In Times of Uncertainty, Look for the Lessons, the Love and the Light
I must admit that when news about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 first began to take over our lives, I fought it all the way. I was angry, depressed, sad, and just didn’t want to face that there was not a single thing I could do about it other than change my way of thinking and how I was going to respond to what was happening.
Once I realized that I was only in control of my thoughts, feelings and behavior, I started to lean in and look for ways to find hope, encouragement and light, which are always present during dark times if we just look for them.
I thought I’d share just a few bright spots with you in the hope that you too will look for and share your lessons with all of us through social media, as you never know who needs to hear what you have to say.
First, I’ve found joy in watching many of the artists on our team share their looks with all of us on social media and doing live videos that allow us to see more of their personalities, which always make me smile.
As you probably know, COVID-19 has impacted all wedding vendors. Similar to so many other industries, when wedding vendors don’t work, they don’t make any money at all. This can be an incredibly difficult time. However, seeing our artists find joy in small things like practicing new skills and getting ready for when the wedding season begins again, when we can get back to helping women feel beautiful, inspires me to use this time to be creative and learn new skills that I can apply when this is all over.
I’ve always been inspired by other bridal agency owners. I’m uplifted by their talent, their professionalism and the way that many of them support one another instead of competing.
This past year, I have learned that as much as I can be inspired by others within my industry, I also must be careful not to compare myself to anyone who has had a different journey than me or expect that my journey should be the same.
Our client coordinator and my dear friend Veronica turned me on to Mel Robbins. I love Mel’s no-nonsense encouragement and straight talk to women when it comes to comparison. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned from her is about my social media usage and making sure that whatever I’m looking at will fuel me and my goals, my dreams, my interests. Mel encourages muting anyone who triggers comparison, self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.
I already feel better having done just that. Now when I hop on social media, the only things I see are things that motivate me to stay in my lane and do the best I can with my God-given gifts and talents.
I also want to give a shout out to Ioana Qureshi who owns a wonderful agency with her friend Jennifer Beyers called Rare Bird Beauties. Ioana has inspired me on multiple occasions with her honest and genuine posts about personal lessons and things that have changed her life and way of thinking.
I reached out to her one evening after reading one of her posts and we talked on the phone about so many things but mainly positive thinking and staying hopeful during tough times like this. I’m glad that I took the chance to reach out to her because she inspired me to make some changes that have helped me look for the lessons and the things to be thankful for.
Another huge bright spot for me was meeting Erica Koren on a styled shoot that I was blessed to be a part of and that was put together by Joy Phillips of https://www.joylynphotography.com/ and Marla Johnstone of https://www.wallflowerdesigns.org/. Erica is the owner of Erica Koren Cakery, a small boutique cake business that is operated out of Belvidere, Ill. Her cakes, cupcakes and cookies are all created with a heart full of joy and incredible attention to detail.
While I did not get to know her well when I met her at the styled shoot, it was what came later that flooded my heart with joy, helped drag me out of the “poor me” moments and offered an example of what to do during these difficult times.
One evening, I came across a video of Erica and her husband singing a song of hope and love. She explained how this was a big part of her life that she didn’t share that much but thought it might be encouraging to others. I cried while listening to their song not only because it was beautiful, but also because I know how much courage it took for her to share that.
As I looked at more of her posts on social media, I discovered that she had just opened her new space in March, right in the middle of this awful time for small businesses. My heart sank as I realized how many other artists, entrepreneurs and small business owners, just like me, who’ve worked year after year to grow their business and do what they love to make a living have been impacted by this virus. To have it all come to a screeching halt is heartbreaking.
I wanted to share her song and her site in the hope that you find her to be as inspiring as I have and encourage you to check out her beautiful creations and order something from her; to be an encouragement and to show her some love during this difficult time and beyond.
Finally, I want to mention someone who always encourages me to stay strong, to believe in myself, my resilience and God’s promises to us. My mom, Valerie. I am blessed to have a mom who has always put her family first and shows up for each one of us in good times and bad.
In this short amount of time (though it feels like it’s been six months ) that we’ve been dealing with this new way of life, I continuously remind myself to keep looking for the bright spots and take in these new life lessons.
With every test comes a testimony.
I’m sending each of you some love today and encouraging you to look for and share your bright spots in order to be a light to someone who might be needing it today.
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This…is a big part of me that I don’t normally share on my business page but I felt like doing so tonight. While the world is hurting, many are sick, business and jobs seem so uncertain I can honestly say that I am not fearful. Not one ounce of anxiety has crossed my mind. Not because I’m perfect but because I have a confidence in something greater than anything in this world. I have seen the hand of the Almighty in my life time and time again. He has never let me down even in the worst of times. If you need a little encouragement please take a listen! You will find out we aren’t professionals but we have overcome so much with worship. Be strong and of good courage!❤️😘💗 *my husband and I lead the worship at our bilingual church. That’s why it’s in both languages.