How to avoid the annual break-up season

Would you like to know how to avoid the annual break-up season?

How to avoid the annual break-up seasonThe festive season can be wonderful.

…it can also be a really challenging time of year.

Family commitments, present-buying, Christmas parties, money-worries, end of year deadlines…

It’s a recipe for a stress-cocktail.

It’s no surprise that according to Facebook, December is the month of the year with the highest number of breakups.

The problem with stress is that we have a tendency to take it out on the people who are closest to us. They are the people who see every side of us…the good, the bad and the very ugly.

We don’t put on pretenses for those who are closest to us…and we don’t tend to pull our punches.

You see, when we’re under stress our bodies jump into fight or flight mode.

Why is this the annual break-up season?

We learned our stress responses many years ago when ‘stress’ was caused by coming face-to-face with a saber-toothed tiger or a woolly mammoth. It was a matter of survival. Us or them.

Unfortunately our stress responses have not evolved with our lives…so we get the same rush of adrenaline and hormones when dealing with an urgent deadline as we did when being considered as a Paleolithic beast’s lunch.

So when we feel stress we see the world as a threat…including our partner.

When we see someone or something as a threat, all compassion and understanding tends to fly out of the nearest window. We have two go-to responses; protect & defend ourselves, and attack.

…and when one person gets defensive or confrontational, the other person often isn’t far behind.

So how can we avoid the stress-loop that often leads to a break-up?

Well the biggest problem when we enter this stress-pattern is that we forget that we are on the same side.

We’re on the same team.

They aren’t your adversary, they’re your team-mate.

Think about a football team. How successful do you think a team would be if they spent all their time tackling each other rather than focusing on the opposition, or the goal?

Not very.

You see, our response to stress often has us drawing battle lines against the person with whom you could instead be creating a battle strategy WITH.

So if you notice yourself dropping into ‘confrontation mode’ with your partner, here are a few simple steps to help you get back in each other’s corner again.

  1. Stop – So many of our troubles at this time of year start because rather than responding to what’s happening we react. We fire right back at the moment we feel upset or triggered without taking a moment to stop and consider how we want to respond, or the consequences of our reaction. Take a pause…it could make all the difference.
  2. Breathe – Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to let go of some of the tension in your body. When we go into fight of flight mode our muscles tense in order to be ready to swing a right-hook, or run for the hills. Taking a deep breath and shaking out your body can release some of this tension and help you to relax.
  3. Ask yourself a question – When we feel this way, it tends to be because we’ve attributed a meaning to our partner’s behavior (what they’ve said / not said / done / not done) that might not be in-line with the intention behind it. So ask yourself “What else could this mean?”, could there be another reason than the one you’ve got in your mind?
  4. Apologise – At this point you may be a little confused. Apologise? But they’re the one who’s upset me! While that may be true…step back a little bit. Is there something that you’ve said or done (or not said or done) that might have caused a reaction in them? Might they have misinterpreted your actions or words? If you can see how they might be upset, apologise for your part in what’s happened, without reservation, and without bringing how you’re feeling into it (for now).
  5. Ask for their help – It may be that they simply don’t know what you want or need, and how to give it to you…so the easiest way for them to be able to do this is for you to tell them. But barking instructions at them is probably not going to help them feel you’re on the same side. Instead ask for their help…ask for what you want and need, show them how to help and support you.
  6. Remind them that you’re on the same team – Remind them that you’re on their team…and that you know that they’re on your team too. Just verbalising this can make such a difference to how you both perceive what’s going on. It might be a misunderstanding, it might be a difference of opinion, but if you’re on the same side, you can figure it out together.

When you’re on the same side, dealing with the stress of the season seems so much more manageable…and you know you’re not dealing with it alone. Navigating your way through this can both pull you together, or tear you apart…choosing to be on the same team can make it more likely to be the former.

…and what if you do break-up?

…and if you do break up this time of year, there are a few things to bear in mind.

If the choice to separate wasn’t yours, then the other person has done you the favour of walking away from you. You want to be with someone who chooses you, who sees you, who values you…who wants to be with you. If this person has made another choice, you deserve more.

