Walking in Beauty

To choose to walk in beauty is the ultimate declaration of one’s independence.

The dictionary defines beauty as a quality or combination of features pleasing to one or all of our senses. Beauty is the appreciation, enjoyment and admiration of the aesthetics or harmony of form, shape, color, proportion, uniqueness, and originality. We can appreciate beauty as a collective group or as an individual. There are no rules restricting beauty to a set of standards. There are no specific criteria or requirements which must be met before beauty can appear. Beauty doesn’t just magickally materialize on the scene, nor does it scream for our attention. It is always there, patiently awaiting the discovery of its presence. Beauty is a magnetic energy, drawing our attention to its existence. In its languid indifference, beauty lays itself bare. Naked and pure, beauty exhibits its fullness without inhibition. Sometimes we are the voyeurs, engaging only with our eyes. At other times only the intimacy of touching or holding will suffice. There are moments when the beauty can be so overwhelming, it’s difficult to remain in its presence. Yet, at other times we are so intoxicated by beauty, that it consumes our complete attention.


Beauty is the paradoxical contradiction between what is attractive and unattractive. We can only see beauty where we perceive it, and yet, the attractive and unattractive occurs naturally in all things. Without one, we couldn’t have the other. We can’t fully appreciate beauty unless we accept what we find unattractive. Although I always appreciated the beauty in things like nature, art, music, the human form and literature, I didn’t realize I was looking at beauty through a tiny peephole. It’s a difficult phenomenon to describe how we can’t notice the beauty around us if we can’t perceive it. We perceive reality through one of two filters, beauty or its opposite, ugliness. The filter we use to perceive our inner reality is the same one we use for external reality. If I am in a foul mood, feeling ugly, low and worthless, I will see little to no beauty in myself and the world around me. To walk in beauty, we must acknowledge and heal whatever prevents us from seeing our inner beauty. It wasn’t until my teacher introduced me to the Blessed Beauty Way Prayer, that I started consciously healing my relationship with beauty. This version is from the Navajo tradition.


Great Spirit, may I walk in Beauty!

May Beauty be above me, that I may be a part of the Greater Beauty. May Beauty be in front of me, that I may perceive Beauty in all things. May Beauty be to my left, that I may receive Beauty through my inner woman. May Beauty be to my right, that I may give Beauty through my inner man. May Beauty be behind me, so that the only tracks I leave are those of Beauty. May I touch myself, my life, and all others with Beauty.

Great Spirit, may I walk in Beauty!

This is what I ask. This is what I will do.

I have spoken. AHo!


The prayer’s simple eloquence touches me deeply. Its powerful words shape my proclamation of independence. A statement of intention to live in beauty. Its humble language points out how beauty abounds in everything, everywhere. All I need to do is acknowledge its existence. The prayer lays it out in an all-inclusive, unassuming, concise manner. Feminine and masculine; left and right; up and down, ahead and behind, the directions are clear.


Within these words I hear described to me the natural balance and order of the entire universe. There is only one requirement, only I can choose to walk in beauty, and it’s my singular responsibility to learn how. Since learning to take responsibility for my life isn’t one of my favourite pastimes, my reaction is to resist. Taking responsibility can be an exhausting, relentless chore. In my imagination, it’s like the unpleasant task of cleaning out an overstuffed junk drawer. I have filled it with everything I believed ugly, unattractive, broken or defective about myself. Since it was a part of me, I couldn’t throw it away so I stuck it in the junk drawer. It was easier to hide it from sight than address the issue. If I intend to fill my life with beauty, then I need to clear out the clutter.

This is where the prayer does its work.

Before we go in that direction, let us explore what the word ‘prayer’ means. Prayers are powerful words of genuine truth, spoken from the heart. Words have the potential to create. We must be clear about the intent behind the words we speak and take responsibility for what we pray for. Prayers articulate into words, the hope we feel rising from our spirit. Hope is the intangible hunger and yearning for our growth and evolution. It helps us find the courage to manifest our dream of walking in beauty.


As I first used the prayer to guide the next steps of my journey, I didn’t realize it was helping me to refine my intent. To walk in beauty doesn’t just happen in a miraculous moment of enlightenment or through a magickal manifestation of divine intervention. Benevolent spirit guides did not visit me to impart their sage wisdom. And I certainly did not receive any help or visitation from angels, fairies, aliens, unicorns, or ascended masters. I had to get there on my own, and this prayer helped me to refocus my attention when I got distracted. I soon discovered my adherence to the words wasn’t as important as my connection to the intent. Each verse described a unique facet of beauty in its countless expressions. Its words told me where to look and how to engage. Hidden behind each statement is a question. The question is always the same; “How do I walk in beauty?”


Great Spirit, may I walk in Beauty

If this statement is my intent, then I must explore the question; How do I walk in beauty? The moment I ask, I’m standing in front of the junk drawer. If I want to walk in beauty, I need to open the drawer, look at what’s in there and pull out whatever is cluttering my way. This is when it feels like hard work because I know I will have to be a responsible adult and deal with things I’ve been avoiding. The terrified little boy inside me doesn’t want to look at whatever is in the drawer because he believes it holds all my gruesome, ugly parts.

