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.

Winging It

19 Mar

Angel croppedI’ve been frustrated lately by my inability to find words that I think are worthy of this blog. I so badly want these posts to be inspirational, poignant, and touching. I’ve been walking through my days, doing my own thing, just hoping that something would inspire me. Well, I think a little inspiration has struck. :)

Earlier this week, while I was working on my jewelry and corresponding with someone whom I hope soon to call my mentor, I had an epiphany. I was explaining that with my jewelry I pretty much just wing it. Often times, I start working on a project and realize I don’t have what I need, so I wing it. Sometimes I use items in ways far different from how they were intended to be used. At times when I get stuck or make a mistake, I somehow, without any skilled instruction, come up with something even better than what I originally intended–because I let myself wing it.

As I though about these actions, I realized they completely parallel my life. You see, I always have been pretty happy working with what I’ve had in any specific time and place, relying on what was around me to get by, and allowing my misfortune or mistakes to become blessings. All these years I’ve just been winging it, and I’m happy to say it has worked exceptionally well.

The whole concept of winging it made me wonder where the term winging it came from. As I asked myself this question, I immediately envisioned the wings of an angel. It was a big AH HA! moment. In that second, I understood that winging it is putting faith in the fact that my angels guide me in the right direction. It’s about letting go of control and allowing myself to be gently led in a direction that is good/right/best for me. It’s about allowing and not forcing. It’s about trust.

Photo generously provided by Davi Peterson.

I consider myself a spiritual person, but I am not a religious person; so this vision of an angel was rather extraordinary for me considering angels are not something I often reflect on. But the message was clear, because when I stopped and thought about what angels and their wings symbolized for me, the answers were obvious: Angels’ wings symbolize beauty and strength, they can be tucked away unseen or presented to the world with a majestic power. They can fly to heights beyond our known limits, and they can shield us from danger. Angels symbolize wisdom and kindness, sacrifice and altruism, security and hope, and of course, pure love.

It all makes perfect sense to me now, and it’s clear why winging it for all these years has worked for me. What better guidance could one ask for than guidance from an angel? So, if I can offer a bit of advice, please remember that you don’t always have to be in control. Because those moments when you aren’t, those moments when you are completely winging it, think about who’s got your back, and remember you are in exceptionally good care.

Traces of Ourselves

16 Mar