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Lois Joy Johnson
What does authentic beauty mean to you?
Fashion & Beauty
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There’s a school of thought that says being authentic means allowing your hair to be whatever color and texture it naturally is and forget about color and styling regimens. Then there’s another school of thought that says being authentic means being true to what feels right and what makes you feel good…and that just might include being blonde rather than gray or spending fifteen minutes with a blow-dryer and flat iron in the morning.

My opinion? Choosing the second path doesn’t make you any less genuine than someone who chooses a more chaste ideal of beauty. Your aesthetic sense of who you are is a choice that remains fluid and flexible—enabling you to decide as you go what to add, refresh, change, or leave behind in the looks department.

While the emotional pull of aging naturally and gracefully provides us with enormous satisfaction, it can also leave us with unrealistic expectations. That’s because our looks, including hair care, matter the same way diet, exercise, and health matter.

What does true beauty mean to you?

Cindy Laverty
Stop Settling for Fine!
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Are you okay with being just fine? I’m not and I’m going to share with you why we should stop settling for fine.  Is fine just a pat answer to avoid looking at how you really are? What does it actually me to be FINE? One of the dictionary’s definitions of fine as it relates to the human condition is – “satisfactory or acceptable.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy with satisfactory. When I was struggling with high school physics, satisfactory was GREAT…but for life, NO…I don’t want to be fine. I want to be real and authentic and live BIG and in order to do that, I have to make a decision every, single day to not settle for FINE!

Fine says that you’re okay with the status quo. Are you?

Fine says that you’re okay with things staying the same. Are you?

Fine says you’re okay with everything just the way it is. Are you?

Some people are perfectly okay with fine, but there’s so much more on the horizon waiting for the individual who doesn’t want a fine life.

What happens if you settle for fine? Only you can answer that question, but take a moment and really think about it.  For me…I’d rather disappear than to just live a fine life. Fine is for someone who’s content to “just go along”…never have an opinion…never set boundaries…never explore passion or desire…never get uncomfortable. Fine doesn’t ask much of us.

Too many women who are living a fine life. We’re taught not to rock the boat. We’re taught to fit in. We’re taught to just be okay. And that’s what we settle for until.. fine doesn’t work anymore. On the day that happens to you, everything changes, because you’re no longer content with the status quo. There will be a voice that says,”Go be YOU. Go out into the world and do what you were meant to do!” And pretty soon, you won’t be able to ignore it.

Here’s how to set Fine free…

1. Step up and declare it! “I’m no longer content with Fine!”

2. Decide what it is that needs to be changed.

3. You have to get comfortable with what’s uncomfortable. Change requires us to be uncomfortable.

4. Accept where you are right now because everything that you’ve ever done has meaning and relevance and has shaped who you are.

5. Take small steps each day towards your new way of living your life and be gentle with yourself.

Leaving fine behind does not happen overnight. You’ll have days of happiness and sadness and bliss and frustration and days when you’re just GREAT. But FINE won’t be an option.

Here’s a good exercise to get you started. Grab your journal and quickly write all the ways that you allow fine to enter your life. And then once you’re finished with that, highlight one thing on your list that you won’t allow to be fine anymore; and then make a decision to start changing that.

If you want more inspiration, go here and grab a copy of Becoming a Lionhearted Woman.

Live BIG!



Flower Bear
All That Remains
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Sometimes I see an exquisitely landscaped garden by most people’s standards but somehow when I look at it, it just leaves me cold. It has no personality, no depth. It might just as well have been a movie set for all of the authenticity and personality it reflects. Who are the people who own this garden? What does it tell me about them? Are they the old-fashioned, English country garden type? Do they love tropical plants and warm breezes? Are they committed to sustainable, organic gardens, or do they just hand over some money and tell the landscaper, “Make it gorgeous so the neighbors will rave?”

I think what a garden looks like says a lot about the people who planted it. When you take away all the frills and do-dads, all that really remains is the love that is put into it. With each rose, with each tomato, with each hummingbird feeder, the love of the earth, and of all of us who live on it, reflects out from the garden to all who see it.

