Being a shoe designer is like in-house therapy. Depending on my mood, my shoe creations might be edgy, feminine, classy…. Most of my creations are unconventional and were inspired by life events. My latest high heel/stiletto is called “Justice.” This stunning four-inch heels began as a nude Mary Jane stiletto. It was classic and feminine and the nude coloring was certainly neutral and elegant. My daughter is an avid shooter and one day after a few rounds she came home with the brass shells. They were tiny and unusual-almost having an antique feel to them as they had been traveled through the barrel of a gun. I asked her to collect them for me next time she went because I had an idea for a shoe.
Not long after, I had a bag of brass shells sitting on my desk. Delighted to see them, I began immediately to create a high heel that would make a statement. With embellishing glue, I attached the shells close to the bottom of the shoe and right above where the platform started. This shoe was getting more and more exciting with each add-on. Soon the first stiletto was completed and I started with the next. The drying time was a few hours and I was really pleased on what had been created thus far. Yet bullet shells alone did not make the statement. I played around with adding more shells and soon I started gluing them down the stiletto heel. Each shell casing protruded outward giving the shoe a very unique look not to mention making the shoe looked tough…how I felt about the “justice” system and domestic violence.
The shoe is will be available on our website DeborahStilettos.com, our Facebook pages www.Facebook.com/DeborahStilettos and www.Facebook.com/HeelingInc. A portion of the proceeds of this shoe, now available for $69.00, will go to assisting families coping with domestic violence. So buy these shoes and lend your support to a worthy cause…you will be sure to be a show stopper with them on. Ciou Bellas, Deborah Stilettos, www.DeborahStilettos.com
Who doesn’t want to be happy? We all do on some level. We read books, attend seminars, watch shows, listen to music all for this quest for happiness and yet some of us struggle to ever to get there. I was at church this past weekend and it seems like every Sunday I leave with another …”aha” moment. Perhaps I am more open than I have been in the past to process a new concept. This blog is not about the fundamentals of religion or the history of the bible…there are by far better blogs, books and sources to ascertain that information. No… this blog is based on something else I learned. That life is not about working harder or doing better. It is about training ourselves to do things differently…the habit of finding happiness.
I have caught myself, more than one occasion talking about the same old problem…making the same old resolutions…swearing off the same toxic relationship only to have myself right back in the same position not too long after and I wonder why. I think it would be safe to say we all find ourselves repeating old behaviors or actions because we have actually programmed ourselves to living this way. We may not like where we are but it is a lot less scary than not knowing where you are going. And who would not agree that retraining ourselves is not always the easier thing to do…or is that what we have ourselves believing?
I think each of us is based on the concept of a triangle. Whenever I bring this concept up, people are amazed on the idea but it is remarkably true. The top of the triangle represents what is most important to us. It could be love, family, our careers…dig deep you will find it. The bottom two corners are also important…slightly lesser maybe than the top yet equal to the other on the opposite side. When you have a made three specific choices, think about someone who might have been detrimental in your life. Or a career that interrupted the shape…or a special person in your life who was so special that they took all of your corners off leaving you now with a circle, a zero, a hole.
It makes you wonder if it’s a habit worth holding onto or a habit worth replacing with a new one? The happiness habit doesn’t come from a day at the beach or at the mall. It comes from the conscious decision to enjoy life, enjoy the gifts we are presented with everyday and to enjoy now. Sometimes that is easier said than done. I can relate. There are days that rolling back into bed with my host of bad habits and hang ups would be a welcome relief…less taxing and a whole less complicated. They say that for every minute you stay stuck is sixty-second lost of happiness. A drop in the bucket until to you realize that you have been stuck for the past ten years…don’t worry I won’t even tell you how many seconds that is.
So now that Pandora’s box has been swung off the hinges…what to do about the hole you’re sitting in. That’s when this becomes exciting…you are in total control of what happens from this point. You can set up a chair and sit in the hole you have carved out for yourself or dig out using a teaspoon or a shovel. For me the process was easy…I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I took a long deep look at myself and then made some drastic changes. I stopped trying to figure out who didn’t approve of me and started to more discerning on who I wanted in my life. Anyone…anyone who was armed with a pair of scissors ready to cut off one of the corners of my triangles I said goodbye. I found a career that made me happy and highlighted not only the things that I was good at but the things I really love doing. I learned to stop and admire my children for the wonderful adults they were becoming. I surrounded myself around people who were encouraging and supportive and not sitting with their foot out ready to me trip me as I walked by. It was difficult but the hurdles were so worth the true bliss I have today. I just had to train myself to believe that I was placed here on earth to be happy and in return give back. Kisses Bellas, Deborah Stilettos www.Facebook.com/HeelingInc.
