Planting The Seed And Letting Go

There is no contesting that an individual set firmly in his or her ways (and honestly, who isn’t after the age of 2!?), will not embrace change unless he or she chooses to. To change requires a process of self-reflection, of acceptance, and of a willingness to walk a new path – but looking in the mirror and choosing to face the truth of what we see isn’t always so easy. We are likely our harshest critic, and also at times guilty of self-delusion…so facing ourselves head on can be a frightening prospect! In this way, admitting that we even NEED a change can prove a challenge, forget someone else insisting we make one. 

It may be that we want to address something small, such as a relatively benign habit (hitting the snooze button more than we’d like to, leaving dishes around, getting sucked into social media until 2am…) or something more significant (wanting to alter a life habit or behavior that no longer serves us.) Whatever it is, those decisions begin internally – when we are ready, willing, and would like a change, that’s when change becomes possible. It will take work, but opening the door begins within.

All that said…planting a seed ought not be abandoned as an exercise in futility! While we may be resistant at first, there is always room to grow. Criticism is tough to handle for most of us – we have an innate need to belong (refer to Maslow for one theory) and therefore also to impress on some level. Most of us aren’t proud of our quirks or common foibles, and when they are engrained over the duration of our lives, they’re much harder to uproot. But, it can be done…and sometimes the repeated lessons or directions helps.

For example, there are things that I have done much of my life that just aren’t helpful any longer. I know they are habits born of some challenging times in my life – they served, at that time, as a way to cope and survive. So once upon a time, perhaps shutting down served me well – it protected me in that moment. But a deer-in-the-headlights way of operating doesn’t work when communication is required…so, I’ve been working on it. Finding one’s voice is a daunting task, especially when you weren’t really aware you had lost it, when you had lost it, or how the hell to get it back! 

For another thing, I’ve identified with, and hinged my worth on brightening others’ days, diffusing or patching fights between people, and putting others first. For a long time I thought that was a really noble quality – I sincerely wanted to fix people’s hardships and be as little of a burden as possible. But…I’ve learned that there are some not great byproducts of that. It isn’t my right or responsibility to help, fix, or otherwise brighten someone’s existence – maybe they don’t damn well want me to! (That was an immensely tough realization for me, though I’ve learned that not taking this on provides me a great deal of freedom.) And not wanting to be in the way can translate to indecisiveness or a selfless approach that leaves someone else wondering what I feel internally.

If it wasn’t pointed out, I suppose I’d just continue along as always – because why fix what isn’t really “broken?” Learning that perhaps my methods of operating aren’t serving me as well anymore, or those around me, that I don’t need certain defenses, that it’s okay to be selfish and forthright has had a positive impact. That doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly rid of habits – I have to work really hard to overcome conditioning (just as we all do!) But it means I have awareness – the seed was planted a while ago, I’ve allowed it to bloom taking the time it needs, and I’ve reached a point where I am able to see that change is possible. And, that I want it. 

So the point is that maybe a behavior or attitude we carry with us worked in past situations – maybe it was a way that we coped, or got things accomplished, or even the reason we survived in the end. But it’s possible that those methods would do well with a shift – time marches on, life changes, the people and places in our lives change… We don’t always need the same tools. If we are willing and able to take a hard look in the mirror, we may find ourselves opening to change and working for it. In some cases, though, we just aren’t ready. Criticism and constructive commentary may need to take place for some time… Maybe we need to hear the message a million times before we can really make sense of it…and only then are we ready to acknowledge a change would serve us well.

It takes time… We aren’t always open to altering ourselves – we’ve managed well enough as long as we’ve been around, right?! But the positive seeds others plant aren’t in vain because we may yet come to a fork in the road when suddenly those seeds find a way to flourish. 

So remember that it’s hard enough to change oneself – asking that of someone who isn’t ready for the message may well fall on deaf ears. Maybe even rightfully so. But…if it’s a message that might bring about positive change for that person, don’t give up on planting the idea. It may take time for that seed to find the daylight, but in time it may grow into something spectacular.

 

The Power Of The Mind

I believe deeply in this sentiment – the ability to remain in the present (and upbeat!) is a high-level skill in a fast-paced and stressful world. But when we can tap into the positive, focus on what we can change (not what we can’t), and when we refrain from projecting into worry and fear, a world of opportunity unfolds.

Be open to changing an outdated attitude. Shift your wavelength to a positive tune, and the magic will unfold before you…

 

Inner Peace

Ever and always some of the best advice on the planet…

Behavior or actions generally come with – what I perceive as – “pre-existing conditions.” There’s:

. . .Past experiences

The stresses of our current lives

Our mood(s) at any given moment, and. . .

