31 Aug 2011

The Top Ten Essentials For An Inner Joie De Vivre

Last week I wrote about the top ten beauty essentials from a practical point of view. These physical treatments and routines are useless without a level of inner well-being. Nothing makes us look and feel more beautiful, more womanly and more desirable than a positive and happy outlook on life. True beauty is never exclusively about appearance or material goods…I think we all know and appreciate that…but knowing something and finding our way is not always one and the same. How is it that some woman manage to achieve a level of beauty that transcends the physical? There are certain attributes to admire and to strive for and if we manage to incorporate some of these in our daily lives then we are well on the way to finding our hidden beauty.

Number 1…Caring
The person that cares about others radiates beauty. Loyalty, compassion, interest, patience and time are invaluable ways to show that we are not purely self-seeking and self-interested. Taking the time to maintain our friendships is an easy neglect. How often do we have all the best intentions but fail on the follow through? Communication is the key to relationships and relationships are the key to our intellectual, spiritual and emotional happiness.

Number 2…Contentment
If there was one virtue that I would like to conquer it would be contentment. To be contented with ourselves is paramount in our quest for beautyEvery year my resolution is to be more accepting of myself, of others…bury judgement and criticism… no one is perfect and least of all ourselves. 

Number 3…Happiness
A happy woman is a beautiful woman. A smile instead of a frown brightens the face and engages others. Happy people are contagious, we all want to bask in their light, benefit from their personality. Happiness can sometimes be elusive and sometimes we forget how to be happy…..Happiness requires work, it’s not a given and it should never be taken for granted.

Number 4…Self-Confidence
The really big one. A self-confident woman is the most attractive of all. This is where the French girls have it all over us, they radiate self-confidence and even if underneath they may not be as robust as they appear, self-confidence, begets self-confidence. Confidence and the exuding of it is a cycle and sometimes a viscous one; the less confident we appear, the less confident we become. Confidence is about security; a lack of self-confidence is about insecurity. Break that cycle and beauty is in the palm of our hands. 

Number 5…Laughter
Is there anything more lovely than hearing laughter? Is there anything better that a good laugh? Giggles, hoots, weak at the knees, side splitting, bellyaching laughs are as rejuvenating as any spa treatment. Even medical researchers have found beneficial links between good health and laughter.

Number 6…Learning
Learning should never stop…it’s not a privilege of the young nor a badge of the old. Learning should happen on a daily basis… we should be inquisitive and exercise our brains and challenge our minds. The subject matter of what we learn is less important than fostering our curiosity. Learning means we are active contributors in our lives and the lives of others and that promotes better communications, stronger friendships and greater self-confidence. 

Number 7…Flexibility
Mental flexibility is as equally important as physical flexibility. Change – making it and facing it – is a positive. To embrace change is empowering, to be frightened means our lives remain static….we are the losers. Change enriches our lives, keeps our thinking young and our minds stimulated…A joie de vivre is nothing less than beautiful.

Number 8…Generosity
Generosity means giving selflessly and from the heart…not giving to reap our own rewards. Generosity in every part of our lives means being intuitive, simpatico and sensitive to the needs of others. Easier said than done..Like a moth to a flame, a generous soul is the most tantalising.

Number 9…Communication
Talk, share and connect with others. No talking means a lack of understanding and that is when misconceptions, doubts and insecurities arise. Communication is a two sided coin…to talk means to listen and there is nothing as irresistible as a good listener.

Number 10…Centred
To find our inner well-being, our equilibrium, our centre… is to amalgamate all of the above. A calm and centred woman is a graceful woman.

If we manage to practice all or any of these qualities then our good fortune will be a guaranteed success….add in a few French wardrobe basics, a couple of extra extravagances, an essential treatment or two and our beauty will know no bounds…

Note to self…read what you write…and start working….xv

image  – vicki archer

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Hello Vicki

this is all so very well said – thank you for that.

Note to myself too – read what I write! )

have a lovely day



David Toms

I do so agre on you with these top ten. One only achieves inner strength and joy through adopting ideas like this. I think Christian Dior once said "there is no beauty without zest" I love the images of the perfume as I also perfume. Sometimes the contents of these bottles is even more beautiful than the outside.


Vicki this post says it all so beautifully! The woman who has these characteristics can conquer the world, whether her world is large or small!

Art by Karena


No matter how old I am I always find refreshing one's inner self worthwhile. Thank you for reminding all of us what makes true beauty.

the paris apartment

Love these essentials as much as the the other top tens and agree being content is the most important of all. We have so much to be grateful for.
Now back to your list on the top ten clothing essentials where I daresay I'm not at all content with my closet but will have to adapt and make do!

Will you be in Paris in September, Vicki?


What a beautiful article, I love every single word you wrote. On the surface, all these things can appear obvious. Dig deeper and you'll find that every single sentence rings of truth. I've discovered this after years of soul-searching, self-discovery and observation. Striking a delicate balance demands a lot of work, learning to give and take and be satisfied with less than we've bargained for at times. Happy people create a positive aura and radiate positive vibes, we all want to be around them so why not be one of them instead?

peggy braswell

What a fabulous list,great food for thought! Number 4 branches off into all of the ones you have listed + Ahhh sweet Self-Confidence. Thank you dear Vicki. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Ingrid Mida

Dear Vicki,
It seems to me that you already exhibit all these characteristics and need not work on any of them. Everything you write and do is done with elegance, grace, humour, confidence and joy. The appeal of your blog is that your inner beauty shines through!


You said it – perfectly. I especially agree with #2 "contentment." I think if we all were 100% accepting of ourselves we wouldn't act out so fiercely against one another. It's a project, I agree!


Those principles of wisdom are definately valuable for men too, for human beings in general ! Congratulations for this pretty good article !

under spanish moss

Vicki, this is a mostly timely post for us. We are each working on a few of these right now! Wonderful words of advice and encouragement.
Big Hugs,
Angela and Renee


I have to say you have hit the nail on the head! Truer words never spoken; thank you for this.


You are so right Vicki. I just had one of those days when I felt bloated, grumpy and unattractive and although I had put make up on and done my hair etc, it was because I din't have at least 7 from your list of 10.
Beautifully written as always.
Clare x

Antique ART Garden

I just found your blog from Rebecca who has this link in her Life and Godliness blog. I agree with all, as a Christian, trying to be less Self-confident and more GOD -confident, easier said than done though. All this world's focus on self has done us in, or is doing us in. Gratitude spurs us into the contentment area. Great post !thanks, Gina


"The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for." – Joseph Addison

More words to live by.


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