Photography by Sarah Ann Photography
Meet Lisa. She is Beauty Revived.
A woman who exemplifies real beauty is one who despite her own trials and challenges in life continues to bless others. Lisa Soukup is one of those women in the way that she radiates pure love wherever she goes. Lisa is a mother, sister, daughter, friend in all of these roles, she seems to devote herself to one primary intention, compassion. Lisa’s utter humility is touched with grace and an empowered love for others.
Lisa lives across the world from her family. She resides in Iowa with her two children and husband. Having been born and raised in Australia, she rarely gets back to her family. Just a little over a year ago, Lisa’s youngest brother, Jase, passed away from a long battle of depression. Lisa flew to her family’s side for the immediate grieving process, but has been willing to miss a year of “firsts” without Jase thousands of miles away from her parents and other siblings. Lisa doesn’t complain though. Despite her acknowledgement of the complicated grief process being away from her family for the year after her brother’s passing, she finds only the opportunity to be grateful for what she does have and honors where the flow of life has taken her. Alongside of this, she continues to show up fully each day. Having seen her in all hours of her day, Lisa is always willing to maintain presence not only with her own heart, but the heart of those she comes into contact with. She doesn’t fall into resentment, anger or pride. Rather, she approaches the holiness of her life with the touch of grace. In fact, her brother Ben is riding across the circumference of Australia in their brother’s name to raise mental health awareness. (Compassion runs in the family!). It has been over a year since she has seen her family and there have been many experiences and events related to this exciting and meaningful time in their family’s life. Lisa was offered an opportunity to receive funds from her friends to go to Australia for a big fundraising event. Lisa declined, wanting the money to go to the Ride for Jase Organization and not to herself. Despite her yearning to be with her family, she selflessly set aside this desire so that others could benefit.
Generosity is something that comes naturally for Lisa, especially when you take into consideration her profession. As we explore “real beauty”, it is ironic that Lisa is also a hair stylist. She spends a majority of her week offering a sense of confidence to others, not only through the use of styling; but in her ability to connect with others in a deeply heartfelt way. Lisa’s presence with others is awe-inspiring. Her smile, delicate words and deep thoughts can carry anyone into a place of their own heart, where their authentic beauty resides. There is no judgment only an acceptance for each person as they are here and now. From the welcome to the goodbye, any stranger to dearest friend, can always guarantee to receive LIsa’s whole attention and whole heart in their interaction. I often say to Lisa that she is certainly an Earth angel with her ability to so kindly and compassionately sit with others.
Lisa is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. This platform, despite her initial resistance to step into it, has been an opportunity for her to be seen and heard. In the past, this has been challenging for Lisa as she is used to being the only who sees and hears others. But she has stepped into this role in the mightiest way despite the fear and doubt. It’s easy to run from that which makes us uncomfortable. I believe this is what I admire most about LIsa – is her willingness to dive deep into her own life in order to continue to be a role model of authentic heart filled living for others. This requires a willingness to look within and take challenges as opportunities. Lisa expresses this fully in her whole living. She holds space for others that offers them a clear vessel to examine their own truths, hearts and compassion.
I believe Lisa exemplifies beauty in the way her heart radiates from every layer of her being. You can see it in these photographs. Through compassion, presence and grace; Lisa offers this world a light of hope and is one of my greatest sources of inspired grateful living.
Written by: Jackie Paulson