Light in my Shadow

Focus More on the Inside, Less on the Outside

Waaay back in my 20s I used to be kinda hot (man that’s cringey to say). I even made it to the Dolly Cover Girl competition finals (I have no idea what level of finals, suburb or region? All I remember it was cringey – in a Westfield shopping centre somewhere). In Australia back in the 90s, Dolly was the magazine for teens – so at the time it felt like some kind of (shallow-ass) dream achievement.
I had ZERO focus on the inside.
If I actually heard the phrase, ‘focus on the inside’ back then, I honestly would’ve been confused. Why would I want to focus there? What fun was in there? How the hell was I meant to pick up in there?

All I cared about was going out every weekend, having fun and getting drunk as fast as I could.

I used to pick up famous footballers as weird side-hobby (I am seriously about to puke right now). But regardless of how hot I looked on the outside, I NEVER felt beautiful. Never. Because I didn’t love myself.
Now – in my mid 40’s – I’ve got new wrinkles appearing every week. My jowl area is gradually giving up all fucks on fighting gravity, I’ve got (far) more than 20 grey hairs, I have cellulite on my thighs, bags under my eyes and the perkiness of my old boobs is long gone. I’ve gotta say it, this so called ‘hotness’ is a thing of the yesterday (okay, two decades ago…)….and it is so goddam liberating to throw this bullshit plastic badge of concern away.
Right now, I’m sitting at my table, typing while wearing a towel on my head, I’m not wearing a bra and I haven’t shaved my legs for eons. I’m wearing my Melbourne Stage 4 lockdown outfit which consists of navy, elastic-waist PJs made out of soft bamboo – they’re so good I got 5 pairs. Aside from the fact I’m beginning to feel like a prisoner, I’ve never felt more beautiful.

Because now I'm hot on the inside.

I still have plenty of days where I look in the mirror and I often wonder where the elasticity in my face has gone. Collagen dumped me as a friend somewhere in my 30s. Half the month I look like crap, but I really don’t care. I still love what I see.
The beauty I feel comes from the radiant goddess I’ve got living healthily inside of me. It comes from the deep love I have for myself, and I define what I find beautiful in my world. No one else’s opinion on this subject matters except mine. Seriously. Throw all fucks out the window, except your own.
focus on the inside
I care a great deal that my hardworking Earth-suit does a sufficient job of carrying me around. I care that I am healthy and treat my body like the sacred vessel it is, but beyond that I honour the ageing process. I’m intriuged by it. I know that my wrinkles have stories to tell and wisdom to impart. So does my grey hair.

And KEEP reminding yourself to focus on the inside as often as you need.

I still get sucked into the vortex of comparing myself to others and feeling “LESS THAN”. For a second I might get caught up in the loss of my outer youth, but then I see through it. It’s only real if I make it real. And it’s bullshit. Honestly.
We only think it matters because we’re programmed by the system into striving for some weird, unrealistic ideal of beauty. (Media, I’m looking at you).
The media often makes us feel ‘less than’. You are NOT LESS THAN (you’re more). Don’t buy into their shit. YES it’s hard at the start, but practice. Switch it off. Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel ‘unattractive’. Get new role models. Redefine what beauty is TO YOU.

As well as my external signs of ageing, I also have several interesting scars on my body.

I’ve got a big scar on my hand where I tried to iron my hand when I was 2. I used to hate it and be so ashamed of it. I’ve got scars from DUMB ASS drunken accidents, and there are a few scars – faded now – which are reminders of the me that didn’t love me. I created these scars deliberately. It saddens me I could do that to myself and I have deep empathy for that version of old me.
Now I find scars beautiful. They have stories to tell. They’re unique markers on our beautiful bodies like timestamps of the past – signifying rites of passage. I know I’ll have them til the day I die, and these days there’s no shame. I wear my scars with love.

These days, my main focus is on my inner world.

All I really give a fuck about these days is whether my inner temple is in order. Do I feel beautiful with my character? Is my energy out of whack anywhere? Are there any boundaries that need tightening, any shadows or old wounds that need transmuting and integrating back into my wholeness? What’s triggering me and what’s this telling me? Am I honouring myself through my outer actions?

I focus on the inside because it makes me happy.

I’m ridiculously (and healthily) obsessed with expanding consciousness and raising my vibration. It’s my main mission on Earth because it’s nothing short of absolute bliss.
I spent 40 years lugging around a monster showbag of dysfunction, feeling the ache of separation, thinking “Holy Shit, this EARTH SHIT SUCKS. Is this it?” Intuitively knowing deep down this is NOT it.
When you discover there is SO much more, the high is so damn good… brings out the deepest gratitude from my heart and soul every single day. This is why I focus on the inside, cause all the best SHIT IS IN THERE.
You do what makes you HAPPY. There’s no right or wrong, it’s different for everyone. Work out what is right for you.
I still love doing face masks, I love getting dressed up. I’m not saying I’ll never get my legs waxed or a spray tan, or my teeth whitened. Some things maybe I will DO. Some things I won’t.
I had Botox twice, years ago, and I won’t do it again because I began to feel the whispers of, “I need it”. I began to feel unattractive when I saw the wrinkles in between my eyebrows come back. I BEGAN TO FOCUS THERE. If I place my self worth there and begin to neglect the inner work? If I feel like I NEED it? Then it means it’s starting to control me – and I know that beast. We will never dance again.
And anyway, I don’t care much for the types of people who judge my value by what I look like. These are not people I gravitate towards.
When you focus on the inside and develop deep love from within, you’ll feel like a goddess WITH grey hair, wrinkles, not-so straight or white teeth, saggy boobs, scars and cellulite. You connect with your inner beauty more and more as you get older.
You become more magical.
More radiant. More beautiful.
If the body is as healthy as you’re capable of keeping it, and if it’s running well and the frequency of the energy is high, then to me, this is the most beautiful vehicle of all.

Genuine beauty emanates a power and magic that comes from within.

Feature Image: Cameron Gray