You’re Forever Tattooed in My Heart

The very first ZIZOZU tattoo - a reminder to the wearer of how far she's come and to keep believing.

This week in our private Facebook group, The XIZOZU Sisterhood of Indestructible Women, the conversation turned toward tattoos. How many do you have? What are they of?

It was fun to read how different women used body art to express themselves—they’re philosophies, dreams and sorrows.

So in the spirit of giving I offered a free custom tattoo design to the first eight women who asked for one and was delighted when six women chimed in right off the bat.

One by one each woman shared her story with me privately. A few told me very specific experiences or character traits that they wanted to honor, others told me deeply moving stories about what they were going through currently, others shared their detailed accounts of their pasts and how they overcame emotional and physical adversity. I can’t tell you how many times I had tears rolling down my cheeks while reading their words. The strength—emotional and physical—these women possess is incredibly inspiring.

Using what they had shared I set about finding the expressions that would capture their intention and the essence of their stories. The first one I designed gave me chills as the XIZOZU characters landed on the page instantly; the second made me cry; and the third had me holding my breath as I tried many different angles. Then after one design took shape, I exhaled. I knew that was it.

I sent each woman their custom XIZOZU design and they each sent me back emails saying in their own words that when they saw it, they’d cried. Of course, that made me cry, again.

I posted this to the group:

“Your responses to the XIZUZO Tattoo designs have been more touching than I could have imagined. My heart is bursting.

I still have a few to do but I want to remind you all that the things these XIZOZU express are aspects of the magnificence you possess. Their beauty is in that. I’ve simply given some of your invisible energy and awesomeness a visible shape – made it something you can see. Something you can point to, or touch, and say “That’s me. That’s how awesome I am.” Even on your lowest days. Especially then.

So I hope when you decide where to have them tattooed it’s somewhere you can see, often. When others see them they might think, oh that’s pretty. But you will know…no, that’s fuckin’ beautiful. That’s me.”

And that’s what XIZOZU is: You.

I am in awe of the women who share their stories so they and other women can grow. It’s exactly what XIZOZU was meant for.

Want to see the designs we created? Come over and join the group.

 

 

The Last Lost Days of August

Suicide prevention and awareness

September 2nd is approaching; the anniversary of my father’s suicide.

It’s been nineteen years—yes, nineteen— and I still never know how that day will arrive. Some years the sorrow of loss starts gathering early. It might appear days, even weeks, beforehand, and is persistent like the dense fog that clings to these late August mornings—heavy and opaque.

Other years the date, though permanently circled on the calendar in invisible red ink, passes undetected by my emotional radar and I awake on September 3rd surprised by a guilt-tinged realization that I didn’t think of September 2nd at all. But those years are rare.

But today, August 21st,  marks a different anniversary from that same year that I rarely talk about. It’s the anniversary of the day my father wrote his suicide notes.

Continue reading “The Last Lost Days of August”

The Tattoo and The Art of Support.

So many of my days are made – by you. Today is one of them

A month or so ago a customer ordered a XIZOZU™ pendant and with the order came a note with this request:

I have been looking for many months for some type of personal symbol or sigil as a unique tattoo that would represent my struggles without being too mainstream, and without others having to know what it truly means. This would be the perfect beautiful tattoo to have on my arm…What you have created here is amazing. May I have your blessing?

Of course I said yes, without hesitation and sent her a larger reference image to make th artist’s work easier.

This photo arrived in my inbox this morning with another heartwarming note that filled both my heart and eyes.

Tattoo designs that let provide comfort and strength

This, this is what XIZOZU is…a beautiful source of both comfort and strength.

For you.

And for me.

What would your XIZOZU tattoo say? Of course you can express anything, but click to see the ones we’ve made so far:

Available Medals

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You might be a caregiver if… | The XIZOZU 8

This week’s eight things that are worth sharing with friends

Issue #5: The art & heart of caregiving 

Are you wedged somewhere between the needs of children, spouses, and aging parents or ailing friends? February 16th is National Caregivers Day! We’re tipping our hats to those who by circumstance or profession wear the superhero cape of caregiving. It’s important, demanding and often thankless work. But we thank you. You are appreciated. Here’s some help:

  1. FIND YOUR TRIBE. Caregivers is a group designed to help care for the caregivers with ideas and support to lighten your load. If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. And may still with this quick read of 25 touching caregiver experiences that will make you smile.
  2. LEAVE IT TO THE PROS. Even though they seem like superheroes of comfort—and trained for the inevitable—professional caregivers also have emotions that must be processed. Professional Caregivers Grieve Too.
  3. GIVE ‘EM A BREAK. Got a heavy-hitter caregiver in your life? Give them a break. Literally. This week might be the perfect time. You might also treat them to a medal 🙂
  4. LET THE MUSIC PLAY. Sounds that Heal. Providing music to those recovering. Everybody wins.
  5. EVERYTHING’S RELATIVE. Touching story of how one customer honored the passing of their spouse—When one person is five people.
  6. FIND YOUR CHILL. It’s OK to relax. In fact it’s required.
  7. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD. I don’t care what you say nothing is more comforting than food! Here’s a rundown of the most popular go-to comfort dishes. Comfort Food Countdown – where does your favorite fall? (Personally, I’d switch #1 & #3 and everyone knows it.)
  8. CREATIVE CARING. Crafty ideas for children or adults that help you pass the time and have fun!

YOUR EMAIL EXCLUSIVE:
YOU MIGHT BE A CAREGIVER…
Or know one.

Honor the selfless dedication, countless hours, complex emotions, and comforting nature of the caregivers in your life with this XIZOZU medal designed expressly for that very special role.

Get yours >>

 


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Information worth sharing with friends

When You Really Want to Say F*ck You.

Taking charge of your life means taking charge of your emotions
Over the weekend I had a wonderful visit with a cherished friend who’s heading into year two of a really rough divorce. Few divorces are without some ugly bits—dismantling a marriage can be difficult and gut wrenching—but her future ex is just being a colossal prick. His narcissistic behavior pushes all of my buttons while breaking my heart—for everyone involved.

Toward the end of the visit the conversation shifted to XIZOZU™ and while showing her a new design, I laughed and volunteered to create a custom medal especially for her that essentially said “Fuck You Husband.” We both lost it laughing over the idea. “I’ m going to do it!” I swore.  I mean who would know, right?

An hour or so after she left I realized: I would know. And she would know. Petty and spiteful (though temporarily satisfying!) is not what XIZOZU™ is about and that’s what a cynical medal like that would be—small and diminishing. XIZOZU™ are the very opposite of  that kind of damaging negativity.

The medals I make for women are about finding their strength through hard times; they’re about coaxing the positive threads out of life’s challenges; they’re about emotional and physical valor. They’re a place from which to draw strength and direct love.

I am still making her a medal, but it will be a medal that restores her.

What will it say? Something like:

The best revenge is forgiveness.


Get Your Medals

 

Learning to Shift | The XIZOZU 8

Small Shifts for big Changes

This week’s eight things that are worth sharing with friends

Issue #3: Learn to Shift  

Creating a life that’s more than standard! What I learned this week about the incredible change that can happen from small shifts.

  1. APPROACH: Whenever I give my OCD friend who loves to clean a hard time, she tells me I’m just compulsively messy. Touché. Imagine my glee when I learned we can all have tidy houses without donating entire days to cleaning the them! Wheeeee!
  2. TIME: Speaking of time not spent doing something, imagine what you could accomplish just by changing how you spend ten minutes a day? After spending 10 mintues reading One Hundred Blocks, I’ve been loosely tracking my day in ten minute blocks. If nothing else, this helped put the time I waste on social media into perspective. We made an easily printable form for you to try it yourself.
  3. GAZE: SpaceX is tackling one of the obstacles to life in the final frontier: sustainable transportation. Elon Musk hopes to launch his Tesla roadster into space early this week. No really.
  4. PERSPECTIVE: There’s so much that could be said about the work of Bernard Pras besides that it’s amazing in the actual meaning of the word. If you do the Facebook thing, check this video out.  And also on Facebook this shifted view from the British Museum takes you into a 17th century Chinese Scroll. Gorgeous and mesmerizing. (Oh, wait we’re also on Facebook!)
  5. GROOVE: Drop a retro Nightshift vibe onto your next music playlist: Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson have a timeless soulful verve.
  6. STANCE: Wait, I changed my mind – and why it’s a good thing. Or, are our minds made up and nothing will change them.
  7. POSITION: Downward facing or upward facing, I still rarely do either of them correctly. Even so – a little free yoga is always good for realigning your body and your adjusting spirit.
  8. SITUATION: “I shifted my car into reverse when…” Nobody wins in an abusive realtionship, but I have nothing but respect for this chic right here…

Every life deserves a medal. Get yours.


