The Layers of Beauty Tour and Giveaway

I'm excited to host another blog tour with a few of my blogging buddies this month.  :-) 

As you know, I am endlessly inspired by women with unique voices and the courage to express themselves.  All of these ladies keep me inspired, so I hope you will follow along with the tour and discover some new blogs to read and support.

This time we'll be exploring the many layers of beauty.  I've collaborated with these 24 women to create a series of posts where we each take a letter of the alphabet and choose a word to write about as it relates to beauty. The tour starts on Monday, July 20 and ends Friday, August 14. Each day of the tour you will visit a different blog and read a different piece about that woman's journey.

You can keep up with the tour by following #LayersAtoZtour on Twitter and Instagram and by checking for updates on this page daily from July 20 - August 14.


If you're a new visitor to All the Many Layers, browse around a bit and you will quickly see that I have a passion for writing and helping women find meaning through creative self-discovery.  

I used to avoid self-expression, but when I found the courage to write about my deepest passions, curiosities, joys and fears, my whole life opened up.  Now, I love helping other women find their voices.

I started with a dedicated self-discovery practice of journaling and blogging and I moved onto writing books and courses.  I left my corporate job of 12 years in 2013, and since then I've been facing my fears and making a living from my passions.

I believe that knowing and accepting yourself is essential to living a beautiful life and writing is an ideal way to practice this awareness.  

If you love words like I do, but feel blocked and uninspired, my Words That Move online writing workshop is just what you need to get back in touch with your creativity.  As part of the tour, you can get a special discount on the course which starts on August 17.  First, find out the number one reason why writers don't write and check out the course outline and bonus content.  Then hop back over to this page and click here to take advantage of the special tour discount.


**Follow along as each link is added below and don't forget to enter the giveaway below as many times as you can to increase your chance of winning!**

A is for Appearance by GG Renee of All the Many Layers:

The media taught me to compare myself to touched up, perfect images and the more I looked like them, the more acceptable and loved I would be. It taught me to fix myself to fit certain standards of beauty and that life would be more charmed and happy if I did.

My environment taught me that being pretty was important. I looked around and decided pretty was a club and I wanted to belong. As a member of this club, I'd get special treatment. I saw it with my own two eyes, all the time, everywhere. Extra attention. Benefit of the doubt. Get-out-of-jail-free cards. Kindness and consideration. Most of all, being pretty gave you magical powers like confidence, charm and magnetism. And I wanted all of those things.

My mother taught me to invest time in making myself beautiful -- caring for my skin and hair, wearing flattering clothes, taking pride in putting myself together and presenting myself. But somehow I missed the reason behind it all. I believed that I should be doing these things for outside approval -- to please my family, to get the attention of a man, to show my 'rank' among other women, to win favor and feel special. There was no connection established between self-love and self-care, creativity and self-expression.  Read more

B is for Body by Jenai of Nai's Visions:

My body deserves more credit than I give it... I mean, it has managed to propel me forward whenever I've felt like I can't go on and that's no small feat. I published a post a few months ago saying that I wasn't a strong woman but I realize that my ability to carry less than an ounce of hope in my heart is my strength. Perhaps my body doesn't allow me to give up on myself or life because it wasn't built to do so. Maybe, just maybe, God knit me together in such a way that my body understands the importance of my purpose. Maybe my body and my purpose are a package deal.

Whatever the case may be, despite how many times I criticize it, my body is strong and forgiving when I am not. While there may be days where I struggle to readily accept the body I've been given, I'd be lying if I said that it doesn't inspire me to persevere in a world that isn't always positive. I only have one body; might as well make peace with it as it continues to carry me through the different chapters in my life. After all, it is mine.  Read more

C is for Confidence by Jackie of I Rose from Concrete:

Am I a saleswoman, am I a driver, am I a writer, am I really more than a single mom? Back when I hit pause on my dreams and vision for the future, the biggest thing I wanted is to grow into a real woman, a self-assured woman, walk with grace woman, that my strut alone would someday fill the air with self-confidence. Instead I was the insecure girl, full of doubt in herself and the future. I use to admire women who seemed to have it all figured out. Never really knowing that confidence begins in insecurity, is fueled by faith and then cemented in self-assurance. That the shame, awkwardness and even the fear of not being all you want to be right now is part of the journey.   Read more

D is for Dimension by Saunya of A Love Perfect:

Watching my mother not only taught me the roles of a woman, but also the depth and dimensions of a woman’s being.

