Last summer I had the opportunity to participate in a silent meditation retreat. It seemed to offer the perfect way to unwind after a hectic year. Ten days in a beautiful but simple retreat center in central Washington. No cell phones, no email, no books. Just the meadow with views of Mt. Jefferson to the north, woods all around, and the meditation. Not easy, but rich and deep.
The silence settled around us awkwardly at first, but as the days unwound stress fell away. The rhythm became soothing and comfortable. We spent hours in sitting meditation but there was time for other things – meals, walking in the meadow, watching a mother deer grazing with her fawns. Mostly, when we had our breaks, I walked. And as I walked I found myself thinking about beauty. How does it fit into a life well lived? In what way is it important? When we are successful in expressing it how does it affect our lives? When we are not, what then?
It’s easy to veer off a balanced path when it comes to beauty. To either wax philosophical and turn it into an ‘inner’ thing but lose the joy and fun and spontaneity (and perhaps even the beauty, after all) or to go the way most of the cosmetics industry has gone and turn it into aspirational flawless perfection: disembodied and unachievable (again losing the joy etc.). In the end perhaps it’s the joy, fun and spontaneity that are most important. I think we’re most beautiful when we are expressing our whole juicy selves. And the rightful place of makeup is to assist us in doing so.
We have loved ones and responsibilities, full lives. A life well lived is one in which we meet our joys and challenges with grace and compassion. Makeup is a tool to help us express the richness of who we are. Therein lies our true beauty. Alima Pure's raison d'être is to encourage you to “Be your beautiful self.” Silent meditation not required.