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Aspects of the Feminine, N - Natural, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Aspects of the feminine…it’s all natural

Aspects of the Feminine, N - Natural, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stWe’re now nearing the end of our deep dive into the different aspects of the feminine, as this week is our penultimate aspect.

We’ve already looked at Flow, Emotional Connection, Magic, Inspiration, Nurturing and Intuition…and today we focus on one of the most important aspects.

This is what I would describe as the foundational element of the feminine.

All of the other aspects and traits that we’ve talked about need to originate here otherwise they won’t have the desired effect.

 

To find your feminine you need to be real…

This week we’re looking at the second N in FEMININE, which is all about being natural.

What do we mean by being natural?

Being natural is all about being real, being authentic, being true to yourself.

…and as I said, this is the foundational element of the feminine…all of the other aspects need to come from an authentic, real and natural place otherwise they won’t be effective.

There’s nothing worse than fake feminine…

We’ve spoken about masculine masks in the past, and ‘fake feminine’ or putting a feminine mask on can be just as problematic.

When we take on the feminine aspects, without them being real, it just becomes more of a burden.

It becomes easy and enjoyable when it’s authentic, coming from the inside out…but when it just becomes masks on top of masks it can feel draining and cause us more harm than good.

So today I want to share with you not only how to be more natural with your femininity and tap into your intuition, but also an incredibly important learning that I had around intuition that could change how you view it completely…

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

So how can you be feminine in a more natural way?

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

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

So click here to find out how to connect with your feminine in a more natural way!

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

So what IS feminine? What does it look like? Can you learn how to be feminine?

feminine

So…the question that everyone keeps asking me…what IS feminine?

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

Does Feminine = Weak?

So let’s start with weakness.  Feminine has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with aubergines (cue lots of emails telling me he is an aubergine addict…).  In fact, a genuinely feminine woman is incredibly strong; feminine strength just presents itself in a different way to masculine strength.  Masculine strength comes from tension and contraction whereas feminine strength comes from flow and flexibility.  A feminine woman is a force of nature.

Does Feminine = Submission?

Another common misperception is that being feminine involves being submissive and appeasing people around you (especially men).  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s about being true to yourself, finding your inner strength and self respect and being proud of who you are inside.

Does Feminine = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that being feminine is about being girly, pink and fluffy, or replicating old-fashioned domesticity.  Every time I hear femininity described in this way, it is always followed up with a comment along the lines of “but that’s not who I am”.  Femininity comes from the inside out;  it’s not something that you ‘put on’ in order to give an appearance.  The time that a woman is truly feminine is when she’s being totally authentic.

So what does Feminine look like?

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.  For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.  I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are being completely authentic from the inside out.

Now I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are…but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress! 🙂

Being feminine is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple.

…and as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as being feminine looks slightly different for each individual woman.

However, there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, but they will all appear in some shape or form.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about being F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E. first.

Flow – Being feminine is all about being open, and letting things flow.  The crucial element of this flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

Emotionally connected – Women are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.  Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of being feminine and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.  Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.  We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love…pure and simple.

Magic – I’m not referring to Harry Potter or David Copperfield here!  This is all about re-capturing the sense of magic from our childhood.  Being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Most importantly…don’t take yourself too seriously!  Being feminine is about remembering the wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

Inspiring – Unlike some of our male counterparts, feminine women don’t have any inclination to use force or pressure to affect people around us…our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with.

Nurturing – Women are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!  Our feminine nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.

Intuition – Everyone has heard of female intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to take the form of some sort of supernatural ability…intuition can simply be a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience.  At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something…often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise…it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t noticed.  Either way…if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then it’s got to be a good thing!

Natural – Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine woman it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core…embracing and embodying it completely.  Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart…and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things…it’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.  It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside…with your ‘essence’…and allowing that to radiate out.

