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Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Trish Abbott

FFF Trish AbbottToday’s Fabulous Friday Female is Trish Abbott.

As I mentioned when I started doing the Fabulous Friday Female, this project is a group effort and I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate not just the women who inspire me, but also those who inspire YOU.

So a huge thanks goes out to Heidi who stepped forward and asked me to feature Trish Abbott as one of our Fabulous Friday Females as she is someone who Heidi considers an inspiring woman.

Here’s what Heidi had to say about Trish:

Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU?

I’d like to nominate my friend Trish Abbott. I met her through a Facebook event, Random Acts of Kindness for Valentines Day. On commenting & posting (this was back in Feb) we realised we were both in Norfolk & were both Reiki healers. We met up, & I have made a wonderful friend.

Trish is a Reiki Healer, & she sends out FREE distant healing to anyone who requests it EVERY night, without fail.

She is an advocate of the ‘Suspended Coffess’ movement, & has spent her free time visiting various local coffee shops asking and trying to promote the idea of suspended coffees.

Recently, only last month, she set up her own group page ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ which already has over 500 members across the world. She has already had a gift-dropping event, encouraging people to to leave little gifts around their town for strangers to find, simply to cheer up others and give a little love & kindness.

She is already planning events for Halloween & Christmas, & seems to have captured the imagination & hearts of many.

She is an inspiration to me, she gives so much to others & asks nothing in return. I really think she deserves some recognition & appreciation!

So please join me today in acknowledging and celebrating Trish for her inspiring levels of contribution in her local community, I hope that she inspires others to find imaginative ways to connect with and contribute to their local communities too.  You can connect with Trish here and here.

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women 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 (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female or Fellow? (Their name and location in the world)
  • Why are they a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know them? What do they do? In what way are they inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of them 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

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Female is Mrs Reifler

Fabulous Friday Female -  Mrs Maria Rosa ReiflerEveryone remembers a good teacher.  If you were lucky enough to have one the memory of what they taught you, and did for you, will last a lifetime.

When I think of those kinds of teachers, there are two that come to my mind.  My first ever primary school teacher, Mrs Hollands, who knew that each child was unique and needed to be taught and dealt with in different ways, and my A-level maths teacher Miss Schofield, who never stopped looking for new ways to help me to understand things, when I had a mental block around a new concept she was introducing.

There are good teachers, there are great teachers…and then there are teachers who literally transform the lives of the children in their care.

Mrs Reifler definitely fits in the latter category.

When she realised that the children in her class were suicidal, she changed her curriculum…and the ripple effect is spreading fast and wide:

I believe so strongly that we need to give our children the knowledge and life skills that will help them to be come whole, fulfilled adults…not just focus on the one-dimensional restricted curriculums that currently dominate our education systems.

Here’s to more Mrs Reiflers…here’s to creating an army of teachers across the world determined to set the children in their care up to live life to it’s fullest…to understand how to love themselves and nurture their own feeling of self-worth and self-esteem, how to create happiness in their lives, how to have mutually fulfilling relationships and how to make the choices that are right for them.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Mrs Reifler and her one-woman mission to genuinely serve the children in her care in the best way possible to help them to create the lives that they want and deserve.  If you would like to see more Mrs Reiflers in schools all over the world, please share this story so that we can spread the word about the difference that an alternative approach to education can have.  

I hope that one day in the future my children are lucky enough to have their very own Mrs Reifler x

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

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 

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Females are Kiki Peck and Cristina Trapani-Scott

FFF Kiki Peck & Cristina TrapaniWhen I was younger, if someone told me ‘no’ it made me that much more determined I was going to do it.

So when I heard the story of today’s Fabulous Friday Female Kiki Peck, I felt like I could really understand her.

Kiki was born with Kniest syndrome (a kind of dwarfism) and has spent her whole life hearing ‘no, you can’t do that’ or ‘no, you won’t be able to do that’.

What these people failed to take into consideration was the spirit and determination of the young woman they were speaking to.

They told her she couldn’t swim.

So she swam.

They told her she couldn’t dance.

So she danced.

