Writing From My Heart | What Makes Beauty…. Perfect

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I guess looking at my blog these past few days I have been all about fashion and the external appearance  – don’t get me wrong I am a definite slight princess who likes to look her best most of the time, and puts the effort in to do so. (ummm well not all true as like most single girls, I get home wash my face, maybe add a facemask which makes me look like I could star in the new “IT” movie,  put that hair in a top bun -MESSY – and grab my comfiest outfit which is most often the most hideous of all my clothing .)

Anyway, I guess I felt I needed to blog about something heartfelt as I never want this blog to be all about the superficial – it’s a blog from the heart of the girl next door.

As I dive headfirst into the deep end of the last part of my 35th year I have had the most amazing realisation, slightly late and not “on trend” as I have begun to appreciate and accept my external looks for what they are  – a blessing from God. Nope I don’t think I am a supermodel, nor do I think I am beautiful and I certainly wake up looking like a troll from the 1980’s. However I was blessed with a pretty face, a good body and most importantly a gentle heart, and these are things one should never take for granted. Don’t get me wrong I will still be posting about and testing all those things I love but not to be happy, I am happy …. as me… I just have a bit of a love for fashion and beauty – but it no longer defines me.

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This epiphany as I mentioned, comes not “on trend” as more and more “solutions | surgeries | products and cosmetic surgery” have been introduced to the market in order to …. perfect oneself. I notice this just from the fact that people used to ask me all the time who ‘had done’ my lips as they are full, my retort “God” and now they are the norm if not thinner than others, they go unnoticed as lip fillers are top of the charts on every aesthetic booking list and then we go from hand fillers (yip hand fillers) to fish hook facials, to injections everywhere; ones that fill this hole and others that empty that sag bag, to facial therapies which leave you with skin like a baby and nose jobs and lip jobs and boob jobs and calf implants and and and well you can have every hair on your body removed permanently whilst having permanent make-up applied so you look like you have just stepped out of a MAC store when you open your eyes, a body is not good enough being just muscular and fit as well… in this society one can have a PERFECT body not just a great body …. let’s be honest; not only do you need to be Rockefeller or married to his offspring but you have to spend your life at a beauty salon or surgeon as most of these “treatments” do not last longer than a few months so it’s an endless cycle of looking perfect, whilst maintaining this perfectionism only to have to reperfect yourself – vicious circle? Just the thought exhausts me. Don’t get me wrong if I had nothing else to do and an endless trust fund I guess I could get used to that type of life BUT then maybe not…

Not only are the thoughts of what all these procedures may look like in twenty years, as we have yet to see the long term side effects … think cat woman xxxx 10000 or a collapsed face, but how happy can you be if you are always striving for a perfect which can always be more perfect? Why not accept your perfect … each and every person is beautiful and enough and perfect as they are and yes  a few little odd jobs done here and there for major complexes are completely understandable but stop there and accept that YOU, that beautiful perfect YOU.

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If experts spent as much time researching, developing and testing treatments to enhance and improve inner personality traits and qualities –  gratitude, love, patience, kindness, joy, faithfulness a  giving heart – and people spent as much time and money acquiring these traits and working on them as hard as they do on being that external perfect,  how much more beautiful would this world be?

Would a young chubby, shy girl still be sitting at home crying right now, as she gets no “likes” on her IG page but rather horrible comments? And then would she sob a little more as she knows that the girls at school will still make fun of her as she has not enough money for spray tans and the latest adidas sneakers, when they do not know it is because her father walked out on the family and her mom can barely pay her school fees even though she works two jobs? That can’t exactly be your IG bio right? Unfollow, Block? Who is a fan of a person with no external value??? NOT US BAE we are all about G.O.A.T.S and the “Glam Squad you can’t sit with us crowd”

See my epiphany comes because I witness this to often, and even as a semi fashionable, popular and pretty girl I have nearly fallen victim to this way of thinking to the point that going out without looking perfect would mean I would rather stay at home.

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Waking up to smell the roses (well I prefer peonies) I have realised how sadly, in my thirties this need for perfection and to be perfect at all times has filtered into my love life, right down into the depths of it.

I so often get asked why I am stilllllllllllllll single and what on earth is wrong with me that I am not married (before YOU ASK yip I’m still that little girl who wants to walk down the aisle and hold my newborn in my arms.), and whilst that is for another post where I delve into my love of narcissists and men who need a mother not a soulmate and lover – this constant craving and striving for a love that is a love of my perfection externally and not internally is what I miss out on in all relationships… not all – to you guys I have dated who are reading this and loved me for me you were awesome! I just didn’t chose you as I hadn’t chosen me.

