I’ve never really thought of myself as being beautiful. This is a problem because of my job.
I work in the beauty industry where I encounter women every day who have silky, shiny, deliciously coiffed hair; glowing, blemish-free, wrinkle-free skin; youthful, slender, tight and toned bodies; snow white, straight teeth and chip-free manicured nails with no hang nails or cuticles.
I feel an intense amount of pressure to look a certain way – from society, from the media and mostly from myself. Usually I wind up feeling miserable about the way I look compared to the women I see in the salon and in the media. I see beautiful women. They’re everywhere.
I’m also a yoga teacher where we learn to honor our bodies how they are now in this moment as being perfect. In yoga, we see all life, everything as beautiful and divine, a gift from our Creator.
It’s a civil war in my brain between my ego and my soul. I keep waiting for my General Sherman Soul to go marching through my ego and burn it all to the ground, saving the tiny little Savannah of goodness that lives in my ego. But mostly I feel like this battle is mostly at a stalemate but neither side is willing to surrender.
This is the ultimate lesson for me. Take something that scares the heck out of you and go work in that industry, like someone who’s afraid to fly becoming a pilot.
I look in the mirror every day and most days the image I see does not represent how I feel inside. In my mind, I’m a shimmering dragon soaring above the Earth; I’m a sneaky red fox jumping in the air; I’m a leggy ballerina hair neatly tucked up in a bun twirling until I fall down. In the mirror I see wrinkles, sun spots, oily skin, cellulite, a Buddha belly, gray hair and cobwebs.
I try my best to put on my face and go out into the world. I buy clothing that is somewhat stylish but doesn’t make my bottom look too big. I wear mascara and eye makeup even though I’m allergic and it irritates and burns my eyes. I use hot tools to keep my mop of hair in check.
Talk about being spiritually bereft in the most abundant nation in the world. I hate myself for not being beautiful and then I hate myself for worrying about it. There are days I wish I could go live on a mountain top as a yogi and just meditate this all away. But I still live here in Cincinnati, OH. No mountain tops here.
We exist on this planet, I believe, to learn lessons. This is still one of my lessons – not being good enough. That’s what this all boils down to – a deep seated belief that I’m not good enough and somehow being beautiful will change that.
I hope someday to embody beauty, to feel beautiful in all of my cells that I radiate, to know deep in my heart and soul that I am good enough, to sparkle. But for now, I sit in silent observation as my ego and soul dig deeper trenches, dreaming of flying off to my dragon’s lair.