"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. "
-Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Let Us Be Bold...

So Monday I made an abrupt change in my hair style.  I am now the proud owner of a mo hawk.  I had my husband do the cutting for me and he did great!!  The interesting thing now is that the comments I am receiving all center around this idea that I'm a brave soul for making such a drastic change.  Or...you are one of the few people who can really wear that hairstyle.... I began to wonder about what it means to be 'bold'.

The day after cutting my 'bold' haircut, I received the neatest text message from a friend.  The e-card said, "Be BOLD, Italic, but never Regular."  She stated that she loved me and our friendship because I helped her to be 'bold'.

Now...I'm really curious about boldness and what it truly means to be bold.  Is it an attitude?  Is it an actual personality trait?  Is it something that can be taught??  Let's see what Wikipedia says..  Wikipedia defines boldness as the opposite of being shy, courage.

All I do know for sure is that I am to the point in my life that I feel it is unnecessary to worry what others think of my hair or my outfit or whatever.  I've discovered that 9 times out of 10 the ones we worry that are judging or critiquing us are just as worried that WE are doing the same to them.  I see so many women caught up in what others think, what others define as happy, what others say is 'right', and most importantly, what others say is beautiful.  As women we have to be bold and courageous!!  We have to know that we are beautiful as we are and that if we want to wear funky, crazy clothes.... great!!  We have got to become comfortable in our own skin so that we can walk tall and be proud of who we are!!!

Be your own kind of bold....whatever that means to you.  Perhaps this means trying a new vibrant red lipstick, or maybe a bold colored shoe...whatever it means to you, do it!!!! Life is full of mundane, regulars....lets be the BOLD and Italics of the world!!  Life is far too short to look back and wonder 'what if??'  My own personal BOLD is a mo hawk hair style....at least for now.  Next month it may be a completely shaved head...who knows?  The point is, don't listen to that old adage of 'staying inside the lines'.  Perhaps we try coloring outside the lines every once and a while, just to keep things fresh and interesting.  Be daring....be adventurous....be Italic...but most of all...be BOLD!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A beautiful weekend indeed

My weekend started out quite chaotic....no water for a little over an hour and a half....STILL no cell phone service from AT&T....and too much schedule juggling.  Whew....but, thankfully that one moment in time was no indication of how great the weekend would end up. :)

I've still had zero reactions to my no makeup and now, I'm kind of over it all.  I guess I'm not really looking for any.  I feel like I'm more receptive to others, more attentive to things around me so I'm less focusing on what others are thinking about me and more towards how others are feeling.

I had a great date with my Andrew Friday evening.  We enjoy each others company so much!!  I can't imagine being in a relationship with someone I didn't want to spend time with.  He truly completes me.  We had dinner and then purchased a couple movies we hadn't seen.  The first movie was 'Cloud Atlas'.  It was very unusual but so good!!!  This movie showed how when we love others, our actions spark other actions that we may or may not ever see in our lifetimes, but all of these actions are connected throughout time.  Our spirits may pass from body to body, but the love never changes.  It was such an intense movie that I know I will need to watch it again to be sure I get it all.  This movie definitely made us smile, laugh, cry and think.  It is amazing to me just how important love truly is in each of our lives and daily interactions. This movie opened my eyes a bit wider to really see how one act or one kindness done in love truly goes full circle and never dies.  Our second movie was 'P.S. I love you'. I have to say...I LOVED this movie!!!  It made me cry on several occasions.  The love portrayed was so touching and real, it reminded me of my own relationship.  There were so many beautiful moments in the movie....true moments about true love and the depths of true love.  Both movies, as different as they are, are so very much the same.  They both showed how, no matter what happens in this life, love will never change or cease to exist.  Love is what it is truly all about.  Without love we have nothing.  I am reminded of a great Beatles lyric, "and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."  If we give love and show love, we will be given and shown love in return.

This weekend culminated last night with me and my husband watching the Grammy's on television.  It was a fairly good show up until about 10:30, that's when it became amazing, beautiful and inspiring.  During a Macklemore and Lewis performance of "Same Love", 33 couples exchanged wedding vows and were united as married couples.  The couples were same sex, opposite sex, interracial, you name it....it brought me to tears.  This amazing event showed that its really all about love.  We need to stop judging, stop hating, stop turning the other cheek....and we need to start loving...truly, deeply, sincerely loving each other despite the differences we 'think' we have.  Seeing the true beauty within and loving that is what 'true love' is all about.

 Buddha said it well when he said, "hatred is never ended by hatred but by love."  Just love.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Beauty is the Eye of the Beholder

I'm not sure if the Universe wanted me to be having this experiment at this exact time, but it seems like there are so many things I'm noticing related to beauty and what we as women tell ourselves about beauty.  Yesterday on a national morning news program, the co-host commented that she was afraid to get married because she didn't want to fail.  She and the other co-host were joking about why she hadn't 'tied the knot' yet.  She said she didn't want to fail and that she was afraid that if she got married and (gesturing with her hand around her face) if this all went away, she'd surely scare her new husband away.  She was making an all too familiar joke with women regarding how they look without their makeup. My ears instantly perked up at what she was saying and how the men co-host was reacting.  He laughed right along with her in her joke.  Why do we instantly think that without our makeup, men would go 'running for the hills'??  Whatever happened to a great personality, intelligence and sense of humor being tops on the list????  Why, on national television, is a woman stating that the reason she is afraid to get married is because she doesn't want the future husband to see her without all her makeup???? It is so sad to see that even in this form of media, we are getting the message that to be beautiful, a women must be dressed a certain way, look a certain way and above all, wear makeup.  This mindset is deeply ingrained in so many women across so many demographics...what can we do, as women, to stop the cycle????

