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Im-not-a-one-in-a-million-kind-of-girl-Im-a-once-in-a-lifetime-kind-of-woman

This Week’s Thursday Thought: I’m not a one in a million kind of girl, I’m a once in a lifetime kind of woman

This week’s Thursday Thought:

I’m not a one in a million kind of girl, I’m a once in a lifetime kind of woman

Like and share if you are too….

I'm not a one in a million kind of girl, I'm a once in a lifetime kind of woman

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Trish Abbott

FFF Trish AbbottToday’s Fabulous Friday Female is Trish Abbott.

As I mentioned when I started doing the Fabulous Friday Female, this project is a group effort and I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate not just the women who inspire me, but also those who inspire YOU.

So a huge thanks goes out to Heidi who stepped forward and asked me to feature Trish Abbott as one of our Fabulous Friday Females as she is someone who Heidi considers an inspiring woman.

Here’s what Heidi had to say about Trish:

Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU?

I’d like to nominate my friend Trish Abbott. I met her through a Facebook event, Random Acts of Kindness for Valentines Day. On commenting & posting (this was back in Feb) we realised we were both in Norfolk & were both Reiki healers. We met up, & I have made a wonderful friend.

Trish is a Reiki Healer, & she sends out FREE distant healing to anyone who requests it EVERY night, without fail.

She is an advocate of the ‘Suspended Coffess’ movement, & has spent her free time visiting various local coffee shops asking and trying to promote the idea of suspended coffees.

Recently, only last month, she set up her own group page ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ which already has over 500 members across the world. She has already had a gift-dropping event, encouraging people to to leave little gifts around their town for strangers to find, simply to cheer up others and give a little love & kindness.

She is already planning events for Halloween & Christmas, & seems to have captured the imagination & hearts of many.

She is an inspiration to me, she gives so much to others & asks nothing in return. I really think she deserves some recognition & appreciation!

So please join me today in acknowledging and celebrating Trish for her inspiring levels of contribution in her local community, I hope that she inspires others to find imaginative ways to connect with and contribute to their local communities too.  You can connect with Trish here and here.

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

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female or Fellow? (Their name and location in the world)
  • Why are they a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know them? What do they do? In what way are they inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of them 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 and men who inspire YOU.

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

Claire x

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Female is Mrs Reifler

Fabulous Friday Female -  Mrs Maria Rosa ReiflerEveryone remembers a good teacher.  If you were lucky enough to have one the memory of what they taught you, and did for you, will last a lifetime.

When I think of those kinds of teachers, there are two that come to my mind.  My first ever primary school teacher, Mrs Hollands, who knew that each child was unique and needed to be taught and dealt with in different ways, and my A-level maths teacher Miss Schofield, who never stopped looking for new ways to help me to understand things, when I had a mental block around a new concept she was introducing.

There are good teachers, there are great teachers…and then there are teachers who literally transform the lives of the children in their care.

Mrs Reifler definitely fits in the latter category.

When she realised that the children in her class were suicidal, she changed her curriculum…and the ripple effect is spreading fast and wide:

I believe so strongly that we need to give our children the knowledge and life skills that will help them to be come whole, fulfilled adults…not just focus on the one-dimensional restricted curriculums that currently dominate our education systems.

Here’s to more Mrs Reiflers…here’s to creating an army of teachers across the world determined to set the children in their care up to live life to it’s fullest…to understand how to love themselves and nurture their own feeling of self-worth and self-esteem, how to create happiness in their lives, how to have mutually fulfilling relationships and how to make the choices that are right for them.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Mrs Reifler and her one-woman mission to genuinely serve the children in her care in the best way possible to help them to create the lives that they want and deserve.  If you would like to see more Mrs Reiflers in schools all over the world, please share this story so that we can spread the word about the difference that an alternative approach to education can have.  

I hope that one day in the future my children are lucky enough to have their very own Mrs Reifler x

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

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

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

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

This week’s Thursday Thought:

The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

Do You Agree?

