My journey from disturbed teenager into the woman I am today has been a rollercoaster. Once I began to open my heart to the possibility of soothing the troubled emotions that raged within, my courtship with life took me on a grand adventure. As I started to peel back the layers that had protected me for years, I was exposed to the exhilaration of living in a way that was honest and true to who I really am inside.
Traversing the tricky terrain of my career progression in an environment that yelled at me to conform. Embarking upon intimate relationships with men who sought to change me into their versions of myself. Learning how to accept the role of motherhood with grace and deep compassion. My ego fought bravely to prove to the world that I’m good enough as I began to accumulate the material stuff. Power dressing my soul in Armani to hide my vulnerability. As I embraced the risk of living my life with authentic purpose there have been moments when I’ve felt full of fear and self-doubt. Moments when I’ve failed and moments when I didn’t think it would be possible to get up from the place that I had fallen into.
I am not the woman I used to be. I am not ruled by the same constraints that I sought to punish myself with. I am finally more ‘me’ than I’ve ever been. Because I live with myself seven days a week, 24 hours a day I’ve got used to the woman in the mirror who stares back silently – a familiar face in the world of strange occurrences. I know her and she knows me. If I’m being truthful, I had not really seen myself for years, only the reflection of a woman whose external appearance had not kept pace with the myriad of internal changes.
Two years ago I was presenting in Stockport when I met a vivacious woman who was destined to transform an important aspect of myself. This week I finally plucked up the courage to spend two days with Jacqui Cooper, a style councillor. She believes that when every aspect of who we truly are is in complete alignment, then we access an inner sense of well-being causing life to feel easier and happier. It took me nearly five hours to travel up to Huddersfield. With suitcases laden with clothes, I was carrying the ghosts of my life. At the time I had no idea why I was prepared to travel such a long way or go to such effort, but it felt right and I felt ready.
As I pulled out my wardrobe, Jacqui asked me “Who are you?” Because of the work I have done on myself I found this easy to answer. Then as I began trying on my clothes, I began to see that the choices I had made with my outer appearance were not aligned with the woman I am today. It was as if a veil had been lifted and I was looking at myself for the first time. There was a dissonance in my choices – my outfits were dated, intimidating, drab and restrictive. I saw that I had isolated my core self by dressing as I used to dress in my thirties.
The two days with Jacqui were a whirlwind of change. My hair was cut (shout out to the fabulously creative Steve), my expensive ‘gear’ and Minnie Mouse shoes were dispatched to the local charity shop and clothes I had never worn, when worn differently, felt radiant with new energy. I was measured for a bra (I had always tried to hide my femininity with sports tops), realised that I’m a lot slimmer than I thought and experienced how shoes can change the look and feel of an outfit. I discovered that ‘sexy’ is not tight fitting clothes but a natural confidence that comes from when you wear what reflects your true personality. At times I felt deeply emotional as the cathartic release of old ways of being flew out of the window. More often there were moments of exquisite joy as I saw myself, the real me, for the first time.
Jacqui has an innate gift for discovering the real person inside and inspires their authentic essence by what they wear and how they wear their clothes. She blends kindness with a quiet gravitas so that I never felt pushed into wearing anything that was new and strange. She and I experienced a quiet ‘battle’ around one of my favourite dresses and my ‘Mary Poppins’ coat. Interestingly at the end of the process I gratefully offloaded the coat! It was one of the most important two days I have invested in myself. My whole life’s purpose is about helping others to be authentic, and in doing so allows their inner charisma to shine more brightly. I had devoted years working and transforming my inner-self without realising that my outer-self had been left behind in the days when my ego ruled the world.
Every change that we make as individuals causes a vibrational shift in the unique frequency that we transmit and receive information upon. This is why couples often experience volatility after one individual embarks upon a journey of personal development. As human beings we constantly change. What worked well for us in our twenties may no longer satisfy our soul in our forties and fifties. Whether it is our clothes, our homes, our relationships or our careers, every change inside effects everything on the outside. The more malleable and open we are in adjusting to the new higher version of ourselves, the easier life feels. Releasing negative emotions changes your energy. If your clothes and external image reflect the old version of you then you’ll appear fake, superficial and just a little bit ‘off’.
When you change any aspect of you and your life then expect that there will be ripples as the world seeks to align and adjust to accommodate those changes. Sometimes the adjustments are relatively easy and sometimes they cause deep tremors in the fabric of our existence. Simply by recognising this phenomenon enables us to welcome the trials and tribulations of life. These are signs that we are growing and evolving. When issues rise to the surface they are telling us that they are ready to be healed.
When every aspect of you is aligned with every aspect of you, then you attract more of what you want into your life. Alignment transforms battlegrounds into playgrounds. Alignment stimulates effortless energy. Alignment deepens relationships with yourself and others.
So buck the trend. Let’s not keep doing the time warp over and over again.