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Fabulous You!

20 Oct

Did you know….

The cosmetic industry does a measly $8 BILLION a year? Or that Americans spend approximately $10 BILLION a year on plastic surgery? Or that the weight loss industry annual expenditures are estimated to be around $60 BIllion a year? These figures mean we are buying what they are selling.

But if someone came to your front door trying to sell you a new vacuum or a life insurance policy that you don’t need would you buy it? No. You wouldn’t because you know you do not need it or want it. Yet why are you saying yes to our society’s concept of beauty?

Why are we buying make-up, diets and plastic surgery that we probably don’t need? Is it because we are fascinated with our external appearance? Are we obsessed with how we look? Are we so easily manipulated and influenced by other people’s image of beauty?

I believe its because we lack self-love.

We are so convinced we are not good enough as we are, that we are vulnerable to marketing campaigns that tell us what we secretly already believe to be true. We accept the industry standards and messages that keep us pinned down. We are paralyzed by the images and messages that tell us our self-loathing is accurate. We have bought into the idea that we can be more, we can be enough, if only we improve our external appearance. Then we will be loved, we will be accepted, we will have all we deserve and we will finally be happy.

But all the make-up and exercise in the world won’t make us happy or contented if we don’t truly value ourselves first. There is nothing wrong with make-up that accentuates your natural beauty or watching your calories/working out to be healthy and to feel better about yourself. But these things need to be seen as only tools that support the fabulous you. We need to stop listening to the voices in our heads that tear us down. We need to be kinder, gentler, nicer, to ourselves. We need to tell ourselves we are beautiful, vibrant and sexy just the way we are. We need to believe that who we were born to be is plenty, in fact its more than enough, its fantastic!!! Because there is nothing more attractive than a woman who owns and accepts who she is; a woman who is confident in her worth; a woman who is authentic and lets her true self and light shine through.

SHINE FABULOUS GIRL SHINE

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Timeless Blessing

13 Sep

Timeless:  without beginning or end; eternal; everlasting.

Blessing:  something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity. On September 8th I turn 65, and I am pleased to share my thoughts for the Sevibeau blog.

Taylors GraduationMy definition of timeless blessing:  Family, friendship, love, and beauty; they may change over the years but the reality is they are timeless and truly a blessing. Whether you are in touch once a week, or once a year, true friendship has NO timeline. My life has been, is, and always will be a timeless blessing because of those who have touched my life whether for a second or for a lifetime. CocoaWe are shaped and Cheryl Dudley and Busteroftentimes defined by our life connections, most of the time they are good, and sometimes they have their challenges. No matter good or bad, we can choose to grow from beach scenethese experiences by keeping joy in our hearts, making a conscious decision to begin each day with happiness, and not dwell on sadness or disappointment. Keep smiling, keep positive, and keep moving forward; your spirit will naturally radiate love and beauty.

 

  

Molding Young Lives

16 Jul

When I think of SeviBeau, I am reminded of Connie’s fearlessness to take on something new with her passion, love, and the best intentions. How she does so is awe inspiring!  Over the years that I have been privileged to know her, she has had so many wonderful ideas of new business ventures… each and every one thinking of how to improve the lives of others.  If everyone thought like this, our world would have a different dynamic. I know that her thoughts and gestures have inspired me to be a better person and to lead a less selfish life!  I am sure I am not alone.  Generosity and love are contagious.  Keep spreading it Connie!!

In speaking with Connie about her expectations in this blog, she suggested I use my children as my inspiration.  My children are mind-boggling to me!  How do two children, born and raised in the same environment, turn out soooo completely different?  Despite their differences, they both amaze me in their abilities to take on the world!

My expectation as a first time mom was that I would have boys.  I had 4 brothers and just didn’t expect anything different.  HAHA.  A different plan was in place, as I was blessed with two beautiful girls.  My biggest fears were (and continue to be) how to raise them as independent, confident women.  So far, my fears have been somewhat assuaged as both of my girls have exhibited qualities that are in line with SeviBeau’s qualities of inner beauty.  Throughout the raising of my girls, I try to instill in them basic principles that I believe are important traits that will lead them to be the women I know they can be.  Honesty and respect being very high on this list.  Nothing makes me more proud than when my daughters show that they are learning and living things that I’ve tried to teach.  Both girls have made me proud in so many ways!

Hannah

My oldest encompasses the vibrant trait the most, though she is definitely beautiful and likely sexy as well (though I’d like to stay in denial about the latter).  My favorite thing about her is her confidence.  Mostly through her elementary years, she didn’t care what others thought.  Many people talked to me about how much they loved her attire and her spirit.  She has a carefree spirit and always brings more fun to any situation.  Frankly, vibrant and crazy go a little hand-in-hand and I LOVE HER CRAZY FUN side!  As she is maturing, the outer vibrant dressing that was often on display has shifted.  And, though it saddens me a little to see her conforming, I still see her vibrant ways in her good natured, hard-working spirit!