It’s easy to lay blame, point fingers and hold grudges against others, for labeling what they didn’t like about me as unattractive and repulsive. It was painful, because I couldn’t see how my uniqueness made me beautiful, so I made it ugly and hid it in the drawer. As a child, I didn’t realize beauty and ugliness are choices. They are the polar opposites which create the whole. The decaying carcass with its entrails splattered on the road may appear ugly to most of us, but the carrion birds and insects feasting on its flesh, experience the beauty of a tasty, nourishing meal. Every experience in my life presents the same duality. The healing of the past happens, when I can see the whole story; light and dark, good and bad, winner and loser, hero and victim. Each healed story reveals the hidden beauty paving the path of our epic adventure.


May Beauty be above me, that I may be a part of the Greater Beauty.

This verse articulated what I had always been looking for. My beauty was reflected to me when I chose to see I was surrounded by beauty. Now, I had a guideline to help me find my way. I understood that I am an integral part of the beauty of this reality. I could sense how beauty permeated everything, in a graceful embrace. It helped me to appreciate the fathomless manifestations of beauty. This didn’t come from an illusionary, new-age idealism, it came from a knowing deep in my bones. Every part of reality, from the tiniest particle to the most massive astral body, is unique and inimitable in its beauty.


May Beauty be in front of me, that I may perceive Beauty in all things.

The question I ask myself here is, why do I see beauty in certain things and not others? It’s a paradoxical question resulting in a subjective answer. Instead of distracting myself with solving the paradox, I must set my sights on finding the beauty where I have not seen it before.

Walking in beauty means the way I perceive my outer world, mirrors how I perceive myself. As I began looking for beauty in myself, I would pull something out of the junk drawer and close it quickly to keep anything else from escaping. Oddly enough, whatever I pulled out was exactly what I needed to
confront. As I faced each ugly item from my drawer, I revisited its past significance. By challenging myself to see the other side of the story, I gained more knowledge and appreciation about myself. 

Whatever I considered ugly about myself, becomes beautiful when I accept it as an aspect of my unique individuality. Knowing there will never be another me helps me empty my beliefs that being different makes me unattractive. Reality is eternal, with no end to the beauty we can experience and discover.


May Beauty be to my left, that I may receive Beauty through my inner woman.

These next two verses speak of the natural relationship of the two forces necessary for all life. They coexist in an interdependent harmonic dance, expanding and contracting within and around everything. To receive beauty, I must draw it into me like a breath. I cannot breathe in unless I have emptied my lungs, expelling all the air inside them. I must make space within myself to receive the breath of life: beauty. As I breathe out, I release what is inside me without attachment. If I hang on and keep things hidden inside, I resist the opportunity to share my uniqueness: beauty. My feminine side teaches me to nurture, love and become receptive to my beauty. My masculine provides what I need to cultivate, care for and share my beauty.


May Beauty be to my right, that I may give Beauty through my inner man.

Exploring these energies led me to face the ugly parts of my relationship with the feminine and the masculine, especially with my parents and significant image-makers. I had to disentangle myself from what others said was beautiful and ugly about me and what I knew to be true. What I was really doing was learning to parent the confused, scared little boy inside. I was learning how to accept and acknowledge the truth of my unique beauty. I have seen that when I feel a harmony with my feminine and masculine sides; I awaken to a piece of my true naturalness. It’s a continual process of give and take, expansion and contraction. I learn to shine outwardly as I learn to appreciate the beauty shining at me from within.


May Beauty be behind me, that the only tracks I leave are those of Beauty.

It is impossible to fake walking in beauty. There are many who pretend to be walking in beauty. They rely on words, pretense and deception to dupe us into believing them. Their only victims are those who doubt in their own beauty. I still fall victim to this when my self-esteem is low. I can’t walk in beauty unless I accept my true naturalness. This can only be understood by those who have experienced it for themselves. We cannot force our beauty to appear through affirmations, positive thinking, meditation or mind control. We have always been beautiful. We will know it when we look into our past to recognize the beautiful steps we have already taken on the path brought us to this moment. To continually leave tracks of beauty is to have enough awareness to choose how we will interact with each moment.

 

May I touch myself, my life, and all others with Beauty. This is what I ask. This is what I will do. I have spoken. AHo!

From this verse I realized that as I was learning to walk in beauty; I was really learning to be myself. The more I became comfortable with myself, the more accepting I was of everything and everyone. I was less affected by people’s opinions or criticism. A state of contentment endured inside me no matter what was happening. I had touched enough of my beauty to realize the perceptions of others had nothing to do with my view of myself. I now understand my only responsibility is to find the beauty in myself, not prove it to someone else. My life is beautiful because I choose to make it that way.

Beauty is not earned or deserved, it’s our human birthright. None of us were created to live in ugliness. If everything that exists is uniquely beautiful, there can be no exceptions. It’s not my responsibility to heal anyone or fix their self-relationship. It is my responsibility to give of my beauty in every moment, with no conditions. I accept this goal will never be fully actualized, but I have experienced nothing more gratifying, pleasurable and fulfilling. My beauty is a gift to myself and to all humans.


May we all walk in beauty. AHo! Lou Worldweaver

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