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Aspects of the FEMININE - M - Magic - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Aspects of the feminine…It’s all about magic…

Aspects of the FEMININE - M - Magic - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stSo our journey deeper into the aspects of the feminine continues this week, with an element that is so often forgotten.

Life as an adult woman can get a bit tough…we have a lot to do, we tend to feel overwhelmed and under pressure.

We have so many hats that we’re trying to wear and so many people that we’re trying to please that it can all get a bit much.

Life get’s very serious and we’re constantly in our heads trying to manage it all and keep on top of everything.

What’s magic got to do with it?

When we get serious…life gets a lot less fun.

Our focus on deadlines, to-do lists and ‘checking things off’ can make things feel a little ‘all work and no play’.

Getting into a masculine mode of ‘do’, achieve, get the result can have a huge affect on how we feel.

It feels heavy, it feels like ‘hard work’…it’s not very enjoyable.

Where’s the magic gone?

When we talk about magic, we’re not talking about Harry Potter, or Siegfried and Roy…

We’re talking about the playfulness that is so fundamental to the feminine.

The lightness, the childlike element that so many of us forget in our adult lives.

So today we look at how we can bring it back…

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 bring the magic back?

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 bring the magic back for you!

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

So what IS feminine? What does it look like? Can you learn how to be feminine?

feminine

So…the question that everyone keeps asking me…what IS feminine?

What does being feminine look like? Well having established why femininity is important, in order to explain what it is, let’s start with what it isn’t. There are so many misperceptions about what the word feminine actually means, and I think it’s important that we address these up front.  Over the last couple of decades, the word feminine (unless referring to the latest Ralph Lauren line) hasn’t always been seen as the most flattering description for a woman.  This summer when Susan Walsh suggested that women “try on” femininity for a short while to see how it fitted, one woman remarked that she saw being described as the most feminine member of staff at her place of work insulting as she believed that feminine = weak and that it meant that she wasn’t being taken seriously.

Does Feminine = Weak?

So let’s start with weakness.  Feminine has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with aubergines (cue lots of emails telling me he is an aubergine addict…).  In fact, a genuinely feminine woman is incredibly strong; feminine strength just presents itself in a different way to masculine strength.  Masculine strength comes from tension and contraction whereas feminine strength comes from flow and flexibility.  A feminine woman is a force of nature.

Does Feminine = Submission?

Another common misperception is that being feminine involves being submissive and appeasing people around you (especially men).  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s about being true to yourself, finding your inner strength and self respect and being proud of who you are inside.

Does Feminine = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that being feminine is about being girly, pink and fluffy, or replicating old-fashioned domesticity.  Every time I hear femininity described in this way, it is always followed up with a comment along the lines of “but that’s not who I am”.  Femininity comes from the inside out;  it’s not something that you ‘put on’ in order to give an appearance.  The time that a woman is truly feminine is when she’s being totally authentic.

So what does Feminine look like?

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.  For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.  I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are being completely authentic from the inside out.

Now I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are…but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress! 🙂

Being feminine is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple.

…and as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as being feminine looks slightly different for each individual woman.

However, there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, but they will all appear in some shape or form.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about being F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E. first.

Flow – Being feminine is all about being open, and letting things flow.  The crucial element of this flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

Emotionally connected – Women are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.  Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of being feminine and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.  Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.  We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love…pure and simple.

Magic – I’m not referring to Harry Potter or David Copperfield here!  This is all about re-capturing the sense of magic from our childhood.  Being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Most importantly…don’t take yourself too seriously!  Being feminine is about remembering the wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

Inspiring – Unlike some of our male counterparts, feminine women don’t have any inclination to use force or pressure to affect people around us…our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with.

Nurturing – Women are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!  Our feminine nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.

Intuition – Everyone has heard of female intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to take the form of some sort of supernatural ability…intuition can simply be a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience.  At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something…often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise…it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t noticed.  Either way…if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then it’s got to be a good thing!

Natural – Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine woman it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core…embracing and embodying it completely.  Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart…and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things…it’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.  It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside…with your ‘essence’…and allowing that to radiate out.

Energy – Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real power comes from.  A feminine woman is an absolute force of nature.  She doesn’t seek out power, or to prove herself like her male counterparts…and when she’s really in her element there is absolutely no need for either.  She can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through her…and every single person she meets can feel it too.

So there, as promised, is my definition of feminine.  It’s come as a result of researching lots of different sources…as well as from my own personal experience.

