Mirror, mirror

Style sisters

One of my style sisters, inspiring me in her creativity of radical outfit combos, mentioned that she is watching out for what she wants the world to know and what she wants to keep “private.” I don’t even consider privacy anymore, I thought astonished, I’m an open book.

Private.

The word didn’t let me go. My I-phone rang. My friend Angelika, who I met in Santa Monica 25 years ago and immediately felt like a long lost sister, called me from Sicily. She is a writer, translates spiritual and self help books from English to German and travels the world while doing so. I hadn’t talked to her in a year.

“I love to follow your journey on FB and how far you have come,” she said. “You look so powerful and happy. How are you?”

“Not always happy,” I said, “I feel lonely some times…” “Me too,” my joyous life-loving friend answered.

“I told tell everybody”

“Me neither.”

I told Angelika, who is not into IG or posting personal stuff on FB about my Instagram journey; how many empowering women “mirrors” I have met, opening my heart and my eyes to who I really am and what I would like to give to the world. She told me about the people she meets every day who leave her adventurous stories recharged and inspired but that she is longing for a bigger goal of what she might be able to give to the world.

My intuition told me that she is missing a tribe to support her on her journey to discover her message. Her intuition told her that I need “real” people.

After an hour on the phone we split with resolutions; she would open herself up to my Instagram family and I would open up to “real” people and talk to them “just like that” in cafes. Making “Contact” reminded me of how Alien I often feel.

I too keep things private.

A poem I had written two years ago came to mind. It ended in me wanting to be brave enough “to walk the streets naked.” I don’t foresee ever doing that literally (insert fierce emoji). It is a metaphor to fearlessly show and tell all that I am.

Differently on different media.

I show who I am on IG and wrap images into ideas, I add a little more “flesh” to the story bones on FB, get real - and wordy -on my blogs and let it flow like a gorgeous waterfall into adventurous stories in my upcoming memoir.

“Confessional” writing is an art, so are brave posts on social media; the right dose of truth can be magical.

I put my self out there to feel it out; I might cause a yawn or excitement or even fall on my face. That’s how we learn, by being brave.

I got to be brave because of the women I met in the process; my mirrors and support.

I met women who vibe like me, my style sisters who uplift me to dance and dare “more”. I encountered women with different energies who make me think, feel new feelings and expand. I found compassion and the wish to give. I discovered clarity of what I want in women I fancy and feel sisterhood with. I saw who I am not in women I feel worried about or afraid of. I adore myself in baroque mirrors and wonder about my distortions in the broken ones.

I see myself in you.

The idea that our life is a creation of our mind, that we only see what our own set of rules and parameters, our beliefs let us see is scary but true. There is no objective “real”. When you read my words you interpret them from your point of view.

“We hear what we WANT to hear” is our demise but also our chance.

A business coach once fired the aggressive sounding question at me, “Are you coachable?”

“Yes”, I stuttered.

I wanted to be a life coach. The experience with my own therapy journey had been so rewarding that I needed to share all I had learned. I owned my intuition now and was confident that I’d be able to heal others. Let’s create a program, let’s create a course, yes, yes, yes.

“Your website is wrong,” the business coach went on, “you’re bad in writing copy. I can teach you how to write copy that convinces your readers to buy.”

I felt resistance. I did not want people “to buy into me.” I kinda hated copy as it felt so artificial and demanding. It felt like the old me who got what she wanted by manipulation. I owned my doubts and did not hire her.

I’m a bad marketer, it’s just not me. What now? I wanted to be worthy to be paid for my knowledge, love myself enough to be rewarded for who I am.

I really wanted to hear the word coachable. So I put out the mantra that I am. Coachable.

I did not get the immediate answer to my wants and needs but a play list; women and their vibes and stories. When we’re not immediately getting what we want it’s easy to give up on those cool slogans like “the universe has your back.” It freaking often feels it doesn’t. But darn and yay, it does. Just not as expected. In my case not in a fat paycheck or huge opportunity but in thousands of likes, feedback, comments and dialogues.

I listened.

Life is a movie.

On my journey to stepping into my power the director of my life (I call her my inner knowing) presented me with supporting actresses. They tossed stones to stumble over in my way, impressed the heck out of their me with treasures, shocked me with a little poison and gave me hope with beautiful bright vibes of personal power and fierce feminine fun.

I’m dramatic and react with feelings. They sometimes are physically expressed in my body; I shiver and cringe, smile or giggle and jump up and down with joy. You should see me going through my IG feed…

In the mirrors of others I saw where I was at; I did not want to make money being a life coach. It took me a while to get back to my true desire; to be a journalist and writer who can’t wait to finish the fantastic trilogy waiting on my shelf after my memoir has cleared the path.

All that to say; I paid 40,000 for my life coach but we are life coaches for each other; for free. It’s an amazing web of giving and receiving energies, lighting up each other hidden talents, fears or desires and expanding each other with who we are.

My “supporting actresses” were amazing side kicks and in return I swing my sword as Gabrielle to their Xena in their own amazing queendoms.

“I needed your energy right now,” a woman commented on one of my posts recently and that’s what we do; collecting energies of other women like pearls on a necklace until I have one that fits.

One day I will wear my necklace and be stylishly “naked”, wearing my soul on my skin. In public.

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Screw invisibility and what does it mean to be visible?

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“Watch me, watch me..”

When I was a teenager I tortured my parents to watch each and every one of my hundreds of dives into the public swimming pool; I was so cool and got better by the dive. Did you see THIS one???

