British designer Phoebe English, graduate of Central Saint Martin’s masters program and student of the late Louise Wilson, speaks volumes through her collections. Simply gazing at her work creates a feeling of femininity, freedom, and excellence all at once.
I love her for the same reasons that Style critiqued her. What they call shapelessness, I see as abstract shapes and lines that move with the body. What they call exploratory, implicitly unfinished, I see as inventive, explicitly evolving. What they call a danger for myopia, I see as a deliberate use of materials to create art that is wearable…the epitome of fashion, right?
Her abstract shapes married with material and structure creates a whimsically impactful statement. It somehow speaks to the heart of the matter and drives it home…with an exclamation mark. It says more than words can say. It’s like what that think you’ve been searching for but couldn’t find. It bleeds creativity, self-knowledge, and power. I think I’m in love.
“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.” - Anna Wintour
Great Leaders know how to think differently — about a problem or situation and make decisions that work out for everyone. It’s important to think creatively, conceptually, and non-linearly. Linear thinking often says not everyone wins, if I do this, or I gain this they lose.
Creative thinking sees the opportunity for everyone involved.
The ability to think and make decision with others in mind is the first step in being a great leader. It allows you to be able to make decisions and inspire action amongst people. It also creates a sense of peace for the leader herself. She knows that a decision that works out for everyone is available to her, relieving unnecessary stress or pressure.
Many people in management or “leadership” positions are very process oriented, analytical, and logical.
These skill sets are valued in corporate America and lend themselves to promotions and more responsibility.
These skills are quite valuable at the “doing” level of work yet don’t create success in upper levels of management.
They create strategies, plans, tools for tracking, and budgeting.
However, once you reach a certain level, if this is the only type of thinking you have developed you may find your work becomes harder and harder. You may even feel as if you plateau. The way you created success up until now, does not necessarily work (as well) anymore.
It’s ok, you just need to expand your skill set and include another piece: Creative and conceptual thinking.
It may be time for your analytical skill set to take less of a central role. But wait, you know it, you trust it, you rely on it, it has proven it’s value; I completely understand. Trust and know that, that this skill is developed and when you need to rely on it, it will step in. It won’t abandon you.
Now it’s time to add some gusto to the flavor. Actually, it’s something you are already doing.
You’re already bringing a certain level of emotional intelligence, intuition, and creativity to your work.
All there is to do, is turn that notch up a little bit. Rely on this a little more.
It’s really about where you place the focus. If you’re in a leadership position and focusing on “getting it right” or “not making mistakes” you are stifling you and your team’s creativity and sense of freedom.
Greatness happens in the gap.
In the space where there is room and freedom to CREATE.
I’m not saying throw away that which you know and works for you. I am saying expand what you know, integrate it with what does work, and release the rest.
The over-thinking, over-analyzing, or feeling like you must know all of the answers, does it serve you? If not, give it up.
Move more into your creative space, trust those urges, and follow through on them. Make mind maps when making a decision, planning your day, or creating a strategy for your team. Take meetings while walking. And most of all trust you’re intuition. It will guide you, always. Your a great leader, think differently.
In Pretty Hurts Beyonce sings about perfection as a disease. It is something that many successful people strive for.
Pretty Hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
Perfection is a disease of a nation, pretty hurts, pretty hurts
I recently found myself in a situation where the desire for perfection was holding up the process. It was limiting and stifling my creativity as I planned out how I would become great at this thing vs just going for it, the way Beyonce did in securing the song.
Often times, perfection, being the best, striving for the top, is the thing that has created the success we know and love. At some point, it also creates more of the same.
What would success look like if we let go of that perfection and just got in the game?
–allowing it to be messy at first, because it often is anyway?
Maybe another level of happiness, love, and joy. That would be sweet. It seems the driver for success would come from somewhere else, creating something maybe we never imagined we could yet always truly desired.
It’s weird because sometimes it can feel like you’re starting from the beginning. Releasing everything you’ve once relied on, the way you’ve always done things. Learning to walk again, crawl even. It feels unsettling, scary a little even.
