The Hidden Gift in Heartbreak

I was in the passenger seat riding back from a quick road trip to Charlottesville.

We went to a drive-through to get some food.

Typically I would have grabbed a fry or two out of the bag but my mind was swirling.

He just told me his family was coming into town for his birthday.  A family that I had met, I knew, but there was no invitation to join him. 

I was replaying the past few months in my head.  The good days, the okay days and the really sucky days. 

He told me a couple weeks earlier that he didn’t want to get married or have children.  I knew this wasn’t true. 

He didn’t want this with ME. 

Yet we kept seeing each other. 

The tangled web I had woven together that tied me to him for years was so strong and sticky. 

It wasn’t because I thought we were so good together, that I was so happy when I was with him. 

Nope, it turned into an addiction. 

It hit me right there with the fast food smells penetrating my clothes.

I deserve better than this.  This addiction needed to stop.

For years, I would tolerate the back and forth, the cat and mouse game we played but finally a higher voice was kicking in.

A voice that was stronger than any I have ever heard before.  It was a calm, powerful knowing that I was done of the yo-yoing.

He dropped me off at my house.  We hugged goodbye.  I think we both knew it was goodbye forever but we didn’t say a word.

I got off the emotional roller coaster ride I knowingly put myself on for years. 

I never saw him again.  And I was okay with that. 

Most people would think this was another cliché story of a girl meets guy, girl gets hurt by guy, girl thinks all men are jerks but this isn’t that story.

This man gave me the most beautiful gift. 

He was the catalyst in my journey to start discovering more about love, communication, emotions, and most importantly MYSELF.

For that, I’m so thankful. 

I recently met a man while out with girlfriends one night who felt the need to apologize to me for all the crappy things men do to women.

I immediately told him that he didn’t need to apologize. 

He was confused and almost a bit defensive.  He just wanted me to accept his apology for his entire gender even though I just met him.

I explained to him that I alone decide if I’m going to allow someone permission to hurt me. 

He again was confused and defensive.

I told him again, “No one can hurt me without my consent.” 

Again, bafflement.

I explained the story I just told you.  How I knowingly put myself on a crazy amusement ride with a man. 

Yeah, I got hurt emotionally but I take responsibility for it.  (BTW, I’m in no way making light of situations where someone truly is a victim of emotional or physical abusive.)

I didn’t have the emotional maturity back then to see the red flags as deal breakers.  Instead, I choose to ignore then.

I wasn’t a victim to this man.  We were both unemotionally available. 

If I was so emotionally available then why would I be attracted to someone unavailable?

I didn’t condone his behavior at all times but he wasn’t a bad person.  I know deeply that he has a good soul in him.  I honestly believe he was doing the best he could with where he was at in his emotional development. 

And you know what, I also know I hurt men in the past with my emotional patterns.

Was I so bad, wrong and horrible for doing the best I could do in the past too?

No. 

The same for you. 

So I explained to this man who so badly wanted to apologize that every disappointment, hurt, crying our eyes out experience is an opportunity.

Yet most of the time, it is so easier to blame the other person.  To say how unavailable they are, that they are a weirdo, they are crazy but we miss the beautifully wrapped present that is right in front of our face.

The gift to look within ourselves to see what this hurt is about. 

Instead of asking for a relationship, ask for how you can prepare to be in that soulful relationship you desire. 

If you had a goal of running a half-marathon, you would practice, buy a good pair of running shoes, possibly join a running group.  You would readjust if you weren’t seeing progress or you had an injury but you would keep on going as long as your body was capable.

The same with relationships. 

Learn, practice (going out on dates, meeting new people), receive feedback, work with a coach and readjust as necessary. 

A relationship is like training for a sport, or learning how to cook or any other hobby you pick up. 

You need to learn about it and practice. 

As a society we think we need to immediately know how to do relationships well. 

But you know what, most of us never learned how to. 

How many of us took classes in high school or college on how to create and maintain a healthy relationship be it with a romantic partner, friends, coworkers, ourselves or family members? 

My number is a big fat 0!

Dr. Carl Jung once said that the best time to work on a relationship is before you get in one. 

What he means is that you can only work on your side of the street.  When you get in a relationship, you are working with both your side and someone else’s. 

Isn’t it a whole lot easier to work on tidying up your side before you start integrating with someone else’s stuff? 

And let me tell you, the relationship goes smoother after you tidy up your side too.

If your heart is broken, if you feel you keep meeting guys who won’t commit, or you don’t meet any guys at all then please know you are in a very beautiful place. 

Your soul is guiding you to learn more about yourself and love if you are willing to take that leap. 

It takes great moral courage to look within yourself but darling, love is so worth it on the other end. 

What are you waiting for?  Take the leap and start the journey!

P.S.  If you would like some additional inspiration then listen to this song and remember you are exactly where you need to be.  BTW, this song is one of my favorites and it has helped me threw some dark nights of the soul.

