The best gifts given. Reflection, gratitude and humanity.

The best gifts given. Reflection, gratitude and humanity.

I have had some really deep heartfelt conversations with people close to me recently. Some stopped me in my tracks. More on this in a moment. When I started writing this blog almost a year ago, it came from a deep rooted desire to figure out a few things for myself and find like minds to explore how to embrace the next chapter in life, how to be more inclusive and break down some stereotypes. Perhaps finally accepting that the beauty in all things is being different. Not conforming to expectations. A big agenda perhaps but it certainly struck a chord with many. Recently, I was asked if I had seen Madonna on Jimmy Kimmel and what did I think. Madonna is the same age(ish) as me. I always thought she embodied a woman of strength and confidence. She talks with strength and has never seemed to care what others thought and dances to her own beat. I did what anyone would do and googled Madonna on Kimmel. I was humbled when I saw her image. The fact is, even Madonna cares what we think. Who knew, like the rest of us, we struggle with what time looks like on our bodies and face. Yes, even Madonna is trying to adjust her appearance and it’s not that it matters at all. It is just a point to say, we are all vulnerable to wanting to fit in. To be accepted. It makes us all human and really truly wanting the same thing, to be loved. I bring this up in December, when we usually are busy seeing each other, I try to take time to reflect on life. What I see is that we really are all more the same than we are different. Which brings me to the conversation I had. I was told, “when I see you happy, it just makes me aware of how I am not.” My heart ached. The intention of sharing my happiness and not shrinking to fit in, is to open doors to share the good. To show by example. As Helen Keller wrote, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” I have said all along, I am looking for role models. How to live a life well lived. I just watched an emotional speech given by Jim Carrey. He spoke of his father and the lesson he learned growing up. His father could have been a comedian, but gave up his dream to take a safe and secure job. When Jim was 12, his father lost his job and later his family became homeless. Jim said he learned then that you can fail at what you don't love, so you may as well take a chance at doing what you love. Denzel Washington just gave a speech, “When you fall down seven times, get up eight.” If you don’t fail, you won’t succeed. There is a reason all these quotes are so popular. I will leave you with my latest favourite quote. It serves me well for this month of reflection and giving gratitude. “Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.“ Let’s take this time now to be there for each other. Lift each other up if we can. We all have our moments and times of not feeling shiny and new, but I know if we have just one person in our corner, the edges don't see as sharp. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Nothing happens until YOU decide

Nothing happens until YOU decide

Nothing happens until YOU decide. Repeat. I am just re-reading something I wrote years ago. Perhaps you have also read “The Secret.” It really is about the power of manifesting. That what you think, you become. So if you are going to dream, dream BIG! What you ask for is what you get, so be careful what you ask for. I am simplifying it, but that is what I walked away thinking to be true. Reflecting on the last year’s events, I am convinced that I manifested exactly what I wanted and I wanted to share my story with you. I also have a tool and practice for you to try on your own - so read on for more! I started my “passion project” when COVID-19 lockdown hit in March 2020. The world was taking a deep breath and for some reason I thought I had some new found time to start off on my own path, with a fire in my belly, to see if I could uncover what I was searching for. I did not and still do not have a clear picture, but I decided to jump. Head first. In the deep end. All in. With a website, Instagram and Facebook to get a conversation going with like-minded women of all stages and walks of life. Women approaching 45+ who wanted to discuss what that stage of life looks like and what new role models we can uncover to get some much needed excitement in maturing, not “aging” - read this blog if you haven’t already! Well, well, well …. I didn’t know then that what I was looking for, was looking for me. Manifesting, if you believe in something or want something, you maneuver your thoughts to make it happen. Once you decide what you want, “unforeseen forces will come to your rescue.” But you have to decide. I had a secret. When I was 20 I had wanted to be a model. I only told one person. I went to an agency and was told, “too short, not thin enough, not the right look. NEXT.” I walked away thinking, ‘they are right.” The dream stopped there. I tucked it away and created another dream. But as life would have it, my desire returned by accident, or perhaps not! I manifested my dream again, this time my 59 year old self said, “Hell no, go for it. Life is too short. Do what you want.” And ta-dah - it happened! I was in my favourite clothing store, Cora Couture in Collingwood. I started a conversation with a like-minded woman, the owner, and we had so much in common. During one of our chats she asked if I would model a few outfits for a photoshoot. My jaw dropped and I said, “YES, YES, YES.” One thing led to another and I am excited that I was part of the Collingwood Fashion Week line up. This is a dream becoming my reality. This is my play time. I put it out in the universe and I asked for it - another chance to do something I always wanted to do. Play dress up and not take myself too seriously. This is the gift of each day. Do you have a secret dream or desire but somewhere along the way abandoned your passion? Did someone tell you that you can’t? I am here to say, please revisit your dream, your hopes, what you love to do. Do not let someone or something stand in your way. When you feel the tap-tap-tap on your shoulder, that is your inner voice speaking. Sit with yourself and listen. It’s never too late!!! Next stop …. ZOOMER Magazine! Now, something for you to try on your own. Place your hand gently over your heart and repeat an affirmation, something that you are working towards and want in your life such as, “I am willing to do what I love.” Repeat this affirmation and practice. Harvest and nurture your energy and actions towards this goal. Nothing happens until YOU decide. Make it happen. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

