Page 1

The JANUARY 2016 | Series No. 2, Issue No. 2

ease

Issue

Embark on a Beautiful Detour & Embrace Change with Amy Oestreicher

ALSO

Pat Yourself on the Back • Beautify the Bathroom • Let Your Light Shine


I N THI S I S S U E

Create

ease

by Embracing Beauty

realize

Discover the beauty that is inside you by embracing meaningful self-care practices, positive mind-body products, a bold T H I S M O N T H ’ S COV E R : creativity, three beautiful Take a beautiful detour novels, your with Gutless & Grateful’s Amy personal Oestreicher and experience style, and beauty, ease, confidence, and your deepest humor in a whole new way. desires.

dwell

Infuse beauty into your home, from the smallest details to the overall sensibility of your space, by styling with feminine, divine touches; incorporating natural elements; and proclaiming positive affirmations through your décor..

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

live

Feel the ease of being your true self—through love and acceptance, authenticity and awareness, conscientiousness and confidence—and remember there’s nothing more beautiful than being you.


T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU VI S I ON

The Perpetual You is a movement in which women are encouraged to love and share who they already are. We believe in choosing, embracing, celebrating, and unleashing the best parts of ourselves-the parts that never change-our Perpetual Selves.

Welcome to t he Movement.

T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU TE AM

LaKay Cornell

Lee Lee Thompson

Jessie Leiber

Co-founder & Editor of all things people-related

Co-Founder & Editor of all things words-related

Editor of all things design-related

LaKay is a true believer in consciously orchestrating your life. She is a lover of people, networking, champagne, the world of self-actualization and social media. She can frequently be found enjoying craft beer and introducing friends to things they didn’t know they needed. You can find her on twitter @rootsandwings04.

The lee lee is a mother by choice, writer by trade, and designer by heart. She loves shopping, drinking, redecorating, and traveling. She keeps busy trying to do all of this while remaining true to her thrifty roots. Her online personalities include @leeleeinp and @boyswholovepink.

Jessie is a multi-disciplinary designer & art director striving to make her world more pixel perfect. When not staring at computer screens, she can be found singing (loudly) in her car or compulsively buying striped shirts. You can stalk her on Instagram @jessieleiber or see work with her at createlittlelegends.com.

THE EASE ISSUE

|

3


T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU MAKE RS

The Perpetual You wouldn't be possible without the help of our amazing team of volunteers. We would love to take this opportunity to introduce them to you.

Jennifer Photography Jennifer Wenzel is a wedding and lifestyle photographer in the nation's oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. She never leaves the house without her camera, because beauty is all around waiting to be found! You can connect with her on Instagram @jenwenzelphoto or hop over to her website.

Walker Sisters

Sarah A.

Photography

Photography

Deb Photography

Amy and Kay Walker traverse New England and beyond chasing sunsets, circling crowded dance floors, capturing tears and laughter, all in the pursuit of preserving stories of love, friendship, and family. You'll find a camera around Kay's neck, a paintbrush in Amy's hand, and joy on both their faces as they do what they love best. See some of their work online and connect with them at @walkerstudiosllc.

Sarah Annay is a full-time photographer, storyteller and globe-trotter. When she’s not taking photographs she’s teaching, blogging, relaxing by the waves in St. Augustine, introducing herself to the newest craft beers and camping in Vermont. Sarah’s newest project is teaching photography workshops for women in Kolkata, India. See more of her photography on her website or @sarahannayphotography.

Deborahhannah Neele has been traveling the globe since birth. Growing up internationally and moving countries every two years, wandering has become her norm. She picked up photography out of gratitude for her crazy life. She lives in the Midwest, but since her bags are always packed, she may be across the ocean by next week. You can follow her on Instagram: @debneele

The Perpetual You is a place where creatives and coaches can come together to showcase their work and be part of a movement designed to shake up the world. Interested in adding your talents to the mix? Email hello@theperpetualyou.com.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Kirsten Graphic Design Kirsten Eike is a creative entrepreneur with a love for food, photography, and design. When she's not curling hair for her bridal clients, she spends time dabbling in hand lettering, food photography, and yoga. She is a true homebody and enjoys relaxing with a glass of wine and a good movie. You can peruse her lifestyle photos on Instagram or her beautiful hair styles @kirstenmariedesignllc.

Desha

Maya

Video

Photography Maya, of MOJALVO, is a cinematographer and photographer, capturing moments in hopes of telling rich stories of the world around her. On most days you can find her either: behind the camera lens, snuggled up with a big mug of coffee, baking something paleo, or exploring the northeast. See her work at mojalvo.com or on IG @mojalvo.

Kylie Graphic & Web Design Kylie Flaskos is a multidisciplinary Brisbane-based designer with a passion for organic food, animals and exploring Australia with her family. You can find her on Instagram @inkandpapercreative or experience more design here.

Desha Peacock is an Author, Retreat Leader & LifeSTYLE Design Coach. She’s helped hundreds of people find their “Sweet Spot,” a self-defined place of success & beauty. Her first book Create the Style you Crave on a Budget you can Afford, was listed in the Huff post as “the book to give your girlfriend” & sold out in less than 20 days. She’s been quoted in the Huffington Post, Yahoo News.com, Career Rookie, US News Money & has made radio & TV appearances across the nation. Get your free Sweet Spot Style Life + Biz Guide or join her on retreat.

Sarah S. Krystal

Editing & Proofreading

Video

Sarah Sandidge can often be found reading a book. When she’s not reading for fun, she’s reading for work as a freelance editor, which is also fun. Her love for language, cultures and sociology makes people fascinating to her even though she’s a bit of an introvert, albeit a chatty introvert. When she isn’t glued to a written sentence, she is spending time with her family, mostly taking care of her two beautiful children somewhere in the heart of Missouri. See how cute they are on Instagram @LulainLondon.

Krystal Brandt, Authenticity Coach, is a soulful, sensual siren who lovingly and powerfully guides highachieving women back to their innermost desires by reintroducing them to their own intuitive whispers of wisdom. She brings a provocative, feminine and powerful edge to creating deeply connective experiences where vulnerability is invited, divisive walls come down and your truest self comes out to play.

Susanna Editing & Proofreading

P.K.

Susanna Brown loves traveling through time with words and often has her head buried in a good book. She enjoys trying new vegetarian dishes, shopping, and going places she's never been. She is a writer of both historical and contemporary fiction for young people of all ages, as well as an editor and proofreader. She lives in Memphis, TN with a Yorkie named Boston.

Editing & Proofreading Our resident proofreader, P.K. McGill can typically be found on her back patio—enjoying a cocktail, talking with friends, yelling at her puppies, cavorting with her husband—or all of the above. Her better-known alias is Nani: she has four amazing, smart, & talented grandchildren, who all take after her. Connect with her on Facebook.

THE EASE ISSUE

|

5


WE L COME

Society Members, embrace beautiful music by listening to our Spotify mix.

“Every scar that you try to hide All the dark corners of your mind Show me yours and I'll show you mine Let me love you from the inside out” - Madonna

A

hhh January: the month that gets kind of a bad wrap. We are bombarded with constant messages that we need to resolve to change, be better, grow, lose weight, budget, plan...you know what I’m talking about. Many of us dread January just for that reason. If that weren’t enough, we also enter January hungover from the holidays. I recently read that January is the most common - “sober month” - when more people pledge to go the whole month without alcohol or sugar to recover from the indulgences of the Holiday Season.

Join our mailing list to read the current issue and find out about special offers and freebies.

The truth is that life is full of ebb and flow. There are times when energy is high, lights are bright, and music is loud. These periods are naturally followed by slowing down, seeking comfort in the quiet, and snuggling with our loved ones. If we think not of January as a new beginning, but as a point on the continuum of our lives, we can embrace its quiet as natural and needed. And what true beauty there is in quiet: in giving our selves and lives the space to refuel and regroup. This month, I encourage you to wrap your arms around yourself–to show yourself comfort and self-care—to love your scars, your style, your roots, your radiance. We take the best care of the things we love the most, and we love the most the things that we take the best care of. Beauty is an infinite circle. Start with taking care of yourself and ease into loving yourself.

Join the movement.


realize to align your daily practices with your

ever-evolving desires


REALIZE

Embrace

Yourself

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. — Etty Hillesum

I use what is already inside of me to reach my goals.

I

recently heard this statement on a television commercial in the wee hours of the morning. As someone whose job it is to help others, I immediately identified with this as a powerful, affirmative mantra. How many times have I asked my clients to take care of themselves without tasking myself in the same way? Each of us has the guttural instincts it takes to get through life's up and downs, but how often do we recognize the amazing job we are doing of taking care of ourselves?? I want to ask you a question: What have you done to take care of yourself today?