Song: Exactly ~ Author: Amy Steinberg

A Cautionary Style Tale about Wearing Summer Clothes

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A few years back, I was sitting in an all-hands meeting with about 40 of my coworkers. 

The room was divided into several rows of lined up chairs in order to accommodate the large group.

I was sitting in the back row listening to all the leads discuss their team’s accomplishments for the month.

One particular lead had my style radar on full alert when she stood up.

She was standing in the front row, her back was toward me so I had a full view of her dress getting stuck in her raie des fesses (aka, her derrière cleavage). 

The entire time she was speaking 30 of her coworkers including me got a good view of this happening.

In a professional or non-professional situation, this has to be mortifying!!!! 

This scenario could have been completely prevented if the right undergarments were worn. 

With the warmer summer months ahead of us, many of us start wearing lighter colored and lighter weight fabrics to help us stay cool.   

With this change, we also need to be conscious of the undergarments we are wearing under these clothes to ensure we don’t have a mishap. 

BTW, this post is written for women but even guys have to be concerned with this too. 

A couple years back, I went on a date with a man I recently met.  We were sitting outside talking and getting to know one another. 

He was wearing light-colored khaki, almost cream-colored pants.  He got up at one point and I noticed he was wearing plaid boxers underneath those pants. 

Eek!!!  The poor guy! 

In his house, those boxers must not have been visible but in the light of the sun, it was so very obvious. 

So here are some tips to ensure one of these scenarios doesn’t happen to you this summer:

1.  Wear a slip

A slip isn’t always needed especially for those dresses that have a built-in slip in them or for pencil-type skirts. 

A good rule of thumb is if the dress fabric is thin then you should most likely wear a slip. 

Don’t know if a dress has thin fabric? 

Hold up the fabric with your hand behind it in the direct sunlight. 

Can you see your hand? 

If yes, then people are going to see your flesh when you go out in the direct sunlight. 

Also, a slip would have prevented my coworker’s dress from hiking up in her derrière cleavage because her dress was made of thin, jersey-like fabric.

2.  Wear Flesh Colored Undergarments

When wearing light colored dresses, tops, skirts, pants and jeans, you definitely need to be wearing underwear that blends into the color of your skin. 

For example, you might think your white jeans are thick and won’t show your heart-shaped underwear but trust me, someone will be able to see those pretty hearts at some point during your day. 

3.  Thongs aren’t always the best solution

I’ve seen countless times; a woman is wearing a form-fitting dress that she looks amazing in. 

The only issue is that she wore a thong with the dress thinking this was the best solution to have no visible panty lines.

The problem is that since her dress is form-fitting, we not only see her figure but also the outline of her thong in the back and in the front. 

Sometimes, a thong is the perfect answer for a particular outfit but sometimes you need to have some form of shapewear.

Now you might be groaning at this point and I get it!

Yet today’s shapewear isn’t the shapewear of the past.  There are many different types of compression for those who need barely none to types that suck everything in. 

I personally love the ones made by Maidenform that you can get fairly inexpensively at Amazon or Kohls.  In my personal experience, they have held up way better than my more expensive, well-known compression brands. 

The point of wearing shapewear in this type of situation is to ensure seamless lines and a smooth fit for your clothes to glide onto. 

This is the best way to prevent unsightly thong lines and to let your clothes and figure be in the spotlight not your underwear. 

4.  Checklist

To ensure no mishaps this summer, here is a quick checklist of items you should have in your undergarment drawer:

  1. Flesh Colored Bra
  2. Flesh Colored Thong
  3. Flesh Colored Seamless Panty
  4. Flesh Colored Shapewear (in your desired compression)
  5. Shorter Slip
  6. Longer Slip (if you wear longer skirts, dresses and maxis)

 

 
 

Style Tip: Wearing a Driving Shoe

I'm starting a new "Style Tip" series where I'll be giving you quick ideas on how to enhance your personal style and wardrobe.  

This week, I want to talk about how you can protect your shoe investments.  If you are like me, if you find a comfortable yet stylish pair of shoes then those shoes are precious to you.  You will do everything you can to lengthen the longevity of them.  

One way you can ensure these shoes continue looking great is by wearing a different shoe when driving your car.  

A while back, I was in a client's closet and several pair of her work shoes were all scuffed up in the back.  I knew right then and there, these particular shoes were getting rubbed on the floor mat of her car.  She was commuting long distances and these shoes were showing it.  

I personally have experienced the same thing as I used to drive about 50-80 miles a day while working and going to graduate school.  My shoes were taking a beating.  

Here is one half of my driving shoes.  They are a super comfortable pair of athletic flats I got for a great price at Nordstrom Rack.  I tend to wear my driving shoe only on my right foot as that's the shoe that takes a beating.  

Here is one half of my driving shoes.  They are a super comfortable pair of athletic flats I got for a great price at Nordstrom Rack.  I tend to wear my driving shoe only on my right foot as that's the shoe that takes a beating.  

