Beauty in Nature

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Seen during my stroll home. The remains of a leaf in the shape of a heart.

Nature is an Art of God.

Xo,

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http://www.carmenveal.com

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The Truth About Passions…

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It’s been a solid three weeks since I’ve blogged. While I advise I blog on a whim and post on an as-felt basis, my recent silence is stemmed from hurt. And growth. A journey of a necessary paradigm shift towards my personal evolution.

I’ve started four companies since 2009. I have an undying love for a field that pays my bills (Fashion Designer/Seamstress), a love for positively impacting the lives of those affected by Autism, advocating for self love, self-awareness and promoting the beauty/versatility in natural hair. While my journey may look spectacular and easy on the outside, the reality is FAR from the truth.

You see, not only does my lifestyle require great self discipline and responsibility, I have to face the unknown motives of others. People befriend me ALL OF THE TIME. Some who want me to succeed, fail, support me or just copy what I do for their own gain. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “you’re my new best friend” I’d be a billionaire. While I welcome newcomers into my life (happily–I enjoy meeting with and making new connections/friendships). A few disloyal, selfish and negative experiences since December led to me taking time out for myself, to reflect, analyze and try to understand. Over the past few weeks, I’ve summed up a few things and am now compelled to share.

PASSION:

Passions evolve out of experiences. The bottom line here is you can not fake passion. As a result, the concept of “competition” has very little concern to me now. Anyone can start something, anything. Be it due to interest, curiosity, love or just to copy another’s original version. Let me tell you, passion is what will expose the true motive. If you’re looking to feel passionate about something before doing it, then you’re going to be looking for a long time. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never persevere. I founded Hope 4 Autism, Inc. due my daughter being diagnosed with the disorder. I founded Brown Skin Women and this blog because I was raised poor, suffered from identity crisis and tried to disguise my natural being because I felt I didn’t fit in. I became a Fashion Designer & Seamstress after trying the normal route (going to college), only to have a child at 17 (and end with a dream deferred). So I taught myself how to sew, and fell so in love with the process. It became my driving force. I developed a love for these things over time, and a desire to live happily through them by doing and sharing. The good, bad and ugly truths.

My passions are stemmed from experience. Not convenience. Anyone who creates a copy of my originality will either succeed, or fail. Succeed because there’s passion. Fail because there’s no passion at all. Who am I to be upset another version comes along? Especially if like my own experiences, they know what the journey feels like? I did it. Someone else before me did it. I’m succeeding. Someone else before me succeeded. And I’m happy. Who am I to deny someone else happiness?

Such. Is. Life.

Do it with passion, or, not at all.

And I’m back to blogging my loves.

So…Until next time…XO

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http://www.carmenveal.com

Reference:
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5077853

When doing work sucks…

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One awesome way to tackle not so exciting work (because there are super boring and least preferred responsibilities associated with just about everything) was completing in a space that makes me happy. I’m a fan of nature, beautiful building and warm weather. So, yesterday’s office was conveniently stationed under a tree in my favorite park.

Find a way to make what you do work, even the not so great responsibility associated with it.

Happy Tuesday!

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In the midst of Catastrophe…

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I typically oppose to battling a private battle publicly. But when I am inspired by something, anything, I feel the need to share.

My family is going through a battle that is trying, but strengthening all in one. This situation has literally caused my family and I to put our lives on hold and cater to the sensitivity that is the present. Even in the midst of our troubles, I noticed the beauty in nature (which made me smile). I literally stopped and took the time to feel and admire these hot pink beauties.

The flower. It’s beauty. It’s simplicity. It’s ability to teach.

They teach us that a small life well lived is far better than a long life badly-lived.

They teach us to scatter mirth and beauty wherever we go.

Arrangement of their petals and leaflets in a systematic way teaches us to lead a systematic and disciplined life.

Their smiles even in thorny surroundings bring home to us the art of living

We should all do more of the things we love. And share these things, to encourage others to do the same. Please keep my family in your prayers.

XO,

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http://www.carmenveal.com

The “i” in team…

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…is in “Leadership”.

As the CEO of Carmen Veal Headquarters and now leading a team of staff who works hard at helping me further build my dreams, I am compelled to share a few things. Things I now feel comfortable sharing, as this month makes 5 years that I’ve been in business. Anyone (literally anyone) can start a company and work alone. And anyone (literally anyone) will fail if they do not possess some very basic self skills. I won’t get into a long list of necessities, but I will explore the most important one: Leadership.

As quoted from this very book:

“Leading yourself is no easy task. It takes self discipline, planning, and the opportunity to get the job done. But leading the team is different – and much more difficult. It starts with a better understanding of basic human nature.”

In summary, it starts with self awareness, self-love and self care–necessities for understanding oneself. My background in Psychology is the essence of my understanding of self, and in return, others. It has helped me realize that no matter what someone else does, it is my obligation to respect that very thing. This doesn’t mean I have to like their decisions, but I have to accept them for what they are. This way I am able to effectively deal with them. Honestly and respectfully. This way my team members are receptive to my advices, allowed the opportunity to share their truths and openly explore everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.

So when leading a team, self awareness and respect for others are core elements which allows certain leadership qualities:

1. Building a stronger authentic connection.
2. Self confidence that inspires.
3. Self Awareness that allows the ability to meet the needs of the team.
4. Ability to lead the team strategically.
5. Allowing moments of victory during the journey.

There is no “i” in team but their is one in leadership. It starts, finishes and ends with the guidance of the team lead. A journey and humbling experience that helped me realize ego and pride are the enemy of effective leadership and teamwork. And so I’m here, sharing what I have discovered in year 5. I am nothing without an effective team. I have worked with others in the past which ended poorly. No detail as to how and why but…”the greatest destroyer of a championship team is a weak person who should not be on that team.”

Today I was reminded how and why my personal qualities influences a strong team:

The highest compliments leaders can receive are those that are given by people who work for them– James Barksdale

I am thrilled to share one of my team members, my Director or a Marketing, gave me this book as a gift a few days ago. Confirmation that we are all on the right track. It’s titled Teamwork makes the Dream Work by John C Macwell.

Until next time…Xo

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Simple yet Understated Floral Display

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Spider mums are so sophisticated! They’re bold and make a statement that works well in modern decor. Center pieces makes complimentary statements be it at an event or within the home. I made this simple centerpiece for a Wine Station at a Scent Testing event I planned and hosted for Brown Skin Women.

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My fruit display didn’t look half bad either ;).

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While surfing the fabulous Pinterest boards, I stumbled across these beauties.

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Thanks to some Spider Mum research during my studies to become a Certified Interior Decorator at Carmen Veal Interiors, I learnt a few things about the Spider Mum. One important factor being they can last for up to 14 days in floral arrangements.

I hope you find inspiration and great use in this beautiful flower.

Until next time,

Xo

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