Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Jean McGuire. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.
My name is Jean McGuire. I am an American yoga instructor who has been teaching yoga in the Kansas City area for more than 13 years. I am 56 years old, have three grown daughters, and five grandchildren to date. I was a distance runner in my 40’s and early 50’s and competed in sprint triathlons for 10 years. You can find my thoughts on JasminePetalsThoughts.com. The website has links to my Facebook page, my Twitter account, and my YouTube channel—Jasmine Petals Yoga. I would love to hear from anyone with comments or encouragement.
Who do you feel you are today? What event has defined your life?
As I age, I am aware almost every day of how I react differently to situations in life. I have made a conscious decision to not follow drama. I watch with almost an observer’s curiosity when I see others go in pursuit of drama. It truly does not make sense to me why anyone would make the choice to feel bad about their situation or a situation around them.
I still feel that I’m my goofy self and I am totally in touch with the 12-year-old boy deep inside me, but at the same time I feel like I’ve gained wisdom as I’ve followed my path through life. I’ve seen a lot and am able to keep a rational perspective about most things.
I don’t think there’s any one event in my life that has defined me. I’ve been through good times and I’ve been through bad times. One of the statements I’ve made in the past is that I refuse to be defined by the bad times. Making a choice to look forward with optimism is what I feel defines me. That hasn’t been a single event, it’s a decision I make every day.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Three times in my life I’ve stepped away from the corporate world and the career path that society has deemed correct for me. Two times I have given in and gone back into the box that was defined for me. I was miserable each and every time. I know that I am not meant to work in a conventional job, but it’s always been difficult to trust that I could sustain myself without the security of that conventionality.
I have now stepped away for the final time. I am pursuing the craft of writing and my love of teaching yoga. With a strong faith that all will turn out well, I have been blessed with exactly what I need exactly when I need it. I know that as long as I maintain my belief in things turning out well, my path will continue to take me where I’m meant to be.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
As a child, I made my parents and older siblings read me the story, The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper, over and over again. It got to the point they would roll their eyes and groan every time I brought them the book to read to me.
As an adult, the message in the book, “I think I can, I think I can,” has gotten me through difficult stages of my life over and over again. This simple philosophy says all that I need to overcome struggles.
I collect inspiring quotes and have pages of them saved on my computer. Almost every one of them can be condensed into the four words that the little engine used to push himself through his challenges.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Laughter. Deep-down-to-your-toes laughter. The kind of laughter where you throw your head back or your body doubles over. It makes me smile even to read the words I’ve written about laughing. How can we not be beautiful when we’re experiencing that level of joy?
How does Annmarie's mission fit into your lifestyle?
I have always had extremely sensitive skin. No matter whether a product was marked “hypoallergenic” or “for sensitive skin,” I would almost always have a reaction to it. The reactions could range from redness, to hives, to a burning sensation. I cannot tell you how I feared trying new products. As a result, I have spent my life using a hodge-podge of different products simply because they didn’t cause a reaction.
I have tried a number of Annmarie’s products with no reaction whatsoever. It’s a relief to have finally found a whole product line that makes my skin happy.
What are your words of wisdom to other beauties out there?
Listen to your gut. Your brain will tell you the practical answer, your heart will tell you the emotional answer, but that feeling you get in your gut is where your answer lies.
Elizabeth Gilbert recently wrote: “More primitive than the heart, older than the conscious mind, deeper and more mysterious and wiser than any other navigating system we possess, the gut knows where it's at…Think with your mind, love with your heart, and definitely smile in your liver…but always, always, always listen to your guts.”
Isn’t she beautiful?
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at info [at] annmariegianni.com.)