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Would you like to know a secret that EVERY woman should know…?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stA few weeks ago I had a conversation with a very dear girlfriend of mine that really upset me, until I realised the problem…she didn’t know the secret.

It’s not big, or complicated…but it is true for every single woman on the planet.

Do you know the secret?

I meet women every week who are frustrated, stressed or downright fed up…all because they don’t know the secret.

…and then it occurred to me…maybe YOU don’t know the secret either.

So what is the secret?

So today I want to share the secret with you…and ask you to share it with as many women as possible.  When you watch the video, you’ll understand why…

The thing with this secret is that while most of us know it, we tend to forget it (or even worse ignore it)….continuing to set expectations of ourselves that would leave even Wonder Woman calling for a ‘time out’.

So take a moment today to check-in…are you expecting too much of yourself?  Are you trying to be perfectly perfect, instead of perfectly imperfect?  Are you putting demands on yourself that you wouldn’t dream of putting on anyone else?  Are you trying to please everyone else, to the detriment of yourself?

Remember the secret…

If the answer is yes (to any of the above questions), then just remind yourself of the secret.

Having high standards is great…just remember that being kind to yourself is equally important too.

…and please take a moment share the secret with at least three women who you know that could use a little reminder too.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Do you know how to let go?

It’s so easy in life to become attached to how things are going to work out. Not just the ‘what’, the outcome that you’re after, but the ‘how’ it’s going to appear.

We’re so used to these busy lives in which we plan everything in minute detail, that we expect to be able to plan everything, and for life to follow that plan.

The trouble with this is that it’s very easy to become disappointed when things don’t appear to be following the idea you have in your mind about how something is going to work out.

In short, we like to be in control.

The trouble with control is that it is an illusion…it doesn’t really exist. The only things that are really within our control are what we do, how we think and how we respond to life outside of ourselves.

But in trying to keep control we step into a very tense, masculine space.

Control is not a feminine quality.

In fact, the opposite of control is where the feminine flourishes…in the space of surrender…of letting go.

The thing is, letting go can be scary….it takes us into the unknown…but it also takes us into possibility.

When we let go, we allow things to happen in ways that we’ve not considered…and in doing so we remove the limits that we put upon them.

Last weekend I had an experience of this that was incredibly powerful.

If you’re not aware, last weekend I was celebrating Feminine 1st’s first birthday in central London. I had a great day planned.

As I’m not going to be in the UK for my personal birthday this year, I decided that what more fabulous way to celebrate than combining celebrating my birthday with celebrating the first birthday of Feminine 1st?

…and to make it a really fabulous, but also fulfilling, day (see what I did there? 😉 ) the main theme of the day was giving.

The plan was to bring into London with me at least 33 cards and gifts written and wrapped up and to spend the afternoon having fun around London giving them out to strangers.

THEN…to celebrate the first birthday of Feminine 1st I wanted to find a way to gift a pair of fabulous pink heels to a stranger to help spread some feminine love in the city of London.

So we arranged to meet at a London festive institution, the Winter Wonderland area that gets created every year in Hyde Park, in order to have some festive fun while giving the gifts out.

The morning of the celebrations I got numerous texts, emails and calls to say that the seasonal flu virus was doing the rounds and that a lot of people couldn’t make it.

So I headed into the city with bundles of bags filled to the brim with cards and presents for unsuspecting strangers…in fact I didn’t even arrive at Hyde Park before I’d given out my first gift.

Claire Brummell, Birthday Gift Giving

A small boy on the train had kept me entertained the whole way up with his numerous questions, including, “Daddy, are all those trains there because that’s where they sleep?” I couldn’t resist and handed his Dad a colouring set to give to him.

So I hopped on the tube, and made my way over to the park and started looking for the entrance to the Winter Wonderland.

Houston, we had a problem.

As I wasn’t used to celebrating my birthday so early, it didn’t occur to me that the Winter Wonderland wouldn’t be open yet…and in the craziness of returning from the US I forgot to check the details.

So, no Winter Wonderland.

The other challenge was that with the various bugs that were doing the rounds, most of the people who were due to join us during the day weren’t able to make it.

In the end there were only three, plus me.

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I thought it would be great to have a nice big group of friends all running around doing good deeds for strangers…but with all of the coughs, colds and flu viruses bouncing around London it wasn’t meant to be.

So having connected with the friends that were still able to make it we headed to Covent Garden to do our gift giving.

We found our base (at the cupcake shop of course!) and had a cup of tea (and a couple of their best cupcakes) while we prepared to find some people to share some gifts and smiles with.

We then spent the next few hours running around Covent Garden with presents and cards, surprising and sharing with complete strangers.

Claire Brummell, Birthday Gift Giving

The reactions were fantastic, from surprise to disbelief and everything in between.

During the course of the afternoon we even found four people who were out celebrating their birthdays to give gifts and cards to.

As we walked to the restaurant to meet everyone else for the evening I had a sudden realisation.

If we had had more people who had joined us then the whole afternoon would have been complete and total chaos. It was hard enough keeping track of the people who made it while we gave the gifts out to people around the square.

In addition, if we’d tried to do the gift giving at Winter Wonderland, with the music, crowds and funfair it would have been even harder to keep everyone together.

