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Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Alanis Morissette!

Fabulous Friday Female, Alanis MorissetteI’m always a big supporter of anyone, male or female, who does their part to raise the profile of challenges and imbalances that the world is facing regarding masculinity and femininity.

…and I’m especially pleased when they acknowledge and share that everyone has both masculine and feminine inside them and it’s finding the balance that’s important!

…and earlier this month Alanis Morissette did exactly that in a fantastic article that blends her own story with her views on how embracing the feminine could be the answer to a lot of challenges that we are facing.

So I wanted to share the essence of the article through some powerful excerpts.

It is a brave act indeed for both men and women to embrace, rather than shame or attempt to eradicate the feminine.

The ideal vision, in theory, would be to find the delicate and meaningful blend of both the masculine and feminine, and the acceptance of the fact that we all fall somewhere unique on this continuum … and that it is a continuum.

The embodiment of the empowered feminine and masculine, in theory, would “show up” in people who possess varying degrees of both qualities. The most important part being that what we had on our hands was less a gender war, and more of a resistance to the masculine or feminine within each of us.

So it becomes less about “men hating women/women hating men” and becomes more about the fear and loathing of the feminine within our own hearts and minds, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Importantly and secondarily, it’s the disempowerment of both the masculine and the feminine that is also the culprit here.

What has been grossly overlooked throughout age immemorial is that both aspects need each other for wholeness! And that unification of both, in all its forms, (meaning peace, connection, healing, inspiration, prosperity of all kinds) is our birthright.

So the idea of true partnership and connection (inner and outer)—which so many are saying is the way of the future and will ultimately stave off the destruction of our planet—requires an empowered version of both the masculine (action, generosity, solution, confidence, boldness, industry, strength etc.) and the feminine (vulnerability, tenderness, yielding, humility, grace, intuition, heart, etc.) aspects to come together, seeing the need for the other. And that this unification and complement will show up in every area of our lives: work, romance, family, health, business, art, and even politics.

So as it turns out, it’s the disempowerment of the masculine and the fear of the feminine in us that is patriarchy. The fear of this delicate and fierce feminine has more to do with our fear of being vulnerable again, getting hurt again, than it does by our actual distaste for the beauty of the feminine and Her qualities. But our avoidance and resistance to Her is torturing men and women alike, and tearing apart the fabric of what could be a very harmonious society.

Liberation is only possible with the integration of these two aspects, equally respected for their unique and powerful contribution. Not in evidencing these qualities equally every day by homogenizing and overriding our unique essential temperaments (not possible!) and contexts, but rather simply accepting these parts, even loving them, in ourselves, and in others.

Creating inner partnership between both the masculine and feminine would render us all humanists, life-ists, and wholeness-ists, rather than patriarch-ists or feminists/matriarchists.

And so, by accepting and embracing the feminine within us, and flying in the face of an overly masculinized (of the disempowered variety) society (with all of its disconnected and lonely results), we support this empowered and connected brave new world we all dream of, and, allow this union to serve as a direct portal to the Divine.

…and I encourage you to read the full article here, it’s a very interesting read.

So please join me today in acknowledging Alanis and celebrating her courage in using her voice to share how important embracing and finding our own unique balance of the feminine and masculine is to us and our future x

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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, 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

Thursday Thought Quote: How Often Do You Thank YOU?

This week’s Thursday Thought:

How Often Do You Thank YOU?

Would you like to know a secret that EVERY woman should know…?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stA few weeks ago I had a conversation with a very dear girlfriend of mine that really upset me, until I realised the problem…she didn’t know the secret.

It’s not big, or complicated…but it is true for every single woman on the planet.

Do you know the secret?

I meet women every week who are frustrated, stressed or downright fed up…all because they don’t know the secret.

…and then it occurred to me…maybe YOU don’t know the secret either.

So what is the secret?

So today I want to share the secret with you…and ask you to share it with as many women as possible.  When you watch the video, you’ll understand why…

The thing with this secret is that while most of us know it, we tend to forget it (or even worse ignore it)….continuing to set expectations of ourselves that would leave even Wonder Woman calling for a ‘time out’.

So take a moment today to check-in…are you expecting too much of yourself?  Are you trying to be perfectly perfect, instead of perfectly imperfect?  Are you putting demands on yourself that you wouldn’t dream of putting on anyone else?  Are you trying to please everyone else, to the detriment of yourself?

Remember the secret…

If the answer is yes (to any of the above questions), then just remind yourself of the secret.

Having high standards is great…just remember that being kind to yourself is equally important too.

…and please take a moment share the secret with at least three women who you know that could use a little reminder too.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is Oprah…and even better, this weekend two Fabulous Friday Females unite!

Fabulous Friday Female, Oprah WinfreyToday’s Fabulous Friday Female needs little introduction.

In fact, I struggled to know what to write in here.

Entrepreneur, Actress, Philanthropist, Inspirational Leader…these words don’t do this remarkable woman justice.

