You get out what you put in - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

What’s the difference between masculine and feminine presence?

What's the difference between Masculine & Feminine Presence? - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stOne of the most important things when you’re interacting with people is to be present.

Whether it’s at work, with friends, family or your intimate partner, everyone wants you to be present with them.

In this world of constant distraction it’s unusual for someone to be completely and totally present without something being able to draw their attention away…whether it’s a phone, a laptop, a blackberry…it’s easy for something to beep and our presence to disappear.

So we want to know how we can bring more of our presence to other people, but are you aware that there’s a difference between masculine presence and feminine presence?

I’ve never heard anyone else sharing about this, so I’m really excited to be telling you about it today…

If you are already a Feminine 1st Family Member of Bronze Level or above, click here to see the full video

So do you know the difference between masculine and feminine presence?

I would love to share more with you about this and so many incredible topics, and so I’d like to invite you today to join the Feminine 1st Family as a Bronze Member or to become a Free Member to enjoy over 80 Free Videos.

What does Bronze Membership Give Me? Well in addition to all of the features of our Free Membership (including the “First Steps to Femininity” MP3 and over 80 free videos), you will also get access to all future premium Feminine 1st videos for the duration of your membership.

You will also have the opportunity to submit requests for topics to be covered or questions to be answered in these weekly videos.

So click here to find out what the difference between masculine presence and feminine presence…

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Masculine or feminine which is more powerful?

Which is more Powerful…Masculine or Feminine?

Masculine or feminine which is more powerful?I think by now we’ve established that when it comes to the masculine and the feminine there is no ‘better’.

We all have both masculine and feminine inside us, and most of us tend to have one that feels more natural, more comfortable, more “home” than the other. That doesn’t mean that we don’t or can’t use the other, it just means that there’s one that’s our ‘default’ position.

There are situations that come up every day in which the masculine is more effective, or the feminine would be a wiser choice, and if we refuse to ignore or deny EITHER of them we can find ourselves missing out.

But the question that I hear asked on a regular basis is “Which is more powerful, masculine or feminine?”

I saw a story posted in a Facebook group that I’m a member of recently that inspired me to write this post:

There is a native American tale in which a mother takes her son down to the river to teach him about the nature of power.

She asks him to put his hand in the water and describe to her how it feels. He says, “Cold and wet.”

“Good,” she responds.

She then hands him a rock and asks, “How does this feel?”

“Hard,” he replies.

“Good,” she responds and puts his hand into the water and asks, “Now how does this feel?”

“Soft,” he replies.

They walk further down the river to a bend where the water has worn a huge hole through a giant boulder and the mother says to her son, “Soft always wins.”

What cause me to want to write this post though was the comment that was shared after this story: “Somewhere along the line people began confusing feminine with passive and masculine with power. There is nothing passive about femininity and it is one of most powerful forces in the universe. Feminine energy is soft and receptive and it wins every time.”

While I like the analogy of soft not necessarily being weak, I believe that we need to be very careful with the concept of ‘winning’.

When we look at things in terms of winning or losing, we’re likely to be in our masculine (as competitiveness is a very masculine trait)…and the important thing for everyone to understand about masculine and feminine is that they are EQUALLY powerful.

Neither is better / worse, stronger /weaker than the other. The power is very different, but when either is being viewed as ‘winning’ against the other, both loses.

Masculine and feminine are designed to work together, to empower each other and raise the other up. As soon as we begin comparing or competing either direction and looking at which one is more or less powerful, we disempower both sides.

If the feminine is seen to ‘win’, then in reality both lose, because the two sides exist to work together…so that there is no winner or loser…they just are.

Part of the reason that we’re so challenged these days with masculinity and femininity is this very concept of power. For years the men in our society had the ‘power’….until the women had had enough and decided they wanted to take the ‘power’ for themselves.

The feminist revolution, while doing incredible things for our society, also cost us dearly…because it put men and women definitively on two different teams, and convinced us that in order for one to win, the other had to lose.

As with all things in life, it was subjected to the ‘pendulum effect’…the perception was that the power was with men…so to rectify the balance, culturally we have swung to the other extreme of believing that we had to move to the opposite extreme…where the perception is that the power was with women…or the feminine more specifically.

…in order to ‘win’ the ‘power’ women took to emasculating men in a way that is now prolific in our culture. But when we take away men’s ‘power’ we also lose the incredible potential power that is open to us all when we choose to work together… which, as with most things in life, is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

My hope is that sooner rather than later the pendulum swing gets to balance out in the middle where we realise that neither is better or worse, more powerful or weaker than the other…that we are simply equal and opposite.

I was at an event earlier this year where they talked about the concept of ambivalence.

While the dictionary definition of ambivalence is having mixed or contradictory feelings, the definition they gave at this event really resonated with me.

They talked about ambivalence being the sweet spot between seeing something as good, or bad, light or dark, positive or negative…where you can see and appreciate that it is actually both.

The same is true with masculinity and femininity – and I hope that we can all get to the ‘sweet spot’ of recognising that masculinity is both powerful and weak…and that femininity is too.

