No Makeup Mondays: Meet Danielle, Josee, and Julia

November 13, 2016
Hey friend, thanks for being here today.
It's been a whopper of a week for most of us.
And I have to be honest, it's left me feeling a little helpless and overwhelmed.
I'm no stranger to these two pesky feelings. They've poked around in my life for a few months now, ever since our family experienced an unexpected layoff.
It's one thing to have your inner world flipped upside down, it's another when your outer world seems to want to match that, then raise it by 1000%.
Deep breath.
Deep breaths.
For the past few months. 
For today.
I've found that when those emotions swell within me, my best course of action is to share. These, of course, are the ways I counterbalance life. They are not right or wrong. They are not prescriptions. They may be different from your reflexes in the hardships of life right now. We are all doing the best we can.
I see that in you. Let's see that in each other. 
These three women are tackling life just like us today. As we see them, in all of their beauty, may our day be changed for the better. Happy Monday.
1. First, meet Danielle:
Danielle feels alive when she's singing and worshipping. She NEVER goes without makeup, so this shoot was a big step for her in uncovering, in vulnerability, in standing in front of the world untethered. She wanted to be part of the Real Me Photoshoot because she is passionate about helping women experience freedom from daily pressures of what the world demands regarding image. 
Her top three junk foods are Tiramisu, Reese's PB cups, and stuffed crust pizza. (Amen to that last one!) 
2. Next up, meet Josee:
Josee is a nurse. She'd love to travel outside the country. If you raided her Netflix account, you may see Pretty Little Liars queued up. (Well, that is what it was in April. You'll have to ask her what she's watching now!)  Her favorite IG account to follow is
Having walked through seasons of depression and anxiety, she wanted to be a part of the Real Me Photoshoot to encourage and empower other women. She goes without makeup 3-4 days a week, but knows that her anxiety battles have had a purpose. She's walking proof of that.
When I met Josee, I told her she seemed peaceful. She looked at me with a slow smile and said she's been praying to connect more to that side of herself. It's funny how people notice our strides often before we see it in ourselves.
3. Lastly, may I introduce Julia?
Julia is a force, full of ideas and convictions and sage wisdom.
She goes without makeup most days, and feels most comfortable in her skin when she's at home surrounded by girlfriends. She wanted to be a part of The Real Me Photoshoot because she wholeheartedly believes that women are beautiful just the way they are. 
Her favorite part of herself is her sense of humor. Her favorite book is The War of Art.
She is playful and serious and chatty and quiet. She is complex and yet simple. She is Mary Poppins and Malcolm X; her dichotomy is her beauty. She loves people and loves being loved...that what she wants you to know. 
I'll leave you with this beautiful poem called Human Family, by Maya Angelou. It is my heart today. They are not cheesy words meant to tie a pretty bow on life. They are hope to my confused and tender heart. I pray you find the same, if you are searching.

Human Family

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

**** If you liked today's post, visit the blog again next Monday, unless I forget or get busy homeschooling my kids or win a free trip to the beach. Do you know anyone giving away a free trip to the beach?
Also, feel free to drop me a message or share your thoughts below if this resonates with you.
No Makeup Mondays is an ongoing series from my photoshoot project, The Real Me. 
Keep being brave with your story, Samantha

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