At 29 years old I have a growing new perception of where the true beauty of a woman lies. Just as my mother displayed before me, the beauty of a woman lies deep within her soul. It is in the very essence of her being. It isn’t just in her hair, her hips, her skin or her is in her heart. And that deep, deep beauty is the kind that can’t be bought. It just is.

My mother taught me, just by living honestly before me, the many dimensions of a woman. She taught me that being a woman isn’t just being this one thing. She showed me that women were created to nurture, to be soft yet strong and resilient.  We don't have to work to become it, it's a part of our design.

She even showed me that it is okay to give attention to all the madness within me. And that every bit of what God placed inside of me is necessary. Not just for me but for those around me.  Read more

Over the years I had grown so fixated with picking apart my physical image that I hadn’t given myself time to breathe and discover I was self-destructing internally. Something wasn’t there. There was a deep-rooted longing to be reminded of how timeless I was. I longed for that reassurance from the first man who ever broke my heart. Without him I was shattered, I was confused about me, I was broken, and I wasn’t evolving. I didn’t know what it meant to be told by my father that I am more than my looks; I am more than what people think of my outer appearance. It’s amazing how being abandoned can trigger a feeling of unworthiness.   Read more

F is for Fat by Jessica of Sincerely, Jess:

So here is what I can say about being fat. It is not all of me, but it is part of who I am. It does not hurt me to call me what I know myself to be. Fat is not a death sentence, fat is not lazy, fat is not jolly or comedic by nature. Fat is not ugly, fat is not so big a flaw that it is the only one that can exist. Fat is fat, nothing more and nothing less. To me, it is an identity through which I see and experience the world, but it is not inherently negative anymore. Fat, my fat, is beautiful…how could it not be? If I am beautiful and I am fat, and the two exist at the same time, as I am the living proof. Read more

G is for Grace by Sheryl Leigh:

God is also making it clear that, much like forgiveness, my grace is not always for other people. Being gracious to others gives me the permission and practice to be gracious with myself, the person who perhaps needs my grace the most. I have a habit of expecting too much from myself and giving too little; of hurting me, both in the things I say and do; and of dwelling on my mistakes and fixating on my flaws. I need to have grace for the faulty pieces of me that will never be perfect and for the unfinished parts that are still evolving into the woman I am called to be.

Grace is what separates girls from women. It differentiates pretty from beautiful. Becoming a woman of grace is not for the faint of heart. Yet it is worth it because grace is the beginning of love. And at our core, love, is who we all want to be.  Read more

H is for Hair by Briana Ford:

My view of myself, honestly, has been contingent on how my hair looks. Sometimes, my hair style makes me look/feel younger than I am, and sometimes it makes my look/feel older. Just throwing my twists to one side gives my outfit a completely different vibe than if I were to just wear it down. I got tons of compliments on my natural hair, way more than I ever got on my weaves, and it boosted my confidence. I may not be my hair, but my hair is certainly a part of me.  Read more

That’s where your beauty begins. It comes from this sanctuary in the pit of your belly, a place that is ignited by vision and conviction. A place moved by what you extract from interactions and observations, both grand and molecular. A place where you translate that inspiration into words that set the world on fire. Your beauty rises because of the vessel you choose to be, the purpose you choose to honor and the calling to which you choose to surrender.

An inspired woman is a beautiful one.   She has planted her feet firmly in the things that mean the most to her instead of giving in to the whims of the world.  Read more

J is for Jewel by Shefon of Shefon Nachelle:

To her, I was cruel. I did not find her worthy of celebrating. Even in her resilience, I spat back that she was not worthy. My morning ritual consisted of a toxic blend of humiliation, shame and ridicule. I thought about all the war I waged on my body, the way I battled with beauty. I so desperately wanted to love her.

I desired to hold her in my hands like a exquisite gem. What if I chose to cherish her? What if I stood in awe of her beauty? Would I look at her differently? Would it change my walk with her?

Even in my willingness, I did not know if she could love me in return after all the times I had left her, betrayed her. I hoped that she would forgive me for all the years of abuse, the times I cursed her and had given her to men who were undeserving. I said a soft prayer that she would be merciful to my radical shift toward self love and acceptance.  Read more

K is for Kismet by Anain Bjorkquist:

Long before becoming a woman, I thought that I would never be fortunate enough to be considered one of the beautiful ones. I was certain that I was destined to forever be ugly. Today, as a grown woman I know that every woman has the power to claim the label beautiful.

Beauty has little to do with your physical form or fitting into society’s limiting beauty standards.

