In 2014, I was working in a tiny juice shop in the Lower East Side making $10 an hour. I knew I wanted a richer life, but I felt very stuck with where I was :: physically, emotionally, financially, romantically. Shortly after, somehow, within the same month I met two women who left me awe-struck by their confidence, their success, and their beauty, which is well beyond their physical looks. The beauty they exuded is beyond what we in the West normally consider beauty : changing ourselves to fit the status quo and look, act, be, think, exist in way that keeps us small. Their beauty is in their confidence. In the way the hold themselves, the way they can look you fully in the eye and speak loud and clear. In the way they are trailblazers, pursuing their dreams no matter what obstacles arise. In the way they can command the attention of any room they walk into.
Amanda Bacon, founder of Moon Juice Shop, and Guru Jagat, founder of Ra Ma Institute, are still two women who continuously inspire me in every angle and facet of life. When I finally left the juice bar to launch Benshen, my initial grounding point was constantly looking up to both of these women, seeing how far they have come bringing their creative passions to life, and I felt like everything was going to be okay. I took a screenshot of this photo and used it as the background on my phone as a constant reminder to maintain a steady self-awareness practice to develop a better relationship with myself to clear out the insecurities that keep me small and to always remember that beauty, true beauty, is a radiance that comes from within when you know have that inner knowing, that strength, that confidence to be yourself.
“I just see you beautifying yourself and dressing yourself and making yourself pretty and trying to make yourself look attractive. I am not saying, you should not be attractive. I am saying, you should be magnetic, you should be so attractive but do you know when you are attractive you can attract the devil and the evil and the saint and the hero at the same time? To just become attractive is not enough. To be beautiful is not enough. Do you have the capacity? Physical, mental? And psychological, psychological that whatever you attract you can contain?” - Yogi Bhajan, KWTC