We are all role models

We are all role models

I had the most incredible honour in July. I had an opportunity to speak with an inspiration of mine, Ann Rohmer. A television personality, with a career and accolades one can only dream of. I have said many times, “What you are looking for, is looking for you!” I had dinner with someone, who knew someone and a connection was made. I had an interview scheduled the next day. “There are no accidents, only accidents on purpose.” My conversation with Ann Rohmer had purpose. Coincidence? I think not. All of life’s experiences are stepping stones to the present. What was I going to talk about? What would be the purpose of this interview? What is the reason for the blogs, the Instagram posts and Facebook? I believe this is the start of a movement I am committed to. I shared with Ann my experience 15 years ago. I was 45 and at a crossroad in my life. I knew I was entering a new phase, a next chapter in my life. My parents had passed, my career was intact but I was still searching for purpose and deeper meaning. Was I alone? I was seeking a glimpse of what the future might look like as a maturing woman. This is where I ran into the fork in the road. I could not find any role models that gave me a glimmer of hope to what may lie ahead. I had Oprah Winfrey, who is my hero, but images of strong, independent confident women, living full lives who were comfortable in their skin were few. I was and still am, looking for role models to kickstart the movement of embracing life at any stage. Something to help encourage me to live big dreams fearlessly. Like minds to embrace our differences and rally together to celebrate our age, our wisdom, our positive thoughts and explore what is ahead without fear. So, my quest began and it continues. It was then, that I was given a Zoomer magazine with an image of Maye Musk. I believe she was 57. She was vibrant and strong with gorgeous silver hair. From what I saw, not a filler or plumper to be seen. A powerful mature woman who would, in that moment, become my role model. Maye made a statement and cracked the mold. The impact Maye had on my psyche was incredible. She removed any fear or question I had about maturing. I saw what I could be, and more importantly, what I wanted to be moving forward. Capable, independent and able to live a full life. So, if one image could change my life, assuring me life can get better with each year, and what we gain with wisdom and knowledge more than makes up for a line or two. It’s all how we look at it. How we see ourselves and others is powerful. I want to be a role model, but more so, I want to get the word out that WE ARE ALL ROLE MODELS to each other. It is our privilege to share with each other our stories and our thoughts about how to make major life events easier for those who follow. When we learn to accept our bodies (not the photoshopped version) and carry ourselves with pride and confidence it creates a model for others to follow. When we show each other how to love ourselves first we pass the importance of self-love to generations to come. We pay it forward. We are each others’ role models. When I saw Maye Musk’s image 15 years ago it was my new beginning. I want that for all of us. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Anti-aging stops here. Words are powerful.

