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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.

 – Sam Levenson, excerpt from “The Beauty of a Woman”

Beauty consumes a lot of time and energy for most modern-day women. Whether it be shopping for makeup, trying to lose weight, primping before a hot date, fretting over a pimple that shows up the morning of an important meeting, researching and finding the skin care system that’s actually going to work, spending a fortune on anti-aging cremes and visits to the dermatologist… maintaining our appearance is a lot of work!

But what if the one thing we needed to enhance our beauty to its utmost was absolutely free? What if it was something we already possess? Right here, right now.

Because it absolutely is.

Outer beauty is a reflection of our inner experience.

At the tail end of my marriage, I remember looking through photos from my father’s surprise birthday party and noticing for the first time what seemed to be a permanent frown on my face. You know…  those candid shots where people catch you off-guard? When you’re relaxed, not “putting” on a smile? Just being you?

Yeah… that’s when it really hit. That’s when I witnessed that the misery I’d be experiencing inside was starting to show up on the outside.

Up until this point, I thought I’d been doing a pretty good job of hiding how I felt. But I was wrong. My deep unhappiness was written all over my face.

Staring at the photos that day was my ah ha moment. That was when I realized things had to change. And as soon we decided to set each other free and part ways, you better believe that frown turned upside down.

No doubt outer beauty is either magnified or diminished depending on what’s going on inside of us.

And what is the magic ingredient for magnifying our inner beauty, which then translates to our outer beauty?

One word: Joy.

And how do we find that joy and inner radiance?

By being true to ourselves. By being authentic. By going after what it is we want in life. And never apologizing for who we are but rather embracing every part of us. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Realizing that to be human, is to be imperfect.

The funny thing is, once we stop covering up or hiding the things we feel are imperfect, that’s when our true beauty starts to shine. Because true beauty is all about just being YOU. The wonderful, fabulous, imperfect being that you are.

If you take a moment, you’ll notice who around you is in touch with their inner joy. It can be seen in the sparkle of  someone’s eyes. The lift in their step. The glow of their skin that no amount of makeup or creme could ever replicate.

These are the people we feel drawn to. No matter the measure of physical attributes, it’s that je ne sais quoi that sparks our interest when we meet someone. It’s intangible yet undeniably powerful.

That is the type of beauty that never fades. It’s timeless and readily accessible at any time.

No one and no thing can give us lasting joy. We have to create it for ourselves. Then, once we find it, find what makes us tick, we can share that joy with others.

For the more joy we have, the more beauty we exude on all levels of our life. Which creates more beautiful things in and around us that makes life worth living.

So how about you? How do you define beauty? When do you feel your MOST beautiful? What brings you joy? What turns you on inside and brings you to LIFE?

Today’s blog is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest
(#BOAW3) to which I’m a proud contributor for the third year in a row!
Head on over between now and March 2nd to read the other submissions
and for a chance to win a prize!

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