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THE BEAUTY C H R O N I C L E S

THE BEAUTY C H R O N I C L E S

Interviewed By Sasha Frank

Photographed By Nat Sin

Interviewee Morgan Ryan

What does beauty mean to you?

think beauty is entirely a state of mind. To me, beauty is finding comfort and strength in your individuality. It’s an acceptance of who you are, quirks and all, and a celebration of that. I feel most beautiful when I’m my authentic self because I’m instantly aligned with my truth. This allows my beauty to shine through.

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As a child did you hate a certain feature, if so, did you begin to embrace is later on?

As a child, I disliked my fair skin, auburn hair and freckles. Growing up, a majority of my friends had beautiful olive-toned skin. I felt like an outcast and at a very young age. The last thing you want to feel is like you don’t belong.

I spent many years trying to alter my looks as a means to fit in. As I grew older, I began to embrace my hair color. I noticed that the red undertones made my green eyes pop. I switched over to tinted moisturizers to allow my freckles to show through. I stopped tanning and realized how much beauty there was to be found in a porcelain complexion.

As a result of these insecurities, I learned that it’s okay to stand out. I began to understand the importance of individuality and how to embrace the “weird.” This made me more accepting towards myself and others. It’s amazing how the features I tried to alter have now become my most powerful attributes, not to mention my favorite. This goes to show that making peace with the external can help influence internal peace.

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Do you feel that inner beauty is just as important as the outer beauty?

I’m a big believer that your outer beauty is reflection of what’s going on inside. That’s not to say that the most attractive women physically are truly beautiful on the inside. Concealing is easy, but shining your truth is what takes strength and courage.

I think coming to accept the external is a huge hurdle for most and is an important part of the healing journey. Regardless, I definitely believe internal beauty reigns supreme. I say this because the external is temporary and subject to change. The only everlasting beauty is that of a good heart. Some of the most beautiful women I’ve met are those with a beautiful soul and that can only be achieved through inner work.

As women who are constantly working on our inner beauty: Do you feel that once you began to not care about what others thought about you everything began to fall into place? Did you find your calling in that?

Growing up, I was insecure but never showed it. I was a late bloomer, who had yet to reap the rewards of her external beauty. As a result, I had this “fake it till you make it” attitude. I searched, observed and learned by spending time with myself to better understand beauty. This was the time when the experimentation began.

I began to find my personal beauty when I took fashion risks and pushed myself to constantly create someone new and improved from the day prior. Although these were all external practices, it came from a deep-rooted place of “I am an artist.” I became fearless. I also began to grow a thick skin so that no external force could change me.

I remember one morning before leaving for school my dad asked, “Who are you trying to impress?” I said with conviction, “myself.” Ever since that day, I’ve realized the importance of intent and that we should never do something for the approval of others. I would say once I let the opinions of the outside world fade, I was able to make peace with my wounds and came into my own creative beauty.

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What do you think the world is missing in the scope of women role models? How can we change that?

I think the current landscape we live in is crying out for unwavering compassion. For this reason, we need women who can stand up and be both strong and empathetic.

I think society as a whole is partially to blame for our current role models. We add fuel to the fire by continuing to support and make the trivial important. I think the first step in making positive shifts in the scope of positive women role models is to create a new ideal and stand up for that by supporting the right women.

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What advice would you give younger girls coming into their own?

Be gentle with yourself. Understand that beauty is something you grow into; give yourself time to develop. Know that everyone’s journey is unique so don’t compare yours to others. You were born to stand out; never apologize for who you are! Embrace your unique quirks, they make you, you.

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Are there any upcoming projects of projects you are working on now that you can speak about?

At the end of 2015, I teamed up with Paul Mitchell as a brand influencer. I recently produced and starred in my first project for them as THE M A V E R I C K MUSE. It’s still currently under wraps so I can’t dish; however, I am excited to see how the future unfolds with this partnership!

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For more empowering stories and inspiration head over to Sasha Frank’s blog. For more Beauty Chronicles, subscribe HERE! 

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| CHILD’S P L A Y |

” We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

-GEORGE B E R N A R D SHAW

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I believe we all seek a life well lived. How we each define such is another story. To me, it is a life of balance. Sounds simple yet is much easier said than done. Last month I decided to test my ability to create balance between work and play. I realized in order to lead a fulfilling life, I must make time for both.

Studying the unstructured act of “play” for a month helped me reconnect to my past. Although it may seem like all fun, there was indeed plenty of work involved. When we work too much we’re dull; when we’re all play, we’re slackers. I figured there must be a happy medium, and at this balanced place I found a story that brought everything full circle.

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| THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE |

We live in an incredibly stimulating society; one that encourages instant gratification. To solve an ailment, we often opt for the easy solution. When we have a moment to carve out some free time, we often spend it binge watching Netflix or scrolling through social media. These habits only waste our energy rather than gather it through active creativity. As a population, we’ve become workhorses who grind until we reach a point of exhaust. Always curious for a natural solution, I went searching for a way to alleviate any stress or boredom and found relaxation and relief.

