Silver And Grace

by Lance Ekum on · 53 comments

“Grace­ful­ness has been defined to be the out­ward expres­sion of the inward har­mony of the soul” ~ William Hazlitt

Today I would like to intro­duce Eliza Fayle.  I “met” Eliza early on when I first stared this site, when we were both out there begin­ning this explo­ration into our own voice.  A jour­ney, it has been.  And today I see Eliza really touch­ing upon what mat­ters deeply to her.  She is cur­rently putting her amaz­ing writ­ing tal­ents into the cre­ation and shar­ing of an online mag­a­zine, Sil­ver & Grace.

Take a few min­utes and get to know Eliza more deeply, and see what has brought her to where she is today on her journey.

1. Tell us a lit­tle bit about who “you” are (fam­ily, career, any spe­cial life expe­ri­ences you’d like to share, etc.)
I’ll start with my age because there are women who are uncom­fort­able dis­clos­ing their age, and I sure ain’t one of them. 47. And look­ing for­ward to 48, 49, 50 … you get the idea.

Mother of three twenty-somethings and step-mom to a 12 year old. Care­giver to two cats, three Koi fish and one rat.

Part­ner to an incred­i­ble man whom I have been with for three of the most glo­ri­ously fun and cre­ative years of my life thus far.

Civil ser­vant project man­ager by day (but let’s not waste any time on that), founder and edi­tor of an online mag­a­zine for women, intu­itive coun­selor, jew­elry designer, writer, and ama­teur pho­tog­ra­pher. And that’s on a slow day.

Spe­cial life expe­ri­ences? Absolutely every­thing I have ever expe­ri­enced, because they all add up to whom I am today.

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  I’m 41 (see…now you’ve got me shar­ing MY age here!!).   This week­end, as I was play­ing foot­ball in the back­yard with my kids (and slip­ping in the snow as they raced past me!!)…well, grace was not a word I was using to describe myself!!!

2. We go way back (in Inter­net terms, any­way!) to when you were the Urban Pan­ther.  Describe how you have evolved from those days, to where you are now.
Ha, we do go way back, eh? I started Urban Pan­ther because I was email­ing fun life anec­dotes to my fam­ily and friends. My brother, Alex Fayle, the Some­day Syn­drome guru, sug­gested I might like blog­ging as a way to share my sto­ries with a broader audience.

Holy crum­pets! Alex neglected to men­tion how addic­tive blog­ging can be, how time con­sum­ing it is, and the HUGE learn­ing curve asso­ci­ated with it. We like to spread the joy in our fam­ily. *chuckle*

After a year of cut­ting my teeth on the Urban Pan­ther, I real­ized I wanted to focus in on the chal­lenges and joys asso­ci­ated with this sec­ond half of women’s lives known as per­i­menopause and menopause … or, as I fondly call it the Crone Stage. So, I said good-bye to the Urban Pan­ther and launched Sil­ver & Grace. … as a blog … which leads us to your next question …

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  Ahh, yes…the addic­tive nature of this blo­gos­phere!!  I’m think­ing I should sign up for a blog­gers sup­port group, except I don’t know when I can fit it in!!  As for menopause (and those other big words you’ve used!)…I’ll *ahem* gladly take a pass on all of that (I know…I’m a slacker…).  And…honestly…I really loved that name “Urban Panther”!! 

3. And that brings me to your lat­est endeavor – the Sil­ver & Grace online mag­a­zine.  What has cre­at­ing this meant to you? 
Sil­ver & Grace Online Mag­a­zine for Women. Sigh. My baby. This is the syn­the­sis of all my skills:

  • Project man­ager
  • Edi­tor
  • Col­lab­o­ra­tor
  • Pro­moter
  • Com­mu­nity Builder

By con­vert­ing Sil­ver & Grace from a blog to an online mag­a­zine I get to show­case other incred­i­ble writ­ers and pro­mote their prod­ucts and ser­vices. I also get to pro­vide the Sil­ver & Grace com­mu­nity with a vari­ety of expe­ri­ences, per­spec­tives, and exper­tise that I can­not pos­si­bly do as a lone blogger.

The Crone Stage of a woman’s life is an excit­ing time. We’ve pretty much been there, done that, and now it is our time to shine. We learn to truly take care of our­selves, instead of oth­ers. And then a mag­i­cal thing hap­pens. We are able to then turn back around and take care of oth­ers. But, it’s dif­fer­ent this time. This time we do not lose our­selves in the giv­ing, and our biggest gift is wis­dom.
Sil­ver & Grace is my gift of wisdom.