“Look at me,” was my attitude entering college classes, parties, conferences in my twenties and thirties. When I became a mom “me-me-me” melted away in the love for my son. My life was about him, the new number one on my list. As a single mom I stored my career, fame and fortune, fashion and party fun in the basement. I loved Pinky and the brain, Pokemon, power rangers, skiing, hang gliding and our road trips showing him the country. Who needs grown ups when adventures with my kid were so fulfilling?

Then he left and I was on my own.

I went to a party. I walked through the bar filled with eighty people. The large mirror showed me sassy in a tight black lace dress.

Nobody, not one person looked at me.

I was 55 and INVISIBLE.

My ego woke up with a scream; she was angry and swore to combat ageism. It prescribed the belief that midlifers are “going down” and have nothing to offer; they are irrelevant for the advancement of society. Arriving at senior-dom we are burdens to society, living of social security or driving to our final destination in a cushioned carriage of our savings. The road to death is plastered with senile senior moments….

Not for me. I’m a rebel. I have a rad futuristic screenplay on my desk. How can I be taken seriously?

My goal was not just to make midlife prettier and easier to cope with but rebellious. I did not want to please but shake awake. Not the “advanced style” but my way.

I raised some eyebrows with “sexy over 60” low cut outfits and got to hear that I should be a lady not “desperately trying to look like twenty” with my teenie bopper looks. I responded, “I’m shooting for 16.” Yeah. I let my inner child play.

Look at me, I am cool over 60.

I had a couple thousand followers but hits and comments were mediocre.

“Women are afraid of being rebellious,” I was told, “forget it already. It’s so teenager.”

Okay then. I calmed down the rebelling and posted nicer, sweeter, more fashionably accepted outfits and lots of pink. Pretty in pink helped me to warm up to my feminine, compassionate self and got me more likes but didn’t raise engagement.

I was not relatable.

I have something to say. Please look at me.

It hit me when I watched a woman friend doing everything “right’ for likes. She lived her life and styled her social media solely for applause. Every action, gesture, outfit, smile or word is calculated to please and is meticulously set in scene for the agenda of being approved of. I had always loved the idea of “fake it to make it” but this strangely hurt me. It reminded me of my 20’s and 30’s when I fulfilled my womanly manipulation “duties”, testing how far I could get with sexy charm and smart theater. I regretted having flirted and elbowed myself into success.

My recent pleasing attempts felt like manipulation now and I did not want that anymore. I did not want to desperately long for getting the ball tossed to me.

My life coach had taught me not to enter a room with “look at me” but with “who are you?” So I did.

Look at them. They look amazing over 60.

So truly wonderful, so out there!

Sometimes I had to dig deep into my self loving confidence to overcome this unnerving little thing called competition and the fear of not being good enough; I feared women were “better” than me, richer, fancier and designer clad with creative and make up teams, photographers and agents. I didn’t have that, gawd!!

We only get what we can handle; I had learned to listen and to be open. To really see what they show.

Women I adore don’t always tell stories or have life coachy wisdom accompanying their pictures; their pictures show how arty, empowered, fierce, fearless and creative they are. They don’t talk about their real, we feel it. Others add heartfelt words coming from the depth of who they are and ring little bells in our heads.

I looked into many mirrors and they looked back at me.

The more honest and authentic I became the more women responded to me from their heart. “Your vibe attracts your tribe” proved true.

Look at us, we are ageless. We make visible who we truly are.

I was back to the beginning. I am a rebel. It doesn’t matter that not everybody likes it. Looking at the world “my way” isn’t a demise I need to hide; it is my power.

I decided against botox and fillers even when women friends with facelifts looked ten years younger than me. I did not do color, filter and style coordinated galleries. I did not gray my hair when many others did. I do not wear neon colors as the trend scares me (nice little challenge right there) and I sometimes write more words than I am supposed to.

It felt like my life depended on it; I had to be the real me.

I am a rebel with the cause of me.

A woman friend in Europe mentioned that she is always controlling what she wants the world to know and what she wants to keep private. It hit me like an alert as the word private was not even in my vocabulary anymore. For me it is the other way around; what can I dig up that is share-worthy as it might in some way help, inspire, enlighten or uplift my friends and followers?

The strange idea popped up that my personal life had become of service.

Confessional literature is an art, so is raw, real, rad posting in social media. We learn to give the world what it wants to see and to be true to ourselves in the process. In a world where ageism waits at every corner we become Dalis and create what we feel.

I tune in every morning before my post; what does this matter to me and why does it matter to the world? I wrap it into pictures, stories, fashion and outfit ideas in a dance of fun and philosophy.

To be seen we have to be relatable but for our message to be heard we reveal what’s underneath the wrap.

If you’re still searching for the branding of YOU your daily exercise of being true to your Self will get you there. It took me two years of testing; thrills of “that’s me!!” and disappointments of “missed it” to hear my message and find a way to make it visible.

The path is as personal as the outcome.

I go with the trendy flow and make it “mine” by feeling what’s in it for me.

I post pics with my dog because women love pooches but also because she is my Guru, my emotional support buddy in so many ways, not a decoration.

I post pictures of my style of the day because that’s what everybody is looking for but focus on what resonates with me; what makes me feel happy, fierce or protected. I let the latest trends wake up new, story telling emotions and show how outfits can guide and empower us.

