Believe in the beauty of your dreams~BOAW2015

Artwork by the fabulously beautiful Renée Schuls-Jacobson

Artwork by the beautifully talented Renée Schuls-Jacobson

Here we come again!

It’s the fourth anniversary of the Beauty Of A Woman blogfest hosted by the talented women’s activist, journalist and writer, August McLaughlin. I hope you will find a quiet time in the next little while to visit all of the participating blogs. The messages are inspirational, informative, entertaining and … well … beautiful. You might even be enticed to join us next year! Bonus: check out the beautiful prize list too!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

This year’s BOAW challenge has me focusing on my 5-year-old granddaughter who is a real girly-girl with long strawberry blond hair and stunning turquoise eyes. She is also smart, feisty, strong-willed and curious.

I worry about the world today, where the media focus is more frequently on stereotypes that deliver a skewed vision of “beauty” to fertile young minds. I want my granddaughter, and all girls, to grow up in a world that is safe. A world that gives the right messages. I want girls to grow up proud, confident, educated, and kind-hearted, with a strong social conscience. Why not? I want them to understand that beauty exists in many forms. I want them to listen to Eleanor’s words and believe in the beauty of their dreams.

It gives me hope to know there is a girl raising her voice and making a difference in the world. A girl who can be the best kind of role model for all girls and an inspiration to women of all ages. She’s a girl who believes in the beauty of her dreams: Malala Yousafzai.



Today I want to dedicate my post to the beauty of Malala’s dreams, along with some organizations that work tirelessly to end violence against women. The dedicated people behind these organizations deserve to be recognized and supported for all they do to improve the lives of women and girls. Their messages underline the beauty and importance of the strength and potential of every single female. They truly work to bring about change so that every girl and woman may know she is safe and have the opportunity to believe in the beauty of her dreams.

It’s heartbreaking to think of the countless numbers of young girls and women in tragic situations around the world who struggle just to get through a day. We should never let up on our efforts to bring change to their lives.

Let’s all do our part to support the dreams of the future..

Because I Am A Girl

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Bring Back Our Girls 


Each year I am simply blown away by the variety of perspectives, opinions and beautiful words found on all of the participating websites. You can link to all of them right here. Fest away!

It’s been a pleasure to take part in the BOAW blogfest all four years. May I be candid here? I know I can with you … I’ve loved each of my BOAW posts because August’s challenge to us has caused me to look at certain aspects of life in ways I might never have written about on my website. Thanks, August!

BOAW 2012 ~ You’re Beautiful Just The Way You Are

BOAW 201 ~ She Walks In Beauty

BOAW 2014 ~ Hear Us Roar


Thanks for joining me today. If you like today’s post, please use the share buttons below. It all helps!


About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. I love how you chose to spotlight young voices with such strong messages the simply could not be ignored.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks, Kitt! I love the BOAW blogfest! It’s always so inspiring and thought-provoking to read all the different “takes” on the subject. Every single post is worth reading and sharing.

  2. Lovely and thought provoking post Patricia. I’m new to #BOAW this year, but loving it!

    • Patricia Sands says

      Bonjour Jacqui! How lovely to see you in the BOAW blogfest! I loved how you shared your “French perspective” !

  3. Nice post, Pat. So glad you featured Malala. She deserves it.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks, David! It’s always lovely to see you take part in the BOAW blogfest and share a valued male perspective.

  4. This post spoke to my heart in multiple ways, Patricia. That Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my favorites, and was scripted on a card my dad tucked in my suitcase when I moved away from home. And Malala Yousafzai — what to say? She gives me hope as well. I love her to tears.

    Thanks so much for the kind words, for joining us and – especially – for the woman you are!

    • Patricia Sands says

      August, I might have know that quote would be meaningful to you! How lovely of your dad to share that thought with you at such an important time in your life. I know he is very special from all you have written about him in the past. And hope? Yes, Malala is the epitome of hope … something we all need. Thanks again for the opportunity to be part of your fabulous BOAW blogfest! xoxo

  5. How wonderful that you are part of this glorious event, Patricia. Thank you for your efforts to help and bless you for wanting more for your grand daughter. I am sure some of your beautiful spirit will rub off on her and she will be an amazing woman.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Patricia Sands says

      Hey Patricia, I thought for certain I would see your name in the lost of participating bloggers. Thanks for your kind words. To me the world seems to be a frightening place in many respects these days and I hope there is a bright future for the next generation that perhaps is just not obvious at this point. We have to keep believing that good will prevail!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing about Malala Yousafzai. She truly is an inspiration–not just to young women all over the world, or even to older ones–but to humanity itself. She is a gift to this world. And thank you so much for providing those links. I’m already a member to a couple of the organizations you’ve listed, but I wasn’t aware of the other ones. I’m going to go check ’em out now!

    Beautiful post, Patricia! <3

    • Patricia Sands says

      You said it, Kate! Malala is an incredible gift for all humanity. We have so much to learn from her. Now I have to convince my Kate that she is as important to her as she thinks Katy Perry is!

  7. Great message!

  8. Truly lovely, Patricia! Now I want to go back to all my BOAW posts and see the variety as well. What a great idea. 🙂

  9. I have two little boys and I also worry about how the will take in the warped image of beauty that the modern world is sending them. I am working very hard to find true beauty in everyone and talk about it to them. I hope this practice will lead them to be good people and find future partners who are also good.