Many of us would answer this question with, “Nothing really,” only to follow that up with a laundry list of amazing self-care strategies we have done that day: following a routine, sleeping, staying busy, spending time with loved ones, remembering to eat…and the list goes on. Despite life challenges, daily stressors, and over-committed schedules, we all manage to find time to meet our basic human needs—and doing this is the root of good self-care. We engage every day in selfcare rituals. Why don’t we give ourselves credit?” There are many articles, books, and self-help gurus discussing the importance of self-care to our everyday overall well-being. An internet search of the term “self-care” will reveal a plethora of options on how to “make self-care a part of your life” or “create a

better self-care plan now.” This well-meaning advice often asks us to make changes to our current eating, sleeping, or activity routines or to change our thinking patterns. All of these changes are big and may be easier said than done. Why do we feel we need to be doing something “better” than we already are? Do our habits and routines really need to be comprised of “special” things in order for them to count as “self-care”? The answer is no. Not if we are mindful of what we are doing for ourselves in the moment. Taking a moment to reflect allows us to realize that we are already doing so much for ourselves every single day regarding self-care. The current routines and habits we perform each day to nourish our bodies and souls are absolutely enough. I walk our two beautiful dogs every day, multiple times a day. This is a non-negotiable part of my daily routine. Recently one morning, I realized I was criticizing myself for not “exercising more” (sound familiar?). Then I realized that thanks to having to attend to the dogs' basic needs, I am moving my body outside multiple times a day. Since then, I remind myself when I take care of the dogs that I am also taking care of myself.

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

9


7-Day Challenge Our Beauty Challenge starts on Monday, January 11th. Join our Facebook group The Perpetual You Society for details!

Start Today

and write down at least one way you cared for yourself in the last 24 hours. Maybe it’s as simple as sleeping or eating delicious food. Anything you’ve done that resulted in you feeling better counts! 

How often have you said one of the following: “I just don’t think to take care of me.”; “I’m just not good at self-care.”; or, “I just don't have time for selfcare.”? This is negative self-talk that can impact our understanding of self-care and fuel the notion that we aren’t doing enough. Replacing these thoughts with mindful and affirmative statements isn't just uplifting—it's actually true!

Be jealous of others. Think about all of the ways

You often take care of your own needs.

You can bring mindful awareness to your self-care practices if you:

Give yourself props. Take a moment right now

you care for others each day. Make a “laundry list” of all the things you do for others, from bathing to chauffeuring and everything in between. Which of these things do you also do for yourself? Circle those things you would like to do for yourself or have done for you.

Love yourself more. Choose something you do for others but don't normally do for yourself and make it a part of your self-care routine at least once this week. Remain present while doing this activity by reminding yourself of how much love and attention you deserve.

Focus on the good. Institute a mindfulness moment each day for the rest of the month. Set a reminder on your watch or phone so you don't forget! When the alarm goes off, take note of something you’ve done that day that made you feel good about yourself.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Your self-care habits make you feel better each day. You do many things each day that count as self-care: eating and sleeping, for starters! One of the easiest ways to embrace ourselves is to notice ways that we are already practicing self-care. Take pause. Be mindful of your self-care moments, no matter how routine they may be. Bring awareness to your self-care and relax with the peace of mind accomplishment brings.

Katie Lynch is a wannabe Buddhist, mindful psychotherapist, newbie wife, avid baker, and blissfully recovering perfectionist. She really believes that there isn’t any problem a hot cup of tea and a nice long nap can’t solve.


REALIZE

embrace

Mirror, Mirror–Reflections on the Way We Look by Isabel Duke, Pub 2004 Like an oozing spoonful of honey, this anthology of deeply personal poems by women about their own bodies is bound together by honest inner dialogues that may be hard to swallow alone, yet turn somehow sweet when consumed in the company of an understanding sisterhood. A collection as raw as it is ruthless, this book bleeds vulnerability and spins it into beauty. Women sharing their bodies with the world through thoughtful words and bravery ultimately amounts to a radiant and perception-challenging read. Think of it as a deep tissue scrub for your innermost beauty queen.

the Beauty Battle

A Wrinkle in Time

The Blue Girl

by Madeline L'Engle, Pub 1963

by Laurie Foos, Pub 2015

An oddball classic with many meaningful layers, this book lends its readers an incredible sense of selfworth. The young protagonist, Meg Murry, must battle everything from the ultimate source of evil to her own inferiority complexes. Interplanetary trips to recover her missing father mirror Meg's inner battles around selfworth; both struggles teach her the beauty that comes from embracing and proclaiming the very things that society has conditioned us to feel shame around. Allow this book to revive your mind and remind your heart that every path to radical self-love and beauty begins in our thoughts.

Keeping it bottled up, or rather, baked in–is the primary objective for six women living in an idyllic tourist town by the coast. In this unassuming work of magical realism, three mothers would rather bake their secrets and concerns into decadent Moon Pies and feed them to the terrifying, yet hauntingly innocent Blue Girl, than they would sit down and air out those grievances with their very own flesh and blood. This lavish story begs you to search for unrefined beauty & unrelenting acceptance–traits that only result when struggles are shared and fears take a back seat to that everattractive emotion–love.

Radically committed to magical mornings - Micayla is a wordsmith, entrepreneur, and mindset enthusiast living out a decidedly different post-secondary path while eating wholesome plants, drinking black coffee, hyper-organizing her days, and staying up too late working on poems. Lots more online and tweeting cheer from @Micayla_Vranic.

THE EASE ISSUE

|

11


REALIZE

Embrace of

Your Roots

May We Suggest‌ Warm up your soul with one of the following winter soups. Pair with a fresh loaf of bread and an appropriate wine, and dinner is served! Cauliflower & Cheddar (pictured), similar recipe via The Pioneer Woman Carrot & Coriander, recipe at Teabiscuit.org White Bean & Roasted Mushroom, recipe at She Wears Many Hats

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

the Comfort


A new year can bring with it the desire to try new things: perhaps you will check out the prepared foods section of a different market, or you were gifted a “cooking class” and have decided to take the plunge and make something out of nothing.

A

nother way to experience new is to reclaim or discover the tastes of your heritage. What comfort foods did you eat growing up? What recipes have your ancestors handed down through generations? What tastes, flavors, and smells do you want your children feeling deep in their bones? One of the oldest, most tried & true comfort recipes is root vegetable soup. With aroma and texture straight from the cellar, a soup or stew steeped in tradition can place us back into a time when simple was good enough for those we love. Fresh herbs bought locally and a sprinkle of ground pepper can modernize your grandmother’s soup recipe without making it pretentious or laborious. We have all strayed from our roots, out of necessity to become our fully realized, beautiful selves. Now, we can embrace once again those good, simple bits of our backgrounds that lie deep inside, those strong and pure impulses that make adulthood easier and more pleasurable–just as a warm, nurturing soup can.

Lee Lee Thompson is learning to be intentional, whether mothering, writing, designing, or imbibing. A true collector and bargain lover, she’ll shop you under the table at the thrift store of your choice. Follow her journey through pictures or through words. You’re also welcome to come hang out on her front porch.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

13


Order Your Kit Get 10% off when you order your next cocktail kit from Crafted Taste .

*

CRAF TE D COC KTAI L

Kat Rudburg, founder of Crafted Taste, introduces us to the ease & beauty of their Bardot cocktail kit.

Use coupon code PerpetualCraftedBEAUTY0116 for 10% off your order from Crafted Taste.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Named after the classic French beauty, Bridget Bardot, this month’s Bardot cocktail kit from Crafted Taste features a modern cocktail beautiful to both your eyes and palate. Crafted by Gabriella Mlynarczyk, an LA based bartender who is creating some of the best modern cocktails on the west coast, this cocktail is a unique take on a classic & romantic drink, the Mint Julep. The curated addition of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram to this cocktail adds complex notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg whereas the method of preparation invites us to appreciate the beauty in simple things: hand-crushed ice, a frosted julep cup, and the pop of fresh mint alongside our easygoing friend, bourbon. Treat yourself to this delicious, updated classic and enjoy the BEAUTY of modern imbibing.


REALIZE

Embrace your

Day

This month, embrace movement even before you've gotten out of bed! After the alarm goes off, use your usual snooze time to s t r e t c h each body part, working from your toes all the way up to your neck muscles. As you

s t r e t

c h, focus on the things you love about your body and remember how good it has been to you.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

15


embrace

Keep up to date with all of our carefully curated products by following us on Pinterest!

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

a Positive Mind/Body Connection


This month’s products will help you stay hydrated, comfortable, and focused before, during, and after your yoga session. And if you’re only interested in the beautiful body products? Go ahead and embrace that too!! Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or just interested in connecting your mind to your body in a new way, Yoga is a form of self-care you can embrace on any level.

