“Your outer beauty may capture eyes, but your inner beauty will capture hearts.“
Tell us about yourself, Leighsa!
I have always been a free spirit consumed by wanderlust. It has led me down many “adventures” in life, not the least of which has been having five beautiful children and watching them grow into outstanding adults. Being a parent has plenty of adventure; every day has its own surprise waiting!
I have been an educator for the last 25 years. I love meeting new people and I am open to everyone. As a side business, I offer tutoring services. For three years I worked with Chinese children learning English as a second language, so I’ve even learned completely different cultures. To me, a life is only full if it includes laughter, travel, giving back to others, and always looking for that next big adventure!
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
It was a process. When I was in my early to mid-fifties, I caught myself staring at a middle-aged woman in a picture and briefly wondered, “Who is that woman?” It didn’t take me long to discover that the woman was actually me. Of course, this was not the first time I had caught a glimpse of myself and realized that my former youthful attractiveness was fading. I had spent years keeping track of every extra pound and wrinkle. Though I was felt young, attractive, and carefree on the inside, my self-perceptions about age and appearance immediately pulled me back to the truth of who I was on the outside.
Soon after, I started to withdraw socially. I spent more time at home and I stopped dating. I ceased to be a wanderer. I started judging every photo that was taken of me. I became aware of the toll my negative self-perceptions were having on my confidence. Was I really going to let these ideas prevent me from feeling beautiful and carefree? I decided to concentrate on the positive aspects of my personality, my life, and my circumstances. I needed to discover the joy of what I thought was beautiful on the inside. In order to discover my inner beauty, I had to look more closely at what made me special. It was then I started to enjoy life more.
“The true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul.”
What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
Your outer beauty may capture eyes, but your inner beauty will capture hearts. Inner beauty is more attractive; it is something we can control and does not have to fade or become jaded over time.
Beauty is in the mind. Inner beauty can withstand a lifetime if you allow it. Why do we love the people close to us? Not just the members of our family, but those we have chosen to have in our life. When we think of the reasons why we love and admire our friends, parents, grandparents, and children, chances are many of these traits (kindness, loyalty, empathy, compassion, etc.) will make that list. People tend to love their family members and close friends regardless of how they look. We should be as kind to ourselves as we are to our loved ones.
Tell us about your experience with the photo shoot.
This shoot was a chance for me to just be Leighsa – it was very empowering; I am very thankful for the guidance of Brandi. I felt so honored to be selected for this project. I read the stories of the other women selected. What a blessing to be among such strong beautiful women!
When I first met Brandi in person, I felt like I had known her for ages, even though our paths had only just crossed. The photo shoot was amazing. After looking at Brandi’s previous work, I knew she would be able to capture my true personality. Brandi made me feel very special during the entire photoshoot. I am very thankful to have been chosen for this project.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Gratitude helps nurture the development of inner beauty by making us aware of all the joy in our lives. Seek out the company of good, positive people. Let the ones you love know you are thankful for them, too. Inner beauty includes showing love and appreciation for those you care about — nourish the good, positive relationships in your life and work to keep them. We all need each other.
My wanderlust is calling- “To belong nowhere is a blessing and a curse, like any kind of freedom.” The journey is the most important and memorable part. It’s those little journeys in between the destinations that truly shapes who we are.
“We should be lifting each other up and cheering each other on, not trying to outshine one another. The sky would be awfully dark with just one star.”
You are more beautiful than you know!
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