• Shanley McConnell

An Exercise In Beauty, Guest Post by Helen Brower.

I'm thrilled to welcome Helen Brower (of Inspire, Embrace and Never Apologise) back to the blog for this morning's post: An Exercise in Beauty. If there is one word that comes to mind at the moment to describe this talented friend, it would most definitely be compassionate. Even in times when she herself is overwhelmed, exhausted, or saddened by life-news, Helen is one who always comforts others first. I am so grateful for her willingness to write for this month's topic.


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A good exercise to do------one that I have done below----is to describe yourself through an admirer's eyes. Take away the judgemental gaze we so often see ourselves with; it slashes away at our beauty. Allow yourself to be creative, uplifting, and as empowering as you would be towards someone you admire. Give yourself that freedom. And when you reread the words you've written, believe it. Changing thought patterns is really hard. I started eight separate beginnings for this piece on beauty because I felt like I couldn't contribute. The insecurities I thought I'd dealt with came bubbling back up. It's an awful feeling, but I had to confront it. And when writing those two simple paragraphs, I felt so light. The insecurities left, and only a sense of empowerment remained. I choose to believe that I am beautiful, and so can you.


This is me.


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She sat perched on the bench. A used book with the neon dollar sticker still on the back cover rested in her hands. She frowned at the book. Her pink glasses midway down her nose as she scowled at the imaginary problems the book brought up. Her hair tied into a frizzy umbrella bun perched haphazardly on her head. Brown strands fluttered out of the bun like they were connected to invisible balloons.


She wore Levi jeans an inch too long, they rammed into her sneakers and hiked up her waist by a worn leather belt fixed to the fourth notch. Her grey T-shirt, also too long, bunched around the belt where her phone was holstered in her pocket. She had headphones connected to it that looped up her bird belly and crooked around her neck. She couldn't read and listen to music so the headphones dangled uselessly.


She was beautiful.


Helen Brower





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