Isn’t that a great metaphor for life? When you strip away all of the fancy outer layers – the cars, the clothes, the makeup, the houses, etc – all that remains is the pure, authentic person underneath, and the core of each and every one of those authentic people is love. When we love ourselves full out, with no reservations or stipulations, the outer self blossoms. Our smiles are beautiful, our joy is palpable, and our thirst for life is contagious. When someone passes us on the street or sees us in a store, they are drawn to our energy like a bee to a flower. We don’t need all of those outer trappings that our culture says we need to shine. Self love has more power than a roof full of solar panels! A beautiful rose starts from the same kind of  seed as every other rose. Whether it grows or doesn’t grow only depends on the amount of love and attention it gets from Mother Nature and the one who planted it.

So I guess my question for you is this: what are you planting in your inner garden? Are you loving all that good, rich soil in which to plant your field of dreams? Are you reaching for the sun with your face turned up in expectation? Or is your garden a cold copy from a magazine just like a hundred others? The love you give your inner garden will yield bounty in your outer garden beyond your wildest expectations!

And so it is.




Lisa Copeland, The Dating Coach Who Makes Finding Love After 50 Fun and Easy!
The 9 Essential Rules For Writing Your Online Dating Profile
Love & Sex
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woman online datingYour online dating profile is the first introduction a man has to you. You are literally marketing yourself to the male population online. For some women that sounds horrid but in real life we do it all the time.


If you met a man at a party, you would be doing the same thing; showing him your best side. The only difference is in real life you have time to immediately correct a faux pas.


Online, you don’t have that luxury so you need your profile to show you off in a way that will catch a man’s eye and interest right away. Since this is your first meet and greet, you want your profile to sound flirty and fun. That’s how you would be in real life.


Think again about when you met someone in person. You might laugh more at his jokes, you pay closer attention to what he says, and you show your best side. Here are the 9 rules for doing the same thing online.


1. Be exciting.


Excitement is what you want a man feeling when he’s done reading what you’ve written. You want him to push that email button as fast as he can to contact and meet you.


When determining what you want to put in your profile, you need to first know what your best qualities are. There’s nothing sexier to a man than your confidence. When you feel good about yourself, you will become a male magnet.


2. Be creative.


Come up with ideas or small stories that paint a picture of the two of you that a man can imagine himself in. You want to use a scene like this to capture the interest of a man. He won’t see the scene exactly like you do, but he is capable of visualizing the story you’ve created with him in it. And if he does, you’ve hooked him. If he can picture himself in your story, more than likely he will write to you.


Make your profile flirty. He doesn’t need to know everything about you in this first introduction.


3. The fewer “I’s” the better.


Think about it. When you go to a party and you meet someone who keeps saying, “I do this, I like that, I am this,” don’t you get bored? You might get stuck with that person for a long time unless someone rescues you.


Online, you have fewer than 10 seconds to get his attention before he moves on. Make them count! Try making your profile title catchy, using activities you’re involved with to create your online name. They can be kind of silly, but that’s okay. Your goal is to get a man’s attention quickly. Between your smile, a great picture and a goofy or clever name, you’ve got a chance to stand out from everyone else and be noticed.


4. Use proper spelling and grammar.


One big pet peeves for many men is horrible spelling and grammar in profiles. You can write your profile in Microsoft Word or other document programs so that it highlights any mistakes, and then cut and paste the paragraphs you’ve written to your profile online.


Little things like typos can be enough to make men quickly move on to someone else’s profile.


5. Don’t include these common faux pas.


I want you to know that in my 40’s, I made some of the dumbest mistakes when it came to profiles. I wrote things about making love on a beach with my soul mate. What in the world was I thinking? It sounded romantic to me. Leave sex out of your profile. It gives men the wrong impression and encourages those you probably aren’t interested in to write to you.


Leave out the words I’m looking for my soul mate from your profile. Men have told me they see it in every woman’s profile. Your goal is to look unique; not the same as everyone else.


6. Don’t brag.


Particularly, don’t brag about your out of this world looks. Men see what you look like but if you tell them in a bragging way, they’ll think you’re stuck up and move on.


