Dear Young and Fearless: Life Is Beautiful


A simple smile, a passionate kiss, the making of a dream. It's the voice of a parent or friend that excites and moments of desperation, which lead to innovation. It's the word "yes" that brings joy and meaning when all seems bleak. It's bracing yourself while the sweet aroma of a treat plays with your senses before you have a taste. All this brings me to say... life is beautiful.

I spun around this weekend in a dreamlike state, enjoying the "Life is Beautiful Festival." Kanye West, The Foo Fighters, Outkast, Lionel Richie and other artistic souls echoed through the downtown streets of Las Vegas. Not to mention, the foodie in me was elated to discover new ways to thrill my palette. With over 50 live performances, nearly 20 celebrity chefs, 35 dynamic speakers and over 25 artists who brought life and color to the experience, I was submerged in creativity.


How refreshing it was to learn from and interview Marie Forleo, Raghava KK, Adam Braun, Lizzie Velasquez and Shiza Shahid, individuals who are strongly endowed with the gift to serve; who realize that life never follows a straight path... there are many curves. Marie vehemently explained "that every human being on this planet is born with a unique set of gifts and talents. Our true purpose is to identify and use these gifts to serve others. When we do so, not only are we fulfilling our purpose but discovering the key to happiness, meaning and prosperity."

Artist and serial entrepreneur Raghava KK, may very well be one of my favorite people in the entire world. His lighthearted spirit and bright disposition added a spark to the room and onstage interview with author and founder of Pencils for Promise, Adam Braun. Raghava implores that "we must write the story of our lives. Everyone has a beautiful story waiting to be told." "You are beautiful," he stated, "never forget that. Everyone will shine in your light if you see it." Whereas Adam made it clear that today's youth are charged with the responsibility to redefine the impossible, allowing their fresh perspectives to bring insight and innovation where previous generations have failed.

Lizzie Velasquez, who by all means exemplifies a courageous spirit, is giving the world a beautiful standard of strength, power and resilience. She shared with me that "we all should choose our wildest dream and dare ourselves to make them a reality."

Shiza Shahid, the Co-Founder of the Malala Fund, identified the importance of Malala Yousafzai's story and perseverance through life-threating circumstances, in order to receive an education. She said that today's youth must immerse themselves in a different culture completely to challenge what they believe and think is true. "You are significant, strong and smart," Shiza exclaimed tenderly.

Close your eyes and begin to daydream about life, the places that excite you, challenges you face, people that encourage you, love, anguish, goals, dreams and last, but not least, purpose. Have you found the beauty in it all? No! Ok... But have you looked for it? Or better yet have you allowed it in? Have you realized that you are unbeatable? Have you found strength within your pain? Have you taken the time to redefine the magic in every moment?


Damali Elliott -- Petals-N-Belles Founder | Chief Dream Builder