Monday, May 30, 2011

May's Nutshell

Hello, Sweeties! I’m just sitting here, sipping my third cup of coffee, and reflecting on the life lessons brought to me by the month of May:

Spend Time With Old People – they won’t always be around, and no matter how much you think you know, you can still learn something from them.

Get Over It, Beth Newman – As much as I try to let go, I still find myself quite disheartened by the downfall of what was once a very special place to me. Apathy has virtually destroyed something for which I worked extremely hard. I take comfort, however, that I’ve made life-long, positive connections with those who were with me during this entity’s heyday, and I recall proudly that, once upon a time, this entity was a very special place.

– Should you feel compelled to show pictures of your lovely wife to a virtual stranger, do insure that nude photos of yourself are not included in the mix. Count yourself lucky, too, that the woman with whom you shared those photos doesn’t name names in a certain little elegant blog she writes.

Awkward discoveries – you may learn that someone from your present life has a negative connection to someone from your past. It’s best to come clean about how you fit into this picture (no matter how insignificantly), and insure both parties that you don’t have a dog in their fight. (Note to self: get this done ASAP)

Here and Now – you are where you are right now for a reason. The people in your life right now are here for a reason. Always show yourself to be classy, comforting, and supportive. You may, in fact, change their lives by doing so.

Bi-Lingual – When one uses Google translator to insure that her cleaning lady completely understands requests, one must prepare herself for the fact that the cleaning lady will, in turn, leave detailed notes – in Spanish, for her. Time to order Rosetta Stone, I think.

Hollywood Tragedy – I was quite saddened to learn about the death of actor Jeff Conaway, who portrayed Kenickie in the iconic film, Grease (just like every girl who grew up in the 70s ad 80s, I’ve seen Grease dozens of times). His struggles with addiction were, of course, noted in the tabloids, and I rooted for his recovery (as I do with anyone who deals with any sort of struggle, whether publicly or privately). I hope he’s found peace, and I shall always recall fondly these wise words: A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card…..

And that concludes my month. Cheers, Sweeties!

Beth Newman
Image Consultant/Life Coach/Author
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best

ps...If you've enjoyed this little musing, I invite you to contribute to the Elegant Fund. Proceeds benefit Girls, Inc., an organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Details at

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giving Gladly

I’ve been reading a great deal about the concept of giving lately. I’ve always believed myself to be a ‘good little giver’, but until recently, I never really considered my attitude while giving. I’ll confess, it’s not always as positive as it should be. As a society, we’re expected to give our money, our time, and our attention to various people and entities. We’re taught that we’ll reap blessings when we give, but here’s the kicker: we won’t reap anything positive if we’re not giving joyfully and without expectation.

When we give of ourselves, we shouldn’t expect anything in return. Giving should feel good, and when it does, we know we’ve done it for the right reasons. If it feels forced, or if we get upset because we weren’t recognized for our efforts in a way that we thought we should be recognized, then we’ll never reap a blessing from it.

In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra tells us that we must give those things we want out of life (respect, happiness, time, money, etc.). It’s a karmic thing: what goes around comes around. When we give for the right reasons, we will certainly be rewarded in some way.

In his book, Attract Money Now (, Dr. Joe Vitale makes the same claim. He goes on to discuss the importance of giving only where we find inspiration and spiritual nourishment. We can apply this ‘money-making’ concept to each aspect of our lives. Where are we placing our attention? How are we interacting with others? How are we spending our time? Are we really getting what we want out of life?

Again, the key is giving gladly.

Don’t let Bono or the Baptist Church tell you how to give. Don’t allow anyone to monopolize your time and energy if you don’t receive a boost from it. Don’t expect anything in return. Search your heart, and give lovingly your time, attention, and yes, even your money to those people and causes that are special to you, that inspire you, and that you feel are truly worthy of your efforts.

Then grab an umbrella, because blessings shall rain down upon you.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant, Life Coach, Author
Newman Image
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!

If you've enjoyed this free article, I invite you to help me show some love to Girls, Inc. Details at Together, we can make a difference - thank you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Tribute

Audrey Hepburn epitomized grace and style, not only in her appearance, but in her very essence. On this, what would have been her 82nd birthday, I’d like to pay tribute to Ms. Hepburn, and remind us all that true style goes much deeper than fashion.

True, she was born with beauty and enviable bone structure. When Audrey hit Hollywood, the prevailing notion of the acceptable way for women to dress was highly sexual (hourglass shapes teetering upon mincing heels). She offered another way for women to style themselves – and behave. She proved one didn’t have to carry herself ‘in a certain way’ in order to garner attention. Her subtle beauty continues to resonate with women everywhere, I believe. That’s why fashion designers still pay tribute to her in their own ways: crisp white shirts, clean lines, and little black dresses will never go away. It’s all about class and simplicity.

But it went much deeper than fashion with Ms. Hepburn. Audrey was one of the first celebrities to utilize her fame to help others – particularly those that no one seemed to care about. Long before Angelina Jolie made it chic, Audrey visited some of the most desolate places on earth, committing herself fully to reaching out to others who were less fortunate. She continued to do so long after she left the spotlight, and didn’t need a slew of photographers to record her every move. That’s a hard concept to grasp for our ‘reality TV’ generation, but it just goes to show that when you do something from the heart, something you’re passionate about, you don’t need an audience.

Of course, she faced struggles, as we all do: she grew up without a father, survived the Nazi threat in World War II, dealt with unfaithful husbands and two divorces, and lived under constant scrutiny from the media – all while managing her extraordinary film career and raising two children. By all Hollywood accounts, she was absolutely adored by everyone because of her kindness and compassion.

So I guess the point of today’s little musing is this: you can look fantastic while keeping it simple. You can survive anything as long as you have hope, and you can make a difference in this world, provided you’re doing it for the right reasons.

With that, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Audrey:

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Very true, Ms. Hepburn…and thank you.