Kate Spade - You will be missed

“Wild woman are an unexplainable spark of life. They ooze freedom and seek awareness, they belong to nobody but themselves yet give a piece of who they are to everyone they meet. If you have met one, hold on to her, she'll allow you into her chaos but she'll also show you her magic.” Nikki Rowe

Kate Spade was an icon for me. In 1993, when I first landed in New York City, a home- grown, passionate, young woman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kate Spade had just begun pioneering her accessory business and I instantly fell in love. Being in the fashion industry myself, I was exposed to many different designers, brands, labels & styles, but the one I chose as my very first “splurge? Kate Spade. I loved her quirky, yet classy style. I loved how she made conservative chic. I loved who she was as a visionary who wasn’t afraid to be unique. And she was a woman. Kate was an inspiration for many, a beautiful, intelligent, wife, mother and business owner who created huge success in a highly competitive industry. So why suicide? Why choose to end life, leaving a husband, a 13-year-old girl (tragic) and a fashion empire that took a lifetime to build? Image. Brand. Reputation. All because when given the choice to either expose to the world that she was having a hard time, (or perhaps one would even say, having a mental breakdown) or to end her own life, she chose the latter. Why? Because this is the world we’ve co – created. Here we are given yet another depiction of how so many of us desperately try to portray to the world that “life is good” or “no really, I’ve got this, it’s all good”, when in reality, it’s not. Sometimes, life can feel like a damn struggle, it can feel challenging, stressful, with too many high demands and expectations. Sometimes we feel sad, angry, depressed and yet why do we still choose to portray on the outside an image that isn’t congruent with what’s really going on inside? And therein lies the problem. The ultimate contradiction. The great disparity between the inner reality of a person’s thought, emotions and feelings not matching what he/she is putting out into the world. I know this all too well because I struggled with it myself for years (especially when I lived in New York) and sometimes I still do. It is also something I witness quite a bit when working with others, this blaring contrast. Why? Because we’ve created a society where being happy is “good” and being sad, lonely and depressed...well, you just don’t talk about it. Don’t show it. Who wants to be around that? We’ve created a society where image far outweighs reality. We live in a society where we believe the happier and more perfect you are, the more people will like you (how many “likes” did you get on that post today?). We live in a world that believes that if you’ve got money, wealth, name & fame, you definitely better not have anything to complain about! But obviously, that’s not always the case. Suicide happens every day, all day. On average, there are 123 suicides per day and it’s the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. Imagine the horror and outrage if 100 passengers died in a plane crash every day, 365 days a year. That is the impact of suicide on our families and communities. So when two high profile celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain decide to end their lives within days of each other, the whole world pays attention. It makes us “think”. It makes us ask the question, “What is important?” It makes us take a look at our own life and question, “am I living the life I truly want to be living? Am I living it for me or is it to gain recognition and significance from others?” My hope is that you answered you’re living the life you want to be living, and that if not, you’ll take the necessary right action to make it so. You’ll take the time to re-access, create a vision, make the changes needed to start calling in what it is that you truly want. Check: Are you living in a beautiful state or a stressful state? Only you really know. Be honest. Be authentic. Only then, can you be truly free. May we stop going only skin deep. May we stop judging each other by the color of our skin, the clothes we wear, how much money we have, or by who we know. May we stop sizing each other up because of what we “do” or because of what initials are behind our name. May we start to feel true connection within ourselves which then gets reflected out to connection with others. May all disharmony, division and stress within our own being dissolve, allowing for deeper inner peace to be our natural state. Today? Tell someone you love him/her. Tell someone how grateful you are to have him/her in your life. Tell that someone how much they mean to you. Smile at a stranger. We all need to hear this. We all need to feel this. We all need to know this. May Kate and Anthony dance happy, wild, and free. May they both fully merge with the light, You will both be greatly missed. All love surrounds you, Catherine

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