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Worst Valentine's Day Ever

Can a disasterous Valentine’s Day actually be a good thing? I should know…

Worst Valentine's Day EverValentine’s isn’t always all hearts and flowers

Valentine’s Day can be wonderful.

If you choose to spend it with the person who you love, enjoying and indulging in the wonderful connection that you have, it can be magical.

If you’re alone, it can be difficult.

If your partner walked out on you unexpectedly the night before, it can be devastating.

I know.

Several years ago, this was how I spent Valentine’s Day.

At 11pm on February 13th, the man who I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with walked out on me unexpectedly.

I was in shock.

I was waiting for the punch line.

Surely this was just a bad joke. A very very bad joke.

But it wasn’t.

It was real.

It was painful.

It was heart-breaking.

The bottom fell out of my world.

When he walked out of the door, he took with him my partner, my best friend, my business mentor, my technical team, and the vast majority of my savings account.

I felt completely and totally alone.

My romantic life was in tatters, my business was up in the air, my financial stability had been removed and my confidence was in ruins.

My Worst Valentine’s Day Ever…

I woke up, Valentine’s morning feeling like I’d hit rock bottom.

I cried, I talked, I cried, I vented and cried even more.

Most of my friends and close family members were either married, in long-term relationships or having babies.

At that point it felt like I was a million miles away from “happily ever after”.

I was done.

For the first time in a long time I realised I didn’t want to be in a relationship.

I’d spent the last 10-15 years of my life pretty much going from one relationship to the next, without much time for me in between, and it felt like it was now my time.

Having spent so much time with other people, I’d lost touch a little with my ‘Inner Claire.’ What did she want? What did she need? What was important to her? How did she want to spend her time? What did she want to do?

It was time to find out.

So I decided to go on a bit of a journey of discovery. Learning more about myself, learning how to become my own best friend, learning to love myself, exactly as I was.

Spending quality time with me.

Going out dancing, travelling, spending time with friends, visiting places I loved, meditating, journaling…doing the things I loved, and enjoying them!

By spending this time making my life ‘All about me,’ I was feeling fulfilled in a way that I hadn’t done in years.

I was happy, having fun, enjoying life.

I was absolutely beaming, and everywhere I went, people were remarking about how I was radiating this great energy. I kept hearing that I was bringing a certain ‘sparkle’ when I entered a room.

After a while it occurred to me that it’s because for the first time in a long time I was being me. Unashamedly, unreservedly, undeniably me.

It was transforming how I felt, the work I was doing, the experiences I was having, and the people I was coming into contact with.

All of a sudden I realised that by being all of me, I was giving them permission to be all of them too.

Everywhere I went people were being magnetically drawn to my energy.

And not just any people, the people who I wanted to spend time with. The ones I resonated with, the kindred spirits, the soul sisters and brothers; my kinda people.

So I asked myself, what had changed? Why was I all of a sudden attracting a different kind of person into my life?

If it was happening with friends, would it start happening with men too?

And then it happened. The lightbulb moment.

In the work I was doing with women and men from around the world, I saw a pattern.

Those who were struggling to attract the kind of relationship they really wanted were following certain behaviours. More importantly those who had attracted the relationship they’d always desired WEREN’T following these same behaviours.

A Different Story

Suddenly the answers to so many questions became clear. Why I’d been attracting relationships that were doomed to failure, why I’d struggled to find any masculine men, where I’d been going wrong for all these years, why I couldn’t find love.

When I recognised the mistakes that both I and so many other women were making I started to change my approach to dating, and to men in general.

At that point everything began to change.

Not long after the most incredible man appeared in my life, and being conscious of avoiding these mistakes transformed the experience of dating for us.

That was some time ago now, and he and I are now travelling the world, living the life we’ve always wanted, and sharing the experience of helping others to transform their relationship lives.

He is everything I wanted in a man and more, our connection is deeper, more real, more intimate and more passionate than any man I’ve been with before.

