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What’s the one thing you need to know to resolve conflict in all of your relationships?

What's the one thing you need to know to resolve conflict in all of your relationships? - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stLet’s face it, when you bring two people together for any period of time, sooner or later there is going to be a difference of opinion.

I’ve not yet heard of two people anywhere who always think the exact same thing, at the exact same time with no variance whatsoever.

..and so regardless of whether the relationships are intimate relationships, business relationships, family relationships or friendships, there is going to come a point in time where you have different points of view.

The man / woman divide in relationships

When it comes to relationships between a man and a woman the opportunity for a difference of opinion comes up more frequently than in relationships between men or between women, mainly because we’re so fundamentally different inside.

We think differently.

We have different motivations.

We feel differently.

We have different priorities.

We have different fears, worries and concerns.

We have different approaches.

We have different meanings for the same words.

In fact, it’s a wonder that we agree on anything!

But it’s not just relationships between men and women that have problems!

As I’m sure you know, it’s not just relationships between men and women where you can have differences of opinion that lead to problems.

Though they might not happen as often, these can happen in relationships between women and between men…it’s natural when you bring two different people together.

Now, if we lived in a culture where we all enlightened and took the approach of accepting and respecting that we all have slightly different points of view, without taking it personally or allowing it to cause conflict in our relationships…we’d be fine.

Unfortunately, this isn’t often the case.  

Often when someone has a different point of view there’s an assumption that they believe we’re ‘wrong’ and so we defend our point of view to show them otherwise.  Or otherwise we feel that they just don’t understand our point of view, so we take it upon ourselves to explain (sometimes forcefully and in a lot of detail!) what we mean, because if they understood it, they’d agree with us, right?

The downside of this, as I’m sure you’ve experienced at some point is that a difference of opinion can quickly switch to a debate, conflict, arguement…or worse!

In my experience, knowing the one thing that can help reduce, or resolve conflicts in any and all kinds of relationships is pretty helpful…because you can use it any time a difference of opinion comes up, to prevent the conflict before it even begins.

So today I want to share with you this nugget that has transformed challenges in my own personal relationships, and that I share with anyone I work with who is having challenges in their relationship…

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

 

So how do you use this to resolve conflict in any and all kinds of relationships?

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 resolve conflict in any and all kinds of relationships

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Would you like to know how easy it is to inspire someone?

inspireInspiration is a funny thing.

We can inspire people in so many situations, often when we’re not intending to inspire, that’s when we can inspire the most.

I’m very lucky in that I’m easily inspired.  People inspire me every day.

But do you realise how easy it is to inspire others?  It only takes a little effort or a little time and you can have a profound affect on someone’s day / month / year / life.

It doesn’t take a lot, just to want to make a difference to someone else.  For no other reason than ‘you can’.

In the last couple of months a group of friends and I have been blessed with the opportunity to inspire other people…some friends, some strangers… every time it touches my heart.

If you want an opportunity to act right from the heart, to connect back to what’s important to you, to remember who you are at your core, to just ‘be’ who you are…find an opportunity to inspire someone else.

The funny thing is that we sort of ‘fell’ into doing these things.  There was no big master plan to ‘inspire the world’…the opportunities kept coming up and we kept taking them.

It began when a friend of ours was having a bit of a tough time.  She had lost someone close to her and was finding it a hard journey.

A lot of her friends weren’t close to her geographically and wanted to offer some support and love.

So we each recorded a short video for her and one of us brought them all together to create a message that genuinely touched her heart:

http://tiny.cc/sannehugs

When a few weeks later another friend posted online that someone very close to him and his family seemed to be losing their battle with cancer they wanted some advice on how to inspire her and lift her spirits in her final days.

Although many of us didn’t know Jan or her family directly, we all came together to show love and support for her with another video compilation that touched her heart and the hearts of the people who were closest to her:

http://tiny.cc/janhugs

Jan died a short while later, but knowing that we had brought a smile to her and her loved ones in such a difficult time meant so much.

The last video we did was for a very dear friend whose son tragically decided to move on from this life only a few short weeks ago.

He had so many friends around the world who wanted to reach out in support of him to show how much they cared.