If I’m ever going viral as a naked nymph over 60 I’ll better have a cool reason that aligns with everything I am, a message that enlightens not just a quick fix for my glory.

I am a rebel with the cause of me for you.

Latest in midlife many of us realize that there’s more than following the norm. We discover deeper levels of ourselves, interesting inner movies we might have neglected while trying to be a master of fitting in. We played “extras” rather than taking on the role of heroine.

It’s fun to “have stuff” but fulfilling to be our true selves.

It’s the inside that counts.

Which doesn’t mean that hanging in pajamas or unisex baggies is the cozy solution, on the contrary, the confidence of self worth is just the starting point. If we don’t want to be seen as “sleepers” rotting into retirement we spice up our uniqueness; she usually is neither the slob nor the trend obsessed fashion sheep. It’s the woman who has worked like a coal miner to get to her truth and shows it.

We are our brand when we are true to our Self.

Making our power visible is a necessity to be taken seriously.

I met a middle age woman recently, overweight, hair cut from a barber shop and in baggy clothing bare of any fashion sense. I sensed my judgment but also her pain. We started talking.

A documentary film maker from the Midwest she was bitter not to be taken seriously. She was the creative force behind the film they were shopping around and nobody ever addressed her but always her male business partner. She was ignored. She hated “these bullies” and blamed superficial Hollywood for not seeing her.

“I am invisible,” she said with a tremble of repressed tears in her voice.

“I know the fear,” I responded, “I am a midlife woman with a Sci Fi fantasy script. I can imagine the Gen X assistant of the assistant producer’s eyes glaze over looking at my age and not listening at my pitch.”

I will very carefully decide on what I will wear.

I did not say that loud but I swear if I could give her a make over, even Hollywood would take her seriously. Outfits talk.

People judge a book by it’s cover. And - shouldn’t we show our content in our form?

I am looking for a book designer at the moment because my upcoming book cover has to show at first glance why people have to read it. I would like you to get a feeling of my soul when you look at it. It’s the same with our style. We are the invitation to the world to look at us. I’m not sending out burnt-at-the-edges punk letters when I am throwing an opera themed party.

Visibility that lasts and is satisfying to both, our bank account and our soul is created in the very specific unique beauty each of us are. We style our life from the inside out.

I let go of wanting to be visible. I dug up one of my old posts, one of those foreshadowing guides, where I promised that I would walk my talk. I do it in many different shoes, that’s my thing; to be many facets of myself. Sometimes I fall on my face like recently on plateau heels; I made a story of of it.

I’m an explorer and share what I find, inside and outside. What’s your thing?

Look at us, we are ageless. We make visible who we truly are.

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Chin up, sisters.

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“I would love to blow your brains out,” he said, so stern, so ice cold that… I shut up.

I imagined the content of my skull splashed on the wall and finally stopped shouting and screaming for what I wanted from a partner unimpressed like a rubber ball you try to hit a dent into. It was in the 80’s when I didn’t understand that you can’t yell for love. You can’t demand to be seen.

My life was a fight to understand and the path to knowing was plastered with challenges. Emotionally but never physically abused by a man I punished myself plenty for being a “wild woman”, a female who fought for her right to be her true self.

I saw the content of my bag on the ground three days ago when I stumbled and literally fell on my face, my chin to be exact. My laptop (lovingly called my brain) and phone were intact. My dog was fine too, looking at me astonished, What’ are you doing on the dirty asphalt of the parking lot?

A minute later I stared at my bloody chin in the mirror at home. It burnt and my knees started to hurt. I had punched myself in the chin. What the heck?

Falling on my knees hurt pretty bad, the scarped skin mostly hurt my vanity. It began swelling, adding blue and black tones; I look like the bearded lady…

By now I know that I get “messages” when I don’t listen. I had actually asked for nice notes this time, Universe!! But no, I got kicked... like I will be kicked out of my home of 20 years by a developer forcing me to make long overdue decisions.

As I’m all about transforming mess into might I pondered about the attributes of the chin; determination, perseverance and attitudes like "stick out that chin" or "chin up!"

“The chin can be seen to indicate many things such as resolve, sternness, obstinacy, character. Your ability to take the blows of life on the chin. Also willpower, stubbornness, bullishness, bravado, determination, pride.”

Was this a call to woman up or a punishment for trying too hard? Being too determined? A slap-warning to better watch out?

Was I holding on to something too stubbornly?

The Tarot cards’ Fool said that sometimes to take big, bold, “foolish” chances is the answer.

The Magician added that it’s time again to draw strength from the realm of spirit, trust the will of the higher self and that opportunity is afoot if I take action to seize it.

The Lovers talked about sharing the treasures of our heart with another.

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Over the weekend the bruise changed into the shape of a kiss.

“You are loved,” my friend Deb commented.

My fierce, chin up, ambitious self is loved?

I got into magical boho arrows and sacred geometry flowers adorned yoga pants, grabbed my ReBelle power tee and walked to my espresso two streets away.

“Rebelle with the cause of me” is the mantra on my recently designed shirt. The cause of ME…

Falling was my fault, I thought. Mea Culpa.

