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The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Today’s post is inspired by The Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. I participated in last years and had such a blast sharing, reading, and communing with all the participants that I couldn’t wait to be a part of this one!

The above is an excerpt of the Sam Levenson poem, The Beauty of a Woman, that first inspired author August McLaughlin to create a blogfest entirely dedicated to exploring the definition of beauty. Recognizing how important it is that we look beyond what’s on the surface to what really matters on the inside.

Last year, I wrote a story on body image which I found completely liberating. But this year I wanted to dedicate this post to my mom — the woman who taught me about the true meaning of beauty.

It’s not as though she ever sat me down and had a “beauty” talk or ever tried to explain to me what it meant to her. Rather, she showed me by example in her every day life.

A professional ballerina, my mom’s makeup drawer was always well stocked with all the essentials for performance days but on every other “normal” day, she hardly wore a stitch of makeup. Blessed with natural beauty, she usually just applied a bit of mascara and maybe some lipstick before dashing out of the house each morning.

She was always more concerned with her passions — her work and her family — than what makeup or clothing she wore. Mind you, she always looked fabulous. It’s not as though she let herself go or didn’t make the effort to pretty herself but she never made a fuss about it. And always focused on the more meaningful things in her life.

Loving her family. Teaching her students. Being of service. Expressing her artistry. And most importantly, staying true to herself. Which as I’ve found over the years, is one of the most beautiful features anyone can have. She had a strong sense of purpose and held true to that every day. Giving her love and light to this world in the special way that only she can.

Despite the cliché of dancers being overly obsessed with appearances, I never once heard or saw her act in such a way. I never heard one utter of self-deprecation or dissatisfaction over what she saw in the mirror.

I really appreciate this now as an adult as I recognize what an anomaly this was. Over the years, I’ve heard horror stories from friends about how their mother’s spoke to them concerning their bodies or their hair or other such superficial matters.

So to this day, I have an immense amount of gratitude toward my mother that she raised me in an environment where internal beauty was prized over the external. Where purpose, ambition, and intellect was more important that the latest fashion. And where love and acceptance of one’s self was promoted on a daily basis.

Thank you Mom. I am eternally grateful for these gifts and so many others!

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Pop on over to August’s blog to check out and read the other entries for the BOAW BlogFest and a chance to win a Kindle Fire or Amazon gift card!

Also, I’d love to hear YOUR comments on what beauty means to you!