With so much emphasis on appearance, it is about time we gave a thought to inner beauty.
When asked to speak about inner beauty at an event titled ‘Cancer and Beauty’, this is what came to mind first — we cannot use a concealer. A concealer is a cosmetic used to cover blemishes or marks you want to smoothen out to have a clear complexion.
If the external beauty is to be looked at to be admired, the inner beauty often has to be felt. It may not be easy to recognise at first. Because we can all have perfect behaviour until we are put to a test of crisis or stress. We would soon forget about concealers.
If we were to think on similar lines as cosmetics, let us see what we would need in our vanity box. Like external beauty, even for internal beauty we need rest and enough sleep. In order to sleep well, mind must be at rest. In order to do that, we need the cleanser.
Similar to a cosmetic cleanser used to clean the skin off any residue of make-up, the mind also needs cleansing before going to sleep. The cleanser is our thoughts.
We need to remove our negative thoughts. With practice, one can detect the stream of thoughts that would ultimately lead to negative thoughts. It could vary from self-pity to jealousy to possessiveness to depression.
We can control our mind. Our teacher at the boarding school would tell us at 5 am when waking us up for physical exercises, “Don’t let your body control your mind, let your mind control the body.”
Our minds become awake when our bare feet touches the soft sand, cold with dew drops.
The statement is more meaningful now than ever before. We cannot allow our surroundings or circumstances to determine who we are or define our limitations.
When negative thoughts or words engulf us, we can shift the mind to some beautiful fun-filled memories. A call to someone relatable, someone who is positive in thinking, makes all the difference.
So what do we need in our beauty box?
We must learn to forgive and forget, and move on because carrying that weight around is only going to be a burden. And that means forgiving ourselves and others; like throwing outdated cosmetics as they are not healthy to use.
Learning new techniques, including language to new skills, can be one of the best treats we can give the brain.
Another quality we should have is ‘understanding.’ When we increase our understanding, the less we begin to judge others. When we have understanding, we begin to learn to accept others. When we learn to accept others, we begin to learn and that makes us grow.
To refresh, we can have an extension to our family and friends to connect. But to recharge, I would like to quote the late Sheikh Khalfan al Esry, self-development coach, “We have an opportunity to connect to the Almighty whenever we need to recharge.”
One tool we must have in the list is ‘walking’. Walking gives you the most important ingredient for inner beauty —the ‘me time’.
Knowing your true self is the true beginning of life because till then, we are only reacting. How often do we know what we really want in life? A lot of time we want to fulfil the criteria that has been set by others because we are afraid of failure.
Knowing the self and facing the self without a concealer enhances inner beauty. In other words, inner beauty is a state of mind.