Between us we put together this message for him to show that we were all there with him to help him through this difficult time:

http://tiny.cc/garyhugs

In addition to this we’ve taken opportunities to be part of global flashmobs for peace, to give out free hugs and smiles around London, and another video project is in the making for a special little boy who is inspiring others with his journey.

If you would like to get involved in this new video, click here to see how to join us – all you need is a webcam and the desire to make a little boy smile: https://www.facebook.com/groups/459281954104118/

But inspiration doesn’t have to be big…it doesn’t have to change the world.  It can be as simple as making another person smile…just by giving them one of your own.

Inspiration is easy…and it changes people.  When you’ve inspired someone once, it lights a fire inside you to want to do it again.  When you’ve seen that you can affect someone else’s life for the better, you can’t help but want to do it again and again and again.

Inspiration is one of the key aspects of femininity…inspiring others just by being ‘you’ and doing something from the heart is one of the most powerful things that a feminine woman can do.

So the question is – who do you want to inspire today?

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Everything is perfect…but do you really believe it?

PerfectHow many times a week do you have one of those “Oh Cr*p” moments?

Where something appears to go ‘wrong’.

You miss a train, forget to call someone, miss a deadline?

Or something even worse happens…someone steals something from you, you get ill at a really inconvenient time, or someone breaks your heart.

In the moment, when it happens you feel sick.

Your stomach lurches, you get angry, or upset, or both.

Frustration bubbles to the surface and a raft of thoughts pass through your mind:

“Why me?”

“How could this happen?”

“Why now?”

“This is awful”

“It’s happened again”

“This is the worst timing ever”

Things haven’t worked out the way that we planned them, wanted them to or expected them to…and we react.

Look at 2012 for me.

At various times this year it felt like the bottom was falling out of my world.

The man who I expected to build a future with left unexpectedly the day before Valentine’s day.

This left me with several technical aspects of my business that I didn’t know anything about, which I now had to handle on my own.

I was diagnosed with Labarynthitis, which left me unable to leave the house for a significant period of time.

My Grandmother suffered a heart attack.

Two of my closest friends left the country.

However, each of these moments has brought a beautiful gift.

Becoming single again gave me some amazing time and space to focus on me, it allowed me to help so many other women who were in the same position as me and even led to the creation of the free webinars that I’m running next week on “Femininity for the Single Woman” (click here for the details).

I have learned how to do virtually all of the technical aspects of my business myself, which means that I’m no longer reliant or dependent on someone else. I can get someone else to do the work for me, but if I need to or want to I am perfectly capable of taking care of it.

My stint of Labarynthitis gave my body the much needed time and space to rest, recuperate and replenish itself. The beginning of this year took it’s toll on me physically and this was just what I needed to build my health back up. It also prompted me to improve my diet, which has led to an improvement of some life-long food allergies.

My grandmother’s heart attack, while awful, led to me having some beautiful moments with her that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience. She has always had the very British “just get on with it” attitude to life and has quite a tough personality as a result…but we shared some very touching, heartfelt moments together that would never have happened had she not been through that experience.

And as for my friends leaving the country, with modern technology it feels like they’re not too far away…plus I have the offer of a holiday in Spain or Beijing any time I want it! 🙂

You see, the thing that I have learned through many heartbreaks, momentary disappointments, plans going up in smoke, unexpected bumps in the road, apparent problems, challenges, disasters and tragedies is that it’s all happening perfectly…even when it feels like it couldn’t be going more wrong.

As Steve Jobs said in his Stanford address…you can only join the dots backwards. It’s only when you look at the path in reverse that you can see the reasons for the various challenges along the way.

Today was a great example.

Today I missed my train twice. Once by 30 seconds, once by 5 seconds.

But if I’d caught my first train I wouldn’t have been able to get the week long train pass…which would have cost me an awful lot more. I ended up having to cancel a meeting and move another…I’ve no idea why…chances are it’ll become apparent at some point.

The second missed train I have no clue about…it has meant that I’m not going to get home until about midnight, having still got work to do and needing to leave home again at around 5am to make my morning appointment back in London…but I am absolutely convinced that it is all happening perfectly. I may not know how, or why, but I am sure it’s working out for the best.

