Posts

Do you allow yourself to receive?

Do you allow yourself to receive?Let’s face it, most of us like to think that we can do it all ourselves.We’ve spent most of our adult lives trying to prove ourselves, show that we can manage, we can cope, that we can do everything that’s expected of us.

But between building a successful career, being the model daughter / sister / mother, keeping ourselves fit and healthy, managing our finances, indulging our hobbies, creating a home that is warm and inviting and making sure that everything is buffed, trimmed, waxed and styled to perfection…it can be more than a little overwhelming at times.

The reality is that it’s not possible to do it all, and to do it all perfectly…especially when we try and do it on our own.

Part of the challenge we have is as feminine women our natural tendency is to focus on our relationships, on our communities, on other people’s wellbeing…way before we focus on our own.  We forget the need to receive, because we’re so focused on wanting to give.

We want everyone to be happy.

We all want to give…but who’s going to receive?

Our inclination towards giving is not really helped by the abundance of sayings that tell us how wonderful giving is…

  • It is better to give than to receive.
  • The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving. – Edwin Louis Cole
  • We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give – Winston Churchill
  • Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give ― Ben Carson
In fact, if you do a Google search on “giving” you get over 350 million more results than you do for a search on “receiving”.Now I’m not for a second suggesting that we shouldn’t be giving…in fact I’m a big fan of it.

But we do need to make sure that we learn how to receive too.

Receiving is fundamental to connecting with our femininity…we’re naturally designed to receive, and when we deny ourselves the ability to receive, we deny a key aspect of our femininity.

An exercise I often get women who work with me to do can help to remind you how important it is to take in as well as give out.  Now if you have any heart, breathing or medical concerns at all then don’t do this…just read along (you’ll get the point)…but if you have no medical concerns then I invite you to give this a go.

Take a deep breath in.

Now breathe it all out…every single part of it.

…now don’t breathe in yet…first breathe out again.

…and again

…and again

…and again

….and again

…and again.

Now, by this time one of a few things has usually happened.  You’re probably laughing or smiling, you may be feeling a little light headed…but by this point I guarantee that your body has forced you to take a breath in.

Your body knows that it’s not possible to keep breathing out over and over and over again without stopping to take breath in too.  If you don’t stop to take the breath in, sooner rather than later you’ll lose the ability to give it out because there’s nothing in there left to give.

What I always find interesting about this exercise is that even after you’ve tried to breathe out everything you have, when you try again you usually have a little left in reserve…which tends to be the same in life too.  If you continue to give and give over and over again, when you think the tank is empty you tend to find that there’s a little left in reserve…but if you don’t learn to receive as well, then you’ll soon be left with nothing more to give.

The other challenge that everyone giving has, is that if we all want to give and no-on wants to receive…then no-one really gets to give!  In order for giving to work, someone has to be willing to receive it in.  So in avoiding giving you actually deny someone else the gift of giving.

So how can we learn to receive?

There are opportunities to receive around us all the time, every day, everywhere we go.  The key to allowing yourself to receive is to become aware of them, and to give yourself permission to take these opportunities.

There are four key areas in which we have the opportunity to receive…and I invite you to look out for them in the coming week.

  • Receiving from yourself – How often do you take the time to give to yourself and allow yourself to really receive it?  Self-care is so important to our wellbeing and vastly underrated and under prioritised by the majority of women.  It can come in many different forms…allowing yourself to rest, pampering yourself, choosing to take time indulging yourself and doing something you love.  What could you do to receive from yourself today?
  • Receiving from family and friends – We know that people love to give, and allowing ourselves to receive enables them to enjoy the process of giving that much more.  Allowing people close to us to be able to help and support us actually strengthens the bonds between us, and brings us closer to each other.
  • Receiving from strangers – How often has someone offered to give you a hand, or something as simple as offering you a seat on the train and your automatic response has been “No thanks, I’m fine”.  When we deny other people the ability to give to us, it discourages them for doing it for others…so take these opportunities to receive from people you don’t know…it could encourage them to do it for others too.
  • Receiving from an intimate partner – As a feminine woman, we sometimes don’t understand the needs of the masculine.  One of the primary needs of the masculine is to feel needed, and to feel like they have the ability to make the feminine happy.  When we don’t allow ourselves to receive from our partner, we deny them the ability to feel needed, and it creates a distance between us that we’re not even necessarily aware of.
This weekend was a great example for me.  On Sunday I had the opportunity to go and contribute by distributing bags to the homeless.  It was something that I was really looking forward to, because I love to give.But Sunday morning when I woke up I felt exhausted.  I’ve been working a lot recently and hadn’t taken the time to replenish myself.

