Categories
empowerment

Stop Telling Women To Smile

A week ago I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop, notebook in hand and a coffee on the table.  I pulled out my mirror to see if I had anything on my face, quickly fixing my concealer that was out of place from my oversized sunglasses.

“Your makeup looks fine!” a stranger next to me declared.  I looked over, laughed, and continued to set up shop at my seat.

He didn’t stop there.  “You know, most men would say women look best without makeup.  It’s Sunday!  Don’t wear makeup!”

Newsflash: I wear makeup for me, not you.

I love to dress up, wear red lipstick, and don my Karen Walker shades.  Not looking for validation, on most days I simply want to write in peace; the last thing I want is to have strangers approach me to give me unsolicited advice or flirt poorly at a coffee shop.

Nevertheless, whether or not it was meant to be a compliment, it was still suggesting I change who I am or what I do.  That never sits well with me- flirting or not.  It’s manipulative, and it’s unwelcomed.

Here’s a comprehensive list of things women don’t need to hear from a man:

  • How to wear our hair
  • What clothes to choose
  • How long our hair “should” be
  • When to wear makeup
  • That we should smile

Maybe some women need the words of the opposite sex to gain their confidence, but I am not one of them.

“The sexualization behind telling women to smile is alarming. It makes women feel that we are only meant to be happy and pretty and it’s a passive way to engage into an unwanted conversation.” –

I’ve had ex-boyfriends try and dress me up in the shortest of skirts, 6 inch heels, and cleavage revealing attire.  That’s just not my style.  I’ve even had an ex ask me if I was going to a funeral because I was wearing all black.  Didn’t you know black is slimming and chic?  Just look at Audrey Hepburn.  I doubt she cared what other people said about her little black dress.

The guy at the cafe went on to later tell me how our meeting was “serendipitous,” in which I immediately rolled my eyes.

No, you just sat next to a woman and started telling her what to do and not to do.  Also, I have no interest in a divorced 50-something who was thumbing through his “Plenty of Fish” app.

Women can have it pretty rough out there, but as long as we hold our own and stick to our laurels, we will be just fine.

Just don’t tell me to smile.

Inspired by Stop Telling Women to Smile, a street art project addressing gender-based street harassment.

Categories
self discovery

Expressing Your Inner Goddess

We all have a Goddess inside of us.

We all have our own special inner powers, passions, and purposes to live out, but we have been conditioned to listen to our doubts, fears, and insecurities.

It’s time to let that Goddess shine.

I’m not suggesting you throw a Goddess party, wear a flower crown, or to book a retreat.  Those things are fun, but they don’t have anything to do with who you are- the strong, beautiful woman who has endless gifts to offer the world around them.

Divine feminine energy embraces intuition, inner wisdom, and the ability to both give and receive.  Strong and confident women are secure in who they are, lift others up, and know the importance of self-care.  They don’t have to overpower others to prove their point; they have a quiet power that shines through their everyday actions.

So, are you wondering how to start embracing your own Goddess within?

1. Leave your ego at the door

You don’t have anything to prove to anyone but yourself.

2. Open your heart

You may think it’s safer to keep it closed, but magical things happen when you’re open to receiving.

3. Love yourself without judgment

No one is perfect, and that is what makes us unique!

Embracing your inner Goddess is all about letting your authentic nature free and finally allowing your light to shine.

Somewhere along the road our spirit was crushed.  It may have been a parent’s divorce, childhood trauma, bullying, or a broken heart.  Maybe someone told us our dreams were foolish, or perhaps we were conditioned to think we weren’t good enough.

As adults, we can heal those wounds and go back to our original state of joy, dreams, and delight.  We can let go of what the world around us has said and start listening to ourselves.

From living beautifully every day to knowing the importance of setting boundaries in your life, you don’t need anything outside of yourself to embrace the Goddess within.

She knows the way- you just need to start listening to her.

For more Goddess goodness, please check out Emma Mildon’s “Evolution of a Goddess.” It’s such a great book, and I’m a total “Moon.”

Categories
self discovery

Living Authentically

According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, authenticity is derived from the natural self, while inauthenticity is a result of external influences.  You know- the ego, societal expectations, and materialism.

So, what is your natural self?

