Joshua Tree National Park, CA
“I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain.” – America
Dress 1, Dress 2, Dress 3, Dress 4, Faux Fur, Sunnies 1, Sunnies 2, Strappy Sandals 1, Strappy Sandals 2, Strappy Sandals 3,
The desert is the ideal metaphor for the journey of a woman at Midlife. Hope does spring eternal! And so ends this year’s Desert Series in Joshua Tree National Park.
Amidst immense adversity, plants and wildlife spring forth from the arid soil while the rare Joshua Tree twists and turns, growing and adapting in the direction of the wind rather than standing up straight. The Joshua tree symbolizes the strength and beauty that can arise from adversity. Much like a woman at Midlife, the tree’s struggle is what gives the Joshua tree its breathtaking beauty. The Midlife journey requires a woman to continually evolve, shift, grow and adapt to conditions that aren’t always favorable. Yet, it’s the struggle, the friction, that provides just the right amount of a catalyst to illuminate and ignite the beauty that’s found deep within.
Pink, in color psychology, is the color of hope. It’s no wonder women have been drawn to the color! It’s a color that symbolizes and embodies self-nurturing and self-love. The heroine’s journey of a woman at Midlife requires great hope along with a healthy dose of self-love and self-care. Pink is the color of universal love, the love of oneself and of others. Pink represents friendship, affection, harmony, inner peace, and approachability. Pink is the official color for little girls and represents sugar and spice and everything nice. Pink is the sweet side of the color red. Pink is feminine, passionate, and fierce!
What better way to wind up the Desert Series than with a dress that’s the essence of grace and femininity amidst a backdrop and expanse of stark beauty? The moment I saw this dress by Temptation Positano on sale at Shopbop, I was inspired to bring it along to Joshua Tree. The soft pastel shade was just the right amount of pink, subtle yet wildly feminine. This particular designer is a new discovery for me. The dresses are made from the most exquisite fabrics and covered in lace, eyelet, and just the right amount of delicate ruffles. This style has sold out but I’ve linked several similar styles above by Temptation Positano in Outfit Details.
You might not think to bring along a faux fur coat in the desert, but with the frigid temperatures starting off in the low 30’s, I was delighted to have it with me. This extra fluffy lavender coat by Wylde from last season added to the look while keeping me toasty warm in the wee hours of the morning. Although this beauty is from last season, I’ve found a similar style in the same gorgeous color in the Outfit details. A pair of colorful sunnies from Free People added just the right amount of sass echoing the Fierce attitude found in the Modern Midlife woman.
The look wouldn’t be complete without the addition of the perfect accessory designed and crafted by one of my favorite Fierce sisters, Lisa Selwitz. Lisa is the creative behind the featured Lily Lark Parasol and their distinctive designs. The parasols are not only exceptionally beautiful and unique, but they’re also made in Thailand by farm workers to provide well-needed income to the local community. In the desert, temperatures rise quickly and the desert rays can be intense. I’m grateful to have a beautiful collection of Lily Lark Parasols that always add an unexpected element to my photo shoots with their colorful designs. The handcrafted parasols come with a UPF 50 coating blocking out 98 percent of the sun’s rays. The bamboo frames are handcrafted by local artisans. Lisa, the owner, has found a way to combine old-world artistry with the beauty of contemporary design. Her parasols have been scooped up by many a Fierce sister having ignited a frenzy at last year’s FierceCon LA with her designs providing the perfect backdrop for our beach shoot. If you’re joining us at FierceCon 2019, you’ll have the opportunity to meet Lisa in person. She’ll be there with lots more gorgeous parasol designs to light up our Faces of Fierce Photo Shoots!
I believe that hope springs eternal at Midlife. The Phoenix rises at Midlife. It’s impossible to hold the Phoenix back once she’s ready to rise. The authentic self is a powerful force that exists within every single woman. Midlife is a threshold, one that represents a woman turning from without to within, the place where hope and her true self resides. The Midlife woman is a force, one which our culture is just beginning to understand through a new, empowering lens. Midlife isn’t an age. It’s an experience. Midlife is a new understanding; a depth and collective of wisdom cultivated through a wealth of life experience.
The desert holds special meaning for me. It feels as though it has its own language – a culture that’s best understood when you’re in the space of being versus doing. Its overwhelming stillness, peace, and calm have a way of transporting your Soul and your Spirit firmly into the present moment. Its stark beauty is the perfect contrast to a woman’s femininity. The endless expanse opens up space for inspiration and imagination. It’s as though every Joshua Tree tells a unique story through the unusual twists and turns of each branch, winding and bending according to its personal journey: a roadmap and history documenting the difficulties and adversity faced along the way. The Joshua Tree feels like a reflection of the heroine’s journey at Midlife.
Much like a Midlife woman, the beauty of the Joshua Tree lies not in its perfection, but rather, its imperfection. Just as no two Midlife women are alike, every Joshua Tree claims its own distinctive personality. The greater the adversity, the greater the bounty of beauty found in Mother Nature. The expansiveness of the desert has a way of creating beautiful space within. The stark beauty of the desert is like a blank canvas; one where we provide the color in unlimited abundance. It’s a canvas made that much more beautiful when we let our souls free and color outside the lines!
The desert has given me so much. It’s given me hope. It’s given me strength. It’s ignited my imagination. It’s allowed me to see that beauty can be deceiving. At first glance, you may not see its incredible beauty. Yet, once you open your heart and dig a little deeper, you can’t help but feel inspired and overwhelmed. It’s not just what you see with your eyes but what you feel with your heart. The desert is magical in its ability to change a woman from the inside out. It has a way of permeating your being, caressing your heart and creating just the perfect amount of space needed to allow the Phoenix to rise from within.
Thank you for sharing my journey chronicled in my Desert Series. I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have ideas for me to create meaningful and exciting photo shoots, write that in the comments and perhaps your idea will be the Catalyst for my next series! Cheers Beauties! Stay Fierce.
Thank you sooo much for being a generous (and stylish!) friend to Lily-Lark! I could not have asked for a more beautiful and empowered woman to show us off at our best! xo
Catherine Grace O'Connell
Right back at ya my beautiful Fierce sister!!!
I love that you chose the desert for your recent photo series. It certainly symbolizes Hope Springing Eternal with the life that lives dormant in its sands and only a little bit of rain causes it to flourish and bloom. I’ve driven the roads through the desert so many times and seen people who have bought their own little piece of it….way back off the road, sitting outside a solitary RV watching the sun set. It certainly is a wonderful place to get in touch with yourself. The dress you’ve chosen is perfect on you – just gorgeous! And that parasol is fabulous – what a beautiful prop to have! I know the desert can get pretty chilly at night and that lavender coat is the perfect way to keep that at bay. I’ve really enjoyed your desert series and can’t wait to see what’s next.
Catherine Grace O'Connell
Thank you, Ruth. You covered it all. I just love the desert. I’m going back this weekend. When I need a little boost, my spirit lifted and some space inside, I head right there. It’s pure magic to me. I’m lucky to have my Fierce sister’s gorgeous parasols to add some color. Thank you for joining me here!