This is the best relationship I’ve ever experienced in my life and we couldn’t be happier. What’s interesting is that without the Valentine’s Day from hell, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

So it turns out the worst V-Day ever, was actually the best gift I could have asked for.

Something to think about…

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

Feminine Head

What IS Feminine? What does femininity look like? – Part 2

Feminine woman 2

Last week I started answering the question “What IS Feminine and what does it look like” and we covered the first four aspects: Flow, Emotionally Connected, Making Connections & Inspiring.

This week, we finish with the final four aspects of the feminine:

Nurturing

People who are more feminine at core are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!

Our feminine nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.  It’s about caring for, supporting and protecting someone throughout a time of growth and development. That could be you, your partner, a friend, a family member, staff, pretty much anyone.

It can be important, especially in the area of adult intimate relationships, to understand the difference between nurturing and mothering, because without this clarity the lines can be very much blurred.

Mothering often comes from a place of ‘I know best, and I need to protect you from yourself,’ this approach can feel controlling, constricting and patronising. Nurturing on the other hand comes from a place of ‘I care about you, and I will support you in the way that you want and need support, not in the way that I want to.’

It respects another’s choices and decisions, and supports them through their journey rather than trying to direct the path that they ‘should’ take (based on the other person’s perspective and opinion). Nurturing brings together a beautiful combination of welcome support and allowing.

Intuition

Everyone has heard of female (or feminine) intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to be attributed to some form of supernatural ability.

The feminine has a very expanded awareness, we are ‘omni-aware,’ meaning that we are simultaneously aware of the huge range of elements and subtleties in both our external and internal worlds.

Unfortunately our conscious mind doesn’t have the capacity to be able to process all that we’re aware of consciously, so our intuition is often a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience. So many connections are made at a subconscious level that we don’t understand WHY we have the feeling that we do, just that something feels right, or not.

At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something, often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise, it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t been able to process.  Either way, if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then allow yourself to follow it.

Natural

Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine person it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core, embracing and embodying it completely.

Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart, and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things.  It’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.

It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside, with your ‘essence,’ and allowing that to radiate out. As such femininity is connected more to being than it is to doing. In our busy, ever-seeking masculine oriented culture, where we’re always looking to do more, achieve more, be more there is this constant feeling that we need to be ‘doing’ something to get ‘there,’ wherever our current goal resides.

The feminine, contrarily, is all about being, here, now, present. Breathing and being. Recognising that you’re enough, right here, right now, that you don’t need to do anything more, or be anything more. You were enough the second you were born and you have been, are and will be enough every second of your life. So nothing else is needed, nothing else is necessary, you can relax and just be who you naturally are.

Energy

Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real feminine power comes from.  A person who is feminine at core is an absolute force of nature.

They don’t seek out power, or need to prove themselves, and when they’re really in their element there is absolutely no need for either.

You can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through you, and every single person you meet can feel it too. This comes from connecting with all of the different types of energy that are the life-blood of the feminine; Loving, sensual, passionate, playful, intense, light, dark, sad, joyful, embracing and expressing them all.

How can we do this? Through connecting to the pleasure of our sensuality, igniting all of our senses and then embracing and expressing the energy that this connects us to.

We can connect to our sense of being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Not taking ourselves so seriously!

We can connect to our sense of wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

We can connect to our sense of intensity, our sense of passion, our sense of love and allow ourselves to express the feelings and energy that they produce in our bodies.

By allowing ourselves to live life through being present to the rich, multi-sensory experiences we are capable of, through vivid colours, exquisite textures, luscious aromas, intriguing sounds and delectable flavours we can connect to the energy inside ourselves.

Through connecting to and allowing the pleasure in every experience, we ignite the energy within.

The feminine has all of these of traits and aspects to it but primarily femininity is a feeling.  When we connect to the feminine part of ourselves it brings with it a feeling of relaxation, of expansion, of receptivity, of lusciousness, of our senses and bodies being alive and radiating through everything we are.

