometimes. Everyone struggles. There are lots of challenges and lessons to be learned. Try to be kind to yourself. You are not alone. Be Brave. Be Real. Be YOU.

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