So on Sunday I allowed myself to receive, from my partner, and from myself.  I was lucky enough to have an amazing man looking after me, treating me to breakfast in bed, massages and a variety of little things that made me feel great and put a smile on my face.  Not only did it make me feel good to receive, it made him feel incredible to be able to give to me.  I also allowed myself time to rest and recharge my batteries, to give myself some much needed self-care and downtime.

…and if you’d like an opportunity to receive then please feel free to join me for my free video series and webinar on the 7 mistakes single women make when looking for love and the 1 thing you need to know in order to attract the relationship you desire and deserve, which is my opportunity to give and share with you…and an opportunity for you to practice receiving.  If you’d like to join us, click here to sign up: http://feminine1st.com/free-webinar-7-mistakes-single-women/

…and I’ll leave you today with one of my favourite quotes about receiving:

If giving is a gift, and it surely is, then my gift to you is to allow you to give to me. 
” – Jarod Kintz

So this week, give others the gift of allowing them to give to you…and allow yourself to receive.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

A Christmas gift that you can give yourself…

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st, Christmas GiftDo you remember to give yourself a Christmas gift?

This year can be a bit crazy and hectic….remembering every Christmas gift that you need to buy, the cards that need to be written, all the wrapping that needs to be done….it can be a bit of a mission!

Would you like a little extra Christmas gift?

As well as sharing with you how grateful I am for all of your help and support this year I wanted to give you a little extra Christmas gift.  This one is a bit special though, you can’t fit it in a box, or put a bow around it….but it’s probably the most important gift you’ll get this year.

What kind of Christmas gift is that?

So watch the video now to find out more about this very special Christmas gift….from me to you…

Remember to share this Christmas gift with others…

So I really encourage you to give yourself this Christmas gift and to share it with others too …if you’re anything like me you probably know a dozen women who could all do with a reminder about this Christmas gift…so please take the time to share this video with them too.

As we all know, femininity is about flow….and that flow requires both giving and receiving…so remember that this Christmas season, as you give yourself this Christmas gift.

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

Could belief be the difference that turns your dreams into a reality…?

I believeMost of us have heard about the secret, the law of attraction or some other variant of the power of intention…but it wasn’t until I got to California that I started to realise how powerful setting a strong, specific intention and having complete belief in it becoming a reality could be.

My main reason for coming out to California was to attend a seminar in San Diego about leadership and techniques for helping people to transform their lives.

As this is the main focus of my business (and as I’m always looking to learn and develop my skills further) it seemed like the perfect event for me to attend.

Little did I know the affect that it would have on me personally and my life.

The last 9 months have been a bit of a challenge for me. When me and my ex-boyfriend parted ways in February of this year, it was a little more than a broken heart that I was left to deal with.

You see, when I started my company late last year, it was with a lot of help and guidance from him. He was my technical support and he was also providing me with a lot of business strategies too.

My area of expertise was my content. I know my stuff when it comes to the areas of femininity, masculinity and polarity, and my clients consistently experience significant life changing transformations when they work with me. I’m able to help people really get back to who they are at their core and work out how to live their lives in a way that is consistent with who they really are…and in a way that will help their relationships reach new and deeper levels.

But when it comes to running a business, the content is only half the story.

