May is a month of reflection.
And I say this because not only is my birthday month (Taurus gang stand up) but it’s springtime; it’s the beginning of new things and the weather is warmer and we all begin emerging from winter with the hopeful expectation of whatever is next. And although we're rapidly approaching Fall, it's the fleeting nature of the seasons that makes me sit here and reflect on change.
This year I decided to commit more deeply to myself. To my own style, to my own beauty rituals, to my own growth, because I know I can be hyper-focused on the next goal I’ve set for myself that I overlook the moments I had manifested.
And I sit here typing this feeling very good about what’s next. Sometimes, you have to sit quietly with yourself and just feel excited. Like, seriously. I’ve had more clients, more people discovering my page, more engagement on my posts…and sometimes, it seems like those things are so small (at least it can when you’re trying to grow a business), but growth is growth; even when incremental.
Celebrating ourselves is just as important as investing in ourselves, too.
Shopping is fun for me. It always has been. And it started with my mom, who was (and still is) a master at finding me things that I wanted for less than full price.
Because "price" is an assigned value–it doesn’t really mean anything, except that we’ve agreed to pay it. It isn’t fixed, because there are celebrities walking around in designer and luxury goods that they’ve been given, gifted even, the designer products we save for. And it made me think because when you find these items for less than their market price, does that make them any less designer? Regardless of how I came to own and possess my favorite bags or shoes, does that stop them from making me feel and look good?
Subconsciously, what I didn’t know was that from a young age, I was reframing “expensive” and I was reframing “luxury.” Often, we associate things that are “expensive” with being out of our price range; but why would I ever continue to place an unattainable price on something that I desire? Why would I continue to associate a luxury good with a luxurious lifestyle? Why should I continue to think that anything is out of my reach when abundance is my birthright?
Luxury is attainable, but it’s so important to remember that luxury is relative. We often associate luxury with yachts and diamonds and endangered species riding in the passenger seats of foreign vehicles but luxury is so much more than that. Luxury goes so much deeper than that, and I often share with clients that we must become clear on the things in our lives that elevate our experience.
What in our life is priceless?
Luxury is a vibration. It’s an energetic state of being. It’s a belief system. Luxury is based on our thought patterns, primarily about ourselves.
Mark Twain once said, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
And I often relate this to our clothes–because clothes are an extension of us. What we don’t realize is that there are so many people who don’t feel comfortable in their clothing and often find themselves struggling to find items that fit their bodies and often feel like they’re excluded from the labels and designers they wish to indulge in. And what we don’t realize is that when we struggle to find things that make us feel good, we don’t. We carry that inability to feel good within ourselves and show up not feeling good when we’re around others in spaces where feeling good about ourselves matters more to us and our inability to do so only makes us feel worse.
Clothing has the power to influence behavior.
It’s a science that's deeply rooted in our psychology; and what the mind can conceive, it achieves–therefore, it is very easy to think thoughts of unworthiness when we hate our clothing.
Therefore, it is very easy to associate ourselves with more conditions that make us feel unworthy.
Think about it.
What we believe as truth will always become true, and we have conditioned ourselvelves to believe certain things about ourselves. Most spiritual teachings remind us of our habits, and how anything, over time, becomes.
We must be very diligent to understand how our thoughts impact our becoming.
It’s a cycle–change your mind and you have no choice but to change your circumstances. Now, also recognize the adverse–change your circumstances and let that assist the practice of changing your mind.
Discover peace and persist in making this a habit.
Not too long ago, I was hired to speak to a youth group; at an event for a group of young women in high school and their mothers. My task was simple—to literally share with them what I did. As a stylist and wardrobe consultant who also works at The Estée Lauder Companies, I wanted to stress that the things I went to college for (aka Law and Public Policy), were absolutely not at all part of the career I had chosen for myself. And in high school, when the world is seemingly on your shoulders, I could empathize with the girls about the pressure they were under in high-achieving institutions when your main focus is to get A’s and get into college.
But, I digress.
What I wanted to share with the young women, was that while I hadn’t gone to school for any of the things I was really doing in my career, at the same time, I had. I told them that I grew up having gone to private school my entire life and feeling very much when I went to college, that I had no sense of style. Why? Because I was always in a uniform. I had gone from complete conformity to authentic expression—complete autonomy and had to find myself—and my sense of style—on a campus that was so vibrant and colorful and representative of all things culturally significant to me. Fast-forward a few years and I was making DCFW an annual occurrence with my friends. I was not only meeting up-and-coming designers in The District but I was fully recognizing why our views of ourselves matter. I had grown to realize that the way we carry ourselves is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves; that confidence is practiced; that personal style must be discovered. I went on this journey, I realize, so I can help others and realized two things that became the foundation of ClothesPetals:
i. Style is a direct reflection of self
ii. Representation matters
These are passions of mine because the ability to see and express ourselves in all of our glory; experiencing ourselves completely and authentically aligned in our magic is priceless. It’s an experience I wish upon everyone; to look and feel as great as possible; because when we look our best imagine what we’ll experience based on feeling alone.
I love shopping because I love gifts; I love giving. It’s a priceless gift to give, especially to the people I love. It’s a special moment to see someone receive something that they wanted, and I believe the shopping experience should always feel like that. It should always feel like a moment of self-indulgence; a gift to oneself.
There should be no stress or strain.
That ease should be universal, and the fact that it isn’t is a problem. But, the fact that it isn’t should be the first reason why this should never discourage you. There are over 7 Billion bodies in the world. We should assume that sizes will cover many, but not all. We should assume that shopping could pose a challenge. But, we should also assume that there are experts in everything, and sometimes all you need is a bit of help.
Indulge. Take pleasure in yourself. Feel very good about shifting your focus; feel great about making yourself your priority. I think it’s worth it.
In the long run, it’s so very worth it.
Just ask me.
Just ask your new stylist.