Make Friends With Your Inner Critic
Wherever you happen to be on the rewarding and rocky road to a healthier lifestyle, you’ll travel more gently and feel more joy if you learn to make friends with your Inner Critic.
We all have one, and it is alive and kvetching, causing us to constantly question our behavior, our thoughts, our accomplishments: “How am I doing? Am I doing well enough—in my relationships, at work? Do others see what I’m doing? Do they approve?”
Psychologists call this critical voice the Standard Setter. (And you thought it was called Mom.) It’s the part of the human psyche that sets the bar for us. It’s a good thing in many ways, as a source of inspiration, as a spur to achievement.
My Journey Back to Health
When I was a child growing up in Griffin, Georgia, I was tall with a thin frame. I loved playing outside and never turned down the opportunity to show my athleticism during pick up games of kickball, basketball, football, dodgeball, or jump rope with my friends from the neighborhood. How much I weighed was the last thing on my mind, but as I became a teenager, my boyish frame sometimes landed me at the brunt of jokes by the “pretty girls,” who had hour-glass figures that caught the attention of all the guys at school. However, I found a way to use my scrawny build to my advantage. I became a runner on my high school track team. The 400-meter race became my hideaway from my body-shaming critics, who were silenced when I was victorious.
Loving, Nurturing and Protecting Children of the Lowcountry
The Vision Statement for the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) of Beaufort County states: “All children deserve to be loved, nurtured and kept safe
from intentional and unintentional harm.” This vision is so simple
and pure that it seems like it would be a given.
But it’s not.
Since opening in 1985, the Open Arms Children’s Home, just one part of
the CAPA organization has provided that safe harbor for more than
2,300 children. Let that number sink in for a minute.
Southern Living Style in the Lowcountry
The pandemic may feel like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but the magic of the holiday season is alive and well, filled with hope and real miracles right here in the Lowcountry.
The 33rd annual Festival of Trees, a longtime fundraiser filled with holiday tradition for Friends of Caroline Hospice, was cancelled this year due to the covid pandemic. For more than three decades, businesses and organizations sponsored trees by purchasing and decorating them. The public then bought the well-appointed, beautiful trees for either for their homes, to give to a hospice patient, or for a military family. This holiday fundraiser typically raised $30-40,000 to provide palliative and hospice care, bereavement groups, and Camp Caroline, a bereavement camp for students.
The sweet homey smell of freshly baked cookies and savory meals. The heartwarming feeling of snuggling into soft blankets with hot cocoa while watching favorite holiday movies. The sound of conversations and laughter rising and falling around family and friends as they make new memories. The whimsical sights of twinkling lights and festive decorations transforming the ordinary world into a wonderland.
Your Ho-Ho-Holiday Spirit Action Plan
Here comes the December dilemma: Am I going to enjoy this holiday season or not?
We all have obstacles to overcome: too little time; too little money; too much
commercial merrymaking. And that's not to mention the nightly news!
And still, dear reader, we have a personal choice this December: Do I get into the holiday spirit and juice up my well-being... or not? We've got Hanukkah and Christmas and the winter solstice coming up, all leading to the end of the year, when we make resolutions to find true love, or lose 20 pounds, or make good on that promise to work smarter, not harder.
Meet the Lowcountry’s Mr. and Mrs. Claus
There are a few things Santa looks for in choosing his very best helpers, especially when both Mr. and Mrs. Claus are called for duty together. You better know he has a list and checks it twice!
Happily Married? Check!
Joe and Susan Patton have been married 53 years and are still madly in love and best friends. When asked what the secret is to their long, successful marriage, Joe said there are no secrets. “We tell each other when we’re unhappy.”
Susan added, “Sharing our principles of faith together is an important part of it.” They both agreed quarantining together most of the year has not been a bad thing.
Miracles are Real
One year ago, the Hilton Head community bore witness to a nightmare. Michael Perry, beloved fishing guide of Papa Bear Charters, was back home in Tennessee, visiting friends and family, when he suffered a horrible hunting accident. By medical reckoning, no one should have survived it. But the fact that he’s here telling us his story is, to him and many others, proof of the existence of miracles.
It was a darkening eve of rain turning to sleet—the perfect scenario for a late-fall bow hunt in Tennessee. Michael was on one of his annual pilgrimages, while his wife Sarah and their two young daughters held down the fort on Hilton Head. Michael was Sarah’s prom date in their little hometown of Paris, Tennessee, and he followed her to the Lowcountry when she came to SCAD 25 years ago. Despite never having fished saltwater before, this third-generation fishing guide was thrilled to make a life for himself here as a charter boat captain, while she got to be the artist and queen of the castle. But nobody could have foreseen the harrowing twist their lives would take as Michael hurried to reach his deer stand that night.