So I’ve been learning a lot since the beginning of the year, but I am very conscious that I am keen to learn more…after all I owe it to myself, to my clients and to my potential clients to ensure that Feminine 1st is the best business it possibly can be.

So I arrive at Leadership Academy all set to gain more skills and techniques to benefit my clients.

…or so I thought.

Then on day 2 of the event they tell us about an event that is available to help you hone and sharpen all of your business skills and strategies.

…an event that would benefit me greatly…but one that (for now at least) was out of my price range.

I’m not sure quite what came over me, but I think that the overwhelm of taking on the business single handed and learning everything so rapidly finally caught up with me…and I burst into tears.

I recognised that some help in reaching my business goals would mean so much to me, and the people who I’m serving…and yet it seemed out of reach for this particular moment in time.

…at this point four key lessons from my time at the leadership event came into play:

  1. Let go of the need to look good / perfect / like you know it all
  2. Let go of the need to be right / have all the answers
  3. Ask for help
  4. Be open to receiving help

So later that day I ended up sharing my experience with a few of the people at the event, being completely and totally open about my sense of overwhelm and just allowing myself to be truthful about it.

The following day I decided that I was going to go to this business focused event. I didn’t know how, I just knew that I was going to get there.

I had absolute and complete belief.

So my mind started wondering how I was going to get there…and I came to the conclusion that the only option was for me to win a ticket to get there.

During the event I was attending there were various opportunities for you to win a ticket to another event (for any TR family out there…you know the wheel!) and so I believed this was my likely route.

So every time one of these opportunities came along, I stood resolutely willing for my name to be drawn…but it didn’t happen.

Then during one of the lunch breaks…something remarkable happened.

The person who I had shared my sense of overwhelm with the day before came up to me and told me that they had exciting news.

They told me that they wanted to help me in getting to the business event that I wanted to attend. That knowing how skilled I am in what I do I could pay off half the amount by helping out their staff with my area of expertise in terms of relationship building and leadership…and the other half I could pay off over the course of the next 12 months. In addition they offered to provide me with business coaching to ensure that I could easily make the profit required for that…and more.

…and in return I could help them with coaching on polarity and presence.

It was a win-win-win.

I was stunned.

In only a matter of hours since I set the intention that I was going to attend this event it was happening. I was registered and good to go.

…not only that, but since this incredible experience I have been testing my theory on intention and belief with remarkable results.

My trip around California has been sprinkled with all sorts of amazing gifts that have come as a result of setting the intention, and having the belief.

So what did I learn from all of this?

Well, the answer to that is simple. There are 6 steps to this process, and it’s all about B.E.L.I.E.F:

  • Be Specific – Set a very specific intention…what specifically do you want, and by when?
  • Emotionally Associate – Get emotional about it…how will you feel about it when it happens? Allow yourself to feel that now.
  • Let Go – Give up your perception of control and release any attachment to how it will happen…if you focus on one particular ‘how’ you could cut off other paths.
  • Ignite your Belief – Believe in it. Whole-heartedly and completely…see it happening, know it will happen. See it as ‘already done’, and don’t leave any room for the possibility that it might not happen.
  • Energise – Create some great energy around it…by looking after yourself. This is a time to focus on self-care, having fun, enjoying yourself…commit to doing one thing that would do this for you.
  • Facilitate receiving – Give yourself permission to receive what you’re setting the intention for…allow it into your life.

There are also three very important guidelines to this process. You will always either:

  • Get what you want
  • Get what you need
  • Or something better

It might not seem like it at the time, but if you stick with it, if you don’t seem to be getting what you want, it might be that there is something else out there that you hadn’t even thought about.

While I’ve been on this magical mystery tour of California I’ve used this method on countless occasions and it is working beautifully.

So…if you were going to set an intention this week, what would it be…? It could be as simple as a car parking space in a convenient location when you’re going to the shops…
…but whatever you try it with, big or small, it’s really worth giving it a go…

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

When was the last time that you reached out..?

