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What has your journey with feeling beautiful been like?

"Beauty was something that I never felt truly mine - it never felt like it was something I could claim, nothing that would ever belong to me.

I'd have fleeting moments experiencing beauty as my own, but it was so easily taken away from me & I grew up being constantly reminded that it wasn't mine. Through my peers, magazines, everything that I saw on television, you name it. I mean my parents did the best they could to remind me, but the world just simply wasn't as kind - not to mention it being a whole lot louder.

It wasn't until after college really, that I started being able to see beauty as not something that you own, but something inherent inextricably from me - as me. As I was in the past, as I was in that present moment, and as who I will be. As I was born out of beauty, I was born out of love."

Did you face challenges with feeling beautiful and what did that feel like?

"Absolutely I did and still do. I think of it as one of my life's greatest battles. There are some days, weeks, months where I am winning. No one can tell me that I am not beauty personified - not even myself. And there are days where I am just straight up losing - I can find the beauty in me anywhere, physically, internally, omnipresently haha! However, I can confidently say that I've been able to experience more wins than losses these days, but I leave room for it all because NONE of this healing shit is linear."

What is an insecurity about yourself that you would like to share to help others not feel so alone?

"I'm not sure if I would call this an insecurity, rather than just a general fear of mine (maybe they are interchangable), but one of the things I struggle with most is the idea that I may not be able to connect with others on a deeper level. Sometimes I think that my earlier tendencies to focus on "presenting beautiful" stripped me from my ability to connect with myself - finding and learning about the things that make me, me. The things I love. And without knowing yourself, how would anyone be able to truly know me?

I meet this fear with as much grace I can muster and use it to lean more into myself. Lean into the rediscovery!"

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your younger self?

"Oooo honey, how much time do we have? If I had to bring it down to 1 thing, it would be to spend more time learning to like yourself rather than trying to get others to like you. I promise it will be a much better use of your time AND you'll find the things and the people you love so much quicker!"

What are you proud of accomplishing in your journey towards self love and acceptance?

"It would have to be allowing myself to experience the full spectrum of my emotions, thoughts, feelings. Remembering that I am human and whatever I may be experiencing is something worthy of being met with grace, love & understanding. At the very least from myself - so that I know that this is also something I deserve from those around me. Everything else has come from this. From the love I have built for this vessel & how I chose to adorn it all the way to the love I have built for my life and how I choose to enjoy it!"

What does it feel like to live in your truth and step into your power?

"LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. If little Don could see who I am now, I think she might pass out lol. I can only imagine how much more I'll open myself to experiencing as I continue to do so - continue to step in my power."

Thank you for this amazing interview, Don! We appreciate all of your wisdom. You are a true inspiration!

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