Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Morning Inspiration

Beauty From The Inside Out

The most beautiful woman I ever knew was well into her seventies. She had the most beautiful character, wise, thoughtful, calm in her spirit, poised. One day after having lunch with her and a group of other women, I realized that during the course of the lunch, she never once talked about herself, never monopolized the conversation, instead she asked questions of each person at the table and allowed us to speak of ourselves. As I left that day, I and everyone there thought even more of her. Her name was Sister Candida Lund. She did have an incredible sense of style and wore her clothes well, but this was not what made her beautiful, it was her spirit. From my experience with Sister Candida, I have come to realize that beauty is something that we can develop. It is not about how we look. Yes, a young woman can be very pretty, but I have known young women who were pretty, but their spirit held no beauty. We are born with the looks we have, but beauty comes from within and it is something we can choose to possess or not.
In my own personal quest to find peace in my life and to hopefully in turn to become beautiful in my spirit, there are a few books that have had a very powerful effect on me and I would love to share them with you.

James Allen was one of the most popular writers on spiritual advice at the turn of the 20th century. "As A Man Thinketh," is a very easy read, only 50 pages, but one that I revisit about once a year. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom." In the book he talks about thought and character, the effect of thought on circumstances, the effect of thought on health and the body, thought and purpose, and vision and ideals.
In the book, "The Life Triumphant," James Allen talks about faith and courage, self-control and power, simplicity and freedom, and knowledge and victory. It also is a very quick read with only 60 pages, but very powerful in it's message.
"Lincoln, The Unknown," was found just by chance. I read the book by Dale Carnegie, "How To Make Friends and Influence People." After reading the book I found out that what I had read was an updated version of the original. I wanted to read the original and I am so glad that I did. "Lincoln The Unknown" was never mentioned in the updated version. Such a powerful book. What I found interesting is that many of the principles that James Allen talks about in his books, President Lincoln put in to action in his everyday life. There is a story in the book about a letter that he wrote to his general who had not done what he had told him to do. Had that general done as he had been told, the Civil War would have ended very early on. The letter was very strong. President Lincoln wrote the letter and put it away before sending it in order to think about what he had written. It was never sent. The reason we know about this letter today is because it was found in his personal items after his death. In his diary he wrote that after much thought he decided not to send it as had he been in the same situation, he may have done the same thing. President Lincoln tried to always put himself in the shoes of the other person and have great compassion for them. I have recommended this book to many and those who have read it have been greatly touched. I cannot recommend another book more than this book. In Chicago there is only one in our entire library system, but you can find them on Amazon. I am very happy that I own the book, because it is one that I revisit.
My grandmother would say that you can put a dress on a pig, but it's still a pig. What she meant was that there are things in this world that we can try to make different, but they are what they are. And then she would follow up with that we are different, we can change if we so choose.
These are just a few of my tools in my quest for beauty, true beauty that shines in our spirit. I'm not there yet, in fact I have a long way to go.
Wishing you all a wonderful week.

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