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This Week’s Thursday Thought: Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…and when the ‘someone’ is yourself it gives you more than you can possibly imagine

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…and when the ‘someone’ is yourself it gives you more than you can possibly imagine

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage...and when the 'someone' is yourself it gives you more than you can possibly imagine

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

This week’s Thursday Thought Quote: Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love ~ Brene Brown

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love

~ Brene Brown

Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love - Brene Brown

Thursday Thought Quote: When it comes to love, don’t choose the better man. Choose the man who makes you a better woman.

This week’s Thursday Thought:

When it comes to love, don’t choose the better man. Choose the man who makes you a better woman.

Thursday Thought Quote: When it comes to love, don’t choose the better woman. Choose the woman who makes you a better man.

This week’s Thursday Thought:

When it comes to love, don’t choose the better woman. Choose the woman who makes you a better man.

10 ways to quickly move from your head to your heart…

Woman Gift From Your Head to Your HeartDo you know how to get from your head to your heart?

Women these days tend to spend a lot of time in their heads.

We have so much to do and we are trying to wear so many different hats that we end up go to our heads to try and make sense of it all and keep a handle on things, but there’s so much going on that we tend to stay there.

It’s important to be conscious of the reason we end up in our heads.

We don’t arrive there naturally; it’s the place we end up when we are coming from a place of fear, insecurity, lack or stress.

Now, call me crazy but in my experience the holiday season can often bring with it a fair share of stress.

Between buying and wrapping Christmas presents, writing cards, shopping for food, cooking more Turkey than is humanly possible to eat (unless you’re a veggie like me…in which case replace Turkey with roast potatoes), visiting family and friends, Christmas parties, the pressure of what to do New Year’s Eve…the list goes on.

In fact, here in the UK 59% of women suffer high stress levels in the week before Christmas…which is also the worst week for sleep deprivation.

Why do you need to know how to move from your head to your heart?

Generally speaking, under stress the feminine moves from heart to head and the masculine moves from heart to the genital area…which is why we respond so differently to stressful situations…the key to finding the solutions is often to figure out how to come back to the heart.

There is a place for the head, we need both head and heart to get by in life, but when the head gets into overwhelm it stops being effective and ends up caught in unproductive and often self-destructive loops that get you nowhere and drive you crazy.

But when you get into the heart the noise gets quieter, the merry-go-round stops spinning and you get to just feel.

Often when we feel into a situation we get connected back to our intuition, which will guide us in the right direction compared with our overwhelmed minds.

So today my Christmas gift to you is ten ways to quickly move from your head to your heart:

  1. Breathe – When we get stressed and into head space, we often find that our breathing gets shallower and faster. As our stress goes up, our heart race increases and our breathing quickens. So stopping and taking 10 deep diaphragmatic breaths will give you a moment to put the head on pause and move into the body in the direction of the heart.
  2. Music – We all know that music is very emotionally charged…put on the right song and you can find yourself ready to take on the world, totally chilled out or close to tears. So listen to a song that you have a strong positive emotional connection to for a instant drop from your head to your heart. A piece that reminds you of a special time, a special place, a special person…anything that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to sing is usually a good option!
  3. Gratitude – We all know that you cannot simultaneously experience gratitude and fear or gratitude and stress…so by focusing on what we’re grateful for will be able to drop out of our stress (and in turn the head space), and back into our heart space.
  4. Movement – In order to get out of your head and into your heart, one of the best routes is via your body, so any way to physically feel your body moving whether through dancing, yoga or another form of movement will definitely help.
  5. Focus and intention – Taking the conscious choice to move your focus from what is causing you stress to what will make you feel more connected to your heart, and setting an intention to maintain that connection sounds simple and yet can pave the way for your subconscious to follow.
  6. Be present to the moment – Often when we’re in our heads, we’re focusing on one of two things; the past or the future. We’re worrying about what has happened, or what is going to (or not going to). Simply focusing on the present moment, what’s happening in the here and now, in as much detail as possible is one of the fastest routes from your head to your heart.
  7. Get in touch with your senses – When you’re focusing on the present moment, be sure to do so with all of your senses…what can you see, what can you hear, what can you smell, taste and feel? When you start to use all of your senses more, the sensations you are experiencing will be enhanced and enriched…getting you more into your body which will pave the way from your head to your heart.
  8. Mentally hang up on the voice in your head – Quite often when you want to move from your head to your heart there is a little voice in your mind that keeps drawing you back again. It’s usually the voice of fear, or of insecurity, and can be your own worst enemy. One of the simplest ways to deal with this voice is to imagine that it’s on the other end of a phone. Mentally see yourself with the phone in your hand, simply saying “No thanks, I’m not interested”…and then hanging the phone up.
  9. Meditation – There’s not a lot to keep you in your head when all is quiet and peaceful there, so to get from your head to your heart a great starting place is to quieten the mind. Taking a small amount of time each day (it can be only 5 minutes to start with) to close your eyes, focus on nothing but your breath, and whenever a thought comes up allow it to just drift away can help you begin the shift.
  10. Love unconditionally – To move from your head to your heart, the quickest and simplest way is to focus on being loving. Not to get anything in return, or because you should…just because you can. …and the best place to start with this? Yourself. Remember that you are enough and love yourself just the way you are. It’s the expressway from your head to your heart. The more you can learn to come from this loving place with everyone…your intimate partner, your friends, family, colleagues, and most importantly, yourself, the less time you’ll spend in your head…and the more you’ll spend in your heart.

To be honest, anything that really brings you back to your feminine will bring you out of your head and into your heart as that’s where the feminine naturally lives.

So the question is ‘what makes YOU feel more feminine’…because if you’re FEELING feminine…you’re already in your heart.

And this is my Christmas gift to you…the ability to quickly and effortlessly move from your head to your heart, whenever you wish to.

Merry Christmas….remember to stay fabulous when moving from your head to your heart!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Females are the Women of the Thousand-Hand Guan Yin

China Disabled People's Performing Art TroupeWow.  It’s not very often that I’m lost for words, but this morning I’m completely mesmerised by the women who are this week’s Fabulous Friday Females.

When I first saw this routine performed I was amazed by the intricacy of the movement, the synchronicity and the precise placement of every single hand.

But my appreciation of the movement was dwarfed by the inspiration that these women brought to me knowing that every single one of the performers is deaf.

They are members of the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe. None of them can hear the music – this makes their choreography a truly incredible achievement. The difficulties and challenges they encountered in training are beyond imagining.

Watch the video to see for yourself:

Because they could not hear the music, there were 6 directors in white cloths helping the dancers to synchronise with the music.

This dance described the legend that Bodhisattva Guan Yin has one thousand hands. Bodhisattva is a Proto-Buddha. She can not become a Buddha because she is still attached to this world. Her vow: If there is still a single drop of tear in this world, I will not become a Buddha.

Being a dancer myself, I know how important it is when you are passionate about dance to be able to express it…and I can only imagine how challenging it is to do this when you can’t hear the music.  Each of the dancers in this exquisite routine must have come up against some significant challenges to the belief that they could even do something like this…both from themselves and from others throughout their lives, and I personally am grateful that they stayed true to their passion…as without it they wouldn’t have been able to perform in this way that has inspired me so much.

The ultimate message of this performance can be summed up in the following words from Zhang Jigang, the choreographer who put it all together:

As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart
A thousand hands will naturally come to your aid
As long as you are kind and there is love in your heart
You will reach out with a thousand hands to help others

So today I would like to ask you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating each of the women involved in this routine…both dancers and directors for showing that when you follow your passion, anything is possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 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

10 simple rules for being your own best friend

Self HugOn Monday we talked about how important it is to be your own best friend.  So the question now is…how do you do that?

