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Golden crown or wreath of thorns?

The fifth annual 303 Magazine Hair show has concluded…what a show…what a night. It’s an evening of beauty, style and, above all, artistic expression. An event filled with things that, at the foundational level, look good to the eye. Things that shine. Things that glow and prance. Personally, the hair show is a night to demonstrate individual style and good taste. A night to own who you are, what you like, walk tall, be you.

There may be a tendency for some to believe those who are attracted to shiny things are superficial. Or vain. That they have interest only in the aesthetic. But this just is not the case. Or not the only case, at least.

A friend of mine once told me, and what she said was not necessarily news, but it was the first time someone had observed me, my patterns and habits, and put it like this: “You are easily distracted by and drawn to the shiny and pretty, what looks good to you but isn’t necessarily good for you.” And this habit does not apply just to stuff. It’s people too. Ever since she articulated it in terms I could sort through and connect with, I’ve been mulling the observation over in my mind, experimenting, repeatedly, the way to apply this new perspective so that I benefit from rather than fall into the glitz and glamour trap. So, finally, about a year ago, mostly through trial and error at first, but, eventually, through learned behavior, I stopped pursuing things that are only pretty and polished. Though, I’ll admit, I might occasionally still get tripped up. I am human, after all.

And so, in the continued investigation of a “non-shiny” path, I’ve begun reading Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy, by Yogi Ramacharaka, recommended and loaned to me by a work colleague. This sentiment strikes me in just a matter of pages: “On the contrary, they instruct the pupil to accept as truth only that which he can prove for himself, as no truth is truth to one until he can prove it by his own experiments…Accept nothing as final until you have proven it; but, if you are wise, you will profit by the advice and experience of those who have gone before.” So, my friend, the one who put into words my affliction for the glittery, sparkly, eye-catching, she is the wise one whose advice I profit from. And she’s not the only…

In a visit with an intuitive last November, my bent toward attractive, dazzle, flash was duly noted, and, in so doing, she reminded me to continue on the path of spirituality through yoga. To stop resisting ideas and subjects that have interested me for some time: philosophy, principles and practices of happiness and truth, just because of the closeness of the words spirituality and religion and my abhorrent opposition to the interpretation of religion by many. A person can find oneself, pursue their truth, the Truth, the path that makes sense to an individual by taking what fits, trying it on for size, listening to one’s intuition, letting go of the things that don’t serve or contribute to being better or to the fundamental belief system. And perpetually carry on with the search.

Continuing to abstain from the need to conduct my own experiments can be challenging. To accept, once and for all, the proof that’s been presented multiple times over: the knowledge to spot the ostentatious immediately and turn in the other direction. But this does not mean ruling out the aesthetic. Living somewhere in the middle ground on this, where people most satisfactorily reside, I would imagine. Interested in the intriguing. Curious of new. Pleased by pretty. But motivated by the pursuit of wisdom and growth.

2 Responses

  1. Tracie

    Aburey… One of the most powerful Downward Dog Style. The bright and shiny we are so enamored by is a reflection of our own inner light. Thanks this piece made my week! Tracie

    Reply
  2. Aubrey

    Tracie, thanks for that. That is an interesting way to look at it. I like how you say what I pursue is that which I see in myself, even if I don’t know that that is why I pursue it…our conversations help me parse through all this stuff; your insight helps to keep me on track too.

    Reply

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