It boils down to hearing these words daily, and I am a person who needs word of affirmation so I believed hearing;

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I love you in that dress

I love that colour on you

I love that everyone thinks you are pretty, it makes me sooo proud

I love the smell of your perfume

I love your body

Yip they loved LOADS of things about me, but they just didn’t love ME. Don’t get me wrong , we all love a compliment and sometimes from the right person when they go starry eyed I get “weakly” kneed, but my words of choice of affirmation would sound more like;

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I love they way your heart aches when you see a sad person, child or animal

I love that you want to rescue the world

I love that you care so little what others think of you

I love that you are clumsy and ditzy but can laugh at yourself

I love your smile as you being happy makes me happy

I love the way you try and make my house a home so I feel less like a visitor in it

I love your passion for your family

I love how little kids are drawn to you

The simple things but the things that would make my heart so very happy and perhaps have me in a veil in no time.

I am ending this rambling off with saying I am a music person, I simply adore music, it invokes memories both happy and sad, it creates a happy atmosphere, it can make a sad moment that much more poignant and a happy moment a euphoric one.

I found this song (well I think the whole world has found it as Ed, yip that Ed… Ed Sheeran sings it) and the lyrics make me smile and cry and laugh, feel and think… an excerpt before I post the whole thing;

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

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The girl I was my whole life, would have defined this as the ultimate romantic moment, the girl I could have become who I think shares the same fears as so many other girls of all ages these days, would be thinking ” Oh no what about my favourite sandals being ruined by the wet ground? My dress is so long are the muddy stains going to come off?  I do look such a mess? Does he really think so.. my hair is curly from the rain, my mascara is smudged, when can I get away to ‘fix’ myself so I look like the girl he deserves | wants?…

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I mean WHAT???? This would be the ultimate moment. Dancing with the love of my life, barefoot in the dark, just us two. Laughing, loving and believe me as I have realized looking more perfect and beautiful than ever because  I would be happy, my eyes would shine, my smile would be huge and no flaw would go noticed because this man would see those two things and think …. SHE IS PERFECT…

Here is the full song and lyrics below:

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“Perfect”

I found a love for me
Darling, just dive right in and follow my lead
Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me’Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow
Your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When you said you looked a mess
I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Well, I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

We are still kids but we’re so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we’ll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I’ll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
When I saw you in that dress
Looking so beautiful
I don’t deserve this
Darling, you look perfect tonight

Baby, I’m dancing in the dark
With you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass
Listening to our favourite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don’t deserve this
You look perfect tonight

Until next time…

Lots of Love

Jo-Jo


 

Fall A Little In Love with Love …. Not Only Somebody To Love, Everyday 

Just apt as we approach … Valentine’s Day.


Falling in love is divine. It’s boundless, bewildering, irrational, transcendent and impassioned. It awakens the soul to the best parts of our existence. Falling in love is not a restricted extravagance either. We can fall in love repeatedly, and in such a plethora of ways. We can wake up every day and decide to fall in love with each other, and with the life we have been given.

What if we took the time to fall in love with strangers? What if we made efforts to fall back in love with the people in our lives every chance we were given? What if we fell in love with places, smells, sites, sounds, faces, tastes, memories, experiences and everyday engagements of our emotions? There are so many hands you have never shaken, and names you’ve never learned. There are so many voices your ears wouldn’t recognize, and eyes you’ve never really looked into. 

There are so many stories that go unheard. There are so many tears that go unseen, and healing embraces that never get the chance to perform their magic. We are faced with opportunities each day to open our hearts to every aspect of life worth falling madly in love with.

I try to fall in love every day. I pick the middle seat on the plane, to get blessed with two new friends and twice as many stories. I shake hands. I ask questions. I befriend everyone from the lady at the supermarket, to the couple laughing at my typically frantic sprint onto the train. I want to reach out every chance I can, regardless of the chances I take of being rejected or mocked. I find my soul warmed by the special ways that people laugh, or the unique pigment in their eyes when they really look into mine. People captivate me. Places, foods, art, music and stories can sweep me off my feet, and into a state of romanticism I cannot explain. I find that through all of the articles I write, the most critical piece of advice that I can give to any person is to embrace all love. We feel alone in a world filled with so many people and experiences just waiting to steal our hearts. 

Disappointment and fear only gain the upper-hand when we start losing the ability to readily involve ourselves in love. That would be my most essential piece of advice, to go, my friend, and fall in love with this life.

1. Ask people the real questions. Ask about their passions, fears, hopes and dreams.

2. Introduce yourself. Be brave and vulnerable.

3. Listen to people. I mean really listen to them.

4. Help anyone you can, from strangers to your closest friends. Don’t turn away.

5. Get excited. Get excited about everything from your favorite TV show coming on to Lucky Charms being on sale at the grocery store. Rejoice in all of life’s little wins, and appreciate them for the ways they make life sweeter.