They told her that she’d never be in a beauty pageant.

So she took part in a beauty pageant.

Her mother Cristina has always done whatever she could to support and encourage her daughter, and then recently she finally got an insight into her life in a way she never expected.

Cristina was diagnosed with breast cancer, and when she lost her hair rather than covering it up and hiding her condition, Cristina instead chose to bare her beautiful baldness to the world…and for the first time got a tiny glimpse into the stares, judgements and questioning looks her daughter had experienced her whole life.

Recently Chrstina and Kiki appeared on the Katie Couric show, to share their story:

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Kiki and Cristina for their courage, inspiration and determination to not let anything hold them back from living life to the full.  …and the next time you think ‘I can’t…’ I encourage you to think of this amazing young woman and ask yourself “What would Kiki do?” x 

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Female is Ashley Munroe

FFF Ashley Munroe I love hearing about teenagers who have the courage to break from the mold and risk standing apart from the crowd to do something inspiring and kind for others.

…and today’s Fabulous Friday Female resonated with me personally because we seem to share a similar idea, although on a very different scale.  Last year for my birthday, I decided I wanted to do something different, so I bought some presents and cards, writing in each one of them “You are beautiful” and handed them out to random strangers in central London.

16 year old Ashley Munroe had a similar idea…only on a much greater scale!  Ashley took 6 hours to write out nearly 2,000 post-it notes and stick them on to every locker of every student at her school.

She shared her story on the Huffington Post, to let people know what she’d done…and the punishment she nearly suffered as a result.

It’s a great story, and rather than try to paraphrase it, I thought it would be better to let Ashley tell it in her own words:

FFF Ashley Munroe 2

This is a picture of something I did at my school last year. I wrote out 1,986 sticky notes. Each said, “You’re beautiful,” and I stuck one to every locker in my entire school.

yourebeautiful

It was almost unbearable to listen people put themselves down every day. They would say things like, “I’m ugly” or “No one likes me.” To me, that wasn’t the truth. For at least one day, I wanted everyone to know that someone thought they were beautiful.

It took me over 6 hours to write all of the notes, and an hour to stick them with the help of one other friend. It wasn’t my original plan to tell people that I had done it, but word got out after I had been called to the Dean’s office. They found me through the school’s video surveillance system.

After being sat down in the office and explaining everything that had happened, there was talk of a possible 3-day suspension from school. When I went back to my classroom, my teacher asked me what they said, and I told her. This is how the rest of the students found out. Throughout the entire day word of the possible suspension circulated, and a group of students came together and formed a petition. They passed the petition around school.

In the end, it had over 600 signatures, from both students AND faculty.

It amazed me that people would do that for me. For one day, I truly felt beautiful. And for one day, I managed to make every other kid in my school feel beautiful, as well.

A few days later, after the incident was not as new, a complete stranger approached me. What she said to me was shocking.

“That day, I was planning on killing myself. I had given up completely on society, but because of you I didn’t. You gave me hope. Thank you.”

What’s more amazing than that is the fact that today she has become one of my best friends.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Ashley and her beautiful story, her desire to help others see the beauty in themselves and the gift she gave another girl, that came back to her in the form of an amazing friendship.  I hope she has inspired you to see the beauty in yourself too x 

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

Today’s Fabulous Friday Fellow is Gerald Rogers

Fabulous Friday Fellow Gerald RogersAs this is only the third time I’ve featured a Fabulous Friday Fellow on the site, you know that the men I select are incredibly special…and they are chosen because I believe they have something to share that will truly change others.

Today’s choice is no exception.

Gerald Rogers is a transformational leader, speaker and entrepreneur…and these have nothing whatsoever to do with the reason I’ve chosen him for our third Fabulous Friday Fellow.

No, Gerald has been chosen for his courage, vulnerability and insight.  For his decision to take a painful personal experience, and to share from the heart advice to others that he wished he had been given himself.

Advice that could transform relationships if read, understood and taken to heart.

So rather than paraphrase his words…I’m just going to share them here, exactly as he has and allow you to take from them what you will.