But knowing that doesn’t make the process of dealing with it any easier…so you might want to check out a couple of these articles to help you through the process:

…and the new year is a good time to move start afresh, to go through the process of letting go of the past and to begin to attract and create the relationship that you desire and deserve.

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.

Why?

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

Does a broken heart ever mend, or do we just end up living with the scars of heartbreak?

Does a broken heart ever mend or do we just get left with the scars of heartbreak?Heartbreak.

Unfortunately most of us will have experienced this at some point in our lives.

That agonising pain that comes with the end of a relationship, when it feels like you’re the only person in the whole world feeling like your heart has been torn in two.

The desire to eat every comfort food consumable to try and feel the empty hole in your heart.

Wanting to forget.

Wanting to remember.

Wanting to talk.

Wanting to not have to talk.

Feeling like your whole world is crumbling around you.

Not wanting to be alone and yet not knowing how to be around others.

Wondering if the pain will ever subside.

Thinking that you will never be the same again.

Feeling like you’ll never want to put yourself out there again, because you don’t feel like you could take going through this again.

That awful time when just remembering to keep breathing in and out feels like an effort.

I know, from personal experience, the pain of heartbreak

Heartbreak and I are old friends…we’ve spent many a day and sleepless night together.

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Every time I’m in it I always say the same thing “I just wish it was 6 months from now”.

Why?

Because I know I’ll get through it, I always do. But I also know that in order to get through it I need to be in it. I need to feel it. I need to feel it all.

…and that isn’t easy, in fact it’s one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to deal with.

So when someone reaches out asking for help with heartbreak, my heart goes out to them. Because I know where they are. I’ve been there, many times.

This week I saw a question “Does a broken heart ever mend, or do we just end up living with the scars?”…and I felt moved to respond to it in a very personal way.

…and today I want to share that response with you, because I know from the messages and comments I receive that it might be relevant to you too.

So, my personal story of heartbreak…

My sister has been what most people would consider very “lucky in love”. Her first long-term boyfriend turned out to be the man who she fell in love with, married and now very happily has a little boy with.

Her husband is wonderful and I’m so pleased that they found each other and have created their lovely life together. As a result, she’s been ‘lucky’ enough to never have really experienced ‘heartbreak’ as you and I might know it.

On the other hand as you may know from my previous articles, I have experienced many heartbreaks during my lifetime.

There is a part of me that at times in my life has been slightly envious of my sister’s experience. Because she never experienced heartbreak, she in some ways kept the innocence and naivety that comes with first love. She never had that part of her life ‘tainted’ in any way by a negative experience. Being that she’s my sister, I am grateful that she’s never been through this.

However, as much as I wouldn’t wish the heartbreaks that I’ve been through on anyone, much less my sister, I know that because of the experiences I’ve had my life, I am a changed person…and every one of those changes in me has been for the better (in the long term).

My life has been richer for walking the path I have, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have grown in ways I know I wouldn’t have without those experiences. Each one has tested my emotional resilience in ways I couldn’t have imagined…and yet each one has brought with it such a gift of growth and personal learning too. It has made me the woman I am today. I have a depth of compassion, of self-knowing, of emotional experience, of love as a result of it.

I appreciate love in a way I wouldn’t have done, had I not lost it at times along the way.

My heart has been changed for those experiences.

Some might say that it’s been scarred by them…but as with scar tissue in the body…those parts of my heart are actually stronger for it.

Remembering those ‘scars’, the heartbreaks, the experiences I’ve gone through, the pain I’ve felt, helps me to continue to choose every day the woman I want to be. It’s helped me learn what I want for my life, what I will and won’t accept (both for me and by me), and it helps me to be the best woman I can be for myself and the man in my life every day.

As a result of these moments in my life I don’t take love or life for granted, which sometimes people who haven’t experienced them can.

My experience is that in time (with a compassionate approach of truly processing the emotion and the experience), the pain subsides, the wounds heal, the lessons are learned and we move on into our next chapter forever changed.

That change can be our greatest gift if we allow it to be.

Heartbreak has been a real gift to me

…and this is why I describe heartbreak and I as old friends, because that’s what we are. Though our relationship has never been easy, it’s brought me more than I could have ever imagined.