There have been too many occasions where it felt like things were going wrong (but in reality they were working in my best interest for me) not to believe that’s true.

So I’d like to invite you today to think back to some of the moments in your life that felt like they were awful, and see if you can see the gift in them.

What happened as a result?

Who did you meet?

Where did you go?

What decision did you make?

What did you learn?

…and when that moment comes where you say “Oh Cr*p”…just remember to take a deep breath and remind yourself that it’s all happening perfectly…and if you’re anything like me, grab a chocolate bar to take your mind off things… ;o)

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

How flexible are you?

FlexibleOver the last few of weeks there has been a lot going on in the land of Claire.  Between long days of filming in London, travelling to see people for work, helping to look after my new baby nephew and getting things ready for an exciting launch (that will be taking place in the next few weeks!) things have been a bit manic.

Normally I write my blog posts and newsletters slightly ahead of time, so that on the day that things go out the maximum that I need to do is to make a couple of tweaks and then send it on it’s way.

With everything that’s been going on, today’s article had been half written, but still needed a bit of work to be ready…but the theme was set, the bulk of the content there, I just needed to finish it off before I could send it out.

This morning was insanely busy for me.  There were so many things that needed to be done…and in between working my way through the ever-increasing to-do list, I managed to find a couple of interesting challenges to add to the mix.

The high point had to be the moment that my shower decided to finally blow and spray water all over the bathroom…rather than on me!

By mid afternoon (after a couple of important meetings) I was painfully aware of how late in the day it was and how I still had to finish the article and get it sent out.

I finally sat down to work on it, and I discovered a problem.

You see, this afternoon I have spent over an hour trying to get the article right in order to get the article out, when it would normally have taken less than half that time….and I wasn’t even close to a final version.

The challenge has been that between the time that I wrote the first draft and today, some major things have happened in the lives of people who I care about that mean that the subject is very sensitive right now.

Today’s article was supposed to be about leaving a legacy….and sharing the very important and touching legacies that two friends who I lost many years ago, long before their time, left with me.

But in the last week, some dear friends have learned that someone very close to them is deteriorating very rapidly in heath, and an amazing man who I (and a lot of people very close to me) hold in very high regard has lost his only son in sudden and tragic circumstances.

It didn’t matter how I tried to re-word, adapt, alter or change the text that I had written, it didn’t feel right any more.

I tried different approaches, telling different stories, finding new ways to explain and share the message.

Nothing was working.

The more I tried to make it work, the more acutely aware of the feelings of these dear friends I became, and the more upsetting the process of writing the article was becoming.

I’d got so caught up in the fact that I hadn’t got another piece ready, that I had a limited amount of time today and that I’d already written the majority of the article that I wasn’t listening to my instincts.

My intuition was telling me, loud and clear, that this wasn’t the right time for this piece…and when I stepped back from trying to ‘make it work’ long enough to see that, it became obvious what the answer was.

The second I realised what I was doing, I saved the article, opened up a fresh window and began to type a new piece from scratch.

Now, I promise at some point in the not so distant future, when the time is right, I will finish the article I planned for today…but for now, I’m listening to my intuition and switching themes.

Because today was a lesson for me in staying present to my intuition (regardless of the circumstances) and on being flexible and changing the approach at a moment’s notice if it feels right to do so.

This article has only taken a fraction of the time that I’d already spent trying to make the other one work for today.

It has flowed so easily, and it feels right to be sharing it.

So today I would like to invite you to ask yourself…how flexible are you?

If time didn’t appear to be on your side and you were up against a deadline, would you start again from scratch if your instincts told you to do so?

As feminine women, staying in flow and listening to our instincts are crucial, in business and in life….and when something is emotionally charged it’s even more important to feel what is right.

So the next time your intuition steps in…listen.

You might be surprised where it leads you.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

P.S. If you are a single woman, I have a little gift for you….I am running some free webinars on “Femininity for the Single Woman” in the coming weeks…click here for all the details: http://feminine1st.com/free-webinar-ffsw/

The day I fell apart…

Falling ApartOver the last few weeks I’ve been hearing the same comment on a regular basis….”you’re dealing with your breakup really well”.

Sometimes it’s said with surprise, sometimes it’s said with an element of hope…at other times with a slight hint of dismay.