7. Don’t make demands.


Try not to make demands in your profile about salaries and how you’d like to be entertained at the most expensive restaurants in your area. Even guys with money don’t want a woman telling them where to go and what to do.


They’ve had enough demands in their life including those put on them by ex-wives and families. They’re not looking for a repeat of what they just left.


8. Be true to who you are.


Otherwise it’s like false advertising, which is hard to keep up. Don’t try and pretend to be a certain way just to attract a Quality Man, when in reality, you are not that woman.


You have no control over who he ultimately wants or is looking for. You only have control over what you want in a Quality Man.


In fact, you do yourself a disservice pretending to be who you think a man wants. It actually sets you up for the wrong type of man to come into your life. Plus, it starts the relationship off in a false way. Be your authentic self and convey that in your profile.


9. End with a hook.


End your profile with a sentence that asks a man to show you he is interested. For example, “If romance and passion appeal to you like they do to me, let me know.” In other words, if he likes what you like, let you know by writing back.


I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!


Lisa Copeland, best-selling over 50’s dating book Author and Dating Coach who makes finding a great guy fun and easier after 50, is the founder of Find A Quality Man. To get your FREE Report, “5 Little Known Secrets To Find A Quality Man,” visit


Flower Bear
The Gift of Giving
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Peace Dove Outdoor Ornament - Free High Resolution Photo

Some of the most meaningful gifts I’ve received over the years were in response to something I gave to someone else. These weren’t always the kind of gifts that were wrapped up in paper and ribbons, although some were. The ones I’m speaking of were gifts that touched my heart and changed my life in some way, and all because I had given a piece of myself to others.

One particular gift came to mind recently. Years ago when I was in my early 30’s I became a community outreach worker for an inner city church. The church sat in a neighborhood that had fallen on hard times.The area was mostly African American and Latino.  Unemployment was high as was drug and alcohol use, and child abuse or neglect was all too familiar. Along with providing a Mothers’ Morning Out program. which gave at-risk women some much needed free time to themselves while we ran a nursery school of sorts, it was my task to visit the elderly in the neighborhood to make sure that they were being taken care of and that their needs were met. I was also trained to offer to pray with them and, more often than not, just be a friendly ear for those who had no one to talk to.

My very first home visit was to a woman named Blanche. That should have been my first clue as Blanche was my mother’s name. Blanche lived in a very run down but very well kept little home that she shared with her adult daughter. Her daughter eyed me suspiciously when I knocked on the door, but when I explained that I was from the church down the block and just wanted to visit with Blanche, her eyes softened. She said that her mother would be so pleased to have someone from church to talk to as she could not get out much any more and that she, the daughter, often worked nights and weekends in housekeeping at a local hospital and couldn’t take her mother to church. Blanche was 92 years old.

I found her seated in an old tufted armchair. She was the tiniest African American woman I’d ever seen, with snow white hair pulled back in a bun and dressed in a faded but clean cotton house coat. When her daughter explained why I was there, the smile filled her face.

I was so very nervous. I had never done anything like this before despite all of my training. I was suddenly tongue tied. I didn’t know what to say to this beautiful lady and didn’t want to let her down. I started pulling out brochures about the programs our church was offering and going into my learned speech. But somehow she knew what was going on in my head, and in my heart. She reached over and took my hand in her two small ones and thanked me for coming to visit her. She asked me to tell her about myself, about my children, and the work I was doing in the neighborhood. She then told me all about herself and how grateful she was for her daughter, for taking her in and taking such good care of her. We spoke of her fond memories spending time at church and we prayed together. Before I left, she leaned over and said, “you did very well, dear. You’ll do just fine. Just remember to be yourself because that is beautiful enough for anyone.”

I cried all the way back to my office. I had gone there to be a comfort to this lady, and she had comforted me. Blanche made me a better person, and all the work I did after that visit came from my authentic self. She passed away peacefully in her sleep a few months later. I was richer for having known her, and the community poorer for having lost her.

Christmas doesn’t come in ribbons and paper. It doesn’t come in gift cards and parties. It comes wrapped in love and genuine compassion for others, and for every gift of yourself that you give to another, it comes back ten fold. May your gifts be many and, as the song says, “let your heart be light.”

And so it is.