Yesterday, I went to buy my seventeen year old son a new phone. Just a few months ago, I purchased a 4G iPhone for myself and was blown away with all of the things it could do. My son selected a “Sky Rocket” and suddenly I felt like my phone was almost obsolete!! Now I’m not hear to plug the latest phone but instead I would ask that you indulge me while I take a walk…a long walk …down memory lane. Now this whole reflection phase started when my son looked to me after viewing the music applications on his new phone and said “boy has music come a long way.” He has no idea. It seems like only yesterday that we bought furniture to house our stereos and albums. Careful not to place them too close to a heating unit to prevent them from warping, the records would be stacked one right after another and finding a song was first having to go through all the vinyl to find the record. There was no search option or easy retrieval. And whoever thought we could put every song we ever purchased on one device. I remember thinking we were pretty hip when my mother carried out our eight track tapes in a mini suitcase only to be downsized later to cassettes. Remember cassettes? You would be listening to the latest and greatest only to eject them from the cassette player to have the tape get caught in the machine. You would them spend the next thirty minutes wheeling it all back in.
But let’s get back to the cell phone…it would be easy to shrug it off to the younger generation saying that they have completely lost their minds about this whole cell phone hysteria but I must admit I have often panicked when leaving the house without my phone…what if someone couldn’t email me, text me, Facebook me, MySpace me, Linkedin me…let alone not call me. Remember when you would wait for a doctor’s appointment and be forced to read a magazine…not anymore…we can purchase something, read, answer mail, talk to someone without using words, check the weather, make a friend with someone you don’t even know, and read the philosophy of a friend of a friend on how their little Johnny pooped on the big boy potty. Times have changed.
Remember when your parents only had one car, summer camp was a bat, a ball and a warning to be home for lunch, dinner required more than a five-minute run in the microwave, you watched television and saw all the new products on the market before going to the supermarket, Pong…a game that never included killing people or calling women whores but you would amuse you for hours, and hold onto your seat….do you remember the library and the Dewy Decimal System?
Sure I love the conveinces of today but are we really better off? Divorce rates are higher, you are constantly trying to determine the tone of a text message, your political views, religious beliefs, and your personal pictures are now available for some creep in Iowa to view. And, how are kids expected to sneak off now when they can’t really tell their parents they are going to the library. In fact, with a push of a button, I can locate my kids by their phone.
I am sure my children will have their own memories and funny stories to tell thirty years from now. Technology will of course continue to grow and we will continue to adjust to the easier more comfortable lifestyle. But I have to tell you…I miss watching my mom make cookies with flour and sugar and not just cutting the plastic wrapper off. I miss the sound of a worn diamond needle scratching across the vinyl record of Journey, Styxx, or Boston. I miss the memories of my dad cursing and fussing looking for quarters while driving down the Parkway to visit my grandparents…who could of guessed that a square block would allow us to sail right through the tolls. I really can’t believe the 80’s were thirty years ago!! Yeah things have really improved…or have they just changed? Kisses Bellas!!
They say that God never gives you more than you can handle but I would be lying if I didn’t admit here that there were times I thought he might have forgotten to turn off the faucet. However, it has been those moments when I am struggling to get out from under the pile that I realize why I am here and even the strength I didn’t know I had.
When you live with abuse, you adjust your life so that upset and disruption are a part of the daily norm. The dreams you had for your children are constantly getting recalibrated mostly because the severity of the situation is too much to digest. You start each day by placing your feet on the floor promising that you will do whatever humanly possible to protect your children from one more grenade attack only to find yourself returning to the same bed at night with tears streaming down your face swearing to God that tomorrow will be different. And, sometimes it is but often times the days just seem to repeat themselves.
Trying to explain the emotions and feelings to another whose life does not mimic yours can be filled with embarrassment and disbelief. How could anyone chose to live like that? How could anyone be amazed that they found themselves under hundreds of sandbags filled with vile words, insults, and humiliating behavior when they have put up with unacceptable for so long? Yet, when I have the opportunity to speak to someone who has walked through the same hellish existence I realize that much more is said with our eyes than our words.
This year unraveled at paces I could never have planned. Agonizing grief for what would never be fixed and guilt of staying too long looking for a cure that ultimately hurt my children more were just some of the hurdles that needed to be jumped. Disruptive behavior and threats, hurtful words and erratic behavior, pain and disappointment seem to dispense like baseballs at an electronic batting cage, but I survived.
I started to see some of the problems with the system when obtaining a permanent restraining order. I saw how the welfare of children is a great political platform but lacks in execution. I witnessed myself getting up each and every time I fell…at first with a struggle and now with more of a bounce.