So to save those precious shoes, designate one pair of shoes, particularly an athletic type shoe or flat as your "driving shoe."  Let these shoes take a beating on the floor mat to save your most desired shoes.  BTW, I don't recommend flip flops being used as your driving shoe.

Also, my driving shoes have come in handy when the shoes I'm wearing have started to hurt or rub on my skin.  Basically, it is always a good idea to have another pair of shoes in the car for both comfort and protecting your other shoes.  

 

Why you can't postpone investing in your style anymore (Part 3)

This is part 3 of my blog series entitled, “Why you can’t postpone investing in your style anymore.”

In Part 1, I discussed why excuses typically equate to deeper fears around spending time and money on your style, image and appearance.

In Part 2, I explain the importance of your personal style because it creates a visual signature or a personal brand for yourself.  Marrying your image with your goals can be a powerful tool in helping you carrying out and reaching those milestones. 

In this post, I want to discuss how I used style as a tool to assist me during a time in my life that I was at an all-time low in my confidence and self-esteem. 

So let’s jump back to October 2014.  At this point, I started working with a Naturopathic doctor as a next step in helping me with my ongoing skin issues.  I’ve always struggled with breakouts but for years I was able to keep them at bay. 

In the beginning of 2014, I went gluten-free (I was already dairy-free) which I thought would ensure me clear, perfect skin but instead I kept getting occasional breakouts.  They were also getting larger and more painful. 

My amazing Naturopathic doctor ran me through some tests and we decided to work on healing my gut as a first approach.  So I had to cut out the foods that were causing inflammation in my body thus resulting in the acne. 

At the same time, the pain and angst I had over living in the suburbs and in the job I had for 10+ years became unbearable.  I decided on a 2-step approach to move, sell my house and then look for a new job. 

This 2-step approach seemed simple enough but it caused an extreme amount of stress on my mind and body.  Not to mention, the stress I was putting on myself to ensure I wasn’t eating anything on my “no-no” list of foods. 

BTW, this included black pepper, eggs, chili powder and sunflower seeds.  Eating out became extremely difficult.

I moved closer to the city and sold my house with no major issues about two months later.  At this point, my skin seemed to be getting slightly worse and I was rapidly losing weight. 

Even my tight gym pants were hanging on me.  I assumed it was because I was no longer eating a jar of almond butter each week but nope, it was stressed induced.

I hired a painter to paint my rental who up to this point had always seen me with make-up on. 

He came by the house one day when I opened the door with no make-up on and he blurted out, “What’s wrong with your face!!??” 

Ugh!  The magical words every woman wants to hear.

Said no one EVER. 

As I started living in my new home closer to the city, my skin perpetually got worse and worse.  It no longer was breakouts of my chin, it was my forehead, the sides of my face, my chest and my back. 

I wish I had the courage to show you pictures but instead I can give you a visual. 

Imagine seeing 30-40 cystic type sores all over you back.  Then imagine seeing about 20 of those sores on your chest and shoulders.  Wearing a bra was sometimes a painful ordeal.

Bottom line, I felt disgusted to be in my own skin.  Even if I couldn’t see the sores, I could feel them.  They were constantly letting me know they were there.  And anything I did to try to heal them was met with failure.

I was scrambling, seeing dermatologists telling me to go Accutane, an acupuncturist who was telling me I had too much heat in my stomach, my Naturopath testing my hormones, my genes, my gut and other tests that I frankly can’t explain. 

I tried everything under the sun from conventional Western medicine to holistic approaches. 

Most of the time, I wanted to run away and be left alone from any peering eyes seeing my skin.  Yet I love connecting and being around people so that wasn’t a viable option. 

I also continued to have my Phase 2 goal...get a new job. 

I also was dating more than I had ever since moving closer to the city. 

I felt like absolute crap yet I still wanted to interact with people so I needed to find a way to have the courage to do that. 

This is where my image and style became a lifesaver for me.  I used my hair, make-up and my clothes to help me have an armor to face the world. 

BTW, I eventually discovered I was renting a house with a 30-year old HVAC system that was infested with mold.  I moved out (talk about more stress!) and was able to start healing my skin slowly. 

Again, my image and style was my most successful coping mechanism tool when I was struggling to get out of the house every morning.  If you are open to it, allow your style to guide you in feeling better yourself too.  Here are 3 steps to get you started:

1.  Prep

This step is all about prepping your closet so you can work with it in the present moment. You want to consign, donate, throw out or just hide the clothes that aren’t working for you in the present moment.  If you don’t feel good in them, they don’t project the image you want express then they need to go. 

Think about it like this. 

You are going to make homemade marinara sauce from scratch.  On your kitchen counter, you’ll probably lay out your cutting board, knife, dutch oven, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil and maybe a few other ingredients. 

