one woman's quest to live the life she's imagined all while daring you to do the same

Lupita Nyong’o On Beauty and Compassion

Since I suck at movies, I have yet to see 12 Years A Slave. But don’t worry. I have already made the promise, as I do every year, to see all the films that were awarded the majority of the Oscar hype. My intention this year, as opposed to those past, is to actually follow through with that promise. Perhaps before July.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Q and A vlog, I don’t have a TV. ABC online was all jammed up, so I didn’t actually get a chance to see the Academy Awards. Given my lack of movie-buffery, this would not typically be an issue, but I do love Ellen and never tire looking at Pink and watching people achieve one of their biggest dreams always makes me weepy. And for all those reasons I put much more effort than usual to string together a few moments of viewing.

Instead, I find myself today weeding through the interwebs trying to piece together what everyone was talking about on social media last night. In that search, I’ve dug up a few gems I would’ve missed had I caught the show live. One of which was this beautiful speech made by Lupita Nyong’o at last week’s Essence Awards.

In it, she shares her journey to acquiring inner beauty. As I listened, I couldn’t help but see the parallels to acquiring happiness, peace, love, success, etc.

Culturally we are taught to look outside ourselves for these things. We are sold products, vacations, cars, homes, careers, and the like, this way. It is the climate of IF/Then happiness that we live in. If I lose weight, then I will be happy. If I attain these riches, then I will be successful.

Nyong’o’s analogy was that we cannot feed beauty. It will not sustain us as it comes from outside sources. Anything that can be taken away is not your truth. Yet, by embodying these virtues, developing an ownership, a knowing, a faith, we cultivate mulit-layered beliefs of which cannot be stripped.

One other important piece Nyong’o touched on was compassion. In my own life and in my work with my transformational coaching clients, I find that the less we judge others, the less we judge ourselves. When we are quick to criticize, we are often just as quick to defeat ourselves.

Seek out that of which you want most. #tyomd (tweetable) As Nyong’o did in her search for beauty, she found a role model as dark as she traversing the runways and plastered on billboards. In my young journey as an entrepreneur, I have also sought out role models. Those who had humble beginnings. Those who overcame failure. Those authentic and transparent in their passion and purpose.

In a world where we have the freedom to make it all up as we go, I think it is healthy to have people to look up to, to set the bar and hold the standard. Not necessarily to judge yourself against, but to motivate you to move forward as they have, despite their challenges.

Congratulations, Lupita Nyong’o on, from what I trust, a well-deserved Oscar. I think you’re beautiful, and I’m thrilled for all those young woman who don’t know their worth, that you have discovered yours. Thank you for sharing both your talent and your vulnerability with the world.

Rock on, sister!

I leave you with this: Who is a role model for you that may have helped shape your belief about success, beauty, love, peace, etc? What qualities is it about them that makes them so attractive? What do you have in common?

#Onward to inner beauty

Much Love,


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