I wrote the poem below some time ago after Nigel’s book was released and watching an episode of Ellen DeGeneres with Madonna regarding bullying. A subject passionately shared and fortunately being brought into light more and more these days. However, today I went to wish my cousin Lori a “Happy Birthday” and was reminded of her daughter Ashlee’s birthday (she would have been 19 this Tuesday). I didn’t have the privilege of meeting her, but she’s left a beautiful impact on my life, though she lost hers in 2008. I wanted to celebrate their birthdays by sharing their love, and came across my poem, which I felt reflected the Holtman family’s strong and encouraging spirit. Ashlee’s short life was lived fully and I am happy to share in celebrating her! A group was formed on facebook in memory of her, which is filled with heartfelt love, joy, and hope reflecting her and her life! R.I.P. Ashlee Holtman! You will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts
After reading Nigel’s article about charm, it brought to mind a question asked of me recently. “Do you really believe the stuff you are writing about?” I answered honestly, “absolutely!” They wanted to know if I was avoiding the realities of my life by posting positive messages. There are, and may be many challenges to face, and they are as real as the day is long, but I am not defined by them and refuse to be. I am not less than because of financial, physical, or any situations; having or not having, limitations or not, merely are what they are, not who I am.
As Nigel pointed out so eloquently in his article, “People completely underestimate just how powerful and persuasive they can be by applying simple and elementary charm.” He concludes, “commitment and faith in what you are doing can easily be disbelieved if when you describe what your doing you sound unsure of yourself. That’s why you’re safe when you’re honest. Avoid being negative but also don’t become a bullshit merchant just to please. There is good to be found in almost anything – seek it out and verbalize it!”
Charm is the action we can give easily through our sincere hearts. It is how I could say yes, I do believe what I am saying…and I wholeheartedly do! I was seeking professional advice/direction on my writing. Something I am leaping out of my box into, somewhat new and unfamiliar ground. I have kept a journal for over a decade, and is a special part of my life. Being a “writer” is a title I never considered, or dreamed of…the desire was beyond me, and let’s leave it at that for now! It has evolved, and my life for a few years has forced some reevaluating and new directions, and after acquiring many skills coupled with my talents, a writer was still not remotely on a list to do or become. Yet, here I am…writing, maybe not a published author…yet, but none the less, it is what I am ”doing” at this moment .
Exploring options, trusting in myself after many hardships leading me here, redefining life as I know it, and through my faith gained over many years, able to focus through sincerity, and hopefully with charm, honestly share the hopes and encouraging parts of my journey with others. No, life is not perfect, or a cliché “bed of roses,” but I choose to be determined instead of defeated and though there could easily be countless moments in a day to defeat me, I choose to live, to love, to give, to serve, to inspire and create, to savor every moment as the precious gift it is. To delight in the friendships formed here through cyberspace, and make honest attempts to spend time with those I hold dearest to me, the simple things in life are my greatest gifts. Choosing gratitude, if only for the breath in me at this moment, unleashing the vision of seeing all before me and the great things to come! To laugh often, to cry when I need to, dance when able, rest when needed, to strive harder to keep moving and find whatever positive ways I can to survive the challenges that come my way, with hopes of lifting someone up through their difficulties. Isn’t that what we are called to do!?
Thank you once again Nigel and Crissy for offering a beautiful venue to connect and grow with amazing people across this globe, for sharing your hearts and visions with us, allowing us the insight and inspiration to reach…and soar to farther than ever before. I appreciate so much the friendships gained through us all writing…what a priceless gift! Abundant blessings to you all!
We all have features we are drawn to on others. It can be an off color question to ask. We can easily guess for most men, ha , but for me it’s the eyes. I get mesmerized by blue eyes…you know the kind you can get lost in! (probably because mine are brown…why is it that we want what we don’t have?!) None the less, the eyes are my favorite physical aspect of others, followed closely by a great smile.
Photographers are a privileged lot that motivate and capture beauty while transforming them into artful masterpieces. My cousin Melody recently had a photo session done and was entered in a contest, I am delighted to report she won 1st place with the photo below…my personal favorite!
I really enjoyed the photographer’s perspective & choice of vintage appeal she uses to transform “ordinary women into pin-up models.” As an admirer of art and creativity, I love the vibrant colors Brandy used in Melody’s shoot, making her gorgeous blue eyes pop, as if she were gazing, (in this case, somewhat seductively) right at you.
What captivates your gaze? A loved one, sunset, smile, or favorite pet!? The Beauty Equation delicately motivates us to see the beauty we possess with encouraging stories, tips, and guidelines for success. Next time you glance in the mirror, may you see all the many distinguished qualities you have.
“Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.” ~Khalil Gibran
Endless blessings to you all! ~Janine