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
If my story resonates--I would love to hear from you. Please comment below.
Also, for just 99 cents, you can pick up a copy of Liana's kindle book on Amazon
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