AND that when we get the feminine and masculine to work together, both within ourselves and with others around us and society in general the result is definitely greater than the sum of the parts.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

mens womens brains

It’s official – Men’s and women’s brains are physically different. So how does this affect our relationships?

mens womens brainsAt a gut level we’ve always known that men and women are fundamentally different.

We didn’t need a research paper to tell us that men and women have very different approaches, motivations, thought processes and emotional responses to life…just listen to any couple arguing and the differences are apparent.

But nevertheless the research released this week from Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that reveals striking differences in the brains of men and women is beneficial for everyone to pay attention to.


While most of us might ‘know’ we’re different, the trouble is that we have a tendency to forget. Often.

When we’re trying to communicate with our partner, or worse are involved in a ‘heated difference of opinion’, we have a bad habit of thinking that inside they think, feel and act the same as we do…it’s just the external packaging looks a little different.

So we’re surprised when they don’t seem to ‘get’ us…when they don’t agree with us or see our point of view.

Even more dangerous is the assumption we make in these situations that our way is the ‘right’ way…and all they need is to be convinced of this and everyone would be happy (when in reality all it does is frustrate and annoy them).

Understanding our brains…

So if we only understood a little more about HOW we’re different, life could be so much easier.

This is one of the reasons that I began doing the work I do now…helping people around the world to transform their relationships.  I find human beings fascinating…and when I began to look into and understand the differences between men and women so much became clear.

The reasons that so many people have trouble in their relationships and why I’d had so many difficulties with men in the past.

I was stunned to learn that it wasn’t all their fault!

It was that we simply didn’t understand each other…and had no idea how to communicate with someone so different to ourselves.

The more I understood, the more important it seemed to share this knowledge and information with others…because so many people’s lives could be made easier and far more enjoyable if we knew this stuff.

How are our brains different?

So what does the study tell us?

One of the things that the study explains is that in the largest part of the brain, men’s brains have a greater degree of connectivity within each individual hemisphere…whereas in women there is a greater degree of connectivity between the two hemispheres of the brain.

One of the implications of this is that men are naturally inclined to be better at focusing on one thing at a time, and women are naturally inclined to be able to move between not just different things, but also different TYPES of things.  Now, neither of these approaches is ‘better’ or ‘worse’…they’re just different, but understanding this could make a huge difference in your relationship.

For example if you’re a woman talking to your partner, the interconnections in your brain will mean that the conversation may jump about…one minute you can be talking about work, the next you’re onto what you’re doing at the weekend, the next you’re saying how you are feeling about something that’s happening with a friend of yours.  If you’re talking to another woman she’s likely to be able to follow your thought-train and stay with you as your thoughts and ideas jump around from subject to subject.

If you’re talking to a man though, he’s likely to get frustrated with a conversation that jumps around and doesn’t seem to achieve anything (by completing the individual topics as you go).  He would prefer to speak about one thing at a time so you can have his full and complete focus on one item before moving onto the next topic, and he may want a moment to mentally make the switch to a new conversation.

If you don’t allow him to deal with only one topic at a time, not only is he likely to get frustrated, but he’s also likely to miss aspects of what you’re saying because his brain isn’t designed to jump around from topic to topic.  When that starts to happen it’s possible that you could get frustrated because you might equate him not following your conversation thread as ‘not listening’…when in reality his brain just isn’t designed to process information that way.

Likewise if you have to slow down and deal with only one thing at a time, you may get frustrated as you may not remember (and therefore be able to come back to) all the other thoughts that came up when you were discussing point number one.

If you understand this, and see the big picture, you can see how difficulties and arguments can arise.

When you understand the brains, you understand the relationship better

…and this is just one of the ways in which men and women differ!  When you start to build up the full picture you can begin to spot the potential pitfalls before they even occur.

More importantly you can begin to work WITH your partner (sometimes with a little external advice or support) to figure out a way around these situations that takes into consideration both of your strengths and limitations…and that works for you both.

In a nutshell, this study tells us that men and women’s brains each do something really well that the other isn’t designed to be as good at.  In many ways, they are opposite.

In other words, they are complementary….so if we can understand how to get them to work together, they’d be unstoppable.

So rather than looking at where you’re right and your partner is wrong, or trying to get them to do things ‘your way’…take this opportunity to realise that you both have strengths, and you both have weaknesses…but together you can be the best of both worlds.

If you can begin to understand each other better, you can avoid the arguments and learn to communicate in a way they can really understand.

…and that makes everyone happier.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Happy Birthday

A celebration, a gift for you, and a confession (and apology) from me…

Happy BirthdayI am SO excited…because this week we have a TRIPLE celebration here at Feminine 1st.  It is Feminine 1st’s second birthday, this week was our 100th newsletter AND  we welcomed our 1,000th member to the Family.

So this is a VERY special newsletter, where I will be sharing some VERY special gifts with you.

Rather than sharing my usual article with you, today I’m going to share with you the best and most popular articles from the last two years.  These are the articles that fit into one of the following categories:

  • The most requested articles
  • The articles that got the biggest response from you
  • The pieces that have been labeled by some of you as our ‘Must-read’s
  • …and my personal favourites!

As we all know, us women have many many different facets to us, and the Feminine 1st website was created to be able to speak to and support women in all of the different areas of our lives.
So the articles I’m sharing below cover the full range of the aspects of a woman’s life that we cover on the Feminine 1st website.

