We can all get caught up in a worldly view of what we believe beauty should look like, focusing more on our outer appearance rather than our health and well-being. We often question ourselves: How do I look? Will I fit in? Will they like me just as I am? The fact is we don't struggle alone with these insecurities. No doubt, at some point we have all grappled with our self-image in one way or another.

Sadly, this self-doubt can seep in unjustly. It doesn’t help that the media and advertisements promote wrinkle free youthful faces and airbrushed perfect bodies, distorting the natural image of women. But if we are honest with ourselves, pure beauty extends far beyond that, to who we are inside, to how we feel about ourselves and others, to what we value and how we express ourselves. Pure beauty doesn’t find importance in accomplishments, wealth, prominence or physical appearance, it is blissfully found inside our hearts; in the love, we have for ourselves and other people.

This shift in mindset can help us realize that we are all exquisite and that we were made for a purpose far greater than we realize. Beauty is not defined by the shape of body or the colour of hair. I think Helen Keller’s notable quote summarizes pure beauty flawlessly when she stated: “The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.” When we share ourselves and give from the heart and genuinely care for one another - whether it be a neighbour, a friend, a teacher, a family member or a person unfamiliar to us - isn’t this what defining pure beauty is?

Can you recall a moment when you saw a tender embrace among friends, witnessed a helping hand guide a person in need or overheard a soft-spoken word of encouragement to someone who was struggling? Beauty runs deeper than our external image, it’s putting others ahead of ourselves and seeing things outside of our own circumstances. We can be too hard on ourselves when we start to compare and let negative thoughts take over. We are all beautiful in the purest way. Celebrate who you are, just as you are; every unique character about you is yours and it is good.

Adjusting our thinking patterns about what is fundamentally beautiful and meaningful can start with a few practical steps:

LOVE YOURSELF: I know we've heard this one before, but maybe we need to hear it again. Exercise self-reflection and stay focused on your positive attributes. Spend time thinking about all the good things that make you. Write a love letter to yourself, no really, and read it often and be generous with your compliments!

BE KIND TO OTHERS: Make a decision, a choice to care for another person’s welfare. Phone a friend and tell them you appreciate their friendship, volunteer somewhere, anywhere, donate to a charity you feel passionate about, offer your seat, pray for someone, share a healthy recipe...

SIMPLIFY: Be mindful of the traps that cause confusion, minimizing and modifying can help in re-evaluating your viewpoint of self-image. Limit media use, declutter your closet, reduce chemical use by switching to natural beauty products, spend more time with people you love, read a book, watch less television, take more soothing baths and make a deliberate decision to slow down.

Pure beauty, after all, isn't skin-deep, it’s found in the layers of kindness and love we have for ourselves and for other people. Celebrate and cherish your pure beauty and the beauty of others - let this be the message that shines strong and bright in you!