Energy – Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real power comes from.  A feminine woman is an absolute force of nature.  She doesn’t seek out power, or to prove herself like her male counterparts…and when she’s really in her element there is absolutely no need for either.  She can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through her…and every single person she meets can feel it too.

So there, as promised, is my definition of feminine.  It’s come as a result of researching lots of different sources…as well as from my own personal experience.

…and the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of being feminine?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

Have you ever had an unusual request from a stranger, like this?

Question from a strangerAs we all know, Femininity is nothing to do with what you wear, what you say, or what you do…it’s all about who you are.

Getting back to the real you inside, being your true authentic self and letting it radiate out of you for the world to see.

If a feminine woman who is confident and comfortable in her femininity walked in a room wearing trainers, baggy jeans and a big jumper without her hair being done or a scrap of makeup across her face, people would still be able to see her femininity.

Likewise if a woman who was more identified with her masculine traits walked into a room in a beautiful dress, people would still see and respond to the masculinity in her.

When you’re really in touch with who you truly are, it radiates out of you. They might not even realise it, but people can see it and feel it…they respond to it.

I had an experience a few years ago that really demonstrated this to me. I’d always known that people can get a sense of other people…but I hadn’t realised how literal that could be.

As you may know, I’m something of a hugger.

I love hugging.

Most people who have ever met me have probably been hugged by me (with certain notable exceptions…I don’t believe I’ve ever hugged my dentist, doctor or a policeman…yet).

One of my favourite videos of all time is the FREE HUGS viral video:

I am the originator of the now world famous “Squishy Hug”.

Several years ago I actually had two ‘FREE HUGS’ T-shirts made up that have been worn on numerous occasions.

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

…and I have even hugged rival team members during a friendly game of rounders (a game similar to softball if you are one of my international readers).

There are few situations that I can think of where a hug won’t make things a little bit better 🙂

Everyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is through a heartfelt hug….and that I am just as happy to give strangers a hug as I am my friends.

A few years ago, I was in a salsa club in London…it was pretty late in the evening and I’d been dancing most of the night.

The club I was at was one of my regular spots…I went there at least 2 or 3 times a week and I knew all of the regulars…and several of the irregulars too!

Unlike most of the clubs that I went to, this one often had a mix of dancers and non-dancers…so not everyone who was there was there to salsa.

I was stood on the edge of the dance floor in a little world of my own watching my friends dancing, when I saw someone approaching me.

Now in a salsa club, if someone comes towards you it’s normally to ask you to dance, so I was fully expecting a request to hit the floor and bust out some moves.

When I turned to see who was walking towards me I realised that it was a woman…but as I both lead and follow in salsa it’s not unusual for women to ask me to dance as well as men, so I wasn’t surprised.

As she stopped in front of me I realised that I’d never seen this person before, she wasn’t part of the local salsa scene and hadn’t been to any of the clubs or events that I’d been to….but that wouldn’t have stopped me from having a dance!

So I turned to look at her and she said simply “Can I have a hug?”

I was a little surprised by the request as I had been expecting to be asked for a dance…but without missing a beat I responded by saying “Of course you can” and giving her one of my famed squishy hugs.

Once I’d given her the hug she smiled and simply said “Thank you” and then left the club. As I watched her go I realised that she wasn’t with anyone else…and I never saw her again.

It suddenly occurred to me that if she had asked the same question to anyone else I knew in the club at that time at best they would have probably given her a very odd look and made an excuse to get out of the situation…at worst they would have flat refused.

I checked and I wasn’t wearing one of my free hugs T-shirts…and I’d also not been hugging people at the time, so it didn’t appear that she’d seen something that would have suggested I’d be open to the request.

Then I realised something.

It wasn’t because I was doing or saying something…it’s because of who I was. I was ‘being’ myself…and other people can just pick up on it.

In the same way as when I’m out and about my sister regularly asks, “Why do strangers always start talking to you?”….and I respond by saying “I think it’s because they can tell that I’m the sort of person who will talk back!”