And the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of being feminine?

…and if you liked this article, please share it using the buttons below!

Finally, if you’d like some free tips and advice on how to improve your relationship situation, pop over here now and check out our free video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship”

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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feminine woman

What IS Feminine? What does femininity look like? – Part 1

feminine woman

Having established what feminine isn’t the next obvious question is “what do we mean when we say ‘feminine’?”

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.

For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.

I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are connecting to the aspects of the feminine in a way that it authentic to them.

936full-kate-middleton Kate_Winslet-2-The_Readerdita-von-teese-headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some women do it naturally, others (having spent their life behaving in a more masculine way to try and fit in, be accepted or be successful) find it benefits them to take a little time to play with femininity and masculinity to find the balance of the two that really feels natural to them as opposed to just following the habit they’ve formed over many years. I speak from personal experience.

Femininity isn’t something that you can put on the outside.  It comes from within, from a feeling deep in your core.  When you connect to it, it radiates out through every aspect of your being.

Contrary to popular belief wearing certain dresses, high heels or doing your hair in a certain way doesn’t MAKE you feminine, that would be like suggesting that putting on scrubs and a surgeon’s mask makes you a surgeon. However, sometimes those external choices (what to wear, how to spend your time) can help you to FEEL more feminine and (because femininity comes from an internal feeling) when you feel more feminine by very definition you are being more feminine.

What are the aspects of the feminine?

Because our femininity is as unique as we are, I can’t get you a step-by-step formula that if you follow the instructions and check all the items of the list will result in you blossoming into your feminine effortlessly, but what I can do is give you some guidance, tips and advice to find your very own unique Flavour Of Feminine, the way of being that resonates deeply with you and helps you to ignite the aspects of the feminine in the way that FEELS best to you.

What I can share with you, however, is that there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, and they may show up differently in different women, but in my experience they will all appear in some shape or form in a woman who is connected (or connecting) to her feminine nature.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about connecting to our F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E.

Little Side Note: As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, we all have masculine and feminine in us, so for anyone who is more feminine at their core connecting with the feminine is never about denying our masculine or making it wrong, instead it’s about allowing our feminine aspects to go first, and then utilising the masculine traits as and when it serves us and those around us best, as is true in reverse for someone who is more masculine at core.

We will begin today with the first four aspects of the feminine:

Flow

Being feminine is all about being open, letting things flow and surrendering any desire to control.

A crucial element of flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, and allow yourself to both give and to receive from those around you, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

The very nature of flow is one of ease and relaxation. Flow requires no effort, no force, no pushing, all it requires is allowing. When we allow things to flow, we get to let go of the tension in our bodies, minds and hearts.

So one of the paths to allowing more flow into our lives is to let go of the illusion of control.

Ultimately we know that we don’t really have the ability to control anything, but we make ourselves feel better about the uncertainty of life by believing in the illusion that we do.

Unfortunately when we try to control the uncontrollable (which life very much is!) it brings more tension, stress and worry.

The more we try to control, the more we realise we have to do to have control, the more effort we put into it, the more we realise that there is STILL something out of our control and the cycle begins again.

The reality is that there will always be something outside of our control and therefore the only way to really have peace, relaxation and calm inside is to accept, let go of the illusion and allow ourselves to be in flow.

Emotionally connected

People who are more feminine at core are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.

Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of being feminine and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.

Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.

We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love, pure and simple.

Making connections

As we saw above, people who are more feminine at core are natural relationship builders, we seek out connections, community, bonds with other people. We are naturally inclined to reach out, to communicate and collaborate with others.

We see this in the way that we communicate. Women (who generally speaking tend to be more feminine at core than men, though it is important to note that this not true for all women) on average speak 20,000 words a day, whereas men (who tend more generally to the masculine at core) speak an average of only 7,000.The feminine looks for connections, we look to build our own ‘tribes’ to share the experiences of our lives.