BUT before I share our “Best of the best” articles, I have a confession to make.

As you may remember from last week’s newsletter, last weekend I was speaking on stage at a very special event here in London, the Time to Shine Conference.

It was a wonderful event, the feedback from my talk was amazing and I met some incredible people.

But when I got back home on Monday, I had a very uneasy feeling in my stomach.

I had a problem.

I had been contacted by a lot of people who wanted to be at the event, but for logistical reasons couldn’t be there…and they didn’t want to miss out on seeing my talk.

Moral DilemmaAlso, at the event I shared an incredible special offer, sharing something I have NEVER offered before, and intended to never offer again, which gave me a bit of a moral dilemma. 

The feedback about the offer was great.  People loved the fact that it was accessible and affordable, and they said how refreshing it was not to be expected to pay thousands of pounds to begin working with someone and get to know if they are the right person to be working with.

But when I got home on Monday morning I realised something.

Out of the 1000+ members that I have on my website, the vast majority of you do not live in London…or even in the UK.  The majority of you actually live thousands of miles away…so as much as you might have wanted to join us at the conference (and I’ve had many messages saying how much people wished they could attend, but couldn’t get there)…it wouldn’t have been possible.

I also realised that I didn’t want to penalise you for not being able to attend the conference here in London…and I wanted to be able to thank you for your loyalty in becoming a Feminine 1st follower from wherever you are in the world.

I wanted to be able to share with you the fantastic content I gave at the Time to Shine conference and extend the offer I made there to you as well…

That put me in a very difficult position…because authenticity and congruency are two of my most important values…I don’t say something if I don’t mean it.

…and I’d said I wasn’t planning on making this offer again outside of the conference.

So I sat and stewed on it for a while, wondering what to do for the best.

…and I finally came to a decision.

I needed to be congruent, so as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t offer the exact same deal that I did at the weekend.

GiftBut I also wanted to be able to give you an amazing offer to say thank you for your loyalty as a Feminine 1st supporter.

So I have changed the offer slightly from the weekend…but still managed to create amazing value for you as a thank you for being here on this journey with me.

So for the next week only I am offering for you to watch the talk I gave at the Time to Shine Conference by clicking here AND on that page there is a very special Happy Birthday Feminine 1st offer created just for you…the likes of which you have never seen from me before.

…AND even if you’re not interested in the special Happy Birthday offer, you can see my talk on “Relationships are the Key to Shining in Life” by clicking this link now and watching the video.

Feminine 1st…our very best articles…so far…!

Where it all began: Femininity – So what’s in it for me?

So what’s so important about Femininity? Why should we care? We’ve been proving to everyone out there, men and women alike, that we can do anything and everything that the boys can do (often quicker and better!) for decades now…so what’s the big deal? I mean, we’ve still got our heels and handbags, and that’s what matters….right? So who cares if we’ve lost a bit of our femininity along the way?

Well, the answer is (unfortunately)…we do. We just don’t necessarily realise it.…READ MORE

Femininity: The $64,000 Question…What IS Femininity?

Well having established why femininity is important, in order to explain what it is, let’s start with what it isn’t, there are so many misperceptions about what the word femininity actually means, and I think it’s important that we address these up front.  Over the last couple of decades, the word feminine (unless referring to the latest Ralph Lauren line) hasn’t always been seen as the most flattering description for a woman.  This summer when Susan Walsh suggested that women “try on” femininity for a short while to see how it fitted, one woman remarked that she saw being described as the most feminine member of staff at her place of work insulting as she believed that feminine = weak and that it meant that she wasn’t being taken seriously.…READ MORE

How to be more feminine: Would you like to know how to be more feminine?

Quite some time ago I wrote an article defining feminine and femininity…but defining it and knowing how to be more feminine are two very different things.
One of the first questions that a lot of women ask me is quite simply, “How can I be more feminine?”.  One of the challenges with answering this question is that it assumes (in asking) that you aren’t already feminine enough.  So my first response if you’re asking this question is, “Why do you want to learn how to be more feminine?”.…READ MORE

Masculinity: What is masculinity?

Having shared my definition of Femininity some time ago…I thought it was about time I also shared my definition of Masculinity.
So which is better, masculinity or femininity? The important thing to point out when talking about masculinity and femininity is that neither one is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other – they’re just different. Polar opposites. Yin and Yang.
Trying to determine which is better is like asking which are better, Manolos or Choos…neither is any better or worse than the other…just different 
The other thing to remember is that every single one of us has both masculinity and femininity inside us. At our core we will feel more comfortable with one of these energies than the other, but they are both there, and they are both helpful to us in different situations.
I’m often asked where the name ‘Feminine 1st’ came from and what it means. It is simply a reminder for women who are more naturally feminine to be “Feminine 1st” and then to utilise the masculine traits that they have as and when it is appropriate for them..…READ MORE

Relationships: Have you ever had a 69?