I HATE what happened to me and hate does not skim the surface of my disdain of what my children had to endure but I started to consider if this is why I am here. Not in my office or in Lambertville but here on earth. Maybe I was tapped on the shoulder to help others not only endure but survive… And that is when I started Heeling, Inc. This organization is going to change the way we currently do business. Women can be the harshest critic of each other and yet when we witness another struggling we can become the most powerful union. I am counting on this and I hope I can count on you. Please…if you believe that no woman or child should live with abuse take a moment to go on Facebook and “like” our page www.Facebook.com/HealingInc. If you would like to commit more to the fight, please join us on the second Wednesday of every month for our meetup in New Hope, Pa at our Shoe Sorority House. I am a shoe designer by trade and I believe that by putting one high-heeled foot in front of the other we can make changes. Are you up for the challenge? Please let me know if you or someone you know is being effected by domestic violence. Ohhh and by the way…the secret is I was never really alone and God doesn’t make mistakes. Kisses Bellas
Sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Does looking at our past make us not look ahead? Or is it dangerous not to be reflective as not to make the same mistakes again? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. As I approach the mid-point of my life I do find myself more reflective than I have ever been. I seem to have fewer answers and more questions with each year that passes. And on many counts, I find myself revisiting places, events and people who have remained as nothing more than my memory. Thinking back to when my kids were young or a special trip we took can bring untold joy. That’s probably why we take so many pictures of our children as never to lose the moment and to have them to reflect back on. I have had moments where I have been able to laugh with my college friends about crazy things we did and the fun we had. And, who hasn’t listen to a song that has brought them back to an old love in a flash of a moment?
So why would some be hell-bent on focusing on the future. Ahead is where we are going, it is mistake free, untraveled territory and in many ways easier to accept because the future does not hold regret, sorrow, or misgivings. The future holds hope, excitement and the unknown. The days to come are who we can be and who we can be with as opposed to who we were and who we chose to have in our lives.The past can be a valuable tool to learn not only who we are but help get us where we want to go. I believe that each of us carries a piece of our past with us. It’s why we love when our mom makes that special Sunday dinner that is reflective of when we were young or the sound of the ocean that can remind you of your first love.
They say history repeats itself and I wonder if that is because we so long for what we know. Maybe staying in a relationship that is lackluster is easier than challenging yourself to find new love. Maybe being stuck in the job you hate is easier than taking the plunge to finding a new career. Or, maybe someone you loved very much is no longer here and it is the only way you can visit them.
Writing this blog has made me consider both the past and the future. It dawned on me that visiting the past and dreaming of the future is not the problem. It’s when we chose to live there. And while it may sound very cliche…we really only have right now. So I challenge myself and to all my bellas out there…what are you doing today that will give you something worth looking back? And, how are you preparing today to be the best you for tomorrow?
Have you ever counted how many times you say you love something in a day? Of course, I love my kids, my friends, and even my dog but I have also been known to love the Eagles, the mint chocolate chip gum they just came out with, and the new stilettos that arrived at my store today. The word “love” has become overplayed and it made me wonder if perhaps that why we all go crazy when we are in love and are searching for love.
Never has a human emotion filled up our internal gas tanks like that warm fuzzy feeling of being in love. There is that excited rushed followed by uncertainty that can make the cockles of our hearts overflow with adrenaline. Being in love can most of the time catch us a bit off guard because the emotion behind it is so strong and powerful that the rush is almost instant gratification. The same can be true when you make a tray of homemade macaroni and cheese on a cold winter’s night. If the smooth warm texture of cheese tantalizing your tongue doesn’t make you scream “love” I don’t know what will…our quest for instant gratification once again.
I don’t mean to trivialize the arrival of cupid’s arrow and while I do think there is a jump from infatuation to being in love, I also believe you can be “in love” more than once in your lifetime. I love the stories told by older generations of how they married their first girlfriend and have been in love for over fifty years but for most of us the travel through life has not been so romantically clad. For some of us, we fall in love only to find that they forgot to put the prize in the Cracker Jack box or that princess we fell head over heels for has chosen another Prince Charming. Others fall in love and through circumstances and misfortune find themselves broken-hearted for not following the one person they really loved. So could it be that we are not all looking to be “in love” but in fact we are all searching for “true love?”
Many would argue that being in love is true love but I don’t think that is always the case. True love has a different platform to reach. It absolutely has all the same criteria as being in love but true love only happens once in a lifetime. It is beyond the rush, the excitement, and the hysteria. It is that love that stays with you. No matter where life brings you or whether you are separated by oceans or years, true love sustains. It conquers time, hurt, disappointment, distance and no matter what the circumstances, true love never leaves our hearts. True love is never nurtured in abuse but flourishes in the warm sunlight of human kindness. Your true love encourages you to be the best you can be, laughs with you, shares common likes and gently spars with you in your differences and is someone who you know life would be terribly different with them not in it. I believe we are all on a quest to find true love. Or, we are always trying to return to the true love that got away.
