Summer is synonymous with sun, warmth and vacationing. As a kid, I would count down the days until the big break that came with summertime, a stretch of several months where I would play and enjoy time with family and friends.
I realize that while summer looks bright, in the eyes of many, it can also tell a very different story. A story of burns, heat waves and boredom. For some, summer is a more stressful and depressing time, a lull between work and productivity, a half-way mark signifying lack in accomplishment. The gloom with the glow, the burn with the bronze.
So what do you see, Beauties?
Do you connect to summer’s flowers or its occasional showers? Do you cherish the blooms or do you complain of the pollen? Do you adore the roses or do you hate the bees?
Why do I ask you all of this?
You know I love a good a flower reference. The blooms and brightness of summer hint to our own essence. We can choose to see our own beauty, or we can remain stuck with our roots underground, seeing no light or hope for another season.
For me, this year I’m overjoyed with bliss as I’m planning my fairytale wedding to the man of my dreams. So while times may be stressful (between us, Beauties, I have major allergies, my eyes are constantly dry, my nose is forever running and I just realized that this pesky rash on my arm is from my favorite perfume which I’m suddenly allergic to, ugh) — still, I choose to see summer’s sunshine and the beautiful blooms surrounding me.
My Beauties, I’d love to share some precious, recent moments from my life that offer up the opportunity to either connect to joy or focus on the pain. Like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, the choice is yours, mine, ours.
Beauties, what would you choose?
What you might see: Pedicured nails wrapped around a glass of fresh mango papaya juice, as the luxuriating lady ponders the glamorous lifestyle she’s been afforded. In just a few hours, she will be treated to a lavish lunch and a dozen roses. Her life is a Danielle Steele novel basically — it can’t be real.
What’s really going down: This is the first minute I had a single moment to myself. I finally caught my breath, finding the gratitude for just one moment of silence without needing to host countless guests and family members; without needing to answer a long list of questions that await. I finally kicked off my high heels to let my swollen feet breathe, and while I only had 15 minutes before getting back to the havoc, I squeezed out a small sliver of heaven at the spa— allowing myself to retreat into inner silence and to center, so that when I re-enter the madness, I could do so with love and grace.
What I choose to see: Two different spa waters? Do I go for the cucumber or citrus? The shade the leaves cast on the ground is so beautiful. Just looking at this moment gives me peace. I mean, now that’s living!
What you might see: A new Mercedes Benz SUV, with a bow on top, ready to be driven off the lot. Jeez, that’s an expensive car — that pretty brunette must be super rich. How does she look so thin in white? She must be a raging egotistical bitch, there’s no way someone wearing sunglasses inside could be normal.
What’s really going down: I just got a brand new car for my birthday, that I custom designed (both inside and outside). I had been waiting for it for over 6 months. I was beyond excited, and couldn’t wait to drive her off the lot. I even dressed to match the car! Side note: the green bow wasn’t a part of my design.
What I choose to see: A photo that I’ve held onto for months, because I was afraid to share a moment I’d looked forward to and worked hard for. This has been my dream car, and to have arrived at the moment when I could call it my own was emotional. Still, I hesitated to share it on social media, because of all the hate often spewed. I also see an opportunity to share my fear of success and what it might mean to claim it, so I take the leap and humbly celebrate my new ride! You should see the interior 😉
What you might see: A made-up brunette with her hair draped over her left shoulder just perfect so, casually snapping a selfie while sitting in brutal Los Angeles traffic. How many filters did she use?
What’s really going down: A brief moment in time between the hustle & bustle of rushing to multiple auditions and getting there on time, despite the massive billion car pile-up on the 101. It’s hot as hell, precisely 96 degrees outside, and I’d just finished letting the sweat drops dry. I’d also finally felt confident enough in my makeup to even take a selfie, feeling self-conscious snapping one because of how self-indulgent it looks and feels. Thank God for good lashes, right!? Also, I took about 15 selfies until I got this “good enough” one.
What I choose to see: A beautiful opportunity to overcome my momentary obstacles and supposed “imperfections” and be grateful for the skin I’m in, as well as the opportunity to drive around a gorgeous city to audition rooms that I’m finally getting called into. I see a young woman growing daily, learning to embrace and celebrate her current moment as much as humanly possible.
What you might see: A sexy moment in time of a “beach babe,” with just that right amount of cleavage and leg showing. Is she thinking deeply? Longingly? Or did she just position her face that way so that her sunglasses contour her face perfectly?
What’s really going down: It had been weeks since I gave myself any time to treat myself to a spa day. Today was the day I gave myself a spa morning, after which my fiance and I stopped by the beach to walk around before we turned around and flew home. Still feeling the spa high, I took a seat on the closest rock and did everything I could to be present. I caught a glimpse of crabs scurrying across the sand and rocks, and wondered where they were rushing to and from. They looked familiar. They were me. I was scurrying, burying my head in the sand, often forgetting to stop and take in the crisp ocean air. My fiance recognized the beauty of the moment, and snapped the above.
What I choose to see: A healthy woman who has make a conscious effort to tend to her inner and outer beauty. An often self-conscious beauty who struggles to synthesize celebrating herself with feeling silly about sharing her personal triumphs.
You see Beauties, so much of what we see hinges on our own perception. And if we spend all our time judging others and wondering why we were dealt terrible cards, we’ll lose the opportunity to connect to the deeper truth.
Choosing the good, the sunshine and the blooms in life is so much more rewarding than falling victim to the “oh, woe is me” mentality. Why? Because when we see the sunshine, it actually shines brighter. When we grow the beauty internally, it also reflects itself in the world all around us. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to try it for yourself. Let’s choose to see the good for summer’s entirety, and watch how magical this season becomes.
Also, next time you see a picture and feel the urge to judge the image, take a pause. Could there be more than meets the eye?
Bottom line, Beauties — let’s be open to seeing past the superficial and our own judgements, and let’s choose to connect to the beauty instead of the perceived “lack.” Life is what you make it, so let’s make it beautiful!