Here is our latest Customer Service question, coming to us from Boston, MA…
Q: As integral chicks how do we relate to beauty? What do you see emerging in regards to a fuller embrace and deeper expression of beauty both in yourself and in culture? And what are some ways you can suggest to cultivate inner radiance, higher aesthetic principles and ways of relating to honor beauty in relationship.
Maggie from Boston
A: Well, we think that beauty is where it’s at, Maggie! We would say that beauty adds color, a uniqueness and richness to life, and that the acknowledgment and appreciation of beauty is sure to catapult any state to greater heights. It’s like the essence or the fragrance of Spirit.
Quick story about my personal relationship to beauty…as I got into Eastern philosophy, and before I found Integral, I thought that I had to give up my uniqueness and my beauty as a means to embody non-attachment, big confusion. I started not caring so much about how I looked and purposely didn’t wear makeup, wore baggy, dull and boring clothes, and let the beauty of my environment, which had been a huge passion of mine, fall into the background, as well. I thought that I was being austere and disciplined in a way. I have to say this all never felt right because beauty and aesthetics were always so important to me since I was a small child. This time was painful and confused, but like all hard times, some good came out of it. Looking back on it, I feel that what I gave up was my striving for beauty, and my adherence more to what what others thought was beautiful. After I found Integral and saw how important art and aesthetics were to the movement and philosophy, one of the big Three as if were, with Goodness and Truth, I felt a huge sigh of relief, and began to re-embody, albeit slowly, my own flavor of beauty. So, that was my journey to a fuller embrace, and I don’t necessarily recommend it, but for what it’s worth thought I’d share. – Nicole Fegley
The 1-2-3 of Beauty Practice:
Embracing and cultivating beauty and radiance, like anything, can be a practice. Though there are undoubtedly many ways to do this, one we are really fond of is the 1-2-3 of Beauty, which is similar and comes from the 1-2-3 of God framework developed by Ken Wilber and his associates at Integral Institute. Sometimes it’s easiest to start with 3, and by 3 we mean a third person perspective on beauty.
3: Take a walk in the gorgeous fall of New England and do nothing on that walk except notice beauty in all its forms in the world as it arises before you. Feel the fullness and radiance of nature.
2: Move to 2 or 2nd person, and notice the beauty of a friend as you are talking to them in real space. Notice their unique speech and tone, the expression of their eyes, the way they listen to you. Magnify their beauty as you talk to them, and if it feels comfortable, tell them about your experience of their beauty. See how this enhances your ability to drop into a we-space connection with them, where for a moment you are not separate from each. Their beauty is yours and vice-versa. This is the beauty of Beauty in the 2nd person or in relationship, the capacity to enhance and lubricate a we-space interaction, allowing us to drop our defenses and just be with another.
1: Finally, move into 1 or a 1st person perspective. How do you embody beauty? What are the kinds of things you do like no one else, that enhances your beauty and others experience of you? What is your unique beauty signature in this life? How does it feel to acknowledge this beauty? When you feel and recognize your own beauty, consciously own it, and magnify this radiance out.
Admittedly, a 1st person perspective of Beauty can be hard. Maybe not for you Maggie, but perhaps for others tuning in. Many of us at times don’t see or experience our own beauty. That’s why it’s a practice to just try it on for size. To act as if you believe it, to, as Sofia Diaz says, “Fake it till you make it.” You are beautiful, you are beauty, and that is as true as the statement, you are human.
If you find #1, or any of the other perspectives to be impenetrable after practicing the 1-2-3 of Beauty, it might require some deeper shadow work. Feel free to holla at us, and we’re happy to work with your specific concerns or help you find someone else uniquely qualified.
We’ll end with the infamous words of Lester Burnham played by Kevin Spacey in the film American Beauty…
It’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst…and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain. And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life…You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry…You will someday.
Integral Chicks and Dudes, tell us, how you do you relate to beauty? Join the conversation today!
Nicole Fegley is the Executive Producer, Co-Founder, and Host of Integral Chicks. She is a Certified Integral Coach through Integral Coaching Canada and coaches with Integral Life, The Integral Incubator, and Engaging the Future. Nicole is the Co-founder, with her partner Clint Fuhs, of Core Integral.