One of the most important friendships you’ll ever have in this world
is with the person staring back at you every morning
from the bathroom mirror…
And no, you’re not about to read an ode to selfishness, nor are you about to view an instruction manual for escaping life’s chaos by saying adieu to everyone and climbing every mountain until reaching an ideal destination for a happy, stress-free existence.
Instead, you’re receiving a Selfieship Guide for establishing or strengthening a relationship with yourself.
But before jumping into that, if you’re entertaining any negative thoughts or hesitations regarding valuing and nurturing this kind of relationship, quickly write them on toilet paper and flush them down your toilet of choice. (If you’ve never flushed negativity down a toilet, you’re really missing out on a great deal of fun.)
Elect to Be Happy, No Matter What. Here's How!
In the run-up to the election—I’m writing this before the results are in—my yoga teacher had us doing a lot of grounding poses. And I mean a lot. No wonder my hamstrings were climbing the walls last night. (Thank God for CBD cream.)
First, Sienna asks us to stand and connect to our breath. Then we focus our mind’s eye on our legs: standing tall, rooting deep, energetically drawing strength from the earth beneath our feet, wiggling our toes, arching our soles and opening channels in our legs, our hips, our hearts and our minds to help us through whatever happens next.
Does the practice melt my anxiety? Promote equanimity? Encourage optimism? Of course it does, because feeling grounded and calm in trying times is one of the ways we nurture our well-being. It’s not a fix; it’s a strategy. What’s yours?
I love Thanksgiving so much I would say it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the winter holidays, offering me a front-row seat on the very best time of the year.
I love all of those things. What I don't love is the idea that Thanksgiving is the only day of the year that we give thanks. Gratitude is too important in our lives to be considered briefly en masse on the fourth Thursday of November.
What Pink Means to Us
“I look forward to each month’s issue because I need to be in-spired. I remember Pat Conroy’s way to learn about people would be to say “Tell Me a Story.” Everyone has a story, and I love reading about women (and men!) in the area who have persevered, set goals, failed, lost and gained more than they ever dreamed. They make me think maybe I can, too.
I also love the graphics of the magazine. From the interesting cover art work, to the quote of the month with a photograph, or illustration to enhance it, the magazine is so beautiful. I always tear out and tape up the quotes of the month.
Mostly, I also enjoy the new friendships and older ones renewed that I make doing interviews for the magazine. People are incredibly kind to let me have an hour or longer to “pick their brain” and many times “bare their soul.” It is such an honor and joy to write for Pink.” – Mary Hope Roseneau, Writer
Elect YOURSELF to Be in Charge
With the presidential election just a hop,
skip and several more aspirins away,
now’s a good time to talk about change. Not change for the country—
though that is surely coming, no matter who wins.
I mean personal change.
Healthy lifestyles don’t just happen, the way dust balls do. It’s up to you to carpe diem, to let go of old habits so you can dance with new ones—two steps forward, one step back—until the new ones become a juicy and joyful part of your life.
It all begins and ends with you, your readiness, your determination, your support system, your willingness to do something as silly sounding as keeping a journal.
Do you have dense breast tissue?
Do you have distant but not close family history of breast cancer? New Abbreviated Breast MRI (AB-MR) may be for you.
What is Breast MRI? Breast MRI is a study done in addition to a mammogram to find breast cancer that a mammogram doesn’t show. We know that mammograms are good, but not perfect, and can miss up to 15 percent of breast cancers. A MRI can find the cancers that mammograms sometimes miss. Women receive IV dye and go in and out of the MRI machine. The study takes about 45 minutes. Standard breast MRI has been around for many years, but has not been available to most women. Insurance typically only covers the cost of standard breast MRI for women who have breast cancer, or are at very high risk to develop breast cancer. Without insurance coverage, the cost of a standard breast MRI is costly, and in most cases unaffordable, providing limited availability to most women. Breast MRI is done in addition to your annual mammogram.
Simple Record-Keeping Tips
If the paper monster has you buried under an avalanche of receipts, bank statements, ATM slips, investment records, paycheck stubs and bills, then read on. The good news is you can probably throw most of it away without worry. But before you fire up the shredder, you need to know what to toss and what to keep—and for how long.