Thursday Thought Quote: The Best friends in life are like the best bras, uplifting, supportive and always close to your heart

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Fellow is Wentworth Miller

FFF Wentworth MillerSometimes as women we’re so busy trying to figure our own stuff out that we forget that it’s really tough for men these days.

There aren’t many role models out there showing guys how to transition from boyhood to manhood.

Years ago there were rites of passage that were designed to help boys understand what it means to be a man.  Boys were taken by the men of the tribe to learn from other men what being a man was all about.

These days the nearest thing to a rite of passage we have is a bunch of 18 year olds going out and getting drunk together.

Not really the same thing.

In the same way as we’re struggling with what it means to be women, a lot of men are struggling with what it means to be men.

But in a lot of ways it’s harder for them.

A lot of men are wandering around with the belief that they need to figure it all out by themselves.  They must be strong, independent, have all the answers, keep it together. Talking, connecting with others and all that emotional stuff is for women, right?  That’s not what ‘real men’ do…

…actually, that’s exactly what real men do.

Most of them just haven’t been shown how.

Enter The Mankind Project. An organisation run by men, for men, to help them understand (with the support of the brotherhood around them) what it means to be a man these days.

I have a personal affinity for this organisation, as I know several men who have shared that the project has changed their lives, my partner included.  In his words “it taught me how to be a man”.

So what on earth does this have to do with Wentworth Miller?

To most people Wentworth Miller is just the gorgeous actor who played the brooding Michael Scofield in the hit series Prison Break…but as it turns out, he’s so much more…

Because Wentworth has been on his own journey over the past few years….and it’s been a tough one.

A hollywood male ‘hunk’, struggling with owning who he is in the world – a gay man.

I have spoken to many members of the LGBT community about the challenges and confusion about what it means to be a man, or a woman, when your sexuality is different to the majority of people around you.

Through his own personal journey Wentworth has gone from being full of fear and isolated, to a role model reaching out to others like him who are struggling with their own journey and taking a stand against those who deny the rights of people like him.

…and what does this have to do with the ManKind Project? Well in his words, “MKP (The ManKind Project) has quickly become one of the cornerstones of who I am and how I move through the world today.”

Watch Wentworth’s speech at the Human Rights Campaign here:

Now, on it’s own, all of the above is reason enough to make Wentworth Miller today’s Fabulous Friday Fellow.

But my real reason for choosing him is much simpler.

He’s a man, walking the same path as the rest of us…and sharing his journey so that others can understand they’re not alone.

Recently I was sent this article Wentworth wrote and shared on the ManKind Project’s website that really touched my heart.

It shows a man finding his place and way in the world.  A man of compassion and heart, learning what being a man means in day to day life.

A man who has stopped waiting for someone else to come and ‘handle things’…and instead is stepping into the kind of man that most men aspire to be, and most women would want to be with.

april 2013

by wentworth miller

i was sitting in a diner on colorado boulevard the other day, enjoying a nice breakfast with a friend (late 40s, a working mother of three), when a homeless man materialized next to us.

i say “materialized” because i had no awareness of him entering the restaurant (even though i was seated facing the door) and no awareness of him approaching our table. yet there he was. tall, thin, white, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans and a filthy trucker’s cap. looking about 50 going on 80. and he wanted money.

“do you have any spare ch-” was all i heard before tuning him out and looking away, making eye-contact with my friend across the table. i felt sure we were both thinking the same thing.