I’m imagining that when you first saw the title of today’s post, you probably did a bit of a double take. I can imagine you saying to yourself “I didn’t know Feminine 1st was THAT kind of site!”
So it’s a controversial title…and for good reason.
You see, today’s post is essential reading for anyone…whether you’re feminine, masculine, male, female, old young…it doesn’t matter……READ MORE

Body Image: Do you recognise your own beauty? I didn’t…

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? When you see photographs of yourself, what do you notice? Do you see yourself as you are? Or do you see what you believe is there?
The reason that I’m asking this is that for many many years I didn’t see what was there. I saw what I thought was there.
You see, when I was much younger I got some very fixed ideas about my appearance……READ MORE

Life as a Woman: No thanks, I’m fine.

How many times a day / week / month do you say this sentence, or a variation of it?
It’s ok.
I’m fine.
I’ll manage.
It’ll be alright.
We spend our lives telling everyone else that we don’t need any help, assistance, guidance or support.
Often, when someone offers to help, the words of dismissal leave our lips almost before the suggestion has been made in full..…READ MORE

Emotions: How to deal with Heartbreak…

A question that I get asked on a regular basis is “How do I deal with a broken heart and still stay in my feminine?”
As we know, being feminine is about being open and embracing the ability to be vulnerable. So I’m going to be completely open about my current personal situation…
As you may or may not know, unfortunately I have recently experienced heartbreak first-hand.
I won’t go into details, except to say that a few weeks ago my partner took the decision to leave. …leaving me to deal with a broken heart..…READ MORE

Friendship: How do you find the women who will become your soul sisters?

So last week I shared an article about the importance of sisterhood for women like us, and how to understand the difference between acquaintances, friendship and sisterhood. Understanding the importance, value and power of these kinds of relationships with other women is something that has dramatically changed my life.
But understanding that you want these kinds of relationships with other women doesn’t mean that they’re magically going to appear. Or…does it?.…READ MORE

Business / Work: Can feminine women ‘bring home the bacon’?

I love that my readers inspire me so much.
Today’s post is written in direct response to a message that I was sent in the last couple of weeks from someone who is a single mum. Being a single mum, she is struggling a bit with the concept of femininity, especially in relation to being the sole breadwinner in her household.
Now, the single mum topic is a whole separate conversation (and one that I will talk about another day)…but the question of whether it is possible for a feminine woman to also be a breadwinner is one which comes up quite regularly….…READ MORE

So all that remains for me to say is THANK YOU. 

Thank you for being a part of the Feminine 1st journey, thank you for all the support I’ve received over the last 2 years, thank you for being here for our 100th newsletter. It means more to me than I can possibly express.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Communication Secrets: Expect Women to Interpret Everything & Expect Men to Interpret Nothing

This Week’s Thursday Thought: Communication Secrets – Expect Women to Interpret Everything & Expect Men to Interpret Nothing

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Communication Secrets – Expect Women to Interpret Everything & Expect Men to Interpret Nothing

Communication Secrets: Expect Women to Interpret Everything & Expect Men to Interpret Nothing

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Fellow is Wentworth Miller

FFF Wentworth MillerSometimes as women we’re so busy trying to figure our own stuff out that we forget that it’s really tough for men these days.

There aren’t many role models out there showing guys how to transition from boyhood to manhood.

Years ago there were rites of passage that were designed to help boys understand what it means to be a man.  Boys were taken by the men of the tribe to learn from other men what being a man was all about.

These days the nearest thing to a rite of passage we have is a bunch of 18 year olds going out and getting drunk together.

Not really the same thing.

In the same way as we’re struggling with what it means to be women, a lot of men are struggling with what it means to be men.

But in a lot of ways it’s harder for them.

A lot of men are wandering around with the belief that they need to figure it all out by themselves.  They must be strong, independent, have all the answers, keep it together. Talking, connecting with others and all that emotional stuff is for women, right?  That’s not what ‘real men’ do…

…actually, that’s exactly what real men do.

Most of them just haven’t been shown how.

Enter The Mankind Project. An organisation run by men, for men, to help them understand (with the support of the brotherhood around them) what it means to be a man these days.

I have a personal affinity for this organisation, as I know several men who have shared that the project has changed their lives, my partner included.  In his words “it taught me how to be a man”.

So what on earth does this have to do with Wentworth Miller?

To most people Wentworth Miller is just the gorgeous actor who played the brooding Michael Scofield in the hit series Prison Break…but as it turns out, he’s so much more…

Because Wentworth has been on his own journey over the past few years….and it’s been a tough one.

A hollywood male ‘hunk’, struggling with owning who he is in the world – a gay man.

I have spoken to many members of the LGBT community about the challenges and confusion about what it means to be a man, or a woman, when your sexuality is different to the majority of people around you.

Through his own personal journey Wentworth has gone from being full of fear and isolated, to a role model reaching out to others like him who are struggling with their own journey and taking a stand against those who deny the rights of people like him.

…and what does this have to do with the ManKind Project? Well in his words, “MKP (The ManKind Project) has quickly become one of the cornerstones of who I am and how I move through the world today.”

Watch Wentworth’s speech at the Human Rights Campaign here:

Now, on it’s own, all of the above is reason enough to make Wentworth Miller today’s Fabulous Friday Fellow.

But my real reason for choosing him is much simpler.

He’s a man, walking the same path as the rest of us…and sharing his journey so that others can understand they’re not alone.