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The XIZOZU 8 is a regular collection of eight ideas that our friends and fans might find helpful. Subscribe and get it delivered  straight to your inbox.

Information worth sharing with friends

#Resist Keychain Giveaway

#Resist Keychain and pendant

To celebrate the first anniversary of The Women’s March, we’re giving away a limited edition XIZOZU™ #Resist Keychain to one lucky email subscriber!

January 20: A winner was chosen! Kathleen from Maryland will be receiving a #Resist Keychain! Thank you Kathleen for being a fan.

Want to have a chance at future giveaways? Sign up right here!.

Share the Journey with Us

#Resist. And the BIGGEST way the Women’s March changed my life.

©2017 Christine Glade - Women's March January 2017

A medal honoring those who stand for justiceI’m supremely excited to introduce #Resist!—a special, limited edition XIZOZU™ marking the one year anniversary of the historic Women’s March that took place last year on January 20th.

My boots were on the ground in Washington, DC that day but people came together everywhere— in cities big and small from Boston to LA, and in countries throughout the world. The experience not only changed something inside of me, but it actually changed my life. How? That day also represents the beginnings of XIZOZU™.

In the long and laborious process involved in birthing XIZOZU™, you could point to  the Women’s March as the day my water broke. Conception was years earlier than that, and the hard work of pushing out an actual product was still months ahead, but it was there on the streets of our nation’s capitol—alongside hundreds of thousands of inspiring people—that XIZOZU™ Medals of Honor ceased to be a vague idea tumbling around the back of my brain. It became something beautiful, concrete and alive.

Inspired by the Women's March, the XIZOZU #Resist pendent stands for justice and inclusiveness.Surrounded by people who are probably a lot like you, with unique and meaningful personal stories, I wanted to give a medal to nearly every person I met. I wanted to honor their achievements and, as importantly, recognize their struggles. When I came home, I figured out a way to do that. And the rest is as they say—her story. (Read more about the connection here.)

Needless to say I am pretty excited to honor both those who stood up that day and XIZOZU’s early beginnings with #Resist— a  XIZOZU™ that expresses all of our relentless determination and commitment to justice. A medal that reminds us that we must:

#resist the inclination to ignore what does not directly impact us
#resist fearing what we do not understand
#resist judging entire people based on the actions of any single person
#resist turning a blind eye to injustice
#resist surrendering to fear
#resist
false assumptions about another person based on race or gender
#resist our own resistance to change

The journey toward justice and inclusivity for all remains a long and rocky one.

C’mon, walk with me.

#Resist.

Get Your Own >>

When One Person Is Five People

Losing a loved one impacts so many relationships.

Bereavement and greif, how to honor the life of a loved one who has passed. Just before Christmas I received an order for five XIZOZU: Loss of Wife, Loss of Sister, Loss of Daughter, Loss of Mother, Caregiver.

I got teary. Instantly.

It was impossible to miss the far-reaching impact that the passing of this one woman had in her world.

I was glad to create medals that would be reminders of each of those sacred connections and also containers for the love that could no longer be physically expressed. I poured all my comforting energy into each of those medals.

It’s easy to forget how deeply each of us touches so many others on a given day, in a given lifetime. As I packaged the order up for delivery I whispered a promise to myself to be better about valuing each of spaces I occupy in other people’s lives. 

Have you thought about how many roles you fill in your everyday life? The list grows quickly once you start making it. Believe me.

Thanks for reading,
Christine

View Current Medals

Helping People With Anorexia or Bulimia

Today another modest but heartfelt donation of $30. on behalf of XIZOZU™ Medals of Honor was sent to one of the supported causes, chosen by you, our friends and fans.

Project Heal helps those fighting eating disorders like anorexia and bulimiaThe recipient: Project Heal – an organization focused on supporting those tackling eating disorders.  XIZOZU™ medals honoring Anorexia and Bulimia recovery were among the most requested last quarter, making Project Heal the perfect group to support this time around! We so appreciate their important and necessary work.

Operating under the belief that every little bit helps, we’re glad to support Project Heal and look forward to making future contributions as we continue to grow in reach and popularity.

Thank you, XIZOZU™ customers, supporters and friends. You make this possible, and worthwhile! Hope you feel a little of the love!