Whatever beliefs and conditioning we have had over time.

That’s a LOT. . .

So just as with us, another person’s behavior(s) and actions(s) aren’t because of you, about you, or even your fault.  Most of the time it’s all that other “pre-existing” stuff that gets in the way…

“You have no power over me” is one of the most incredible phrases you will ever have in your arsenal, and it’s one you should say in your mind often.  No one has the right, nor the ability, to control you, your emotions, your thoughts, your attitudes, your behaviors…or your day!  Only YOU have that power, so don’t knowingly give it away by letting their “stuff” creep in.

Definitely easier said than done but it truly is like having peace in your pocket – peace is in your possession at ALL times.

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Be Ridiculous

Once upon a time I worried about what people thought.  I worried about if they’d like what I was wearing, if I looked silly, or if the things I enjoyed weren’t “cool.”  But it didn’t last particularly long, those worrisome spells, because I simply couldn’t mold myself to fit within the confines that others did.

Boxes didn’t work for me, and I made myself sick – in the short time I tried to care – trying to figure out what I was “supposed to” do, and “supposed to” be.  Based on someone else’s definition, by the way.  I was like a dodecahedron trying to fit into a triangular shape – I had so many facets, I’d make a gemologist spin, and the “mold” simply didn’t work.

I feel like that was fortunate for me, though. . .because I learned to just do my thing and be, unabashedly, my curiously off-beat self. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to squeeze yourself in to other shapes.  It’s SO much easier being authentic than having to remember the details of the “lie” that you pretend to live.

The world doesn’t need more conformists…it needs the beautiful variety that all of us bring to life. It’s not only okay to be you, it’s what you, and everyone else deserves.  If someone takes issue, that’s okay – that’s for them to worry about.

Do your thing, and be ridiculous if you want to.  Even if it means wearing obnoxiously-printed leggings, leg warmers a la 1982, and Thundercat shoes at age 38. 

Happiness is the heart of the beholder. ❤

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Take What You Need

I’ve shared these time and time again, but am tempted to print them and post them around just because…

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Some days a tiny, random nudge of encouragement can make h u g e difference.

Share the goodness.

Flashback – 1990’s Runways

The 1990’s had their share of crazy Runway moments…I daresay even more than the last, pop-star laden decade.  I loved the recent Vogue article in which the publication featured “11 Antics-Filled Shows,” as it was an era I remember fondly.  

I was only 12 in 1990 but I definitely leaned to all thing fashion-related.  I was already a pro at doing “magazine tears,” a task, to the chagrin of my glossy publications, I’d later do in feverish spades as a Fashion Director.

The more renegade and goth looks got, probably the better, but I loved ALL of it – my taste level vastly exceeded my personal preferences, very much allowing me to land positions in my 20s with heavy hitters in the footwear sphere.  Hallelujah!

Vogue.com Thierry Mugler Spring 1992

Vogue.com Thierry Mugler Spring 1992

The 90s, though, were incredibly entertaining even for those who didn’t fancy what was “a la mode.” There was no shortage of drama, whimsy, and serious envelope-pushing, even with the most refined at the time.  I feel like people in the Industry were constantly asking what had happened, and how could the runway fashions possibly be translated into “wearable” pieces (as in, ones that we could actually charge money for and sell.)  

Whether you appreciated the avant grade or not, it was hard not be sucked in, reveling in the absurdity of it all.  Celebrities outright embraced outlandish looks, making them casually more mainstream (and you thought the 80’s were rough! 😉 )  

The 90s was an era of fun, intensity, and story-telling (on the part of a designer’s fantastical mind, of course.)  As Vogue says, there was a “certain freedom” on display here – shows were something we always looked forward to, almost with bated breath, because you just never knew what was going to happen.  

Vogue.com John Galliano Spring 2993

Vogue.com John Galliano Spring 2993

When working in the Industry, unrestrained creativity does make our jobs a wee bit more challenging – how do you translate chrome headlights into honest-to-goodness fashion that someone can wear, for example..?  

But then…that was kind of the fun in it – what could you take away?  Was it the mirror shine?  The jagged shaping?  Did it mean we should go bolder with color and lean biker-chic?  There was an art to deciphering the trends, and unwrapping the pearls that would become the “next big thing.”  I really loved that part about it – it was a challenge…and it was fun as hell while we were at it.