She has changed lives and inspired millions through her own story and her desire to help women to “Live your best life” any way she can.

This video just shows the tip of the iceberg in terms of the difference that Oprah has made in the world:

 

Oprah Winfrey could be Fabulous Friday Female every week (and twice at Christmas!), but the reason that I wanted to celebrate her in particular this week is her unwavering desire to share not just her own wisdom with the world…but to use her ‘stage’ (for want of a better word) to celebrate and share the wisdom of others.

 

This week, on Super Soul Sunday she will be bringing together what she calls “The New Breed of Spiritual Thought Leaders”…one of whom is no stranger to us here at Feminine 1st…in fact she was our very own Fabulous Friday Female just last month…the awesome Marie Forleo!

 

Marie will be joining Mastin Kipp and Gabrielle Bernstein for a very special edition of Super Soul Sunday this weekend…and as Oprah herself says, quite simply, “What they have to say [is] going to inspire you”…

 

 

Check out Oprah and the Next Generation Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN. You can also log on to their worldwide simulcast on Oprah.com or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday so you can join them from anywhere in the world!

 

So please join me today in celebrating Oprah and her incredible work today, inspiring people all over the world not only through her own story and successes, but through sharing, celebrating and supporting others.  To me there is no greater demonstration of true authentic leadership.  If you feel the same way, then please share this article…the more we can do to support our female leaders, the better!  x
 
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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, 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
 

Thursday Thought: Use Your Light To Ignite The Spark of Inspiration In Others ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Use Your Light To Ignite The Spark Of Inspiration In Others ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Have you ever had an unusual request from a stranger, like this?

Question from a strangerAs we all know, Femininity is nothing to do with what you wear, what you say, or what you do…it’s all about who you are.

Getting back to the real you inside, being your true authentic self and letting it radiate out of you for the world to see.

If a feminine woman who is confident and comfortable in her femininity walked in a room wearing trainers, baggy jeans and a big jumper without her hair being done or a scrap of makeup across her face, people would still be able to see her femininity.

Likewise if a woman who was more identified with her masculine traits walked into a room in a beautiful dress, people would still see and respond to the masculinity in her.

When you’re really in touch with who you truly are, it radiates out of you. They might not even realise it, but people can see it and feel it…they respond to it.

I had an experience a few years ago that really demonstrated this to me. I’d always known that people can get a sense of other people…but I hadn’t realised how literal that could be.

As you may know, I’m something of a hugger.

I love hugging.

Most people who have ever met me have probably been hugged by me (with certain notable exceptions…I don’t believe I’ve ever hugged my dentist, doctor or a policeman…yet).

One of my favourite videos of all time is the FREE HUGS viral video:

I am the originator of the now world famous “Squishy Hug”.

Several years ago I actually had two ‘FREE HUGS’ T-shirts made up that have been worn on numerous occasions.

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

…and I have even hugged rival team members during a friendly game of rounders (a game similar to softball if you are one of my international readers).

There are few situations that I can think of where a hug won’t make things a little bit better 🙂

Everyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is through a heartfelt hug….and that I am just as happy to give strangers a hug as I am my friends.

A few years ago, I was in a salsa club in London…it was pretty late in the evening and I’d been dancing most of the night.

The club I was at was one of my regular spots…I went there at least 2 or 3 times a week and I knew all of the regulars…and several of the irregulars too!

Unlike most of the clubs that I went to, this one often had a mix of dancers and non-dancers…so not everyone who was there was there to salsa.

I was stood on the edge of the dance floor in a little world of my own watching my friends dancing, when I saw someone approaching me.

Now in a salsa club, if someone comes towards you it’s normally to ask you to dance, so I was fully expecting a request to hit the floor and bust out some moves.

When I turned to see who was walking towards me I realised that it was a woman…but as I both lead and follow in salsa it’s not unusual for women to ask me to dance as well as men, so I wasn’t surprised.

As she stopped in front of me I realised that I’d never seen this person before, she wasn’t part of the local salsa scene and hadn’t been to any of the clubs or events that I’d been to….but that wouldn’t have stopped me from having a dance!

So I turned to look at her and she said simply “Can I have a hug?”

I was a little surprised by the request as I had been expecting to be asked for a dance…but without missing a beat I responded by saying “Of course you can” and giving her one of my famed squishy hugs.

Once I’d given her the hug she smiled and simply said “Thank you” and then left the club. As I watched her go I realised that she wasn’t with anyone else…and I never saw her again.

It suddenly occurred to me that if she had asked the same question to anyone else I knew in the club at that time at best they would have probably given her a very odd look and made an excuse to get out of the situation…at worst they would have flat refused.

I checked and I wasn’t wearing one of my free hugs T-shirts…and I’d also not been hugging people at the time, so it didn’t appear that she’d seen something that would have suggested I’d be open to the request.

Then I realised something.

It wasn’t because I was doing or saying something…it’s because of who I was. I was ‘being’ myself…and other people can just pick up on it.

