This past weekend I went to King’s Spa with some girlfriends of mine. King’s Spa is a Korean spa so for the first part of the experience you get completely nude in a room full of other women to enjoy a steam room, showers and hot tubs.
My girlfriends came up naked and we all looked at each other for a moment before one friend said: look at us; we’re beautiful. We – as a whole – not based on this superficial notion of beauty but based on our willingness to share this experience with each other.
That set the tone: validation.
My friend has this tattoo on her arm: it says: do not seek outside of yourself in Latin. I pondered this as an array of different bodies walked past me. Body-positive experiences are something I’ve been intentional about having lately starting with the naked bike ride and taking my next steps with my yoga practice.
Throughout the evening I pondered the notion of validation within our society and seeking it from external factors. I’m very guilty of this – as we all are. I seek validation from the men I keep in my back pocket to make me feel attractive or the books I read to prove my intellectual prowess and the social circles I maintain to show some sort of status. Still, I keep coming to the same conclusion: when you lose the ego you feel no need to be validated by others.
Humility is honest; it’s vulnerable and damn it, it’s scary. It’s sitting naked in a hot tub and feeling at peace. It’s telling the truth even when it hurts you to do so. It’s smiling at a stranger on the street with no expectation of receiving a smile or recognition in return. It’s walking into a room with quiet confidence knowing you have nothing to prove.
It’s also very hard work as we fight against our conditioning in this society. The ego likes to keep one safe. The ego keeps my sunglasses on as I follow the beat of my heels hitting pavement attuned to my ipod making no human connections walking down my street. The genuine me, however, wants to be honest, vulnerable and notice how lonely everyone really is and say, it’s okay, look at us; we’re beautiful.