self-esteem

See Your Beauty

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beautiful sunset

Have you ever seen a truly breathtaking sunrise? As the sunlight slowly brightens the sky, the sky changes to purple, pink, and orange. The horizon and trees stand out in dark contrast, adding to the magic of the scene. The clouds catch the light and glow in the most intense and phenomenal colours. Sometimes, don’t you just have to sit back, take it all in, and marvel and how lovely our planet is?

I wonder if we were able to soak up that beauty and thoroughly appreciate the awesomeness of those sunrise moments more often, would it change us? Would it help us to appreciate everything around us more and to see our own beauty?

Why is it easier to see beauty in other things than in ourselves? I’m not sure it is actually harder to see our own beauty, I think it’s just how we are looking around us. We don’t examine a sunrise with binoculars, but we do look at ourselves with close-up mirrors, with a critical eye. What if we stepped back and took in the whole view, like we do with gorgeous scenery? What if we became enraptured in the moment? What if we looked at ourselves that way?

Why not give it a try?

Stand a few feet away from a mirror but keep your eyes closed. Go back in time to the most beautiful sunrise or sunset you have ever seen. Try to recall it as vividly as possible. Remember the breeze, the sounds, anything and everything that made the scene amazing. Feel how your expression softens, how your face lightens. Aren’t you in awe of how amazing that sky was? Breathe deeply a few times and dwell there until you feel different — peaceful, amazed, and just… different. Now, s l o w l y open your eyes… Aren’t you beautiful too? Keep the same expression of awe… because you are awesome and beautiful!

You are every bit as lovely as the most beautiful sunset, you just can’t always see it. You can’t always see the sunrise or sunset either — sometimes, because it is cloudy, or because you are so unhappy you just don’t see it. But if you can get yourself out of your head and snap back to the present moment, you can see beauty everywhere. Once you learn to fully appreciate the beauty in the world around you, you can realize the beauty in yourself, too. Even if you only feel a little more beautiful, that’s progress!

I love taking what I know in one area of my life, or using one of my strengths, and applying it to an area I feel less secure. Take the beauty you see around you — that you can readily accept and see as a fact — and remind yourself that you are a part of that beauty, too. The world is an amazing place, and you are a part of it…. so you must be amazing, too.

It is so simple — see the beauty and believe that it applies to you, too. Slow down your pace and look around for the beauty that is everywhere. See it, and let it soak in. Flowers, sunsets, trees, dragonflies… many things are beautiful — each different, but equally beautiful. Is it so hard to believe that you too are beautiful, perfect, unique, just as you are? I hope not. : )

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Note 1: I do a lot more of this sort of introspective blogging on my book’s website loveyourskeletons.com. So head over to the blog and have a read!

Note 2: Am I lame for skipping the traditional “overview of 2012 blog post” or “what’s your New Year’s Resolution” topic? I don’t think so… I think it’s overdone. :P

The Power of Being Invisible

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At a party with some friends one time, my friend Angela asked “if you could have any super power, what would it be?” I said I would want to fly — just me, my body, no airplane needed. She said she would want the power to go invisible whenever she wanted. We all agreed that was a good one.

I have a friend who was almost invisible for a while. She served in her job diligently, helping people in trouble, and never got any thanks or acknowledgment from her bosses. In fact, it was the kind of job where the average Joe didn’t ever see her work, and although she was instrumental in many people’s lives, it was all behind the scenes. She worked for the Victim Support Unit, and when people go through a crime or tragedy, that’s when she stepped in to help. These kinds of situations aren’t talked about commonly, and so, in regular society, she was invisible.

Have you ever known someone who was very “visible?” I have. Besides being a bit of a “showman,” he needed to be thanked for every good deed, acknowledged for every participation and sympathized with for every hardship. Everyone knew when he was in the room — not always in a bad way — and he was dynamic, intelligent, and needy.

What is the difference between these two types of people? The difference is self-esteem. When you have extremely good self-esteem — literally, esteem or respect for yourself — you have the power to be invisible. You don’t need to be acknowledged, thanked or applauded. You know what you have done, you are proud of your work, and that’s enough. In some ways, being an author is being invisible — you contribute to the world, but not in a flashy way. If you want to, you can even remain unknown by using a pseudonym or writing anonymously. Even if you use your real name, as I do, you can still stay invisible.

In a strange way, I like this idea. I first heard about while listening to a recording by Carolyn Myss. She said that being invisible was something that appealed to her about being a writer. It strikes a chord with me too, because I am not interested in fame. I am not a seeker-of-approval — which I guess is another form of having good self-esteem. I don’t really want to be on Oprah (you know what I mean), I just want to sell 100,000 books and help people!

You can use this idea of being invisible as a way to measure how your self-esteem is doing. Would you be okay with being invisible, with never getting any applause or recognition for your work?

So, if you ever feel like you’re invisible, don’t worry. It’s not a flaw. It’s actually sort of an honour, and it’s a source of internal power. It means you have a pretty good level of self-esteem, so congrats! :)