My youngest is my snuggle-bunny-love-bug.  Her love and empathy for others is a great example of beauty within!  If you are her friend or family member, Sophieconsider yourself special.  She will embrace you and love you with all that she is.  This trait has caused some very sad mommy moments.  We lost a grandfather-type neighbor years ago.  She still carries the love for him and sheds sincere tears over his death.  I love that she loves so deeply.  However, the pain she feels for this and other losses is so difficult to witness!  She also burdens her heart with concerns for others.  Recently, a speech she heard in her class about lung cancer included that chewing tobacco can be a contributor.  Because of this, she asked to talk to me privately and shared true concern for her Uncle who chews.  I suggested she talk to him about it and she did.  I love that she feels confident to be honest in sharing her feelings.  Consequently, he proudly shared a few weeks later that he has stopped.  She was very happy to have influenced his decision.  This is just one example of how her caring, loving ways affected the life of someone else!

Along the way, I have watched many parents in how they interact with their children.  When I am particularly impressed by a child or better yet a family, I Sandy and the galsalways take time to ask for suggestions.  How did their children get to this point?  What are their parenting tips?  Though, I do realize every child is different and no two situations will yield the same results.  Luckily, I have also had an abundance of family to learn from as well.  My grandmothers, aunts, mother, and friends have all contributed in one way or another to how I raise my children.  Favorite quotes I regularly use in my home include: “When you know better, you do better”, by Oprah Winfrey and “Life is full of choices, it’s up to you what to choose” or “Boredom is a choice”, both by Grandma Wallace.  As a mother, I am work-in-progress.  Every action and reaction is a learning experience for me.  I have so much further to go and look forward to the journey with my mind-boggling children!

Please note that as I am writing this blog from my perspective as their mom, I Paul and the girlscannot leave out that my husband is major contributor to how my girls are being raised.  The love he shows to me and both girls is a beautiful thing!  He provides them with guidelines that support my values and many that supplement them as well.  We are definitely in this together!

Thank you to Connie and SeviBeau for helping me reflect on what I want for my girls and on what they have done for me to this point! Thank you also for being an inspiration to me in my daily life and in giving back!  You are SEVIBEAU!!  You have the beauty within!  I LOVE YOU MY DEAR FRIEND!

Look Closely and In All Directions

28 Jun

June…the month of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, June brides, and in San Diego, June gloom. Summer is here, and even here in San Diego, the weather has begun to show signs of hot days to come.  I had signed up to write this blog for Connie many months ago because it is my birthday month. Little did I know that as soon as the month started, it would fly by and be close to done before I began to write! I’ve had a lovely month…much of it supportive of the Beauty Within attitude supported by SeviBeau.

Even things that might be considered sad, were still in keeping with the SeviBeau beliefs, for on June 15th, I attended a Memorial Service for a dear friend of mine who passed away in May. She was 86, so I don’t grieve her going too soon—although any time is too soon for someone who is vibrant, seemingly healthy, and sound of mind. My friend was all those things the last time I saw her. Sadly, I didn’t see her in the last months of her life, and I wish I had. This dear woman had been a champion for all that I’ve accomplished; yet at her memorial service, I realized that she had been a champion for everyone in her life. She was one of those people who found your good and focused on it, complimented it, and helped you own it. She not only was filled with Beauty Within, she knew how to help everyone around her find their own Beauty Within. And, to me, that is her legacy. I was honored to have known her.

But, to move along, and in keeping with June being my birthday month, with three dear friends, I took a mini-roadtrip from San Diego to Palm Springs to celebrate my birthday weekend. We stayed in a reconditioned, redesigned old Holiday Inn that is now called the Saguaro Palm Springs. saguaro_longshotTalk about color! Walls and décor were vibrant—pinks, greens, oranges, yellows, and purples. The only room we found that wasn’t outlandishly painted was the women’s restroom off the main lobby. It had an orange ceiling, but its walls were a black and white graphic flower pattern. At first, I thought it was plain, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. You had to look up to see the color…the rest of the room was graphically painted, but all in black and white. It reminded me of us. Sometimes our bright side has to be searched for…we need to look in all directions to find that splash of color. It doesn’t mean that we’re boring or flat, it just means that we’ve saved our vibrant selves for those who look a little more closely—for those who care enough to keep searching for our exciting parts.

SeviBeau is much like that. At first glance, it is the lovechild of a creative woman who designs and builds delightful jewelry. That in itself is nice, but you can find a lot of websites that hold creations of men and women who are just as talented, just as passionate about their work. It’s when you look closer, when you peel away the top layer and go deep that you find the true creative and altruistic soul of SeviBeau. That is where you’ll see the core values of its creator shine through—it’s there that the Sexy, Vibrant, Beautiful Women who share the same vision as the owner come together in spirit. It’s there that they connect, network, teach, and support one another. And, no matter how many new pieces of jewelry are named and sold, the heart of the site is the men and women who share ideas, thoughts, comments, laughs, and delights. SeviBeau is unique and special—but you have to look closely to realize that. It does my heart proud to know that my kid began it all with a dream.

