Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mime Awards: A Life of Faith and Performance Style

Commentating on the Mime Awards Red Carpet

One of my favorite things to do is to write about the many different ways in which people live their lives based on the things and activities that are the most important to them.

Faith being one of them.

I recently had the pleasure of being the red carpet fashion highlighter of the Mime Awards in Dallas, Texas which brought people from all over the United States to celebrate the best of this artistic form of Faith.

If you're not familiar with what Mime dance is, here's a snippet of a performance that I recorded that brought the audience to its feet.

From the Mime performers to the gala attendees, the fashion was spirited and a real reflection of the hope and faith of the people gathered.

Here are my Best Dressed Selections (Performers and Non-Performers):

* all photos credit to J McClure Photography

BEST DRESSED: PERFORMERS 












BEST DRESSED: NON-PERFORMERS 







I left the awards show with such a sense of hope that no matter what's going on in our world, especially those things outside of our control, faith is always a grounding experience that creates a lifestyle filled with knowing there's always a new day.

I can't wait until next year!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Handbag Chic to Uplevel Your Athleisure Game

The Whitney 


Most people who know me will assume hell has frozen over because I used the word Athleisure in this blog post.

For the record: I hate Athleisure.

Just sayin.

Buuuuut, it turns out that Athleisure doesn't only have to be women wearing see through, cheap leggings.

None other than Michael Kors has a new and gorgeous Fall handbag, the Whitney, that can uplevel your Athleisure look for Fall without resorting to nonstop leggings (available now for preorder; ships 9/2/18).

Here are a couple of looks inspired by the Whitney that is uncompromisingly chic, comfortable and dare I say a bit badass!?!?

You're welcome.





Knowing Your Depletion Point

I had a fantastic dinner meet up with a friend who is in their early 50s and we both were reminiscing about our past corporate lives that included much volunteering, serving on boards and being "on the scene".

Since this is one of my newer friends, I appreciated the similarities in telling our stories of mental exhaustion, long work days, keeping teams motivated and moving forward while somehow also striving to balance our relationships with family and friends and serving our communitues.

He was surprised to hear how much I used to do and he kept saying, "Que, how did you do it?"

My response: "Well, technically I didn't do it."

After seeing his puzzled look I explained how sure, it worked for a while because of my youth and sheer inner drive. But make no mistake, the warning signs of it all being too much started appearing: from hair loss to stomach ulcers to always being in a constant state of anxiety to worrying what people thought about me or whether I'd miss some major event that had the potential to change my life...and etc, etc, etc!

It was neverending.

And if you add to that the loss of both my parents in a very short period of time and other responsibilities, it is a wonder I was sane.

He then asked me how did I "come to the light"?

My response: "I reached my depletion point when I was on the highway leavinget my corporate job at midnight one night and I almost crashed my car from sheer exhaustion. After i kept falling aslerp at the wheel that night it took everything in me to will myself to the side of the road after hearing my tires repeatedly screeching from swerving at a high speed.

And you may wonder how exhausted was I?

So exhausted that I woke up at about 5am that next morning still in my seat belt in that car on the side of the highway and the car was still running (but was in park)."

I continued to tell my friend how I sat there in my car and cried.

I also told myself: no more.

I had reached my depletion point.

Making Life Changes
After that incident, it took me two and a half years but I slowly unraveled my commitments from my corporate job, my many volunteer assignments  (which was especially hard because I had been volunteering since I was 14 years old), board commitments, one sided relationships, and unhealthy activities.

I now know that for some people, like me, unraveling a life of expectations is one of the hardest things you'll ever do.

Ever.

You'll hurt some people due to their expectations not being met of who they think you should be and what they think you should do.

You'll cry.

You'll be in a steady state of confusion.

Your ego will suffer.

You'll feel like you're losing.

You won't know if your life has purpose anymore.

People will judge you as if you are just too weak to handle "success".

I could go on but you get the idea.

And these all may sound like the most horrible things you can imagine and no lie, at times it will as you're unraveling.

But let me warn you: People who aren't aware of when they're  getting to their depletion point do drugs (legal and illegal), commit suicide, do horrible things to others in anger, greed or in the name of self preservation and so many other awful things.

Remember, you alone are the designer of your life. Meaning, what you do, how you do it, when you do it and where you do it.

And I pray that you don't let your ego of what others think keep you from making the decisions and taking the actions you need to take to be okay.

Your highest self is waiting...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Get the Look: Al Fresco Dining (Jo Malone London)



Summer nights are the perfect occasions to gather friends, clients, team members, patrons and committees for pre-holiday dining before year end fundraisers, holidsy shopping, galas, year end projects and giving campaigns go into over drive.

This Jo Malone al fresco dinner with perfect place settings and richly textured fresh flowers will guarantee you a super inspiring time of cammadarie before the holiday season!

Here are my Jo Malone recommendations to recreate the place setting looks. And FYI, the black ribbon comes with any Jo Malone gift box, fine fragrance or candle purchase.


Jo Malone London Discovery Collection


Jo Malone London Travel Candle Collection



Jo Malone London Wood Sage and Sea Salt Fragrance Combining


Jo Malone London Intense Men's Collection



Monday, July 30, 2018

Meditating Love and Happiness


I've recently joined a meditation and wellness group that meets up during lunch time on the 30th floor of a skyscraper downtown.

It's so high up that you hear none of the hustle and bustle going on during the lunch hour of the downtown business district.

I'm a novice at meditation and I'm in no hurry to learn quickly. Meditation naturally brings you to a level of awareness that causes you to be much more gentler with yourself than normal.

What I loved about this particular session is we participated in a Love and Kindness guided meditation.

It was especially welcome given the current level of divisiveness and misunderstandings going on in our world right now.

The Love and Kindness guided meditation was after we spent several minutes getting centered and shutting out what I am sure is the craziness of the business day for each of us.

This pre-centering was important because I learned it helps you be in a calm state to be the most receptive to the love and kindness visualisations.

The Love and Kindness guided meditation started out with us selecting a person that we had absolute trust and little/no complexities within our relationship...I thought of my sister.

So we were first asked to visualize these things for our chosen person :

I hope you feel safe.

I hope you feel a profound sense of peace and trust.

I hope you live free.

Then we transitioned to us with the person and made same affirmations as "we".

We lastly visualized then that it was just us and repeated the Love and Kindness affirmations.

What's interesting is that after we were done the instructor asked us how we felt or "what came up for us" during the Love and Kindness guided meditation.

My response was that I realized that if he had started it with just me, I wouldn't have "received" the affirmations as openly. But wholeheartedly hoping it for my sister allowed her to be a gateway for me to then receive the prayer affirmations with no hesitation.

Y'all, I was told by a therapist that I had a hard time with worthiness and it showed up again in this meditation session!

And one of the major takeaways for me from this session was when the instructor says that one of the main reasons to meditate and pause is so that you switch from DOING time to BEING time so that BEING in time will inform how you DO time.

In other words, getting centered will help you be more mindful and intentional with what you do with your time and life priorities, as opposed to anxiously living life like it's a blur of activity that you're not in control of...I think that's really powerful!

I'm starting on this journey of meditation and am looking forward to it being a tool towards more self care and more self awareness in my life.

I'll keep you updated as I learn!