Do you show all of yourself?

do you show yourselfNo, this isn’t another article delving into my explorations of public nudity (…though if you’re interested in them, you can check them out here and here!)

As we know, one of the key traits of femininity is being real, being authentic. Embracing, being and showing every aspect of the you that you are inside.

I did a radio interview a few weeks ago, and one of the questions that the lovely host asked me was “If you had to do the elevator pitch for how to be successful in relationships, what would you say?”

Well, to say that I was put on the spot is an understatement!

So what did I say?

“Love yourself, Be Yourself, Show Yourself and have an appreciation for the other point of view”

I realised after saying this that I’d actually missed out a vital piece of the puzzle…the starting point…know yourself.

In order to be authentically you, and therefore really connect with the authentic aspect of your feminine, it’s important that you take these four steps:

Know yourself

It’s very hard to be authentic if you don’t know who you are deep down inside.

I spent well over 20 years of my life not really knowing who I was at all.

I knew parts of myself, of course. I knew some of the things I liked, and some of the things I didn’t, but between living a life that I thought I ‘should’ be living, and going through many relationships where I gave up so much of myself to please my partner (a trait I’m glad to say that I’ve long-since left behind!)…I wasn’t really in touch with who ‘Claire’ really was.

It took some much needed ‘me time’, some invaluable help from coaches and mentors and some soul searching to figure out who I really was, what I really wanted, and what meant the most to me in life.

Knowing yourself means knowing all of you, the good, the not so good, and the stuff you don’t really want to admit to. When you can know and accept all the sides of you, the more at peace that you will be with yourself, and the easier to connect with your feminine it will be.

The journey is a life-long one of discovery, because we’re all changing every day with our various experiences.
I still find that every now and again something will pop up and I’ll think “Really? I never realised that about myself!”

So the question I have for you is – do you know all of you?

Love Yourself

Knowing yourself is one thing.

Loving yourself is a whole different story.

We tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else in our lives.

We complain and criticise ourselves when we do things ‘wrong’. We chatise ourselves when we haven’t done something we ‘should’ have done. We’re quick with a degradingremark “I look fat in this”, “I’m so stupid”, “I should have known better”, “why can’t I be more like X?”

Forgetting loving ourselves…liking ourselves would be a good start!!

In order to get what we realy want in life we first need to believe that we deserve it.

In order to receive love we need to believe we deserve love, if we deserve love we deserve it first and foremost from ourselves.

Loving ourselves means acknowledging accepting and loving every part of who we are….including our perfectly imperfect parts too.

We are always with ourselves, so it’s our choice do we want to carry around out biggest critic, or our biggest fan?

Be yourself

When we’ve learned to love ourselves it becomes that much easier to be ourselves.

This is all about allowing ourselves to embody and be every part of who we are, at any time no matter who we’re with, where we are or what we’re doing.

Many years back I was such a chameleon that I was an entirely different aspect of myself when I was at work, with family and with different friendship groups. They were all aspects of me, but just not all of me. When I Faced the prospect of bringing all of these groups together for a milestone birthday I was celebrating it was enough to give me a panic attack!

By being the whole you all the time, you gift others the gift of everything you are and everything you bring to the table…just by being yourself.

Show yourself

Showing yourself takes things to the next level…this is where your vulnerability comes into its own.

In order to really connect with yourself and therefore connect with others (another key aspect of femininity) you need to be prepared to show yourself.

By sharing your fears, your concerns, your worries, your embarrassments, your hopes your dreams, your shame, your moments of pride you give others permission to do the same.

When you allow yourself to acknowledge and share out loud these parts of yourself, you’ll be surprised what other (sometimes surprising!) parts of yourself may reveal themselves to you as well.

You become so much more in tune with parts of yourself that you might not have otherwise realised were there…and so the cycle continues.

The more you show, the more you know.

The more you know, the more you can love.

The more you love, the more you can be.

The more you ‘be’, the more you can show…

So when you know yourself, love yourself, be yourself and show yourself you naturally transform every relationship in your life.

It doesnt just affect your intimate relationship, it will transform your relationships at work, with friends, family, children and most importantly with yourself.

And the part about having an appreciation for the other side?

I’ve not forgotten about it…I’ll reveal all about that next week…

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a little reminder that if you have a burning question about Femininity, Masculinity, Polarity, Dating or Relationships you can click here to find out all about the free Q&A webinar I’m hosting this Tuesday 12th March, and how to send me your question for me to answer:

Until then, 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

Do you share your inner sparkle?

I think that we can all agree that 2012 has brought some significant challenges my way. It’s not been the easiest of years…but in some ways it has been the best year in a long time too.

Especially in the last couple of months I’ve really been in a great space and (apparently!)….the jig is up…other people have noticed!

Although I haven’t been aware of it, or intending to do it…I seem to have been radiating a different kind of energy, and people have picked up on it. Friends, family…even total strangers have commented on it!

So why am I sharing this with you? Watch the video now to find out…

So have you ever dimmed your inner sparkle for the sake of others, to fit in or just from a feeling that it would be ‘the polite thing to do’?!

What will you do differently next time? How could you share YOUR inner sparkle with others? What difference do you think it could make?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think about sharing your inner sparkle.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Do you wear an online mask…?

