Last fall my husband and I took a hiking trip to Canadian Rockies. We were absolutely stunned by the spectacular beauty that surrounded us each day.
Majestic mountains reaching their rugged arms to the sky, dipping to drink from the serene turquoise water.
Day after day of one breathtaking view after another. Climbing into those mountains, navigating switchbacks and beautiful alluvial fans, we saw beauty in 360 degrees.
On each of our hikes we encountered dozens of beautiful wildflowers.
Resilient and strong they clung to the jagged cliffs, springing up in open valleys coloring the rough terrain with their unique beauty.
And then I saw her: this strange, interesting flower I had never seen before. Not a flower in the ordinary sense of the word, but a flower nonetheless.
Congregated together in certain areas, they stood apart from all the other flowers. Different. Strangely alluring in their apartness. Their hair hanging loose, a bit wild and free.
Her name: “hippie on a stick.”
I’m convinced the greatest hindrance to our growth as women lies in comparison. A trap that so often pits one woman against another in an impossible and doomed struggle.
Imagine the futility of a field of wildflowers comparing themselves to the other flowers.
Lost in nature we see with a different lens the incredible beauty and powerful role of diversity. The complexity of our interconnectedness. How our differences highlights each of our unique and individual beauty and strength.
How quickly the external beauty pales in comparison to character built over time, tested by trial, and bolstered through a firm belief in onesself despite the critics.
The authentic spirit.
Because I was a critic. At first I thought: what kind of flower is that?
Certainly not beautiful, not even pretty. But after watching her over that week she became my most favorite flower of the Canadian Rockies.
To me, she represents strength and individuality. A willingness to literally ‘let her hair down’ and just be herself. To have the courage to stand tall and brave in a panorama of exquisite beauty and rise above all odds to be the most beautiful of all.
Extraordinary beauty transcends ordinary perspective. In the right light at the right time, everything is extraordinary. You just have to be willing to see.
Is there something you’ve kept from doing, saying, being, trying or experiencing because you’re afraid of what other’s might think? Afraid to fail, or look silly or hopelessly uncool?
Channel your inner hippie on a stick and do something today that sets you apart. Have the courage to bloom where you’re planted and stop comparing your beauty or position with the women around you. We are stronger and better and far more beautiful when we rest in the unique beauty that is ours and celebrate the individuality and success of the friends around us.