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Owning Your True Beauty
A Facebook post by my friend, image consultant Barbara Carroll, so profoundly touched me that I am sharing it with you below. When I first met Barbara about three years ago, I envied her natural beauty.
I had no clue of the insecurities she carried within, but when I read about them I recognized myself and most of the women I know.
Barbara's post below is about how, in a moment of insecurity and self-judgment that could have crippled any of us, she remembered who she truly was and claimed her inner wealth. Scroll to see how she did it.
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By guest blogger, Barbara Carroll
True confessions: I just returned from time at a hot springs where I retreated to work on developing a new program for my image consulting business, In Your Element. As I sat in the clothing-optional pools...
...I found myself beginning to play the comparison game
and clearly not measuring up.
This evening of the new moon, there seemed to be dozens of gorgeous young women in their 20's and 30's, one more stunning than the next. They were all shapes and sizes and mostly I was struck by the beauty of their youth and godessy fresh nubile bodies as they emerged from the warm waters.
It didn't take long, before I became painfully aware of the pin pricks
of shame and embarrassment about this 51 year old body,
with all of my various perceived imperfections.
I felt rawly self conscious of my smaller right breast
that had undergone surgery for breast cancer.
My c-section scar felt like another deformity.
When I got out of the pools, I found myself sucking my stomach in and covering myself as much as possible.
As I meditated on this constricted tight feeling in my chest,I prayed for a new vision, a clearer lens.
Almost immediately, I felt a familiar warmth begin to
wash over me--the comfort of compassion.
With motherly gentleness, I attended to each part of my body that I had previously "attacked". The smile of my belly scar that birthed my beautiful boy. The silvery indentation on my breast that marks the most difficult year of my life--losing my fiancé, my father and this innocent piece of flesh. In that moment, I knew that I would never be that young unmarked woman again, nor did I want to be.
I am entering my years of crone and teacher and wise woman.
As I work with thousands of women to embrace their true beauty, I commit to standing in my own; to wearing this suit I have been blessed to inhabit for over half a century, with its badges of courage and miracles and just plain and simple life.
I will stand for my beauty for all these lovely young women to see themselves in me 20, 30 years down the line. To stand naked in a pool of strangers, quietly unashamed and fierce in my knowing that all is beautiful.
Visit Barbara Carroll at www.facebook.com/barbara.carroll.944