I am about to step out of my comfort zone and open my deep dark closet for everyone who reads this to see. There will be some that will read this and question my need to put this in writing and others who know me may be shocked or saddened to learn of what I am about to share. While I appreciate those of you who fall into either of those categories for taking the time to read this blog, you are not the one I am writing to…I am writing to the woman who needs to hear this.
My life at one time was full of dreams and happy moments. They were so happy quite frankly that I could never have imagined things turning out the way they did. But as I look back, there were clues…clues I saw, clues I tripped on and clues I fell over and for some curious reason I continued down the path. I came from a small town and had protective parents and two younger brothers. My world was pretty small and sheltered. I was like every young girl. I dated, had my heart-broken, laughed a lot, hung out with my friends, and went to college. School was my thing. I loved learning and I was good at it. I received awards, accomplished goals, and met a man who I would eventually call my husband.
Soon I took a path…the path down the wedding aisle, the path to children and a very dark path I couldn’t find my way out of for a very long time. The years collected and so did the clues. The changes didn’t happen over night. They were slow and methodical. At first, I thought I was just becoming too sensitive as I got older. I then blamed it on the pressures of life and the demands of having children. Things progressively got worse and as they did my excuses became larger and more unreasonable.
And while this was a slow progression, when I finally woke up to see how my life was eroding away, I was not the same girl who left her small hometown. I was a grown woman who had been ripped to shreds by the razor-sharp tongue by the man she thought loved her. I became frightened of the phone that it was surely going to deliver another round of stinging words strung together to destroy what was left of my heart and soul. My closet became my safe haven and I found myself constantly worried about my children, my finances, and my ability to endure the next crisis.
What happen to the girl who was destined to do great things? How did she become this frightened woman unable to free herself from the grips of abuse? To this day, I don’t know the answer and yet I find myself asking it over and over.
Then one day…the pot boiled over and a force greater than myself guided me to safety. I cried, agonized, felt guilt ridden that I had left…a sickness some may call it. But for me, I felt damaged. I didn’t think my soul would ever repair. In some ways, I was not even sure I had enough to go on but I woke up everyday because my children needed me. I got dressed, put make up on, and functioned the best I could. Little by little, I started a company. Not every day was great but everyday was better than what I had left. Tears slowly stopped flowing and I was actually surprised to hear myself laugh again. Every milestone I reached allowed me to replace my fears with confidence. The mountains were still there to climb but I was no longer doing it in bare feet. I was prepared and gave myself moments to think my own thoughts.
I am free now… Free of the abuse and the unacceptable….free to be in love and be loved in return…free to make my own choices…and free to be in the company of others or in the peace of my own being. Leaving was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made but it is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. You only get one life…no do overs, no refunds! You have the right to be happy…the right to be loved…the right to be appreciated…the right to live without fear. This may not be your story but if it is…there’s hope. Kisses Bellas www.facebook.com/HeelingInc
Of all the topics I have ever written on, trust is the hardest for me. It invokes a feeling I keep tucked very deep inside of my soul. A place I created mostly because of mistrust. Disappointment, hurt, and sorrow prevented me from loving and caring again for someone for a long time and while that can be an effective approach to not getting burned again…how lonely a life! Trust is giving your heart to another and asking that they take care of it. That they will love you the very best that they can…but we are human and sometimes we make mistakes.
And then, trust has been so much more to me…it has been my banking on someone else’s integrity, relying on their word, and most importantly having the hope that they cared as much about my feelings as I did theirs. In other words, it is relinquishing all control and putting something of importance into someone else’s hands. Not an easy task! I went even as far as to consider the thought of not trusting at all and while trust is a sensitive subject matter for me the thought of mistrust made me feel uncomfortable. Why?
I think we are all put here for some reason. For some, it is to navigate travels around the world while for others it is to raise their children. There are doctors here to cure, scientists to discover, pastors to preach, professors to teach, advocates to assist and a neighbor to help someone in his community. The beautiful thing is to be here for a reason is to be here with trust…trust in yourself, trust in the universe to help you make the right decisions and for me, trust in God to show me the way.
A life without trust is not a life. We are all here for a reason and sometimes we just have to trust our hearts to know that we are much stronger than to fall to pieces because someone has stumbled and broken a trust. We have to believe that we are given this beautiful gift of trust because when you find it in someone all the past hurts seem to heal.