Isn’t she beautiful! Now this is what I call being authentic. Unfortunately, I only had my point and shoot for this portrait. This is Crazy Cordelia, a shop owner in Steamboat Springs, CO. I was there last weekend with my writers group for a bonding hiatus,
which actually looks like a lot of eating, talking, some end of season sales shopping and a long soak in the Strawberry Hot Springs.

After talking for awhile Cordelia said, "I tell my friends and family, don’t put miss on my headstone, cause I ain’t missed a damn thing!" Now there’s a golden nugget. Don’t you just love that! We should all inspire to live that quote, so we can reach for our dreams, and not look back with regret

As a photographer,  I have always photographed "unusual" and off-beat people. I find them and they find me. Interestingly, I am drawn to them and more interestingly, they are naturally drawn to me. I have always felt like I had an invisible sign that said, "Tell me your story, I will listen!" I am used to it now, and have come to adore these magical moments. As a therapist and coach, I am a collector of stories and also a storyteller, so it does not surprise me that this thread continues in my creative life.

One of the gifts we have as artist’s is the ability to be authentic. Being an artist is like getting a license to be fully ourselves. We are even allowed to be quirky! So why do we still struggle with the perception of of others?  As I listen to my clients, all women as you know, I would have to say this is a recurrent theme and one of the bigger gremlins we tackle on the way to living our dreams.

A great example of authenticity are some of the women in this month’s PINK Magazine. October’s issue focusing on sustainability and the Green Movement, was the best one yet! Real women, down to earth, with less of the power house billionaires that I can read about-but not necessarily relate to-as a small business owner. The issue had a story on Daryl Hannah clearly a Feisty Female™, was absolutely stunning in her ribbed tank top, beater jeans and long wispy braids. She was clearly not going to shine it on for anyone to prove her point or have people take her seriously. She looked completely authentic and as a result I felt immediately connected to her mission in a way I have not in reading past PINK issues.  I don’t think I would have believed her as much if she had been standing there all Hollywood and glitz-especially after being behind those scenes myself for a few years. I have known for some time that she had an off the grid home here in the Rocky’s, but I did not know she was so involved in this important issue. BRAVO! What a model for authenticity ladies. Check out her site.

As my writers group sauntered down the streets of Steamboat we came upon a rather large plastic horse, complete with adult size saddle. The sign said, "No one over 115pds." We all looked at one another, with the majority of eyes falling on me. "No way," I said knowing I was over the weight limit, but close enough for horseshoes.  Yet something was nagging at me, it was Cordelia’s voice I heard inside, "I ain’t missed a thing." Truthfully, the crazy artist and little kid inside wanted to climb up on that horse, but the "professional" adult said, "Oh, that is just ridiculous, you will look like a fool!"  And then a larger voice said, "Who cares!" So…in honor of my time with Cordelia and her wise thoughts on not "missing a thing," my girlfriend gave me a knee up and I let my Feisty Female™ ride!