Inner and Outer Glow

*Originally published in Spotlight Magazine in English and Norwegian, October 2017. 

A plethora of people – ranging from strangers to close friends – always tell me that I have a certain glow about me. Many years ago, while having had experience in the cosmetic and beauty world, I thought they were talking about my tinted moisturizer and bronzer. However, I’ve learned over the years that they’re not talking about that glow. The glow they’re referring to is the inner beauty that shines through, inevitably creating outer beauty.

So, how do I get my glow? It is a combination of mind, body and spirit. I believe when all three are aligned, inner and outer beauty shine brightly.

Let’s start with the mind. By now, in 2017, the world is becoming more familiar with positive thinking and the law of attraction than ever before. We see all sorts of uplifting quotes being posted on social media, celebrities talking about their experiences and a huge amount of self-help books geared towards changing your thoughts to change your experience. While easier said than done, happy thoughts do create a more beautiful you. Every time a negative thought sneaks in my brain, I remind myself that it does not serve me to think in such a way and I let that thought pass on by.

The second part, the body, is the old adage of “you are what you eat.” Coming from someone who has lost over 50 pounds, I know this to be very true. I started paying attention to what I put in my body. When I eat more organic and healthy foods, my entire body performs better. The minute I break away from my healthy habits and eat something I know I shouldn’t (like a cupcake), my body reacts immediately by having a headache. 

Something I have also been focusing on lately is my sleep pattern. Sleep is so important for health, wellness and that glow. So many of us downplay sleep due to busy schedules (I know, I used to be one of these people). I began to prioritize my sleep by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning (including weekends!). This changed my moods and my energy levels. I used to reach for a coffee during the first hour of being awake. Now, coffee is no longer apart of my diet (however, I do enjoy my Yerba Mate in the early afternoons!).

Another important part of the body is exercise. I spent my entire childhood dancing. When I got to college, I completely stopped all forms of movement (which – along with unhealthy, processed foods - lead to my weight gain. I did the freshman 15 each year of college). I spent nearly seven years not exercising. I was not healthy – in mind, body, or spirit - during those years. Eventually, I found a vinyasa flow yoga practice, which opened up my eyes to a whole new world. Each time I walk out of a yoga class, I glow like a spotlight on a stage. Not only does yoga provide me with a sweaty workout, I also get to quiet my mind and meditate.

Which brings me to the final part, spirit. I had a conversation with a friend recently about what the world needs more of. We both agreed that the world needs more people aligned with their purpose. I took an unorthodox career path, which many people questioned and even criticized me on.  As it turns out, my choice to follow my inner calling – and instinct - has served me quite well. I believe this to be true as I am able to look at my outer surroundings, observing the life that I’ve created for myself by taking inventory of the material things that I am blessed to have. But, more importantly, I wake up every day in gratitude with a sense of purpose. I know what I’m here to do on this planet and I strive to achieve it daily. So many of us get caught in the spin cycle of what our families and society want us to be while shoving down our innate calling. Shoving down your purpose and passion isn’t serving anyone. In fact, it’s slowing deteriorating you. When you fully step into your purposeful path, you have no choice but to glow from the inside out. When you nurture your mind, body, and spirit, you nurture the world. 

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Maybe There's No Such Thing as Balance

I've been working on my balancing act since I was five. At the dance studio, I would hang every which way from the ballet barre and then head to the center of the room to practice balancing floor work. I grew up learning how to balance; it's embedded in my dancer body. 

When I grew up and moved from dance to yoga, more balancing - and challenging - poses came into play. Some days, I can stand on one foot, pull up the other leg, twist it, bend it, invert it, and gracefully hold it for what seems like eons. Other days, I go straight down to childs pose. 

Recently the thought hit me - maybe there's no such thing as balance - maybe it's more so of an integration. I pondered on it for a while and Thrive Global seemed like the perfect home for this piece.