Without the heartbreaks in my life, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, doing the work I do, helping people around the world to create deep, mutually fulfilling relationships.

But most importantly I don’t believe I would have had the experience that I personally needed to be able to create the level of connection, communication and compassion that I have in my two most important current relationships – the one with myself, and the one with my partner.

I wouldn’t change any of the heartbreaks I’ve experienced in my life for anything.

Although I experienced terrible pain through every single one of them…I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart for each one of them and the gifts that I eventually allowed them to bring me.

In Japan there is a practice called “Kintsukuroi” which means “to repair with gold”. It is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver laquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

So I invite you to repair any ‘cracks’ you may feel as a result of your heartbreak with gold, or silver, or another gift that is valuable to you, and begin to see the beauty in them too.

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

 

Do the men in your life know how to help and support you?

Do the men in your life know how to help and support youAs I talked about in last week’s video blog, one of the biggest challenges in relationships is communication.I know from the various conversations I’ve had with women around the world, that a lot of women are frustrated that they don’t feel helped or supported enough by the man in their life.If they’re honest, these women know deep down inside that their man wants to help, and often he’s trying to help, but his way of doing it doesn’t necessarily resonate.

What does help and support look like to you?

It’s important to understand that we all have our own idea of what help and support look like.

There are some fundamental differences between the masculine and feminine in what constitutes ‘help’ or ‘support’, and there are also distinctions that are completely unique to us as individuals.

The masculine’s approach to support tends to be ‘fix it’.  Find the problem, find a solution.  Quick, efficient, effective.  Bish bash bosh…job done.

The feminine’s approach to support tends to be ‘talk about it’.  Connect with the person, share what’s going on, express how you’re feeling, see what else might be affecting the situation.  The feminine takes as much time is needed to make sure a person feels heard, that they’ve got everything off their chest, that their emotions have been expressed and that they FEEL better.  There might be a solution, there might not.  It doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is that they feel better about it.

The masculine can often want help in the form of space and distance, to be by themselves, to figure it out, whereas the feminine often wants to get closer to others, to feel connected and that they’re not alone.

Then there are our own individual ideas about what constitutes help and support.   For some people asking questions is helpful, because it helps them to reach their own conclusions…for others they want advice, suggestions and ideas.

Does my man even WANT to help and support me?

The frustrating thing for so many masculine men is that they not only WANT to help, they LIVE to help.  Nothing makes them happier than feeling like they are helping and supporting the women they care about….they just don’t necessarily know how.

So they help in the way that they think will help…and can often end up making things worse.

The more they try to help, the worse things get, and because they don’t want to make things worse they stop trying to help.

So if men want to help and support, and women want their help and support…surely there must be a way to make this work?

…and there is.

How can I get the help and support I want from the men in my life?

We just need to learn to bridge the gap.The gap between what we actually want and need, and what they think we want and need.There are 7 key mistakes that a lot of women face when trying to get the help and support that they want and need from the men in their life…so today I want to start to share these with you to help you get what you want and need in the future:

  1. Expecting them to read your mind – In an ideal world, where Manolo Blahniks were £10 a pair and the rivers were made of chocolate, men would automatically just ‘know’ what we want and what we need.  But we’re not living in an ‘ideal world’…I know, I’ve been looking for a £10 pair of Manolos for years.  Just because we want them to ‘know’ doesn’t mean they do.  Unfortunately they’re not just women with a couple of external amendments.  We think completely differently.  We are completely different.  If you want them to guess, the chances are that they’ll guess wrong….because they’ll guess according to the world as they see it…which is totally different to the world that you live in.
  2. Criticising them when they do it ‘wrong’ – Men don’t tend to respond well to criticism.  Actually no-one really responds well to criticism, but when you criticise a man you cut straight to his core.  Now most women think this is therefore the most effective way to communicate what they want…but in reality when you take this approach he’s likely feel attacked,  to put up the defences, and keep his distance.  When he’s in defence mode, he’s very unlikely to be taking note of your wants and desires…he’s more likely to feel like he’s been engaged in a battle, and all that matters to him in the moment is making sure he doesn’t lose.
So now I have some good news and some bad news.The good news is that there’s so much I can share with you to help you to get what you want and need in the future.The bad news is that I couldn’t fit it all into one article…so come back next week to hear the last 5 mistakes…and the 3 simple steps to getting the help and support that you want and need in the future.