You aren’t going to also bring out the butter, ice cream, raisins, milk, roasting pan and cilantro.  No, you are going to keep those ingredients stored away in the fridge and cabinets.  These ingredients will only distract you and get in your way from your goal...making homemade marinara sauce.

The same goes for your wardrobe. 

This was a crucial step for me in my process.  I was getting constantly frustrated and depressed looking at the clothes I could not wear.  Most of my items didn’t fit me anymore or they were too low cut in the front or back. 

My goal was to not expose my sores on my back and chest so I needed high neck and high back dresses, blouses and tops. 

So I bought a huge container (see picture below) from Target and stuffed everything I couldn’t wear in it.  I knew I would gain the weight back and my skin would heal so I wasn’t ready to part with specific items. 

By hiding them, I felt increasingly better about my clothes. 

No more being teased by what I could not wear. 

Even though I had less clothes, I felt more abundant since all the items I kept, I knew I felt great in and they fit. 

2. Highlight

What physical feature or features do you love about yourself? 

Now play those features up!

For example, you love the color of your eyes.  You can enhance your eye color through wearing colors that enhance your natural beauty.  BTW, wearing color near your face that matches your eye color is a sure-fire way to feel radiant and make your skin and eyes glow. 

Or maybe you love your shoulders.  A major trend right now are cutout shoulders and off-the-shoulder tops and dresses.  Definitely take advantage of this trend and show those shoulders off to the world.  

For me, my body was slimmer during this time so I liked how small my waist was.  The fuller skirt silhouette that looked kind of off on me prior to the weight lost now looked fantastic on me. 

So I purchased quite a few fit and flare skirts and dresses to help me highlight what I liked versus focusing on what I didn’t like. 

Again, I had a lot that I didn’t like about my body then but my attention needed to be directed to the few things I did like. 

This is where learning about your unique body shape is super important in understanding how to highlight it in a way that makes you feel confident and beautiful.

Here are several selfies I took of myself during this time.  You’ll notice in three of the photos I’m showing off my waist through the fit and flare or the belt while also keeping my chest and back covered. 

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I’ve always liked my hair so I played it up too but growing it longer than I ever had and got bangs to frame my eyes. 

I noticed if I played up my eyes then the blemishes on my skin looked less noticeable. 

Strategically, the long hair and bangs were used to disguise and camouflage what I didn’t like so it was a win-win.

3.  Prep + Highlight = Confidence

By cleaning out what is not serving you plus highlighting what you love about your body can create confidence where there was once none. 

Even though I wanted to live in a cave until my skin cleared, I knew I needed to face the world as I still wanted to date and interview for new positions. 

I cleared out my closet, bought some new pieces that highlighted my best features which all created more self-confidence in myself. 

Yeah, I still felt crappy about my skin but at least I felt good when I had my clothes on.  These clothes turned into my armor to help me face the world.   

Here is me leaving for my first interview in 10+ years. 

I invested in a new suit that represented the way I felt about my skills.  I wanted the outside to reflect the inside.  Even when I had moments of doubt, I would remind myself what qualities this woman wearing this suit possessed.  I got two job offers in a short period of time and started my new career adventure. 

Remember, clothes are your friend so start exploring how they can be used to radiate your natural beauty versus distract from it. 

So what features do you love about yourself?  Send me an email at jane@janeocoaching.com to let me know. Looking forward to reading your responses.

 

Why you can't postpone investing in your style anymore (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of my blog series about why you can’t prolong investing in your style anymore.  You can access Part 1 here

Did you know you could use your style to propel you in reaching your goals and creating the life you desire? 

Yep, that’s how powerful your style is!   

Want to meet the love of your life? 

Want to change careers? 

Want to get a promotion? 

Want to meet new friends? 

Want to increase the amount of money you are making in your business? 

Have another badass goal that I didn’t list? 

Well your image and style can be used as a tool to help you get there.

Can you imagine how much freedom you would have to be yourself when you aren’t fighting with your clothes every morning? 

If you are currently dating, imagine picking out an outfit for a date as something that is enjoyable.  When you walk out of your front door, you don’t second guess your appearance as you know you look HOT.  You feel confident, beautiful, and you let your true essence shine when meeting someone new.

Or imagine an upcoming job interview where you get to focus solely on prepping and researching the company beforehand.  You have the professional attire to walk into any interview confident in your image and skillset.

Your clothes are a tool to help you feel more self-assured about yourself.  Haven’t you had at least one experience where you absolutely loved an outfit you wore? 

While wearing that outfit, didn’t life feel a bit more enjoyable, bright, and cheerful?  You felt great about yourself like you could conquer the world (if you had to).

The hard truth is, we have to wear clothes. There are exceptions to this but I’m about 99.9% certain that you don’t live on a nudist colony. 

So let’s make friends with our clothes and our appearance.  Let’s have a “I love this outfit” day every day or at least the majority of the time. 