Reach outReaching out, especially when we’re going through challenges can be one of the hardest things to do. Our energy might be low and we can be afraid that if we reach out that we won’t get the response that we want or need.

Stepping forward and saying ‘I’m not OK’ takes real courage.

But when you do this, something magical happens.

People realise that you’re human. People relate to you. People connect with you.

It’s amazing how many people there are out there who want to help and support you if you’ll only let them.

As you know, I’ve had a pretty challenging couple of months…and in the process of dealing with what’s been happening, I’ve been very open and honest about the situation. I haven’t hidden away from it, or put a brave face on to cover it…I’ve shared it…with my friends, with the world, with you.

The beautiful thing about sharing so openly and showing your vulnerability is that people respond.

The wonderful thing about reaching out is that people see the courage it takes…and they reach back to you.

Over the last few weeks I have felt incredibly blessed by the number of people who have reached out to me to share their stories, their support and their love. I have received messages from complete strangers, from dear friends and from people who I haven’t spoken to in person for literally years (some of them for around a decade!).

I am so grateful to each and every one of the people who has taken the time to reach out to me, even if it was just to say hello or how are you doing.

It’s also incredible the number of people out there feeling alone and wanting help. By opening up to them, you give them permission to open up to you in return.

I was speaking with a girlfriend a couple of weeks ago about the situation that I was experiencing, and when I’d finished talking she shared some challenges that she had been facing. I’d had no idea she had been going through such a tough time, and it was only when I opened up to her that she felt able to open up in return.

When I asked her why she hadn’t rung me to tell me what was going on, the response was simple “I didn’t want to be a bother”.

To hear that was heartbreaking, because I know a ten minute conversation would have probably made her feel a lot better, a lot less alone in her situation and would have made me feel good that I was able to be there for her.

We have got into this habit of dealing with everything on our own and putting a ‘brave face’ on things…that has lead us to pulling back from the people around us when we need them most.

So the next time that you find yourself going through a challenge, I invite you to use the four “Rs”:

  • Reach out – Reach out to the people around you and let them know that you’re having a bit of a challenge. A good rule of thumb here is to think of the people who are close to you who you would want to reach out to you if they were having a hard time. Chances are, those are exactly the people who want you to reach out to them when you are.
  • Receive – Reaching out is only half the story! When you reach out to the people who you know will want to support you, allow yourself to open up and receive from them. Whether it’s a hug, a kind word, a cup of tea (or cocktail!) or a piece of advice…allow yourself to receive.
  • Respond – When someone has been there for you…be sure to respond to let them know how much it is appreciated. Acknowledge what they’ve done for you, tell them what it has meant to you and say thank you. It might seem like a little thing…but it means a lot.
  • Reciprocate – When someone has been there for you when you need them, be sure to let them know that you want to be there for them in return. It might not be right there and then (like it was with me and my girlfriend) but at some point in the future they will need someone too…let them know that you want to be that person for them, in the way that they’ve been for you.

When we reach out, we create strong bonds that will be there for a long time to come.

We can enjoy the good times together and give each other a helping hand when things get a little bumpy along the way…which makes life a little easier for us all.

So use the four Rs…and remember to reach out!

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Thank you to the stranger on the train…

TearsYesterday was not a good day for me.

In fact, being honest, it was really awful.

It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say something like that…but in this case there’s no other way to put it!

I got some news which was very upsetting, and which caught me completely by surprise.

If you want to know the full story, you can find it in today’s newsletter (You can sign up here if you haven’t yet: http://feminine1st.com/free-gift/)

I was in London at a meeting when it happened, and so on my journey home it all started to sink in…and the next thing I know I’m sitting on a South Eastern train with tears streaming down my face.

It was one of those “once the flood gates are open” moments.

Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

I was very aware of the fact that I was on a public train, surrounded by people, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling very upset, and at that moment I needed to let it out.

The guy with the drinks trolley went past and very kindly handed me a couple of napkins as he went.