Anti-aging stops here. Words are powerful.

I need your help and it has to do with the power of words. We need to use and choose them wisely. I am creating a culture shift in our workplace to abolish the negative words that have been common place until now. Anti-aging, growing old, getting old. It is actually coming from you, my friends. You are telling me and guiding me to the conclusion that we need to stop complaining about the “getting older issue.” Count your blessings that we are here, in this moment right here, right now. Welcome each day we are given. We have to change the culture and marketing of growing old. Perhaps just growing. We can change the dialogue and I am starting right now with baby steps. I think it will have a profound effect on the people we work with and our customers. I want to change the conversation in our workplace. Four years ago, we had a lipliner called Indian Red. Today I cringe that it was ever considered politically correct, but the world has thankfully changed to encourage us to look through a wider lens. This lipliner is now called Flame. All our product names are being revisited to make sure the words used will represent the positive images we wish to encourage and portray. Our images on our campaigns have always been inclusive, all ages, genders and skin tones. We have been doing this since we began in 1987 and we will continue to expand and explore new territory. Here is where you come in. I have this skin care moisturizer. It needs a new name. Currently it’s called “Anti-aging” moisturizer. It suggests you can stop the aging process if you use this cream. That’s not true. Yes, it’s a gorgeous cream that contains ingredients that will do your skin good but I want to change the conversation. Please send me some names you want us to consider for the moisturizer formerly known as: Anti-aging. If we pick your name, I will send you some product for your effort. Now to the bigger picture. I want to encourage only positive images of every day. We are not old or aging. We are nurturing and whole. We are stepping into our power. We are following our internal North Star. I was reading something this morning that really speaks to me. "What you see every day becomes your reality.” If we are constantly seeing images of strong, vibrant, powerful women than that's who and what we aspire to become. The flip side is if all we see and hear is mature, frail, women presented in a diminished capacity and that growing up is not to be embraced and something we are excited about, then that is also what we become. Let us say what we mean. Use our words to encourage powerful strong images to propel us forward. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Age-appropriate boundaries? No thanks.

Age-appropriate boundaries? No thanks.

