What are you wearing? Connections in the fashion zone.

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“There you are,” whispered my stylish IG friend and hugged me excitedly as if she had waited for a long lost friend. Hugging her back I looked around in the room of about 75 woman listening to a panel of five female presenters; I saw welcoming smiles, nods, little waves even a thumbs up. I felt a happy giggle lighten me up, this was as soothing as a warm bubble bath.

I had been a little anxious about joining the Fierce Fifty fashionistas in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Redondo beach this weekend. I had been worried that too much fashion meant fashion only and not what I love, the digging deeper, the depth, the real and authentic connection.

Will I see what I love or what I fear?

Women conferences are a great test of our old beliefs; do I still have to prove that I am good enough? Do I still fear that child hood trauma of “nobody throws me the ball?” or believe that I must be an Alien as nobody gets me?

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Those darn thoughts came up like soap bubbles dancing around in front of my eyes but like soap bubbles they also popped. After lifelong explorations, from studying art therapy to shamanic journeys, my recent two years of life coaching, the incredible adventure of writing my memoir and creating the concept of fashion therapy I knew what to do; I stopped, took a deep breath, acknowledged my thoughts and responded to my challenge. I would own who I had become; no more excuses to live my empowered life. I followed my own advice from the Soul Sister Planner I had created in the beginning of this year using the prompt I had given to my readers; don’t enter the room with “look at me,” but with “who are you?”

Its amazing how much it helps.

I pulled out my Iphone to find the name to the face of my welcoming sister. We often know the handles of our IG friends, their online avatars, but not their human names.

Avatars are amazing tools, mine, the ageless rebel, empowers me every day; when I post stories to inspire, empower or motivate I empower myself. I look at my smile and if I feel shitty right now I know the smile is near.

Avatars also often reduce our complexity, we are our branding; as the ReBelle I can’t be a wimp, if my purpose is to lighten you up I can’t make you cry. So we don’t tell all of our stories and don’t get to hear them from others.

Meeting in 3D allows us to be our whole package, the “Silver Sister” becomes Nadia, a woman with many stories. We meet the pain in the path of the powerful fashionista, the doubts of the super coach or the fierce desires of the shy introvert. To dance in social media is weightless but now we have real life feet stuck in boots or balancing on heels, we are the density of all we are.

When we accept the challenge to be real and take a chance we amaze ourselves and others. My questions of “what are you wearing, how does this make you feel and who are you showing us?” were answered with amazingly heartfelt honesty.

The cool, creative, sassy, sweet or trendy outfits became the storyteller’s sidekicks. I met the badass behind her jeans, the physicist in a Roberto Cavalli dress, the searcher for purpose in the white vintage robe and the shaman in her power of red invoking the magic of the divine feminine.

Our stories are invitations to connect.

When we share our lives or truly listen to other women’s stories we find compassion, love, understanding; the closeness most of us desire. Avatars become multi dimensional human beings, women with many colors.

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Women who dance together, creatives having a blast, girls who hug.

Women who dance together, creatives having a blast, girls who hug.

Wise women, soul sisters and fashionistas.

Wise women, soul sisters and fashionistas.

We also see ourselves mirrored in others, we detect what we wish to have or fear to be. Keeping this in mind makes the step towards a woman we find threatening or judge in whatever way much easier. There’s always more than meets our eye as our lenses are shaped by our experiences.

To ask “who are you?” and to listen from an empty place can be revolutionary. Deep listening needs training but the result, being able to truly “hear” somebody is a rewarding gift.

One of the lessons women conferences taught me is to stop being “full of myself”, not to see the world through the grid of me. It’s like being in a martial arts dojo where we exercise to be present, in this moment, not in yesterday or tomorrow.

To be “right here and now” means not to ponder about agendas. If we want true connections we have to forget the “what can you do for me?” Without agendas life becomes storytelling not a hunt and collaboration develops naturally when it’s right.

Trust in your Self, that little voice that knows, is the best confidence pill I’ve ever taken. It’s the same trust that says “your vibe will attract your tribe” and that it is okay not to like or to be liked by every woman in the room. We all have different movies in our heads; it’s much easier to understand and play within the script of the same genre than having to make your way through dark dungeons in a princess dress.

I probably could have stopped and taken more deep breaths during the conference this weekend and wasn’t truly present all the time. I was pulled out of the “being present” zone by my hair; I have a thing with my hair and if I don’t like it…. But when I was in the moment, magic happened.

My upcoming book has the subtitle; “A journey to the magic of Yes”, which had been an adventurous voyage with huge jumps up, deep falls down and a million baby steps in between.

Fierce Con 2018 was one of those steps.

Thank you for the stories, fierce femmes and for being real.

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