It was 3 years ago today. I called my Mom and she didn’t answer the phone. That in itself wasn’t too unusual since I just spoke to her the night before, but when I tried to reach her later in the day and she didn’t answer again, I knew something was wrong.

Before the end of the day her body will be taken to a funeral home, I will have talked to a dozen people whose names and faces I’ll never remember or recognize, I will have googled cardiac arrest repeatedly, and be crying so hard while begging God to bring her back, that I actually think I’ll hyperventilate.

When you lose someone incredibly close to you, it’s as if a screen that’s been shielding you from the world – a protective screen you didn’t even know was there – is suddenly gone, along with the person you love. You see things more clearly, feel things more deeply, hurt harder, but also love stronger. You’re forced to grow, forced to reflect – the death of one person can create a domino effect in your life.

And that certainly was the case for me. I’m not an expert on grief and I’m not someone who is even fully healed from my Mom’s death, but I have learned the value and power of living deliberately.

Because the former screen that shielded me, also allowed me to believe in illusions. The Illusion that time isn’t limited. That ‘now’ will never come to an end. That negative emotions like insecurity and jealousy are acceptable, and that fitting in is more important than being your authentic self. Those illusions are gone.

I’ve learned we have choice for a reason. We get to choose who and what we give our attention to. Choice is powerful. When we choose, we focus, and what we focus on determines our satisfaction in life. Half-lived lives happen when we focus on things that make us feel unsatisfied.

Learning this lesson changed my focus – personally and professionally. I rebranded and relaunched my own beauty company after taking time away to process grief. And I learned the value of mental health and wellbeing. Genuine Glow now makes a nutrient-rich exfoliator, and promotes the benefits of inner wellbeing. We highlight and discuss the importance of inner beauty while making an outer beauty skin care product. I don’t believe those 2 things have to cancel each other out.

Genuine Glow represents a 360-degree Glow. An equal combination of inside and outside beauty. To do that, we recognize that feeling good on the inside is just as important as looking good on the outside. We won’t compromise one for the other. We are working to reimagine beauty.

Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

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