You can start this friendship by examining what I call your visual signature.

Defining Your Visual Signature

The way you are perceived visually through your external appearance is deeply important.  Your external appearance speaks for you even when you aren’t verbally speaking. 

I’ll repeat that again.

Your external appearance speaks for you even when you aren’t verbally speaking.

You are communicating to the world anytime you put something on your body.

You can use your style as a way to distinguish yourself and allow your uniqueness to shine.  I like to call this your visual signature. 

Just like your handwritten signature is uniquely yours.  You can create a visual signature with your style that is solely yours. 

To help you start defining your visual signature, ask yourself, “How do I want to show up visually in the world based on my values?  What do I want my clothes to represent?” 

For example, if you value creativity then do you represent that value through your clothing? 

Personally, a few of my values are love, growth, and beauty. 

I represent love by showing adoration and self-love for myself by dressing as my best self. 

I represent growth by pushing myself a bit with trying different silhouettes, fabrics, colors, and accessories.  I never want to feel stagnant in my appearance.  BTW, I just bought a bright orange jumpsuit that is definitely pushing the growth value in me. 

I represent beauty by wearing things that are appealing to my eye with fabrics that feel great on my skin.

You personally get to choose how you want to visually show up in the world through these values.  Not sure what are your values?  Click here to see a list.

Ego and Our Appearance

To go back to the Part 1 post, one of the strongest excuses my friend gave as to why she can’t be bothered with her image is because, “Clothes aren’t important, what’s inside is what counts.” 

YES, YES, YES!!!!

She is totally correct.

Yet the hard truth is as human beings we make judgments on who a person is by their appearance. 

Don’t think you do that?  Watch and listen to your mind the next time you are walking down a busy street.  You’ll be surprised.

We aren’t wrong or bad for making these judgements so please don’t beat yourself up for thinking these thoughts.  It is the way our psyche is made-up and is actually a sign of a healthy mind. 

We all have an ego and this part of our psyche ensures we stay away from danger.  For example, you are walking in the jungle when a lion appears.  Your ego wants you to stay alive so it will instruct you to take actions to make sure you live. 

Yet most of us aren’t gallivanting in the jungle on a day-to-day basis.  Instead, we are navigating the wilderness of relationships with other people and allowing our ego to alert us who is a friend and who is a foe. 

Our sweet ego wants to keep us comfy and safe and it will do everything in its power to keep us away from perceived danger.

There are highly enlightened people who are able to suspend these ego judgements to see someone’s true spirit but the majority of us are allowing our ego to run on autopilot. 

We are making assumptions on a day-to-day basis on someone’s values and morals based on their appearance. 

Due to this, we need to play the game in a sense.  We want to show up visually to communicate our essence and values, versus others getting distracted by our appearance. 

We want to define our visual signature to help others clearly hear and see who we are. 

How to Define Your Visual Signature?

To summarize, our image speaks for us and it speaks volumes.  People make quick assumptions on who we are as a person based on our image and appearance.

Once you know what you value, you can represent that through your external appearance. 

Thus, your appearance will be communicating to the world who you are and it will assist you in reaching your goals. 

Your message, your goals, and your appearance will be consistent and that consistency creates trust in yourself and in other people. 

So to get started in defining your visual signature:

  1. Examine the fears that are holding you back from stepping into your best self.  What’s the worst thing that could happen if you started dressing better?
  2. Define your visual signature by determining your values. 
  3. How would someone with those values dress?  Look for examples of other people you think possess those values and see how they represent themselves.  Hint: Pinterest is a good place to start.
  4. Look at your goals and imagine how a person who has reached those goals would dress themselves on a day-to-day basis in various functions and events.    
  5. Start creating that style for yourself. 

One last thing...

We are the artist in our own life and we get to create a beautiful masterpiece within ourselves with our image and style.  Life is too short to not feel beautiful and radiant daily.  Give yourself that gift!

I’m super curious to hear your core values.  Send me an email at jane@janeocoaching.com and let me know what they are.

BTW, be on the lookout for Part 3.  I’m going to share how I personally used my style as a tool during a time in my life that I absolutely felt like crap about myself.  Fashion was a lifesaver at a time when I needed it the most.

Why you can't postpone investing in your style anymore (Part 1)

“I don’t have time. 

I want to lose 15 pounds first. 

Work is so busy, again, I don’t have the time. 

Looking for new clothes is stressful and I don’t want to put myself through that again. 

Nothing looks good on me even when I do shop.

Clothes aren’t important, what’s inside of me is what counts. 

I’ll just make sure I control what kind of dates I go on in the future so I have something to wear.”

This is the highlight reel of the reasons my wonderful friend is unable to invest in her style right now. 

But let me back up a little to tell you how this conversation started. 

We met up for dinner, catching up with one another when she was excitedly telling me about the guy she had been going on a couple dates with. 

