My daughter and I made vision boards today together. A photo of an Aboriginal woman bare breasted and bare footed in the desert performing an ancient ritual called out to me. It felt like she’s my inner wise woman guiding me to the next stage of my life. She was so beautiful.
I was a little surprised by how beautiful she looked to me. I sat with it for some moments and realized my image of beauty is changed. This woman is it. She’s authentic, strong, luminous, grounded, courageous. She accentuates her beauty with awesome paintings on her body and a colourful skirt. And she’s a desert-dancer, for heaven’s sake!
I’m excited to let my inner “her” shine. I want to do my own version of dancing in the desert – symbolically or maybe even literally. I’m excited to nurture beauty inside and out.
Not the magazine version of beauty, but my vision of it. What does it mean to love myself unconditionally now? How do I rock my age without ideas that are imposed on me from a culture that values youth above everything else in women? How do I talk to myself in a way that reveres who I am?
“Accept yourself absolutely and unconditionally. It’s one of the most radical acts you can do in an insane culture that actually profits from your self-loathing,” declares Tosha Silver.
I’m careful of what I say to myself when I look in the mirror now.
I use to greet myself in the mirror with self-talk like this:
You look tired. There are big bags under your eyes.
Your hair looks terrible.
Your skin looks bad.
You are getting wrinkles around your eyes.
You look like shit.
You look fat in that dress.
Imagine if I met my friend for tea and she greeted me like that. How deflating! How life-denying!
As I speak to myself like a best friend would, I greet myself this way in the mirror now:
You are beautiful.
Look at that smile!
Your eyes are shining.
I love you.
Let’s put on something that makes you feel filled with energy and beautiful.
My daughter also put images on her vision board that illustrate who she is and her own beauty. She came up with blue birds, pastel flowers, a mama tiger playing with her cub, music notes, and in big bold letters: SING.