Pacific Book Review –

Grow Yourself Beautiful

Title: Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy
Author: Sharon Caldwell Peddie
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9781532057342
Pages: 154
Genre: Young adult non-fiction
Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Read Book Review

Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy is an impassioned narrative written by a lovingly concerned mother looking not only to encourage and influence her own daughters’ positive growth, but also seeks to encourage all young ladies through the hectic maze of this largely depthless, one-dimensional world, where society gives sanction to unreasonable standards of beauty and behavior for women. Author Sharon Caldwell Peddie’s debut narrative Grow Yourself Beautiful works. Powered not only by the experiences of being a mother to three daughters, but also her over twenty years of experience of working with young women through multiple arenas including leadership development, community service, as well as cultural awareness.

Instantly, author Peddie solidifies a heartwarming connecting with readers with her encouraging poem entitled the same as the book, Grow Yourself Beautiful. Both reassuring and inspirational this poem addresses the considerable angst that young ladies will encounter in today’s world and very much set the tone for the whole narrative which is one of practical guidance and supportive encouragement.

Moreover, the book is comprised like an acrostic poem, with each of the letters in the word-beautiful broken down letter by letter into chapters which artfully expands on developing inner fortitude and growing the beauty inside instead of focusing on the superficial exterior. Each chapter focuses on pertinent conventional notions that are simple but highly effective when duly employed; such as kindness, gratitude, thankfulness, education, being authentic, resilience and more. My personal favorite is chapter four; U is for Unplugging where she encourages leaving the electronics alone and taking an introspective journey into yourself in order to get to know yourself and foment the most important relationship you will ever experience in life – and that is with yourself. In particular, this is very important advice for this technologically submerged world, and not only do young females need to do this, as well, there are many adults that should heed this advice as well, as society would be a lot better off.

Author Sharon Caldwell Peddie’s passion for the development of healthy young women shines through her work in this book. Entirely an enjoyable and beneficial read, I found this book to be an invaluable guide, both empowering and encouraging for female readers of all ages. Also, as a mother of four girls myself, I could easily relate to the necessity for a book like this in a world full of sexist paradigms that barrage young ladies and discourage female independence while battering self-esteem. Our daughters need to know that they are great and have phenomenal potential, of which Grow Yourself Beautiful accomplishes with an endearing quality and comes across as more than just a guide to growing up female, it is a lovingly earnest tribute to all daughters and the devoted mother-daughter bond. An additional perk to the book is the inclusion of ten journaling pages and links to websites with more information.

You’re Ready to Grow!

Our hearts are speaking to us all day long. Our own heart knows what we yearn for. It knows exactly what we need. Our heart tells us when it’s time to stay or time to go. It tell us it’s time to relax or time to spread our wings and chase a dream. It tells us if we need to take better care of ourself. Most importantly, it tells us when we are strong enough to be uncomfortable to grow. Many ignore, the smart and empowered, listen, then follow.

Growing is very uncomfortable that’s why many stay stagnant in their life. They stay in places they don’t love. They do the same things they “sort of” like. They are with people who don’t make them feel good. They don’t face their fears head on. They never dig deep to turn their dreams into reality.

We are all made to grow. When we don’t, it starts to make us make us feel disappointed, anxious and out of sorts. We don’t recognize it as such but that’s what’s happening when people aren’t growing. It takes a lot of energy and mental health to resist it, so why not use that energy to grow positively and to make ourselves proud?

Each and every day our heart wants to tell us what we need. We just need to schedule time and unplug to listen to it openly. Once we listen, visions, dreams, wishes, talents and direction all come to light. It guides us to purpose and puts us on a path of growth that is right for us. We don’t have to try so hard, we just have to listen to our natural path.

To grow, we can’t and shouldn’t wait for others to validate it for us. We have to empower ourselves to listen and follow our own heart. We have to be the one who validates it for us. We have to be the one that gives us permission and determination to grow.

It will make some people uncomfortable to watch us grow. We have to be mentally prepared for that. We have to be determined to not wait for them to cheer for us or support our growth before we’ll begin–and we can’t quit our growth after we’ve become aware they aren’t cheering. It’s sad but it is part of human nature for some of that to happen. When we grow, it challenges other people to grow out of their comfort zone. It may inspire some and it may aggravate internal struggles for others. Some also see our growth as a threat to their relationship with us. They’re scared that we may not see their value anymore. Because of that, they will refuse to validate our growth. They will not be in our ear telling us everything will be okay as we embark on our scary new dream or bumpy path of growth. That’s okay, the right people for us will always be there for us. However, there is only one person who really needs to validate our growth anyway and that is us. We’re strong, we’re brave, that’s enough.

Empower yourself to listen deeper to your heart so you know when and how to grow. Let today be the day you understand it’s your validation of your growth that’s most important. Other people’s validation can be fleeting, yours can be forever!

Also, let today be the day you become even more aware if you are someone who supports the growth of the people in your life. We’re all in this together, let’s help each other grow. Let’s help each other be more comfortable on our journeys!

(Sharon is the author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful”. For more information on her book, visit http://www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or follow: sharonpeddieblog.com)

A Purpose, A Book and A Blog…From my heart to yours.