At a lunch meeting a while back, a colleague mentioned to me that I was one of these women who seemed to always have it together…and she wondered if I ever have days where things just get too much.

Well, I do 🙂

I’m just like everyone else in that sense.

So today I thought I would share about one of my more ‘challenging days’…so that you can see that I have them, just like everyone else.

As you know, a couple of months ago I went through a difficult breakup when the boyfriend I was living with left unexpectedly the night before Valentine’s Day.

I shared a bit about my experience on my blog to help other women who might be going through a similar situation.

Unfortunately it was never going to be an easy split because he was involved in some technical aspects of my business…so as much as it would have been easier at that point to have had a completely clean break with no contact (at least for a while until the wounds begin to heal), this wasn’t the reality of my situation.

Over the past month or two we have had to stay in touch to try and work out the details and come to a conclusion about how things will be resolved, including a few financial issues.

So it has been challenging, but all in all, I’ve been doing pretty well. There have been good days, and bad days, but I’ve followed my own advice and felt whatever emotions have come up in order to begin to release them. I’ve had some health problems along the way, but generally I was doing OK.

…until last Tuesday.

Now, I love social media…it’s a great way to stay in touch with my many friends across the world, but there are times (like this) where I really wish that we weren’t so connected.

On Tuesday I had a phone call from a friend.

Unfortunately due to a problem with my friend’s phone I wasn’t able to have a proper conversation with her….I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me…so I just had to listen, sat on my own in a venue in London.

She told me that few days before, through the magic of Facebook, it was announced that my ex was on holiday with his new girlfriend.

I felt a rush of emotions all at once….hurt, angry, betrayed, used,…you name it, I felt it.

I completely fell apart.

The challenge with this was that I got this information literally minutes before a meeting in London that I was supposed to be leading.

The women walked into the room to find me in tears.

A few years back, I would have ‘pulled myself together’, put on a brave face, and powered through.

Not on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I allowed myself to share what had happened. I was completely open, I was completely vulnerable and more importantly I allowed these amazing women to be there for me.

It didn’t stop the hurt, but it certainly did help.

What was interesting was the more I shared…the more the ladies there shared that they had had similar experiences…and it helped to know that there were others who had been where I was in that moment.

That completely honest connection with another person where you understand each other’s pain, you’ve walked in each other’s shoes, creates a bond. It gives a real sense of understanding, strength and hope.

So I’m sharing this today for one reason. I know that there are other women out there, perhaps you’re one of them, who are going through a situation like this.

It’s OK that it hurts. It’s OK that it’s painful. It’s OK that you don’t always have it together. It’s OK to sometimes have a hard time dealing with things. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK if you need to fall apart for a little while. It’s OK to lean on others….even if you’re supposed to be doing the leading.

We’re human.

None of us are perfect…myself included.

So the next time you have a moment when it just gets too much…give yourself permission to lean on the people around you.

You do so much for them, that it’s good for them to have the gift of giving back to you…especially at the times when you need it the most.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

when the going gets tough the tough get feminine

When the going gets tough…the tough get feminine?

when the going gets tough the tough get feminineA point, which is often raised when I’m discussing femininity, is “what happens when the unpleasant stuff hits the fan?” When things seem stacked against you and you’re really up against it, we often feel that we need step into our masculine in order to cope.

For years this was my primary coping mechanism for tough times…I didn’t believe there was any other way that would work.

As a result, when I started really focusing on and embracing my femininity, I found that difficult situations were my nemesis…

It was habit for me to toughen up and take control during these situations and initially it felt counter-intuitive to take a softer approach.

At times you may have experienced this too.

So I thought that my experience this morning might be helpful for you to hear.

It’s not always easy writing about personal experiences…especially when those experiences are challenging and painful…but if it helps you, it’s worth it.

At the moment there are some significant challenges in my life. The biggest one being that my partner has a serious but as yet undiagnosed medical condition, a condition that is getting worse. Among other things it meant that he spent most of New Year’s Eve in bed in pain rather than celebrating with me 🙁

He has been experiencing symptoms for nearly 7 months, and things are becoming more acute on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This morning it was bad again…and I felt completely overwhelmed.