This man she was seeing planned a third date that was different than the previous dates by making dinner reservations on a Saturday night at a fairly upscale restaurant in the city.  Up to this point, their dates had been casual…a quick happy hour after work and a hike.

I was so thrilled for her, this guy seemed great, they were really connecting until she told me she canceled the third date. 

My heart broke a little when she admitted this. 

I was confused so I asked, “WHHHHYYYYY???!!!!”   

This is when my sweet, dear friend explained she freaked out because she didn’t have anything in her closet that she felt comfortable wearing on this fancier date. 

She balked and canceled. 

The thought of trying to find something to wear at the last moment was too overwhelming so it was easier this way. 

So I asked her, “Don’t you want to feel amazing in your body and clothes right now?  Where you can easily go into your closet, pick something out in a few minutes and off you go feeling fabulous.  Isn’t the anxiety of getting dressed enough for you to want to change?” 

“Of course I do but…..”

She paused for a moment and then rattled off the excuses I highlighted in the beginning of this post. 

Why excuses are just excuses

My mission is to never have anyone cancel or not attend an event because they have nothing to wear.  You can RSVP no or decline for other reasons but not having something to wear should never be one of them. 

If you can relate to my friend and the reasons why she can’t invest in her style right now then ask yourself the following two questions:

  • What do you think will happen if you start dressing better? 
  • What downfalls are there if you start dressing more like your true self? 

Typically, I see women are resistant to upgrading their wardrobe not because of the reasons my friend listed but because there is an underlining fear around stepping into the best version of themselves.  They fear some kind of consequence for devoting money and time on themselves. 

For example, their family may view them as selfish, they may start being noticed by more people and it is easier to blend in, they won’t feel like themselves deep down, men might get the wrong impression about them while dating, they might find a relationship and get the promotion, ahh! 

The power of truly transforming your image is to bring these fears to the surface so you can work with them versus trying to run away from them. 

Whatever we run away from we tend to create in our life. 

What you resist, persists.
— C.G. Jung

So if you resist investing in your style, you absolutely refuse to look within yourself as to why you are holding back then your image and appearance will remain a thorn in your side. 

Taking the reins of the fear is what will provide a true transformation in your style which actually will propel positive changes in all aspects of your life.  Sounds amazing, right?   

When you are authentically showing up in the world as your true self both externally and internally then you are a woman on fire. 

You are magnetic and the world around you reflects that magnetism back to you. 

So are you ready to step into a life like this?

If you are still not convinced why your image is important then read Part 2 of this series.  I might just convince you once and for all :)

How to Find the Perfect Knee High Boots for YOU

Last year a close girlfriend came to me in utter exhaustion over trying to find a pair of knee high boots.  She had been endlessly searching and trying on boots for OVER 3 YEARS but could not find a pair. 

Majority of the times, she could find a pair of boots that fit her foot but she couldn’t get them to zip up past her calves.  If she did find a pair that would fit her calves, they weren’t quite her style so she had to pass on them or they felt uncomfortable on her foot.  It was an endless cycle of “never quite right!” 

She was ready to throw in the towel and relinquish to the fact that knee high boots weren’t for her.  Thankfully her trusty friend and image coach came to her rescue to pass along the secret to rocking knee high boots regardless of your leg or calf size. 

I’m happy to report that my friend is now a proud owner of knee high boots that she feels absolutely gorgeous in and sports them all over town once she knew the secret to finding her perfect pair of boots.

I’m here to pass along this amazing secret to you too.  BTW, make sure to share this secret with your closest girlfriends so no other woman has to go through the same shopping anguish.  So without further ado, the secret is to:

1.  Know your Leg Measurements

You must know your own leg measurements to ensure a proper fit.  There are two main leg measurements you will need to take:  Calf Circumference and Shaft Height. 

A.  Calf Circumference:  Sit in a chair and place your foot flat on the floor so you have a 90 degree bend in your leg. Take a soft measuring tape (you can get one here) and measure the circumference of the widest part of your calf.  Now you have your calf circumference!

Good Rule of Thumb:  Look for boots that are about .25 inch to 1 inch greater than your calf circumference to ensure a comfortable fit with pants.  For example, if your calf is 15 inches then look for boots that are between 15.25 and 16 inches.  If you look for boots that are 15 inches, make sure they have a little stretch or give to them. If you aren't going to wear the boots with pants then look for a boot that is equal to your calf circumference measurement.

B.  Shaft Height:  While still sitting in the chair with the 90 degree bend, take that same soft measuring tape and place it to the right or left on the bottom of your foot.  Basically, the measuring tape should hit the floor.  Measure from the bottom of your foot up to where your knee begins.  Now you have your shaft height measurement!

Good Rule of Thumb:  When looking at boots, you can obtain the shaft height and compare that height to where it will hit on your leg.  If you are looking for a true knee high boot then you may want to stay away from shaft heights that are greater than your own leg shaft height. 