1

2

3

4 1

Affirmation Yoga Mat ($66, affirmats)

2

Reiki Blessed Water ($48, Create Beverages)

3

5

“Hello Beautiful” Sweatshirt ($25, 28 Newport)

4

6

"Deer Love" Yoga Legging ($67.43, Inner Fire Apparel)

5

“Beautiful You” Natural Probiotic Deodorant ($9.99, Handcrafted Honey Bee)

6

“No Reason to Hide” Transforming Serum and Perfecting Moisturizer ($68, $45, Philosophy)

7 7

Flow Magazine ($19.57, Flow Magazine)

THE EASE ISSUE

|

17


REALIZE

Embrace

Boldness & Creativity

When you look at yourself, what do you see? Beauty... Allure... Virtue... Radiance... Loveliness... Talent... Grace... We embody all of these things, as strong, confident women.

T

oo many of us have been conditioned to be the woman that we need/think/feel we should be. We encourage others (friends, family, children and partners) to meet their potential, but hide our selves behind the mask of fear: fear of failure, of not finishing, of possibility, even. Then there's reality—too many days are filled with busy work. Where do we find the time to be our whole amazing selves? The essence of our true selves can get lost in life's daily choices and responsibilities. We forget to tap into the parts of ourselves buried beneath the mundane moments of life—our inner beauty & creativity—and complacency sets in. We base our self-estimation on how we look: our clothing, hair, or weight. Things that can fade or can be manipulated; things that do not express fully the beauty that resonates within. What if we let our true selves shine through? Start by gazing inward and recognizing your beauty. Realize what you want to do and how you wish to express yourself. Let the beauty and creativity that is inside manifest itself on the outside. Be Bold! Beauty is contagious when shared. Think of the look on a friend's face when you bring her a bouquet

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

of flowers, or how your child shines when you stop to dance in the living room with her. The deepening affection of your partner when you share a hidden part of yourself. Our sprit of inner beauty can be shared with the world in so many ways. Find that THING that is inside of you and set it free. Write. Draw. Dance. Sing. Dig deep and look inside. Be courageous and liberate your inner creativity. The adventuresome beauty doesn't hide behind a lack of time or the surplus of expectations. She lives boldly and with courage. She makes time for her Self to emerge, and creates a world where her inner Beauty is recognized and respected. She lives a radiant, unexpected, magical life.

Life is so full of everyday moments that are worthy of recognition. Summer is finding her way, living this dream and taking a moment everyday to say thank you. You can find her at airabess.blogspot.com and Instagram @airabess or #findingmywaylivingthisdream.


#fromwhereistand

“Find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Try This at Home Manifest an outward expression of your inner beauty. • Buy yourself a sketchbook and create something. Write a story. Trace a leaf. See where the pen takes you on your adventure with paper. • Share a discourse about something that is in your heart with someone you know and trust. Speak up in a room of strangers about something you believe in. • Make music-with your voice, with an instrument, or with your kitchen utensils. Let the rhythm guide you. Sing aloud and channel your inner karaoke goddess.

THE EASE ISSUE

|

19


REALIZE

Did You Know? You can look up ingredient concerns of over 64,000 products on EWG's Skin Deep® Cosmetic Database

Embrace

Healthy Skin “Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin.” - Zoe Saldana

D

been introduced into the marketplace in the last 50 or 60 years, many of which have been linked to negative causes and illnesses. In fact, only 10 to 20 percent of those chemicals have been tested for human safety.

There is very little regulation on the skin care industry—an industry that sells us close to $50 billion worth in products every year. 85,000 chemicals have

The good news? You can embrace taking care of yourself without applying unknown toxins on your skin. You can decide to be an agent of change this year, whether buying products from companies that

id you know that 1938 was the last year a federal law was passed in the United States governing our skincare and cosmetic products? To put this in perspective, hourly wage was 40 cents per hour and the average home cost less than $5,000.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Practice Safe Beauty

1

Put some ease into your skin care routine by following this month’s safe beauty tips:

1

Winterize your skin. Your skin is your largest organ–give it the attention it deserves! Using a creamy body wash and an ultrahydrating body butter will help keep that itchy winter skin at bay, making you and your skin comfortable on a cold winter’s day.

2

Cleanse your skin. Happy skin is beautiful skin. Using products with quality ingredients will help balance your skin and keep it healthy.Choose a face wash like Beautycounter’s ͞Routine Clean Cream Cleanser͟ that has coconut oil, witch hazel, and geranium extract to help tone both oily and dry skin.

3

2

Spoil your skin. Winter can be extremely rough on your skin. Pamper your skin just as you would your weary feet. A rich hand cream, a midday uplifting spritz, and a luxurious lip conditioner will keep you moisturized, bright eyed, and cheery all winter long.

This month’s beauty care products are curated by BeautyCounter, a company that values safety, savvy selections, and the support of women entrepreneurs.

3 care about you or using your voice as a consumer to demand more safety guidelines in the skincare and cosmetic products you already use. Let's make 2016 the year we embrace healthy skin and how to get there.

Leigh Schwab is a mother of twins who uses her love for skin care to help educate women about the ingredients in their products and the need for proper skin care legislation in our country. You can learn more about Leigh’s passion for a healthy and simple life on Facebook and Instagram.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

21


REALIZE

This month’s Self-Care Toolkit

Embrace

Calendula Helichrysum Amethyst Aphrodite

your Potential

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


The New Year is an opportunity to listen to your deepest desires. Is there a class you have always wanted to take? A trip you"ve been waiting to go on? Take hold of your passions this year and learn to love yourself on a whole new level. Your potential is full and infinite. The following essential wellbeing ingredients will light your soul's path this month:

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Calendula

Helichrysum

Amethyst

Aphrodite

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BENE FITS

Repairs skin cells and boosts immunity

Heals surface and emotional wounds

Brings strength to change & grow

Brings comfort and connection

A

beautiful addition to any garden, Calendula flowers are some of the most versatile flowers in the ground. Add the flowers to your winter stews or sprinkle the petals around your salads to brighten your day. Beauty products with Calendula help to repair your cells and treat skin wounds, scars, burns and bruises. In a tea, Calendula—a gentle lymphatic cleanser—helps fight infections and boosts your immune system. Helichrysum essential oil heals both internal and external wounds by regenerating cells at a very rapid rate. Just a little of this oil goes a very long way! Dilute and use on the skin for wounds, scars, blemishes and burns. Helichrysum heals deep emotional wounds as well, so apply it energetically near your heart. Amethyst helps your crown chakra connect to the divine so you can follow your soul’s path consistently. We all have behaviors that can cause negativity in our lives, so carry Amethyst with you to gain the strength to change your patterns and feel more at “home” in your

skin. Place this beautiful purple stone by your bed when you sleep, or wear it around your neck for a constant reminder of your path. The Greek goddess of inner beauty, love and passion, Aphrodite represents unabashed female sexual energy. If you ask for her assistance, she will help you feel comfortable in your body and connect to your inner beauty. Aphrodite’s message to you is, “Awaken the goddess within you through dance, self-care and appreciating your divinity.” Use this toolkit to dig into your untapped potential and move beyond wishing and dreaming to living and doing. You deserve ease. You deserve love. You deserve a beautiful year.

Ashley Dees frolics around Saint Augustine Florida, picking herbs, finding herbal remedies, and playing with aromatherapy, tarot cards and crystals. Learn more about her, and how she teaches and gathers goddesses together frequently at her website  greenharmonyaromatherapy.com. THE EASE ISSUE

|

23


REALIZE

Embrace your

Personal Style

When was the last time you wore something that you truly loved, without fear of others “judging” you?

W

hen was the last time you got dressed without consulting a women’s magazine or fashion blog? How many items in your closet can you honestly say are your personal “style”? Stop—Let’s start again. Style is a personal choice. Wouldn’t it be great to get dressed for ourselves and wear the clothes we love simply because we love them, or because those clothes make us feel beautiful? At some point, we started dressing to please others. I can remember being crushed when my parents stared disapprovingly at an outfit I’d put together on my own. I can also remember feeling proud when the outfit I’d chosen to impress my friends got many compliments.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Even as an adult, I’m guilty of “dressing for success” and dressing to fit in—thinking of who I'll see that day and wearing something based on the event: holidays, birthday parties, PTA meetings, blogger gatherings…the list goes on. We’ve all dressed for someone else, but we don’t have to anymore. Wearing something we don’t love or that isn't authentic to our personal style day after day can take its toll on our mental and emotional states. If we wear what we really want, our expectations for looking good will be far surpassed by the rewards we receive: confidence, poise, and beauty—inside and out.

Alice Tegtmeier is a Personal Stylist and mother of three who uses personal style as one way of helping women live authentically. You can see more of her passion for personal style, coffee, and encouragement on Instagram and Periscope: @aliteg.


1

Character. Intelligence. Strength. Style. That makes beauty. — Diane Von Furstenberg

2

Beauty is Personal To rediscover your long-lost personal style, start with the following:

1. Get Educated Blogs, books, magazines, and websites can all be helpful in determining your style. Instead of feeling pressured to look like the latest model or adopt the latest craze, pay attention to the styles that resonate most with you. If it calls out to you, listen.