MARRIAGE ADVICE I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD:

Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about going through divorce that gives you perspective of things you wish you would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…

1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love.

5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7) NEVER BLAME your wife If you get frustrated or angry, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8) Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel loved.

11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered.)

15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fear and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, and part of that courage is allowing her to love your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is for a relationship that isn’t focused on growing. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. Forgiveness is freedom. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.

But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.

Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

So today I would like you to join me in honouring and celebrating Gerald and his words to men everywhere which could change the lives of men AND women…if they choose to let them.

I hope that you allow the message he is sharing to resonate through every cell in your body, allow it to open your heart, and allow it to feed your desire to choose to be the best you can be for your partner every single day, whether you are a man or a woman, of any age.

…and a note for any women reading this.  If you want a man who will show up for you in this way, be the woman who allows him to be this kind of man for you, supports him in stepping into everything he can be and encourages him with words of appreciation along the way.

He will make mistakes.  So will you.

If you want a man like this, think about the kind of woman who a man like this would desire. Would he want constant criticism, jokes at his expense, to be second-guessed or unappreciated?

Remember, what shows up for you is a reflection of how you show up in the world…if you want a man who will show up for you in the way you want and need, you also need to show up for him in the way that he wants and needs too.

Not in order to ‘get what you want’…but because the kind of woman who deserves a man of this nature wouldn’t want to do anything less.

Thanks also to James Russell Lingerfelt for sharing the above originally.

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Umamah Tarvala

FFF Umamah TarvalaI remember how challenging A-levels were…it seemed like there was always more to do, more coursework, more studying, more exams.

I only did 3 A-levels, so when I hear of other people who have done more, I’m always a little in-awe of them.  I don’t know how I’d have done another one on top of the work I already had.

So when I saw a story last week about a teenager who not only took 4 A-level exams…but did so whilst helping her mother to care for her sick father and volunteering in a local care home I knew she was going to be this week’s Fabulous Friday Female.

What’s even more wonderful about this story is that years of helping her mother care for her father who suffers from epileptic seizures inspired her to want to study medicine to “understand the complexity of the human body and the difference doctors make to human life.  I want to care for the residents of our society”.

Her predicted grades had earned her a place studying biomechanics at UCL, but her results, an incredible 2 A* grades an A and a B mean that she can fulfil her dream of studying medicine.

“I come from a poor family where my mother and father can’t work.  My father’s condition inspired me,” Umamah shared, “to give something back to society”.

In my world, studying 4 A-levels is impressive, achieving the grades that Umamah did is fantastic, and doing all of that while volunteering and helping care for a sick parent is inspirational.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Umamah and wishing her every success in her dream to give something back to society and care for the residents of our society. 

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

Today’s Fabulous Friday Females are Samantha Manns and Virginia Booth

FFF Samantha Manns and Virginia BoothTeenagers often get a bad rap these days, so when I see one who is doing amazing inspiring things it warms my heart…and it makes me want to shout it from the rooftops!

So when I heard about the wonderful Facebook page that Samantha Manns set up in memory of her beloved “Jinjey’s life” I just had to share it with you.

Virginia Booth must have been an inspiring woman, because when she died at the age of 89 earlier this year her teenage grandaughter decided she wanted to do something special to honour her memory.

Being a huge fan of random acts of kindness and paying it forward myself I was deeply touched when I saw that Samantha has committed to doing 89 kind acts in honour of Jinjey’s memory and the 89 years she spent sharing kindness with others…and wants to inspire others to do the same.

You can follow Samantha’s journey here through her website, or on the Facebook page here.