About two years ago, I decided it was time for me to write a book. Fast forward two years, it’s written, published and has just been released! I’ll share my inspiration and motivation for writing it as I go. I have always loved to write and it usually comes pretty natural to me (unless I’m trying too hard…then nothing flows). When I was in college and it was time to decide a major, I chose to pursue a degree in Journalism and Public Relations. I really had no idea what of “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, but if it involved writing, it seemed like it would at least be a natural route to a road that was right for me.

Chasing my independence and a needed paycheck after college, I quickly got off course from a career in writing, following more of my minor in marketing and business management into the field of Commercial Interior Design and Contract Furnishings. That’s a big book all in itself but I want to stay on track telling you how I got back to writing. There are many “Sharon’s-life” chapters from then until now– but it’s my most important chapters of being a mom of 3 daughters and my experience with girls that brought me back to “what do I want to be when I grow up”.

Having girls and working with girls in many different volunteer capacities made me fall in love with wanting to protect them and help build them strong. I feel God intended me for this role and I cherish it with all of my heart. I didn’t intentionally acknowledge that’s “what I wanted to be when I grew up” but that “position” has felt very natural, purposeful and important to me. In addition to being a mom of 3 daughters, I have been involved with dance teams, sports teams, schools, children at church, sororities–you name it. I have also been a volunteer in a Mother and Daughter organization for 14 years working with girls in leadership, community service and cultural awareness. I have spent the last 26 years being around a lot of girls! Having so much time and experiences with them, I began to see how society was playing a very harmful, serious role in shaping how they felt about themselves. I hated what I was seeing. It was breaking my heart. I felt compelled to be a loving, counteractive voice to society’s harmful messages to them.

Seemingly overnight, I saw these fun, precious girls go from being happy go lucky and confident to feeling stressed that they could never measure up to what our world is expecting of them. They are bombarded with unrealistic expectations of superficial beauty, body type, and hyper overachievement in all areas-and social media is magnifying it! These relentless messages begin at younger and younger ages and are harmful to their self-esteem and well-being. Far too many young women are suffering from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sleep issues, bullying or lack of simple joy. I wanted to explore this and offer a way to shift focus away from these pressures and help them build themselves stronger. I wanted to help them empower themselves to grow in satisfying, meaningful ways that will bring them joy, inner strength and feel their true beauty.

So, I wrote my book “Grow Yourself Beautiful”! I hope to get it into the hands and hearts of any girls and young women needing it’s message. Writing it made me realize I’ve been doing “what I want to be when I grow up” for the last 26 years! Sharing my heart, time and experience, to inspire and help other people gives my life purpose. I love helping people build their strength. Honestly, it helps build mine too!

Sharing my experience, perspective and heart through writing is just another chapter in doing what I want to do when I grow up! The fun part is realizing, regardless of age, we are all still “growing up” until the day our life on earth is done.

I like being a light in a world that sometimes can feel very dark. Whether it’s in my personal relationships, with people on my path or the ones who read my book (books?) or blog–Young or old, male or female, if someone is needing a friend in their corner to help inspire them to build themselves in ways that will add to their comfort, strength, peace and joy, I hope they find it in me…I hope they find it in the writing I share. I hope my blog brings hearts needing it to my book and I hope my book brings hearts needing it to my blog. I’m not perfect. My writing won’t be perfect. My book, blog and website won’t be perfect. But if we wait to be perfect before we begin something…we will never begin anything. Let’s grow our lives beautiful together, there is strength in numbers!

Website: http://www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com

My book ‘Grow Yourself Beautiful’ is available online: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse bookstore and Walmart

https://sharonpeddieblog.wordpress.com



“New Year, New Me!!”…Oh Hell No!!

Photo by Murilo Folgosi on Pexels.com


“New Year, New Me!!” How many times have we heard that since January 1st? While I understand what people mean, it’s just not for me! Personally, I don’t think it’s a healthy message to send to ourselves. It also feels like a tremendous amount of pressure right out of the gate! To me, telling ourself we need to be a “new me” feels the same as saying, we are not “enough”. There are so many places in life that tear us down and tell us we’re not good enough, let’s be determined to not be one of those places!

I wonder if it’s healthier and more productive if instead, we hit the refresh button on our self-love each year! What if we get rid of the “New Year, New Me” message and replace it with a “New Year, New Love” mindset? Each year, we learn so much about ourselves and gain so many valuable life lessons. Why on earth would we not bring that wise person into our new year? Let’s just throw more love at last year’s “me”!

We are all works in progress and the “New Year, New Love” mindset allows us to celebrate where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and where we want to go. The fuel needed to get where we want and need to go is self-love. My way to define self-love, is it’s that kind, loving and supportive conversation with yourself backed up by the choices you make throughout the day. It’s what you think to yourself, say to yourself and do for yourself. A new year is a great time to hit the refresh button on that love and remind ourselves that is our fuel!

Rather than the pressure to be new and perfect, let’s just take small steps each and every day toward a loving, healthy, productive life. Let’s remind ourselves we’re worthy and we’re enough. Self-love fuel will help us spread more love and attract more love. It will help us develop a healthier lifestyle. It will give us the strength to walk away from people and situations that don’t line up with our health, peace and joy. It will ignite dreams in your heart and make them a reality. I’ve worked too hard on the old me to ask for a new me…how about you?

So Happy New Year…Happy New Love!