But then something interesting happened.

A guy who was sat a little further up the train walked up to me and said “I’m really sorry, I’m not trying to hit on you, but I can’t just sit there and watch you cry….would you like to split a beer? Or I could just sit here and talk random rubbish at you for the rest of your journey?”

Now, a few years ago, if this had happened my instinctive response would be to say “It’s OK, I’m fine”.

Not yesterday.

I looked up at him and said “You know what, that would be really great”.

So he sat down and we started chatting.

Not the stuff of great conversations that will go down in history, just random chat to pass the time.

It was just what I needed…a little random kindness from a stranger.

What was really interesting is that had the situation been reversed and I’d seen someone crying on the train, I’d have done exactly what he did.

When I told him this and said how grateful I was for the random stranger who came and talked random stuff at me to pass the journey…he simply replied, “Ah, but it wasn’t random”.

It was really reassuring to know that what you put out in the world, does come back…sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes randomly…but often when it’s most needed.

I’ve mentioned the concept of paying it forward on here a few times, and my last post about it was on remembering to receive it forward as well.

Well, yesterday I got the chance…and it felt good to receive.

So thank you to the stranger on the train who helped me to dry my tears and made me smile.

The next time you see someone who you think could use cheering up, don’t be afraid to say hello…it doesn’t cost anything and it might just make all the difference to someone’s day.

…and the next time someone offers you a kindness at a time when you really need it…allow yourself to receive it. It might not take away the sadness or whatever it is that you’re feeling…but it certainly does help.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

What stops us from receiving?

Woman Saying NoAs you probably know by now, on Wednesday the 28th of March I took part in the global Pay it Forward Flashmob here in London.

The day was fantastic…it was gorgeous sunshine, I was with a group of fantastic people and we were passing on random acts of kindness…what more could you ask for on a Wednesday afternoon?

On the whole, the experience was incredibly positive. There were some lovely stories about people who seemed genuinely touched by the concept and were keen to continue it onward.

But today I wanted to share something that really saddened me about the experience.

Because there I was, in the middle of London, wanting to do something small, random and kind for a stranger…but many of the strangers who I came across quite simply didn’t want to know.

As anyone who knows me knows…I’m not exactly a scary person. It’s very rare that I don’t have a smile on my face, and (as my sister will testify) people have a tendency of starting random conversations with me when I’m out and about (probably because they know that I’ll talk back to them!)

But as soon as you even appeared to move in the general direction of a stranger in London, something very peculiar happens.

Sometimes without looking at you, always without listening to you and occasionally with a hand being put up in front of you…you are instantly dismissed.

In this situation, there are several things that take place.

All of these people avoid eye contact with you.

Some just say “No”

Some are kind enough to add a “Thank you” at the end.

Some actively run away.

Some even swear at you (as was the experience of one person in our group).

It never occurred to me that doing something nice for another human being could be so challenging!

Everyone was looking for the catch, the sale, the pitch.

What was sad was that there wasn’t one….and those people ended up missing out on something potentially life-changing because they assumed that it wasn’t for them.

Well as my Dad always used to say to me, to Assume is to make an “Ass” of “u” & “me”…

The Pay It Forward experience is a fantastic idea….it’s all about spreading a ripple of genuine human kindness around the world, expecting nothing in return other than for the recipient to pass it on to another.

But if people aren’t prepared to receive, then how can it work?

…and what’s sad is that this doesn’t just apply to strangers on the street.

How many times do we say “I’m fine” when someone offers us help? How often do we refuse to ask for help because we want to prove that we can do it all ourselves?

As women we are so good at giving to the people around us…but we aren’t quite so good at receiving in return.

Femininity is all about flow. It’s about giving AND receiving…and if you block yourself from receiving, you’re blocking this flow.

The thing is, if we react and say ‘no’ before we’ve even stopped to hear what the other person has to say, we’ll never get the opportunity to receive.