I remember this moment in 1994 like it was yesterday. I am in my favourite clothing store where I’d been shopping since I was 16. I entered the change room armed with a few exciting new pieces to try on for the coming summer season. I am feeling a slight shift in the store atmosphere. The music is louder. I no longer recognize the songs. I think it's rap music, what happened to The Rolling Stones? I tried on a few skirts and wonder - did they get shorter or is it my comfort level that is no longer feeling this short-short look anymore? The sales clerk is younger than me. I was always the youngest in the store but no more. I am 32 and feeling like I am a totally different generation. I had an a-ha moment and not a “yippee” a-ha. It was an “oh no”! At the ripe age of 32, I was no longer feeling young enough to be buying my clothes at this store. Was it the store that changed or was it me? And so, my first experience, of what I think is termed, “age appropriate.” Here is the funny thing. Now, at almost 60, I reflect and think what a ridiculous thought. WHY? Because I now know that there is no such thing. Like everything else in life, it is really up to you to choose if anything is appropriate. If you feel good and your heart is in the right place then I say, have at it. Today if I want to wear that short-short look I will, but only if I feel good about it. Thankfully, I have moved into a place that comfort and style are far more important. I have had many encounters with trying to do a trend or style that perhaps were not in my best interest. Case in point. In my 20s and 30s I had fun dressing for pleasure and trying to find my sense of style. We want to be different but we want to fit in as well. In reflection, I now see if we don’t know ourselves well enough, we allow others to dictate how we do things. This can be a slippery slope. I did not have the money or interest in designer labels. It was not even on my radar. Then it happened. In the mid-‘80s the trends demanded a logo on your purse. If you were someone, you had to claim the status of a $1,000 purse! I didn’t have the money so I was OK with not participating in this trend until I became friends with someone who did. In her culture, status demanded ownership of a Gucci, Chanel or Louis Vuitton purse. I had my $25 animal print bag and I loved it until I allowed myself to feel shame. I ditched my $25 purse and went out and on credit got myself a designer bag. Yes, it was fun, until it wasn’t. I was doing this for all the wrong reasons – attempting to get external validation through the display of merchandise! It may sound like I have an issue with designer labels. I don’t but isn’t it a little odd that in the clothing arena, we feel the need to pay inflated prices for pieces of clothing that are designed mostly by slightly overweight men who don’t have the bodies they design for? The designs are created for size 4-6 women. Recently, I learned another important lesson when I was out for dinner with friends. When I pulled my ‘dollar’ readers out to read the menu, I heard “Vita! Really! You can’t wear those.” Now my 60-year-old self said, “Oh yes, I can!” I felt no shame. In fact, I was proud that for one dollar I could own 25 pairs and have one in every purse and room. I purchase items because I like the style or shape or because they speak to me. If I like it - I buy it. Not to impress but because I like it. Listen, we all have growing up stories and I would love to hear yours. So, to put a ribbon on this age-appropriate thing - I believe there is no such thing. Please let’s start to break down these false rules of what to do and what is acceptable. Allow ourselves freedom to be who we are meant to be. Different from each other is good. If we can learn to embrace each other for who we are it’s a step in the right direction. If you want to wear short shorts, please do so. If Doc Martens are your thing, go for it. “A woman who feels good about herself is invincible. On a good day, when you feel it’s all working it’s like - get out of my way because it’s going to happen today. I feel great.” - Norma Kamali Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Letting go of the need for approval

Letting go of the need for approval

I was at a virtual funeral recently. I did not know the woman who passed, but I am close to her daughter. COVID meant that even the virtual turnout was small but size did not take away how powerful it was or the impact it had on me. I did not know what she looked like other than one picture on the mantel. However, the picture in my mind from the description of the details of the life she led are etched in my mind. I did not care if she wore beautiful clothes or followed the latest trends. If this mom wore lipstick everyday or coloured her hair. Did she drive a new car or take the bus? Did she go to college or university? These things did not matter. What I did learn was this woman loved her children more than anything. She loved her home, it was her safe place. She loved to dance. She was married 64 years to a man who loved her back. They knew what was important in life and shared great meals with grandchildren who all spoke at her funeral with such love and grace. My eyes were teary throughout. This woman left a legacy and taught the closest people in her life that all that finally matters is unconditional love. I left the funeral wishing I had met her. I do though feel grateful to have been there to reconfirm that her legacy is in her daughter and son and grandchildren. I thank Norma who lived life on her own terms, who danced to her own song, who spent a lifetime loving and being true to her self. It was her funeral I attended. It is never too late to readjust our thinking or our view on things. As I reflected I again wondered about why we care about what others think? The answer may very well be the key to complete freedom to live our lives without regret. When we don’t seek the approval of others we are at our most powerful. Whether you call it approval or validation it doesn’t really matter. I think we give our power away when we are overly concerned about what someone might think when in actual fact they are not thinking about us at all. Eleanor Roosevelt, among others, said, “You would be surprised at how little people really think of you.” A powerful thought. I would love to pave the way to a place where the most important question is - Am I good with this? If the answer is yes, then that is all we need. We do not need the approval of others. As always, I wonder what your thoughts are. How do you approach letting go of relying upon the approval of others as you make life choices? Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Be seen and heard