In the same way as when I’m out and about my sister regularly asks, “Why do strangers always start talking to you?”….and I respond by saying “I think it’s because they can tell that I’m the sort of person who will talk back!”

When you are being yourself, completely and totally, other people can sense it, and they respond to it without needing to see any other ‘evidence’ of it.

It’s the reason random strangers start talking to me no matter where I am…it’s the reason that I find kind people wherever I go who offer to help if I get stuck…and it’s the reason that people feel they can walk up to me in a salsa club and ask me for a hug, even if they’ve never met me before!

So this week I have two questions for you. Firstly, “Who are you being?” and secondly “Are you being it so completely that other people can just sense it?”

…and this is a reminder to you that being feminine has nothing to do with what is on the outside, what you do or what you say…it’s about who you are.

When you feel it on the inside, it radiates out of you…and then other people can see the beautiful feminine woman that you really are.

…and next time you see me, be sure to claim your squishy hug! ;o)

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Thursday Thought: Life isn’t happening TO you, it’s happening BECAUSE of you ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

This week’s Thursday Thought:

Life isn’t happening TO you, it’s happening BECAUSE of you ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Thursday Thought - Life isn't happening to you, it's happening because of you - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

The 10 friends every girl needs…

FriendsFriends are awesome.

My life is blessed because of the great friends that I have in it….I’m lucky enough to have some truly amazing friends spread across the globe.

When I was much younger though, I had some challenges with my friendships. I am a very giving person, and I often found myself feeling like I was doing all of the giving and I wasn’t necessarily receiving as much in return.

In fact, many years ago my best friend said something to me that really stuck a chord.

“You’re a really hard person to be friends with”

Bam!

I felt like I’d been hit with a sledgehammer.

I couldn’t understand…I always thought I was a good friend…my friendships were one of the most important things in my life. There was almost nothing I wouldn’t do for my friends (within reason!)

So why was it so hard to be my friend?!

She continued, ”Well you give so much to your friends, you expect the same from them in return”.

Interesting…it gave me something to think about.

What was ridiculous was that for a long time I expected to be able to get all of my friendship needs met by just one or two people.

The thing with friends is that they are like any kind of close relationship…if you rely on one person to give you everything that you need it puts a lot of pressure on that person and the relationship. More importantly as our needs can be quite diverse, expecting one or two people to meet them all is a bit unrealistic!

So, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 types of friend that every girl should have in her life…how many do you have?

  1. The Shoulder to Cry on – For when it all falls apart and you don’t want anything more than someone to talk to, to cry on, to give you a hug, eat ice cream with you and allow you to be as emotional as you need to be.
  2. The Butt-Kicker – For when you need a little tough-love, someone who will give you a gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) encouragement to do something you know you either want or need to do.
  3. The Totally Honest Friend – Someone who will be completely and totally honest with you. You might have people around you who will tell you what they think you want to hear, because they want you to be happy…but there are times when complete honesty is actually what you need!
  4. The Pure Fun Friend – Someone to cut loose with and just have fun!! There may not be much depth to this friendship, but that’s ok…you have other people for that…this friend is just about being able to enjoy yourself with a great friend, because you can.
  5. The Male Friend – Men can be something of a mystery to us ladies, and having someone who can translate for you can really help. It’s also good to have someone around who can balance the scales a bit if you’ve been hurt and are going through the well-trodden “All men suck” phase, and remind you that they’re not all bad… 🙂
  6. The Love and Hugs Friend – Someone who you know will always be there to give you a hug and some friend-love, any time, just because you need it.
  7. The Gay Friend – Every girl should have a gay friend in their life…and I don’t just mean a male one. They are loads of fun and they often bring a unique viewpoint to the table on relationship advice. If you have a male gay friend they are also great at rebuilding your confidence and faith in the male species after a breakup and make excellent shopping buddies!
  8. The Free Spirit – It’s great to have someone in your life who is a bit of a free-spirit. Someone to inspire you, to remind you to dream and not to take everything so seriously.
  9. The Wise Friend – A friend who can give sage advice is invaluable. This is often someone who has been there and done that (and owns an entire wardrobe of t-shirts) and who is only too happy to share their experiences and wisdom.
  10. The Friend who allows you to be a Friend to them – Probably one of the most important friends you can have is the one who allows you to give back to them. Not all people do this, some prefer to keep things on the surface…but when you find someone who you can give and receive from, that’s when the connection becomes that much deeper.

It’s possible that you may have friends who fulfill more than one of these descriptions…for example, you may have a love and hugs friend who’s also a free spirit….or the gay friend who’s also the fun friend….but just don’t expect people to fulfill more than one role.

Love them for who they are and what they bring to your life, and get your other friendship needs met by the other people around you.

..and if you find one friend who can be all of these things…I’d be seriously concerned about a case of multiple personality disorder!! 😉

Most importantly, give without expectation…and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll get in return.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x