Beauty is about owning that pleasure is your birthright and spending your days cultivating a life that lights you up from the inside out.  Read more

L is for Love Handles by Minnie of Life in 100 Words:

That week I spent waist training was very painful, but I told myself that generational lie: pain is beauty. I told myself that if I wore this waist trainer enough I would be more attractive, I would be able to wear crop tops and be sexier for my man, I would be beautiful. The waist trainer did improve my posture , But after being breathless because I had it clipped up tightly and after I saw that it left dark indents on my sides, I threw it away and looked at myself in the mirror.

Then I came to a realization, I am beautiful just the way I am.  Read more

Have you ever heard the popular opinion that women can’t get along? Unfortunately, it’s something that we hear from our early adolescence and some of us adopt it as truth. We are taught by society, media, and even other women to be in competition with the female counterparts in our lives. We are told that we should always be the prettiest, sexiest, and most desirable woman in the room, no matter where we go. Somewhere along the way we begin to believe that another woman’s beauty is a threat. We can begin to feel less secure in our own beauty and we fall into the trap of comparison. This can become the root of envy that can quickly grow into gossip and slander of other women. Before we know it, we are looking each other up and down to find fault and to critique so that we can feel BETTER about ourselves.   Read more

N is for Nappy by Ashley of Write Laugh Dream:

But I don’t want to put anything in my hair that is possibly linked to fibroids in black women and that has left me scabbed up on multiple occasions. It just doesn’t seem safe. But I am trying my best to live in a world that constantly leaves room for doubt in the narrative of what true beauty is. We accept kinky hair but only a certain type of kinky hair …

And so I laugh anytime someone gives me the backhanded compliment of telling me how brave I am to actually go out in public with my naps in all their glory for the world to see. I laugh because if they only knew how uncourageous I feel many days before I walk out the house but simply shrug and try to put my best face forward, accepting that this is just what I have been given.  I have some really good days and some days where I simply say “Oh well” and walk out of the door. I could go back to relaxers but I can’t imagine.  Read more

O is for Older by Kim of Pish Posh Perfect:

Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I have a vastly different ideal of beauty that’s a result of maturity, life experience and “the struggle”—nothing will reset your values and priorities faster than going through trials and having those life-defining moments. Don’t misunderstand: I still think it’s a ton of fun to play in makeup and I make it a point to wear beautiful, quality clothing—but now, I also think that laugh lines add interest around a woman’s mouth, that grey hair hints at wisdom and an abundance of lessons learned, that there’s a softening of the body that makes her curves feel more womanly, and that truly owning herself—whoever, or whatever she is—are paramount to a woman’s true beauty.  Now that I am older, I relish confidence, sweetness of spirit and healthy inspired living as indicators of beauty—all things that begin as an inside job.  Read more

P is for Power by Shamika Sonia of Queen in the Shadows:

The moment I made an intentional choice to ACCEPT that my path was meant to be different, everything changed. I began to truly understand the truth behind God using my experiences both for my good and potentially for the good of others.

When I realized that I didn’t want to be like everyone else and instead I wanted to explore who I was and share it with the world, a peace began to blanket my spirit. I took my power back!

Until this current season of my life, I never learned how to process my emotions completely. I never really took the time to determine the cause or root of some of the subconscious habits that were distracting me from my magic. But what I do know now is that dwelling in the discomfort and then burying it is no longer an option.  Read more

Q is for Queen by Leanne Lindsey of Black Queens Collective:

A Queen will have her values and beliefs constantly challenged and they will often change over time.  A Queen is made up of layers, many she doesn't initially now exist, and over time she learns to embrace some and shed others.  A Queen has a hidden inner strength. She can be broken and desperate, feeling as though she has nothing left to give, no energy to go on, but she does.  She digs deep and somehow she keeps going.  Read more

To me, owning my sexuality is owning my power as a woman and what makes me feel like a woman. To me, there is beauty in the essence of that possession. There is an unfair assumption that just because you find joy in sex without the title of “long-term relationship” or “boyfriend/girlfriend” that you have a low value on yourself, but I view it as the exact opposite. I think you know what you want, I think you put yourself and your orgasm first, and what’s more beautiful than that? I’ve learned that women will either love you or hate you for that and that men will love you and hate you for those reasons too. But I’m tired of people telling me what a woman should be. Who, what, and how I should be. Define yourself for yourself. Do what you want to do. And in that same breath, do whoever it is that you want to do.  Read more

S is for Stretch Marks by Akilah Richards of Radical Selfie:

Radical Self-Expression work is showing me how to shift my focus away from what I don’t want, over to what I want more of in my life. Stretch marks cannot bind me so damn tightly to fear that I cover myself in case what? In case someone doesn’t like it? In case I don’t look how I think I ‘should’ look? Maaan, there’s to much real shit going on in the world, and so many big dreams I’ve got for my life, that stretch marks can’t stay ‘a thing.’