“oh boy. here we go.”

before i could launch into my “sorry, buddy” speech our waitress (late 40s, tiny) was standing at our table, telling this guy to take a hike. “you can’t be in here / you shouldn’t be bothering our customers / please leave” etc.

but he didn’t leave.

instead he got into it with our waitress, pointing out the cross on her neck and gearing up for a dressing down on themes of christianity, charity, and the whole shebang. and our waitress was having none of it. “you can’t be in here / you shouldn’t be bothering our customers / please leave” she repeated, this time minus the “please.”

all the while i’m sitting there silently, wondering when it would be over, waiting for whoever was in charge to come over and handle things. i’m not sure who i was envisioning. probably the manager. who would be male. and older. and in charge.

he’d know what to do.

things are heating up now, the homeless guy and our waitress bristling, really starting to go at it, about 30 seconds from taking it to the next level. my friend across the table is very quiet. she, like me, is waiting for it to be over. for order to be restored.

and then, as i sit there witnessing two women in discomfort and a man in distress, it occurs to me – nobody’s coming over. nobody’s going to handle things.

i’m the man. i’m the one in charge.

and suddenly i’m rising from the table. i say, “let’s go outside, buddy. i’ll give you something outside.” and my tone of voice isn’t “hey, asshole” or “listen here.” it’s matterof-fact. like, “this is what’s going to happen.”

and then the homeless guy and i are walking to the door together. and then we’re through the door and out on the street. and then i open my wallet and hand him a 20- dollar bill.

and then he’s holding me.

i don’t know or remember exactly how that came to be, but all at once his arms are around me and i’m getting a full-body hug from a homeless person.

and this hug is textbook MKP. no awkward thumps. no tentative pats. no “let’s keep our groins angled out of this, okay?” he’s just holding me. and, after a beat, i’m holding him.

and this goes on for 20 seconds. 30 seconds. he’s talking into my shoulder too. i hear the words “veteran,” “oklahoma,” and “my birthday.” everything else is muffled. but i also hear “thank you, brother.” he says this three, maybe four times.

and as i watch someone walk past us and do a double-take, as i continue to inhale the scent of a man who’s spent years (decades?) on the street, i think to myself, “yes. this is my brother.”

then it was over and i was waving good-bye. i went inside the restaurant and slid back into the booth, now smelling like the homeless guy. and i wanted to weep.

and while the waitress proceeded to call me “hero” and then scold me for putting myself in “danger,” i thought about masculinity and chivalry and the need to be seen and heard and how i’m a 40-year-old man (going on 41) who’s still waiting for the guy in charge to show up.

i thought about how i would have handled the situation before starting my work with MKP six months ago, which probably would have looked like me not handling it. or like me handling it by making it worse. like me handling it by robbing another man of his dignity and the chance to connect.

and i thought about how we are all brothers. all of us.

then i looked up and noticed a man i knew from MKP, a man i’d seen just the night before while sitting in an i-group, seated with his wife across the restaurant, enjoying a nice breakfast.

brothers everywhere. all around.

The most touching part of this story for me is the piece about ‘brothers everywhere’.  I’ve recently been sharing about the concept of sisterhood and how important it is to women like us…the same is true for men, with regard to brotherhood.

But the real power comes when we realise that we can all support each other.  Brotherhood and sisterhood aren’t mutually exclusive clubs…they are exactly as they sound.  They’re family.

When we can all start looking out in the world and rather than seeing strangers, opponents and competitors…we can start seeing brothers and sisters instead, we’ll realise that in reality, we’re all on the same side.

…and when we all realise that we’re on the same side, well, what a day that’ll be.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Wentworth Miller for sharing his journey with others, and for showing that everyone, no matter who they are…regardless of how gorgeous, successful or wealthy….whether they’re gay, straight, bi or transgender….we’re all struggling to learn what it means to be a man or a woman today.  Knowing that, knowing that we’re not alone, and sharing in each other’s stories makes the journey a little easier x 

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

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

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

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: I’m Grateful For You

This week’s Thursday Thought:

I’m Grateful For You

Who are you grateful for? Take the opportunity to tell them today…

I'm grateful for you

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Females are Kiki Peck and Cristina Trapani-Scott

FFF Kiki Peck & Cristina TrapaniWhen I was younger, if someone told me ‘no’ it made me that much more determined I was going to do it.

