A few weeks ago, I went to the DMV here in Santa Fe to get my new license plate and drivers license. It’s amazing the feelings that can come with commitment!
While I waited, I glanced occasionally at the TV (which I normally never watch) that was on in the lobby. I managed to ignore the “news” (read my book instead), but when the commercials came on, I was mesmerized.
Thoughts ran through my head like, “That looks like it was shot in LA. Ahhh, familiar streets and cafes. Everyone looks so good!” I even made a game of guessing what neighborhood each commercial was shot in.
Then I volunteered for the local farmers market, and at the meeting I was giving all the women makeovers in my mind. I thought about it and realized it’s not that the women in LA are all naturally more attractive; they just seem to put more attention on their appearance.
I remember living in Boulder before living in LA, and Boulder was more like here. When I got to LA I felt like I needed all new clothes. I drove 45 minutes to take some of my old ones (all in good condition) to Buffalo Exchange, where the woman working made a face and refused it all saying, “Sorry, nothing here is in style.”
Back in my singer/ songwriter days, I had a photo shoot for my CD. When the photographer asked me to wear my own makeup I said proudly, “I don’t own any makeup.” I remember being embarrassed when I saw someone I knew at the mall.
I was into my “natural” look but what I didn’t realize was there are ways to use “natural” products to enhance one’s “natural” appearance– native people were doing it long before L’Oreal came along!
I had no concept of beauty being a gift to the world that would allow my soul’s light to be seen more easily. I wore baggy clothes which hid my body, and even felt irritated at times when I was noticed.
So in many ways I have come full circle, because now I so wish everyone I see would shine! I’m excited when I find a great boutique. I get so sad when someone seems to be hiding their beauty, because I used to do that.
I am forever and deeply grateful for what LA showed me. Yes, it is a very materialistic culture, and yes, materialism has at times gone hand-in-hand with greed, control, and cruelty.
Yet the earth is material. Our bodies are material. Are they “bad”?
Our physical selves are the form through which we express ourselves. So, besides the obvious benefits of physical health, when we cherish our bodies we support ourselves in being more fully all we are in the world.
Imagine the sweetness of a bright-colored rose in full bloom on a gray day– what a gift it is to see and smell! Many people would stop and notice the rest of the garden or even the whole day, just because of that rose.
I have never known a rose to hide, or apologize because it’s so beautiful, or that it stands out on the street. Yet I meet people with these attitudes.
The advertising industry, however, gets it. Put a beautiful woman on any ad and people will look, listen, and likely buy the product.
Santa Fe is known as being a “spiritual” place. Ironically, since I’ve been here, I am less interested in “spirituality”. Maybe it’s the altitude, but I feel more drawn to living a grounded life.
Again, I feel like I’m coming full circle because I have been into spirituality since I was 14 and am in most people’s eyes a very spiritual person. And, with the recent experience of living in a very materialistic city, I see all this in a new light.
Historically, most spiritual traditions have been masculine and they have emphasized transcending the body. Women weren’t allowed (too distracting :))
In my early studies of Buddhism, yoga and psychic development I received many beneficial things, but very little help with my feelings. I certainly didn’t learn to shine love through my body and bring every cell up to bliss (I figured that out later!)
I realize that for someone new to spirituality, who sees life as black-and-white and completely physical, spirituality might seem “better”. I know in my early days of meditation, I accessed such bliss states that seemed to have no place in my daily life.
But we can only polarize spirit and body, love and money, masculine and feminine for so long before they want to come together. In fact, I think some of the greatest wisdom comes from honoring each unique piece while celebrating all of it!
So, let me ask you, if you imagine a gauge for how much (0-100%) you are “OK” with shining fully in your body right now, what do you get?
If you get less than 100%, perhaps turn it up in your mind’s eye, and see how high you can go. Perhaps ask yourself what you might do today to shine more?
No one ever asked me this, so I am asking you. Shiny people, I hope to see you sparkling, and I bless you in gifting the world with ALL your light!
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Intuitive Healer Ann O’Brien publishes the “Flowering Sol” email newsletter to help you blossom into your light. If you’re ready to open up your intuition and creative power to fulfill your dream life, get your free gifts at www.FloweringSol.com.
copyright 2010 Ann O’Brien- All Rights Reserved.