March 12th - "How Do I Look?"

Sunday, March 12, 2017

How many times do we ask someone 

"How do I look?"

I know I asked it today at least once. 

But are you asking yourself this question too?

"And, once having asked, you need to listen carefully for the answer. 

Better yet, when you gaze into the mirror you should ask, 

'How do I feel?' 

Because how you feel about yourself...will influence how you look 
more than what you are wearing.

After years of concentrating on the glitz of the outside packaging, we need to change our approach to beauty completely. 

Personal transformation begins with a strong inner life. 

We need to let Spirit show us the way, whether it's changing our wardrobe, losing weight, or finding the right hairstyle. 

Twenty minutes of meditation a day, quiet reflection, or a restorative walk seeking your authentic self will do more for your looks than you will believe. 

But of course, you'll believe it when you see it.

As we've been talking about inner beauty and how it manifests itself on the outside, I've thought of a few different modern day parables. 

Shallow Hal, a movie where a man gets cursed and only sees the inner beauty and falls in love with a very beautiful woman, and when he gets uncured realizes she's obscenely fat. But he realizes he'd rather be with her than with anyone else, because it's the inner beauty that matters, and he (and she) began to see it on the outside.

Trolls. We just watched the movie and I love it. The trolls are great examples of how your authentic self shows on the outside in how you look. And how happiness comes from within, sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.

And then I thought of Atlas Shrugged
Don't watch the movies, they're terrible. 
But if you haven't read the book I'd give it a try, it's one of my favorites.

When Dagny is a teenager she doesn't dress feminine at all and is obsessed with the family business. Her mother throws her a ball, and is surprised to see that her daughter is dressed up and excited to go. 

"'Dagny,' Mrs. Taggart said gently, reproachfully, 
'do you see how beautiful you can be when you want to?'

'Yes,' said Dagny, without any astonishment."

She knew that she was beautiful. If there was anyone in this world who knows who she is, it's Dagny Taggart. 

"The ballroom of the Wayne-Falkland Hotel had been decorated under Mrs. Taggart's direction; she had an artist's taste, and the setting of that evening was her masterpiece.

'Dagny, there are things I would like you to learn to notice,' she said, 'lights, colors, flowers, music. They are not as negligible as you might think.'

'I've never thought they're negligible,' Dagny answered happily."

Of course she didn't, because as a teenager she already knows that life is art and she is the artist. Duh.

Her mother said "They're the things that make life beautiful."

"...she saw Dagny standing under the lights, looking at the ballroom. This was not a child, not a girl, but a woman of such confident, dangerous power that Mrs. Taggart stared at her with shocked admiration."

But it didn't last long. She could tell Dagny wasn't enjoying the party. Later in the evening Dagny asked her mother 

"' they think it's exactly in reverse?'


'The things you were talking about. The lights and the flowers. Do they expect those things to make them romantic, not the other way around?...There wasn't a person there who enjoyed it...or who thought or felt anything at all. They moved about, and they said the same dull things they say anywhere. I suppose they thought the lights would make it brilliant.'"

Dagny knew it, that it's not things that make you happy or beautiful or brilliant or romantic etc etc.

You have nothing, and nothing will give you pleasure, if you don't know and realize your authentic self. 

No amount of makeup or lights or flowers or filters or money or anything will make up for the one thing that is lacking...

So how do you feel?

Gratitude Journal

1) I'm getting better at performing. I used to shake so bad that the entire piano would shake and I would barely be able to make it through the song. Today I was able to make little mistakes and recover so quickly it's like I never made them. I'm very grateful that I've been given this talent and this gift, and that all that practice pays off so I can do things like share my testimony eloquently through music. 

2) My family. I am so blessed with such a great family, and my extended family is just as great to boot. It was nice to see so many faces today.

3) Having Jacob home. He runs in and gives me this huge hug, "I'm home! I come home!". He runs upstairs to show the twins the flip flops nana got them. "Babies look at the flip floppers nana got you!" He brings light and joy to the day.

4) Popcorn popping on the apricot tree. And petals falling on you like snow, with the added bonus that's it's 70 degrees outside.

5) Testimonies. I love hearing other peoples testimonies. I heard my nana tell me of prayer and trusting that God knows what we need even if we can't see it yet, I heard a talk on how we should reach out to others because he wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for someone caring that he wasn't there, I heard the story of the three pioneers who carried the company over the river...I know this gospel is true, because I can feel it in my heart.