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 XIZOZU Bujo Intention Charm – What will yours say?

Adorn your journal with your own mantra or intention.

Intentional Jewelry

Make a statement of your own with a custom XIZOZU™ designed expressly for you and that one book you can’t live without—your Bullet Journal or personal planner.

Use your uique XIZOZU Intention Charm to set a theme for your year, reaffirm your personal goals, or celebrate the things you hold sacred—whatever matters most to you.

Then every time you open you Bullet Journal you’ll be reminded of what drives you, of what you wish to achieve, or long to be. But no one else knows what it says.

Oh, and did I mention, the new XIZOZU™ Bujo Intentional Charm is on sale for a limited time!

Get Yours --- >

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.

I’m Sorry. You’re getting this post instead. | The XIZOZU 8

This week’s eight things ONE THING worth sharing with friends

Issue #6: #enough 

I’d planned to publish a very witty and timely “Presidents’ Day” post today. But that can wait. Changing our nation’s literally off-the-charts level of gun violence just can’t. Not anymore. Here are eight things you can do right now to let our government know you won’t wait either and that you demand common sense gun laws.

8 Ways you can help change gun laws.

  1. ARM YOURSELF. With data. This great video will help you focus on the facts and get the big picture.
  2. BE RELENTLESS. To reduce the likelihood of future gun tragedies, we need stronger gun-control legislation—and that power of legislation lies in the hands of Congress. (I know, eye-roll. But right now they’re all you’ve got.)
    Contact your congressional representative using this online forum. Find out exactly who represents you in Congress.
    Call them: Capitol switchboard at (202)-224-3121. Let the operator know you’re a voter who will only vote for candidates who make gun reform a top priority. Demand stronger actions to get common sense gun reform passed. Here are the 50 legislators who voted NO for making background checks mandatory on all gun sales. Start with them.
  3. PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE THE LOUDEST MOUTH IS.  With the goal of cutting gun deaths by half by 2025, The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence, is a on a mission to get gun control policies passed. Donations go directly to funding political initiatives, translate: lobbying Congress (you know, like the NRA does).
    Other organizations also doing important work in the fight for gun control are: Coalition to Stop Gun Violence,  Coalition to Stop Gun ViolenceMoms Demand Action for Gun Sense in AmericaEverytown for Gun Safety, and Giffords. Make your donation to whichever cause speaks to you the most.
  4. FUEL THE MOVEMENT. Get on your feet and rally. Find an event in your state and show up. Go to States United to Prevent Gun Violence. Find a grassroots gun control group in your area – they’ll know how you can get involved.
  5. LEAD THE CONVERSATION. Host your own information and action get together. Open a dialogue with friends, family, and the community about gun violence and the importance of action. The Violence Policy Center has created a how-to guide.
  6. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. (I know. No child should have to think about this!) There are different approaches to handling the conversation about gun violence depending on the age of your children. Dr. Gilboa breaks it down for you. I’m sorry you have to even consider it.
  7. LEARN FROM OTHERS. Other countries have tackled this. And won. Let’s learn from their successes.
  8. KEEP THE NATION IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. But do it before another tragedy, and back it up with actions.

Take Aim. Get involved. Be part of the solution.

Because I don’t want to design a XIZOZU for surviving a mass shooting.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring #enough,
Christine

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.

What’s Wrong with You? | The ZIZOZU 8

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

Issue #4: What’s Wrong With Me?  

Nothing. Nothing is wrong. It was a week of learning about how folks handle their self-doubts, perceived flaws and spectacular failures. Next time you’re feeling down about yourself remember: you’re not alone. Figuratively or literally.
  1. MILLENNIAL. Maybe you’re one of them and according to Simon Sinek, here’s the way to handle it.
  2. GRIEF BRAIN. It’s a thing. But it’s temporary. And you’re not alone, many XIZOZU customers wear at least one medal honoring a lost loved one as a place to direct their love or a place to find strength and comfort.
  3. YOU’RE OUT OF BREATH. You’re doing it wrong. Or I was. Here’s how to breathe specifically to relax, quiet anxiety, and even fall back to sleep.
  4. IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD. The traveling exhibit Mindful – exploring mental health through art will be at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts through April 2018.
  5. THE BLUES. We all get ’em. Make the most of it with this worth-your-time music documentary: Blues America: Part 1 and Part 2
  6. OH BURGERS! I’m a vegetarian, except for those days when I eat meat. Try this simple approach for a healthier you and planet.
  7. YAY! YOU’VE BEEN A FAILURE. Successful entrepreneurs, authors, comedians, top YouTube creators, and more share trues stories about their complete mess ups in the What’s Wrong with You Podcast.
  8. WRONG vs. RIGHT Can science determine human values? Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape is next up on my nonfiction reading list. What’s next up on yours?

A customer's keychain with XIZOZU medals of honor—reminders of what's important.CUSTOMER LOVE NOTES:
“I locked the door and saw my XIZOZU. Started the car and there they were. It’s like mini meditations all day long!” —L. (USA)

The new XIZOZU™ keychains are super popular with the non-necklace wearers.


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The XIZOZU 8 is a regular collection of eight helpful or entertaining ideas that we think our friends and fans will enjoy.  Subscribe and get it delivered  straight to your inbox.

Information worth sharing with friends

custom intention jewelry

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

XIZOZU Global! Now in South Africa!

XIZOZU Medals of Honor - recovery and survivor jewelry that is truly unique

XIZOZU medals, survivor jewelry, remembrance jewelry, sympathy jewelry, are beginning to show up around the world!A customer posted this photo to our Facebook page and and I just had to share! Here you see the first three XIZOZU™ pendants to arrive in South Africa, the cradle of humanity.

Thank you Penelope for sharing your love and support for XIZOZU™!

I can’t help but feel a little warm inside when I realize that XIZOZU™ medals of honor are helping people throughout the world honor and express parts of themselves in ways that are moving, sacred, and secret.