By Jamie Kirk

 

When thinking of the word grooming, we likely all begin to think about manscaping, haircuts, tanning, sparkling white teeth and obviously #gymflow. But I wanted to take a different approach and literally look at this from the inside out. Taking care of ourselves is much more involved than just looking at the exterior.  Looking at people for face value does not even scratch the surface of the baggage they are carrying or the burdens they could be hiding.

 

I love the analogy: “You can’t tell how well a car will run, just by looking at the paint job.” Social media absolutely reinforces this (in a not-so-good-way) notion of looking good on the outside and feeling like shit on the inside.  The idea that we can take 15 pictures, use a filter, and even crop out a muffin top, is insane.  At the end of the day, sometimes even we look at the photo and say “wow, you look marvelous” – in my Billy Crystal voice.  But does the photo really depict the state of affairs of how the person is handling this thing called LIFE?

 

My point is that the outside often does not align with what is happening on the inside. If we are stressed out, unemployed, struggling with an addiction, in an abusive relationship, etc., no amount of grooming is going to help resolve or correct these life issues.  We have to make time and take time out to groom the inside also.

 

How to Groom the Inside

By taking time to be selfish and only focus on ourselves. Not our wife, husband, partner, kids, school or work! Taking a day off and hang out with ourselves. Being present and coming up with a plan for our next “right” move. Going for a run, going to Starbucks and reading a book, sitting at the park, doesn’t matter.  The key is to spend quality time with the most important person on earth – YOU.

 

How to Keep the Inside Maintained

Duh, just like going to the barber shop, going for a massage, getting our hands and hoofs done, we have to maintain the inside stuff too.  Taking a yoga class, worship, and being deliberate of doing things that keep you on track. Just going on a diet is not enough if you don’t have an accountability partner, so it is essential that you have goals that occur in steps regarding your inside grooming.  And similar to the outside, you will know when it’s time to have a tune-up.

 

How will I know when it’s Time for a Tune-Up?

Very similar to when you know you need to make a dental appointment or when you need to go to the eye doctor, you know. You become cranky, irritable, sleep less, eat more, whatever that looks like for you.  When these things creep up, it’s time to take a step back and get the inside looking as good as the outside.

 

At the end of the day, grooming and self-care are essential to be available for others and yourself. And the good news is that each grooming regime is different for everyone. It’s not like a fad diet you can follow, and it’s not like a weight lifting app you can download; self-grooming is about “self” and whatever you need, and more importantly, whatever works.

 

As you continue to look for ways to perfect what people see, take some time to improve what you feel.