When you are being yourself, completely and totally, other people can sense it, and they respond to it without needing to see any other ‘evidence’ of it.

It’s the reason random strangers start talking to me no matter where I am…it’s the reason that I find kind people wherever I go who offer to help if I get stuck…and it’s the reason that people feel they can walk up to me in a salsa club and ask me for a hug, even if they’ve never met me before!

So this week I have two questions for you. Firstly, “Who are you being?” and secondly “Are you being it so completely that other people can just sense it?”

…and this is a reminder to you that being feminine has nothing to do with what is on the outside, what you do or what you say…it’s about who you are.

When you feel it on the inside, it radiates out of you…and then other people can see the beautiful feminine woman that you really are.

…and next time you see me, be sure to claim your squishy hug! ;o)

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Tanya Paluso!

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the gorgeous Tanya Paluso.

Tanya’s story begins, with her gypsy spirit to travel the world. After living abroad in China, Japan, Spain and South America, she moved to New York City to begin her journey in personal development. It was there that Tanya discovered her passion for community building when she started a project to bring her colleagues at Thomson Financial together to mentor inner city girls. The project was so successful that she won the 2006 Community Champion award out of 15,000 employees and raised over $30,000 for her partner non-profit, Girls Inc.

After leaving corporate sales at Thomson to study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she started the non-profit Play 4 Life, Inc. to bring nutrition into inner city schools, again bringing community together for fundraiser events such as karaoke and dodgeball tournaments.

When she moved back to San Diego in 2008, she felt the calling, and started organizing small events for women to empower each other, which eventually morphed into Tribal Truth when she partnered with Novalena Betancourt.

Tribal Truth is an incredible community for women whose purpose is to ‘Put a tribe behind your dream’.  It is all about women collaborating and supporting each other with their dreams, and doing it from a really open, authentic and honest place.

I wanted to share a video that Tanya recently did about community…what I love about it is that she talks about REAL community…the fact that it’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy, and that we’re not all perfect (including herself!)…and this is perfectly OK…

London Tribal Truth LaunchWhat is amazing about Tanya is that she is really walking her talk, being open and authentic and having the tribe support her with her dream of having Tribal Truth in 100 cities in 5 years.  Having launched Tribal Truth in 5 US cities already, it has now gone international with the launch of the London tribe last weekend (http://www.tribal-truth.com/launch/london-membership)…and there are many others on the horizon!

I believe that any woman who is focused on bringing women together in support and collaboration, and doing so from a very open, feminine and honest place deserves acknowledgement and celebration.

So please join me in celebrating Tanya today, with love and gratitude x

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
  • Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do?  In what way is she inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of her 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 who inspire YOU.

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

Claire x

 

Shoes…

Today I want to talk about one of my all time favourite topics….Shoes! 🙂

There are lots of different types of shoes available…there are high heels, flip flops, men’s shoes, ladies boots, wellington boots, pumps, wedges, flippers, trainers…the list goes on and on.

The thing with shoes is that not every type of shoe is right for every person.

For example I had a friend at university who had a seemingly limitless array of different types of trainers. I personally have two, one proper pair for running and a pair that are comfortable but have a little bling on for when I feel like being casual but still a little feminine. I know other people who don’t have any.

Likewise I have quite a collection of high heels (don’t ask me how many I have…I’ve never wanted to count them!). My trainer friend had one…for when she absolutely, positively, couldn’t in any way get away with wearing trainers (like at a formal ball). Again, I know other people who have none.

Personally I have a strong aversion to Crocs…I’ve heard that they are very comfortable, but they just don’t fit with my personal style. I know some people who wear them all the time.

Not all shoes are right for all people.

In addition, even shoes that are right for someone aren’t necessarily right for them at all times and in all situations.

For example, if you’re going to be digging in the garden, I highly doubt that you’ll be wanting to do it in a pair of stiletto heels….even if at other times they would be your shoes of choice.