2. Get Pin-spired

3

Create a style journal or inspiration board. You can use Pinterest, or go old-school and make a collage or photo album. Make a rule that you will only hang on to the pictures that really WOW you. Also include items from your closet you already love and want to continue wearing.

3. Get Frivolous Accessories are the best way to add your personal spin on any outfit. Also, the possibilities are endless! Bright red kitten-heeled shoes or the latest and greatest boot style? A collection of bangles or an arm party full of mixed metals? Make a plan to purchase (and keep) only those touches that match your look to your personality.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

25


PE R SPE CTI VES from THE P E RP E TUAL YOU

What is the most

beautiful thing about your body?

I love the beauty of what my tattoos represent. One in particular I got to remind me of some hard lessons that took me years to learn. This powerful, constant reminder now feels just as much a part of me as any other part of my body.

My eyes—they help me see what

With my beautiful face, I

my special needs kids are thinking and needing, so I can help them to grow more independent. And they let me see my loved ones' beautiful faces!.

can look into another's face and feel what they are feeling. I can tell others of my love for them. I can show empathy, regret, or compassion. Without using words, I can express myself. I can bring all my inner workings into the

Melissa B. (Bonner Springs, KS, USA)

Randi B. (Bridgeport, CT, USA)

I inherited the Greek (hairy) eyebrow gene and have been tormented by it as long as I can remember. The last few years, though, I've made peace with them—my

eyebrows feel more dynamic by their prominence. Katerina P. (Clearwater, FL, USA)

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

The laugh lines around my eyes that document so many smiles, the rolls on my tummy that my baby pinches as she nurses to sleep, the injured hip and back that supported me in pregnancy & birth. Nothing but deep love for this body! Tessa C. (Oakland, CA, USA)

world, thanks to the intricacies of this face. Micayla V. (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

I love my crooked bottom teeth, which look just like my mom's did. When I glance in the mirror—for a brief moment—I sometimes think she is still here with me. Victoria Anne (St. Peters, MO, USA)


Society Members To share your feelings about beauty with like-minded women, join our Society Facebook group.

The ability of my body to heal and mend through trauma, illness and loss is beautiful. I've battled Crohn's disease for half my life, carried & birthed two miraculous children, and kept breathing and moving forward after losing my mother to cancer. My body may look nothing like the American "ideal" and, at times, I may feel "broken," but I have a strong body that breathes, beats, nourishes, and heals. This is both amazing and beautiful. Amy S. (Wallingford, CT, USA)

We want to hear your perspective! What's your favorite way to Celebrate Love? Email hello@theperpetualyou.com for a chance to be featured in next month’s issue.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

27


“ Beauty begins the moment you decide to be — Coco Chanel

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

yourself . ”


dwell to align your physical space with your

ever-evolving self

THE EASE ISSUE

|

29


DW E L L

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Beauty in

Design

Feminine Touches & Divine Finishes

Bringing in feminine touches to your personal space is about more than just flowers & lace, though those are two of our favorite décor additions to any room!

F

eminine energy can be infused into any traditional element, from pillows to paintings to potted plants. Designing with the divine in mind is all about perspective and instinct. If you love feathers and piles of pillows, I bet your couch will too. For an easy and timeless feminine-style strategy, take inspiration from the beauty and elegance of a woman’s body: curvature can add whimsy or grace whereas color can portray happiness or silliness. And those little “beauty imperfections” we try to hide? Those are the aspects of a timeless classic you want to shine. An aged piece, whether the natural patina of antique copper or the artificial loveliness of chalk paint, infuses wisdom and maternal instinct to your portmanteau. Blending feminine styling into an oversized, masculine element is a refreshing twist on modern sensibilities. The oversized, chunky mantel we’re featuring this month could have gotten bogged down in its history and usefulness. By styling it with touches of the feminine—both understated and in-your-face—this dour mantel became a divine showpiece.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

31


DW E L L

The Ease of

As a girl, my weekends were often spent with my grandparents on their five acres in a small town called Coal City.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

I

Nature

helped my grandfather around the property, although how much help a little girl can give is debatable. There were gardens that needed planting, harvesting, and weeding, along with wild raspberries up in the hills that needed picking. A tire swing, tree fort, and the cool lake where I was allowed to swim distracted me when grandfather needed a break from my tagging along. Rambling around the property, my grandfather would pick up an empty nest belonging to a bird or wasps; horns that a deer had shed; fossils due to the area having been a strip mine at some time; and interesting rocks—lots of rocks. I was entranced with him because he knew the answer to any question about the things we found on our walks.


Just like my grandfather, I’ve started bringing little bits of nature into my home: plants from the local nursery, stones I pick up on a walk, objects I find abroad made out of wood, or items I find in antique shops. I feel a bit like a raven or a raccoon bringing treasures home to my nest. I have learned through the years that these bits of flotsam and jetsam add a layer of interest to my home: they tell the story of who I am and where I've been. You'll find scattered about my house the antler of a deer my grandfather found on his property; a wooden bowl I bought when I visited Denmark, where my grandfather emigrated from; a pebble I picked up when hiking in the

mountains of Iraq; a piece of quartz I kept because I had been fascinated when learning you could start a fire with it; and a beautiful seed, shaped like a heart, given to me by a dear friend. Not only do these beautiful pieces from nature tell the story of my life, they add dimension and texture to my space. Often when we design a room, we deliberate for hours over the “right” color scheme, furniture plan, and lighting sources. We focus on bringing in lovely throw pillows or curtains for “texture.” How about an easy way to elevate the texture in your space? Natural items saturated in sensory memories. People are drawn to rooms that have touchable items, without even knowing the specific story or history behind those natural elements. Natural pieces are unpretentious, inviting. They remind us of the simple beauty of nature and emit peace and relaxation. They remind us of our past and offer us the chance to share a part of ourselves with our guests.

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

33


dwell

on this

Ways to Bring in Nature 1

Collect as you go. Whether you find several beautiful rocks in one afternoon, or pick up a shell every time you visit your favorite beach, grouping and displaying natural elements creates a memorable, sensory decoration. Put like items in a shadow frame or create groupings of nature on a boring bookshelf in need of texture.

2

Treat yourself. The easiest way to bring nature inside is to fill a vase with fresh cut flowers or to have a small plant in the room. Don't have a green thumb? Subscribe to a monthly flower delivery service such as Calyx or hire a local landscaping company to water your indoor plants!

3 Decorating with nature invites a level of ease into your home because the items are “found” rather than sought after. Because the shapes and colors of nature cannot be duplicated with modern techniques, a collection of natural things provides an exceptional design element. Rocks, feathers, plants, flowers, wood...there is no limit to the bounty right outside your door. Embrace nature— bring her into your home—and make your space beautiful and inviting.

Feng Shui tells us that a bowl filled with flowers or stones invites prosperity. Group a trio of odd-shaped receptacles and fill them with pebbles or flower petals as an open invitation for wealth to stop by.

4

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Use what you have. Décor choices like a wooden bowl, linen curtains, or a wool blanket will bring balance to the modern necessities of life. Winter offers the perfect opportunity for a natural element decoration: wood for the fireplace! Store it in a pretty basket or just stack it next to the fireplace au natural

5 Kandy Christenson is a creator, maker, dreamer, photographer, traveler and Certified Interior Decorator. She believes design should be sustainable and transformative. Each space she designs is unique because she uses upcycled, handmade, vintage and local materials. She can be found trying out new ideas at meanderingdesign.com.

Fill the bowl.

Give nature a chance. In your next remodel, consider incorporating natural materials: wood floors, river rock tile, or a stone countertop. Even a slither of an exposed brick wall can bring comfort and the sense of history to an otherwise modern space.


“ It doesn't have to be perfect to be

beautiful . ”

— Myquillyn Smith THE EASE ISSUE

|

35


DW E L L

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Be My

Guest

Designing To Please Someone Else

“Years ago, I could not have designed this room as I have, and I would have been embarrassed to admit how much pleasure it gives me. 'It's not rocket science,' I might have said. But it is definition. Invention. Growth.” – Carroll Stoner

“Beauty is being comfortable and confident.” – Iman

V

ery few times in my life have I designed a room for someone other than myself. The process is drastically different, the design concept intricately more complex. And the stakes, unsurprisingly, are so much higher. Because...What if they don’t like it? Right?? I don’t typically doubt my design decisions, once they have been made. My approach to design thus far has been part instinct and part intention—and I’ve yet to be disappointed with either the process or the product. My mantra: I haven’t let myself down yet! Insofar as deciding to make over my guest bathroom with my sister’s design style in mind, I have no regrets about the product; however, there were more points of

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

37


uncertainty throughout the process than I’m used to experiencing. The challenges were straightforward: • Limited budget (isn’t it always?) • Lack of square footage (only 75 square feet) • Litany of original components not to be replaced—bathtub, sink, cabinet, floors, fixtures... (this was just a facelift, after all) And then there was my love of the pink wall tile. Though no one could say our house purchase hinged on the bathroom tile, I was ecstatic when we found a house we liked that just so happened to have a bathroom full of vintage, cotton-candy-colored tile. I’d long been a wannabe member of savethepinkbathroom.com; actually owning a pink bathroom felt like destiny. The tile had to stay.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