Instantly saying no is a habit that we’ve adopted over time…and it’s one that would benefit us to break.

So the next someone approaches you to offer something (whether that’s on the street, at work or in your personal life), I implore you to remember to be a S.T.A.R.

– S top – Stop before you react to the situation.
– T hink – Think about what they’ve said and how you would like to respond.
– A cknowledge – Acknowledge what they’ve said.
– R espond – Respond to what they’ve said.

If what they are speaking about is genuinely not of interest to you, simply say something along the lines of “I appreciate what you’re doing, but I’m not interested thank you”. If you’ve listened to what they had to say and are completely honest, that’s the end of the conversation…but at least you’ve been polite about it.

Remember to be kind. They might be doing what they’re doing because it’s their job. They might want to share something with you that is of great importance to them, and so they think if might be of importance to you too. They might have a gift to give you.

If you don’t stop for a moment and listen, not only might you miss out on something great, but you might also stop someone else from being able to share a gift.

…and trust me, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to do something nice for someone else, and being rebuffed without even being heard.

If you are interested, then allow yourself to receive graciously…you’ll feel better for it, and you’ll allow someone else the pleasure of giving something to you.

Tomorrow is international Pay it forward day…so let’s make Paying it Forward a happier experience, together.

Pay It Forward is a really special idea…

…But in order for Pay It Forward to work….we must also be prepared to Receive It Forward too.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

I'm fine

No thanks, I’m fine.

I'm fineHow many times a day / week / month do you say this sentence, or a variation of it?

It’s ok.

I’m fine.

I’ll manage.

It’ll be alright.

We spend our lives telling everyone else that we don’t need any help, assistance, guidance or support.

Often, when someone offers to help, the words of dismissal leave our lips almost before the suggestion has been made in full.

It seems that we are so used to proving to both ourselves and everyone else around us that “we can do it” and “we can cope” that we don’t even stop to consider the offer.

I feel we are so good at giving out and helping others…but not so great on the receiving front.

Well, the downside to that is that even the deepest of wells have a bottom at some point…and if you keep taking out, without putting back in, eventually it will be empty.

Us women are exactly like this. We give out, and out, and out, and out…but we forget that in order to have something left to give, we need to remember to replenish.

Receiving is a vital part of maintaining our feminine core…if we receive, we can continue to give.

Many years ago, I was the personification of the phrase “independent woman”. If something needed to be done, I could do it, I could handle it. There was nothing I couldn’t manage.

I would offer to help everyone else…with pretty much anything…but I didn’t like accepting help.

I didn’t want to put anyone out, or inconvenience anyone. I could do it….regardless of the fact that it might take me twice as long, or three times as much hassle.

When someone reminded me of two things:

If I kept giving out constantly…and never received…sooner or later there would be nothing left to give.

By not receiving myself, I was denying other people the pleasure of being able to give. Helping or doing something nice for someone else can really make your day…who was I to deny someone else that great feeling?

It was a major wakeup call.

I was chatting to a friend last week who was organising an event and having trouble finding a venue. When someone offered to help, her instinct was to say “No, don’t worry about it, I’ll manage”…when instead she found herself saying “actually, that would be great”.

Those 5 words saved her stress, hassle and extra workload which (given everything else that needed to be done) made a HUGE difference to her week.

The venue was sorted, and she didn’t have to worry about a thing…and the person who helped got to feel great about helping out someone they cared about.

It was a win-win situation…which wouldn’t have existed if she had insisted on proving that she could do it herself.

So the next time someone offers you help I’d like to ask you to be a S.T.A.R.

Stop – Stop first before saying anything. Be sure to respond to the offer they are giving you, not react to the fact that someone is trying to help.
Think – Think about what they are offering you. Would it help you? Will they feel good for being able to do it? Could you suggest a compromise which would work for you both?
Acknowledge – Acknowledge what they have said and thank them for their offer.
Receive – Receive the offer graciously.

If we all learned how to be stars…think how sparkly life would be! 😉

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x