January ushers in all kinds of new visions, goals and projections. These usually include various practices to strengthen ourselves in hopes of enhancing our appearance.
I learned an interesting fact recently. My fiancé and I were discussing the current state of the grocery store industry. We talked about the challenge of discarding “out of date” products and the stipulations that don’t allow the food to be donated.
He told me that there is a label given to fruit and vegetables that are perfectly acceptable on the inside but have a slight imperfection on the exterior.
They are labeled inner beauties.
The grocery industry acknowledging the value of inner beauty. They don’t throw them out. They are set apart and discounted. They sit there alongside the products that appear flawless. Another interesting fact is the ones with a scar on the outside often develop a more luscious taste inside. The imperfection causes distinct tastiness!
I have been reflecting on this for a couple of weeks.
I wondered why the world focuses so much on outer beauty instead of inner beauty. How does this develop over time? How can I contribute to making a shift in focus by the way I live and the way I interact with others?
Then I asked myself how much time and effort I spend on my outer beauty in relation to time and effort spent on my inner beauty. Do I value them equally?
I pondered how I view others. Do I look at the heart? Do I make a judgement based on outer appearance? Do I really believe people can be flawless?
So, for this new year, I have compiled a few practices that help me focus, develop and enhance my heart and soul. The inner realm of myself.
· A 31-Day Mindfulness Starter Series
· Journaling time with prayer each morning
· Walking my new neighborhood
· Gratitude practice as I walk
· Speaking kind and loving words to myself
· Intentionally affirming others in my life and work
I didn’t realize this would make me more joyful, peaceful and real.
The truth is we are all inner beauties! Our slight imperfections set us apart and make us unique and one of a kind.
And now, when I enter the grocery store, I purposely go into the produce department first and smile as I shop for those inner beauties.
You are all together beautiful, my darling,
And there is no blemish in you.
Song of Solomon 4:7