  10. Like you, I am concerned about the kind of world future generations will inherit. As your post so thoughtfully points out, there are strong young women like Malala who serve as beautiful beacons. And who knows, perhaps the fact that we are so connected through the Internet may not only reveal our shortcomings but our beauty as human beings. Enjoyed the post.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Karen, I just finished reading your post and have printed out your final quote. I thank you for that! August’s BOAW never fails to connect all of us in meaningful ways and that in itself is a beautiful thing.

  11. A wonderful post Patricia and how great to spotlight Malala, you know I have been thinking about her example and about how blessed we and so many people are, to be able to hear and read her words and be inspired by her example, from such a young age, particularly having recently read the autobiography of Wangari Maathai, the inspirational Kenyan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

    It struck me because I knew little about her until I read her book and yet she had spent years and years working for environmental and social justice in Kenya and utilising her incredible network of women, many of them hard working villagers whose work was to toil all day, but Wangari put her knowledge and education and fighting spirit to good use by empowering those women to create sustainable practices and to protect their environment and country.

    She faced many, many hardships, so it is also necessary for us and girls and young women to have some awareness of those obstacles, but more importantly to develop the capacity for dealing with them and not to fear them. I loved what she had to say about her own fearlessness:

    “What people see as fearlessness is really persistence.

    Because I am focused on the solution, I don’t see danger. Because I don’t see danger, I don’t allow my mind to imagine what might happen to me, which is my definition of fear.

    If you don’t foresee the danger and see only the solution, then you can defy anyone and appear strong and fearless.”

    Wangari Maathai
    Unbowed, One Woman’s Story

    Thank you for such an inspiring and positive contribution.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Dear Claire ~ Thank you for your thoughtful comment and, of course, you have left me with a new book to add to my reading list. What a gift to free our mind of focusing on danger. Would that we could all be strong and fearless. I’m going to keep working on that!

  12. Patricia, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Malala. What a brave, passionate young woman. I’m also in awe of her father, who is able to let go of his own fears for her safety enough to let her continue promoting education for women.

    I also share your gratitude to August, for giving us all the opportunity to examine real beauty more deeply.

    • Patricia Sands says

      I agree with you, Jan, and share your admiration for Malala’s parents. One of the other aspects of August’s beautiful BOAW is the opportunity to read the other participating blogs. Each one is unique and important. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother, such a difficult time in life. Your words on grief ring true. It’s not easy and it’s different for every one of us, but often brings its own kind of beauty. How lovely to have you see this through your daughter’s eulogy. Your mother appears to have left a fine legacy.

  13. What a lovely post! Thanks for including the links. It’s a cruel world out there.
    I’ve done everything I can think of to protect my daughter and it’s impossible. I pray a lot!!!

    • Patricia Sands says

      It can be scary out there, that’s for sure! You are such a strong positive role model for women, Susie, I’m sure your daughter has learned a great deal from you. She’s among the lucky ones!

  14. Judy McHattie says

    Hi Patricia
    Just finished The Bridge Club. I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much!

    • Patricia Sands says

      You are most welcome, Judy. I hoped that Pam’s story would resonate with you. Your comment in this post is appropriate because I believe The Bridge Club does share the beauty of women’s friendship with readers. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  15. Terrific post Patricia! It’s terrifying to think of what women in other parts of the world face. These organizations are so important. Malala is such a great role model and example of what makes a woman beautiful. Her courage. Her perseverance. And her voice.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks, Kourtney. I think that all ties in nicely with your post about choice. It’s something we all need to take responsibility for and not fear. We can all learn from Malala’s choices … at every age.

  16. Great choice of topics, Patricia. I find Malala Yousafzai so inspiring. She is indeed an excellent role model for girls and women to never give up on their dreams!

    • Patricia Sands says

      Kassandra, thanks for stopping by. I was so touched by your post and truly feel your words should be shared to a wider audience. For instance, an article in a woman’s magazine might be a great platform for such an important message. Go for it!

  17. Patricia, such good thoughts. thanks for the links. I’ve been thinking its time to do more.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Louise, it sounds to me like you make major contributions to the wellbeing of women on a regular basis through your professional counselling. Don’t ever doubt the importance of that!

  18. Patricia, You are a wonderful role model for your granddaughter and all women everywhere, both young and old. You are a multidimensional woman in today’s world and I’ve utilized your many attributes in sharing with with both high school girls and college students I mentor. I do hope you don’t mind.
    I’ve mentored for the 10 years we’ve lived here and am proud to report I’m so proud of both the work these young woman put in. Most don’t know to read or write when they enter my program and by the time they graduate high school, they are all college bound on full scholarships.
    We’re recently added 7 professionals to the bio medical research community, 4 CPAs, and 4 teachers. Now that we’re off the ground, I expect to have 12 college graduating girls/women each year.

    It’s not extra work for me. I’ve taught everyone how to shop and cook and whenever anyone wants to hang around the house I have extra helping hands.

    • Patricia Sands says

      Sheri, you are the amazing role model! Amongst all of your other commitments, how you find time to mentor is quite remarkable. It is something I also like to do but can only find limited time. The success of these young women is a testament to the quality of guidance you offer. They are very fortunate to be in your life. When it comes to talking about the beauty of a woman, you are one who is a fine example. Thanks for taking the time to drop by!

  19. Patricia Sands says

    August! Thanks for the kick-ass award! What fun! The fest is something I eagerly anticipate every year!


  1. […] “I worry about the world today, where the media focus is more frequently on stereotypes that deliver a skewed vision of “beauty” to fertile young minds. I want my granddaughter, and all girls, to grow up in a world that is safe. A world that gives the right messages. I want girls to grow up proud, confident, educated, and kind-hearted, with a strong social conscience.” — Patricia Sands […]

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