I have a bucket list Los Angeles, which I check off creating videos for IGTV, “What I love in LA and the outfits that get me there.” I wanted a diary of my fancies and also did not want to regret missing out on what I came here for. A not so serious side note the bottom says, “Interview Brad Wright”, and “talk to Lana Wachowski”, (client of my hair dresser!) screen writers and movie/TV making professionals I look up to in admiration. I probably wouldn’t get to that…

Chin up to the cause of ME…

I would so regret living somewhere else in the world and never having acted on a dream I worked on so many times but buried it in business ideas from being a life or style coach to opening an online store. I was guided by the need to make money rather than my initial spark; the script I gave my safe job and life up for three years ago, the one I’m just a tad afraid of because it’s so BIG.

This is about Mea Culpa, my manuscript Mea Culpa. The cause of ME is to balance an ancient betrayal in my trilogy of redemption and love.

My life had been structured by a feeling of guilt, going back to an underlying medieval story re-awakened by my parents and continued in many adventures. I had written the first draft of my screen play “Mea Culpa”, when I arrived in LA two decades ago. I had tried many times, studied screen writing, went to conferences but never finished it. The ending, the solution did not feel right. I recently discovered but why acting on it. This project would take too much time…

The chin punch just became another clue in my journey; to regain my trust of sacred timing, that my script of life is perfect as it is. The solution of Mea Culpa is the beginning of a new life, no matter if it will be a trilogy written anywhere in the world or a TV show finished and pitched in LA.

BUT - I will only get my answer when I am brave enough to put the bottom of my bucket list up to the top. Transform the Fool who was tripped by her foolishness to walk on high plateau shoes up a rough hill to the cool fool who takes a bold step.

A punch on the chin can knock you out - and into a new adventure.

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Put your shields down to live life fully

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My fierce sister’s at Forever Fierce Revolution interviewed me for their newsletter #shieldsdown.

I love the questions Deb Guitierrez asked.

#ShieldsDown began in January as a movement within the movement of Forever Fierce.  It is being courageous, vulnerable, and brave enough to take off your armor, let your shield down, allow yourself to be seen, to be understood, and to know you have something that someone needs to hear.  It's okay to be who you are, the one with the battle scars, and to know you are not alone.

If you were to give a name to your shield, what would it be?   
 

I always had trouble finding names for my books or businesses.  The only perfect name I found so far was for Luca, my son.  For three weeks he was called the "baby" while I tested dozens of names, which didn't fit.  Finally the name Luca clicked.  I realized only later that it meant "light".  It turned out to be an intuitive and foreshadowing choice as I let him shine light into the darkest corners of my psyche.  I wanted to be aware and free of my "stuff" and not see his world through the veil of my fears and needs.  Being authentic and transparent, I helped him grow into his true self, not my expectations.  My son was my first "shields down".

It was a journey, not a given, and I did not lower my protective shield against a world that had hurt and disappointed me.  I was still trying to prove that I, "just a girl", was good enough to be loved.  I went through struggles and purgatories to make my point.  I was a warrioress with the cause of my freedom and actually collected swords for a while.  I baptize my shield "Battle Star", symbol for a journey in which a star will be born from the ashes of her battles, a confident woman open to give and receive love.
 

Is there an experience in your life or moment when you decided it was time to let your shield down.  If so, what experiences unfolded for you?
 

Hitting 60 I started the Ageless Rebellion; angry about ageism and afraid "to go down".  This was it; I had to find and embody my true power, my ageless essence and blueprint.  In the process, my urgent NO to aging turned into a playful YES to life.  Instagram became my amazing sidekick.  Every day I posted a true feeling, newfound viewpoints or "truths".  My hashtags became my mantras.

I created an Avatar, the vision of my fearless self and my undying inner joy no matter the battles.  My name loosely translates into Angelic Queen's Wisdom.  What a journey it was to wiggle in her boots and to begin walking my truth.  She is my deeper power unfazed by experiences that hinder me to be "real".

Not yet fully saying yes to myself, I bought a ticket to FierceCon last October, but felt resistance to get in the car and drive 16 miles.  I was afraid not to be seen, understood, to be too different.  So I arrived late.  Literally with cold hands and feet I entered the room where empowering stories were shared on stage.  Several women in the audience looked up and, recognizing me from Instagram, they smiled, happy to see me.  Hugs, kisses and open-minded conversations after the presentation softened my resistance.  To be brave enough to hug somebody I thought didn't like me was a step into personal freedom.  It was true; if I wanted to be loved, I had to be love.

The vibe of acceptance and openness of many of the nearly 100 women let pieces of my armor drop.  I took this safe place with me into daily life.  It is okay to be me.  It's okay to tell my friends, "I love you right back".
 

Is there something you believe will manifest this year by being more open to living with your shield down?
 

I had a dream as a kid where a friendly person invites me to come closer and when I do, he slaps me in the face.  Recently, it appeared again when a woman friend made me regret that I had opened up to her.  To see "old stories" as what they are, stories from the past, and leave my battle star shield in the basement, manifests new friendships as it means that I can give without agendas or fear.  I can let go of "good or bad" expectations.  I might even be open enough to meet my knight, who also let go of his shining armor.

Writing my memoir with the mantra of shields down let me feel deeply into my past.  I saw the beauty of being guided and always protected even when I thought I had to fight against the whole world and on my own.  Not being guarded has made my writing so much more alive as it allows me to see and feel so much more.  I am present on every page.  It's truly magical.  I intend shields down to be part of my book's success.
 

Is there something you want to inspire or encourage others to do, see, feel or be, to be brave enough to let their #shieldsdown?
 

