I wake up every morning to the soothing sound of the radio and not that traumatizing alarm sound. I'm not a morning person, so I tend to hit snooze at the very least 2 times (okay maybe 3). A few years ago, my clock radio was tuned into a popular radio station here in Toronto and I heard them announce that they had a very special guest in the studio. Canadian recording artist Deborah Cox. She was going to perform an acoustic version of her hit song "Beautiful You Are". (Didn’t hit the snooze button that morning) I have to be honest, she should have released the acoustic version of that song (you might be able to find it on the net). Amazing! Though I've heard the song many times on the radio, it wasn't until that morning that I really heard the lyrics. Truly beautiful words.
Don't ever let nobody bring you down girl Don't ever let nobody tear your world apart Look in the mirror and see who you are Beautiful u r
(see the end of my blog for all the lyrics)
While listening to the song, an alternate spelling of the word beautiful popped into my mind; Be-You-tiful. Didn't know why, but I felt led to just write it down.
Being an actor, I always thought about starting my own thing. Those of you who are struggling actors know that sometimes you have to write and produce your own work to get work. So I thought, maybe I’ll start my own theatre production company. But what would I call it ? Took me a while to figure it out, but then I remembered that word I wrote "BeYoutiful'. Yes ! That’s it ! I would call it BeYoutiful Productions ! Perfect !
In addition to my passion for acting, I had a heart for helping women. Not sure what I wanted to do exactly. A singles event, a women’s conference with inspirational guest speakers maybe ? Whatever is was I would somehow incorporate that word again.
A few months ago, I heard the story of a young woman (let’s call her Joan) who recently got married and brought into the marriage 2 kids from a previous marriage. She and her kids relocated to Canada from another country to be with her new hubby but the honeymoon was soon over. You would think she and her kid’s basic needs (food, clothing, medicine) would be met by the new husband (at least until she was able finish school and get her own j-o-b) but unfortunately that did not happen. Joan’s husband earned a decent wage but chose not to meet those basic needs. No rhyme or reason. Just a choice. He also became abusive (that’s a whole other story). Whatever little Joan would receive (as any mother would do) would go to the kids. She would go without food so the kids could eat. Fall and winter was fast approaching and they didn’t even have the appropriate clothing for the change in weather.
I had just finished a good closet purge and thought maybe something in that pile might be of service to her. I even had a winter coat that I bought on a crazy sale that was too big and never wore and I thought maybe she would like. I gave the clothes to a friend to take to her and the woman was practically in tears. Joan felt her prayers were answered ! That very same day I had a conversation with a friend who was telling me how she needed to do a purge of her closet and that many items still had tags on them. I thought to myself, “Wow, two extremes. One woman who has nothing and the other who has more than she needs”. Then came the idea and the name for this “Project”. “The BeYoutiful Project”
I did a quick survey amongst friends and most if not all had clothes in their closet that still had a tag on it. I asked them if they would be willing to donate it to a woman in need and everyone said , “Yes” !
I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could get a bunch of my friends to donate such items and give them to a woman like “Joan”. A woman, who like all if not most women, love clothes but just can’t afford to get it or feel unworthy of treating themselves because they need to put their kids first. Let’s face it, when you have something beautiful on, it makes you feel beautiful and confident and can even put a little pep in your step. So why not create an environment where all these never worn barely worn items were set up on racks like a boutique, complete with stylists and invite these women to come for some “Shopping Therapy” for FREE ! They could pick out 2-3 outfits perhaps (casual, business and dressy) We could even add shoes and accessories. Lord knows I have waaaay too many shoes and there are few that I could probably part with. Complete with mini makeovers, goodie bags filled with things like makeup, perfume, lotions.
I shared the idea with a few friends and they have encouraged me to do it. So what was an idea is becoming a reality! I’m so excited and looking forward to blessing these women !
Beautiful U R (lyrics) by Deborah Cox
It’s your life
Things may not always go right, for you
In those times
Just leave it behind
Cause sometimes you gotta play the game
Just to survive
Without losing yourself
It’s a fight, it’s true
It takes time
Don’t have all the answers
No matter how hard it gets
Hold on to what’s inside
Don’t ever let nobody bring you down girl
Don’t ever let nobody tear your world apart
Look in the mirror and see who you are
Beautiful U R
In the dark
The paint chips have waited your heart
Can’t you see
See the light in the distance
Open up your eyes, look, look to the sky
There’s much more to life when you’re free
That’s the key
And in time
You will find all the answers
Don’t have to lose your pride
Hold on to what’s inside
Don’t care what they say anymore
There’s no time to be insecure
I leave it all at the door
She staring at him in the face
She’s taking it day by day
I’m finally on my way