I’ve spoken a lot about the challenges with masculine and feminine masks, but there is another type of mask that is also causing us a lot of problems at the moment…and it could be affecting your femininity.

These days we spend a huge amount of time interacting and connecting online.  Globally we spend a collective 35 Billion hours online a month, which equates to nearly 4 million years!  Of this time, 22% of it is spent on Social Media and 19% on emails…so around 41% of our time online is spent involved in some kind of communication.

What is scary is that 39% of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do face to face…and I’m sure that the stats for other areas of the world are similar.

In addition, a recent survey showed that these days, many people with a mobile phone prefer texting over a phone call…leading to even more text-based communication.

The challenge with this is that a lot of people wear what I call an “Online mask”.

Masks are there to conceal the identity of the wearer. Wearing any mask involves portraying characteristics that not consistent with who you are on the inside, and hiding an element of the ‘real you’.

When people interact online it is so easy to use the internet as a mask to hide behind.  People say and do things online that they would never dream about doing in the real world, face-to-face.

It’s easier to be bold when you can’t see the immediate reaction from the person you are interacting with.

I’ve personally had a lot of experiences where people I have interacted with online have been very different when I’ve interacted with them offline.

Several years ago I did a stint of online dating, which meant getting to know someone first through a website or email before meeting them face-to-face.  There were so many times that a guy seemed one way online and yet in person was completely different.

There were the usual cases of a man claiming to be 6’2” and in reality showing up as 5”8, or photos that looked like they were taken 10 years ago, but the biggest surprise for me was the amount of drastically changing personalities.  I can’t tell you the amount of times that a guy came across as confident on an email or on a website….but was painfully shy or awkward face to face. Sometimes a guy would appear flirty and forward over text message…but didn’t show up that way when there in person.  One guy who I met in Guilford had seemed very confident over email, but was completely incapable of looking me in the eye over coffee at the local Starbucks!

I know that some people use Social Media to create an ‘online persona’ for their business which is the complete opposite of their offline self as a ‘marketing exercise’.  There are individuals who are privately facing financial ruin…but publicly are declaring themselves a success…or worse claiming to be able to help others to improve their own financial situations.

I’ve built up relationships with people via Facebook where I felt that I’ve got to know the person quite well…and yet when I’ve met the person in real life they’ve been completely different.  I’ve met people at several events over the course of the last year who have completely and totally surprised me by being so different in person to the way that they come across online.

In each of these situations the people in question are wearing an online mask.

These online masks manifest in a number of different ways:

  • Some people say things that are more controversial than they would do in a face-to-face situation.
  • Some people are more extroverted than they would be in real life.
  • Some people are more harsh and brutal with their communication than they would be in person.
  • Some people use the ‘online world’ to play a role that they aspire to be, but aren’t comfortable with when they don’t have the computer to hide behind.
  • Some people deliberately represent themselves in a way that is not consistent with who they are.
  • Some people are more forward or flirtatious.
  • Some people are more honest.
  • Some people are less careful with their words.
  • Some people are less aware of the consequences of what they say and do.

Now, some of these ways seem quite benign.

So what if someone is a little more flirtatious when they’re online or if someone is a little more honest on Facebook?

Well, it might not seem like a big deal, but in reality it can make all the difference in the world.

You see, if you represent yourself one way at one time and in another way at another you don’t come across as authentic. If people aren’t sure that they know you…they won’t be sure that they can trust you.  If they aren’t sure that they can trust you…they won’t be interested in building a relationship with you.

And relationships are the key to everything in life.

Business, life, love…they are all based on relationships.

As a feminine woman, authenticity is the key.  Being who you truly are inside rather than hiding behind any kind of mask is the key to embodying your Femininity.

This applies online, offline, between the lines…all the time.

Step out from behind your online mask.

Be real.

Be yourself.

If you interact with me online, see me in a video, or meet me in person you’re going to get exactly the same person every single time.  In fact friends have told me that when reading my blog or posts online they can almost hear my voice as they’re reading it, as I write exactly the same way that I would speak if I were having a conversation with you face-to-face.

So no matter where or when you interact with me…you’ll get the full, 100% “Claire” experience every single time.

So I invite you to commit yourself to just one rule – If you would say it or do it this way in real life, do it online.  If not, don’t.

It’s that simple.

When you are completely and totally yourself, people can connect to the real you…and that’s when the magic happens.

Stay Fabulous (and real)!

Claire x

The Feminine Way to Business Success – Be Yourself – Day 18 of the Youtube Challenge

Day 18 of the Youtube challenge!

So often people believe that they need to be or act a certain way in order to be successful, both in business and in life. So would you like to know how important being yourself is to the success of your business? Watch the video to find out:

So, are you always yourself in your business? How do you think that being yourself could enhance your business even further?

I’d love to know what you think of the concept of ‘being yourself’ in business and how it can help with your success, so leave me a comment below, drop me a message on Facebook or tweet me “@Feminine1st”.

Looking forward to sharing tomorrow’s tip with you…

In the meantime, Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

P.S. If you missed yesterday’s video on “How to Network Face to Face” you can find it here: