Have you ever felt inspired to do something, but then, for whatever reason, you tell yourself I can’t. I shouldn’t. Never mind? Or you let yourself believe that this*something* isn’t important enough to fight for, and you give up at the first sign of struggle? I did. Or I tried to.
But no matter how hard I tried to say I can’t, I shouldn’t, never mind, another voice said YOU CAN. YOU SHOULD. LET’S DO THIS.
There is a photography movement called Beauty Revived. Beauty Revived strives to bring to light the real beauty in each of us. For the last several years they have been featuring stories on their website and magazine of beautiful women and teens who embody what it means to be truly, deeply, honestly beautiful. It’s not about what size jeans you wear, or how many Facebook friends you have, or where you went on your last vacation. It’s about the smile on your face and the kindness in your heart. It’s about being smart and empathetic and loving. It’s about being truly beautiful, from the inside out.
I applied last week to be a part of their current campaign: BEAUTY REVIVED 50 Most Beautiful Children. Here is what their website says about the campaign,
“Please join with us and apply to be one of our 50 Most Beautiful Children Photographers. The 50 photographers chosen will be featured on BeautyRevived.com as well as in our Beauty Revived magazine published in August. The top 5 stories and pictures will also be featured on a special Beauty Revived week over at Lemonade and Lenses. We are looking for the stories of children who are serving others, who are overcoming trials and who are facing their lives with courage.”
I applied not expecting to get chosen, but even more so, I had NO idea what extraordinary child I would photograph if I WAS chosen. Then, suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Lola.
Sweet, freckled, red-headed, 9 year old Lola. Lola lost her mom unexpectedly 2 years ago.
Lola is creative. Lola is kind. Lola cares about others. In the face of her own tragedy, she has chosen love.
NOW, I was excited. Excited to give this bright light of a little girl a very special experience. And I hoped and prayed that if I was meant to do this that I would be among the 50 photographers chosen. I woke up this past Monday, eagerly anticipating the announcement of the 50 photographers chosen to be a part of the campaign. I saw it pop up in my Facebook feed and immediately scanned for my name. It wasn’t there. Instantly, I felt defeated and deflated.
I can’t. I shouldn’t. Never mind.
But all day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
But I wasn’t chosen.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Lola.
I would have to buy a plane ticket and travel.
I wondered, how could I possibly pull this off?
I can’t. I shouldn’t. Never mind.
Then, funny things started to happen. My *NO* was met with militant can-do forces who struck it down with YES after YES after YES.
I mentioned the campaign to my friend Andrea who is a hair stylist: YES!
I was on a conference call for work when I was asked to come to Milwaukee for a meeting (the very same week I would have to be there for this session): YES!
I asked on FB if anyone knew of any children’s clothing boutiques that may be willing to donate a dress, and my talented seamstress friend Erin responded: YES!
But would Lola say yes?
I emailed her grandmother, my dear friend Donna….she talked with Lola and the answer was a resounding, collective: YES!
I didn’t care anymore whether or not I was part of the official Beauty Revived campaign.The movement isn’t about me, it’s about lifting up someone else. It’s about giving Lola a day she’ll never forget. It’s about a community coming together to tell a little girl,
You can. You should. You matter. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
On July 11th, Lola and I will have a very special day together. Lola will be pampered at by Andrea and friends at Neroli Salon. She will be wearing a custom dress by Erin of Marion Hill Custom Sewing and custom jewelry by Stephanie of Stevieanne Designs. She will be photographed by yours truly and I will be thrilled to have my talented photographer friend Jessie of Simple Soul Photographs on hand to assist me and to capture behind the scenes photos of the day. I am so excited I might burst.
Oh, and guess what? I got an email from Beauty Revived on Tuesday evening and they’ve asked me stand by as an alternate. For real. Can you even believe it?
The moral of the story?
Sometimes you have to stop saying No. I can’t. I shouldn’t. Never mind.
And say YES! I CAN. I SHOULD. LET’S DO THIS!
Oh my word. I’m so excited. I can’t WAIT to share this with you!
I’m sorry, what was that? How can YOU be involved? Hop on down below, and I’ll tell you!
Thank you, friends.