Do you put dirty clothes on after you take a shower? I hope not. But that’s what we actually do as a society. We put so much emphasis on how we look on the outside when what really matters is what goes on the inside.

Have you ever met someone and you see them and you’re like, “Wow! He is fine or she is fine!” And you go on and you try to do things to make them like you, to make you see you as you are because you are assuming that because they look good, they are good. But then you spend quality time with these people and you realize that they are the ugliest people you have ever met. On the flip side, there are people that you meet that you probably, at first, dismiss because they are low classically beautiful. They don’t look like you think they should look. But then you spend time with them and you realize that they are the kindest, sweetest person you have ever met. And when you describe them to other people, you tell them that they are amazing, that they are beautiful. And then your friend meets your other friend. They’re like, “Who are you talking about? This person doesn’t look anything like it.” But that’s because you are looking at them through the eyes of your heart because you have taken the time to get to know them.

The title of the talk is Meaningful Beauty. What is that? That is the essence of a person, their soul, if you will. And that takes time. It takes time to get to know someone. But unfortunately, we don’t have that time. It takes about seven seconds to make a first impression and we are trying our very best to make that the best impression ever. But many times, that means that we’re not really ourselves – that we are showing them someone that we’re really not. So we do things that we don’t wanna do. We go places that we don’t wanna go. And we say things that we don’t wanna say just so we can impress someone that we don’t even know.

I say that beauty is recognizing the beauty of other people. And before you can do that, you need to see the beauty in yourself. And why is that important? You might be saying, “Catherine, there are people dying in Africa out of hunger. Why should I care about style and about looking good?” And maybe you’re right. There are people dying of hunger in Africa, but have you ever thought, have you stopped to think that you might be the answer to those people that are dying of hunger in Africa – that you have the solution that they need to be okay?

Sometimes you don’t think that because we don’t have the time. We are rushing left and right trying to get somewhere. We don’t even know where we’re going. And we are trying so hard for others to like us that we don’t even like ourselves. Something that I say to my clients all the time, “Why blend in when you can’t stand out for your mission and your vision?” And as you can tell, I take the whole standing out thing pretty little.

Imagine if you decided today, “I am going to look at people. Really look at people.” I know the room is kind of dark but I wanna ask you for a few seconds to look around the room especially on your table and look at the people next to you. Go ahead.

I am willing to bet, and I am not a betting woman, that you saw something about someone that you missed the first time you saw them. Even as you were entering this room, you passed right by them and you didn’t even see them. What is the importance of really looking ourselves, accepting us as we are? Because when we do that, we are able to do what we have been called to do.  And I believe that all of us have a calling. All of us have something that someone else needs.

Did you know that it take monarch butterflies thirteen weeks to turn from larva to a beautiful butterfly? I actually watched a video that showed this process beautifully. And it went from stage to stage. And I was able to see that they actually did not change that much. The beauty was already there. It was. All we need. It was for us, for my eyes, to catch up to that beauty. And that’s what we need. We rush. We wanna be light. We wanna be seen, but we don’t even love ourselves. Then, people miss who we are. We miss who they are.