Until then, stay fabulous!

Claire x

If you’re a masculine woman, or a woman operating from her masculine, will you attract a feminine man?

Woman operating from her masculineAs you know, there’s nothing I enjoy more than answering a question posed to me by a member of the Feminine 1st community.

So when a question gets asked completely independently by more than one member of the community within the space of 48 hours…I make it a priority to respond.

In order to answer this question let’s first go back to “Introduction to polarity” or if you’re in the US “Polarity 101”.

What will a woman operating from her masculine attract?

Masculine and Feminine energy in intimate relationships are like the North and South poles of a magnet.

Imagine that you have two bar magnets in front of you.

For this example we’ll say that masculine energy is represented by the red North Poles of the bar magnets, and feminine energy is represented by the blue south poles.

If you imagine trying to put together the two red north ends of the magnets, they’ll repel each other …the same happens when you put two strong masculine energies together in an intimate relationship for any period of time.

If you imagine trying to put together the two blue south ends of the magnets, they’ll also repel each other…the same happens when you put two strong feminine energies together in an intimate relationship for any period of time.

If however you put a red north together with a blue south, they are instantly attracted to each other. The same is true when you have a masculine and a feminine energy together, the polarity between them creates a magnetic pull, an attraction, which is where passion in an intimate relationship is created.

So if you have a strong masculine energy it will attract feminine energy, and if you have a strong feminine energy it will attract masculine energy.

Finally if you have two pieces of metal that don’t have any magnetic charge, they won’t repel each other, and they won’t attract each other, in fact they won’t have much affect on each other at all. This is also true in intimate relationships…if neither person is really in a strong masculine or feminine, then they won’t repel or attract, they’ll just co-exist without having much affect on the other.

What will this mean for a woman operating from her masculine?

Well if you are a woman who is operating mainly from her masculine (you can find the definition of masculinity here to see if you are spending a lot of time in this energy) and you are openly heterosexual you are likely to attract men who are operating mainly from their feminine.

Now, if you are a woman who genuinely at core is more masculine, and you are attracting in a man who genuinely at core is more feminine then this is great…because you are being congruent with your true self and you are attracting in your polar opposite, which will bring with it the spark of passion and attraction in your intimate relationship.

The time when this becomes a problem is if you are a woman who is operating from your masculine, when at core you are truly more feminine.

You see, if you are a woman who is more feminine at core, but for whatever reason you’ve got into the habit of operating from your masculine, the chances are you’re not incredibly happy.

The downside of being a feminine woman operating from her masculine the majority of the time

The chances are you probably spend a large amount of your life stressed, worried, trying to keep control with a feeling of tension in your body (especially in your shoulders and your stomach). The chances are that you don’t spend a lot of time relaxed, feeling able to breathe, just enjoying life, and feeling like you’re really being yourself.

Your reasons for operating from the masculine are probably either because you think you need to be masculine in order to be successful in your career, because you don’t trust a man to step up and really take on the masculine role so you can let it go, because you’re trying to protect yourself from getting hurt, or because you feel like you need to do it in order to keep control.

You may not even realise what it is that’s wrong…it’s just that something doesn’t feel quite right, in yourself and/or your intimate relationships.

Because a woman who is truly feminine at core really wants a masculine man.

But if you’re operating from your masculine, the chances are that you won’t attract one.

For a start, these days there aren’t a vast majority of men who are identified with and expressing their masculinity. They’ve lost touch with their masculine in the same way as we’ve lost touch with our feminine. Most men don’t have the confidence to own it, and themselves, and show up in a truly masculine way….a lot of them don’t even know what that looks like.

…and the thing is if you are occupying the ‘masculine space’, they may not have the confidence or the understanding of how to claim the masculine space themselves without being afraid of negatively affecting you in the process (the fact that if they did step in and claim it most women would breathe a sigh of relief and relax back into their feminine isn’t something they understand or realise!) They don’t want to have to ‘push you out’ of the space.