When you stop holding onto the fear of what others think of you, the magic starts to happen:

Authenticity begins.

When you live your life authentically, things start to fall into place.  The right people and opportunities effortlessly find their way to you.  The weight of the world seems to fall away.

For years I tried to water down the person I was due to fear of what people had to say about me.  I would tone down my message, hold back my truth, or justify simple things simply because of what others may think.

Often times, I had no real evidence of what they were actually thinking.

As I began to accept the person I am, I stopped considering the opinions of others.  Sure, it is important for me to be kind and considerate, but I also know when I need to set personal boundaries.  I stopped trying to fit in and embraced what fits for me.

I wrote this back in 2017, when I began my journey of giving less F’s about everything else and caring more about me:

When you’re in alignment with the person you are meant to be, you won’t fit in like you did before.  You will see the world much clearer, more serene, and with a sense of purpose.  The noise from the outside world will no longer affect you so much and you will begin to find ways to improve the world around you, not complain about it.  As you continue to discover your true self, remember that the positives far outweigh the negatives.  Although it can be uncomfortable at first, keep doing you- you’ll thank yourself later. 

If you’ve spent years trying to please everyone around you, here’s the sign you need to break the habit and start remembering the most important person of all: yourself.

Categories
empowerment mindful at work

You’re Not Responsible For What Others Think Of You

As I walked through the Harvard Coop the other day, I passed the self-help section for inspiration.  Per usual, something stuck out:

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Just when I needed it, this book struck me (and now I’m #1 on the waiting list to check it out at the library… more thoughts on it to follow!). 

Over the past few months I have been working on setting healthy boundaries, staying in my own lane, and speaking my mind without cowering down.  Not only have I been attracting people who have been in alignment with my values, people at a lower vibration haven’t been approaching me as often.  Some people in my life have even thanked me for my honesty; I’ve shared things they may not have said themselves and have helped to inspire them to be a little bit more transparent.

Although I’ve never thought of it this way, it’s a courageous act to put an end to relentless people pleasing.  As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”

If I were to walk into a room with 10 people, there would be 10 different opinions of me. Do I need to take each one to heart?  Do I need to conform to please each and every one of these people?

Of course not- that would be silly.

One of the biggest freedoms I have found is being happy within my own skin, independent of what the outside world has to say.  One of my biggest joys is to connect with other people on a deeper, meaningful level, but it’s not possible to please everyone.

First, you must be comfortable within your own truth.

photo-54

Categories
self discovery

Strong and Secure- Setting Intentions

Each moon cycle I set an intention. On occasion I hope for something tangible, such as securing a new job or accomplishment, and other times I aim to let something go.

As the moon phases pass, I try to release what no longer serves, focus on improving myself, and live by the intentions I set.

This past New Moon, my intention was strength.

Strength means a lot of things to me. It can mean being assertive and confident, resilient through life’s challenges, or living with grace and grit. Strength has helped me pick up and move across the country, walk into interviews with ease, and hold my head high when life tried to pull me down.

I used to try and be a chameleon in life, seeking to fit in so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Not anymore. I have learned how standing in my truth has helped me get into alignment with the right people, opportunities, but most importantly, my own self.

It’s okay to stand out in the crowd… and it’s a beautiful thing to be different. Instead of lowering my head or watering myself down, my intention is to be strong and secure- no matter what life brings my way.

Read about Friday’s Full Moon here.

Categories
self discovery

True Freedom: Letting Go of Resentments

As I strolled through the Back Bay and down to the Esplanade yesterday, I felt a new sense of freedom. It was a beautiful fall day, and I had the chance to head to my favorite spot in Boston- the Charles River.

The freedom I felt was greater than just being able to take time out to enjoy nature, though- it was a sense of freedom within.

I went to a meeting where I saw some people from my past who I avoided due to resentments- and not only did I face those people for the first time in over a year, I raised my hand and spoke about it.

“Resentments kept me sick and my secrets held me hostage.”

For a long time, I only let half of my true self be known.

People in the group nodded and smiled. Over the years, I found every reason in the book to avoid groups, places, jobs, family, or friends- all due to uncomfortable feelings, resentments, or disagreements. Running was my favorite pastime- but not in the jogging sense of the word. I ran from discomfort.

