In Beauty On The Cheap! Part 1Straighten Up, we talked about how sitting, standing, and walking straight strengthens and beautifies. Beauty On The Cheap! Part 2Put A Smile On Your Face talks about how smiling and laughing makes us more beautiful inside and out.

This installment of how to be more beautiful without having to spend a dime, is about giving. Giving is, in my opinion, one of the most important elements of “being beautiful” that I can think of.  How, you ask, can giving make you more beautiful? I know, and you probably do too, but I’ve never tried to explain it. Let’s get right down to it: Real beauty emanates from the heart.

When you’re giving, aren’t you happy? We are wired to receive unadulterated pleasure when we give. So why don’t we give more? Some do. They’re called Philanthropists.

You’ve seen the hideous attempts at sustaining youthful, physical beauty as Father Time marches on into the 40s, 50s and so on? I find this a rather sad, misguided effort to be happy. Does an eye lift, tummy tuck, lipo to the thighs or nose job really make someone happier? Maybe in the short-term, but the discontentment within that drove the person to such measures will reappear, it’s just a matter of time. The message the culture gives is that beauty is only skin deep – but we all know that’s not true.

I am in the beauty business after all, but it’s really just a front for the real business of  caring for people, and helping them realize their true beauty within. Sounds corny? Maybe, but it is a way I can give – and it brings me immense pleasure.

When we are young we posses natural beauty: our skin is taut, gravity hasn’t pulled any body parts down, 😉 we have a full head of “colored” hair, and you know the rest. Well, after the bloom begins to fade, inner beauty begins to shine more and more brightly. We become wiser, our hearts have healed, virtue is strengthened, and hopefully we have learned to give – not just of our excess, but sacrificially…till it hurts sometimes.

I guess 2 Corinthians 9:7 says it best: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” That verse combines part 2 of this series (smiling and laughing) with today’s topic of giving!

Now if you are under 30-something, don’t think you’re going to get by on good looks alone! Your beauty too depends on the quality of your heart, and your ability to both give and receive love.

There are, as you know, MANY ways to give: yielding to another driver, holding back a well deserved rebuke when you’ve been offended, calling or visiting someone who is alone, being kind to those who serve you – like the grocery clerk! –  helping the poor among us, volunteering at a shelter, or promoting a cause and raising global awareness about an issue like Water – which is today’s topic.

I was inspired by Jeanne, a friend of mine who is a professional writer, to do a post about the issue of Water, as October 15th 2010 is Blog Action Day and this year’s theme is Water. Did you know that less than 1% of the world’s water is drinkable? We actually flush our toilets with drinkable water – ever thought of that? There is a big monster behind a curtain for us as Americans, we can’t (or don’t choose to) see the impending crisis of our diminishing water supply – but I digress.

My connection with the theme of international awareness being brought to the issue of Water is three-fold:

Our oldest daughter Valery and her husband Jonathan are expecting their first child, and our first grandchild – they will name him Carter – from Ethiopia. Part of the inspiration to adopt a child from this country came from their association with WineForWells.org. My Dad has a vineyard and Winery in Paso, and we live in wine country, so there’s lots of interest in wine. Not to mention that we live minutes away from one of the largest bodies of water in the world, The Pacific Ocean, and daughter Angela is studying at San Jose State to be a mechanical engineer specializing in the desalination of salt water.

Speaking of water – I need to remind “us” that we would not be as beautiful as we are if we didn’t have plenty of clean water to drink, cook, clean – and even wash our faces with. You know, you’ve seen the pictures of those unfortunate people without enough clean water. We assume these resources will always be there, but for millions they already aren’t – and who knows what the future holds for us?

Maybe Star Brows will host a Wine For Wells event! Their mission is to provide clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education to those in need around the world. Hosting an event is part of their business model. I’ll keep you posted. And remember: “Faut souffrir pour être belle.” “One must suffer to be beautiful.”

See you at the spa!

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