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Reel Mama: The Beauty Way

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Beauty Way

My friend singer-songwriter Johndavid Bartlett told me that the Navajos don’t have a word for human beings.  Instead their word for it, roughly translated, is equated with “being human.”  For the Navajos, being human means walking the Beauty Way.  I define that as leading a beautiful life.  Preparing my daughter for walking the Beauty Way, leading a beautiful life, means everything to me.  But how will we recognize the Beauty Way?  It’s so hard, because sometimes the Beauty Way seems ugly.  It’s messy, full of thorns, and sometimes it feels like walking on glass.  Sometimes the Beauty Way, the most beautiful way to live, can be the most painful.  It is giving and receiving; it is loving and losing.  It is feeling empathy for another.  It is when we are at our most vulnerable.  The Beauty Way can involve sickness, and it most definitely involves healing. 

For the Navajo, the Beauty Way is ultimately about attaining balance in life.  It is achieving that elusive inner peace, but sometimes to attain that peace, one must endure a wicked winter that doesn’t feel beautiful at all.  It is those winters, all those hardships, heartaches, and failures that we endure, that make us the most beautiful, because we have learned and we have grown.  Those hardships reveal a road leading us to the most beautiful place of all, the place where we are the most human, loving, and feeling deeply and passionately.

I close with this saying from the Beauty Way ceremony, a wish for you and for our children:

With beauty may you walk
With beauty before you may you walk
With beauty behind you may you walk
With beauty above you may you walk
With beauty all around you may you walk


At July 9, 2011 at 6:51 PM , Blogger Leticia Alaniz said...

Lauren, this is a beautiful thought.


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