STEP NO. 1: TOSS ALL YOU CAN
Monthly. Once you have recorded the amounts and reconciled your bank and credit card statements, you can shred ATM receipts, bank deposit slips, credit card receipts and sales receipts at the end of each month. Exception: Keep receipts for purchases that may be tax deductible, those that involve a warranty and any item whose replacement cost exceeds the deductible on your homeowners or renters insurance.
The Eyes Have It
You’re excited to see an old friend in the grocery store, but how do you show it when your big, beautiful smile is covered and hugs are a no-no? The face is the window to our expressions, and mouths can have dialogue without any words. A frown, a smirk, a smile, pursed lips all tell a powerful story before any words are spoken. However, our faces have another center for expression—the eyes. So, while we are all masked up, we might as well lean on our eyes and allow them to speak up and speak out.
For tips on talking with your eyes, we turned to experts in beauty, Iris Hopgood and Amanda Kicklighter. Read on to learn how to select the right mask, escape the blank stare and implement “the smeyes”—(smiling with your eyes)…or if need be, a good eye roll:
Every creative female has her secrets. Don’t you?
Some of mine are darker and scarier than you’d ever guess.
But achieving the still juicy tomato age of 67 this September made me realize: Why keep all my creative secrets locked inside my Pandora’s Box? So ladies. Open your favorite box of chocolates and read on.
THE CREATIVE TEEN
“Sharon is exceptionally creative,” my high school guidance counselor ethused. “Aren’t you so proud of her many accomplishments?”
“She’s lead Soprano in choir,” my mother beamed. “And VP of Yearbook Staff and Photo Club. You have mostly straight A’s, don’t yah hon?”
Resetting Your Wellness Lifestyle
"You're too young to be this out of shape," my friend Diana’s doctor told her.
Diana had a gym in her building, and a husband who would cover
for the kids, and she certainly had the clothes.
Diana set her alarm for 6 a.m. every morning for the first week. She crept out of bed and was on the treadmill by 6:10. Thirty minutes of walking (and checking her mail), followed by a few stretches and some weights, and by 7 a.m., she was back in her apartment, showering for work, fighting off the urge to drink a Diet Pepsi for breakfast.
By the middle of Week Two, Diana was shutting off the alarm and snuggling up with the children's father. No more early morning workouts, and her promises to hit the gym after work withered and died as well. Yesterday, she told me she's given up and feels like a failure.
Cool art vibes saturate the air in every form and medium in the Lowcountry, one of the most beautiful natural canvases on earth. With all the surrounding beauty, it’s no wonder the Lowcountry is teeming with creative, talented artists. Some do it for fun. Some do it for a living. All do it to nourish their organic need to create.
Welcome to our first edition of Lowcountry Originals, where you will meet eight dynamic artisans, all filled will creative energy and verve for their work. They have allowed us a peek into their creative worlds, revealed their fears and doubts, told us what inspires them and given us insight into their processes.
Strategies to Help You Cope and Stay Calm
Dear Readers: Even in the best of times, money concerns can cause a lot of stress.
But according to a recent survey by the National Foundation for Financial Education, nearly 9 in 10 Americans say that COVID-19 is making money a primary cause of anxiety. Add to that the need to juggle working from home, child care, home schooling and health concerns and people are being stretched to the limit.
Understandably, people are worried about their financial future. Equally understandably, they often don’t feel like they have the energy to deal with it. But as overwhelming as it can seem, there are strategies to help you cope and stay calm. As I wrote recently, you may have to think differently to get through these times, but there are ways to do it. And it starts with awareness.
Your Brain Will Thank You
Do you enjoy challenging yourself physically? Have you been more motivated to exercise and boost your health during these uncertain times? Do you want to feel good about helping a local non-profit organization that has supported our community for over 23 years? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have the challenge for you! Memory Matters is hosting its first ever virtual “Triathlon Challenge.” You may ask yourself, what does that mean, or how does one participate in a virtual challenge.
The best part about our first ever virtual Triathlon Challenge, on Saturday, September 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, is you can participate in the fitness activities wherever you feel most comfortable! This allows all participants to remain physically distanced, while being a part of something much greater! Your participation will help us to reach our goal of raising $24,700, which represents the 24/7 job of being a caregiver.
with 10 Local Women
August 26, 1920 marks one of the most important, life-changing moments for women in the United States: it’s the day the 19th Amendment was adopted into the Constitution. With this amendment, females acquired the right to vote—the ability to have a say in how the country runs and evolves in the years to come. And since that day in 1920, women have been tirelessly unlocking and leaning into their potential to be more than just nurturing, subdued figures in society. That day, one hundred years ago, gave women the much-needed momentum for dissolving the socially conditioned view that they could never be equal to their male counterparts, nor have a place in politics.