When under stress, the feminine generally speaking will look to reach out and find comfort through connection with others, and will seek to do the same when they see others experiencing challenges, offering a space to share their difficulties, some words of encouragement or simply a hug.

Inspiring

Unlike the masculine counterpart, the feminine doesn’t have any inclination to use direction, force or pressure to affect people around them.

Our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with, simply from the way we are being. If you’re a feminine woman at core and you want to see your man be more masculine, demanding it out of him is coming from a more masculine place inside of you.

If your man is truly masculine at core he will either step into the masculine in competition with the masculine you are expressing (not a dynamic that works well in intimate relationships, remembering what we know about polarity!) or he will step back into a more feminine position as you are occupying the masculine space in the relationship.

If you want your man to step more into the masculine, the best approach is to step even further into your feminine and inspire him to step into the masculine by how you relate to him from that place.

Join me again next week when I will be sharing about the other four aspects of the feminine, and the impact they have on our lives…

…and if you liked this article, please share it using the buttons below.

Finally, if you’d like some free tips and advice on how to improve your relationship situation, pop over here now and check out our free video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship”

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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Man woman masculine feminine

The 11 Biggest Misperceptions About The Masculine – Part 2

Man woman masculine feminineLast week we began looking at the 11 biggest misperceptions about the masculine, but why is it important for us to understand them?

Unfortunately, working with both men and women around the world I see the consequences of the beliefs that both men and women hold about masculinity, and how it affects both them and their relationships.

So many men have lost touch with their sense of masculinity and it’s important for them to be able feel good about reclaiming their masculine power without feeling that they will be criticised for doing so, without misunderstanding what that really means (and therefore not wielding the power honourably) or that the burden of the mantle of the label ‘masculine’ will be too big.

The best way to navigate and avoid these potential challenges, is to truly understand what ‘the masculine’ means, and sometimes the best way to begin to understand what something is, is to understand what it is not.

So to celebrate that yesterday was international men’s day, here are the remaining biggest misperceptions of the masculine:

8. Masculine is not Invulnerable

Vulnerability is a real hot topic and major trigger point for many men. The belief that masculine equals strong, and vulnerability equals weakness creates a lot of misperceptions that the masculine cannot be vulnerable. In reality, vulnerability does not mean weakness at all. Vulnerable means ‘open to attack, harm or damage,’ which while a little scary does not imply weakness. In fact to risk being open to attack, harm or damage for the purposes of being also open to love, passion and connection takes real courage. Being vulnerable is courageous, and inside every masculine man beats the heart of a hero, ready to take brave risks for the purposes of a reward that’s worth it. Connecting with another’s heart takes courage, and the masculine is ready and willing to take that risk knowing the reward will give him more than he could possibly imagine.

9. Masculine is not Superior

There is this HUGE misperception that somewhere along the line someone decided that masculinity was in some way superior to femininity, and that the feminine was somehow less than its masculine counterpart. As with all opposite forces in nature, the masculine and feminine are EQUAL and opposite. That does not make them the same, it means that neither is better or worse, stronger or weaker than the other. The true masculine knows and respects the power of the feminine, and would never seek to diminish or demean it. The masculine does not feel more masculine by diminishing the feminine, and in fact understands that to diminish either actually disempowers them both. The real strength and power of the masculine and feminine comes when they combine, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, where the whole becomes more than the sum of it’s parts.