“In diversity, there is beauty.” – Maya Angelou When I looked at the brave decision my sister had made—to leave her family and friends in sunny Florida and come to start a new life pursuing new passions in onlysunny-sometimes Connecticut—I felt that giving her a bathroom she could call her own was a gesture I needed to make. What woman wants to prepare to face the world every morning with another woman’s design style staring her back in the face? If you have ever lived in someone else’s house for an extended period of time, you have no doubt experienced “houseguest design discomfort.” Whether it be dainty towels when you prefer fluffy or the fact that your bedroom faces east when you are so not a morning person, discomfort can rear its ugly head any time you have little to no

control over the physical space you live in. Renters, too, can experience this feeling: you may want to love your space, but just not have the permission to make it beautiful in your eyes. I’m fairly certain that if this bathroom had truly belonged to my sister, rather than being hers while she lived with us for the next year, that pink tile would’ve been the first thing to go. Where I am nostalgic, she is romantic. Where I’m eclectic, she’s bohemian. And where I am loyal to vintage pink tile, she is...well, a modern woman with modern tastes! Focusing on the differences in our design styles didn’t really serve much purpose, just as feeling limited by budget or layout would have been pointless. The facts were the facts, and I still felt inspired to beautify the bathroom.


“You’re Beautiful—That’s for sure. Never, ever change.” – Nelly Furtado Despite aforementioned constraints, or maybe even because of them (?), I knew that I could give my sister a beautiful bathroom to call her own. Further, I could use this design opportunity to give her something even more special: daily reminders that she is beautiful. The fact that her 13-year-old daughter would be sharing the bathroom with her doubled my commitment to designing a space in which a woman—young or youthful in spirit— could look at herself in the mirror and receive positivity and love back. We don’t give ourselves that very often, do we? I’m slightly addicted to mirrors and have them in all shapes and sizes in my dwelling space; yet, I avoid looking in them. I’m afraid I won’t like the person I see.

Check out this months' color palette on p.44

Once upon a time, my sister had given me a way to combat this inner critic in the form of a bold red pencil specifically designed to write on mirrors. With it, I could remind myself to buy milk or to take my library books back. I could also write myself a more important note: You are beautiful. In the planning of her gift, I thought, why not return the favor? And my theme came to be: a positive uplifting bathroom with affirmations of beauty on the walls, doors, mirrors...wherever one

might look. I had already decided on a color scheme* that would complement the pink wall tile as well as speak to my sister’s intense craving for turquoise (seriously, she is IN LOVE with that color!). After that, things just fell into place—the perfect shade of chalk paint for the cabinets; an easy tutorial on repainting bathroom fixtures; and a healthy dose of gold glitter paint on a vintage-turned-beautiful light fixture.

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

39


T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Next, I took to Etsy, where all manner of unique loveliness can be had with only the push of a button. Some of my favorite finds were a trio of vintage decanters I could repurpose as “beauty necessity” holders, a handmade rustic “Get Naked” sign, and a large farmhouse style shelf to add storage and personality.

“Nothing is more economical than beauty.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe I tackled quite a few DIYs in this facelift—I think this was due to my intense need for everything to be perfect; I just couldn’t give up any control. I’m lucky in that I have a partner who is both handy and patient; he doesn’t mind waiting to step in and help until that moment I realize I’m in over my head. This is an uncontested dynamic in our marriage, and one I’ve yet to declare isn’t actually healthy. I could use this design Basically, I find it extremely opportunity to give difficult to ask for help, almost [my sister] something even as though I need to actually experience the moment of failure more special: daily reminders to accept someone’s assistance. that she is beautiful. My husband, while supportive of pretty much any crazy scheme I set my mind to, prefers not to be involved unless absolutely necessary. And then, when that moment does come? He likes a finite list of tasks he can complete and cross off. To say we are made for each other is sort of like pointing out that the sky is blue. Not only do I love making lists, I find them a handy (read: nonverbal) way of “asking” for what I need. For most of this makeover, I did what I did, with a notebook nearby, him looking on with a mixture of curiosity and dismay.

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

41


The time came when a certain amount of communication had to occur. And it went something like this: Me: I want to put fabric on the ceiling! Him: Seems like a very bad idea. Me: But I put fabric in the pantry and you liked it. Him: Ever heard of gravity? Me: I think we should try it—The alternative for bringing in more pattern and texture is wallpaper. (He HATES wallpaper.) Him: I’m sure there’s another way. And so on and so forth until I had badgered him into standing on a ladder, stapling pieces of cornstarch T HE PERPETUA L YOU

soaked fabric to the ceiling, with a steady stream of muttering, beerdrinking, and joke-making about writing a “what not to do” in your next remodel blog post. Hanging fabric on the ceiling? Definitely in that list. After which, he cut and hung brand new crown molding to cover the errors in my fabric calculations. Yes, the man is a saint. My labor of love also included a custom light fixture, vintage Martha Stewart curtains, a DIY jewelry holder, and an antique paint treatment on the door. This multistep process, which I was able to do all by myself thank you very much, summarizes the project as a whole— an insane idea that I somehow pulled off in the end.


“Beauty is not caused. It is.” – Emily Dickinson There are always lessons for me when I take on a design project, and this bathroom proved no exception. Yes, you can start before you’re ready, as Marie Forleo counsels, but to see things through to completion you’ve got to be willing to learn on the job! After the bathroom was finished and my sister moved in (she loved the design!), we decided to launch an online magazine for women—the very one you’re reading right now, in fact. That’s when I

found out that the bathroom project had prepared me for more change than I ever could have predicted. When designing the bathroom, I had channeled the beauty and magnetism of my sister to make sure I stayed on track. Likewise, lately I have found myself clinging to personality traits that I know LaKay has directly influenced: My love to plan and dream; my fondness for More—whether glitter gold or major life-changing moments; and my desire to create change. Change that is magical and personal, breathtaking and beautiful.

To see what inspired our designs, check out our Dwell Board on Pinterest.

Lee Lee Thompson is learning to be intentional, whether mothering, writing, designing, or imbibing. A true collector and bargain boss, she’ll shop you under the table at the thrift store of your choice. Follow her journey through pictures, through words, or through her hopes and dreams. You’re also welcome to come hang out on her front porch.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

43


I Believe in Pink corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2010-70

Enchanting corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2126-60

More is More corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-600

Classy & Fabulous corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2118-20

E MBRAC E THE P I NK BATHROOM

Our January color palette is a collection of the most beautiful colors we could find. Use these colors to make an outdated space glamorous once again. Other suggested pairings:

Never Say Never & More is More. Pair these saturated colors

Never Say Never corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-430

to glam up your office décor. Gold accents against blue cabinetry also make for a glamorous kitchen.

Classy & Fabulous, I Believe in Pink & Never Say Never. Save this trio for a favorite space, like your walk-in closet. Add a soft pink shag rug, incorporate glossy black details, and accent with gold fixtures.

Enchanting, More is More & I Believe in Pink. Bring texture and color into a common area through a sophisticated pattern like paisley or damask. When choosing textiles, take Iris Apfel’s advice: “More is more and less is a bore.” T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Color Inspiration Click here for a closer look at the January color inspiration board.


embrace to align your life story with your

ever-evolving beauty

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

45


T HE PERPETUA L YOU


A Beautiful

Detour

On Compassion, Connection, and Courage with the “Gutless and Grateful” Amy Ostreicher

Written by Lee Lee Thompson with Reporting by LaKay Cornell & Susanna Brown

What does the word beautiful mean? Does it mean the way a woman looks? The way she carriers herself? The way she interacts with others? The way she changes the world? Or does it just mean that she is alive–that she is healthy, brave, and aware?

B

eauty is both an abstract concept and an unrealistic expectation—a juxtaposition that makes it hard for any “normal” woman to look or feel truly beautiful. Because of this struggle, many of us live without the secure knowledge that others find us beautiful, let alone have the self-awareness that we are beautiful whether others think we are or not. Amy Oestreicher, a 28-year-old artist, author, and body-image activist, is intimately familiar with this struggle—and with good reason.

