beauty · life curation · style

Style Chat – How I’m Using The Four Essence System, Pt 3

More style chat! I’m still doing a deep dive into the Four Essence System as developed by Rita (of Style Thoughts by Rita).

The video I’m referencing for this post describes four tools within the system. These tools are used to clarify where individuals fall within the system, by interpreting who they are, how they look and their style process. The third tool of the system (tool 1 and tool 2 have their own posts) is style logic, which examines the style process itself. The logic portion of the video starts around 5:10.

Rita mentions style logic, specifically, how you think about style. So I decided to personalize this, and ask myself how I think about style.

This touches on my, “process for shopping, putting outfits together, and getting dressed”. This is all about how the effort involved with shopping and styling myself show up in the real world. If I enjoy complicated, almost ritualistic approaches to shopping and styling myself, then laid-back clothing is a fundamental mismatch. Likewise, if I prefer quick, uncomplicated, casual shopping and styling, then formal, effort-ful ensembles won’t match my energy.

According to Rita, Right Essence has “Inspiration from outside; a conceptual approach”. Meanwhile, the Up Essence highlights “Emphasis on external impact, and deliberate, lookbook approach”. The result of combining Right and Up is “Situation-focused, Conceptual, Deliberate”. As someone who has a Right-Up Essence, my style logic needs to have a good bit of effort, some ritual, and an intentional effect when completed. I’m fortunate: my style logic matches my clothing and styling approach (for the most part). Even my casual clothing tends to look like I’ve put a good deal of effort into it (because I have!) I select my clothing, makeup and hairstyle with care, and it shows, even when I’m dressed down a bit.

Alternatively, understanding my style logic can help me determine when I’m choosing clothing and styling options that do not match my essence. I’ve actually found myself hurriedly getting dressed, and realizing that my ensemble falls flat because it needs a little extra effort. So I’ll reach for an accessory or two, a more elegant pair of shoes, or even a striking coat, to give my outfit the polish it needs to look like I put more effort into it. If it looks like it took me only a few minutes to get ready, then that’s my cue that I need to do MORE, if I want to look like my Right Up self. When I do less, I noticed that no one comments on how good my casual-chic outfit looks (even if I took 45 minutes to tousle my hair or to look less formal and more chill), but when I look like put in just a bit more effort (even if it only took me 15 minutes, it should LOOK like it took me an hour or two), everyone I see will mention how great I look (go figure!)

Understanding your style logic goes a long way in determining whether you’re in harmony with your essence. I’m thankful for this great explanation of style logic – and the other tools – as used within the Four Essence System!

books · writing

Writers Wednesdays – September Writing Accomplishments

Hey everyone! Happy October to you all. It’s time for a writing update, because I haven’t been posting regularly on Wednesdays during this period of increased editing activities.

I’m happy to share that I’m still on target to reach my November publishing goal (as I explained in this post). I’ve finished all of my major edits, and I’m letting the book “sit” undisturbed while I tool around with making a cover and as I consider adding images within the body of the book. This is probably my favorite part of publishing, because it gives me a break from searching for the right word, and it causes me to turn my attention to the aesthetics of the book.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll give my book another once over, probably reading it aloud to see if the words flow easily, as well as add any additional thoughts that I think will help best convey my ideas. Until I resume editing, I’ll be considering my book marketing approach and seeing if I want to promote the book through traditional means, or opt for a more passive, organic approach. I’m not sure yet, but I’ll see where inspiration leads me and make my decision based on that. Following inspiration may seem like a silly way to go about determining how I want to sell this book, but I’ve found that TRUE inspiration has always led me to the right path. So I’ll go with that and let things unfold as they will.

That’s it for the September update: short and somewhat sweet. I’ll talk to you all soon!

books · career · writing

Writers Wednesdays – August Writing Accomplishments

Happy Writers Wednesday! I’m happy that I’m finally entering the period of my Four Months, Four Goals challenge (if you didn’t read that post, it’s linked here). To briefly recap, I’ll be spending the next four months hitting a single major writing goal for each month, then coming back to share my accomplishments as they are achieved. My focus is publishing the book that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) But, in order to make that happen, I had to get clear on what my next steps are, so I can move definitively in the direction of my goals.

That being said, my August writing accomplishments were great, and I’m pleased with what I got done during the month. I found some information I needed to redo two portions of my book: I had written two examples to illustrate points that I made, but I wanted better suited examples. I easily found better examples to use, and these incorporated seamlessly into the outline. I’ve also been editing other portions of the book: rereading various sections and ironing out the kinks in the verbiage and clarifying anything that didn’t flow well.I love the progress I’m making, and I’m excited to see how much more progress I’ll make in September!

