GIRLS DAY OUT, YEY. My girlfriend and I were going to realize one of our New Year’s intents to indulge, once a month, in an activity that reconnects us with the feminine side of our nature. LACMA was our destination. We were going to see the exhibit called “Journey of a Dress”. The event is a celebration to mark the forty-year anniversary of the wrap dress designed by Diane Van Furstenburg.
Women on the move
As we entered the main exhibit hall, we were met with an outstanding vision. There in front of us on four white large, foot-high platforms, set against a backdrop of walls artfully filled with the geometric shapes and colors representing the hallmark designs of the wrap dress, were hundreds of fabulous looking mannequins, all from the same mold, all alabaster white. The mannequins, heads held high with posture erect were facing the same direction, forward. It felt like there were aware of us looking up at them. The collective image of so many mannequins/women, each with a different dress, unmistakably conveyed a strong sense of purpose and the message that the power of feminine presence was here to stay. Whether you were there for the beginning of the era that opened the doors of entrepreneurship for women or not, it was easy to take deep into your heart the significance of the moments when women started anew, to move in a different direction. My girlfriend said it best when pointing to a green and white dress she shared “I remember wearing that dress into the courtroom. I splurged. It felt so good to set aside my blue pantsuit uniform and do it differently”.
You too can start a movement
What did Diane Van Furstenburg do that was so different? Although a princess she took herself, her femininity, and the concept of women entrepreneurship seriously. She imagined what she would like and set about bringing it to fruition. Like Coco Channel before her, she followed her flow, listened to her heart, and imagined what had not yet happened. She created a beautiful, simple little dress designed for ease and comfort as opposed to doing what was culturally familiar. What can you take away from this? Like the one act of imagining beyond the restriction of a pantsuit to see yourself slip into a dress, you also can experience new meaning when you open up, inward and connect with your heart, your feminine presence. I find the act of focusing on a softer gentler way of living, one that empowers, as opposed to compromises your feminine voice naturally brings you into balance. Simply put, be true to yourself. Metaphorically, to quote Diane Van Furstenburg “Feel like a woman, wear a dress”.
Tips for women finding power
* To access your feminine energy, bite-size the process
* Start by dropping inward. Be still. Witness what happens.
What’s Your Word?
Recently, I attended a fabulous Holiday brunch. The hostess, who is always so creative, had printed one word for each place setting. As guests, we were supposed to go around the table and find the word we identified with the most and claim it as our own. The challenge that went with the task of finding just the right word is similar to the challenges of women finding their voice. For instance, what word best identifies how you see yourself; possibly now, or in the future? What word describes an untapped part of your authentic self? The words we were given to choose from were amazing, thought-provoking. They included words like Presence, Risk, Vision, Expansiveness, Wisdom, Kindness, which by the way was one of the last words chosen. It turns out that most of the women present, who are all generous of heart, openly expressed that they did not identify with the word kindness. Or possibly, they were just plain sick of the thought of being so kind! As you can see by this detail, this is a no-holds-barred group of women. Then per our tradition, amidst lots of laughter, compassion, and yes, some tears, each woman took her turn to describe the year that was, as well as share the personal meaning of the word she chose.
I loved the idea so much, I wanted to share it with you. In fact, I think this is a beautiful way to start the New Year. If it were up to you, what word would you choose for yourself? How would you want to frame the journey ahead? Would you choose a word that inspired you to own the power of feminine presence, a word like courage? Or, would you focus more on the inner woman and choose a word like fabulous? Take a moment to think about your one word.
Starting in the New Year, I will post a weekly word to ponder. If you signed up for the newsletter, you will receive additional insight on how to use the word as a stepping stone to integrate the gems found in the first chapter of the book, Lipstick and Soul.