More than once, as a teenager, I was mistaken for a boy.
At the time, it was embarrassing … in fact it still is. Perhaps it was because when I was growing up, I never learned how to put on make-up or even how to dress like a girl. Truthfully, I chose not to learn. My mother said I was a “tom-boy” (big surprise), and the whole idea of “style” made me extremely uncomfortable– “terrified” might be a better word–so I avoided it altogether, preferring instead to dress in comfortable often loose clothes. Somehow I got it in my head that style and comfort were mutually exclusive.
I didn’t realize it at the time, and the decades that followed, that I was choosing to hide. Clothes were not about celebrating, they were a way of hiding the feminine part of myself… a part I saw as weak and vulnerable.
That way of viewing the feminine changed. I’ve spent the decades since understanding that Earth needs the feminine to reemerge–and going deeply inward to rediscover this vital part of my own being.. a place of insight, compassion, kindness, wisdom, the power of being instead of doing… enchantment even magic. As I put forth my creative work in the world, I realized that how I look didn’t express who I was anymore—and the people I most need to work with may not see past my LL Bean mocs and my loose clothes.
Even after I realized that I no longer wanted to hide, I struggled. This is because I never learned what looks good on me… Plus, I dislike shopping for so many reasons, most notably for what consumerism is doing to the planet. So–this was the conflict! I wanted to live my purpose… a bigger WHY, and at the same time, I was filled with all these negative thoughts about clothing in
general and how it looked on me specifically. I tried my best to dress in a way that would to serve what I was up to– but felt inauthentic at best and ridiculous at worst.
So when Liana Chaouli “image therapist” spoke at an event I attended a couple of years ago, I was completely fascinated. Instinctively, I knew that this was about much more than clothing. It was about the inner choice to be seen and to get my work out into the world. I knew I needed to address some of the thought patterns that did not serve my purpose… thoughts would pop into my head like “all these women look terrific, and I can’t be like them”
I knew had to from Liana.
And so I did. The whole process was gentle and yet extremely challenging. The greatest gift from doing so is this: I see myself in a new way–beautiful, whimsical, fun and yes, even stylish… my own style!
With Liana’s wisdom, I recoginze my inner patterns–the spiritual, emotional and embodied obstacles. As I suspected, this has been more of an inner journey that an outer one, though the outer journey continues as I sort through my closet and set aside those things that no longer serve me.
The cool thing is that now that I know what I am doing (at least at a basic level), I can experiment with ease and confidence. Ironically, I am saving money and shopping less—rather than wasting time shopping or buying clothes that I never wear. I would have never guessed that style or fashion would be the growth leap I would need to take in order to move forward. I feel grateful and happy and am having fun with this whole process–with a huge a shift in energy!
Here are a couple of before and after photos. Which one do you think better expresses
whimsy, joy and life?
If my story resonates–I would love to hear from you. Please comment below.