…and the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of being feminine?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x

surviving christmas the feminine way

Top 10 tips for surviving Christmas the feminine way – Part Two

surviving christmas the feminine waySo on Monday we started to look at the 10 top tips for surviving Christmas the feminine way…or as I like to think of it, 10 tips for a fabulously feminine festive season! 🙂

We looked at making time for you, preparing, not trying to do everything, rehydrating and smiling as our starter…and now we’re moving onto our main course (complete with roast potatoes and all the trimmings!) and dessert…

6. The four Rs – Rest, Relax, Recharge and Reward!

When time gets short, us ladies sometimes decide that to create more of it we will simply stay up later, get up earlier or worse…both! When you have a lot to do, it’s even more important to make sure that you get plenty of rest to ensure that you have the energy to do what you want to do during the day. Making sure that you get enough sleep is crucial to you being able to enjoy the Christmas season. Also, take some time during the day to have a bit of a break. Make sure that you take at least 15 minutes every couple of hours to just sit, relax and recharge your batteries before doing something else.

In addition, be sure to acknowledge and reward yourself when you’ve done something or ticked a job off your list. It’s important to appreciate just how much you are doing and take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back (or a little treat) to congratulate yourself before you move onto the next. Those little moments are a perfect chance to stop and have a little relax to reward yourself for a job well done (and smile to get that boost of feel good chemicals and enjoy the process!)

7. Create your own Christmas magic

Now this is not something that I’ve ever struggled with, but sometimes being an adult can take some of the fun out of Christmas. The money, the pressure to get the perfect presents bought, wrapped and delivered in time, getting all the food (and trying not to consume too much of it!)…it can create a lot of stress and take a lot of effort. So the best way to keep connected with your femininity over the festive season is to reconnect with your inner child. Bring back the fun, playful elements that you loved from Christmas when you were younger. Take time every day to indulge this side of you. Be a big kid, take time to laugh, dance, tell silly jokes, throw a snowball…or even better build a snowman or snow angels. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I revert to a virtual 5 year old, every time the topic of Christmas comes up, and come December 25th grown up tendencies are nowhere to be seen…as is demonstrated with our family’s annual ‘snowball’ fight with balled up pieces of discarded wrapping paper! So find something that will feed your inner child (and I don’t mean mince pies!) and let them have a bit of fun! 😀

8. Fresh Air

It’s all too easy over Christmas to enter the “Christmas bubble” at whatever location you are celebrating on December 24th and not see the outside world again until the 27th or beyond. We get into that warm space that’s filled with presents, wine, food, wine, celebrations, wine (…you get the idea!) and it’s easy to forget for a couple of days that the outside world exists. This can sometimes be a good thing. Sometimes it can be a little bit too much for us…especially when you add hyperactive children and family members into the mix. Emotions run high in the holiday season, both positive and negative, and when you add into the mix an excess of food and drink it can sometimes lead to a little bit of overwhelm. In order to break this pattern and step out of the bubble (for the sake of sanity, and staying connected to your feminine!) remember to take the time to get a little fresh air every now and again. You could nip out for a short walk, or even just step out into the garden for a few minutes (with a scarf and appropriate attire) to get a little head space, to breathe and just enjoy the fresh air for a bit.

9. Be present

When I say be present, I don’t mean to cover yourself up in reels of wrapping paper, topping off with a big bow and a label saying “Love Santa”. This is all about actually taking the time to stop and enjoy the moment that you are in. Being present to what is happening around you. Taking it all in and appreciating it. So many of us have a continuous dialogue in our heads of “30 minutes till the potatoes need to go on, still have to peel the carrots, oh and where did I put those crackers for the table…etc..etc..” or something to that effect. With all of that distracting our mind, is it any wonder that boxing day arrives and Christmas seems to have passed in a blur, with all of the details seeming a bit fuzzy around the edges? Now, while one too many festive drinkies could be partially to blame for the lack of festive recollection and the day seeming to disappear in the blink of an eye, it’s not the whole story. Not being present in the moment is a major factor in us actually missing the best of the big day, because we are focusing on what we have done / haven’t done / should have done / should be doing / need to do next. So remember on the big day to recognise the moments which you would like to really appreciate, be present in and remember long into the New Year. When you find them to bring yourself completely into the moment to enjoy them, put the voices in your head on mute (just for a short while, you can un-mute them later if you want to). At these moments focus on your senses, hear everything that is being said, see all the vivid colours and facial expressions of those around you, focus on how you feel and take a little mental picture of the moment that you can bring to mind any time you like….you’ll have a full album by the New Year! 🙂

10. Gratitude

As any of you who read my “Attitude of Gratitude” blog post recently will know, gratitude is they key to neutralising negative emotions virtually instantly. It is physically impossible to feel fear and gratitude simultaneously. Likewise, it’s impossible to feel anger and gratitude at the same time. The same goes for unhappiness. Gratitude is so powerful, and is something that we need to make an integral part of our Christmas celebrations. We all have so much to be thankful for, regardless of our individual circumstances. There is always someone who would wish to be in our shoes for one reason or another (and no, not just because they’re a beautiful pair of festive heels!) If the belts are a little tight this Christmas, remember that half of the world, over 3 Billion people live on less than $2 a day. If you get caught with the winter sniffles this year, remember the health problems that others are suffering which are so much worse. If you have a family spat…think of those people who would give anything to have their family member back with them for one more Christmas. You always have something to be grateful for…health, friends, family, the ability to smile…the list is unlimited.