So now, the stretching I choose to focus on is the type that stretches me out of the confines of my insecurities and into the privileged life of self-acceptance.  It’s basically me learning how to trust myself. And to not compare myself to anyone but my highest vision for my own life.

Now I get the privilege of wearing a bathing suit to the beach and focusing on the actual fucking beach.  Read more

T is for Toxic by Kiah McBride of Write on Kiah:

The good thing is that there is a panacea to your problem, but it requires a level of realness that some are afraid to explore. You can’t eradicate toxins without first removing the source. You have to identify the things that cause you to question your beauty, and make the conscious decision to no longer allow it to feed into your spirit. The friends that always have something negative to say? Gone. The images that pop up on your newsfeed selling you society’s definition of beauty? Deleted. The harsh words that slipped from the lips of another hurt person wanting you to keep them company? Replaced by words of empowerment from people who know your worth.  Read more

U is for Undefined by Keshia White of The Queen Life:

"I have struggled over the years with not feeling good enough and with having a negative self-image. I used to compare myself to others, thinking I was never as good or as pretty as other women. I did not show it much, but internally, I allowed those feelings to keep me small and to limit me from living in the full expression of who I am. I would follow the crowd at times, even though it went against my true nature. I accepted mistreatment when dating, feeling like I did not deserve better, even going as far as to question one man on what he thought was “wrong with me” so I could figure out why he was not treating me well. I have been my own worst enemy in so many ways and it’s all because I looked to outside sources to see and acknowledge my worth and my beauty."  Read more

W is for Worth by Erica of Everything EnJ:

My favorite picture of myself this year was a selfie I took for my 28th birthday. It was simply a close-up of me and my sons, laughing at something silly one of us had said or maybe a standout line we heard from the TV that got us to laugh simultaneously before the flash went off. My hair wasn’t done and from the back, I had patches of my tresses falling out. My eyebrows looked a mess. I was bold enough to take a photo inches away to expose the chipping in my nails that a filter couldn’t hide. I didn’t realize I had captured one of my best candids on my worst side until after the fact.   But I decided to ditch the photos of my face adorned in MAC products and my hair pressed well enough to pass for a perm, for the picture of my self-love shining through.  Read more

Y is for Yoni by Milan of A Grl Can Mac:

Yoni is a sanskrit word roughly meaning sacred space. This sacred space is in reference to the female genitalia, feminine fertility and our wombs. The yoni is a very important spiritual portal, it's a door and a room at the same time. Think about it, this space is created for things to enter (think intercourse or sperm for conception), grow there (like a baby which is another spirit/life) and be birthed (includes new ideas and beginnings). I think this is why us women are more open. Because we have a way for things to get inside of us, so many positive and negative energies pass through and can be stored in there. Because of this, we need to understand ourselves so that we can have less of the negative stuff stored in there and more room for all the positive stuff.  Read more

Z is for Zeal by Isis of The Goddess Column:

It shows through us before we can squeeze a single word from our mouths.

It is the twinkle in our eye. It is the spunk in our attitude. The pep in our walk. The strength of our smile. The light of our spirit. It is what creates the rhythmic beat our heart finds throughout the course of life. Some of us are able to figure it out earlier than others, but eventually most of us are able to identify at least one thing that our soul just cannot live without doing. It’s the reason you were placed on Earth. If you ask me, it’s the key to truly living life freely and happily. I’m talking about your zeal for life.

Even after identifying this gift, not everyone is able to convince themselves of following that calling over their life. Those are the people I want to reach out to with this entry. Read more

The more you follow along with the tour and engage with the bloggers, the greater your chances of winning the prizes below!   There will only be one winner.  Enter below.

The winner will receive (clockwise from left to right):  1 - a one month subscription to COCOTIQUE beauty box, 2 - a book gift certificate for Volume Twenty,  3 - Flower Oil from Balm & Co.  4 -  SAFI headwrap from The Wrap Life

1 comment:

  1. I just realized I won the giveaway for the Layers of Beauty Tour! Thank you so much. I really enjoyed following the tour and learning from and being inspired by all of the bloggers involved. Thank you!