Normally I find the beauty in the little things, yet every now and again things can seem dull or flat. Whenever I felt this drab creep in, I recognized it as my trigger to play. Maybe all we truly need is the knowledge that it’s okay to slow down, relax and have some fun. I granted myself permission to play, sans regret, and regained my shiny outlook along with some new knowledge.

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| WHAT IS PLAY |

Play is simply the time spent building new knowledge in creative, inventive and imaginative ways. It is an act in which we constantly learn without an end goal in mind. When we’re unbalanced it’s reflected in our total being. Setting aside personal time to be lighthearted helps cultivate positive emotion and allows us to return to our work refreshed. This completely spontaneous and enjoyable process can be extremely useful for anyone hoping to heal, improve his or her well-being and/or productivity.

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| BENEFITS |

The truth is if you wish to remain healthy and full of vitality, cultivating a balanced life is the first step. Self-confidence, emotional maturity as well as cognitive skills are just some of the by products of playing. Beyond that, it’s simply fun. If you seek rejuvenation, then incorporating some leisure time could be very beneficial in keeping your life in check.

Maybe you’re interested in increasing your energy or becoming more functional under stress. Maybe you wish to prevent burnout during big projects. Whatever the case may be, there’s a reason why playing could be beneficial for you. I broke it down into three categories to show the effect playing can have on the mind, body and soul:

Mental

When we play, we engage in similar behavioral patterns that positively shape the brain. In this mental space, or “flow,” a state in which we become fully absorbed in the process, we have the ability to replace limiting beliefs with positive ones. We also can lower the risk of mental illnesses such as depression or dementia. Similar to meditation, the mind is taken elsewhere, away from the stress and mental chatter. This space creates time for us to restore and heal.

Like our bodies, we must also work our minds to keep them sharp and functioning. It’s proven that we actually learn best in a relaxed and playful state. Using puzzles or brain challengers can help strengthen our minds. By stimulating our imaginations, we adapt and problem solve more efficiently. Unfortunately most of us aren’t programmed to play when we hit roadblocks or stressful situations; however major breakthroughs are possible when we take a break, detach and create some space to play.

| MAV MANTRA |

“What enlivens my mind, relaxes it.”

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Physical

Physically, play is an active process, one that engages both the mind and body. If it still comes as a surprise, chronic stress is one of the leading causes of illness and disease. Active engagement gets the blood pumping, strengthening the heart and increasing energy levels. This helps to burn off hormones, sugars and fats released into our bloodstream as a result of stress. On top of that, play can also temporarily relieve pain and slow down the aging process.

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Social

On the social front, playing with others helps to strengthen our personal ties and keeps them exciting. It can be as simple as sharing laughter together or cultivating a playful state of mind. A playful attitude can help loosen us up, which can be helpful in stressful situations. Lastly, it’s practical for building strong social skills that could come in handy in breaking the ice with a potential new business partner or friend.

| PLAY TIME |

What I personally noticed from my experience was an increased sense of confidence, energy and authenticity. I believe when we connect to our past and hobbies, we tap into our truth and happiness. The three methods of play I experimented with were photography, coloring and play dates.

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| WAYS TO PLAY |

Creating opportunities to play is simple when you surround yourself with playful people. However, you can play wherever you are. Here’s a simple list of ways of play; just decide which suits your personality best and try incorporating just one into your daily lifestyle for starters:

On Your Own

  • Photography
  • Adult Coloring Books
  • DIY Project
  • Play With A Pet/Child
  • Puzzle
  • Watch A Comedy
  • Hit The Park
  • Take A New Route Home
  • Learn a New Instrument/Craft
  • Join A Gym

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At Work

  • Ping Pong
  • Solitaire/Cards
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • Read The Funnies
  • Joke With A Co-Worker
  • Keep A Sketchpad To Doodle
  • Afternoon Stroll

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With Friends

  • Host Game Night
  • Bowling
  • Go To A Festival
  • Dance Classes
  • Join Intramurals/Sports League
  • Play Volleyball At The Beach

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At the end of the day, life is a beautiful adventure and should be enjoyed as such. Maybe life’s a test or maybe it’s a playground; maybe it’s a combination of both. All I know is that when we play, we’re in the ‘flow.’ Perhaps cultivating this essence in playing can help us in applying it to real life situations, ones where we need to be less rigid; hence the phrase “go with the flow.”

When we play, we reconnect to our truth; for the only true journey is the one within. With this in mind, play is just as essential in our youth as it is in our adult lives. If we play as adults, it encourages further growth. If playing as a child can be seen as the dress rehearsal for adulthood, then can’t playing as adults be a reminder that we are still works in progress? I think once we believe we know it all, we stop learning and evolving. If we stop evolving, we die. Perhaps this is simply the circle of life; we play to mature, we play to stay young.

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| PHOTOGRAPHY |

 Nat Sin

| STYLING + CREATIVE DIRECTION |

Morgan Ryan

| MUSES + SPONSORS |

Rich Honey Apparel, Calypso Cards, WTRMLN WTR.

