“I’m sorry. I didn’t recognize you!” my friend exclaimed. I hadn’t seen her in quite a long time.
I’d spent years clearing and releasing trauma and karma from this and other lifetimes, sobbing fetal position on the floor. Truth is, sometimes I don’t recognize myself either.
Not only am I energetically different, I look different, too. It appears that our faces are more malleable than we think. Who knew spiritual work had such an effect?
“It’s something around the eyes. It’s like your face opened up,” she continued.
Our emotional states register on our faces. When we’re angry or frustrated or sad, it shows. When we’re joyful and integrated, it shows.
But it’s not something we can force through will. Ever notice someone who smiles all the time, but their eyes belie a different reality? I was this person, forever shielding my angst with copious amounts of laughter. I wasn’t very attractive, to say the least. I looked and felt older than my years, my body stiff and unrelenting.
It wasn’t until I started to release all the stuck emotional energy that I truly began to shift. My posture changed as I was no longer afraid to expose my heart. My skin cleared up, blemishes disappeared, replaced by a rosy glow. And, perhaps most surprising of all, I became both physically stronger and more flexible.
Tension is not only felt, but seen. Our micro-expressions accumulate over time and we can only hide so much.
Modern society is replete with beauty advice. Billions of dollars are spent each year convincing us of our inadequacies, especially during the spring and summer months as we prepare to show more skin. So it can feel downright radical to own our beauty, to define it for ourselves.
No one can convince us of our beauty. I have friends who are former models who struggled for a long time to see themselves as something more than an object. They made their bread and butter off of their symmetry and they felt empty and depleted, anything but beautiful. Conversely, I have friends whose faces and bodies land outside the conventional norm, but whose presences light the room aglow. They captivate those in their presence. And they are nothing short of stunning.
Once we move through the doubt and shame and projection and recognize our inherent worth, our radiance shines through. It’s not something money can buy. It’s not something a procedure can fix. It’s inherent in who we are at our core, and it’s ours alone to claim.
Artwork by Michelle Favin of Whys LA for Poppy & Seed. Connect with her @whyslosangeles.