Recently I was sent this article Wentworth wrote and shared on the ManKind Project’s website that really touched my heart.

It shows a man finding his place and way in the world.  A man of compassion and heart, learning what being a man means in day to day life.

A man who has stopped waiting for someone else to come and ‘handle things’…and instead is stepping into the kind of man that most men aspire to be, and most women would want to be with.

april 2013

by wentworth miller

i was sitting in a diner on colorado boulevard the other day, enjoying a nice breakfast with a friend (late 40s, a working mother of three), when a homeless man materialized next to us.

i say “materialized” because i had no awareness of him entering the restaurant (even though i was seated facing the door) and no awareness of him approaching our table. yet there he was. tall, thin, white, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and a filthy trucker’s cap. looking about 50 going on 80. and he wanted money.

“do you have any spare ch-” was all i heard before tuning him out and looking away, making eye-contact with my friend across the table. i felt sure we were both thinking the same thing.

“oh boy. here we go.”

before i could launch into my “sorry, buddy” speech our waitress (late 40s, tiny) was standing at our table, telling this guy to take a hike. “you can’t be in here / you shouldn’t be bothering our customers / please leave” etc.

but he didn’t leave.

instead he got into it with our waitress, pointing out the cross on her neck and gearing up for a dressing down on themes of christianity, charity, and the whole shebang. and our waitress was having none of it. “you can’t be in here / you shouldn’t be bothering our customers / please leave” she repeated, this time minus the “please.”

all the while i’m sitting there silently, wondering when it would be over, waiting for whoever was in charge to come over and handle things. i’m not sure who i was envisioning. probably the manager. who would be male. and older. and in charge.

he’d know what to do.

things are heating up now, the homeless guy and our waitress bristling, really starting to go at it, about 30 seconds from taking it to the next level. my friend across the table is very quiet. she, like me, is waiting for it to be over. for order to be restored.

and then, as i sit there witnessing two women in discomfort and a man in distress, it occurs to me – nobody’s coming over. nobody’s going to handle things.

i’m the man. i’m the one in charge.

and suddenly i’m rising from the table. i say, “let’s go outside, buddy. i’ll give you something outside.” and my tone of voice isn’t “hey, asshole” or “listen here.” it’s matterof-fact. like, “this is what’s going to happen.”

and then the homeless guy and i are walking to the door together. and then we’re through the door and out on the street. and then i open my wallet and hand him a 20- dollar bill.

and then he’s holding me.

i don’t know or remember exactly how that came to be, but all at once his arms are around me and i’m getting a full-body hug from a homeless person.

and this hug is textbook MKP. no awkward thumps. no tentative pats. no “let’s keep our groins angled out of this, okay?” he’s just holding me. and, after a beat, i’m holding him.

and this goes on for 20 seconds. 30 seconds. he’s talking into my shoulder too. i hear the words “veteran,” “oklahoma,” and “my birthday.” everything else is muffled. but i also hear “thank you, brother.” he says this three, maybe four times.

and as i watch someone walk past us and do a double-take, as i continue to inhale the scent of a man who’s spent years (decades?) on the street, i think to myself, “yes. this is my brother.”

then it was over and i was waving good-bye. i went inside the restaurant and slid back into the booth, now smelling like the homeless guy. and i wanted to weep.

and while the waitress proceeded to call me “hero” and then scold me for putting myself in “danger,” i thought about masculinity and chivalry and the need to be seen and heard and how i’m a 40-year-old man (going on 41) who’s still waiting for the guy in charge to show up.

i thought about how i would have handled the situation before starting my work with MKP six months ago, which probably would have looked like me not handling it. or like me handling it by making it worse. like me handling it by robbing another man of his dignity and the chance to connect.

and i thought about how we are all brothers. all of us.

then i looked up and noticed a man i knew from MKP, a man i’d seen just the night before while sitting in an i-group, seated with his wife across the restaurant, enjoying a nice breakfast.

brothers everywhere. all around.

The most touching part of this story for me is the piece about ‘brothers everywhere’.  I’ve recently been sharing about the concept of sisterhood and how important it is to women like us…the same is true for men, with regard to brotherhood.

But the real power comes when we realise that we can all support each other.  Brotherhood and sisterhood aren’t mutually exclusive clubs…they are exactly as they sound.  They’re family.

When we can all start looking out in the world and rather than seeing strangers, opponents and competitors…we can start seeing brothers and sisters instead, we’ll realise that in reality, we’re all on the same side.

…and when we all realise that we’re on the same side, well, what a day that’ll be.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Wentworth Miller for sharing his journey with others, and for showing that everyone, no matter who they are…regardless of how gorgeous, successful or wealthy….whether they’re gay, straight, bi or transgender….we’re all struggling to learn what it means to be a man or a woman today.  Knowing that, knowing that we’re not alone, and sharing in each other’s stories makes the journey a little easier x 


As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email ( with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow? (Her / his name and location in the world)
  • Why is she / he a Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow to YOU? (How do you know her / him? What does she / he do? In what way is she / he inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of her / him online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women and men who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

Do you only allow yourself to feel good when you’ve ‘done good’?

do good to feel good checklistI don’t know about you, but I like feeling good.

