Our See Beautiful™ Woman of the Month, Becky Andrews, sees, creates, and shares beautiful in so many ways. It was Becky's writing that first caught our attention as. Regardless of the topic she's sharing on her beautiful blog, Cruisin' With Cricket, you feel her positive, loving, kind demeanor seeping through the words. Glancing beyond the message of the words you begin to get to know the woman. Through her blog, Becky invites people around the world to choose beautiful, create beautiful, enjoy beautiful and share beauty with others. As a licensed professional counselor, Becky brings beautiful into a world for children and adults. Upon meeting Becky in person, a special encounter we will never forget, we were personally touched through conversation that could have lasted for days as each moment flew by. Becky's words, actions, and love for others radiates a stunning definition of See Beautiful; it is evidenced in observing her love for her precious guide dog, Cricket, and her life's work to provide more opportunities for others to see beautiful. We are honored to feature her here, as she creates so much beautiful through her writing, her work and sheer day to day interactions with others. We are lucky to call her a friend and will forever be grateful for the way she's helped us see more beautiful in the world.As we have gotten to know Becky, we have also had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about Guide Dogs for the Blind, the wonderful non-profit from where she received both of her guide dogs. You can see Cricket, her current guide, featured with Becky below.
By Becky Andrews:Almost 30 years ago at the age of 18 I was told that Seeing Beautiful would look differently to me than what I had visualized. It was at this time, while dating my now husband of 28 years :), I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (www.fightblindness.org) - a degenerative eye condition. For some time I tried to hang on to what I had - pretend that I could see much better than I could while acquiring many bumps and bruises. Steve and I married, were blessed with two beautiful children, I graduated from college all while my visual world was going dim. I was experiencing many losses: giving up my driving license, giving up my ability to even feel safe walking with my children, the joy of sitting down and reading a book, to name just a few. I recall a day where my world didn't seem too beautiful even though it was a beautiful sunny summer day. Steve was just leaving for work and our young children were still sleeping. I felt hopeless and stranded (even though our home was in a wonderful location - close to busing, schools, church, stores -- so awesome but not on this day). I sat on the steps outside our home and grieved for a few moments. Then, I made a choice to find joy – to see beautiful a little differently in my life again. Victor Frankle's words came to mind: "The last of all human freedoms: the freedom to choose one's own way, to choose one's own attitude given any set of circumstances." My kids got up, and we took the bus in to meet dad for lunch! We turned that day into a beautiful day.
From that point on, Seeing Beautiful has become a conscious choice each day. For me seeing beautiful was the moment of courage when I first pulled out that white cane and walked into my neighborhood grocery store for the first time. When I excitedly walked out of the blind center with my lemon meringue pie I had made on my own, I saw beautiful. It still brings a smile to my face when I enjoy a slice of lemon meringue pie! Beautiful was confidently walking on the stage and sharing the gift of a guide dog at the Guide dogs for the Blind Holiday Luncheon (see pictures HERE.)
Now years later, blindness is simply a part of my daily life. It does not define me. However, it has helped me see beauty in deep, meaningful ways. I won't be able to describe someone by their outside appearance but rather who they are inside. I’m not able to look through a magazine that may send a message of confusion of what beauty really means. What a gift!
To me Beautiful is my incredible husband and children -- family - the joy of meaningful relationships. Beautiful is walking outside and hearing the birds chirping enthusiastically about life and feeling the fresh air. Beautiful is laughing with friends. Beautiful is seeing the world through the eyes of a beautiful guide dog. Beautiful is singing, "wheeeeeeeeeee" while tandem cycling with my husband down a hill. Beautiful is digging in the dirt and visualizing what flowers to plant in my garden. Our own unique creativity is beautiful. Visualizing in my head an outfit to wear for the day is beautiful. Beautiful is creating a dream: Resilient Solutions, Inc & Resilient Center for Grieving Families are two of mine after completing a master's degree in counseling. Seeing the strength and resilience of my clients is beautiful. Experiencing kindness and hearing how someone else has received kindness from another is beautiful to me.
To See Beautiful is seeing the beauty in our lives (gratitude), celebrating our individuality and sharing that beauty with others.
Connect with Becky on her wonderful blog, Cruisin' With Cricket HERE.
Learn about Becky's important and beautiful with her company, Resilient Solutions, Inc & Resilient Center for Grieving Families HERE.
Visit Guide Dogs for the Blind. The wonderful non-profit organization from where Becky received her guide dogs.
Are you looking for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful™ products (and feel good knowing a portion of proceeds from every purchase is donated to charity. This month a portion of all proceeds will be donated to Guide Dogs of America. Click HERE.