…and when it came to approaching total strangers, a group of three was probably the maximum you could manage without scaring people off completely.

The afternoon had been completely different to what I’d planned or expected.

…and it had been completely and totally perfect.

I left the day feeling absolutely fill to the brim with love and gratitude. I’d met so many lovely people and had seen so many strangers with huge smiles on their faces…it was everything I could have wanted and more.

I could have spent the afternoon worrying about the fact that it hadn’t worked out as I’d planned…and if I had, I’d have missed out on one of the most enjoyable and rewarding afternoons I’ve ever had.

The moment I let go of my expectations and surrendered to the knowledge that it was all working out exactly as it was supposed to I opened myself up to having this fantastic celebration.

I couldn’t have felt happier, I couldn’t have felt more feminine, I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face.

So…this week I encourage you to let go of your expectations, and to surrender to the possibility of what might be…

…you never know where it might lead you.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Oprah…and even better, this weekend two Fabulous Friday Females unite!

Fabulous Friday Female, Oprah WinfreyToday’s Fabulous Friday Female needs little introduction.

In fact, I struggled to know what to write in here.

Entrepreneur, Actress, Philanthropist, Inspirational Leader…these words don’t do this remarkable woman justice.

She has changed lives and inspired millions through her own story and her desire to help women to “Live your best life” any way she can.

This video just shows the tip of the iceberg in terms of the difference that Oprah has made in the world:

 

Oprah Winfrey could be Fabulous Friday Female every week (and twice at Christmas!), but the reason that I wanted to celebrate her in particular this week is her unwavering desire to share not just her own wisdom with the world…but to use her ‘stage’ (for want of a better word) to celebrate and share the wisdom of others.

 

This week, on Super Soul Sunday she will be bringing together what she calls “The New Breed of Spiritual Thought Leaders”…one of whom is no stranger to us here at Feminine 1st…in fact she was our very own Fabulous Friday Female just last month…the awesome Marie Forleo!

 

Marie will be joining Mastin Kipp and Gabrielle Bernstein for a very special edition of Super Soul Sunday this weekend…and as Oprah herself says, quite simply, “What they have to say [is] going to inspire you”…

 

 

Check out Oprah and the Next Generation Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN. You can also log on to their worldwide simulcast on Oprah.com or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday so you can join them from anywhere in the world!

 

So please join me today in celebrating Oprah and her incredible work today, inspiring people all over the world not only through her own story and successes, but through sharing, celebrating and supporting others.  To me there is no greater demonstration of true authentic leadership.  If you feel the same way, then please share this article…the more we can do to support our female leaders, the better!  x
 
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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, 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
 

Thursday Thought: Use Your Light To Ignite The Spark of Inspiration In Others ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Use Your Light To Ignite The Spark Of Inspiration In Others ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

What do you want? I mean, what do you REALLY want…?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stSo last Sunday we celebrated the first birthday of Feminine 1st…and what a year it has been!

I feel so lucky to have shared the last year with you and to have been able to get to know a lot of the Feminine 1st community quite well.

The highlights of my year though have been the times that I’ve heard responses to blog posts, videos or newsletters that have expressed how much people have wanted or needed to hear the advice and help I’ve shared.

There have been a few times where I’ve questioned whether or not to share on a particular topic or subject…and even where I’ve questioned whether to post a specific article when it’s been written.

I’ve thought maybe it wasn’t my best work, or maybe it wouldn’t be relevant….and its the times when I’ve had those thoughts and then received a message thanking me for sharing something that came at the ‘perfect time’ that have had the biggest impact on me.

I’ve had a lot of emails, messages and even face to face requests over the last year…and every single one of them has either been responded to, or is in my list of ‘to write’ blog posts that are planned for the coming weeks and months.

I love it when someone takes the time to write to me to ask specifically for what they want or need to hear about as it means that I get to answer and respond to your needs, directly.

So this week seemed like the perfect time to ask this question.

Watch the video now to hear all about it:

…you see Feminine 1st really is all about you.

You’re the reason I started Feminine 1st.

You’re the reason I get up in the morning eager and ready to create and share more.

You’re the reason I  write these blogs and post these videos.

So I want to invite you to take this opportunity to ask for what you really want..to make sure that you’re getting what you want and need from the upcoming articles.

There are four ways to get in touch:

  • Comment on this post
  • Contact me via Facebook – Here
  • Tweet me – Here
  • Email me – Here

So take this opportunity to get in touch and ask for what you really want.

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 allow yourself to change your mind?

Have you ever had a moment where someone asked you a question and you answered before you’d even really thought about it?

…and in moments like this have you ever thought a few minutes later “I wish I’d said _____”?

I had an experience recently during some downtime with a girlfriend of mine that reminded me firstly, how important it is to allow myself to receive…and secondly how it’s OK for me to change my mind…and to express that! 🙂

Watch the video to find out more:

…you see, these days we spend so much of our lives on ‘auto pilot’ that we do and say things without really thinking about it….and when we DO think about it and realised we wished that we’d said something else, we often believe it’s too late to change our mind!

So this week is a little reminder to you that when you find yourself in moments like that, allow yourself to say “Actually, I’ve changed my mind…would you mind if…?” and see what the response is.

You might be surprised…

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x