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

47


When you know who you are, then you can embrace it. A self-proclaimed “go-getter” and extreme extrovert, Amy’s childhood was beautiful in many ways. She was born to love theater and was well on her way to living out that dream until an unheard of disease, and the treatment that followed, threatened everything she’d been told she could do or become. After 27 surgeries and the acquisition of a “makeshift digestive system,” three years of not consuming any liquids or solids, and a decade of being in and out of the hospital, Amy’s confidence was seriously challenged. After all, how does someone who has a scar in place of a stomach ever feel beautiful? To begin, Amy embraced compassion for herself. “I had this fantasy that

the day I was finally discharged from the hospital, everything would be ‘back to normal.’ I'd have my old body back—devoid of any medical scars, tubes, bags or IVs. I'd be eating and drinking again. I'd be able to run, jump and leap like I had in dance class just the week before my coma. These surgeries would just be a "blip" in my life, and now it could proceed as it was meant to,” wrote Amy in a 2015 article for the Huffington Post. In that article, Amy likens her life to a mosaic, containing “imperfect shards” of her past dreams and present reality. Through self-compassion, she began to “reassemble the pieces differently, but still beautifully.” Having compassion means not blaming the victim; self-compassion means not becoming a victim. Even though she felt “like a marionette” going through procedure after procedure and meeting doctor after doctor, Amy’s ability to reframe both the

physical results of her surgery— scars—and the emotional toll the disease had on her as detours meant she bore no blame for what had gone wrong. Loving yourself is a critical step on the journey of healing. Says Amy: “Sometimes we have to be our own mother and wrap our arms around [ourselves] and say: ‘I know what you’ve been through; I know this isn’t how you envisioned your life.’” You love yourself instead of blaming yourself. And you accept that your life—your hopes and dreams, as well as your challenges, are going to be different, because you are different. T HE PERPETUA L YOU


“Acceptance is not resignation,” says Amy. “Accepting is really an aggressive job. You might not always initially love what you are trying to embrace, [but] if you don’t accept where you are, then how can you be where you are?” That even means embracing sadness, which may lead to tears. Amy is okay with tears; in fact, she has a signature “teardrop” in each of her paintings. Acceptance also leads to happiness, once you are vigilant in moving on from the sadness. Showing yourself compassion can be as simple as admitting you’re human. In her one-woman show, “Gutless and Grateful,” Amy enacts a “full blown emotional monologue”

of a bride upset over the flowers on her cake being the wrong color. It’s a funny moment in the show— comic relief that comes at just the right time. It’s also funny because it’s true. Even someone who’s had major life trauma can get upset over the little things. Says Amy, “I almost feel relieved when I get irritated.” For example, being upset when her mom treats her like a child again, or wishing she could wear a bathing suit without exposing her scars. Gratitude was “an essential survival skill” that helped Amy accept and embrace herself. “When you know what you are grateful for, you know

Gutless & Grateful Let Amy take you on a journey of hope, resilience and gratitude with her onewoman autobiographical musical, Gutless & Grateful,

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

49


what you are about. And when you know who you are, then you can embrace it.” Does that mean Amy felt grateful for not having a stomach? Of course not. She missed her body and the sense of normalcy she’d previously taken for granted. She also learned to appreciate her ability to heal—her body’s ability to overcome. Besides, what’s normal? “You realize you are normal when you realize that no one is normal,” says Amy. Instead of letting the absence of something stand in her way of happiness, Amy turned to what she did have: the desire and talent to make something good out of her experiences. Also, confidence. Even more confidence than she had before. “Once you know who you are, you can do anything you want” is the philosophy that Amy chose to live by,

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

When we connect with others, we find commonality.

instead of waiting and wondering if she was still capable of having the life she’d dreamed of as a little girl. There’s a fine line between learning from your experiences and sitting around waiting for something else to go wrong. Ultimately, compassion is about letting yourself move on. Embrace yourself; know yourself; trust yourself, and “be gentle with yourself,” says Amy. “If you really listen, you’ll know what you are ready to do.” Amy’s first chance at connection came sooner than you’d expect. While in the hospital recovering from one of her post-op surgeries, she had a nightmare, then woke

up in a dark room with an eerie feeling. Realizing she was going to go “insane if I don’t do something,” she created a match.com profile out of “desperation” for connection. Because of that decision, she met Brandon—her husband, who is now a critical part of her support network. Along with her extended family, which she describes as “amazing and supportive,” Brandon has encouraged Amy to find out who


she can be in the “outside world.” At first, says Amy, “I didn’t have a social filter. I didn’t really have etiquette and I wasn’t really sure how to interact with people.” She soon realized creating meaningful friendships was very different from browsing Facebook (something that was invented during her critically ill period) and posting on message boards, where many people feel the same. Once she began to reconnect with people, though, she experienced a deeper level of healing. Telling her story became a way to cope with the challenges of everyday living. “Community and connection are the big, big things to embrace in ourselves,” says Amy. “People have scars; people have hardships. We don’t have to suck it up and pretend like everything is fine.” Amy realized that sharing her experiences and what she’d learned from them could change another person’s outlook on life. “You never know what a person might secretly be dealing with. And you help yourself by sharing.” Sometimes Amy puts herself into the world before she realizes what she’s doing. For example, an article about shopping for a wedding dress that she wrote and submitted to Huffington Post (pub. Sept 2015). In it, Amy relays the challenges of choosing a dress that would fulfill her childhood fantasies (as many of us did or will). The difference for Amy was that her dress had to accommodate two ostomy bags and cover the “colossal surgical scar” on her back. “If I would have thought about it, I would have gotten scared and not even submitted it,” says Amy. When the article was chosen to be published, it proved to her once again

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

51


that you don’t need to have the same life as someone in order to relate to them. Through sharing, Amy has discovered even people with very different backgrounds can relate something from their own life to her experience. “When we connect with others, we find commonality,” says Amy. “The beauty of being human is that we can all relate on different scales.” Writing, producing, and acting in a show that tells the intimate details of her story might seem like a drastic way to form social connections, except that Amy has always wanted to perform live. “People are surprised; I’m pretty much an open book,” says Amy. “I’m shameless.” She couldn’t have dreamed that she’d be performing

about losing her stomach, but she isn’t sad about having to do so. “I went through something pretty crazy,” Amy says, “but suffering is relative. Everyone deserves to feel what they feel about what they’ve been through.” Watching her show is one way to figure that out. How did Amy take the state of being gutless—a fact that could have been devastating as the word is ugly—and turn it into an act of courage? Amy was invited to be on a segment called “Everyone Has a Story” on the Today Show through which she met David Freeman, a composer and songwriter in theater and film. This connection led to her writing and performing songs that came from the depths of her journey—many of which she had journaled about while

not being able to eat or drink due to recovery. “I always tell people what got me through is gratitude, creativity, and cultivating hope,” says Amy. “Sometimes hope isn’t there: we have to create it.” For so long, Amy “had no opportunity to share,” which gave her the courage to share her story when the chance came. Despite not even being completely healed, she overcame her inner critic. “If I had waited,” says Amy, until I was “really healthy…I’d still be in my room. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself you will be healthier, you will be happy, and just start something.” The courage to tell one story has since given her courage to share

Sometimes hope isn’t there: we have to create it.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


another one. Amy is a survivor of sexual abuse, the subject of her next autobiographical play. This “very raw and real exploration about what abuse really does” will be wildly different from her current drama. To portray how abuse “disassociates you,” the character of Amy will be played by two different actors. This project, like her first, is about “healing…embracing who you are.” Another way Amy has been courageous more recently is painting. Through her art, she can truly experience transformative healing. “When you talk about embracing beauty,” says Amy, “art is the perfect medium.” Her first painting was born out of so much “emotion that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I thought: I am going to put everything into

this brush.” The result, a “singing tree,” which has since become her trademark piece of work didn’t just carry her through a difficult time; it brings joy to all those who view her work. Mostly, art works as therapy for Amy because, in it, she feels brave enough to fully be her true self. “I do what I feel like and I don’t care what it looks like,” says Amy. Amy’s first show, which happened after she had just been released from her latest procedure, was “raw and vulnerable and powered with healing.” Sharing her paintings was like sharing her point of view, giving others “an understanding” without her having to say a word. At the tender age of 18, Amy’s life as she knew it, along with the lives of

her close family members who were also affected by her inability to eat and drink, was literally changed in an instant: a moment of intense stomach pain that led to a decade of medical treatment. Amy isn’t just someone who survived an ordeal, though. Through compassion, connection, and courage, she engineered a brand new life—one based on guts and self-exploration and humility and laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Her present life is unconventional and, at times, still daunting. But the beautiful, messy detour she was forced to make means she values that life—and her self—all the more. That, more than anything, makes her beautiful. H

THE EASE ISSUE

|

53


3 QUESTIONS WITH OUR

Cover Story Superstar

Amy O.

What's one practice in your daily life that helps remind you of your beauty?

What aspects of your physical space do you find beautiful and/or bring you ease?

Gratitude reminds me of my beauty and roots me to who I am. While in the hospital, I made a gratitude list every night, beginning with A and going all the way to Z. Amidst my angry and frustrated thoughts, some positivity came through. By the time I reached Z, my life had not changed dramatically— but my thoughts had. Gratitude does wonders to remind you of the beauty in this world.