Be seen and heard

Do you hear me? Do you see me? Does what I say matter? Oprah once said, that in all her interviews the common thread was that all each of us really want and need is to be heard, seen and validated. When I started writing these blogs, my desire was to have a conversation with you. I wanted to share some honest storytelling and possibly undo a lifetime of conditioning so entrenched in our core that it no longer makes sense. Let’s get the conversation started so we can all be seen and heard. More to come about this at the end of the post. I once thought that when I retired, I could do the things I really wanted to do. That thought came from a lifetime of hearing exactly that. The false promise of ‘Freedom 55’ was spoken everywhere. How crazy a thought. I now know that you should always do the things you want to do when you want to do them. There is no waiting until anything and the best news is the passion does not stop as we get older. It should be ramping up. Five years ago, I heard this unsettling noise in my soul. I was looking for role models to kickstart the movement of embracing life at any stage. Something to help encourage me to live big dreams fearlessly. Like minds, to embrace our differences, and rally together to celebrate our age, our wisdom, our positive thoughts and explore what is ahead without fear. I could find a few strong women – Oprah, Marianne Williamson and Ariana Huffington. They were far and few. Now, today, we are no longer in hiding. Social media is flooded with powerful strong minds encouraging us to look forward. It’s not the hundreds of posts encouraging you to stop colouring your hair or to embrace fine lines or the five makeup tips for mature women. We are more than that. So much more. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is we all have had some time to be still and do some soul searching. It’s like a vibration on a musical instrument that you can hear and feel. It’s the movement I feel in my core and I speak about – to show by example that collectively we can help each other be seen and be heard. So how do we do this? You don’t fade away, you show up. You do what is right for you, rather than conforming. Know you will be loved without judgement. It is about self love. It is about self care. It is about getting to know yourself. It is about knowing your value. It is about all the things that matter, while letting go of what doesn’t and the wisdom to know the difference. And, celebrate what you do for you. I’ve been so moved and honoured by the many hundreds of comments you have shared with me about aging gracefully, not quietly. Stories about what inner beauty means to you, how to thrive no matter what age and how to create a powerful attitude as you move forward. Your comments have not only inspired me but each of us to live life fully each day and not have our lives dictated by a timeline or a ticking clock. Speaking of sharing, here’s some exciting news. We are planning a community forum on my site and when the time comes, you will receive a special invitation to join and share your stories and experiences. Until then keep showing up, being seen and keep creating a space for others to share. We all need kindness now more than ever. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Motherhood: taking a different path

Motherhood: taking a different path

Why motherhood is an attitude not a biological necessity. Anyone who is close to me knows this - I trust in life’s plan. Some say the universe, some say God. Whatever you call it I believe that your story has reason and purpose and where we are in this moment is part of a bigger plan. And that there are no mistakes. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I choose to believe this for many reasons. Mostly it allows me to not second guess every action or thought. I try hard to listen to my intuition, gut feeling and inner voice. My voice never lets me down when helping me choose right from wrong and keeping me on my true path. Having said all of this, I am at peace with my choice not to have children. It is actually a decision that evolved over time and when push came to shove, the decision was made for me. Every girl and woman grows up thinking or wondering about being a mom. When will I or should I have children? No escaping the question. You either ask yourself or others certainly will. I grew up thinking that when you find the right person, you will eventually have children. I remember friends getting married. Most started having children right away. I was a few years younger than my friends so I didn’t feel like I really had to address the question. “Oh, don’t worry. You will know when you’re ready.” I waited and waited. I found the right person at the age of 27-years but thought, ok, maybe I am a late bloomer. When does the desire to have children arrive? Because I am not feeling it. What I was feeling was a stronger pull to have something of my own in life that I could create and love and take care of. It turned out it would be a business career. A cosmetics business. I always loved makeup and my path led me to a different type of motherhood. I also gave myself the out that once the business was up and running, perhaps I could do both. But as the business took over my every moment, years passed and it became obvious I could not nor would not be able to be good at both. I am in complete awe of the women who succeed in both. Career and motherhood are BIG. Only you know what you can handle and take on. I knew it was one or the other. The choice was easy for me, because that “feeling” never came until I was 40. I was lifting my head out of the clouds long enough to deal with the big question every woman needs to finalize. Am I going to have children? More important, I had to ask myself - am I going to be a mother? And as it turned out life had taken me to the place I needed to be. I was already a mother. I have 2 beautiful children from my husband’s first marriage. I have nieces and nephews whom I love to my core. I realize it’s not the same as going into labour myself however, being a mother and having children are two different things. I feel more love to my cat Sam than I could ever describe. He was and is my baby. Interestingly, when I was 41, I found out that I was not going to be able to have children, but I had made the decision myself, before I found out. I thought what a blessing for me to have come to my own conclusion, instead of finding out that I couldn’t and pine for it. I say all this, because it is such an incredible honour and gift to give birth and be a mom. I do not know this physically but I do know that there is no other love, like a mother’s love. We collectively have this one fact in common - to get into this world we had to have a mother. No other way. There is no higher honour. But (there is always a but), you don’t have to give birth to be a mother. I am a mother to many and this fills my heart. We are all different. That’s what’s beautiful. There is no right or wrong. It just is. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