Remember how good it feels to realize that others aren't perfect either?  That there are stories behind often glossy facades; struggles, pain or losses, fears and hopes that make people human, approachable and - lovable?  Many of us want to see the deeper levels of others.  I personally am bored when everything is nice and all questions seem to be answered.  We are humans because we want stories of all colors.

The first step is shields down to our true self.  Self love lowers our shields.  We love ourselves no matter what the world might say and that is power.  The additional benefit is when seeing our world through the eyes of self love we see so much more love in others around us.

#Shieldsdown is a process.  I do little exercises almost every day.  From my experience, even if you're not a writer or have the intention to publish a book, writing your story is a wonderful tool to go deeper and feel your truth.  It might be different than the stories you remember.

Exercising our authentic selves on social media can be a challenging and revealing path, as what we consider interesting might not always be immediately appreciated.  How can other people see us when we don't show ourselves?  I applaud myself when I don't delete an authentic or heartfelt post on Instagram, which doesn't get my usual count likes.  Shields down is an empowering tool, not to post for likes, but to put a message out we feel is important, enlightening, rattling, uplifting or entertaining.

When we are in alignment with a message that truly matters to us it will eventually matter to the right people and #shieldsdown attracts and expands our like minded tribe with similar goals.  When we step into our #shieldsdown persona with passion and creative fun, like wearing a new outfit, we eventually become what we wear.

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Witches, courtesans or flappers; it's hair liberation time.

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"The artist must create a spark before she can make a fire, and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of her own creation." ~Auguste Rodin~

The Spark

You call yourself a rebel”, one of the women in my Ageless Rebel group commented, “ why are you not going natural and gray your hair?”

“I tried,” I answered. “What grew out was this dirty mush of dark blonde and gray; I looked terrible.”

Who wants to look dirty and gray, duh. But curiosity stayed with me. Months later I found a gorgeous, white long-haired style wig in my mail box from wig maker Lucy at LA Beauty Wigs. It sat on a mannequin for three weeks. I was scared and drawn to it at the same time.

I get these spurts of bravery. Go for it. NOW. So I did. “Let’s see how I look with white hair” was my spark.

The Fire

On a peaceful Sunday with church bells ringing in my mind I tried the wig. I threw on an outfit that felt right, intuitively and without much planning as often, and we did a set of photos.

After I pushed away a slew of critical voices, my inner bullies, who bitched that this was bizarre, too theatrical, too silly and that it’s not Halloween I felt a weird shiver that elated me. This is goddess-y….

I had chosen a transparent black dress over a black bikini and looking at the photos I realized I did not portray an esoteric goddess a la Chris Griscom but a sensual Aphrodite with a heavy dose of courtesan. The courtesan is my deeper story, which has guided and haunted my life for decades and she’s frequently showing up to remind me that I have to see, feel, understand and“resolve” her.

“It’s pretty witchy,” commented my son.

Witchy? I didn’t want to look like a witch….

The fire of my story began to burn.

When my mom brushed my tousled hair when I was a tomboy kid I cried that it hurts too much. “Who wants to be pretty has to suffer,” she answered. “You don’t want to look messy like a witch.” I kept my long shiny hair curled and strawberry blonde for decades; disrupted by a few unfortunate perms, styles and horrible yellows and a few daring attempts of letting my hair down messy and wild.

Hair can be as much drama as power.

“It's just hair!” said my ex when I was complaining and swearing at my super short, spiky hair do, which I had chosen in the 90’s after my son was born. My ex had annoyed me asking not to wear high heels (I always wore heels) and bright red lipstick ( I always wore lipstick) as I “was a mother now.” I refused to be a traditional mom; to give my son the chance to grow up being who he really was I needed to be free of old beliefs. I wanted a dare; a new kind of power; become a straight forward, focused warrior protecting my child no matter what. No more nice girl; my long hair was symbolic for the “sexy girl” and what I really detested was the touch of “bimbo blonde” - it had to go. Cutting it off was giving my ex and society’s expectations the finger. I was in great company; for the rebellious flappers in the beginning of the 20th century cutting their hair was liberating them from having to be demure women; bobs emboldened.

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But now my short practical cut with its punk-ish vibe felt too boyish; I had pampered my male attributes for far too long. I had been a fierce rebel in a prettied-up woman body as I had hated belonging to the “weaker sex.” The short hair was a physical expression of my past story, a symbol for flexing my muscle and being my power. The disappointment of it feeling so wrong became an awakening, my first step into longing to understand what female power was. Maybe I was the bow not the arrow and being a woman was the power I had been looking for.

Just hair? Why is hair such an emotional thing? My ex was right in it’s being just a material entity, and yet it a bad hair day can change moods, attitudes and even evoke feelings of grumpy despair and not wanting to face the world.

There’s so much more to it than vanity.

Hair is an expression of our health and mood, our mindset and soul; it’s our trademark. Our hair do is right there in other people’s faces; what they see first when they meet us. Hair is what people identify us with.

When our hair style aligns with our truth, confidence is born even when in a dress that’s so not you.

What does our hair mean to us? To our souls? Our stories?

The effect hair has on our psyche is born in ancient stories, which are with us in our genes or collective memory.

Hair is part of magical, mystical storytelling.

Rapunzel’s lover came to her because of her hair, Medusa with her snake head froze people into stone and the Egyptian goddess Isis gently aroused her dead lover, Osiris, back to life by caressing his body with with her silky, long hair. Fairies and aliens with otherwordly power are depicted with mystical long white hair and, staying in Hollywood; I loved the witches of Eastwick.