Trees, forests, hills...anything that gives me perspective on just how small I am in the world’s bigger picture. At 18, I was forced to ask myself–what is the world’s bigger picture for me? After being in a coma for months, I remember craning my neck towards the narrow glazed-over ICU window to see the sunset. I took a breath, and felt those beautiful sun rays seep into my lungs, filling me with new life. Nature and trees are always changing, growing, transitioning and blooming— there, I find and re-find myself.

realize

dwell

How have you redefined beauty in your own life? When I first had my ostomy, I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know anyone else who had had one. I felt alien. But my ostomy is my quirk, my lifesaver. It makes me unique. When we think of beauty, we should focus on our uniqueness. My scars haven’t faded and I don’t have a body quite like I imagined I would, but in exchange, I’ve learned things about my body that I will never forget. That’s what beauty is—LIFE.

live


live

to align your innermost thoughts with your

ever-evolving perspective

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

55


LIVE

The

Beauty

in our Scars

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Strong souls emerge out of suffering, though seared with scars and abrasions, they can never go back to who they once were, nor would they want to.

A

new appreciation, sensitivity, and deeper understanding of life has transformed them. Compassion, humility, gentleness, and loving kindness fill their spirit, leading people to take notice. Our scars become a lighthouse for others headed in the direction of the mountains we’ve faced and these beacons of hope nurture others, and our own souls, in the process. Before I turned 32 years old, I had personally faced sickness, divorce, financial hardship, infertility, baby loss, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insecurity and loss of identity. Never did I expect to come up against such a challenging mix of adversity; at least not this close together. I battled each trial as best I could, but the physical struggle of pain, exhaustion, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and fighting to breathe—fighting for my life—was grueling. The emotional strain was almost more than I could bear. Guilt, shame, sadness, embarrassment, brokenness, emptiness, mourning, anger, and feeling like a failure and disappointment to myself and others left me wondering how I could ever

go on. I struggled to feel worthy, valuable, and beautiful after facing each of these difficult mountains. As I sought hope for my future, I found myself wondering “Who would ever want me now?” and “What’s the point in continuing to try?” Each new struggle tested me, changed me, and taught me invaluable lessons, but the mountainous terrain left scars—some on my skin, some on my soul. One day, I listened to a friend share her personal story of struggle and loss. She described in detail the failure and disappointment she felt she’d become to her family and herself, but I saw a different picture than the one she painted. I saw a beautiful, courageous, victorious woman. Then, it happened: that “aha” moment. I have to search for the beauty in my scars. For so long, I hadn’t been able to see the beauty in my scars—only stress, strain, and struggle. Each time I revisited them, uncomfortable feelings rose from within exposing my perceived flaws and imperfections. That night, I started the healing journey by looking at my hands. I could easily see the scars from every medical IV inserted into my veins. Instead of embarrassment, I felt strength. I realized I was stronger

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

57


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. — Maya Angelou

than the disease and sickness that almost took away my life and my dreams.

I’ve become because I’ve fought so hard to become her… scars and all.

I went to the mirror to view the 12 scars on my abdomen from my battle with endometriosis. I couldn’t believe how different they appeared to me this time. Rather than feeling disgusted, I felt triumphant. Although my ability to carry a child of my own was taken from me, I felt blessed—I was alive, I was well, and I had a new perspective.

Each of us has scars in all sorts of unexpected places, like secret road maps of our personal journey. My scars remind me the hurt is over; the wound is closed, healed. The scars mean those times of my life are complete.

Next, came the harder, more uncomfortable part. I sat down and began the process of identifying my inner scars—the ones you can’t see. My financial struggles had improved and were on an upward path! Instead of feeling embarrassed of my credit history, I realized I had been empowering myself in taking steps to repair the damage. I saw a wiser, more responsible version of me. The mountain I resisted facing that kept my stomach in knots was divorce. Revisiting this tender scar was unpleasant, to say the least; however, I was able to see how those eight years had taught me so much about myself, my worth, and my expectations; how they had helped me discover strength I never knew I had, become a woman I had never been before. Discovering the beauty in my scars made me realize I had an abundance of which to be proud. Disguised as adversity was the metamorphosis that changed this caterpillar into a delightful butterfly. I love the person T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Your scars proclaim that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you; they provide evidence that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart. Whatever the nature of your scars, they are beautiful. When we seek to find the splendor in them, we’re sowing seeds of ease within and repairing the damage of our past. This year, begin your quest to find all the amazing, undiscovered beauty lying deep within you. Let go of all the negative, self-destructive thoughts and words you’ve accepted in your life and reflect on how far you’ve grown from who you once were. Remember the mountains you have traversed, pay homage to the scars they have left you with. Let the healing begin.

Chrissy Kirkman’s soul ignites when helping others overcome adversity and achieve their dreams. A Kansas City, Missouri native, Chrissy is a life coach, worship leader, mentor, wife, and bonus mom. Connect with Chrissy at chrissykirkman.com, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


“Beauty is knowing

who you are and what you

find important. ” — Rebekka Reinhard

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

59


LIVE

Raw. Real.

Beautiful

The Rewards of Authenticity

There is so much beauty I love in life: the faces of my friends and family; the comfort of my small, country home and being surrounded by nature; the Winter Wonderland just outside my door with its colors and textures and decorations leftover from the festivities of last year.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

H

ow often do we sit in front of the mirror and reflect on the things Others don’t like about our appearance? Or perhaps we look around at our possessions—the mismatched bedroom furniture or well-loved stoneware dishes—and believe they’re not good enough, pretty enough, cool enough. Too often, we truly believe that if anyone looks too closely, either at us or the things we hold dear, they’ll notice our imperfections and judge us!


It doesn’t matter how much we love ourselves or enjoy our beautiful possessions if we assume that someone else doesn’t agree. This conflict negatively affects our relationships because, as women, we are so focused on solidarity and maintaining peace with others that we forego being authentic and sharing our unique personality. Why? Because we value the opinions of others, even when they contradict our own. For example... • I love snow...but my mom thinks it’s gross. • I love rescuing dogs...but a coworker thinks they are disgusting and the effort is not worth it. • I love scented candles...but the smell turns my dad’s stomach. • I love being generous with my time and money...but a friend thinks I’m wasting my talents; I could be making much more money elsewhere. • I love living outside of the city...but I’ve been criticized for choosing to commute such a long distance to work. • I love my curves...but I’ve been called everything from chubby to obese. This thought process is UGLY. Comparison kills our joy and ruins the appreciation that should come with authentic relationships. Fear of standing out unleashes doubt that immediately gives rise to feelings of self-consciousness.

Yes, I remember that place well; I have been both visitor and resident there. We all have.

The Fork in the Road We perpetuate our own misery by trying to live our lives based on what others might think. How to choose what we wear, where we work, who we partner with, how many animals we have, where we live...The list goes on. Adjusting our choices—measuring our worth, success, beauty, and lovability—based on the judgements of things outside of our control is ultimately unfulfilling because someone somewhere will end up not liking a choice we’ve made anyway. We cannot live up to standards set by other people. Luckily, we don’t have to. We have a choice when it comes to how we think. Instead of listening to the tape of negative self-talk playing constantly in our heads, we can create the set of standards by which we will abide. This takes intention and practice, but the happiness and joy you will begin to feel once doing so will lead you to a life of greater beauty. Once you’ve seen the beauty in yourself, you will appreciate the beauty all around.

continued on next page

For me, the sadness, frustration, anger and resentment that builds from comparing what I want, what I like, and who I want to be to what others want, what others like, and who others want me to be is paralyzing at times. Ah, yes. I remember this place. I remember walking the sidewalks and passing billboards that flooded my mind with thoughts of not being pretty enough, thin enough, stylish enough, or successful enough. I recall pulling my coat tight around a body I was ashamed of and keeping my eyes on the cracks in the concrete below my feet—the words “Don’t Be Seen” passing through my mind.

THE EASE ISSUE

|

61


A Place to Rest

The Chosen Path

IIt wasn’t too long ago that I made a CHOICE to show up as the most authentic version of myself. I chose to take off the masks I put on each day in order to be approved, accepted, and liked by others. I’m not typically a rude or offensive person by nature, but I am bold and passionate—qualities that are not always received positively. But I feel blessed to have learned that a person’s reaction to my personality is a reflection of THEM, not me.

When we stop DOING things to achieve an outcome of acceptance, approval, and recognition, and we start BEING the truest and best version of ourselves in every moment, then the possibility for raw, real, and beautiful relationship becomes a reality.

What does it mean to be authentic? Being authentic means that you can be unapologetically you, without owning how other people react! No more worrying about what other people will think of your dreams or your wardrobe. No more second-guessing whether being who you are is good enough. No more being surrounded by people who are there because they like the person you are pretending to be.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Give yourself a present. Letting people go who are not loving you for you opens up the door for people to come into your life who do love you. People who want to know you, rather than judging what you are wearing or secondguessing the career path you’ve just made. The path of authenticity is one that brings flow and ease in all of your relationships.