In fact I LOVE feeling good.

But why is it that ‘feeling good’ is something that we feel we need to earn?

In order to give ourselves the time and space to feel good, we first feel that we need to do something, achieve something or accomplish something.

We allow ourselves to relax after a hard day’s work.

We say we’ve earned a break, a holiday or even something as simple as a good cup of tea (!) when we’ve been busy.

We feel the need to cross so many items off our to-do list before we feel entitled to some ‘me time’.

So many of us jump out of bed at the start of the day and so begins the incessant ‘doing’, the completing of tasks that will mean that come evening time we’ve done enough to warrant sitting down and relaxing.

Now all of this is well and good…if it actually works for us…but what so many women don’t realise is that for the majority of us, it doesn’t.

What do we need in order to feel good?

Because when we start to understand the motivations, needs and desires of the masculine and feminine, we realise that we’re fundamentally and dramatically different when it comes to the areas of ‘feeling good’ and ‘doing good’.

  • The masculine needs to ‘do good’ first in order to feel good.
  • The feminine needs to feel good first in order to ‘do good’.

As with most key aspects of the masculine and feminine, we are once again equal and opposite. Neither way is better, or worse, right or wrong, it’s just what works for us individually.

The masculine, being goal-orientated, focused and driven to accomplish, needs to feel useful. He needs to feel that he has done his work and achieved some results in order to be able to relax and enjoy feeling good. A masculine man who has not accomplished anything for a period of time will start to feel restless, dissatisfied and less in touch with his masculinity.

The doing can take many forms, going out to work, projects around the house, working on the car, exercise, even helping his partner ‘fix’ her problems (which can be the source of many misunderstandings and relationship challenges!) As long as he can put a check in the box, and feel he’s done a good job, he’ll then be able to relax, unwind and enjoy feeling good, knowing he’s accomplished something.

For the feminine, it’s ‘feel good’ first…

On the flip side however, it’s a different story. The Feminine woman isn’t driven by goals, results or achievements. She’s inspired by emotionally connecting, building relationships, nurturing, communicating and being in flow. As a lot of these aspects require her to give something of herself, in order to bring the best of herself (and ‘do good’) she first needs to fill her own cup, nurture herself and give to herself first in order that she can give the best of herself to others, and create the kind of effect that she wants to for the people around her. Simply, she needs to first feel good, in order to really bring the best of herself when she is ‘doing’.

The thing is that so many feminine women have spent so much time in ‘masculine mode’, that we’ve got into the habit of doing it the masculine way, without ever stopping and questioning whether it actually works for us.

We pay our dues, we do our work, we check off our to do lists, and then collapse in a heap, exhausted – our downtime becomes more about recovery than relaxation.

But if you were to try a different approach you might be surprised with the results.

Have you tried ‘feel good’ first…’do good’ second?

Take today for example. Wednesdays are a busy day for me. Every Wednesday I need to edit and produce two different videos, get them uploaded, put out two blogs, send out several different versions of my newsletter, keep up with my correspondence, take any client calls that are scheduled in and tick off any other urgent items on my to do list that need doing.

Today was a particularly busy day and when I woke up I was feeling the pressure to get started right away. I knew there was a lot to do and I wanted to start to feel like I was making a dent in the long list of tasks I had.

It was very tempting to skip my morning routine, the one that fills me up and nourishes me for the day ahead, and just get started.

But I didn’t.

I took the time to do my goddess yoga practice.

I did my meditation.

I made myself some breakfast…and just before I was about to jump into the shower my partner made a suggestion.

“Why don’t you have a bath?”

Now for me, baths are indulgent time to relax. They are a way to unwind, forget the world and just focus on myself. I normally read in the bath, and so they are not a short affair.

But in spite of the fact that the little voice in my head was saying ‘No! You need to get to work!” something told me that a bath was the perfect way to begin my day.

…so I grabbed my book and disappeared into the bathroom.

A couple of hours later, relaxed, and feeling great I began to ease myself into my day.

I still had a lot to do, but the ease with which I was able to do it was palpable.

Not only was it easier…I was more effective.

I had a potentially difficult customer service challenge come up due to a technical glitch…but I was in a better space to be able to effectively deal with it. In a way that made me feel good (and that I was looking after my customers in the best way possible) and resulted in a satisfied customer. I received a lovely email in reply thanking me for responding in such an upstanding way and saying how refreshing it was to see such good customer service online. In their words “Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone makes an effort that is real to handle them”. I was able to better serve her needs because I was in a good space myself.

I then had a consultation with a potential new client, and because I felt so grounded, relaxed and filled up I was able to serve her even better than I would have been able to had I not taken the time to look after myself first.

I completed all of the ‘tasks’ that needed doing, but rather than feeling stressed and pressured, I felt relaxed and I enjoyed it more!

…and I am ending the day typing this article to you from a deck chair on the balcony, enjoying the beautiful blue sky, the warm breeze and the setting sun.

If the masculine approach to doing good and feeling good works for you, then stick with it – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 🙂

But if you find yourself more often than not drained at the end of the day, feeling tired and stressed with your work and like you spend more time recovering than relaxing, then maybe give this alternative approach a try.