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all soon: take care!

Uncategorized

Making New Choices – An Update

Hi friends! I hope that you’re having a great holiday weekend! This will be a brief post, because I plan to go out and enjoy this beautiful day off.

I have decided to reduce the frequency of my posts on this blog. I would much rather focus on quality than quantity, and it’s difficult to maintain high integrity when I’m posting 5 times per week. I’m still undecided about how often I will post, but anywhere from 2-3 posts a week feels good right now. I’m guessing that I will occasionally have weeks where 5 posts will happen, but I can no longer commit to that level of production. I hope you all understand.

Thanks so much for your continued support! I appreciate you all. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

health

Fibro Friday – National Pain Awareness Month

Happy Fibro Friday! Yesterday kicked off the beginning of National Pain Awareness Month, an observation that I was completely unaware of until a couple of weeks ago. I am using this time to explore the stories shared by other people dealing with chronic pain conditions. I’m also reviewing the resources being shared in various chronic pain spaces.

I’d guessing that most of you are already quite aware of chronic pain: after all, you’re reading a Fibro Friday post! But, if you’re still unsure why a Pain Awareness Month would be needed, I have a few insights that may clarify why this observation is still relevant. For starters, more than 20% of Americans have experienced chronic pain, and it disproportionately affects women, people struggling with poverty and unemployment, and other traditionally disadvantaged groups. Chronic pain is also the #1 reason for doctor’s visits in America, and the pain can severely limit quality of life for those suffering with it. The current chronic pain situation is widespread but poorly understood.

One great resource that I saw is posted on National Today. This post has some great, bite-sized facts about chronic pain, and can be a solid introductory resource for those unfamiliar with chronic pain and its effects (making this an excellent post to share with oblivious friends, family, and even employers). If you’ve had a hard time explaining the effect of your condition to the people in your world – or, if you have struggled with understanding the symptoms that you’re experiencing – this article may be helpful.

I hope that you take some time this month to find out more about the effects of chronic pain, as well as lending support and connecting to those that suffer from chronic pain conditions. I plan on taking some time to learn more as well as lending my voice to the discussions surrounding chronic pain.

That’s it for this week. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

beauty · hollywood glamour · life curation · style

Style Chat – How I’m Using The Four Essence System, Pt 2

We’re discussing Style Thoughts by Rita’s Four Essence System again, because I’m fascinated by how this system explains the energy and soul behind personal style. There are four tools within the Four Essence System (I’ve already discussed tool # 1 here). Today, I’m on to Tool # 2 – Archetypes. The section of the video that broadly talks bout archetypes is found at minute 3:33.

It’s not lost on me that I just discussed the podcast Archetypes with Meghan last week. I suspect Archetypes – as a broader concept – is a theme we’ll be seeing discussed extensively on the Internet for months to come.

Anyway, I’m exploring archetypes that fit my Right-Up essence. This quadrant contains women that tend to have a regal energy, that can run the gamut from intimidating to adorable. The keywords for Right-Up women that resonated most with me were Luminous, Refined, The Sun, Effort, Persona and (in my mind) Glamorous. Building upon those keywords, I took a look at the archetypes to see where I fit in. Fortunately for me, Rita has already posted a video explaining the five archetypes within the Right-Up quadrant.

The archetypes for this quadrant are the Role Model, the Icon, the Priestess, the Power, and the Playful Dame/Princess. I knew, immediately, that the Playful Dame/Princess did not suit me: I don’t have the girlish energy needed to pull off this archetype. The next archetype I struck off of my list is the Power: while I do feel energetically powerful, I don’t think this is an energy that I project well out into the world. My friendly Southern nature makes it hard to have the intimidation needed to embody this archetype well.

The process of elimination left me between two archetypes: the Icon and the Priestess. I most resonate with Icon, because there is a level of mystery and ceremony with the Priestess that doesn’t suit my personality and energy. When describing the Icon, Rita says, “Her style is an extension of her mission in the world”, and, “the main thing […] is this willingness to be seen and have this comfort with your power”. As someone who has studied personal style and is constantly implementing strategies to refine and perfect the image I want to communicate to others, I can confirm that I use my style as a calling card for my mission, and I also use it as a support when communicating who I am to others.

In short, the Icon is ME! I love this archetype and I enjoyed how Rita emphasizes that the celebrity examples she uses in her videos aren’t there to show anyone “what to wear” for their archetype, but to determine the role that personal style plays in their lives. It’s this desire to understand how style supports us that drives the need to uncover our archetypes, and I’m thankful that Rita has created such great content that explains these things in depth.