We want to hang on to the ‘rail’ the crutch of the ego that we’ve learned to walk on with years of training.
We want to get it right the first time. When we let go, sometimes we slip, we fall, we grab the rail.
Yet each time we get back up, let go, and trust…one step at a time.
We grow. We get stronger. We learn to live from the source of life and radiate out. An unwavering success and fulfillment comes from here.
That’s where I’m choosing to live. Look in first and radiate out.
In an earlier post, we spoke about raising your vibration. A high vibration is what has people say, “there’s something about her”. This is the first and most natural component of having a magnetic presence and “lighting up every room you walk into”. It is your natural set point when you allow it to be.
The second component is the self-awareness of knowing what your energy feels like.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique…It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open..
As visionary leaders and creatives we are often very sensitive to the energy around us.
We pick up on subtle vibrations, changes in energy, mood, and sometimes even thought. If not completely aware, we may confuse these signal with our own which can be confusing at best and daunting at worst.
It is something I struggled with for years. I would stay away from certain places, people, and circumstances because I knew how they affected me. I wasn’t present to what was happening, I just knew how I didn’t want to feel and so avoided things that created those feelings.
While not completely a terrible thing, as some of those places and people were good to be avoided..;) For the most part it limited my scope and self-expression. It also impacted those that cared about me when I was not willing to go somewhere with them.
Most importantly, there was huge lost of personal power.
Avoiding situations to not feel a certain where is a sure way to limit your joy, freedom, and success.
What lies underneath is fear and lack of confidence in being able to manage your own energy and emotions. So I avoided and experienced less.
Can you relate? Where in your life are you not going, not doing, or not asking because of how it may feel afterwards..? Feelings of rejection, abandonment, anxiety, depression.
Avoiding feeling a certain way is an act of fear. Moving towards feeling a certain way is an act of love.
Living from love is always easier, more fruitful, and beneficial to you and the planet.
You must learn what your energy feels like.
The first thing to acknowledge is that your ability to pick up on nuances in your environment is a gift. And once you learn to master it, which takes practice and lots of self-compassion, it will serve you beyond measure.
A wise young man once told me, “You must learn what your energy feels like.” Then you can truly own it! This is the second component of having a magnetic presence and “Lighting Up Every Room You Walk Into”. When you learn what your energy feels like you will begin to notice when you are picking up on a “clue” from your environment. Not to be confused with a shift in your own energy, emotions, or thoughts.
The Biggest Question
“How?”, you may ask. This was my largest question anyway.
You know the feeling of peace, joy, gratitude, and equanimity you have after finishing a long, tough yoga class, or when you come out of a deep meditation, or when you are in your flow at work or in your art, or in the midst of mothering. You know those moments when everything just feels seems to be okay, and your energy feels alive, you are alert, and your heart is open. In those moments you are clear and so is your energy. That is how you are supposed to feel.
I am not saying sadness or other emotions can’t come in or aren’t yours. It’s just in those moments, the essence of you is leading and shining. Get in touch with that more and more. Then even when feelings of sadness, anxiety, or even excitement come in you can notice it and allow it to inform you. Which it is supposed to do. You are not the emotion, it is moving through you as a signal from within you or outside of you.
Being able to notice and shift it, without thinking is what we are creating here. It’s not in your head, your body has infinite intelligence.
A level of self-awareness that comes with a regular meditation practice is necessary here. It will still your mind, which will allow you to be more aware to these subtle shifts. It will also anchor and ground you in a way, that these shifts will become more obvious. You will have a grounded knowing in who you are and the way you want to feel. Anything out of alignment will immediately become a signal for you.
Mastering this one thing will change your relationships with yourself, in life, in business, and in dating.
It will also increase your personal power and confidence to engage in a way you thought was previously out of your realm. You will walk in the world secure and grounded sense of well-being, knowing you can choose how you feel and not be at incident to those around you.
Meditate, notice the shifts, write them down if that helps, and be compassionate with yourself. Next week we will talk about how to shift the energy once you are present to it.
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