Step Up’s Inspiration Awards

Last week I was honored to be invited to Step Up’s 11th Annual Inspiration Awards. Step Up Women’s Network is an amazing organization that helps women and girls fulfill their full potential. It was really moving to hear the stories of many girls who went from really bad, hard situations to announcing at the awards that they were going to college! I love the work that Step Up does. I also love Dogeared Jewelry, who co-sponsored the event.  Here’s a link to Dogeared’s blog about the event and a pic of me with some girlfriends and the Dogeared founder, Marcia Clarke:

http://blog.dogeared.com/inspiration-awards-2014/

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:-) KJB

RIP Maya Angelou

I woke up to the news of Maya Angelou’s passing this morning, and felt compelled to share one of my favorite poems of hers here. She was such a wise, beautiful soul; I never met her, but was and continue to be inspired by her & her work. Her words were simple and profound, and I’m so grateful for this woman’s work and legacy. Thank you, Ms. Angelou, and Rest In Peace.

 

Phenomenal Woman

BY MAYA ANGELOU

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.

 

 

:-) KJB

“Free Fall” by Mark Nepo

Hey everyone!

You know when I’m inspired by something, I love to share it-so here’s a simple, truthful, amazing poem I heard over the weekend. I’m a big fan of Mark Nepo (I’ve spoken about him on my blog before). I was really moved by this poem, so I hope by posting it on here you guys will enjoy it like I did-just a little reminder that we are all blessed. :-) KJB

“Freefall” by Mark Nepo

If you have one hour of air
and many hours to go,
you must breathe slowly.

If you have one arm’s length
and many things to care for,
you must give freely.

If you have one chance to know God
and many doubts, you must
set your heart on fire.

We are blessed.

Every day is a chance.
We have two arms
Fear wastes air.

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

It’s hard to believe we are in the beginning of 2014 already! I hope you guys all enjoyed your 2013 Holiday season and are ready to kick ass in 2014, because I sure am!

I wanted to share with you a thought for the new year as we begin January. I was catching up on some “Life Class” and “Super Soul Sunday” episodes on my DVR (they air on OWN) and one particular sentence that Brene Brown said really made me think(if you don’t know who she is, I encourage you to look her up and listen to her TED talk. She’s amazing)

Anyway, she said (among other encouraging and amazing things) “Talk to yourself as you would someone you love.” It’s a simple statement, but if you think about it, how often do we talk to ourselves with way more criticism and attitude than we would someone else? We are often too hard on ourselves, and can beat ourselves up too easily; whereas if it were our loved one we were talking to, we’d probably be a little kinder with our words.

So as you start out the New Year, let’s be a little kinder to ourselves as we get excited for the goals and dreams ahead of us.

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Talk to you guys soon!

Love,

 

:-) KJB

Tara’s Inspirational Story

Hey Everyone!

One of the make-up artists that I worked with on a film years ago and I are friends on Facebook; she’s always posting messages of positivity and light, which is one of the things I have always loved about her. Recently she posted a story that I just had to share with you, so I got her permission to do so. 

Tara Starling used her make-up talents to help a bishop in a local church spread awareness of  a message that I think is so important to remember, especially during the Holiday season. I’m pasting her story below along with the picture. Hopefully it will touch you in the same way it did me- by reminding us to not judge someone on their outward appearances, and to not take for granted the daily blessings in our lives, no matter how big or small. Thanks, Tara, for the inspiration!!

“Early this morning, before I came to set, I had a very special opportunity to use my makeup to share a life-altering, soul-shaking, world-changing message. A local bishop, who had deep concerns about his congregation’s lack of compassion and their tendency towards quick judgement, came to me asking if I could transform him into a homeless man, concealing his true identity from those he led in worship each Sunday. I told him I was happy to do it, but it would require him coming to my house quite early so that I could do his makeup and still get to set on time. “I’ll be there at 2am in the morning if I have to…” he replied, “…the people in my congregation need to internalize the importance of unconditional love in a way they will never forget.”

So at 6 am in the morning he showed up at my house, and for the next hour we altered his appearance with fake sideburns, a bruised and cut cheek, deeply scarred lip, contact lenses, a wig, tooth stain and lots of of “dirt.” I rushed off to go do makeup for my actors on set of the movie I am working on, and he went to teach his flock by giving them a real-life parable.

All morning I was on pins and needles, waiting anxiously to get his text reporting on how the experiment had gone and what effect it had on his parishioners. Finally at 10:58 am my phone screen lit up.
“Absolutely blew them away…Not a dry eye in the congregation… Lots of guilty guilty consciences afterwards.Had five different people kick me off the church property. We have a long way to go in this church…” And then he added, “But I was amazed at how many children came up and put change in the box.”

What is it that makes us forget in our adulthood what we so inherently know as children; that every soul has intrinsic value independent of circumstance or standing? When do we begin to believe that because someone has less they are worth less? At what point do we decide in our hearts that because someone has lost everything, they now merit only our disdain and scorn rather than our compassion and kindness?

Perhaps that is precisely the problem though…that we no longer choose to make a difference with our hearts because we are making all our decisions with our heads. The Master himself said “Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Can it be that simple to create the Kingdom of Heaven in our hearts and in our communities and in our world, and enter into it right here and right now?

God gives each of us such an abundance of blessings. More than we can even use ourselves most of the time. Can we take the “change,” the extra bits of His goodness and Grace that fill our hands and our homes and our hearts after our day-to-day transactions in the
marketplace of Life, and simply place it in the “box” of someone who is wounded and weary, dirty and dejected? Can we forget all the ridiculous false things we have learned in this world and remember the simple, shining truths we knew when we first came into it?

The last thing I gave the kind bishop—now looking quite different– before I left my house and headed to set was instructions on how to get cleaned up and returned back to his original self. His very first step was to take out the contacts so he could see clearly to do the rest. And perhaps therein lies our answer. Perhaps it really is as easy as removing from our eyes the scales of judgement and indifference so we can see once again with the pure and perfect vision of a child.

What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall in that chapel today, and see the reaction of the people in the pews as they suddenly realized that the downtrodden, destitute man they had hurriedly brushed past on the sidewalk was actually the father of their congregation. But sitting here on set I can feel tears in my own eyes as I wonder who has really been inside the lost and lonely souls that I have not taken time to actually see beneath their broken parts and battle scars. But I know that even if there was not a single heart turned in that church building today, the brave bishop still got his wish. My own heart turned. My own eyes are seeing in a new and wonderful way. And although in time I may not remember precisely what products I used to transform the bishop into a street bum, he has indelibly marked upon this makeup artist’s heart the importance of unconditional love in a way that I will will never, ever forget.” -Tara

 

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