Shhhhh…

23 May
Shhhhhhhh - Read Judy's guest blog spot.

Judy (on right), being her vibrant self…but is there more??

Sexy.  Vibrant.  Beautiful.

I’m lucky to squeeze out one attribute of the bunch.  But I own that one, whole-heartedly.

I didn’t realize when I agreed to guest blog for my dear friend Connie that this assignment would cause so much soul searching and introspection.  But isn’t that the best kind of favor:  The one that originates as a good deed for another and ends up being every bit a gift to yourself?

I SO wanted to share something 100% positive in the worst way possible, but I’m finding that this kind of sharing comes as it comes.  It’s impossible to “fake it,” and I’m certain that Connie would want no part of something inauthentic.  There is no place for insincerity at SeviBeau.

I am completely on-board with a self-assessment of “vibrant.”  I’m killin’ “vibrant.”  I wrote the book on “vibrant,” if I do say so myself.  And I DIG that about me!  A friend once described me as a person who would try anything once.  I think it was a simple observation, but I received his words as a supreme compliment.  When I’m at my vibrant best, every stranger is a friend just waiting to be met; every “good time” is ripe for the pickin’; and every chance to laugh – and laugh heartily – is seized.  I enjoy joy, if that makes any sense.  And I’d say I operate in this “hyper-vibrant” mode more often than not, which is good for me and loud for everyone else.  And I’m cool with that.

But I struggle with “sexy” and “beautiful,” and not out of false modesty.  While pondering my own “beauty within,” I’ve come to realize that I do not have any ownership over these two traits.  They are entirely external to me.  That’s not to say I’ve never felt either way about myself before but, through this self-examination, I realize both states are completely dependent upon the feelings, opinions, and gestures of others.  “Beauty without,” if you will.  Pun intended.

The writer in me acknowledges the need for a paragraph regarding the meaning of this realization, but it is without epiphany.  Really, what DOES it mean that I am unable to perceive myself as beautiful or sexy in the absence of external assignment?  Am I alone here, or is this a more commonly held self-belief among women than we care to acknowledge?  Is it derivative of poor self-esteem?  I’m thinking not, as I have no problem proclaiming my vibrance.  Is it a fear of being perceived as vain?  I’m having difficulty accepting that possibility, as no woman is made to wear a scarlet “S” or “B” for recognizing herself as sexy or beautiful.  In fact, we’re “allowed” to feel this way about ourselves and no one ever needs to know.  Shhhhhhh.

So, I’ve come away from this experience with a self-diagnosis of “Se-Beau Intolerance” and more questions than answers, but maybe this will be a conversation starter.  Perhaps someone reading this has it all figured out.  If so, I beg of you to share the solution with the sisterhood!  It’s the only right and decent thing to do for womankind.  Until then, my vibrant self patiently awaits a cure.

Traces of Ourselves

16 Mar

IMG_7849 SeviBeau is thrilled to bring you this month’s guest blogger, Holly Cortell. This is her to the left. Holly is one of the most talented writers I know, and I was confident she would bring us a unique and heartfelt interpretation of Sexy Vibrant & Beautiful… and boy did she deliver. :)

I hope her words sound as sweet for your ears as they do for mine.

-ConnieO

Sexy…

You miss out on the sweet
when you don’t taste the sugar
Brown sugar meltin’
slippin’ an’ slidin’ through your fingers
like maple syrup
Don’t you wanna taste?
Honey ain’t no sweeter
Candy don’t taste no better than this
don’t miss
the sweet kiss
of my sugar
my brown sugar on your lips

Vibrant…

A Woman’s Life is a Marathon.
We run hills, and valleys, and wide-open spaces
distances so long and varied
the miles become etched in our faces
And everywhere we go we leave behind
Traces of ourselves
Because for all the paths in all the places
and the many trails she blazes
A Woman’s Quest is clear
All the running and all the races
and all the finish lines she chases
Are so you’ll remember she was here

And dear God, I’m here.  I’m here!

Beautiful…

When I was a child, I was a sentence with no verbs.  Just a pile of nouns and adjectives.  A jumble of words.  Silent, still building blocks taking up space, going nowhere.  Stuck to a blank page and dreaming of a future in colors so bright it hurts now to remember them.
Today, I’m a sentence of verbs.  Words floating in the ether; meandering, breathing, shifting, weeping, running.  Moving.  Energy that exists but takes up no space.  Anti-matter with no place to dream, orbiting a stark, gleaming white page with no who or what to explain me.  Wondering, what kind of story am I?  And if no one is reading, am I a story still?
Maybe I am a poem.  A poem full of colors, and wonder, and mystery.   Of heartache and triumph.  With edges and curves.  Words that move and bend and meet.  That matter.  That mean something to some scribe somewhere beyond the sprawling pages of space.
Maybe the words that have always been missing aren’t missing at all and I am complete as I am.   Living as I am written: rhythmic and challenging, charming and tragic.  With magic.
Maybe – just maybe – I am beautiful.  And all the words that I am, I am meant to be.

You Are My Best Friend

18 Feb