The moment my life changed

The moment my life changed

Each one of us has a defining moment in life. One that puts everything in perspective. If we are lucky to live long enough, we have many defining moments that allow us to live our life with purpose and meaning and end up exactly where we are supposed to be. It is with time and reflection that we can learn and go "Ahhhh! That’s why this happened." My defining moment was looking in the mirror at 42 years of age and no longer recognizing myself. I realized I had crossed a line and knew I needed help. This was my wakeup call. I had just binged again but, this time, I couldn’t keep it in … I had to throw it up. I was scared, this was different. With all the other emotions shame and feeling really empty came and sat right beside me. How could I have gotten to this stage? If I may, let me share my story. Growing up middle class I thought all was well with all my needs met. I had a mom, dad and brother. My father drank too much. My mom was ill for months at a time but I never thought it affected me. I didn’t realize that it did and my comfort to deal with the turbulence would be food. It was a reward, for something good. It was a comfort when things were not. Food, never let me down, until I started being teased because I turned out to be the chubby kid in grade school. Kids have no filter, they call things as they see it, and I was fat. I was bullied, pushed, even had my name spray painted on the school walls saying, “Vita is fat” and "Vita is a pig”. Not easy to handle at 10 years old. It only made me want to eat and console myself more. This rollercoaster continued until I was 15. I was 50 lbs overweight and miserable. And so the ride begins. I stopped eating. Slowly the weight came off. Over the summer holiday I lost 30 lbs and I was about to enter high school. People started to notice that I looked different and I got compliments on my new look. And by the end of the year I was 50 lbs lighter. By the time I was in grade 10 I was looking like the other kids and the kids who teased me treated me differently. I was one of them. Interestingly, I knew I was the same person and it was they who lost their lustre to me. This was the most valuable lesson I learned at an early age. I was the exact same person, yet, how I looked dictated to others how I should be treated. I also learned another not so positive side effect ... I thought ... If I am accepted at this weight, maybe if I lose more, I will be loved more and THAT is the slippery slope. When is thin, thin enough? The magazines, tv, models all told me that thin rules at any cost. And it did cost me. My only thoughts revolved around how many calories I consumed. What new diet could I try? How did my clothes fit? It was a constant judgement in my every waking moment. I started to run and exercise to the extreme. The calories had to be calculated because my worth was wrapped up in these numbers. I am sad to say, this went on and accelerated until that day I turned 42. I never spoke of this to anyone. It was my secret - one filled with shame. I speak now of silver linings in everything so let me tell you - this story has many silver linings. I now realize that I was not ready to deal with my emotions or my eating disorder. I never even really thought it was a disorder, because society suggests that skinny is the only acceptable way to be. All of this happened to me and for me so that it would bring me to this blog. To share my story and be honest and open. So I can move forward and do what I am supposed to. To bring us together, share our stories and learn from each other honestly and openly. We are more the same than different. That is what I know for sure. Whether it is a drinking issue, eating issue, gambling issue or drug abuse we are all flawed, but it is these flaws that bring us hopefully to some common ground. As with any addiction or illness the scars remain as a reminder of where we have been. It’s not a judgement. I consider my eating disorder a badge I was given. To make good of and to learn to live with. It’s something I am proud to say does not define me. I have through therapy and hard work learned why this happened and how to put it in its place. It no longer rules my life. I can say that I have great respect for the power we give away when we try to control. When we surrender to the weakness that is where we can find our true self and our purpose. This is my fuel now. I have little shame of what I went through now, because, I am going to use my voice to allow perhaps maybe one little kid to avoid the pain and focus the good on the path you’re on. It all intertwines into beauty is difference. It’s the differences that we need to really wrap our heads around. If we can start to take small steps to catch ourselves when we make a judgement on the difference - fat, skinny, black, white, old, young, rich, poor, smart. And it is with time I now realize it to be the blessing it was meant to be and has brought me here, to write these words and share my experience. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Why do we give our power to others?

