Spring is about abundance and creativity. I am dedicating this article to creative thinking. Allow yourself to ask questions and get out of any ruts you may have found yourself in.
I love spring – The weather is warmer, the sky brighter, and the garden more colourful and fragrant. This is also the time to take a fresh look at the wardrobe (and your life). Clean and put away the winter woollies, assess your needs for the next few months and see what needs to be thrown out, refreshed and replaced.
I have a growing passion for being responsible when bringing stuff into my life. These are the criteria I look to address:
- Is it made from natural products and non-toxic on or in my body (it’s the only one I have!), not environmentally harmful in its production or use?
- It didn’t exploit under-privileged people to produce it?
- It does not provide profits to a company that pays millions to Executives rather than supporting their staff and making the product affordable?
This is a tall order, I know. I may not always get it right, but at least if I can ask these questions it will help the decision making process. I know many people these days are drowning in choice. We are in the age of information overload. If we can bring our purchasing decisions back to…
- Do I really need it?
- Can I get a local product of good quality?
- Is it produced responsibly and/or is it biodegradable/recyclable?
…then I believe we will all be happier and healthier.
The Salvos stores have a promotion. It challenges us to not buy anything new in October. It is about sustainable shopping, saving money and reducing the impact on our environment all at the same time. I pass on this challenge to you! Apart from consumable toiletries and groceries, if you need or want anything, consider buying second-hand or bartering. It is a great way to get your mind thinking creatively about what you have, what you need, and how you can live your life with a lighter carbon footprint. Go on! I dare you! http://www.nothingnew.com.au/whatisit.html
Continuing the creative thinking theme, let us take a look at how to refresh your Personal Style expression.
Personal Style is not something you discover, put in place, and live by for the rest of your life. It is an expression of who you are now and what you stand for. Therefore, your personal style will change to a varying degree over time. Personal Style is a combination of your beliefs, values, personality, physical characteristics, lifestyle and goals. Whenever you are feeling frustrated with or uninspired by the way you look, it can mean your personal expression and lifestyle needs are not in sync. If you have ever stood in front of the wardrobe and thought ‘I have nothing to wear!’ this is evidence that you need to make some changes.
In addition to providing physical protection from the elements, what you put on your body should make you feel confident, support your goals, and communicate your value to the world. Everybody’s circumstances and goals are different. This is where the confusion can be when determining your own style expression. If you follow somebody else’s style exactly, it may be expressing who they are, not who you are.
This is where creativity comes in. If you find a style expression that you like, try it out. See if it fits your values, personality, body shape, lifestyle etc. If it does not work completely, get creative and think how you may be able to modify the style expression. Once you get familiar with this creative process, you can easily do it every time you see a new trend emerge, to decide if you will follow the trend as it is or if you can employ one element of it to suit you. The elements you have to play with are colour, fabric, shape, size, accessories, and quality. There are a number of style categories to help you focus on a theme, such as classic, romantic, elegant, dramatic, creative, and natural. You may have a preference for one or more, but it can also be situation specific. For example, you may wish to maintain a Classic style for work but prefer Romantic or Dramatic socially, especially if you are single. So do not try to pigeon hole yourself for all circumstances. Think about the environment, your intention, your body and then modify a suitable style for your own needs. The key is to – assess, modify, adapt.
I had a client recently who was struggling with communicating her warm, engaging personal expression in a conservative business environment. She fell into the common trap of sticking to black, and was compromising on fabric quality because she couldn’t find anything that fitted well. I suggested that a chocolate brown colour would still maintain the professional authority of a dark colour yet be more authentic to her personal style and colouring. I also recommended she have a suit made in a good quality wool fabric so she could experience what it is like to own and wear a great quality and good looking suit that fits perfectly. Everybody is entitled to that experience. Just by making these suggestions, new possibilities opened up for her that had not been considered before.If something is not working for you. Think: ‘how can I change it to work for me?’
Life is about experimentation, modification and transformation. Get creative, and for goodness sake have some fun. If we only have one life on this planet and in this body, let’s enjoy the journey. If you have any specific challenges or needs, please do let me know. I may share the challenge (confidentially if you wish) on my blog along with some solutions, as I’m sure there are others with a similar issue who would appreciate knowing they are not alone.
Have a great spring! Don’t hesitate to connect if you have a question.