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  Okay, you’re mak­ing this “Crone Stage” sound pretty sweet!!  Maybe I really should sign up for menopause (for men, do they call it womenopause???).  As you can tell…I’m pretty clue­less (hey, that could be the next movie I star in: “Clue­less in Wis­con­sin”).

4. Tell us some­thing that might seem a bit crazy, that you have done in your life – and what that has meant to who you are today.

Hmmm … might be best to ask my fam­ily and friends what crazy things I have done. I am sure they can come up with more than one exam­ple of “Are you crazy????”
Let’s go with this one …

Mar­ry­ing very young, three chil­dren before age 24, divorced by age 28, imme­di­ately into another rela­tion­ship for four­teen years that was extremely toxic, then finally liv­ing on my own for the very first time in my life at age 42. Casu­ally dated for a year, then decided I had enough of that scene.

All of this crazi­ness caused me to sit down one day and write a detailed wish of list of exactly the val­ues and qual­i­ties I wanted in a man. I told myself that I was no longer going to sim­ply ‘set­tle’. I was happy to be sin­gle for the rest of my life. Any man who wanted to share my life had to have every qual­ity on my list.

Two weeks later, in waltzed Marc. He met every qual­ity plus the bonus items.

Who am I today because of this? Happy, con­tent, loved.

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  “Happy, con­tent, loved”.  Now if that’s a place that crazy leads to, that is all sorts of awe­some!  May your moments with Marc con­tinue to be filled with all of this…from the crazy to the loved…

5. Tell us one unex­pected thing that has hap­pened to you, from going down this path of start­ing Sil­ver and Grace?
Back up in Ques­tion One I men­tion I am a civil ser­vant. A project man­ager with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, actu­ally. And I loathe it. That’s right … looooooaaaaathe it. I am not designed for bureau­cracy and a sea of grey Dil­bert Cubes.

By man­ag­ing the Sil­ver & Grace online mag­a­zine, I have come to real­ize many things, and one of them is that I have valu­able skill sets that I can, and should be using, to work for myself. But what?

As our won­der­ful Bar­bara, of Blog­ging With­out a Blog, points out, you need thou­sands of vis­its per day to make adver­tis­ing money through blog­ging. Okay, given enough time, Sil­ver & Grace will get there. I have com­plete con­fi­dence in that, but we are talk­ing years and those Dil­bert Cube walls are clos­ing in on me.

Design­ing jew­elry? Yes, I steadily sell my neck­laces and rings, but that just brings in enough money to rein­vest in sup­plies. That is really a self-sustaining hobby.

But what I have dis­cov­ered through all my inter­ac­tions in my 9-to-5 job and through the online com­mu­nity is that women of all ages come to me for advice. It’s that wis­dom thing com­ing through, plus an intu­itive abil­ity I have had all my life.

I have finally found my call­ing in the form of Intu­itive coun­sel­ing, and I will be launch­ing this busi­ness over the next sev­eral months in the form of email intu­itive read­ings, email courses, and in-person workshops.

I know with every fibre of my being that this is what my life has been lead­ing me to. Every­thing up to this point has been ‘a jour­ney to my true peak’.

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  Ahhhh.…the wis­dom that comes from our life and the expe­ri­ences we have had.  And it’s a jour­ney for all of us…this life we are living. 

6. Deep-down, Eliza, what makes you, “you”? 
I was in an inno­v­a­tive work­shop a num­ber of years back with all my IT col­leagues and our Busi­ness clients. We were about to embark on a five year inten­sive multi-million dol­lar project together, so we were doing an all-day team bond­ing event.

One of the exer­cises was to pick a value from a list of words and asso­ciate that value to some­one in the room. One of co-workers stood up and said “I pick the word ‘grace’ and I asso­ciate it with Eliz­a­beth.”
I actu­ally burst into tears. This is what I believe makes me “me”. Grace.

… and a wicked sense of humour.

Lance’s Com­men­tary:  Grace.  That is a deeply mean­ing­ful word, and one that I believe touches on your soul, Eliza.   Mix that with your won­der­fully wicked sense of humor, and that’s a great com­bi­na­tion of care for our world mixed with a whole lot of fun. 

Clos­ing Thoughts:  Eliza, what you are creating…this space that comes from your heart and reaches out.…that is a gift.  As you con­tinue on this jour­ney, may you also con­tinue to even more fully embrace this beauty, this beauty of YOU that shines out from your soul.   

Peace, love, and all things good…

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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