A few of highlights from the acts performed so far:

Act 23; Wednesday, June 26, 2013: (It’s a LONG one, but I hope you’ll read it!) What do a sketchpad; pastel chalks; hand sanitizer; a washcloth shaped like a soccer ball; some grow-in-water miniatures of a castle, crown, and wand; a card with a United States Dollar; a wall cling that says, “Once upon a time, there was a princess…”; a necklace; and a bike helmet all have in common? They’re all on their way to Europe! I have been talking back and forth with a young lady from England who has just entered inpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. For anyone who is not familiar with the disorder, those who suffer from Anorexia will characteristically starve themselves to a dangerously low weight. Anorexia effects both men and woman, young and old, rich and poor, traumatized and privileged, across all nations and countries. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; one in five people who suffer the disorder will die, either due to complications from malnutrition or suicide. As we were talking, it came about that she was feeling very lonely and wished someone would send her a card or a letter, so I asked for the address to mail her something. She said, “I’ve never gotten anything from America before,” and gave me the address of the clinic, along with her information on how to get it to her. Attached to each gift is a note, along with huge numbers saying, “OPEN ME FIRST”, “I COME SECOND,” and so one and so forth. The helmet is first. The note on it reads: “Brace yourself! The road to recovery isn’t always smooth sailing! But I know you can do it!” Next, the growing toys: “Sometimes in life, it is perfectly acceptable to imagine your own safe place or fairy tale land. Here are some tools to get you started!” After that is the soccer ball: “Remember, life is all about having a BALL!” Then comes the hand sanitizer: “Being clean on the outside can make you feel better on the inside. That, and it’s good to smell nice!” Fifth is the wall cling: “Because one day, Anorexia will be just once upon a time.” Next is the card with the dollar bill. The dollar is just a momento from America  But in the card, it says that the pastel chalks and the paper pad (specifically for pastel chalks) are to help her express herself. I talked about how art has really helped me in my recovery process, and how it’s important to find beauty in everything we see. I also included instructions for the necklace. The necklace was a gift to me from a lady when I first started 89 Acts of Kindness. It says on it, “I can inspire.” It has a heart pendant on it, too. Her instructions are to wear it as long as she needs it, but I would like for her to one day pass it on to someone who inspires her, and give them the same instructions. She has inspired me with her courage and her strength, and I feel the need to give this to her above all of the silly other things I put in there. It’s good to laugh! But I really hope that this can give her another push in the right direction. I will post a follow up when she receives the package!

 

Act One; Tuesday, February 19, 2012: I went through the McDonald’s drive-through and placed my order, then continued to the first window like normal. I paid for the woman behind me, too  When I watched her reaction upon receiving her paper instead of a receipt with a cost on it; she started to cry and smiled huge! It made me very happy to see her reaction

 

Act 19; Sunday, May 12, 2013: Wow! What a day! I can honestly say that today has been one of the best days of my life!!! Delivering 89 roses to the staff, patients, and visitors at both the OSU Medical Center and the Adena Medical Center was such an uplifting experience! It took nearly three hours (plus one hour of driving), but the time really seemed to fly. One of my favorite patients looked, sounded, and acted exactly like Jinjey. I asked her if she wanted a rose and she said, “Oh, honey, I’d love one, but I don’t have anything to put it in.” I then told her, “I’ll be right back,” and snuck off to the nurses’ station where a nurse gave me a large plastic container to put the rose in with some water in it. The patient was so thrilled! Another woman looked at me and said, “This is the first Mother’s Day rose I’ve gotten in years,” smiling at me, alone in her room. She’d not had any visitors for her stay, either, and said that this act of kindness certainly brightened her day! On another floor, some little children came up to me and wanted to know if they could have a rose for their mom, who was having surgery. Of course I said yes! I didn’t get to see her reaction, but I’m sure she loved it! One nurse asked if she could have four roses: one for her, one for her mom, and two for the Jesus statuette she had in her home to honor her grandmothers. A few people asked me, “Who are you with?” I just responded, “… Myself,” chuckled, and told them about the 89 Acts of Kindness. The reaction was the same all across the board: “Wow! That’s so nice of you to think of other people as a way to remember your great-grandma!” But if there’s one thing the acts thus far have taught me, it’s that I’m really no different than anyone else. I’m a little under 1/4 of the way through the acts, and I’ve got to say that I have already learned so much about myself, humanity, and what it means to be a truly caring person. It’s not about how much money you can give, nor is it about how much time or sympathy you offer. True kindness is recognizing the human in everyone, and offering your humanity, your heart, and your most caring self to them. Whether you are holding the door open for someone or paying for their dinner; helping an old lady cross the street or paying for her groceries; playing with puppies at the local shelter or giving 89 roses away to people stuck in hospitals on Mother’s Day; no matter what you are doing, if you are operating from a position of pure, true kindness, you’ll find that the happiness you provide for them WILL rub off on you, and you will learn more and more about yourself with every act you do 

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Samantha for her beautiful tribute to Jinjey, and also to acknowledge the incredible example that Virginia Booth lived which inspired Samanthat to honour her in this way.  I hope their example inspires many others….