6. Visit old friends. Don’t let your friendships fade. Remember the reasons you are so thankful to have them in your life, and fight for them, like a lover would.

7. Travel to new places. Indulge yourself in the cultures. Experience everything the world has to offer, and don’t be fearful or close-minded to the opportunities set before you.

8. Put away your screens when you’re with people. If you want to spend time with someone, you should actually be there, physically and mentally.

9. Plan personal time with your friends and family.

10. Hug. Reach out your arms and wrap the people you love in them. Feel them. Embrace the connection that you have, and express that you’ll always be there to remind them of it.

11. Indulge your emotions in what you enjoy most. Scream like a crazy person at the basketball game, dance freely at the concert, and run like you never have to stop. Let go. Let yourself be charmed and delighted by your hobbies.

12. Show people your true colors.

13. Don’t try to hide who you are from anyone, and let others love you for the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and the weak and the strong parts of who you are.

14. Express your opinions.

15. Involve your emotions in the priorities and matters of this world. You can’t fall in love with this life if you don’t care about the people in it.

16. Accept the opinions of others. Ask to hear about those opinions. Respect them. Learn from each other.

17. Wear your heart on your sleeve regardless of how terrifying it can feel to open up.

18. Appreciate the innocence of the world. Play with children and animals as readily as you can.

19. Learn from the beautiful display they have of unprecedented happiness. Fall in love with that, because it’s incredible.

20. Look into the eyes of the people you see and speak with. Show them that you are really there.

21. Take chances. Be spontaneous. Embrace the unexpected nature of love.

22. Smile. Even if some don’t smile back, others will, and you may find that the smiles shooting back at you steal your heart away.

23. Love your body. Treat it kindly and take care of it. Appreciate it for the unique vessel it is for your soul. Part of continually falling in love is being able to love yourself in your own skin.

24. Sit next to someone instead of alone. Try not to isolate yourself.

25. Be respectful, and expect it from others. Respect is a building block of mutual love.

26. Say “I love you.” Say “Thank you.” Say “I’m proud of you.”

27. Never trade opportunities for real conversation with the people who you love.

28. Exercise integrity with others. The truth is always worth falling for.

29. Say yes.

30. Give people the benefit of the doubt, even if others have let you down. Too often we avoid love because of wrongs committed by people in our pasts. Don’t let heartbreak control your ability to see the best in human beings.

31. Play games. Play outside. Have fun and let it consume you.

32. Share meals with friends and family, and also with people capable of becoming your friends and family.

33. Laugh uncontrollably whenever you want to. Laugh as much as possible. It heals the soul and unites you with others in remarkable ways.

34. Sing like a rock star. Let music move you.

35. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and bring out the best in you. The light you will inspire in each other is irreplaceable.

36. Try new foods. Try new wines. Try new flavors of ice cream. Food is a great lover.

37. Go on adventures. Anything from hiking a mountain to raiding the thrift store in the next town over can create the most amazing of discoveries.

38. Feel for others. Emphasize and have compassion. Let yourself be moved by them.

39. Dance uncontrollably. Whether you look like a superstar, or a flailing idiot like myself, let music take control of your body.

40. While you’re at it, grab a partner. We should all dance together.

41. Learn everything you can. Absorb information like a sponge. Fall in love with knowledge. Fall in love with stories. Fall in love with history. Fall in love with everything your brain is just waiting to know.

42. Follow your dreams. Go for the job you know will awaken the best parts of who you are.

43. Your passion is a lifelong romance you will always need to strive for. It can be the kind of lover that brings you joy and fulfillment with every passing day.

44. Accept yourself. Be proud. Be confident. Be strong.

45. You can fall in love with yourself every day too. You can look in the mirror and know that in your heart you are radiating love onto this world. You can carry with you the ability to achieve extraordinary greatness. You just have to be open to it, because the choice is yours.

So go, my friend, and fall in love with this life.

For more, check out my blog at SerendipityandCreativity.com

Being A ‘Heart’ Person

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I have so often thought that I am a ‘head’ over ‘heart’person. A person who made decisions based on rationale and not emotion, a person who thought things through ‘intelligently’ and did not let my heart sway any of my choices.

Just thinking about one aspect of this scenario is in relationships. I have always been the one to say ‘yes I have been cheated on often , been spoken to badly, treated appallingly’ and yet I walk into new relationships with trust and confidence and no ‘baggage’, as my head says ‘this person isn’t the last person/s you dated … trust them and let down your guard’… the thing I have begun to realize is, how wrong I am.

