Valentine’s Day is coming up. It’s a day where the V’s and D’s grind up against each other. Vanilla-date smoothies of course. What were you thinking? 😉 February is the month of love. It’s a month to celebrate love for each other, love for all things beautiful, and moreover, love for the inner woman in all of us.
My journey to finding the strength from within has been an interesting one. If you met me when I was younger, I honestly think you’d think I was a mute. I rarely spoke up, made eye contact, or walked with my head up. When I was in elementary school, I had a backpack that was bigger than me dwarfing me as I walked around school. Just two little legs, no head (I would duck my head down as I walked), and a turtle shell of a backpack on. I honestly don’t remember this, but one of my elementary school friends kept on bringing this up whenever we talked. It was one of the most memorable moments she had of us. Walking home from school one day, she said a boy kept on teasing us saying mean things. After a few blocks, he got closer and kept on teasing. I evidently turned around and punched him square in the face and said, stop being mean! She always laughed fondly and said, that was the best thing that happened in elementary school.
Ever since I was little, I always had it in me to stand up for myself and what I believed in. But I was scared of upsetting others and not being liked, so I did what I thought was best… Disappear. I sunk to the back of class, didn’t speak up when I knew something was wrong, and accepted criticism as though it was truth. Finding my inner strength and voice took years, and still to this day, it’s a work in progress.
After high school (no fights in high school thank goodness!) and into college, I slowly found my voice. Strangely enough, from looking down and not saying much all of these years, I discovered my greatest assets. My ears. In college, I joined the Berkeley Free Clinic and provided free mental health services to the homeless community. Our training sessions were long and intense. Without pen or paper, we practiced listening, asking emotional open-ended questions, and then reflecting back what the client (we didn’t use the word patient because we wanted the relationship to be equal) shared. When it comes to training as a group, the consensus was that 1 minute of pure listening was easy, 3 minutes was ok, 15 minutes was challenging, 30 minutes was difficult, and 60 minutes was sometimes impossible. It was difficult to catalog and remember all of the details and information in one sitting. For me, I thought it was a piece of cake. For someone who spent most of her life not saying much, it was the best job in the world! I loved my time at the clinic and actually found my voice by listening.
To this day, I still very much practice what I learned at the clinic. I love listening to people’s stories. And I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by passionate individuals and strong women, and to learn from their stories. Strong women who taught me to speak up, to be unapologetic, and to love the inner strength in all of us. I’m learning to celebrate this inner woman each day… to give myself permission to ask questions, to speak up in the face of injustice, to love foolishly, to live fiercely, to chase dreams unconditionally, to not settle, and to have a voice. I look people in the eye now and I still will never back down from a verbal (or physical) fight when my friends are in danger.
As we’re in it together on this journey of womanhood, these women who I’m very blessed to call friends, not only provided me with emotional support, they also helped me with my outer confidence. We shared fashion tips and beauty secrets all the time. A quick fashion tip… to test the highest heels that you can walk in, try on the pumps, and go on your tippy toes while trying on the pumps. If you can lift yourself 1 inch while in the heels, then you can handle walking well in that particular heel height. For example, when I wear heels that are 4 inches high, I can lift myself 1 inch above it. Great, I can run in them =) If I wear heels that are 5 inches high, I can barely tippy toe while in it, so 120 mm is the most I can handle.
For beauty secrets, this is something I share with all of my friends… Biossance. I’ve been using the Revitalizer ever since I was introduced to it back in November. It’s hard to see, but the white bottle below to the right is actually empty. I’ve been using it everyday, twice a day, on my face and body. I’m on my second bottle now. I travel with it, talk about it on set, give it as gifts… I love sharing it. I pat about 2 -3 droplets on my face before applying moisturizer (or night cream) and it leaves my face feeling hydrated (and it doesn’t break me out) and smooth. Biossance just introduced a new face oil called The Nourisher. The Nourisher still has the hero ingredient Squalane, but it also includes Chios Crystal Oil from an island off of Greece, and Damascan rose oil, which is the highest quality rose oil. I adore delicate rose scents (Stella Mccartney ‘Rose’ is my favorite perfume!), and love how this face oil is so effective yet soothing. I still use the Revitalizer on my body and switched to using the Nourisher just on my face.
Happy early Valentine’s Day or shall we say… Galentine’s Day. To all the beautiful women, women who are beautiful yet they cannot see it, women who’s voice cause change, women who help others find their voice… To every woman and the inner woman in all of us, wishing you endless love today and forever!
As always, thank you so much for reading! And a very special thank you to Biossance for partnering on this post!