I was recently asked by a friend of mine, Ramona Rice of DeStress Express to share my thoughts about beauty. What a great contemplation! In this day and age with so much focus on external beauty, I have loved thinking about what I find beautiful and when I’ve seen beauty. For me, beauty boils down to one quality, ease of being.

When someone is so comfortable with who they are they make no excuses for themselves, I find that achingly beautiful. The way they move, they way they laugh, the way they express themselves seems to be infused with the very essence of LIFE expressing itself through them and I find that BEAUTIFUL.

This beauty seems to be most recognizable in small children and older women — they seem to simply delight in the wonder of being alive. This kind of beauty is not the same thing as confidence. It’s more like being completely at ease with yourself, with your opinions, your body and your life. With this ease of being, it’s more likely that you will move with a kind of grace and full presence.

Though young children express this ease with youthful vigor, I am particularly drawn to the beautiful ease of being that shows up in mature women. I’m thinking of two of my friends, Bee and Anna. These women are perhaps the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. They would both likely turn a lovely shade of red upon hearing this and wonder about my eyesight. Nonetheless, their beauty carries the joys and pains of a life well lived. My mother was also this kind of beauty.

Living with ease of being doesn’t mean making choices based on guilt or worry. Choices are more likely made from a place of peace or love. This kind of living beauty is infused with an easy acceptance of the ups and downs of life free from the ideas of how life SHOULD be.

I think we can each grow ourselves into embracing this beauty in our own mirrors. Though, it’s hard won with a consistent practice of self acceptance, self compassion and self responsibility. There’s no room to blame others for your experiences or deny your own needs.

It means cultivating attitudes that allow you to be at ease with who you are and how life is NOW rather than how life was or how you think it SHOULD be. It means releasing the pains of the past in order to be open to the joys of the present. It means continually bringing yourself back to YOU in this present moment and cultivating the ability to move through life with an ease of being, BEING the beauty that you are.

What is beauty to you?

Author's Bio: 

Melanie McGhee, L.C.S.W. is an award-winning author, relationship expert, psychotherapist and spiritual coach. She is also the founder of Abhimukti Yoga Coaches - providing coaches training to yoga teachers.