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Grace in Your Second Act
A Guide to Aging Gracefully
byFlorence LaRue & With Jenny Paschall
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I never felt beautiful. I was different. In a sea of White faces, I had brown skin, larger lips and frizzy hair and was raised in a different type environment from the other children. Although my hardworking, divorced mother bought me clothes that she could barely afford, that didn’t help how I felt about my physical appearance. I wanted to be accepted and to blend in with the other children, and for some reason, I thought if I was pretty, this would happen. Why this focus on physical beauty? Perhaps because it seemed to me that all the happy and loved girls in the movies were beautiful (Heidi, etc.). Gram, as everyone called my grandmother, tried to instill in me that “Pretty is as pretty does” and that I was, indeed, beautiful.
It’s often been suggested to me that I write a book on beauty, and my reply has always been “Why?” or “Why me?” I never thought I was a natural beauty and often didn’t know how to gracefully accept the compliments I received on my appearance. I did enjoy experimenting with makeup to look my best—with the help of my friends “Miss Fashion Fair,” “Ms. Maybelline,” “Mr. Mac,” and others! In addition, I have always liked creating my own style in dressing, and at the encouragement of my grandmother and mother, I worked hard to be spiritually and mentally beautiful. I also resisted writing about beauty because I didn’t know what I could write that would be different from the many other books on the subject or what I could share that would make a positive difference and be helpful to those who would read it.
Several years ago, when the subject of writing a book was brought up again, I began to reflect upon the beauty contests I had won, when there were clearly young ladies more physically beautiful than I was. I thought of all the different ways I looked when people remarked favorably on my appearance. I realized there was never one particular look that drew compliments. Sometimes I was fully made up, and other times I was wearing absolutely no makeup at all. It finally dawned on me. It was not just my physical appearance people saw but also my attitude and the “light within me.” I realized I received most compliments when I was in a positive mood. People were seeing my joy, my soul, my attitude, and my desire to live and not merely exist. It was then too that I realized beauty can be summed up in a four-letter word: love. Love of self and others, love of life, and most of all, love of God.
Haven’t you noticed that you look your best when you are in love? So if you’re in love with life every day, you’ll look beautiful every day. I also perceived that there are three very important dimensions of beauty: physical, mental, and spiritual. So I conducted extensive research and asked people what they wanted to know about beauty. In general, I discovered that almost everyone I talked to wanted to know my beauty regimen. They came up with questions like “What do you eat?” “Do you exercise?” “What brand of makeup do you wear?” and “What is that extra something you have, because I want some of that?”
In this book, while answering these questions, I share with you my thoughts in a manner that I hope will not only be fun and informative but will also have helpful suggestions and information that will give you ideas to help you look and feel your best. I’ve included ideas to help you live a fulfilled, blessed, and happy life free to be yourself reaching for the destiny that God has for you.
I have the uncanny ability to see people not as they appear but to perceive the potential in them, be it physical appearance or talent. Do I take my own advice? Not always! But at least I have the information at my fingertips!
The principles on these pages are meant for people of all ages. Young people can benefit from beginning a life of good health at an early age so as to lead a more productive and fulfilling life. And more mature people will note that it is never too late to begin the journey toward reaching your potential in health and beauty! As Coco Chanel said, “You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.”
I want to stress that the information in this book is not about what action to take for instant beauty. There is much information readily available on “age-defying” and “beauty-enhancing” products and the best plastic surgeons for whatever procedure you desire! My goal in writing this book is to help you to free yourself to let your light shine—mentally, physically, and spiritually. Be the you that God meant you to be. Don’t hide your light, which represents the talents and gifts God has given you. Use it. Let it shine.
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About the Book
Filled with lessons learned over fifty years as a performer and lead singer for the legendary group, The 5th Dimension, Florence LaRue reminds us that it’s never too late to start being the best you that God meant you to be – happy and healthy, as well as physically, mentally and spiritually beautiful.’
About the Author
Florence LaRue is a founding member and lead singer of the legendary group, The 5th Dimension, winning 6 Grammys and earning 14 gold and 3 platinum records. This includes over 25 million albums sold with 22 Top 40 hits and 5 number one singles, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an inductation into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Florence’s many accolades include The Spirit of Life Award from the City of Hope and California State College at Los Angeles’s Outstanding Alumnus Award, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education.
She has also received numerous commendations for her philanthropic work. She is especially proud of her President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House “in recognition of commitment to strengthen our Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.”
Florence enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family, which includes five great grandchildren.