My Huge, Little, Tiny, Microscopic Wonderful World

HOW’S THIS FOR SMALL WORLD?

This morning, I went over to my friend Will’s shop to get his opinion on a new XIZOZU product I’m developing. While we were talking, Peggy, another of the shop’s “regular” customers who I enjoy running into there, came in. We invited her into the conversation. Will, who wears a medal himself, explained how I created XIZOZU, and was teaching her how to pronounce it: “SHĒ-ZŌ-ZŪ”. Peggy nailed it, the second time!

Discovering XIZOZU customers and friends

Then Peggy looked at me a little puzzled and said. “Wait. You designed this? But this isn’t something local. Right?”

I was about to answer when she added, “my friend in South Africa posted about this. I remember seeing it on her Facebook page.”

There was the briefest pause and then we simultaneously said “Penelope!?!!”

I got tingles listening as Peggy told me how she and one of my customers from the other side of the world were friends and had worked together in California.

I admit I teared up a little as I shared this memory with her: One evening last summer I was sitting with my husband on our back deck, doing some research on my laptop and, if I may be honest, grappling over what to do with XIZOZU.

Was it something? Would it catch on?

He was being wholly supportive and you know, wonderfully husband-y. I appreciated all his encouragement but, well, he’s my husband. It’s in his best interest to be kind and reassuring.

I returned my focus to the computer and  an email that had just arrived from a women in South Africa which, after reading twice, I read to him.

I will share with you just the ending:

“I absolutely love what you’re doing here. And these pendants are an amazing way for women like myself to feel proud of our will to survive without having to write what happened across our foreheads. It’s a beautiful first step to allowing the world to see our story. For that, I thank you.”

The message brought me to tears and left me speechless and came at a moment when I needed it.

I knew I would keep going. For that I thank you, Penelope (and Peggy and Will) for being a part of my journey!

And thank you.

The Nudge I Needed

I’ll be honest – launching XIZOZU™ has been among the most rewarding and the most challenging projects I’ve ever undertaken. The times when doubts creep in and I wonder…is this really a thing?…are thankfully few, but the second-guessing does happen. Then I get an email like this…

2/10/18

My XIZOZU arrived yesterday, it was a gift from my mother-in-law and I haven’t taken it off. It’s like a source of renewable energy that I can draw from whenever my grief weakens me…I love that no one else knows its meaning. People just think it’s beautiful. I do too. Thank you. Thank you.

M. in Massachusetts

…and I know exactly where my path is leading. Thank you universe.

A Tale of Two Parties

Every woman is unique, her path is her own

Without making me sound like more of a party animal than I actually am, a couple of weekends ago I wound up at two local parties on the same day. Both were casual outdoor gatherings commemorating summer’s passing. Someone was wearing a XIZOZU™ medals pendant at each of them.

Confession: I still (and will probably always) get a little thrill when I unexpectedly spot someone sporting XIZOZU™ pendants out in the wild.

At the first party the woman wore three classic bronze with black pendants close to her heart dangling from a leather cord. At the second the woman wore three similar medals but closer to her neck on a black wire choker.

Those two women were as uniquely opposite, at least on the surface, as two females can be, as were the medals the wore.

Yet they were both quite similar too. Both were equally and rightfully proud of what they had accomplished.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

The first woman’s set honored overcoming challenges, the second woman’s  set celebrated meeting them. Similar results, but with a small but significant difference.

Sometimes we choose our challenges, like deciding to run a marathon or buy a home. Here we need to focus our energy and summon our discipline to achieve these things.

Other times challenges appear in our paths uninvited, and we have no choice but to find a way through, or around them. Those hardships and traumatic episodes require us to fight for our selves, in the truest, deepest meaning possible, physically or mentally.

In each case, the work is hard. In both cases they deserve medals.

So do you.

Get Yours >>

How to Honor Yourself

Unique bereavement gifts for helping people deal with grief and loss.

Monday’s post was pretty solemn and the number of people who reached out too extend their sympathy or share their own shattering experiences was beautiful.

That generous outpouring of positive energy inspired me to create this white square XIZOZU™  which I will be releasing soon. It’s is a special edition medal to remind us that when we come upon something positive or beautiful, we should honor it.

jewelry filled with positive energy and vibrations

Wear this  XIZOZU™ as a prompt to take those few extra minutes to truly appreciate when you discover something exquisite, whether it’s part of the physical world, an idea, or someone else’s heartwarming action. Let it be marvelous.

Notice the details and make it a gift to yourself by sitting with it alone.

Then by sharing it.

If you’d like to know when this medal is released (and would enjoy receiving a little discount) be sure to join the email list.

Saying It In Secret

Sent this set to a buyer this morning.

The aspect of one’s life that any given XIZOZU™ honors is only identified on the inside of the hangtag. You can share it’s meaning if you choose. Or not.

You see, we deeply respect your privacy and are exceptional secret-keepers.

Three Out The Door

I get chills when I send out the orders I get for XIZOZU™ medals. I feel  like I am now a part, albeit a very teensy-tiny part, of another person’s journey.

These three are being shipped to different people today: a person who conquered an eating disorder in Colorado, another battling one in New York, and the third, for a person who faced harsh personal challenges in Ohio – and beat them.

I never imagined creating these talisman medals for strangers would bring me such personal joy.

The Medals We’ve Earned – Survey

The achievements, roles and experiences of women

In a loooong texting session with a friend last night we wound up “discussing” the many XIZOZU medals that we each could personally claim. She offered her list and wow! Was I shocked by the length of her list and by the number of achievements, roles, and situations that she’d experienced that I didn’t know about and that I hadn’t already designed medals or survivor jewelry for.

So I thought I’d ask you. This quick survey is completely anonymous. I don’t ask your name or email. No identifying information whatsoever. So please be as upfront and honest as you can. I simply want to know – how many badges have you earned at this point in your life? And how many have I not thought about? It’s a great help! Thank you.

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I am an Eating Disorder Survivor

Understanding how your eating disorder has impacted who you are.

You too? Have you had to overcome an eating disorder?

My disorder: Bulimia. In my early twenties. Today I can hardly look at the very skeletal me in the photos from that time and not gasp a little. I weighed 98 pounds the day I got married. My wedding dress was a size three and had to be taken in 3 times.

Everyone attributed my weight loss to the stress of planning a wedding. I never corrected them… Continue reading “I am an Eating Disorder Survivor”