Most men will take the path of least resistance. If they want to occupy the masculine space in a relationship, and they meet a woman who’s already taken up residence in it, rather than fight her for it, they will just move on to a woman who’s leaving the space for them to step into.

If they are in a relationship and their woman is occupying the masculine space, most men will simply allow her do it, rather than battle for the territory…which naturally puts the man himself into a more feminine space (allowing vs claiming his territory).

So if you show up in a masculine way, whether you are looking for a new relationship, or already in one, the chances are that you will attract a feminine man, or bring out the feminine in the man you already have.

…and if you do come across a masculine man who is owning who he is and his masculinity?

For the most part, your little polarity magnets will repel each other. You may feel an inner attraction to him (because your feminine core will recognise the masculinity in him and feel that attraction), but he will be repelled by the masculinity you are projecting and you’ll never get to experience what it’s like to be with a truly masculine man.

So if you are a feminine woman at core, in order to attract a masculine man, or to encourage the masculine out in the man you are with the first step is to consciously step out of the masculine space yourself.

If you want some help and support in doing this, then pop along here to find out about a Special Offer on joining the Feminine 1st Family before our doors open up to the public on Saturday!

The fear for many women is that she is afraid that her man won’t step into that space if she steps out of it…but I’ll let you in on a secret. If you stay there, you are pretty much guaranteeing that he won’t…but if you do step out of the masculine space and then learn how to encourage, support and nurture the masculine in him, you might be surprised….

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Have you ever had a 69?

Laughing WomanI’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!”

…to be honest I’ll be quite intrigued to see what my visitor stats for today are…I’m betting they’ll be higher than your average Monday… 😉

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.

This applies to you.

I guarantee at some point in your life you’ve had a 69…or maybe it was a 96?

Because at times we all get caught up in our own view of the world. We forget that there is another way to look at things.

So what on earth does this have to do with the number 69?

Let me explain.

Imagine that you’re standing directly opposite someone, arms length apart and that you’ve drawn on the floor in front of you a huge number 6.

Number 6If someone were to come along and ask you what you’ve drawn on the floor, the answer would be simple. It’s a number 6. There would be absolutely no doubt in your mind, that it is a number 6. You would be able to clearly see that it is a number 6. If someone suggested that it is a different number altogether, it’s highly likely that you would (respectfully and calmly, I’m sure) confirm that it isn’t another number….it is in fact a number 6.

…and you would be right.

Number 9Now imagine for a moment that you are the person standing opposite you. If someone were to come along and ask them what has been drawn on the floor in front of them, they would have no doubt in their mind that it is a number 9. They would be able to see clearly that it is a number 9. If someone suggested that it was, in fact, a different number…they would be absolutely convinced that it is a number 9…not any other number.

….and they would be right.

If these two people were to have a conversation about the number in front of them, if they only looked at what they could see, and didn’t stop to consider another angle, each would be absolutely convinced that they knew better.

It’s definitely a 6…no, it’s definitely a 9…

How many times have you been in a situation like this, where you were absolutely convinced that you knew the answer, and were in a conversation where someone else was sure that they knew the answer…but the two answers were different?

Often we are so quick to show that we are right that we don’t realise that in the process of showing that we are right, we often imply (or even state outright!) that the other person is wrong.

It happens a lot.

If only we took the time to mentally walk around to the other side of the circle we’d see that both perspectives are valid. Neither right, neither wrong…just different.

I recently had an experience with a 69 situation. I had one perspective, and someone else had a completely different one. Neither was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…they were just different…whether due to a misunderstanding, miscommunication or just the fact that we each had slightly different perspectives.

If you want to resolve a situation like this, it always helps to accept responsibility for whatever part you might have played in the confusion and find a resolution or compromise, or at least agree to disagree on good terms.

So if you find yourself in a situation like this in the future, remember the ‘triple S’ approach:

  • Stop – Stop yourself and just pause for a moment.
  • Switch – Switch your perspective around and look for another way to view it.
  • See – See the situation from the other person’s point of view, put yourself in their shoes and see how you might feel in their position.

You don’t have to agree with another person’s point of view, in order to understand and respect it…and being able to show that you can see where they’re coming from will make life a lot easier for everyone.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

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.