So when I heard the story of today’s Fabulous Friday Female Kiki Peck, I felt like I could really understand her.

Kiki was born with Kniest syndrome (a kind of dwarfism) and has spent her whole life hearing ‘no, you can’t do that’ or ‘no, you won’t be able to do that’.

What these people failed to take into consideration was the spirit and determination of the young woman they were speaking to.

They told her she couldn’t swim.

So she swam.

They told her she couldn’t dance.

So she danced.

They told her that she’d never be in a beauty pageant.

So she took part in a beauty pageant.

Her mother Cristina has always done whatever she could to support and encourage her daughter, and then recently she finally got an insight into her life in a way she never expected.

Cristina was diagnosed with breast cancer, and when she lost her hair rather than covering it up and hiding her condition, Cristina instead chose to bare her beautiful baldness to the world…and for the first time got a tiny glimpse into the stares, judgements and questioning looks her daughter had experienced her whole life.

Recently Chrstina and Kiki appeared on the Katie Couric show, to share their story:

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Kiki and Cristina for their courage, inspiration and determination to not let anything hold them back from living life to the full.  …and the next time you think ‘I can’t…’ I encourage you to think of this amazing young woman and ask yourself “What would Kiki do?” x 

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

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

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

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

This week’s Thursday Thought:

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

– Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, friendship

This Week’s Fabulous Friday Female is Ashley Munroe

FFF Ashley Munroe I love hearing about teenagers who have the courage to break from the mold and risk standing apart from the crowd to do something inspiring and kind for others.

…and today’s Fabulous Friday Female resonated with me personally because we seem to share a similar idea, although on a very different scale.  Last year for my birthday, I decided I wanted to do something different, so I bought some presents and cards, writing in each one of them “You are beautiful” and handed them out to random strangers in central London.

16 year old Ashley Munroe had a similar idea…only on a much greater scale!  Ashley took 6 hours to write out nearly 2,000 post-it notes and stick them on to every locker of every student at her school.

She shared her story on the Huffington Post, to let people know what she’d done…and the punishment she nearly suffered as a result.

It’s a great story, and rather than try to paraphrase it, I thought it would be better to let Ashley tell it in her own words:

FFF Ashley Munroe 2

This is a picture of something I did at my school last year. I wrote out 1,986 sticky notes. Each said, “You’re beautiful,” and I stuck one to every locker in my entire school.

yourebeautiful

It was almost unbearable to listen people put themselves down every day. They would say things like, “I’m ugly” or “No one likes me.” To me, that wasn’t the truth. For at least one day, I wanted everyone to know that someone thought they were beautiful.

It took me over 6 hours to write all of the notes, and an hour to stick them with the help of one other friend. It wasn’t my original plan to tell people that I had done it, but word got out after I had been called to the Dean’s office. They found me through the school’s video surveillance system.

After being sat down in the office and explaining everything that had happened, there was talk of a possible 3-day suspension from school. When I went back to my classroom, my teacher asked me what they said, and I told her. This is how the rest of the students found out. Throughout the entire day word of the possible suspension circulated, and a group of students came together and formed a petition. They passed the petition around school.

In the end, it had over 600 signatures, from both students AND faculty.

It amazed me that people would do that for me. For one day, I truly felt beautiful. And for one day, I managed to make every other kid in my school feel beautiful, as well.

A few days later, after the incident was not as new, a complete stranger approached me. What she said to me was shocking.

“That day, I was planning on killing myself. I had given up completely on society, but because of you I didn’t. You gave me hope. Thank you.”

What’s more amazing than that is the fact that today she has become one of my best friends.

So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Ashley and her beautiful story, her desire to help others see the beauty in themselves and the gift she gave another girl, that came back to her in the form of an amazing friendship.  I hope she has inspired you to see the beauty in yourself too x 

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As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

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

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

Claire x

This week’s Thursday Thought Quote: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

– Rumi

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it - Rumi