These past hurts and acts of cheating and lying are embedded in my heart and the thing is, they have made me build walls so high and have created a fear of losing myself to love. Because my heart says love hurts , people lie and cheat and are never the person you first meet (well the act can be kept up for a couple of months I guess.) So i back away and that is not a ‘head’ decision, as I want to get married and have kiddies and love my best friend and soul mate forever.

So you see I’ve realized I’m without a doubt a ‘heart’ person through and through In short…. feeling > thinking..And I am actually pretty happy I am this way…

There is no doubt that I do believe that it is important to be both a ‘head’ & a ‘heart’ person. God equipped us with both a mind and a heart, and I think that most decisions in life should be made using both (also intuition, but we’ll save that for another post).

For now though, and for those of you who identify, here are a few ways to know if you are what I realise now, is that special kind of person.. a ‘heart’ person

You keep a diary or pen notes on your phone or scrap pieces of paper.

You have to verbally process everything, preferably with another ‘heart’ person. And sometimes over an over until your head gets around your heart thought.

Affection is your thing. Giving and getting.

You’re a hopeless (hopeful?) romantic. Don’t even try to fight it.

You’re highly sympathetic and empathetic. Wanting to save the world, animals, children and almost anything that cant save itself.

You try to make everyone happy and because their is only one of you and your heart to go around, you can’t and end up sometimes hurting people who think you have let them down, when in reality you just don’t have the heart capacity.

You desperately seek out those songs that make your heart explode (which typically occur two, maybe three times a year). Either to cry, laugh or just feel nostalgically lost in the music.

You’re one of those “cry out of happiness” people.

You’re bad at pretending you’re interested in something when you’re not.

Sometimes your life feels like a movie or a book and you want it to stay that way.

You’re probably into writing, music, dance, or art of some sort.

If you really like something or find something funny, you have to share it with everyone. Everyone. and Everywhere.

You’re observant and discerning of the emotions of people around you and you try to be a ‘fixer’ as much as possible.

You sometimes wish you weren’t a ‘heart person’, but most of the time you wouldn’t have it any other way…….

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Beneath Your Beautiful… What Is Beauty?

 

Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty — they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. ~Martin Buxbaum

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A Father to His Daughter….

Dear Little One,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the makeup aisle of our local Target store. A friend recently texted me from a different makeup aisle and told me it felt like one of the most oppressive places in the world. I wanted to find out what he meant. And now that I’m sitting here, I’m beginning to agree with him. Words have power, and the words on display in this aisle have a deep power. Words and phrases like:

Affordably gorgeous,

Infallible,

Flawless finish,

Brilliant strength,

Liquid power,

Go nude,

Age defying,

Instant age rewind,

Choose your dream,

Nearly naked, and

Natural beauty.

When you have a daughter you start to realize she’s just as strong as everyone else in the house—a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man. But sitting in this store aisle, you also begin to realize most people won’t see her that way. They’ll see her as a pretty face and a body to enjoy. And they’ll tell her she has to look a certain way to have any worth or influence.

But words do have power and maybe, just maybe, the words of a father can begin to compete with the words of the world. Maybe a father’s words can deliver his daughter through this gauntlet of institutionalized shame and into a deep, unshakeable sense of her own worthiness and beauty.

A father’s words aren’t different words, but they are words with a radically different meaning:

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world.

Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

Naked. The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.

Infallible. May you be constantly, infallibly aware that infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.

Age defying. Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.

Flawless finish. Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.

Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them.

Where are you the most beautiful?

On the inside.

From my heart to yours,

Daddy

 

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When Beauty Fades

When beauty fades
and your youth wastes away,
What will become
of your pretty face?

your fulsome lips
and your silken skin,
now flaccid shrouds
over a creviced grin.

When your beauty fades
and your youth wastes away,

will he still love you
……..as he did on this day
Cemetery man

QuoTes FoR tOdaY JuLY 14

Families are like fudge – mostly sweet with a few nuts.  ~Author Unknown

You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.  ~Desmond Tutu

What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.  ~George Eliot

Good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. ~ unknown

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. ~Seneca

When it hurts to look back, and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there. ~ unknown

The diamond may adorn royalty, regardless of personal worth; but jewels of thought render even poverty illustrious and sublime.  ~Gems for the Fireside

Try not to become a man of success but a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

Inspiration and genius–one and the same.~Victor Hugo

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.Watch your words, for they become actions.Watch your actions, for they become habits.Watch your habits, for they become character.Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

“Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.”

“I can’t control my destiny, I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be. There’s only now, there’s only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today.”

When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out. ~ by Elizabeth Bowen

 I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss. I’ve always found time to teach them. ~ by Mae West

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn Is to love and be loved in return. ~ From “Unforgettable with Love” by Natalie Cole

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