Beauty, Intangible

It’s something I’ve written about before, I’m sure, but I’m still thinking about it.

I’m putting together a lovely box of essential oils, essential-oil products, and gifts for this program, Bone Deep.

It’s a two-fold thing, taking its theme from that old saw “beauty is only skin deep”.

If only. There’s an implication “Therefore it is unimportant, and no one should care!” There is no question that paying less attention to external beauty would be nice, especially for the poor kids getting jaw-shaving surgery (among other things) in the K-pop industry.

But it also clashes with this idea that beauty can come from within, something we know to be true.

So, this box includes skincare stuff–infused with essential oils that are great to lift the mood AND treat your skin deliciously.

It also includes a booklet about taking 14 days to improve your love toward yourself. Being at home in your skin is an indefinably beautifying thing.

It also includes three sessions with me on the subject, because getting support and targeted help with the process is invaluable. (I can tell myself over and over again that I’m FINE but it’s when a coach asks me, “So what is really happening” that I’m honest with myself.)

The problem with dismissing beauty is that it seems to be planted in our consciousness for a reason. The way we evaluate it is directed by our cultures–the way we respond to it often coded by our own experience.

(For instance, the way I feel hostility and mistrust toward guys with a certain set of features, because I watched a guy I thought was cute sucker-punch the school misfit. I’m sure many of them haven’t done that, but it’s coded in that they’re capable of deceiving me!)

We react to other humans through a complicated mesh of factors, and what our eyes see is incredibly powerful.

The good news is that very often we see “confidence” before we see size number, or “kind eyes” before we see wrinkles.

It also matters that what you see in your body and face is a reflection of what is going on in your health. As I get more and more experienced as a health coach, I start to notice certain tells in faces or body-shapes that correspond to physical issues.

(Was phrenology so off after all? Who can say, very little legit research on that one…)

Your skin shows, in a muted way, where you’re under stress, where your diet is out of balance.

I include beauty (in the sense of skincare and fitness) in my passions, even though externals aren’t something I hold as a virtue. Instead, it’s because it has a very real interaction between emotion and health, the two things I’m the most fierce about.

Love and beauty from within–you can’t get the one without the other, it seems to me.

What can you do to show your body and spirit a little love today?


Dead Air – the dangers of reprogramming your thought-life

It’s pretty risky to start changing your ideas of your self-worth, and emotional baseline. It means having to relearn skills, like basic conversation. Recently, I’ve been having moments of awkwardness in conversations unusual to me.

Not that awkwardness is unusual to me. But I’ve grown in confidence and comfort in my own skin, lately, so I’ve been feeling less consistently awkward. And that’s made it more obvious.

There was something about where this short-out was landing in the conversation. Weirder still, it didn’t feel embarrassing, just …silent.

And then embarrassing because I fumble the recovery, but laugh it off.

What is going on? I wonder, as I stare into the eyes of friend, trying to figure out where I lost the thread of how to converse.

I had an epiphany this week. I was sitting, talking a workshop idea in a pleasantly low-clatter cafe, having a gorgeous spiced cold-brew and being pleasantly blinded by reflected sunset. It was a great conversation with rapport and world-domination dripping from every word. Something was said, I smiled, and…dead air.

“This is where I am silently shy,” I joked. I tend to wear out quick when having intense conversation, but this wasn’t that.

And later, it hit me: my friend had said something nice. No, wait, this was a pattern!

Person says something nice, and I…

Don’t deprecate it. :instant brainshort:

THIS IS HUGE, FOLKS, I thought to myself.  Because I’ve been journaling and studying emotional health, trying to change my patterns just like this.

A friend once told me off for always putting myself down (startling me to no end). The last several years I’ve been hard at work to find those kernels of thought that made me feel the need to tear myself down, to reject compliments.

For one thing, it’s rude. People giving compliments may or may not be sincere, but it’s strikingly antisocial to contradict them.

So, I smile, and…now what?

I mean, skewering myself with a humorous self-knowledge, that’s an asset to any writer. Not going away.

But when you get rid of the reflex to laugh someone off, to tell them, “Oh no, I’m actually terrible”, what then?


“Thank you.” “I appreciate you saying that.”

Time to continue improving my social skills, I guess. (<– that? That is honest skewering. Not self-flagellation.)

Now I know what’s going on, though, I know I can work it out. (<–and that is honest confidence.)


Do you find yourself contradicting people who say nice things about you?

Have you had to reprogram your thoughts to be more confidence? Tell me all about it! Here in the comments, or on Unlock Coaching’s FB page

~ Bethany, Your Friendly Neighborhood Health Coach


Interested in reprogramming yourself for more creativity and less self-sabotaging trash talk?

The MoJo workshop, launching in July, will guide you through a month of meaty journaling. Get Back Your MoJo

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