Paying attention

Paying attention

I cringe when I think of how I used to go out the door. A mirror and a camera show different things. It is funny how when I started to take pictures of what I was about to head out in I would stop and make some quick changes. Recently I observed that how I did something as simple as buttoning up my sweater either visually added 20 pound or subtracted 5.

Take a look. I always thought buttoning my sweater in the middle would create a waistline for me. Well sort of but it did a better job of pointing out what hangs over and pokes out under my waist. And added about 20 pounds to my appearance.

The same sweater buttoned all the way up (even with the color poking out) at the bottom made me look about 5 pounds thinner.

What look have you been wearing that you were startled to discover created exactly the appearance you were trying to avoid?

Fearless Style

Fearless Style

One of the words I used to describe the style I wanted to create for myself was fearless.

Then I started doing an exercise for life planning that asked me to draw a picture of my biggest fear and then burn it. Well I got started and realized that my first hurdle was the fear that I was not an artist and couldn’t picture my fear. So instead of drawing I started writing all my fears crushing down on a tiny stick figure that was supposed to be me. That opened the flood gates to more fears and internal talk that I was only vaguely aware of but needed to shine a light on to defeat.

I was afraid of (among many things)

  • working too much
  • not having enough work
  • employees quitting
  • employees who need to quit not quitting and me having to fire them
  • succeeding
  • failing
  • traffic jams

and then there were all those background fears that the media and government lay on us:

  • terrorism
  • not enough money to cover an emergency or layoff or retirement
  • cancer
  • car accidents
  • …………. and on and on

If we don’t shine a light on these fears, they control us and prevent us from doing things that could bring us joy. They keep us in our same rhythm and routine, our same job, our same vacation spot, same hobbies – you get the idea. It keeps us from taking risks. It keeps us from living life. And we don’t even know it. We keep running on the wheel and thinking the same thoughts, wearing the same outfits (you knew I had to go here didn’t you?)

Routine can be a coping mechanism that keeps us from dwelling on our fears and internal talk and can also keep us from living a life of meaning and joy. Routine is also efficient and it can create more time for the joys in life if we let it. Are you using your routine or is it using you?

If you want to see some examples of what I call fearless style check out these folks:

http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

 

Not very stylish but fearless
Success!

Success!

 

I may still need to work on my photography and pay more attention to the background but the outfit was a success. We were lucky enough to be invited to a party that asked us to wear cocktail attire! This is a real score in the grunge capital of Seattle and I jumped on it. In the past my idea of cocktail attire was to pull out my square shaped black velvet sleeveless maxi dress and my worn down black velvet flats, throw on a scarf and call it good. Black was not my color and I never got compliments except from my husband who knows his job.

Our first party was across the street (and attire was described as come as you are). I was overjoyed that the first words I heard were: “Thank god! People in clothes!”. She of course meant dressed up clothes – no one was naked and I thought everyone looked pretty good for Seattle.

The person who greeted me (who looked fabulous in her gold dress that brought out her beautiful hair) then said “There is a woman who knows her colors. Look at how that teal matches her eyes” That made me glow because ever since our trip to Turkey I had been working hard to add the right colors to my style.

At the second official cocktail attire party a sweet young make up artist came up and told me I looked fabulous. Fortunately the dress distracted her from my cover girl makeup job.

The evening was great. I truly believe finding clothes that I felt comfortable and confident in made all the difference in my conversations and interactions with the other guests. I met new and interesting people and heard great stories. We danced, ate and toasted in a wonderful New Year.

What was your successful New Year’s eve outfit? Please share your unique style with me.