A co-worker and I were looking at a very cute and stylish dress and she had nothing but negative things to say about her body and how she perceived it would look in the dress.  She said her hips were too wide, her chest too flat....and finally I looked at her and said,..."now that you've been so negative about yourself this morning, how about you tell me FIVE positive things about your body that you love."   Needless to say, she had a difficult time getting to five things.  My heart broke because I know, personally, it is so much easier to focus on the things we hate about ourselves rather the things we find beautiful.  When did we go from being 'beautiful princesses' at age 5 to negative self hating women at 25???  We need to change that little voice in our head and start looking for the beauty once again.  We need to see that we are princesses and we are beautiful just the way we were created.

My reactions to going sans makeup have still been minimal at best.  Not a single blink or double take.  I'm beginning to feel more and more comfortable in my own natural skin.  I'm no longer looking for the reactions, I'm challenging myself to become more attune to the women around me and what they need to hear. As women, we need to be uplifting to each other and take notice of too much negative self talk.  We need to be each others cheerleaders!! My challenge to whomever is reading and keeping up with this blog, find 5 things daily about yourself that you love.  Say these five things aloud, write them down and post them on your various mirrors and maybe, just maybe we can begin listening to the positive rather than the negative.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so maybe we starting seeing OURSELVES as beautiful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Days 1-2 of the Regression Challenge

Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction.  This, as defined by Wikipedia, is an interesting definition of beauty that goes hand in hand with my regression challenge.  This definition got me to thinking...since beauty is solely a perceptual experience, can we change our perceptions??  When are we too old to changes perceptions we may have had for many years??  One of my goals in this experiment is to perhaps change or modify the perception in others and/or myself.  What if we were able to re-define beauty as we all know it???  How much of an impact could this change make?  

So far in my quest, I've not had any questions regarding my appearance minus the makeup.  I worked yesterday in my salon and had one client that I could tell she noticed something was different, but didn't say anything.  Today I worked at my other job and neither the co-workers or customers seemed to take notice.  I, however, have noticed slight changes within myself.  I noticed yesterday that I wasn't checking on a regular basis to make sure my blemishes were concealed, because I knew they weren't. I haven't noticed any grand personality changes as of yet, but I can say that I feel more honest.  I'm a very straightforward person with those that I know and not having any makeup made it a challenge to interact with strangers.  Maybe I'm thinking too much into this, but I do know it was difficult to make eye contact with people yesterday and today it seems to be getting easier.  Perhaps my true confidence is building....  

I am excited to see how each day progresses and how I change and grow in this experience.  I am hoping to impact others lives as well.  I want women and men, but particularly women, to really think deeply about what they find beautiful within them....challenge themselves to see the beauty beneath the makeup.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Year...New you??

Happy New Year!!  With those three little words we automatically feel the need to improve our lives, health, jobs and relationships.  What if we regress rather than move forward???  I've heard it said that change for the sake of change is not always a good thing.  What if progression for the sake of progressing were the same way??? This thought got me to wondering...what if I make a resolution to regress rather than progress???  How would this be perceived??  How would I be perceived?  What would my friends and family think?  How would this affect my clients in my salon??  Would anyone even notice???

Being in the beauty industry, image is everything....truly. As a salon owner and stylist, my job is to make others look as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.  I love what I do and the instant gratification that comes along with it...but, I've begun to notice how wrapped up we as a society are becoming over our looks and all that comes with that.  I began to notice how many people are so worried about "looking the part".  I see so many naturally beautiful people who have little to zero self confidence and I wondered if it all went hand in hand with our need to "look beautiful".  Have we forgotten the real meaning of beauty??  Do we know what it means to be beautiful??  How confident would we be if we stripped down all the things that made us beautiful and just lived our lives and truly sought out the real beauty in life..???    

So....I've decided to begin this stripping down process.  For the next 90 days I will be stripping down and regressing in areas of my life that may or may not be related to my physical appearance.  First thing to go is my makeup.  To some this may sound like no big deal, but to me, its huge.  I've worn makeup ever since I was 17 years old...I'm 35 now, so that is a long time. In this process of stripping down things, my goal is to blog the responses, if any, that I receive.  I thought long and hard about why I wear makeup and what it is that I feel as if I gain.  I have come to many different conclusions.  One, makeup makes me feel as if I can camouflage my physical flaws, whether real or perceived.  I feel as though I am able to face the world with a renewed confidence when I am in my makeup.  Am I truly this confident with my makeup or is it simply a perceived confidence??  I want to get to the bottom of this very question in this regressing project.  We see so many confident men out in the world...and they generally do not wear makeup, so what gives??  Are women the weaker sex and lacking in natural confidence that we feel the need to build ourselves up in whatever way possible with makeup and 'beauty' products??  Do women lack the self esteem to just be real and completely natural as most men??  Is the 'double standard' that we all gripe about something that we as women created or is it what men prefer???  

Stay tuned to this blog for more stripping and regressing and the reactions that may or may not happen.  I'm hoping for an enlightened perspective on what true beauty really is.  I hope that in this project, I am able to re-define beauty as we know it, or at least in my own eyes.