Cultivating Inside Out Beauty

Inner Glow: 5 Necessities for Cultivating Inside Out Beauty

By GG Renee Hill

What does inner beauty look like exactly? You know it when you see it. It's a magnetic presence that can only be earned through experience and self-awareness. Inner beauty starts on the inside and blossoms outward. As a woman who loves hair, makeup and fashion, I revel in girly acts of beautification. I exfoliate and polish and moisturize. I feel most confident when my outward appearance is fresh, simple and feminine. But that is not enough to make me feel beautiful.

No beauty product can give you the kind of glow that comes from being mindful and vulnerable -- embracing the complexity of who you are. Sharon Stone said, "I don't believe makeup and the right hairstyle alone can make a woman beautiful. The most radiant woman in the room is the one full of life and experience."

I completely agree, Sharon. But let’s be honest. What woman doesn’t like to be told that she looks pretty? Or that her hair or her outfit is everything?

There’s no question that being noticed is nice. Being admired is even nicer. But when our self-worth is tied to this and we’re more focused on impressing people than being ourselves, that’s when we are off track. That’s when we are simply painting on a face, decorating a shell of who we think we need to be to get approval. Your appearance can only carry you a short distance. Your spirit, your character, your authenticity – these are the things that will leave a lasting impression.

Every month, I’ll be writing this COCOSpirit column to remind you of how beautiful and unique you already are and of the importance of continuing to enrich that beauty. Your emotional health is a crucial part of your beauty regimen and it just so happens to be my specialty. I’ve got all kinds of goodies in my tackle box that I’m excited to share with you including the following five necessities for cultivating inside out beauty.

Practice Intentional Happiness.
Life is not a to-do list. It’s easy to get in a slump when you’ve busied yourself with so much stuff that you have no time for what you really love. When you make time for your personal pleasures, you come alive and you glow. As a result, happy, glowy things are drawn to you.

Speak Life. The words "I am" are such powerful words – be careful how you complete them. I can’t say this enough – if you want to attract positive attention, be a positive person, starting with how you speak about yourself. It's up to you to set the tone for your self-talk and keep yourself engaged with uplifting ideas to fuel your decisions and actions. Self-loathing is not good for your health or your appearance.

Self-Soothe. When things aren't going your way, it’s tempting to give in to self-pity and to lose hope. You may want to point fingers, project your feelings or put your energy into making everyone feel as bad as you do. Practice peace even when there is chaos all around. Breathe deeply and accept the moment, including the discomfort. Our ups and downs teach us important lessons, if we let them.

Live and Let Live.
Question things. Unlearn things. Find a path of your own choosing. Your life is your message, you know. Teach by example that there’s not one definition of success that suits everyone. People must figure things out for themselves, but by being your own hero, you can inspire others to find their own way.

Pray and Meditate. No matter your religion or spiritual beliefs, take time each day to connect with your higher power. Speak affirmations. Set your intentions for the day. Spend quiet time with yourself envisioning what you want for your life. Discover the presence of your inner guide and develop the courage to live authentically from that energy.

If you're like me, you want to do it all: Be successful in your career, in love, and relationships; be physically, spiritually and emotionally fit; have a positive impact on the world in your own unique way. And of course, you want to look good and have fun while doing it. Over the coming months, we’ll explore more inner beauty tips and we’ll talk lots about how to find meaning in everything that life throws at you. As Rosalind Russell said, “Taking joy in life is a woman’s greatest cosmetic.”

GG Renee Hill is a writer, blogger and soulful living coach based in the Washington DC area. She writes to help women embrace their complexity and live authentic, creative lives. You can find her sprinkling love dust daily on her blog, All the Many Layers. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ggreneewrites.