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

Today’s Fabulous Friday Females are Hannah and Haylee Smith

fff Hannah and Haylee SmithIt’s normally the job of parents to look after their children…but there comes a time in every parent-child relationship when the tide shifts in the other direction.

Sometimes this happens sooner than expected and that was definitely the case for the Smith family from Oregon.

I’ve always been a big advocate of the power of the feminine traits, especially that of nurturing others.  I often share the experience that Angela Cavallo had when her son was pinned under a Chevy Impala car (which you can read here) and the extraordinary feats that women can undertake when someone who they care about is in danger.

Well it turns out that this can be true for younger women as well as Jeff Smith discovered earlier this year.

He was using his tractor to remove a tree stump from his yard when the mud on his boots caused his foot to slip off of the clutch. The 3,000-pound tractor then flipped over, crushing the father of two underneath.

Hannah Smith, 16, and Haylee Smith, 14, were just getting home from school when they heard their father’s frantic pleas for help.

“We heard, ‘Save me. Help me, God,'” Haylee told the Democrat-Herald. The sisters ran toward the voice and found their father trapped under the tractor.

Every time he screamed he lost more and more breath as the tractor crushed his chest.

Hannah and Haylee dialed 911 but knowing that where they live it could take 20 minutes for help to arrive they decided there was only one option…to try and get him free themselves.

They first tried to dig him out but when that didn’t work the only option was to try and lift the tractor off him.

With nothing more than determination that they had to help their father, miraculously the girls managed to lift the tractor enough for him to free himself.

Incredibly he suffered only a broken wrist and a few other minor injuries.

“If these two hadn’t been here to hear me…” Jeff Smith told the Democrat-Herald, his voice trailing off. “They saved my life.”

The Smiths are keeping the tractor that nearly crushed the family patriarch, but they’ve given it an appropriate nickname: Satan.

The girls were so intent on helping their father, who they clearly love deeply, they didn’t have time to think about how impossible it was to save him.

Watch the video to hear the girls’ account of the traumatic experience:

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Hannah and Haylee, their incredible courage and amazing feat that they accomplished to save their Dad’s life.

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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

Bathroom cleaning

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the Mum with a sense of humour

Interesting approach to bathroom cleaningParenting teens can sometimes be a bit of a challenge…especially when you’re trying to get them to do chores.

So one Mum across the pond in America decided to use a bit of humour to try and inspire some action in her children.

When she went out for the evening she left a note taped to the bathroom door with a simple, but slightly tongue-in-cheek request on it:

“Please clean this bathroom tonight.  Clean it like the Queen of England is Visiting.  Backboards / Mop / Tub…Please Please.”

…when she returned, she was shocked and amused by what she found.

Not only was the bathroom clean, but it was set up to be perfect for her Majesty’s arrival.

By the sink was a selection of teas along with a Union Jack flag and a friendly sign reading “Welcome to America! Enjoy your stay!”

…and wanting to make sure that Ma’am had everything a royal could wish for during her stay, on the back of the toilet was a copy of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, so she could enjoy a bit of British literature while undergoing her daily ablutions!

Dealing with these kinds of situations can sometimes provoke an air of confrontation and hostility, but I love that the approach of this woman inspired an equally amusing response, as well as the co-operation of her teens.

So today I would like you to join me in celebrating this woman’s style and I hope she inspires other parents to think outside the box when confronted with a challenging situation with their children, and to see if they can inspire their fun side too!

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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 (claire@feminine1st.com) 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