Likewise if you’re heading to the beach it’s unlikely that you’re going to be wanting to take your wellington boots with you. But if it was time to roll your sleeves up for a muddy afternoon sorting out the garden, they’d be the first shoes you’d reach for.

So as interesting as this is, why am I talking about different types of shoes?

Well, the reason is that in the same way as not all shoes are right for all people, and not all shoes that are right for a person are right in every situation…the same is true for approaches to life…and femininity.

Not all approaches to life and femininity are right for everyone….and even those which are right for everyone aren’t necessarily right at every point in time.

So if there is something that pops up in the newsletter or blog which you think “I’m not sure that’s quite right for me at the moment” that’s absolutely fine!

If it’s not the right fit then just leave it where it is for now.

You never know, there may be a point in the future when you decide that you’d like to come back to it and re-visit it.

…and if that doesn’t happen, that’s absolutely fine as well.

This is YOUR journey. You need to find the information and advice that’s right for you…to help you embrace being the beautiful authentic woman you are….and to celebrate it!

If something doesn’t fit right…it might just be that you’re trying to do the garden in stilettos or that you’re a high heels girl trying to make Crocs fit your personal style.

Find the shoes, and the approaches to femininity, that are right for where you are in your life right now…and then enjoy them!

So, what shoes are right for YOU right now…?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Pink High Heels

The $64,000 Question…What IS Femininity?

female symbol

So…the question that everyone keeps asking me…what IS femininity?

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

Does Femininity = Weakness?

So let’s start with weakness.  Femininity has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with aubergines (cue lots of emails telling me he is an aubergine addict…).  In fact, a genuinely feminine woman is incredibly strong; feminine strength just presents itself in a different way to masculine strength.  Masculine strength comes from tension and contraction whereas feminine strength comes from flow and flexibility.  A feminine woman is a force of nature.

Does Femininity = Submissive?

Another common misperception is that it involves being submissive and appeasing people around you (especially men).  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s about being true to yourself, finding your inner strength and self respect and being proud of who you are inside.

Does Femininity = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that femininity is about being girly, pink and fluffy, or replicating old-fashioned domesticity.  Every time I hear femininity described in this way, it is always followed up with a comment along the lines of “but that’s not who I am”.  Femininity comes from the inside out;  it’s not something that you ‘put on’ in order to give an appearance.  The time that a woman is truly feminine is when she’s being totally authentic.

So what does Femininity equate to?

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.  For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.  I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are being completely authentic from the inside out.

Now I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are…but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress! 🙂

Femininity is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple.

…and as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as femininity is slightly different for each individual woman.

However, there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, but they will all appear in some shape or form.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about being F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E. first.

Flow – Femininity is all about being open, and letting things flow.  The crucial element of this flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

Emotionally connected – Women are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.  Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of femininity and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.  Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.  We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love…pure and simple.

Magic – I’m not referring to Harry Potter or David Copperfield here!  This is all about re-capturing the sense of magic from our childhood.  Being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Most importantly…don’t take yourself too seriously!  Remembering the wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

Inspiring – Unlike some of our male counterparts, feminine women don’t have any inclination to use force or pressure to affect people around us…our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with.

Nurturing – Women are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!  Our nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.

Intuition – Everyone has heard of female intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to take the form of some sort of supernatural ability…intuition can simply be a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience.  At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something…often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise…it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t noticed.  Either way…if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then it’s got to be a good thing!

Natural – Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine woman it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core…embracing and embodying it completely.  Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart…and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things…it’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.  It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside…with your ‘essence’…and allowing that to radiate out.

Energy – Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real power comes from.  A feminine woman is an absolute force of nature.  She doesn’t seek out power, or to prove herself like her male counterparts…and when she’s really in her element there is absolutely no need for either.  She can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through her…and every single person she meets can feel it too.

So there, as promised, is my definition of femininity.  It’s come as a result of researching lots of different sources…as well as from my own personal experience.

…and the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of femininity?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x