Hair has a dramatic history.

Women were regarded dangerous for centuries and many attributed their sexual, seductive power to their hair. From the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, long-haired “witches”, often women brave enough to stand up for their knowing of herbal and other healing powers, were burnt at the stake as conspirators with the devil. They were stripped naked, put in a white gown of purity and their long manes were cut off.

Women’s long hair was hidden, wrapped or cut to diminish or eliminate female power in every century. Women’s head were shaved to humiliate them publicly.

Hair can be a personal revolution.

When we drastically change our hair it can cause personal revolutions. Short hair can make us feel “fucking fantastically free” and a white (purple, blue, pink…) mane can pull us into our feminine magic and stories we might have rejected or dismissed before.

“Angelica, your hair!!!!”

Working as a wedding planner for a restaurant in California I was told to wear frumpy, non-sexual dresses and put my hair up. I called this decade of my life my “purgatory.” I figured this punishment was my karma for having been a seductress in another life time or at least having her memories torment me with guilt. I accepted humiliation because something in me said that I was “bad.” I cried and sweat, cursed and lamented my way through it ending in a car crash - my fault - that nearly killed me. I had accepted deprivation of my self and my fury had to unload itself somewhere.

My purgatory ended in an explosion and it took me five years to rise from its ashes.

I am embodying my female power every day a little more and my outfits are an amazing sidekick. I am still surprised sometimes about the revelations and stories they guide me to.

When my son said that I looked witchy I jumped backwards. I can play with archetypes of demanding goddesses and accept the sinful courtesan as one of my foremothers but witches? It wasn’t so much the evil witch who scared me or the “silly” fairy tale of magic, it was their real history; they were living, breathing, healing and empowering sexual beings who were murdered for the audacity of wanting to be free.

Many of us are simultaneously scared of and fascinated by witches, by magic and mystery because we are simultaneously scared and drawn toward our own personal sexual and spiritual power.

Healing is about expression, so if I have the witch in me I shall let her free and see how she feels - like an outfit.

My hair looked flat this last month, waves did not want to hold, the color seemed lifeless and it’s structure was tired. I am drawn into the developer scandal in Los Angeles, personally attacked by the relentless greed of men who ruin entire neighborhoods and thousands of people’s lives. My powerlessness and tiredness showed in my hair.

Witches were said to unleash hurricanes when letting their hair loose.

So I might just do that.

For you who like quotes and women who run with wolves, I love these three by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

"Fairy tales, myths, and stories provide understandings which sharpen our sight so we can pick out and pick up the path left by the wildish nature. The instruction found in stories reassures us that the path has not run out, but still leads women deeper, and more deeply still, into their own knowing. The tracks which we are following are those of the Wild Woman archetype, the innate instinctual self....”

"To adjoin the instinctual nature does not mean to come undone, change everything from right to left, from black to white, to move from east to west, to act crazy or out of control. It does not mean to lose one's primary socializations, or to become less human. It means quite the opposite. The wildish nature has vast integrity to it. It means to establish territory, to find one's pack, to be in one's body with certainty and pride regardless of the body's gifts and limitations, to speak and act in one's behalf, to be aware, alert, to draw on the powers of intuition and sensing, to come into one's cycles, to find out what one belongs to, to rise with dignity, to retain as much consciousness as we can."

"It's not by accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of our own inner wild nature fades," Estés adds. "It is not so difficult to comprehend why old forests and old women are viewed as not very important resources. It is not such a mystery. It is not so coincidental that wolves and coyotes, bears and wildish women have similar reputations. They all share related instinctual archetypes, and as such, both are erroneously reputed to be ingracious, wholly and innately dangerous, and ravenous."



How to style your self happy

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“What’s your style?” I was asked in an interview for a fashion blog.

I scrambled for descriptions. For decades I had a definite preference for the “bohemian warrior woman” from classy cool to rock’n roll and the occasional rattling rebel chains. Then I met my midlife crisis and the anger not to be seen made me embark on a new journey into who I truly am. I looked into my wardrobe and the same old made me feel sad and tired. “Play dress up”, whispered my inner child and I finally listened to her.

I dove into styles I had judged and disliked, feared and mocked - and came out a new woman; I lost my grumpy in playfully exploring my truth. I felt that I was so much more what I had thought and a year later, when girly pink and frilly fabrics didn’t worry me any more I created the concept of fashion therapy.

“My style is not to have a style,” I answered, “but to wear what I feel.”

#stylemehappy #stylemefierce #stylemeconfident and #stylingfromtheinsideout became my guiding hashtags.

How to style your self happy?

When you discover in your wardrobe who you have become and align with your true and unique energy that often is not represented in it, you write the story you really want; your happy story. Your outfits become your affirmations.

“I am happy.”

Forget what you think you know about yourself and your outfits; FEEL them.

What makes you happy in the world of forms and styles?

  • Snapshot styles that you love and long for, spontaneous and not pondered about

  • Snapshot colors that make you giggle or smile

  • Create a Pinterest board (or any other visual board) with these styles and colors

  • That’s YOU

Inspect and feel your wardrobe

  • Is this YOU represented in your outfits?

  • Which of your clothes makes you frown? Why? Which story do they belong to?

  • Are there items that make you smile? How?

  • Who or what created your wardrobe? Voices from the past? Rules and regulations? Which beliefs hide in them?

  • Why and how does this outfit matter to you?

Visit a clothing store with many different styles and try out what is “so not me!!”