“I’m no longer willing to water down my story or hide from the world,” I continued. In the past I was extremely fearful of judgment or rejection- but the only person that hurt was me. The more honest I am, the more I learn how accepting others are- but I also learn which people don’t matter.

I’ve been working on being my authentic self, loving my truth, and owning my story no matter what others have to say about it, and that is the greatest freedom of all:

Freedom within.

Categories
self discovery

The Elder: Standing Strong

Happy October! It’s a new month, a fresh week, and time to let go of the old. As the leaves begin to fall, we also remove the parts of our lives that no longer serve.

Last night I was introduced to Denise Linn’s Native Spirit Oracle deck, where we went around a circle to reflect on the messages of each card we chose. As I picked my card, “Elder,” I smiled and thought about the old soul I have always identified with. Always feeling a bit like the outsider yet content on my own, this card strung a chord with me.

“Confidence. Entering your power. Standing strong. You are a leader. Stepping into the light. Let your truth be heard and felt by others. Make a stand in life. You carried deep inner wisdom. You are a teacher and a leader in the deepest sense of the words. You are a beacon for others.”

The Elder card was confirmation I am on the right path by speaking my truth, sharing the stories that aren’t always very comfortable, and stepping forward even when I question myself. Having confidence in my creations is key for me to free myself from holding myself back from happiness, success, and serenity. Much like the crab who tries to escape, I must learn not to let others hold me back from the path I know I’m destined for.

Lately I’ve been around a lot of negativity, gossip, and pessimism- but the only way I’m getting through it is to rise above, share my insight, and continue to do what I know is right. I’ve learned to let things “roll off my back” and to stay in my own lane; although these things aren’t taught growing up (“be a part of the crowd!”), I’m content with being an individual as an adult.

The Elder may look on to the rest of the group, standing tall, alone in their journey, but I do know one thing: if you can’t stand strong and in your own truth, there isn’t any room to grow.

🦌

Categories
empowerment mindful at home mindful at work

Let’s Write Our Own Life Stories

It’s amazing how many inspiring people I’ve had the opportunity to connect with through my writing. Just the other morning I woke up to an email from a lovely girl named Celine.

She had discovered a piece of mine on Thought Catalog that resonated with her own powerful message:

“When did we start to receive raised eyebrows and concerned looks when talking about our hopes and dreams?

How odd is it to live life as we are supposed to? Like, how weird?

All we get is one life to live. Every day we experience is unique and will never come again. Ever. Time goes in only one direction and it starts running out the second we are born. And yet we spend hours and days and years and maybe even a lifetime trying to live up on other’s expectations.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read her email. It was as if I had met a soul sister- and I did! 💞

After watching her video, I sent her an email to let her know how amazing it was how she is spreading this message at such a young age- although I’ve always lived the life I loved, in the back of my mind I still questioned myself.

Despite following my dreams, I allowed society to make me feel inferior or “weird” compared to those who followed a conventional path.

Here’s a little breakdown of my life, post-college:

  • When I was 21, I thought I needed to get a corporate job to be considered successful.
  • When I was 22, I got engaged.
  • When I was 23, I called it off and moved to San Francisco.
  • When I was 25, I thought I needed a relationship that was on the road to marriage.
  • When I was 27, I created a fashion blog to validate myself to others.
  • When I was 29, I moved to New York City and thought I needed to work in fashion and make a lot of money to “be someone.”
  • When I was 31, none of the above “worked” for me and I finally stopped concerning myself with outside forces, moved to Boston, and became honest with both myself and others.

I started Mindful in Style on December 7th, 2016, and it’s been an amazing journey ever since. I learned vulnerability is a gift, and being different is one of the biggest blessings that I never even asked for.

Life is all about following what is in your heart, listening to your intuition, and enjoying the journey.

It’s not about what others think, what you “should” do, or where you’re at in the timeline of life.

There IS no timeline.

Celine has been a wonderful inspiration to both myself and thousands of others on YouTube. I’m grateful there are many other young women who know that outside validation won’t determine your worth or value to the world.

Your value comes from within.

Thank you, Celine, for reaching out to me. You have been a shining light in my life this past week! 💫