Broken heart

Luckily or unluckily, depending on which way you look at it, this is not my first trip around this merry-go-round. So as painful as it is, at least I know what to expect.

Every breakup is different, but the emotions are often the same or very similar.

You have either lost or had taken away from you something that you cherished…so there is a real feeling of grief and pain.

Most of us know that there are 5 theoretical stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (of which I’ve experienced at least 3 in the last few weeks…)

But knowing the stages that you’re going to experience doesn’t actually help you to deal with them.

So how do you deal with it and still stay in your feminine?

Being open, emotionally connected and vulnerable is painful when you are going through a breakup. But from my own personal experience, the alternative can come back to bite you …

I experienced my first real heartbreak at the age of 24. It was with the first man who I truly loved and who I had moved to a new area of the country to be with.

The split came totally out of the blue for me. I had no idea that it was coming and it was a complete shock.

It was like someone had just pulled the bottom out of my world.

As we lived together, and I had very few friends in the area where we lived, I had to leave in the middle of the night and went back home to my parents’ house.

For three days I completely fell apart.

…and I mean completely and totally fell apart.

I was inconsolable.

The worst part of it wasn’t actually the pain I was experiencing, although it was gut wrenching. As strange as this may sound, the worst part was watching my family watching me going through it.

We have always been a very close family and seeing the pain on their faces, watching me going through it while knowing there was nothing they could do to take it away, was unbearable.

After three days I’d had enough.

I was tired of crying. I was tired of feeling so awful. I was determined to take control again. So given that I was going to be moving to be closer to my friends and family there were plenty of things for me to focus on.

I was focused on getting a new job, finding a flat, anything and everything to distract myself from feeling as bad as I did.

…and for a while it worked.

I moved, I started my new job and began my new life.

Until one day, about 6 months after the split, I was walking back to my car after a long day at the office when it hit me like a freight train.

All of a sudden, I was experiencing all the emotions and pain that I had felt immediately following the split.

I no longer had anything to distract me from it. I hadn’t dealt with it…I’d just buried it.

…and although I’d done a good job, it wasn’t going to stay buried forever.

I was a mess.

I asked all of my friends for help.

“What do I do?”

They all came back with the same reply.

“You just need to deal with it”.

Well, as helpful as that sounded, I was none the wiser. Because I was happy to deal with it, I WANTED to deal with it, I just didn’t know how.

When I asked them “OK, so how do I deal with it?” I got nothing but blank faces in response.

So I muddled my way through and after a rollercoaster couple of years, I eventually felt that I was over it.

Unfortunately this wasn’t my only experience of heartbreak.

A few years later I found myself in exactly the same situation. Another breakup from out of the blue…and another broken heart.

Again, for a few days I totally fell apart…but this time was different.

This time I had the wisdom of “Sex and the City” to guide me through.

You see one day, not long after this second breakup, I was watching an episode of “Sex and the City” which provided me with all the answers I was looking for.

The episode is in season 6 and is called “One”. Charlotte finds out that she is pregnant, but after a brief moment of joy she loses the baby.

She is plunged into a state of depression and Harry (her husband) tells Miranda (one of her best friends) how worried he is about her. He doesn’t know what to do.

Miranda’s response is simple.

“She’ll be ok, she just has to feel it”

Light bulb moment.

You have to feel it.

That’s how you deal with it. You feel it.

What I’ve since learned is that it’s only when you allow yourself to really feel and experience the emotions fully, that you can release them.

Anything else results in just burying the emotions, and no matter how deep you bury them, they will still be there, still hurting you.

What’s worse is at some point they will bubble up to the surface…often when you least expect them to, and usually at an even worse time.

So cry if you need to cry, shout if you need to shout, feel the fear, the pain, the hurt…all of it, as and when it comes up.

…and when you’ve felt it completely, you can then let it go.

Although it might be painful in the short-term…letting yourself feel these emotions means that you can release them and begin to heal.

It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does get you through it as quickly as possible.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Feeling what I need to feel, as and when the emotions come up. Acknowledging them, feeling them completely, moving through them and then finally, bit by bit, beginning to release them.

…and next week I will be sharing the 5 most important things to help you deal with a broken heart.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x