Well, to make it easy for you I’ve created 10 simple rules to follow in order to make yourself your bestist friend ever!

  1. Look for what you LOVE – As women, we have a very bad habit of focusing on our flaws.  In the mirror our eyes often go to the things we wish we could minimise, reduce or change, which means that this is what we’re focusing on when we look at ourselves.  If you were to actively look for the things that you love about yourself, how would this change how you feel about yourself?
  2. Accept yourself as you are – Our best friends don’t try to change us…they love us just as we are…warts and all.  Accept that you’re not perfect, and LOVE that about yourself.  Your imperfections are often what make you interesting.  If we were all the same, identical, ‘perfect’ – how boring would that be?  Love your imperfections…they are what make you unique…they are what make you who you are.
  3. Make time for yourself – As women we spend a lot of time thinking about everyone else, and their needs.  But in order to be your own best friend, you need to make time and space in your life that is just about you.  So make sure you make time every week, and if possible every day, which is yours to do with exactly as you want.
  4. Do things you love – When you take time for you, spend it doing things that you love.  When you do things that you love, it feeds your soul.  It lights you up from the inside out.  So as well as doing things that you enjoy now….think about the things that you loved to do when you were a child.  Did you like going to the beach and jumping the waves?  Did you like spending time with animals? Did you like to dance?  When you get back to doing what you loved as a child it will bring a sparkle to you like nothing else.
  5. Talk yourself up – I’m not talking about telling the world about how great you are here…I’m talking about telling yourself! 🙂 Our ‘self talk’ (the things we say to ourselves, whether that is out loud or just in our own minds) has a HUGE impact on how we feel.  What’s scary is that we’re so used to our self-talk that it’s easy to forget that it’s even there….but that doesn’t stop it affecting us.  So the first step is to be conscious of what you’re saying to yourself, and how.  The second is to realise when your self-talk isn’t serving you, and the third is to adjust what you’re saying to what you would say to your best friend in the same situation.  Tell yourself how great you’re doing, recognise the good in yourself and celebrate the person that you are.
  6. Remember your achievements – As women we’re very good at recognising when we believe we should have done something differently.  We are continually picking up things that should have been done faster, better, bigger.  But in order to be our own best friend, we need to recognise, remember and celebrate our achievements.  When you have accomplished something, no matter how big or small, focus on what you HAVE done…not what you haven’t. So when you complete something, achieve something or do something, take a moment to stop and recognise it.  Give yourself permission to feel good about it, and make the most of that moment.
  7. Be kind to yourself – As women we can often be our biggest critic rather than our number 1 fan.  The most important thing to remember and to keep front of mind is to always be kind to yourself.  Stop expecting perfection.  Give yourself a break. Show yourself compassion.  Show yourself love.
  8. Become your biggest cheerleader – Encourage yourself in the things that you want to do in life.  Cheer yourself on mentally.  Think about what you would say to a dear friend if they were shooting for something special.  Encourage yourself to shoot for the stars, to go for your dreams, and cheer yourself on along the way!  At the end of each day think of 3 things you’ve done well and congratulate yourself on them 🙂
  9. Look after your needs – Do you know what your needs are?  Are you making sure that they are met?  Do you need relaxation?  Do you need an injection of passion?  Do you need peace and quiet?  Do you need fun and excitement? Do you need security?  Do you want some variety?  Work out what your needs are…and make sure that they’re being met.
  10. Don’t let anyone else talk badly about your best friend – Would you let anyone speak badly about your best friend?  Of course not!  So if anyone says something about you that you don’t agree with, politely correct them.  You don’t have to be rude, or confrontational, just be calm and polite and suggest an alternative way to view the situation.

So there you have it, 10 simple and easy rules for being your own best friend.

What are YOU going to do differently to befriend yourself and make yourself the bestist friend you could imagine?

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x