I know as a feminine woman it works best for me, my customers and the people around me – I’m more relaxed, feel more filled up and can therefore can give the best of myself to them.

If you’re tank’s running low to start with, it won’t be long before you’re running on empty. Try filling up first…you might be surprised at the difference it makes.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

How can his cave time be a gift for you?

Cave TimeSo last week I shared about ‘man caves’…giving you some ideas about what they are and what men do in them.

But today we get to look at ‘cave time’ in a whole new way…

Why is cave time so important?

Time and space like this is a need for masculine men….and they will all find a way to get it in some shape or form.

It’s not a ‘nice to have’ or ‘I’d kind of like it’…it’s a need, a must, a lifeline. It keeps him sane.

Now the amount of cave time a man needs can vary significantly. Some men may only need 5-10 minutes a day, some men may need some time in the week, or every month…or maybe even every year.

Most women have had the experience at some time in their lives of wondering why on earth a man takes reading materials into the bathroom…and why he takes so long in there! It’s often not about the toilet, or the newspaper…it’s time in his cave, just a little bit of space in the day for him.

They key with the cave is to not take it personally. It’s nothing to do with you. It’s not that he needs time away from YOU…it’s that he needs time specifically for HIM. It is not personal.

If a man doesn’t get cave time he can often feel uneasy or restless. If you are spending all day every day together the danger is that he will associate this uneasy or restless feeling with you or your relationship….which then can become a bigger issue, when in fact it’s nothing to do with you or the relationship…he just needs a bit of time in the cave.

So how do you deal with cave time?

The first thing is to let him know that cave time is OK. If a man feels like you’re reluctantly giving him cave time, he’ll feel a pressure to come out of the cave…which completely defeats the point of the cave in the first place. He needs to know that you understand, that it’s OK, and he can take whatever time he needs.

The interesting thing about this is that if a man feels like it’s not OK to be in his cave, he’s likely to want to stay in there longer. If he feels like it’s OK and he can have the time he wants and needs…he’s actually likely to need less of it.

I speak from personal experience. If you’re sat by the cave door asking him when he’s going to come out…he’s likely to feel the need to be in there longer. If he knows he can take as long as he wants he can come out before he expected to himself.

When he’s in the cave let him be. Don’t approach him, don’t contact him (unless he’s explicitly said it’s OK for you to) ….initiate no contact of any description.

Let him totally have his space, and let him come to you when his cave time is done.

Don’t follow him into the cave, don’t try and ‘help him’ with his cave time….simply ask him to let you know when he’s out of the cave and then let him have his space.

The great thing about the cave is that you can make it fun, and play with it. If my man needs cave time I’ll get a text or a message saying something like “Cave man need cave time, ug ug ug”…which makes me smile and makes it easy to be understanding about.

I have a little giggle to myself and message back to let him know it’s OK and to get in touch when he’s out of the cave.

How can cave time be a gift for you?

When you start to understand that the cave is a need, and by letting him have that space your man will be happier in himself and also more able to meet your needs in return…you see that the cave can actually be a win-win.

So many women think that by letting a man have time in his cave, they’ve got to lose something in return. That in giving him what he needs, somehow she’s not getting what she needs.

…and this is where the problem lies. When we look at a situation like this from a place of scarcity, of course it’s likely to cause a challenge.

If we think there’s only space for one person to get what they want and need at a time, then in order for him to get what he needs, we need to give up what we need.

In order for us to give him space…we lose connection time.

But what if there was a different way of looking at it?

Because when your man’s in his cave it’s your time to be able to do the things that make you feel great.

Have time with the girls, pamper yourself, watch a chick flick, go out dancing…anything that fills you up.

Just because your man’s in his cave, doesn’t mean you need to be sat by the door waiting for him to come out, twiddling your thumbs at a loose end until he reappears….

…no cave time is as much your time as it is his time.

You can make cave time work as much for you as it does for him.

…and when he comes out of his cave and you’ve given him what he wants and needs, the time you’ll get to spend together will be so much more enjoyable. He’ll be in a great space, he’ll be grateful that you’ve given him what he needs, and he’ll really want to enjoy spending the time with you.

He’ll be able to connect more with you, because he won’t be distracted by the other things on his mind, because he’ll have used his cave time to process them and deal with them.

He’s likely to be more attentive, more connected and more present.

So everybody wins!

Have fun with thinking of the ways that you will enjoy his next visit into the cave… because cave time for him = ‘me time’ for you…and it means that the time you spend together after will really be quality time.

…look at it this way and the next time your man wants time in the cave you’ll be only too happy to let him have it!

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Have you experienced the pendulum effect with the masculine and feminine?

Have you experienced the pendulum effect with the masculine and feminine? Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stAs we know, these days a lot of women are far more connected with their masculine than their feminine…whether it’s what is most natural for them or not.

The thing is that most women are completely unaware of it.

I know.

I had first-hand experience of this.

For 15-20 years I never even thought of the words feminine or masculine…it didn’t occur to me.

They weren’t a part of my vocabulary…the words didn’t seem relevant to my life.

I mean, I was fine.

I was doing pretty well in my career…OK, I wasn’t very happy and my relationship track record was a disaster…but everyone has challenges in life, don’t they?

