April 6, 2012

Quote of the Day: True Elegance.

Poise is lovely.

Eloquent speech, flawless posture and impeccable manners are all wonderful. It’s good to dress neatly, if not expensively, and carry ourselves with grace and ease. Grooming counts too; it’s nice to be polished. All these things are what we think of when we talk about elegance.

I’m sitting here in a t-shirt I’ve had since high school, (which was…umm…awhile ago), yoga pants and striped knee socks. Oh, and my favorite quilt sort of wrapped around me too. It’s a good look.

Hair, well, it’s 11:30 at night and I spent all afternoon chasing my children around outside. It’s looked better.

Posture, hmm. Generally good. At the moment, while working on my laptop in bed—less than stellar.

I am decidedly not the picture of elegance this evening. The little boy-next-door told me recently that I look like Cinderella. But then he immediately qualified it by saying, “Except, you know, older.” By this time of day, most every day, I am Cinderella after midnight and I only have one shoe left. My gorgeous white horses have turned to mice and run off. It’s pumpkin time.

Unless you consider this:

“The only true elegance is vulnerability”

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

So, it’s great to be stylish.

In the morning I’ll clean up nicely and pull myself together. Poise is good, and I do my best to be gracious and polite. Mindful speech matters; we should all choose our words and how we use them carefully.

But none of that matters if we aren’t vulnerable. All the outward parts of elegance are aesthetically pleasing, but it’s all wasted if it only serves to tuck the real you away behind some glossy facade.

The richest, most elegant thing about a person—to me—is his honest laugh, a quiet, true thing shared unflinchingly or a moment when he is completely at ease—no posturing, no pretense—just genuine basic goodness.

If we want to be elegant, it starts by being real.

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