I needed to talk to my partner about the things that were on my mind.

In my former life this is the point at which I would have stepped, both feet first, into my masculine and tried to take control of everything. I would have been forceful about the way I thought things should be done and I’m sure I would have come across as being dominant or critical.

However since reconnecting with my feminine, I have discovered a different approach.

Today I didn’t hold back and I didn’t push either.

I just let myself explain the way I was feeling, why I was feeling it and what I needed.

I was completely vulnerable, and shed more than a few tears.

It was one of those moments where we could both see the massive difference that this new approach is having in our lives.

Where previously there would have been a battleground, the lines of communication were now open and free flowing.

Instead of feeling criticised, my partner was able to see me and understand how I was feeling.

We didn’t shout. We didn’t battle. We were able to talk about it openly.

We were on the same side.

I poured my heart out, and with a relatively quick, open conversation we were able to find a solution to the immediate problems.

More importantly I gave him the information he needed (and the space) to step forward and help me through a time where I was feeling overwhelmed.

A short while later I was back to work, with a smile on my face and a sense that everything was on track and manageable again.

Sometimes, even when you don’t think something will work, it’s worth giving it a go.

You’ve no idea the difference it could make…

Stay fabulous,

Claire x

2011

2011 – Fabulous or a Flop?

2011So Christmas day has been and gone, and New Year’s is beckoning.

At this time of the year I like to take a look back at the past year and appreciate everything that has passed.

Now, those of you who know me well know that there are two ways that I could look at the past year.

It would be very easy for me to look back and see a long list of challenges that I faced. For example, in (admittedly just over the space of a year) every single member of my close family has been in hospital for one reason or another. There have been five major surgeries and one as yet undiagnosed. I gave up my home for most of the year to look after family. I suffered a significant injury in an accident which temporarily put my marathon training on hold.

2011 has not been without it’s challenges…that’s for sure.

On the other hand, I could look at 2011 and see the following list of wonderful events:

  • I started training for a marathon…something I never thought I would do.
  • I became a firewalking and extreme events instructor
  • I overcame my fear of needles and gave blood for the first time
  • I travelled to Australia and made some incredible friends
  • I celebrated my best friend getting married
  • I travelled to Italy to work an amazing event with some event better people
  • I launched my own company which connects me with fabulous women all over the world.

Looking at those two descriptions you wouldn’t have thought that they were the same year!!

What’s even more interesting though, is that I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and if I look at the ‘challenges’ that I’ve faced this year there is a little more to the story.

The timing of the hospital visits of each of the members of my family couldn’t have been better.  I was in a position each and every time to be able to help and support them because of the circumstances I was in personally.

Moving house to look after family reduced the worry-factor of everyone involved drastically and saved me driving across the country any time I had a spare minute to see how they were or if they needed any help.

The injury I suffered drastically changed my life.  It gave me the wake up call I needed to change the direction I was going in and was a significant moment towards me starting my own company.

So even the challenges were actually working in my favour.  We all know that the attitude of gratitude is important, so being able to look back on the past year in this way is really powerful.

So I would like to suggest an exercise for you to do as part of your own end of year review:

  1. Write two lists of all of the events that you can remember which have taken place over the past year, one positive and one looking at the challenges you’ve experienced.
  2. Look at the positive list and for each of the items on the list take a moment to feel gratitude for them, one at a time.  Close your eyes and relive the memory, remember how you felt, what you said, what you heard..every part of it.
  3. Look at the challenges list and for each to the items on the list see if you can find something positive about what happened.  It could be when it happened, how it happened, something that happened as a result of it, someone you met because of it…anything.  See if you can find something positive with each of the things you’ve written down.
  4. Now take a moment to feel grateful for each of the positive things for the items on your ‘challenges’ list.

I’ve found that the new Facebook “Timeline” was a great help in reminding myself of all of the things that have happened this year (you can find out all about it here: https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline) – and it was lovely going back and seeing all of the photos, videos and statuses of 2011!

So I invite you to do your own review of 2011…and to find all the things that were working for you even when everything seemed negative or bleak…as well as celebrating and reliving all of the great times you’ve had too.

…and here’s to 2012 being even better!

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x