Beauty 2020

Last year, I chose foundation as my word to focus on, and I failed. I know, it seems like I write a lot about failing at whatever I set out to do, and I think that’s okay. I’m thirty-four and have significantly fewer hangups about perfection than I did when I was four, fourteen, and even twenty-four (especially twenty-four).

So, foundation. My goal, last year, was to go back to the beginnings and rebuild my practice, hopefully culminating in a consistent, deep, devotional work. Sure, I felt better, being well on the way to recovery from postpartum depression, but I think the day I chose that word, I forgot I was returning to work. Welp.

So here we are, a year later, and I came to the word beauty over a long period of time. It’s a loaded word, sure, because generally when we think of beauty we think of makeup, fashion, femininity, and striving towards an untouchable ideal.

Now, the only ideal I want to strive towards is my own best life, and I think that when I do that, I’m living in connection and harmony with all that the cosmos has for me. I’m reclaiming the word beauty for myself, since for so long it plagued me with worry and anxiety because I wasn’t meeting its impossible standard.

But I am beautiful, I do embody beauty when I live according to my values in a virtuous way; when I’m kind, and loving, and living in service to others (while respecting my own boundaries). So this year’s word isn’t a goal to meet, but instead a feeling to embody, a guiding light along my path, a state of being.

I’ve chosen eight additional words to keep in mind: simplicity, intention, connection, community, hospitality, sensuality, abundance, devotion. These are words that I feel comprise my expression of beauty. I want to work on strengthening my ideals in order to better stand by them and to have the courage to do. I want to prioritize these things over what I struggle against — consumerism, popular entertainment, gendered expectations, societal pressure — in order to live my best (rather boring, mediocre) life.

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