Cathy is a rare find in the beauty industry. She’s a wife, a mother, a business owner and runs a household…all of which she juggles with a beautiful smile on her face. Why do I find her such an interesting rarity that I would ask her to be our November Celebrity Next Door? Well, because somehow in the middle of all the roles that she plays, she still finds the time to cover one more role…to be ‘Cathy’.
We live in a time where life is busy…really busy. It seems that the demands of the world are only increasing each year. It’s so easy to become distracted with everything that is going on that it’s becoming more and more common to focus on the moment in front of us, rather than the journey we are living. The journey is the most important reason we are even on this earth. The journey is the training ground that develops our character; defines our sense of worth, and teaches us to understand our own individual value.
Within the journey we are surrounded by lessons; by parts of life and parts of ourselves that are set up to train us; to grow us; to continue chipping away at shaping each of our wonderful characters so they reach their fullest potential. The distractions of this world divert our focus; they slow down the process; even cause us to stop working on the journey all together. The distractions are too numerous to list, but they are there; they are intertwined into being part of our everyday lives.
Have you seen how these distractions affect the confidence and self value of ourselves and those around us?
In my industry there are two significant distractions that are the extreme of the other. One extreme takes people down a path of NEEDING their image to be immaculate to feel confident; obsessing over every part of their body, using all services available to them in an attempt to never seem imperfect to the world. Then there is the other extreme where you no longer care, where a trip to the salon is a yearly event because what’s the point anyway. Your hair simply goes up in a ponytail every day and makeup is for that annual family portrait only. Life is far too busy and your image seems to never improve so what’s the point in trying.
Neither of these extremes leads to a life of real confidence or peace.
I see a need for society to understand that the point is actually to sit in the middle. The middle zone is where people understand that the hair and beauty industry is here to AID us, not to define us. The industry is here to help you express who you are on the inside, on the outside of your body, visible for the world to see. In our industry we have this unique and beautiful ability to be able to really capture YOU in a haircut, in makeup, even in clothing.
The trick though, is to understand that the middle zone comes with challenges. If there were none, how would we continue to grow and be shaped? Each challenge we actually face has the ability to chip away at the parts of our character that are holding us back, pushing us that step closer to real confidence. Each challenge we ignore has the ability to add more roadblocks into our mindsets that we’ll only have to face later on down the track.
The trick is to also understand that there is no ‘end zone’ to this journey. It’s a continuing process; it is vital, yet we still have the CHOICE to participate in it.
I used to think this was an unfair process, now I see the beauty in never being ‘done’. What an awesome life we get to live knowing that until the day we breathe our last breath we will always be surprised with not only the worlds beauty, but with the beauty within ourselves.
How cool that we get to make peace with our bodies as a 15 year old with all the new changes and discoveries happening. In our early 20’s, once everything seems to have settled down we get thrown another curveball, managing our image confidence when faced with finding a life partner. Motherhood brings an element of needing to learn to love ourselves all over again, understanding that our beauty comes from our character and the love we are now aware of and capable of. If you are one of the lucky ones that have already conquered the wrinkles challenge you can no doubt give some guidance to those of us yet to face that hurdle.
The hardest steps in all of this is having the wisdom to understand that there is no quick fix or purchase you can make that ends the process; having the courage to surrender to this gauntlet; and having the peace to find the beauty in the journey as a whole.
I love my chats with Cathy because whether she understands it or not this woman is full of immense courage. I personally have no idea how aware of the overall journey she actually is, but I do know she is a woman that is facing it. She finds time for herself, in the middle of one hell of a hectic schedule. She works at her image using it as a way to express her character, always staying in line with what feels like ‘her’. In particular she uses clothing in such a way that her personality is on display through them. It’s no wonder that a woman that has such a gorgeous welcoming heart like Cathy has a personal story behind just about every item of clothing she wears.
The time I was most inspired by Cathy was definitely at the photo shoot. She’ll no doubt hate that I’m mentioning this but the truth is that she was nervous, really nervous; for a whole bunch of reason on a whole bunch of different levels. But you know what? She FACED IT! She grabbed hold of that courage within her to tackle the challenge in front of her that day and not only did she push through it…she rocked it!
That’s the point! That’s all that life is actually asking us to do! Face the challenge! Have a go!
Learn. Grow. Keep Moving.
What I love the most is how Cathy (who is possibly not consciously aware of this), is teaching her daughter about self-value. By taking the time out every 6 weeks to sit in our salon chair for a cut and colour; by spending those precious 10 minutes in the middle of the morning rush to style her hair up and pop on some makeup; by not just picking any clothes from her wardrobe but putting a bit of thought into expressing herself with each days selection; in each of these moments she teaches her watching daughter that it’s OK to spend time on yourself. It’s OK to value yourself enough to give your image a bit of thought. It’s OK to take time out of life to be spoilt by a hairdresser, simply to remind yourself that you are valuable, that you are worth it.
It’s ok to do all of this for YOU.
Actions always speak louder than words and culture is stronger than we are ever really consciously aware. How much harder is it to teach the next generation their personal value and sense of worth when we aren’t exampling it in front of them on a daily basis? How much easier is it for them to grasp when the example is laid out in front of them?
Thank you Nicole, for not only rocking your amazing photographer skills again but for using your loving heart to guide Cathy through that days 30 minute confidence challenge: standing in front of your camera. You can see by the images that Nicole uses her industry and skills to draw out confidence in those around her. In that short space of time she is expertly guiding her clients through a challenge they aren’t even aware of, one that is cleverly disguised as a glamourous photo shoot.
Enjoy the images of this beautiful, courageous woman! I hope you are as inspired by her dedication to the journey as we are.
All For Mary - Creative Director
Take a look at all of Cathy's images here.
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