For example, if you are petite, you don’t want a knee high boot where the shaft height is greater than your lower leg; otherwise, the boot will constantly rub on the back of your knee (obviously this is a different story when looking for a pair of over-the-knee boots). 

You can click here to find more information on how to take your measurements.

2.  Use your Measurements to Shop

A.  Filter:  While shopping online at stores such as Zappos and Nordstrom, use the filtering options to locate boots that match your measurements.  These stores and many others out there list Calf Circumference and Shaft Height as filtering options. 

For online stores such as DSW, you will need to click on each individual boot to obtain the measurements.  It will require a bit more time but you will ensure a more proper fit if you decide to order them. 

B.  In Stores:  While shopping in stores, provide your measurements to a sales associate to help you select the boots that best match your measurements. 

You can also take your soft measuring tape with you and measure the boots yourself.  This may be useful when at a store such as DSW where there are numerous options. 

Again, checkout this article to learn how to measure boots. 

Now you know your measurements!!!  Knowing this information is extremely empowering so you can avoid wasting oodles of time and money looking at boots that aren’t for you. 

Just like in any great romance novel, there is a perfect boot match out there waiting for you to fall in love with it.  So what are you waiting for?  Your boots are waiting for you. 

Do this when a guy doesn’t text or call you after a fantastic date

You went on a first date.   You had a great time.  Now you kind of like the guy.  You are intrigued and are excited to get to know him. 

You are also super excited to see him again.  You're planning your outfit, figuring out what days you are free next week, researching fun date ideas.  You can’t wait!

But you have no clue when that second date will be and you haven’t heard from him yet. 

Now you are waiting. 

Waiting for that little ding sound on your phone to alert you of a new text or call.  You wouldn’t dare admit that you are anxiously waiting to hear from him again.  You are cool as a cucumber but deep down, you are screaming, “JUST TEXT ME, dang it!!!!”

You hear that ding, you get a burst of excitement, you casually pick up your phone expecting to see his message.  UGH!  It’s CVS reminding you to pick-up your refill.  Disappointment fills the air.  It isn’t him, sigh. 

Now you start replaying the date over in your head.  Maybe you should have said X instead of Y.  Maybe you should text him to remind him what great of time you had.  Maybe he needs reassurance that you are into him. 

The maybes and shoulds fill your head and take over.

Bottom line, you tell yourself, “If he would freakin just text or call me then I can get back to normal and not board the next train to Crazy Town.” 

I’ve been to Crazy Town more times than I can count and have lived to tell the tales.  No one wants a first class ticket on the Crazy Town Express so I’m here to give you another option. 

Instead of worrying about what HE is possibly thinking or what YOU said or did that was possibly a turn-off, try taking a different perspective and see what this anxiety you are experiencing is reflecting back to you.

Yeah, I know, I’m not giving you an easy answer here but trust me, there is gold in this experience. 

Any dating experience where you feel triggered internally is a calling for you to look within.  What I mean by "triggered" is any experience that heightens your emotions as in not receiving a text/call from a date you like.  A trigger can also be anything that causes an emotional irritation within you due to another person's behavior, actions or inaction (like in this situation) yet you deny that behavior lives within you.

Any dating experience that triggers you is the fertilizer that is going to help you grow and nurture the relationship you are desiring regardless if it is this guy or not.  Every dating interaction such as this one is an opportunity for you to learn and prepare yourself for that higher love relationship.  This work isn’t for the faint of heart as it takes deep courage and emotional maturity to look within oneself. 

If you have that courage (I know it is in you, love!) then ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers on a piece of paper:

If he calls then I get to feel ____________.

If he doesn’t call then I have to feel ____________.  

What’s so bad about having to feel these feelings if he never calls?

What am I making it mean about ME if I never here from again?

Do you see the correlation between these questions? 

Who is holding all the cards to determine which feelings you get to feel?

Who is creating the stories about your love life and what is possible for you?

And that has to feel pretty powerless doesn’t?

Who has the power to change that trajectory?

Yep, the beautiful soul reading this post!

Start noticing how your mind wants to hand over all the power to your date to make you feel loved, worthy and desired.  I like to equate this to putting yourself in your own prison, locking the door and handing the key to your date.  

Being the witness to this power struggle is the first step in taking back control of your own internal power and love that is already within you.  

Don't try to fix the feelings you are feeling.  Don't try to change those feelings immediately into positive feelings.  

Once you start witnessing this struggle, invite those feelings in like you would an old friend who stopped by your house unannounced.  Let those feelings hangout with you but don't get caught up in the stories they may bring up (again, just like any friend who may start complaining about X, Y and Z.  You listen to them but you don't buy into their complaint).  

Feel it.
The thing you don’t want to feel.
Feel it.
And be free.
— Nayinnah Waheed

Eventually, those feelings will start to subside a bit as you keep allowing them to be present with you.  You start seeing these feelings for what they are worth...just passing emotions and thoughts just like that unannounced friend who stopped by but will eventually leave.  