Why do we give our power to others?

“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.”
― Susan Polis Schutz I’m really curious about why we decide to take one path rather than another. And I’m especially curious about why we allow others to influence how we look and feel. This is something I’ve reflected on for years. I spent most of my early childhood trying to conform to what others told me to be. This has sparked a deep question in me. Why do we give our power to others? Especially the power to choose how we show up in our lives and why we feel we need to conform to someone else’s idea of beauty. “You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
― Amy Bloom While reflecting on the topic, I recently bumped into a podcast by Amy Porterfield. She mentioned a survey that revealed the vast majority of women thought Kim Kardashian represented the ideal form. She shared Kim’s love of Spanx, industrial tape and layers of contouring makeup to make herself look like, well, herself. I found myself asking why? “LIFE IS A CHOICE. All day, every day. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices. It’s as simple and complex as that. And as powerful." - Louise Penny Why do we align so readily with others? I am coming to understand that where I once thought I had to look good to feel good, now I want to feel better to look like me, regardless of whether or not I am on trend. In my cosmetics business, we’re advised to join one of many global trend forecasting companies. It is here we’re advised of the new ‘it’ colours for cosmetics, clothing, housewares, cars and all kinds of items. I have always thought of it like the Wizard of Oz. Oh, Mighty Oz! Decide what the world needs to buy next, the colour, texture and pattern. The reality is, it’s just a person behind a big curtain and we accept this person’s or company’s ideas over our own personal taste. Whether we like it or not. Case in point…the must shade for spring 2021 is bubblegum pink. Well, I don’t like pink. Not any pink and certainly not loud shockingly bright bubblegum pink. It’s just not my colour, however, to belong and show that we know the current trends, we are compelled to do a campaign to show bubblegum pink. Why? Because sometimes it’s easier to try to fit in than not? Because we care more about what others think than what we think? Because we will wear, buy and consume products against our better judgement just to fit in? Because you get used to listening to someone else’s opinion and start to devalue your own. As I finish writing this, I have just convinced myself to perhaps do our spring/summer campaign with a shade of pink…but also a red, a violet and an orange! Just because I can.♥️ And, from now on I am going to consciously try to not give my power to others and listen to myself first. What would our world look like if we didn’t judge each other based on appearance? What would we be able to contribute if we redirected the effort and money we put into appearance to doing good? I don’t have all the answers. But I do know the most important first step in reclaiming our power is finding our voice. You can grab my free guide on finding your voice and tap into the confidence to stand out in your personal and professional life here. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

