Labels. We label people, decide who they are, what they can or cannot do or can or cannot be. I really don’t like labels. They hold people back. Each label has connotations attached; good or bad, positive or negative. Some people have the ability to overcome the negative labels they have been assigned, others do not. Some labels are based on reality, others on what is or is not acceptable; descriptions of what a person looks like, how they behave, the lifestyle they have chosen or how they choose to be identified. Some of us are held hostage by the negative labels, stunting the potential we have to become who we were created to be.
I attended a hair and makeup showcase this past weekend; one of my daughters was the photographer and modeled in the event. She did an awesome job, but I didn’t expect anything less. The showcase was in part a fundraiser, and yet the message broadcasting from the hair and makeup gala was strong and clear; dream in color by embracing who we are, living large, and loving ourselves apart from the opinions of others. The event featured our hairdresser, a highly creative, spiritually in tune, and innovative hairdresser and designer. I adore her, and apart from the fact she makes me look like a rock star, she is one of the most unique individuals God has brought into my life. She wears many labels; wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, hairdresser, artist, lover of God and all creation, to name a few and refuses to accept any negative labels. One of her best friends, an equally creative, spiritually in tune and unique individual, in her own right, was by her side as a model, and support. Trust me on this, Betsy and Meranda give ‘dynamic duo’ a whole new meaning. Together their auras are brilliant hues of personified beauty.
Perhaps the thing that separates these two beautiful and talented women from others is their ability to see beyond what is to what is possible. Their spirits fill any room, they are comfortable in their own skin, comfortable with who they are, where they have come from, and where they are going. There is depth to their souls, depth born of hardship, trial, and pain. Anytime we experience hardship, trial and pain we are given a choice; curl into a fetal position and withdraw from the world, or rise from the ashes like the Phoenix. The choice, in part, defines who we are and the level of trust we have in ourselves and the Universe.
Betsy is known as a “Healing Artist” in her alliance with a prominent hair care company. The energy pouring from her is simultaneously inspiring and exhausting, and I say that with respect and admiration. I hadn’t given the title “Healing Artist” much thought till after the showcase.
Obviously, as a hair care company, applying the word ‘healing artist’ to their partners is a reference to healthier hair. Yet, on a deeper level, Betsy is just that; a healer, but of much more than just hair. She is transparent, willing to share her struggles, trials, and triumphs without apology; all are part of the whole of who she is and who she is becoming. Her aura is brilliant, accessible and welcoming, and as she herself heals, so do those within her orbit.
On the surface, the showcase was about outside-the-box hair and makeup possibilities, but on a deeper level the message challenged the audience to be who we were created to be without apology, to dream in color and live the colors we dream. Dreaming in color means embracing our uniqueness, living vibrant lives and inviting others to do so, as well. How incredible the world would be if all did just that.
Betsy and Meranda are beacons of colored light in a black and white world, and yet there is struggle whenever we bring light. Light illuminates the darkness and it can be uncomfortable. Instead of embracing our uniqueness in all the world, many of us interpret the light of our uniqueness as somehow flawed, believing we don’t measure up to the standards the world has set. But, isn’t that the message? We don’t need to measure up to the standards of the world. The world’s standards are artificial, arbitrary, and suffocating. Betsy invites all to join her journey to be authentic, colorful, and to see ourselves as the Universe sees; beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind creations.
I haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up, just yet, but when I do, I want to be like Betsy and Meranda. I want to dream in color…..