You are now conscious and aware of these feelings which previously were in the driver seat.  By being present to these feelings, you are now in the driver seat.  

You have the power to determine what story you want to  make about not receiving a text from this guy versus letting your emotions dictate that story.  

You are opening up the door to your own personal FREEDOM to date as your true self.  

WOW!!!  Who would have thought by not receiving a text could provide such a result?  

And you know what, most of the time my clients hear from that date shortly after performing this exercise because that CLINGY NEED to hear from them has gone away.     

If you would like some additional assistance, email me your answers at jane@janeocoaching.com.  I’ll personally write back to give you some love coaching insights and next steps you can take so you can have that love breakthrough in 2017.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

How a Professional Color Analysis will ROCK Your World

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Do you want a way to look healthier, more vibrant, diminish fine lines, decrease dark bags under the eyes, reduce the redness of blemishes, smooth away age spots WITHOUT having to step foot in a dermatologist office? 

And to boot, save money and time while you are at it.  If you are screaming “YES!!!” (or at least slightly intrigued) then you’ve come to the right blog post. 

So let’s start with a little storytelling time about a dear client of mine who graciously gave me permission to share her experience.  She’s in her mid-30’s, has great personal style but was feeling sort of “blah” with her appearance. 

Bottom line, she came to me wanting a “pick-me-up” with her image and appearance. 

An experience that would be fresh and uplifting because she felt Father Time was creeping slowly into her looks and she wasn’t happy about it. 

From the outside, she did everything right. 

She ate well, exercised, got 7-8 hours of sleep every night, protected her skin from the sun, felt fulfilled in her career and personal relationships, and had stress management techniques in place. 

Yet she couldn’t shake the image she kept seeing reflected back to her in the mirror....tired, lifeless skin, washed out. 

The dullness in her skin she was experiencing had nothing to do with aging, not being healthy enough or seeing herself through a distorted perception but more to do with the colors she was using up against her face

Seriously? 

Yes, you heard right! 

She was wearing the wrong foundation color, the wrong blush colors, the wrong lipstick shades and the clothing colors she wore near her face were draining her of her vibrancy. 

These colors were distracting from her natural beauty instead of enhancing it. 

This is what the wonders of COLOR ANALYSIS can do for you.  Learning the harmonious shades of colors that allow your skin to appear luminous, your eyes brighter and skin imperfections smooth out almost instantly similarly if you had an upscale skin treatment at a spa. 

You may be having flashbacks now to the 1980s with the Color Me Beautiful movement.  Everyone walking around with their color swatches, stating what season they were.  

It seems antiquated but I still follow these time-tested principles but introduce them in a way that is both current and works into your lifestyle. 

If you aren’t familiar with these principles, I’ll give you a quick cliff-notes version. 

Color analysis is the process of analyzing the following three factors with your skin tone, eye color and hair color:

  1. Temperature – Determining if you have more warm (yellow tone) or cool (blue tone) in your skin, eyes and hair.  Some people naturally have different tones where others are consistent.  There is no perfect equation which makes every woman’s determination special and beautiful.  For example, I have a client who naturally has warm hair, cool skin, warm freckles and cool eyes.  She has a custom palette of colors that are both cool and warm toned that she shops with. 

  2. Value – Determining on a scale if your skin, eyes and hair are lighter, medium, or darker in tone thus determining what shades of colors look best.  For example, darker greens may look better on you than lighter green shades if you are darker on the scale.     

  3. Intensity – Determining if your natural coloring is softer or brighter.  For example, a person such as Courtney Cox with piercing blue eyes and shiny black hair is considered brighter in intensity versus someone like Kate Winslet with softer features in her hair and eyes. 

All of these factors come into play to provide a unique customization of colors that allow your natural beauty to glow instead of fighting with it. 

There is no cookie cutter answer for an individual which makes color analysis so interesting and why a professional determination is needed. 

So the "happy ever after" conclusion with my client is that she is absolutely thrilled with her color analysis results.  To summarize:

  • We got her in the right shades of make-up and were even able to exchange the majority of the lipsticks and blushes at the major department store she purchased them from for the right colors so she didn’t have to spend extra money.  Her skin and eyes never looked so radiant!

  • We purged some of the clothes in her closet that didn’t enhance her coloring.  Even though she has less clothing she feels she has MORE clothes that feel amazing on her so there is no feeling of lack when it comes to her closet. 

  • I showed her how to still wear the colors she kept that aren’t her best colors yet she can still wear them without looking lifeless and dull. 

Bottom line, she is saving MONEY and TIME (hello, who doesn't want more of that?) which she is devoting to her other passions. 

No more obsessing over her skin, buying clothes that aren’t quite right and purchasing make-up products that do nothing for her.     

If you are interested in learning more about how this process could help you with your own style journey then please shoot me an email at jane@janeocoaching.com