Why there is no timeline on beauty

Why there is no timeline on beauty

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”
- Coco Chanel There is no clock ticking, no race to win, no finish line to cross. We can all take a deep breath, a collective sigh. There is no timeline on beauty. How light would it feel, and how much more space in one's mind if we all came to the conclusion that there is no envelope of time when we are beautiful? There is no expiry date. We are beautiful at every age, every stage. It's just all variations of beauty, Not just one cookie cutter version. What a relief to finally believe in your core, that in 5 years you will be beautiful, and in 10 and in 15. It doesn't stop, but it certainly changes. The trick is to change our perspective of what is beauty. No small feat, but I am up for the challenge. If we were to widen the scope and be more inclusive, that would be a start. And this is the change that is starting to happen, however, it's only effective if it is repeated and repeated until it is natural to look at one’s image without judgement of what we currently call a flaw. “You define beauty for yourself, society doesn’t define your beauty."
- Lady Gaga It just takes a moment. It can all change in an instant. But you have to be present in that moment. For me it started 15 years ago. Jamie Lee Curtis posted a picture of her 47 year-old self. She had no makeup, wore a pair of shorts and the caption was: 'This is what 47 looks like' She showed what a REAL 47 looks like - softness and imperfection that I could finally exhale and feel a deep connection to. It was not photoshopped and it was a game changer. She was considered brave, But it was really just being honest. “The chain starts with one link.” I like to think of it as reinventing yourself. What an opportunity! With every day, month and year we move forward and accumulate knowledge, love, strength and hopefully clarity. It shows up on our physical side like we get a chance to press the reset button. You can not possibly expect to see your 20 year-old self in the mirror, nor would you want to. When I started this journey, I wanted to tell women in their 30s and 40s to not fear time. The best is ahead. It does get better with each day and year. We need to focus on what you gain, Clarity, strength, your voice, love of self. You continue to gain with each day. There is more to the story. You don’t lose anything. You don't lose your beauty. It's just perception. So clearly we have to change the perception of beauty. What if the grey hair, soft line and body changes became beautiful and it was a gift? Then it’s a win win, and it really just gets better with everyday forward. Nothing to fear. Everything to gain. Moving forward that is how I plan to imagine my life. If we make little adjustments in our perception, it can take us to a new level of thinking. There is no timeline on beauty. Love and gratitude Xo Vita

How to rewrite your script

How to rewrite your script

I have been chatting with a friend undergoing some personal challenges and perhaps facing an alternative path in life. The question came to me, why are we hesitant to change our life’s plan? Our circumstances change, why shouldn’t our script? Let your life speak In my early years I spent time telling life what I wanted. Now, I listen to what my life wants me to do with me. I have a different perspective now on things. In my early years , I had a clear outlook on what I thought was important: - rent an apartment - buy a used car - get a job - buy clothes After I was married the list started to change: - save for a house - climb the business ladder - take vacations away - buy a new car - still buy clothes, but with matching shoes! In my 40s a shift started. The closet is getting full of clothes. Our house is decorated. My parents health is starting to decline and there is a huge priority shift. Things don’t have the same sparkle. Time is the golden nugget. The prize. Time with the family, time with loved ones, time with friends. But there is no time available, because I am too busy trying to maintain the things. The lightbulb moment arrives: What if I re-wrote my script or the list I had created? Life is now whispering to me a deeper meaning. A purpose. The voice is coming from inside me. That’s the clarity that comes with time. Self and service. The place where your joy and need meet. You know in your soul when you’re in the right place. When you connect with this feeling, the magic begins. It’s effortless. It feels right, there’s no pain, it expands. When you’re on the wrong track or in the wrong place your soul reacts. If you listen, it’s agitated, and if you’re still, you hear it and feel it. “Be daring be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imagination vision against play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
- Cecil Beaton I’m here to tell you, you can, at any time, rewrite your script. Here are a few of the items on my list: 1. Be still and really listen. Your gut and voice already know. 2. Be aware of discomfort. When things are right they are effortless. 3. Time is the one thing you can not buy. 4. It’s never too late and it’s never too early. If you're interested in the full list, watch out for 50 Ways To Rewrite Your Script coming in February. Love and gratitude Xo Vita