Thanks to my friends Evan, Austin, Kybl, Alison & Navin for always bringing out the best in me. Thanks to my New York boys for coming out to LA + always reminding me of my roots ~ Bobby, Cooper, Nick, TK.

| SOURCES |

Mashable

Helpguide

PBS

Wiki

 

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THE || M E D I C I N E || WHEEL

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.”

– Ann Wigmore

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I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for all the positive feedback I received on this pizza I made last week (I’m talkin’ to you over there Reem drooling all over your computer). I decided to pay it forward by sharing the recipe I originally found on Cookie and Kate, but with a Maverick twist. Naturally, I had to provide you with some food for thought or what some would call a side dish of wisdom.

So here’s what I want you to do, don’t worry a 6 year old could do this. When I say the word
“pizza” what is the first word that comes to your mind?

Indulgence. NEW YORK. Guilty pleasure. Happiness. Cheesy. Yum. Deep dish all da way.

What was your first impression? Was is negative? Positive? It doesn’t matter, but it’s important to do this simple exercise in order to help us see how we pass judgement. I feel it’s important for us to stop and reflect on our relationship with food. I believe we all could use a little shift in perspective so we can begin to see food as necessary fuel versus a guilty pleasure. With a positive attitude as such, we can then shift any negative thoughts we have of food as the enemy and start to see it as the great healer, remedy and fuel that it is.

● ◎ ●

THIS IS A M A V E R I C K RECIPE:

 || BUTTERNUT GOAT CHEESE PIZZA  ||

Health, Recipe, Pizza, Art, Seasonal, Organic, Wellness ● ◎ ●

|| THE RECIPE ||

Homemade Pesto
3 cups lightly packed fresh arugula (remove stems)
¾ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
½ cup fresh Parmesan
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
Additional Ingredients 
1 batch easy whole wheat pizza dough
5 ounces chilled goat cheese
1 small butternut squash (1 pound)
Garnish: Pepitas, arugula and red pepper flakes (or cayenne)
 ● ◎ ●
 || INSTRUCTIONS ||
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Or, if you’re using a pizza stone, make sure it’s in the oven on the appropriate rack.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best), peel the outside of your butternut, then slice off the top portion with the stem and the very bottom. Slice the butternut in half vertically, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. Slice one of your halves in half vertically again so you have made quarters. Using your vegetable peeler, peel long ribbons of butternut, enough to generously top the pizza. Toss butternut ribbons with a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper so that the ribbons are lightly coated in olive oil.
  3. For the pesto, combine the arugula, pepitas, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper for easy transfer to the oven. Preferably roll the dough out as thin as possible while maintaining an even surface level (I used my hands)
  5. Lightly oil the outer edge of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza with the pesto. Then crumble the goat cheese over the pizza using a fork. Arrange the butternut ribbons on top—it’s best to let them curl and wave rather than lie flat against the pizza. You want to put about as much butternut as you reasonably can on top without covering up all of the pesto and goat cheese. Top it off with a sprinkling of pepitas.
  6. Transfer one pizza to the oven. Bake until the crust is golden and the butternut ribbons are caramelizing on the edges (about 10 min on a baking sheet, or as few as 5 minutes on a baking stone). Top the pizza with a light sprinkle of fresh arugula and, if desired, a dash of red pepper flakes. Slice and serve.

    || THE RX ||

    Butternut Squash: Anti-Inflammatory

    Basil: Aids Insomnia | Eases headaches 

    Arugula: Detox | Eye Health

    Pepitas: Stress Relief

    Olive Oil: Protects Metabolism | Healthy Fat

    Garlic: Strengthens Immune System

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With a new found love for cooking, I have formed an even more powerful relationship with food. I now see food in a healing light as it nourishes and provides me with an outlet for artistic expression. This past weekend I completed my volunteer orientation with Project Angel Food, a non-profit dedicated to nourishing the sick back to health with garden to table, fresh-cooked meals. I look forward getting involved in healing the lives of others through the power of food. To serve and give back to my community will be life changing and learning some skills in the kitchen from chefs and nutritionists is merely an added bonus 🙂

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Not only has cooking given me a new found appreciation for my body but it also offers piece of mind knowing where my food came from. So whether you create this masterpiece over the 4th of July weekend to share with your family or on a special occasion, I hope you stop to appreciate it. Revel in your creation, take a photo, bless it, do whatever you see fit, but take a moment and fully appreciate it. In this moment, I hope you see it as the medicine wheel it was intended to be. An offering to all the good you seek in this lifetime. A healthy mind, a strong inner spirit, inner peace and a strong healthy body.

Bon Appetite!

Beauty, Fashion Icon, Vintage, Flowers, Summer|| PHOTOGRAPHY ||
Frankie White

|| PHOTO EDITS | STYLING ||

Morgan Ryan

|| OUTFITT ||

Blouse, Vintage

Black Tank, Brandy Melville 

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