Happy 2014! Hope your year is off to a fantastic start! I wanted to start the year off with a fabulous woman for my Real Women Wednesday segment. My hope and intention as one of the photographers in Charleston SC, is to introduce inspiring, interesting women to help remind us all that we are so much more than the list of perceived flaws we see and berate ourselves for when we look in the mirror, or at a photograph. I’m famous for not being able to take a compliment! Well, at least I was. I’ve worked very hard not to answer a compliment with a self-deprecating remark. Just this past year, I’ve finally learned to say “Thank You!” And mean it.
Here’s to another year of incredible women to inspire us, lead us, and teach us to be better examples for our children and our friends.
I was privileged to meet Cynthia, known as Cindy to her friends, this past year after having unknowingly met her once before. Thank goodness she has a good memory. Apparently we were meant to meet and know one another. I just missed it the first time!
Cindy and I were introduced while bobbing up and down on our surf boards waiting for a set to roll in. We discovered we had many friends in common, and we work in overlapping worlds. Cindy is a well-known and accomplished food stylist and works very closely with some amazing photographers. We had crossed paths on the set for a Southern Living photo shoot months before but had not been formally introduced because she was hard at work making food magic happen! (I was just an extra in the party scene.) Since that day on the water, Cindy and I have grown to be friends. We are also regular surf buddies along with a number of other ladies that Cindy brought together called the Wahine’s, a Hawaiian term for female surfer.
Introducing Cindy Groseclose, a beautiful soul both inside and out!
1. What defines “Real Beauty” for you?
To me, real beauty is when what is on the outside matches up with what is on the inside. When a person’s heart aligns with their actions. This is beautiful.
2. What makes you “beautiful”?
I have a lot of passion and energy and I really love people. I feel the most beautiful when I know I am living my life operating from what is truly in my heart. I also think being a mother has made me a lot more beautiful of a person… It has taught me the true definition of unconditional love, something I don’t think I fully understood until I had my son, Christian.
3. What do you “think” your flaws are?
In terms of flaws, I tend to worry a lot about things I cannot control and I sometimes operate off of assumptions when I shouldn’t. I am a constant student of “letting go”. I used to walk around feeling guilty all the time about everything under the sun, but a friend once said to me “Cindy, don’t go around with regrets because if you didn’t have those experiences, you wouldn’t appreciate the good stuff as much”. That really resonated with me and really helped me begin to live a much more peaceful life. And I have been accused of having long toes… which sometimes get broken because they are always in the way.
4. What do people love about you?
I don’t know, you’d have to ask those who know me best, but I’d say maybe that I am a very loyal and caring friend. I am tender-hearted and would do anything for the people in my life. My friends know that and that makes me so happy. I love to connect people too and I am really adventuresome. I am passionate about the things I care about and like to make things happen…even when that means blazing a few trails. I think these are some of the things the people in my life might appreciate about me.
5. How do you PLAY?
Surfing has brought so much peace and joy to my life…and the friendships are some of my best. My husband grew up surfing and I decided to take it up a few years ago so we could have something our family could do together. I never understood what it was he loved so much about it and honestly, I would get upset when he was gone for hours to the beach. That was until I learned to surf. Now, I’m the one who has to be pried off the water and I’m so thankful he gets it. I also really love to travel and to experience the way other people live. I love learning about other cultures. Beautiful places by the sea are what I love most. Sharing travel adventures with my family and friends is hands down my favorite way to play. I cook for a living, but cooking for pleasure also brings be a tremendous amount of joy.
6. Tell me something you’d like to share: about yourself, a story, a favorite quote, a principle you live by, anything really.
There are so many things I could say. I have always been a spiritual person, but my faith has become a defining part of my life the past few years. I have found a tremendous amount of comfort and power in my spiritual life. There have been so many things that have happened in my life that have led me to the place I am in spiritually and when I really look at those things and think about them, it is like a beautifully orchestrated plan – one that I certainly couldn’t have created for myself. I wear a necklace with a few things I love on it and one of them has a tag that just says PV 31:25. This is my mantra. “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at her future.” It makes me smile just saying it.
You can see Cindy’s work here on her website: www.cynthiagroseclose.com
All photography by Charleston Photographers-Tanya Boggs Photography