So take a moment, or several, this Christmas to feel grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life that you are thankful for.

…and if you feel moved to do so, you could do something which someone else could be grateful for. You could donate to a charity, you could do something kind for a stranger, it doesn’t have to be anything big or cost any money…just doing something nice for someone else because you can. If the person who you do this for would like to pay you back…just ask them to “Pay it Forward” and do something nice for someone else. The Pay It Forward Day website has loads of ideas for things that you can do for others http://payitforwardday.com/ – get creative this Christmas and spread the Gratitude!

So there you have it, our 10 top tips for a fabulously feminine festive season. I wish each and every one of you a Christmas season full of fun, laughter and love.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

The $64,000 Question…What IS Femininity?

female symbol

So…the question that everyone keeps asking me…what IS femininity?

Well having established why femininity is important, in order to explain what it is, let’s start with what it isn’t, there are so many misperceptions about what the word femininity actually means, and I think it’s important that we address these up front.  Over the last couple of decades, the word feminine (unless referring to the latest Ralph Lauren line) hasn’t always been seen as the most flattering description for a woman.  This summer when Susan Walsh suggested that women “try on” femininity for a short while to see how it fitted, one woman remarked that she saw being described as the most feminine member of staff at her place of work insulting as she believed that feminine = weak and that it meant that she wasn’t being taken seriously.

Does Femininity = Weakness?

So let’s start with weakness.  Femininity has about as much to do with weakness as Manolo Blahnik has to do with aubergines (cue lots of emails telling me he is an aubergine addict…).  In fact, a genuinely feminine woman is incredibly strong; feminine strength just presents itself in a different way to masculine strength.  Masculine strength comes from tension and contraction whereas feminine strength comes from flow and flexibility.  A feminine woman is a force of nature.

Does Femininity = Submissive?

Another common misperception is that it involves being submissive and appeasing people around you (especially men).  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s about being true to yourself, finding your inner strength and self respect and being proud of who you are inside.

Does Femininity = Pink and Fluffy?

I’ve also heard several women say that femininity is about being girly, pink and fluffy, or replicating old-fashioned domesticity.  Every time I hear femininity described in this way, it is always followed up with a comment along the lines of “but that’s not who I am”.  Femininity comes from the inside out;  it’s not something that you ‘put on’ in order to give an appearance.  The time that a woman is truly feminine is when she’s being totally authentic.

So what does Femininity equate to?

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.  For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.  I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are being completely authentic from the inside out.

Now I wouldn’t want there to be any misunderstandings, I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with being pink, girly or fluffy, if that’s who you genuinely are…but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the route to femininity consists of dressing daily in a pink fluffy dress! 🙂

Femininity is about being who you authentically are inside, plain and simple.

…and as such defining it in specific terms can be a little challenging, as femininity is slightly different for each individual woman.

However, there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, but they will all appear in some shape or form.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about being F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E. first.

Flow – Femininity is all about being open, and letting things flow.  The crucial element of this flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

Emotionally connected – Women are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.  Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of femininity and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.  Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.  We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love…pure and simple.

Magic – I’m not referring to Harry Potter or David Copperfield here!  This is all about re-capturing the sense of magic from our childhood.  Being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Most importantly…don’t take yourself too seriously!  Remembering the wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

Inspiring – Unlike some of our male counterparts, feminine women don’t have any inclination to use force or pressure to affect people around us…our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with.

Nurturing – Women are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!  Our nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.

Intuition – Everyone has heard of female intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to take the form of some sort of supernatural ability…intuition can simply be a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience.  At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something…often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise…it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t noticed.  Either way…if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then it’s got to be a good thing!

Natural – Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine woman it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core…embracing and embodying it completely.  Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart…and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things…it’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.  It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside…with your ‘essence’…and allowing that to radiate out.

Energy – Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real power comes from.  A feminine woman is an absolute force of nature.  She doesn’t seek out power, or to prove herself like her male counterparts…and when she’s really in her element there is absolutely no need for either.  She can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through her…and every single person she meets can feel it too.

So there, as promised, is my definition of femininity.  It’s come as a result of researching lots of different sources…as well as from my own personal experience.

…and the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of femininity?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts…

Stay fabulous!

Claire x