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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 remember to give yourself a break?

RelaxSo I landed back here in the UK less than 36 hours ago.

My trip to the US was over for this time…and what a trip it has been. There have been so many special moments, exciting revelations and memories created that I could easily talk for the next three weeks solidly (and if you know me well, you know I probably could!) and still not cover it all.

The journey back was brilliant…and also very long. On my way out to San Diego I’d stopped very briefly in Chicago….and had several friends from the area share their disappointment that we’d not been able to connect while I was there. So on my return journey I had hoped that I would be able to arrange it to stop again.

As luck would have it, the only flight I was able to get on the way back was one that stopped overnight in Chicago…perfect.

So I got to stop on the way and have dinner and drinks with a great friend there …and because we don’t get to see each other very often (it’s a little hard with an ocean between us!) we wanted to make the most of it and catch up on everything.

Midnight turned into 1am…which turned into 2, 3 and 4am before we finally did the smart thing and got an hour or two of sleep before returning to the airport.

I was lucky, and on my flight home I had a row of three seats to myself…which meant that I was able to lie down and get a little sleep on the way back. But when I arrived home at gone midnight, I have to confess that both body and mind were thoroughly confused as to what time zone they were in.

I eventually managed to get some sleep but in the days since I’ve been back my body clock has been seriously out of whack.

As I’ve alluded to, my trip to the US was a very exciting one. So many things happened…and more importantly I got the inspiration to do a lot when I got back to the UK.

The trip had really lit a fire under me….and I came home with big plans.

I had been in full on creative mode while I was away…and when I got back, I wanted to hit the ground running.

The first item on my to do list though was to have a complete clear out of my personal space.

While I’ve been away there have been a lot of fabulous little shifts that have taken place for me…and it felt right to create a physical shift when I got back too.

I also had meetings in London planned as well as some time set aside to work on my book and prepare for the television interview that is scheduled for a few days time.

The thing that I hadn’t factored into these plans though….was a little bit of rest and relaxation to allow my body to readjust and recover from it’s travels.

Luckily for me, when my mind gets all of these fantastic ideas, but the body isn’t really in a position to keep up…it is sure to let me know about it (whether I like it or not!)

The second night I was back my body clock went seriously wonky.

As I lay there in bed trying…and not succeeding…to sleep, the clock ticked on. 1am…2am…3am…4am…5am…6am…

By this point I was exhausted…

…and I’d also received the message loud and clear.

“Give yourself a break!”

I’d been travelling for over 24 hours on my return journey…and had been in 3 different time zones during that day.

It’s not surprising that I needed a few days to readjust!

So I listened.

I cancelled my meetings in London.

I postponed my clear out for a couple of days.

I put my book work on hold for a short while.

…and I allowed myself some time for me.

As women we can sometimes expect way too much from ourselves…and it’s easy to forget that we’re human, the same as everyone else!

So this week I would like to invite you to ask yourself the question: “Could I benefit from giving myself a break?”

Another great way to look at it is, “How could things be even better by giving myself a break?”

For example, I know that by allowing myself this recovery time, when I go back to the tasks that I had planned for this week, I’ll actually do them better!
My clear out will happen faster, I will be more present for the rescheduled meetings in London and I will be bringing my best self to the work on my book…which is exactly what I want.

More importantly, I’ll feel better within myself…and I’ll get the benefit of the last month and a half’s trip…rather than coming back and feeling exhausted!

So how could it help you…and others around you…to give yourself a break?

What could you do faster, better, more effectively if you did?

…and how much better would you feel?

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

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