“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
- 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…