That’s all for today. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

books · finance · reading list

Writers Wednesday – What I’m Reading

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today, I’m sharing the book that I’m reading for the next couple of weeks, and I’m already looking forward to giving you my review in the near future.

The book I’m currently reading is Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach. I’ve already praised David Bach on this blog (Smart Women Finish Rich was a gamechanger!) And it’s been a while since I did a deep-dive into Bach’s material, so it overdue for a read (and some rereads).

I’m looking forward to gleaning some tips that I can share over here, and finding ideas that I can incorporate into my own plan for financial freedom. While I’ve made some great choices over the past few years, I’m always refining and adjusting my plan to better suit my current and future circumstances.

In my opinion, your plans for financial freedom should be a living document (for lack of better verbiage). These should evolve, grow and adjust as you mature and discover things about yourself. So, learning what a later-executed plan looks like is a great idea, as even those that prepared well for older age may find that they need to pivot and make drastic changes at any point.

That’s it for today’s post. If you’re familiar with David Bach’s work, I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Other than that, I look forward to chatting with you all tomorrow. Take care!

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*This post contains affiliate links*

life curation

I Did A Wheel Of Life – What I Learned

One of my favorite YouTubers-turned-podcasters, Francesca Amber (I told you all about her Law of Attraction Changed My Life podcast before, over on this post) mentioned in one of her podcast episodes that she did a wheel of life for assessing which areas of her life were strong, and which areas could use some improvement. For those that are unfamiliar, a wheel of life is basically a pie chart, with each slice of the pie representing different areas of your life (family, love, career, friendships, health, etc.,). It has been used in a variety of disciplines in order to determine overall life balance.

Anything related to self-development and lifestyle balance is right up my alley, and it has been a long time since I completed a wheel. So, naturally, I decided I should do a wheel of life, too. I got my wheel of life template from Positive Psychology, and I liked that the “pie” has concentric circles, so that each slice has ten bars in it, representing, on a scale of one to ten, how well a particular area of your life is going. I find that quantifying my satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) is beneficial in exercises such as these.

I completed my pie, and I’m really happy to tell you all my results! My strongest areas are personal growth and learning, career and work, and spirituality. My weakest areas are partner and love, health and fitness, and community. It was helpful to have pictorial that demonstrates where I need to focus and improve. I’ve been focused on meeting people and growing my network, which took a major hit when I stopped commuting to DC and socializing as I used to. Health is always an area for improvement, given my chronic illness. But I’m really happy that even the lowest areas are still higher than they were a few years ago. Yay for progress!

Have you done a Wheel of Life before? What did it teach you?

culture · food · international · life curation · luxury · relaxation · travel · wine

My Time in Spain Part 1 – My Time In Malaga

Hi friends! After spending a few days in Portugal (including taking in incredible sights around Lisboa, touring Sintra National Palace, time at Rock in Rio Lisboa, dinner at Hotel do Chiado’s rooftop bar, Entretanto, and an unexpected viewing of Sarah Ferreira’s art, I was off to my next stop. I flew TAP Air Portugal from Lisbon to Malaga, Spain, to embark on the next leg of my adventure.

I arrived in Malaga and was taken by private car to the town of Benalmadena, a beachy stretch a little less than two hours from Granada. I stayed at Hotel Best Siroco, a darling resort that offered all-inclusive packages as well as standard lodging. The hotel was beautiful, and the weather was divine!

My hotel was a short walk away from the beach and some fantastic local eateries. There was also some fantastic art and gorgeous flowers everywhere I went.

One beer, a good tan, some sangria, and many tapas later, I can confirm that Malaga is a must-see for people who love good food and lots of sun.

This one little town in Spain is such a jewel, and I can’t wait to return!

career · health

Fibro Friday – Real Talk About Telework

Happy Fibro Friday! I’m in the midst of updating my routine to reflect the inevitable season change that is right around the corner (and that I’m feeling already!) so I’ve been laying low. That being said, I created a video a while ago about telework. I’ve meant to write about telework over here before, but I never quite had the words . . . Then I realized that some stories are best told via video. So that’s what I did.

As someone who had fragile mental and physical conditions, I did feel a bit of discomfort sharing how vulnerable I felt during the worst of my fibro experience. But if my story can help someone else feel less ashamed of their journey, then I’m glad to share it.

That’s all for today. Continue taking care of yourselves, and enjoy your weekend!