What did masculine and feminine have to do with it?

Well, as it turned out, everything.

Because when I first found out about masculine and feminine and the affect that being so much in my masculine was having on my life it was like someone had switched on the lights in the room.

So much made sense.

Why I’d been feeling so unfulfilled.

Why I’d felt like my career was draining the life out of me.

Why I was so constantly exhausted and overwhelmed.

Why I’d been desperate for control and driven by a need for perfection.

Why my so many of my relationships had been more battlefields than bliss.

Why I was so unhappy.

Quite simply, I wasn’t being me.

I wanted to know more…

Learning more about the masculine and feminine…

So I became a sponge for information about the masculine and feminine.

…at the beginning it was confusing and overwhelming.  There was a lot of information and I wasn’t really sure where to start.

So I just dove in.

I wanted to know how to be more feminine, how to step out of the masculine, what was feminine, what was masculine, how would I know the difference?

…and like so many other women when I began this journey, I got caught by the pendulum effect.

Have you…?


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Would you like to know how you can avoid the pendulum effect with the masculine and feminine?

I would love to share more with you about this and so many incredible topics, and so I’d like to invite you today to join the Feminine 1st Family as a Bronze Member or to become a Free Member to enjoy over 80 Free Videos.

What does Bronze Membership Give Me? Well in addition to all of the features of our Free Membership (including the “First Steps to Femininity” MP3 and over 80 free videos), you will also get access to all future premium Feminine 1st videos for the duration of your membership. You will also have the opportunity to submit requests for topics to be covered or questions to be answered in these weekly videos.

The Feminine 1st Family launched fully on June 1st and therefore if you would like to continue to enjoy the new premium videos (and request a video responding to your specific question) I am sharing a very special introductory offer until the end of June.

This is the last week that this special introductory offer will be available, so click here to find out all about how to avoid the pendulum effect in your journey with the masculine and feminine.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you let a man have time in his cave?

Man CaveAs we’ve established recently, men and women are fundamentally different.

We have different ways of doing things, different languages, different needs.

A lot of the challenges that arise between men and women come from the simple mistake of expecting them to behave like we do…to want what we want, need what we need, understand what we understand.

So today I want to share with you about another fundamental difference between men and women, which is crucial for you to understand.

Getting the importance of ‘the cave’ could be the lifeline in your relationship.

As you probably know by now, my work is informed from a wide range of sources.  I read a lot of books, go to a lot of seminars, listen to a lot of audio programs and create a huge amount myself.

I first heard about ‘the cave’ in John Gray’s ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’. I don’t necessarily subscribe to everything that John shares in this book, as is often the case I took from it the pieces that resonated with me, and evolved them – combining them with my own ideas and ones from other sources.

But the basic concept of the cave is so important that I wanted to share it with you, and I always like to give credit when something I share relates to someone else’s work.

As we know from the definition of masculinity, one of the key aspects of the masculine is independence.

Especially when it comes to times of stress or challenge the masculine will tend towards taking time and space by himself to work through or figure out the situation…whereas the feminine in the same situation tends to prefer to connect with others, share their problems and get support.

It’s at times like this that a man will often retreat into his ‘cave’.

So what is the cave?

The cave is simple time and space for him.

Time and space to be on his own.

Time and space for his thoughts.

Time and space where he doesn’t have to say anything, do anything or be anything.

Time and space where he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else.

Time and space for him to do what he wants and needs to do.

A lot of the time men feel a huge amount of pressure.  They feel responsible, they feel that they need to provide, they feel that they need to protect, they feel they need to be everything that you need, regardless of what’s going on for them.

Imagine that this responsibility is like a Knight’s tools of the trade.  It’s the armour to protect themselves and others, it’s the sword and shield to protect and provide…these things all carry a weight.

So time in their cave is time for them to put down the weight they’re carrying for a short time.

To feel free of responsibility, to feel free to be able to do whatever they need to without being afraid that it will affect you or anyone else in a negative way.

The cave can be a metaphorical space, or a literal one.

Some men have a physical space that is their ‘cave’.  It could be a den, a study, an office, a shed, or even the toilet! A space in his life which is all his…he can have it exactly how he wants it and it’s a safe space where he can go anytime and not be disturbed.

What does he do in his cave?

So what is it that men do in their caves?  Well the answer is simple…anything they want to.

It could be watching TV, taking time to unwind.

It could be doing a hobby that he really enjoys and that allows him to escape from life for a little bit.

It could be playing computer games, fishing, reading the paper, pottering about on the internet, exercising.

It could be nothing….literally nothing at all.

Cave time is mostly about unplugging and decompressing.  Space if he needs it to work through his problems in his mind, or process anything that’s been happening in his life.

So how do I find out more about the cave?

Now that we understand what cave time is and what a man does in it…the next thing to understand is why is it so important…and how you can deal with it.

So next week I’ll be sharing with you why cave time is important and how to best deal with it…but most importantly I’ll be sharing with you how to make the cave time that he wants and needs work for YOU.

How you can take what at first seems like something that may be quite challenging, and instead make it something that you get as much out of as he does!

So watch out for next week’s article…and the answers that will make all the difference to your relationship…

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x