Gina Bell

Age 44

I believe that my tears, especially the kind that are connected to the pain of waking up and reconnecting with the powerful woman inside of me, have the potential to water the garden of flowers that bloom from within my soul. A favorite art piece in my life is a calligraphy print from the late Thich Nhat Hanh that reads, “The tears I shed yesterday have become rain.” My favorite part about being a woman over 40 is taking the time to tend to that garden and appreciate all my beauty from within the painful and dark parts of my continued evolution.

I am living my most extraordinary life right now by feeling empowered as my wild and colorful spirit connects with others along my journey. I feel so incredibly grateful as my bright and kind children venture out into the world, each in their own unique way. I feel happy as I learn from friends. I feel held as my husband and I rekindle our relationship. Poet Mary Oliver says, “Joy is not made to be a crumb.” I’m learning to relax into the full deliciousness of who I am with grace, humor, and a humble spirit from within the fears, insecurities, and loneliness that often come with being human.

I believe I have a responsibility to those who came before me, those who walk this path with me, and those who will lead the way for future generations to grow. In the next decade, I aspire to carry my ancestors’ wisdom and unanswered dreams onto stages and into women’s circles, and I hope to continue to expand the Tears & Tulle magic to an even larger global audience. I’m also hoping the messaging of my women’s empowerment picture book and movement of the same name will one day find its way to the big screen and to my own magazine!

When I saw my portraits for the first time, a part of a Marianne Williamson poem came rushing into my heart as unexpectedly as Ferris Bueller’s musical debut on that parade float. Many years ago, I printed out her words because I wanted to feel them. They read: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” And for a moment in time, I felt that light and stood tall in it. I felt that power, and I owned it.