  • Dress up in what you have judged or were afraid of; the sexy, yuppie, superficial, girly, bossy…

  • How does it make you feel? Why?

  • “Sit in it”, let the outfit tell you why you judge it

    Our judgements are our guides.

    For me it were pink and sensual outfits that made me run; from what? Letting them talk to me opened my heart to my girly self who I had denied since I was a tomboy child and let me admit to my “femme fatale” who I had feared and fought for years; I even discovered a mysterious story behind it.

    Resistance makes us stiff, exploration and acceptance make us flexible to find our true happy

I love the tool of  chakra colors  and the scientific background of  color psychology

I love the tool of chakra colors and the scientific background of color psychology

Touch and discover the feeling of colors; which color evokes your particular happy on this particular day?

  • the sweetness of pink?

  • a powerful demanding red?

  • the freedom and clarity of white?

  • the bubbly love to communicate of light blue? The power to tell your truth of vibrant blue?

  • a protective black?

  • the heart opening depth of green?

  • the sunny “see me” yellow?

    Chose one of the “out of your box’ pieces or an unusual color; an outfit that causes your fierce or mischievous giggle and - wear it in the real world.

    • How does it make you feel?

    • What’s the reaction around you?

    Include the bigger picture

  • Make your outfits an artful adventure; consume less, reuse more; let our creativity bloom.

  • Experiment with vintage

  • Combine finds in your closet with new trendy items

  • Discover amazingness in “once before loved” designer stores

  • Spend your money with love for the planet; buy upcycled, organic, sustainable, vegan, faux fur, faux leather; there are so many options to do a little good

  • Resell your fashion

    Doing good with our money gives us power.

    When we feel aligned with our outfits happiness happens.

    Happiness lies in listening to our truth and acting upon it; it’s a process and not all of your experiments will come out as your “true vibration’ but they’ll get you closer to your uniqueness. The blue and white polka dot suit was a lot of fun for me but I sold it. It was a sidekick for a day, a role I played; it is powerful to experience and stand up for our boundaries. I’m not as extrovert as I would need to be as a polkadot girl and that’s just fine. There are empowering and hindering No’s and feeling them on our skin helps to discern what’s right for us. I still don’t know why wearing orange in public makes me cringe…

    “I can’t do ruffles,” one of my styling clients said,” they are much too girly.” She tried the challenge outfit I gave her with biting-her-lips resistance and came out laughing; it made her feel her inner comedienne, which she never dared to let out because her parents had told her that she her funny was silly. Will she ever wear ruffles again? They certainly made her feel brave enough to add quirky colors to her wardrobe formerly packed with only gray and black outfits. She discovered that years of corporate restrictions had made her forget who she was beneath her rational straightforward manager self. Ruffles kicked her out of her unhappy comfort zone.

    There’s as much happiness in our No as in our Yes and only experiencing it brings clarity.

    I rarely wear sneakers but today I dug them out; my gift to myself is to let fashion and stories, thoughts and plans go and take my dog on a jog.

    What do you need to wear to help you feel happy right now?

Ruffled for success

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“What about ruffles?” I asked my styling client who wanted to add femininity to her “nicely put-togetherness”, which consisted of pants, blouses and jackets. Her corporate job of two decades and the demand to look “professional” had taken over; she had lost her playful joy of dress ups. Her sensual femme barely had a chance to peak through at parties or dinners with the hubby.

Outfits in which we hide an important part of ourselves for a longer period of time can make us loose essential shades of our identity.

She laughed nervously. “Anything”, she said after clearing her throat, “but ruffles. They’re so girly and proper. I feel like Debbie Reynolds.”

I understood, I had a similar weird shiver when pulling out the ruffled tops at the clothing store. I love their bombastic 2019 runway expression but in real life their fragrance was that of demure wifies of the 50’s, of Diorissimo and Chanel No 5. When I was into fragrances they were called “Poison” or “Obsession” depending on my state of mind. Give me a femme fatale in Brazil not a brain reduced cutie in Stepford. It turned out both are equally challenging to me; under the demurely ruffled blouse lies the longing for the child-like sweet feminine as much as the black satin of a femme fatale holds the fear of sensuality.

It is interesting that many of us associate ruffles with smugly virtuous, well behaved females. Because their history says otherwise.

Each time I had tried ruffly dresses or blouses I had felt a shiver of nicety nice. But the ruffle sirens lured me and not only because they are a 2019 uber-trend. What I love about trends is that they invite us to reject them emotionally and when we check into our emotions and accept the dare we are surprised.

So I went for it, carefully.

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When I tried the polka dot blouse with its ruffles cascading down it’s front under a frontier soldiers frock made me feel like a fierce rifle swinging boy. What the heck is masculine about ruffles?

It dawned on me; way back they had been an adornment for both, men and women. There was nothing “feminine” about them, they were theatrical uni sex “game on” for everybody. More they were statements of confidence, sometimes as in aristocratic snobbery of being better than everybody else, stiffening it up in their proud posture producing neck ruffs and other times they are connected to rebellion in our collective memory. Revolutionaries wore ruffles in various time periods and countries. When flimsily dressed courtesans needed to wear under garments in the winter they ruffled them to make them more appealing to their lovers; and the rest of the female world followed. Marie Antoinette, flappers in the 20’s and flamenco dancers in the 30’s frolicked in their frilly.