Oh, how things have changed since then!
In celebration of this 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we had the pleasure and honor of learning about the gratitude, thoughts, wishes and actions of 10 outstanding female voters.
Growing up, everyone in my family was unhealthy, unhappy and deranged. Go ahead, laugh. But it’s true. So thanks to our global pandemic, I’m again wrestling with the same issues that plagued me as a kid: loneliness; anxiety; confusion; panic attacks and eating at 4:30 a.m. Usually, I sneak into the kitchen for yogurt and bananas, instead of Dunkin’ Donuts. Well, maybe just one little chocolate glazed.
My heart goes out to anyone sick in a hospital, fighting for their lives.
And to all the doctors and nurses risking their lives to save others.
I’m blessed that my problems aren’t serious.
In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of women’s right to vote,
Pink gathered a few knowledgeable and inspirational women to discuss what this
anniversary and having the right to vote means to them.
It has been said that when two or more women come together there is power.
This discussion was a powerful and peaceful meeting of the minds,
which showcased a passion for women’s history, a respect for those women who went
before us and the vision to sustain hopes and dreams for the future.
Your mind attaches to the negative.
Who cares? So what? Why is that even helpful?
See? You’re doing it already. You’re thinking negative thoughts about thinking itself instead of relaxing into the fact that your brain is hard-wired to be fearful and anxious. The trick is to consciously shift to the positive, taking full advantage of your brain’s neuroplasticity.
This “negativity bias” isn’t your fault as much as it’s your autonomic nervous system kicking into survival mode, managing your body and your mind through the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. (Just seeing the words “sympathetic and parasympathetic” may make you want to cut and run. Resist. Relax. If you hang in there and learn a few things, it’ll be easier for you to start rewiring your brain for a much calmer and healthier future. Really. It’s possible.)
Flowers that Know How to Sizzle
So much of the beauty of the Lowcountry goes beyond the surrounding ocean. The palm trees, live oaks with hanging Spanish moss, sweeping marshes and an array of beautiful, colorful flowers all contribute to this unique locale.
As we approach the heat of July, I wonder how the plants and flowers endure and how they survive our deer population? Always appreciative of a beautiful garden, but admittedly ignorant of how they came to be, I decided to head to The Greenery, where I met with one of their horticulturists, Carol Guedalia.
After wandering through aisles of plants with Carol and learning about the many varieties that flourish here, I decided to narrow my focus on four specific plants. All of which can withstand our sweltering July heat, humidity and our friendly (and hungry) neighborhood deer.
A Novel By Susan Beckham Zurenda 1960s-‘70s Southern Coming-of-Age Tale Review
“There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” These lyrics by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant hold true to the devoted lives of the two main characters in Susan Zurenda’s Southern family’s tale of secrets, Bells For Eli [A Novel].
I was immediately transported back in time to the significant cultural challenges of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and how many survived those times, and some did not. And I could feel the heat as Susan described a small-town South Carolina summer with no air-conditioning and dusty front porches. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead as I read page after page, as Delia brought her story alive, just for me.
The Final Word
Since I have been in the fashion business for over 40 years, I have finally decided to close the closet door with my last column of “In Fashion.” However, before I go, I thought I would share a few of my “aha moments” gleaned from decades of writing about fashion.
My basic mantra is: If you look good, you’ll feel good. Unless you live in a nudist colony, you get dressed every day. And although I learned long ago not to judge a person by the clothes he or she wears, if you love what you’re wearing, then you’ll have more self-confidence and radiate positive “vibrations,” as we used to say in the ‘70s. And don’t we all need more good vibrations in the world we are living in today?
Little things mean a lot. Even one single summer day of play—with family and friends, no cellphones allowed—has value. Think of it as clicking the Refresh button on your computer, except you’re the one who gets to kick back, refocus, feel gratitude and begin again.
WHY BOTHER? Playing outdoors awakens our weary bodies, renews our energy and floods our brains with pleasure chemicals that are legal and self-made. If you’ve never had your consciousness altered by an encounter with a deep forest, a quiet river, a spider’s web, you’ve missed out. But don’t worry. The path to a healthier, happier lifestyle is open 24/7, if only you know the way.
One way begins with Carpe Diem. Seize the day, any summer day—weekends are usually best—and plan a Friends & Family Fitness & Fun Day. (But think of a better name.)