“Do not try to make sense of my madness or structure my chaos. Love me as I am or leave me be...” — Becca Lee

Beauty is embracing yourself, being vulnerable and accepting your flaws. Beauty is raw, real, and messy. Most importantly, beauty is choosing your own path—a path that is different for each of us—but that leads to the universal reward of having authentic relationships. If we live in alignment with our own values—listening to our intuition and following our passion—without concerning ourselves with the thoughts of others, we won’t end up feeling isolated and alone. Instead, our life will be one that is exciting and authentic—one that is full of people who are beautiful because of their spirit and commitment to living life on their own terms. We will love our lives and our selves, whether or not anyone else feels the same.

Now is the time to choose true beauty for your life. Now is the time to be authentically you. I wish you love for yourself, and ease in your relationships.

Julia Rose is passionate about working with women and mothers around creating their best life possible. No stranger to the challenges that life can and will throw your way, she has learned that setting limits, saying no, owning her choices, taking care of herself, and being unapologetic and authentic has brought more peace, joy, and connection to her life. She desires for every woman to know that she already has everything she will ever need inside of her. Connect with Julia Rose through her website juliarosecoaching.com or email julia@juliarosecoaching.com.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

63


JANUA RY M ANT RA

By loving me

first , I have

so much more love to

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

give.


THE EASE ISSUE

|

65


LIVE

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Let Your Inner Light

Shine

Releasing the Beauty Within

Your inner light–your courage, strength, and power–is deep inside. The place where deep emotions, unique and different ideas, and the confidence to stand out in this world comes from. Where your unique gift meant to be shared with the world resides. Embrace the beauty of your inner light; shine out to the world!

I

f you dread the New Year, you are not alone. We all have misgivings of what we failed at last year and we combat those with the lingering hope that, this year, we can get it done. All the while something tugs at our hearts saying: you will never be good enough, brave enough or motivated enough to do it. Let’s stop playing this game! The game of self-defeat that repeats itself each year where you agree to other people’s rules and set New Year’s resolutions based on what you think the world wants you to do.

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

67


“You’re fat.” “Your skin is not perfect.” “Your hair needs re-coloring.” “You should work out more.” Where do these little white lies come from? Society perpetuates this negativity with commercials and magazine articles. They tell you that losing weight after 40 is near impossible or that your skin is not perfect enough but—if you use their product—magic will happen and you will feel better about yourself. Society would love for you to continue to believe that beauty and confidence can only be found on the outside with clothes, makeup,

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

picture perfect hair and a 10-step program to keeping your skin clear.

beautiful, radiant and strong—just the way you are.

This is simply NOT true. True beauty comes from within.

So you aren’t the “perfect” size. Who cares, really? What is perfect anyway and who gets to define it? Everyone’s idea of perfect is different; you don’t have to fit into someone else’s perfect size, which is only really “perfect” for them. Since your body is unique to YOU, the only perfect size is the one that fits YOU best.

Did you know that what you feel like on the inside gets displayed to the world around you? If you feel tired on the inside, you look tired on the outside. (Hello, bags under your eyes!) Trying to hide these feelings about yourself with makeup and fancy clothes will not change how you feel on the inside. Many of us have been told, starting at a very young age, that the answers to our concerns are outside ourselves—that there was nothing within that could help. I want you to know one thing—YOU are

Raised as a Roman Catholic, I was strongly encouraged to seek love, forgiveness, and acceptance outside myself. I was told that I was not worthy of forgiveness unless granted by a priest. After many years of beating myself up and not getting anywhere near achieving my


dreams, I gave myself permission to try something different. A whole new world opened up for me when I took an energy healing class. Through that practice, I realized that in order to be truly happy with myself and my life, I must first forgive myself for anything that might not have gone to plan. I must learn how to love myself just the way I am. When you forgive yourself, you let go of the past hurts that are holding you back from chasing your dreams or just feeling happy and fulfilled. When the weight of not feeling worthy of any lasting achievement subsides, you can feel something other than sadness, grief, anger, or regret. Without these heavy feelings, you start to look at the world differently—you start to notice things that feel good. The nagging voice that says you are not good enough quiets. Once you have worked through forgiving yourself, the next step is to figure out what is stopping you from loving you just the way you are right now. Because we internalize the negative feedback from society, we are unable to love ourselves. To figure out why you cannot say “I love you” to yourself, start with how people make you feel. Do not pass judgement on them—only reflect. Why does what they say or do push your buttons? Being 6 feet tall, I have been judged on many fronts. People look at me like wow, she is really tall. This used to bother me, but when I looked at why—I could see that my height

continued on next page

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

69


caused me much distress around being unique and not being able to hide it. By digging deep into these fears, I have been able to forgive my body and release the punishing feelings around it of self-judgement. I can now say I love my height and other people’s judgement of it no longer bothers me. If you believe you are not worthy of self-love, you will never feel worthy of anything else in life. Instead you will unknowingly sabotage any success that may come your way. When things start getting good, the pit in your stomach will grow or the nagging voice in your head will rear up, saying: Who do you think you are? You do not deserve this. All of sudden, everything you have worked hard for will collapse. If you are ready to face what is stopping you from embracing your inner strength and beauty, start by asking yourself the following questions. • Do you feel you need permission from someone to do this work on yourself? If so, who and why? • What are you ashamed of? Why? What’s preventing you from forgiving yourself for it and moving on? • What do you complain about? Why? What can you do to change it to better suit you? To be a strong and beautiful woman, you must take responsibility for everything in your life.If you do not feel confident enough in your skin, take responsibility for that feeling— instead of trying to look for the magic pill that will help you get rid of the weight or remove the wrinkles. The only lasting way to get rid of

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


feelings of worthlessness and a lack of confidence is to look inside yourself and to evaluate your life. Maybe your diet is not as good as it should be—what you eat not only affects your waist line but also your skin’s health. Or maybe you believe you do not deserve to feel good in your skin. Society tells us we have little control over our lives, but that is simply not true. All of life, and everything you do in it, is a choice. Complain or take responsibility: this is a choice. Many of us forego this choice in

order to follow along. To truly change your life, though, you must start consciously making your own choices instead of following everyone else’s lead. As I work on growing my business, I have been working a full time job to pay the bills. I work during the day and night, which has led to me putting off exercise. Thus, my body’s ability to move with strength and agility has weakened. On a recent

Society Social Join us on for this month's Society Social on Sunday January 17th 8:30PM with our expert, Jennifer Sterling. RSVP through our private FB group, The Perpetual You Society.

continued on next page

THE EASE ISSUE

|

71


vacation, I could not keep up. It was obvious my body needed to move more often. I reached the point where I needed to make a choice—complain about being out of shape and having no time to exercise or take ownership for my life. For me, this meant joining a gym and willfully inserting time in my schedule to exercise. Others may have chosen yoga, daily walks, an indoor movement plan, a strength training program...The point is not the choice itself, but making the choice.

How NOT to set a New Year's Resolution

How does this relate to you being beautiful and confident in your skin right now? Just like everything else, beauty is a choice. You can choose to continue to feel bad about yourself and look for outside gratification or you can decide right now to take responsibility for how you feel and decide to love yourself enough to make a choice in the direction of your true definition of beauty. Because—guess what girlfriend—you are beautiful, radiant and confident. These things are trapped inside you, waiting to be unlocked and set free. Now is the time to start shaking all that heaviness off so you can let the lightness of your true feelings through. What would life be like if you not only felt amazing but let that feeling shine for the world to see? I wish you the courage and confidence to set your beauty free, to let your light shine.

Tami Reagor helps women change their thoughts and perspective from a lack mindset to abundance overflowing while they create the life their soul desires. She is leading a gorgeous group of women at wellbeingis.com into a world where they practice gratitude and accept abundance together.

Resolutions allow you to reflect on the last year, but not in a positive way. Instead they serve as reminders of everything you haven’t yet achieved. This is not the way to start the New Year with love & positivity. Instead, start a celebration memory jar.

1

Repurpose Repurpose or buy a new glass jar that you can easily see inside of; pick up some sticky notes too.

2

Display Display the jar in an easily accessible place, where you will see it every day.

3

Collect Every time something amazing happens, write it on a sticky note and put in the jar. Start today!

4

Celebrate At the end of the year, go through your memory jar and celebrate all you have accomplished.

5

Enjoy! Enjoy the end of your year, and look forward to the next one!

With each passing day as you fill your jar with meaningful things in your life, just seeing it grow will remind you that you can do this. With these feelings, your self-confidence will grow. Each day, you will feel more comfortable with who you really are and in turn feel better in your skin.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


P O E T RY BY

Kate Kearns A Body is a Map of Abundance Life lived wholly leaves a mark, stretches silver streaks into the skin. A belly, loose and light, remembers the wiggling warmth. The pen’s insistent pressing forms a comfortable dent – a repeated touch, a callous – forward motion, a scar. The lost lay white and gleaming in our hair, covered, perhaps, but never gone. Life leaves evidence. Sunshine notes its presence on the flesh.

T H E E A S E IS S U E

|

73


Society Welcome to the Movement

Create Ease by Embracing Beauty  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you