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Friday, October 7, 2011

Return From Paris

Today marks a full week back from my 8-day vacation in Paris. Before I left I was warned of just how much I would love it there. As predicted, I was charmed beyond all recognition. One of the things I found most illuminating was the attention that is placed on beauty in Paris. The architecture, the gardens, the sculptures, the people. As my husband so wisely said on one of our afternoon walks: "It's like there's room for beauty in the budget here."

Room for beauty in the budget.

If I had to sum up the mission of The School of Charm and Cheek in one sentence, this one comes pretty close. We are about making room for beauty in every corner of life. Not as a superficial act, but as an act of deep spiritual responsibility. Let me clarify - I am by no means suggesting that we all take out a loan for extreme makeover. Beauty is not defined by what we have. It is how we prioritize beauty, and leave our creative mark on everything we touch that counts the most.

Beauty is important. Our sight is a sense. It inspires us to greatness and nourishes our soul. Yet how many of us have ever cast aside our longing for beauty - in our homes, our appearance, our surroundings - because we felt it was too frivolous, or a waste of time? That if we put too much attention on beauty, it must mean we are shallow, or have our priorities out of order? Sometimes this can be the case. Pursuing beauty from a place of ego alone (solely to impress others and gain their approval) is shallow, tremendously unfulfilling, and a place of spiritual starvation. True Beauty is much different than the ego driven kind. True Beauty comes from a place of deep self approval, despite what others might think. True Beauty is a tangible expression of that which is most intangible - the voice of our very own soul. True Beauty shapes our lives with meaning, and is a daring act of supreme self love.

The archetype we seek to embody at The School of Charm and Cheek is The Femme Vitale. The Femme Vitale is ruthless in her love for and practice of beauty. She creates art with everything she touches. She is a beauty advocate and activist. This does not mean one has to have an eye for style, or know their colors. It is simply the practice of loving what you love, and expressing that love with pride and abandon.

So today my darlings, I urge you to make room for beauty in the budget. Not just your financial budget, but in how you budget your time and attention, which are far more precious and valuable. Let your soul be fed, your creativity be inspired. Fill the world with the beauty that only you are capable of.

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