Still & Formless for 2014
At the start of each year I begin with a somewhat clumsy entry. It’s a day or two of deep introspection where I think strongly about what I’m grateful for and deeply on my regrets. It’s a combination that often brings me to tears and then to some of my highest moments of clarity. My belief in God, my love of family, my will – all go through a cleansing during which I try to remove layers and layers and layers of ego. My goal is to go from ‘form’ to ‘formless’ being…if only for a few minutes.
I’ve termed 2013, The Year of The Female Dragon. We beasted and worked so hard on our goals. I watched so many of my girlfriends do more than ever before to get what they wanted. I was clear on what I wanted and took every opportunity presented. I essentially never said “no”. Work became overwhelming at times and often took center stage to my daily routine. My family worked with me – gently, patiently, lovingly – and kept us all together.
For 2014, I continue to be focused on hitting that ‘cross court winner’, but this year I’ll do it through Stillness (or at least moments of stillness and meditation each day), and Formlessness (being without ego as much as possible). Because truthfully, as I get older and recognize how precious time is, the only thing that really matters is living as long as possible in a healthy and happy state – and this I believe, is how we do it.
Into the New Year we go – together!
Into the New Year we go – together! 2014
I believe in you. I know you. I see you. Try your best each day to find joy in the little things…these happinesses will sustain you through life. There is no need to know everything, but you must find the few things you care to know a little something about. Listen. Speak. Do. love.
I was talking with my six year old son, Penel, the other day and through our conversation he heard me refer to our dear family friend as a “white woman”. He looked at me and said, “WHAT, Charcy is white?!? But she’s the same color as my foot.” Then he shrugged and said, “She looks black to me.”
The Unrealistic Expectations of Girls
When I say my life is crazy-beautiful, I truly mean it. Each day is a frenzy of obligations and deadlines – yet somehow my family and work finally feel really, really great. But as we all know, things shift so quickly and lessons are hard hitting….it’s always smart to stop and smell the flowers.
Here’s my most recent hard hitting lesson based on a story about a young teen and a grown woman – and the crazy-intense world we live in where girls are expected to do too much for too many people.
Let me put this in context: Girls are encouraged from very early on in their lives, to accommodate other people’s needs, to be pleasant and polite, to help make other people feel better and to play nicely. The steady message sent to girls is “Do for others even when it puts you at risk.”
Yes, kindness, team-work and being polite are all great attributes to keep in mind and to apply when possible….But the frequency at which girls are asked to accommodate is unrealistic. The way I see it, no one destined for a life of love and fulfillment can afford to enable selfish behavior. Not even superwoman.
Here’s what happened: My daughter was asked to participate in a fancy event. We agreed and started to prepare. The event host quickly began to make unrealistic demands on my daughter’s time to which we simply couldn’t oblige. In my house, we teach our children to focus on school and family first. Fancy events are not part of our family’s zeitgeist. Needless to say, at the last minute, my daughter was abruptly taken off the bill for said fancy event.
Now, New York is full of fancy events, and it’s frequent that we’re asked to participate in them. So it shouldn’t have bothered me. But this did. Not because we felt snubbed by fancy people, nor because we deeply cared about the event. It bothered me because it offended me to my core. It was counter to everything I stand for and against our family’s values.
I am not here to sell my kids out for other people’s dreams, not even my own. As moms, we’re here to help our kids understand right from wrong – beauty from ugly, to guide them down smart paths, to lead them towards brilliant and safe experiences and to show them how to love themselves – first.
As the mother of a teenage girl, I know there are a million and one things just waiting to distract her. I see her being pulled this way and that way. It’s my job to keep her focused. So, I try my best to be the grounding element in our house. And when I see too much movement around other people’s dreams, I slow everything down. Parties, sleepovers, gadgets. All on pause. I’ve been told I can be a bit overprotective. But until someone shows me a guaranteed path to raising successful kids, I’m sticking to mine. My plan is based on Love, Guidance, Intuition and a Hands-On-Everything approach.
When we pause, we have a moment to think deeply. This is what I’ve come up with: Girls are not for sale. They have big plans and important things swirling around in their heads, which soon enough will come out and be brilliant. Our girls are not here to fit into other people’s schedules. They’re actually preparing to be leaders. Let them.
I have a teenage daughter and she is lovely, smart, sarcastic, undeniably beautiful and most of all gentle. Get in line Fancy People – I know she’s got it!
Latham, the magician
Occupation: Wellness Practitioner, Author, Founder of Mama Glowopens in a new window
Passion: Helping women achieve optimal wellbeing through pregnancy and claiming their power within
Work Philosophy and Strategy: Do what moves you. I really listen to the whispers within to guide me in making decisions. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Biggest Mistake: I don’t believe in mistakes. God orders my steps so even when something is out of balance or goes wrong, I can embrace it as a lesson because everything I’ve done up until now has made me who I am.
A Treasured Success: Giving birth to my son, Fulano.
One thing no one really knows that is a credit to my success: Being a single parent thrust me into action-hustle mode as a provider. That Mama Lion role permeates my work as well.
Daily beauty routine: I rise up for the day and I think a good thought- and then plop down on the floor to stretch and meditate for a few before I wake up my son. I think that time for myself where I move my body brings blood flow to my skin and makes my face glow. I care for my face with Tata Harper skin care- rejuvenating cleanser, floral toner, and serum. I also use argan oil by Khahina beauty when it’s especially dry or cold outside.
Hair routine: Wash with Royal Rinse, and twist with cold pressed coconut oil
What does beauty mean to me: Embracing every aspect of who I am- walking in confidence, grace, and abundant radiance.
My Beauty Mantra: We each have a certain magic within us that no one else possesses. Own it! Let it shine through you and light up your path and all who come into your orbit.
Maryam Moma – Creative Director, Yamerra
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Model, Creative Director at Yamerra
Passion: Creating and giving value. I’m passionate about my family, food, travel, art, experiencing other cultures, music, and things that strengthen and enrich the mind.
Daily beauty routine: My daily beauty routine is always with natural products – cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day. I use product with active ingredients to rejuvenate and soothe my skin. Depending on the pace of my day, I may inject an additional 5-minute skin pamper session, to freshen-up and revive me! My go-to’s: Origins “A Perfect World” Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea, Selara Faces Skin Brightening Toner with Aloe, Yamerra’s Natural Facial Serum (during the day), Georgia NY Luxury Face Oil (at night), and Clear Skin Essential Oil blend by Doterra.
Hair routine: My hair routine is minimal simply because I try not to do too much to upset its natural balance. All I do is wash my hair with clarifying shampoo once a month and deep condition it every five days. I apply Yamerra’s Lemon Fire Bliss on my scalp after every deep condition (this relieves itchiness), plus a blend of organic coconut and olive oils and finally a drizzle of my Georgia NY Geranium Oil every other night before I wrap it to sleep. I shy away from pressing or blow-drying unless I need to. I’m into leaving it in is natural and tightly curled state as much as possible.
What does beauty mean to me: Beauty is a sense, like taste – it varies from person to person. For me, beauty is something that is profound, like anything and everything that can inspire awe inside of me. Things that make me elated to be alive, sounds and especially smells (like the smell of cardamom and coconut-doused sweet plantains in my mother’s Tanzanian household). Beauty is not just visual, to me it’s particularly about the way things feel – “That to which the soul resonates.” It is these subtle things that we can’t always put a proper word to that sets off something within. Beauty.
Beauty Note: Love Your Skin. Love Your Hair. Love You. Beauty will flow to you and through you.