Ruffles make me feel light and easy, close to lift off…

Ruffles make me feel light and easy, close to lift off…

Ruffles were fierce, voluminous, indulgent, wildly frilly, deeply decadent or simply different than the rest of their time. They were out there “I AM…. ” statements and folded themselves into every decade making waves since over 700 years counting the ruffled veils of the 14'th century.

Except in the 50’s. Ruffles became wholesome as if the 50’s were doomed to make everything “nice”. Dior and Balenciaga went for it and, paired with little pearl necklaces, ruffled dresses became the ultimate crispy Stepford wife wardrobe.

They explosive re-appearance this year fits to the motto of empowerment fashion; they are big, demanding attention and taking a breath. They demand “do not to freaking judge me!!!” I am art. I want what I want.

I am woman.

Ruffles are the perfect combination of a playful, sensual, soft female being and her theatrical forward-thinking, risk taking power. Wearing ruffles with confidence means to embrace our history; to wear our battered woman hood and the legacy of all the women standing up for our rights. The ruffle is royal and revolutionary, two sides of our powerful strength because as women we are both; wise and willful queens who are about to regain their strength and rule their queendom with creativity and love.

As they were worn by both genders, they also predict a new understanding; an elevated closeness of male and female.

Power ruffles are ultra girly, crazy avantgarde and cowgirl confident; the theater of “I am woman.”

Every break out of our routine gives us clarity of who we are and what we really want, every risk taken makes us more fierce and style is a woman’s power creating play ground.

Long live the power ruffle.

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I picked exquisite ruffle designs for you from low to high prices, small and big designers. Enjoy. Test one if you haven’t already and discover your surprise.
I especially love No 1, such amazing theater for so little money.

Do you have a favorite?

Transparent outfits are a metaphor for #authenticity

I like the mysterious touch of sheer and medieval layering.

I like the mysterious touch of sheer and medieval layering.

“Before I knew you, I wasn’t this nice,” I said live in a FB group with 10,00 women followers. I was high on being seen and accepted during a women’s brunch in Redondo Beach. So I spilled a couple beans. In my journey through judgements I had turned myself around; instead of judging I saw the beauty in every one of the women in my groups, okay in most. When we don’t judge the fear of being judged shrinks.

“I have been called a bitch,” I continued. It was a freeing, hilarious moment as nobody, me included, had expected it.

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I was wearing what some might call a bit of a risqué outfit; a snake print mini skirt over patterned fishnet stocking and over the knee shiny boots, a sheer top over a shiny faux leather bustier and a transparent long sleeve maxi dress veiling it all. I like the mysterious touch of sheer and medieval layering.

My choice was a result of my months long journey into authenticity and foreshadowed my moment of truth. The black multilayered outfit, which I had chosen consciously as a statement of both my strength and need of protection, empowered me like a subliminal message; “be transparent.”

It was not just telling a tidbit of my truth but also acting on my feelings; to hug women without knowing if they would like it or hug me back. I embodied my feelings without letting fear and doubt be in the way. It had often before kept me in “wait and see’ mode; show me first that you like me… But if everybody waits we don’t get to know each other.

When our “second skin” becomes a part of our daily creativity we communicate with deeper parts of ourselves open to receive winks from our inner knowing. In that moment we are also linked to the Zeitgeist, picking up and being uplifted by what’s in the air. Empowerment is becoming a world wide motto since millions of women marched for their liberation in 2017, following a long tradition of protests organized by women and now showing in many of the designers amazing art.

It’s a powerful dynamic; fashion designers reflect on and express our desires to be fiercely unique and in return, when manifested in their outfits, support our goal with their design.

The hastag #authentic has 9.2 million followers.

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Even in LA where people are used to a lot of fashion extravaganza showing my bra or bustier under a transparent top is an act of bravery and makes life into a runway. Like a model we have to adapt a new way of walking, the empowered walk of straight up confidence. It doesn’t work every day; it’s more like exercising woman power.

Tip 1 from the fearless front

Make an appointment with yourself like going to the gym with the mantra “today I exercise my femininity”. Art openings, theater premieres or performance art are perfect occasions for your tests. People anywhere in the world are much more likely to love and not judge what you wear expressing your self amidst arty vibes.

Tip 2

Watch your feelings, let your dare empower but also talk to you. Are there any memories, images, ideas or judgement coming up? Let them guide you. Hand writing your experience can give you insights into your deeper stories.

For me it always was either hiding or being my sensual self. Experimenting with low cut dresses and bustiers like courtesans in the 16th century or Madonna in the eighties provoked my fierce; each dare rattled one of my accumulated fears and beliefs. I have a deep connection to medieval times and the story of a courtesan since I lived in Portugal and experienced “weird” memories and researched a mysterious story. When I followed the winks and hints of my intuitive dress ups over the years I saw the archetype of the courtesan showing up several times - and each time I ran. For me it’s time to dive into her story. Is it time to watch your inner movies?

If you are interested in your very own challenge outfit I’d love to guide you into your desire or fear to be truthful and authentic. There’s so much more than what we have learned to see in daily life. We will use playful dress ups with the happy end (and beginning) of a sheer outfit carefully selected for you.

Contact me for your adventurous outfit challenge.

Sheer is also an expression of our sensuality. How far do we want to go? What does it mean to be a “dangerous woman” and prosecuted for our powers for centuries? More about the risks of sensuality coming up soon.

I found a couple exquisite items for your exploration into transparency.

Click to buy.

And a few more…

I always loved the sensual in demure…