10. Masculine is not Selfish

The masculine and feminine relate to their own needs in very different ways. The feminine, because of its nurturing nature, has a tendency to do its best to ensure that everyone else’s needs are met first, and because of its awareness of everything at all times gets easily distracted from its own needs. This means that the needs of the feminine tend to get met as a ‘last resort’ i.e. That the feminine meets its own needs when they get urgent, which tends of be at the last possible moment. On the flip side, the masculine tends to meet its needs immediately that it first becomes aware of them. If a masculine man is hungry, he eats (irrespective of whether dinner will be ready in 10 minutes), if he’s thirsty, he drinks, if he’s tired, he rests and if he needs the bathroom, he goes – the moment he’s aware of the need. As such women can sometimes view masculine men as selfish, putting their needs first above all others. What’s interesting is that in reality a big part of the reason the masculine ensures his needs get met immediately is because of the sense of responsibility he feels to provide and protect. If his needs aren’t met, if he’s hungry or tired, or needs the bathroom, this could impact his ability to provide and protect, meaning that he wouldn’t be able to look after the feminine and the family to the best of his ability. Often this process is happening at a subconscious level, he’s not even aware of it, but he looks after himself first to ensure that he can do the best job possible in taking care of the things he feels a responsibility for.

11. Masculine is not Inferior

Last, but by no means least, in the same way that the masculine is not superior to the feminine, it is not inferior either. Over the last 20-40 years the role of men in our culture has often become that of ridicule and mockery. The subconscious fear from many women that men won’t know how to wield their masculine power honourably and in a trustworthy way has led to them wanting to take this power from them. Emasculation in the form of humour has become a dominant part of our lives, and in the same way as undermining women disempowers both men and women, the same is true in the other direction too. If either sex believes it needs to take power from the other to feel powerful itself, it doesn’t understand the true meaning and nature of power. It comes from the inside out, not the outside in – you can’t take it from anyone else, and the attempt to do so only demonstrates an underlying feeling of insecurity and disempowerment. The jokes, eye rolls, and put downs at the expense of men and masculinity are equally offensive and damaging to men, women and relationships, as the equivalent slights against women did and continue to do. The true masculine and feminine seek to build each other up, rather than tear each other down, because it’s in combining our strengths that we really see what’s possible together.

So I’m curious, what are your experiences of the word masculine? Do any of the misperceptions I’ve mentioned above ring true for you? Have you felt that any of these were true at one point or another, and what did that mean for you and your relationships? Are you aware of other misperceptions about masculinity that have created some challenges for you?

…and watch this space because in the next couple of week’s I’ll be sharing the other side of the coin for you to understand what true masculine and real feminine is really all about…

With Love,

Claire x

The 11 Biggest Misperceptions About The Masculine – Part 1

man-164962_1280A while ago I posted an article explaining what feminine is not because the word ‘feminine’ has become so misunderstood that many women have actively avoided or denied any association with it.

Unfortunately I see a similar situation when it comes to the word masculine. When I hear the words masculine and feminine used in conversation they’re often associated with concepts or linked to ideas that have nothing at all to do with either.

Before I set the record straight on what masculinity IS, I wanted to help us to get clear on what it is not. So here are 10 commonly held misperceptions about the masculine that are untrue:

1. Masculine is not Neanderthal

So many people as soon as you mention the word masculine envisage a caveman with a club whose first instinct is to smack the nearest women over the head and drag her back to his cave. While I have no judgment if that’s your idea of a fun Saturday night, that’s not what the masculine is about, nor is it about macho peacocking behavior either. While masculine energy, aspects and behaviours might have evolved from our cavemen ancestors, these days he’s upright, out of the cave and knows how to respect and honour a woman of this day and age in a way that she’ll really respond to.

2. Masculine is not Aggressive

Many people equate masculinity with aggression, but aggression is simply a tool to cover an underlying sense of lack or insecurity. Empowered masculine energy is confident and assertive, but has no need to be aggressive. It doesn’t need to prove its power or strength, because it’s innate.

3. Masculine is not Arrogant

When people call to mind alpha males who are connected to their masculine, one of the biggest complaints is an air of arrogance. Like with the ‘masculine is not aggressive’ point, arrogance tends to come from a need to compensate from a lack of truly feeling confident in one’s own abilities and importance, creating a need to ‘prove’ and in doing so overinflate the ego in these areas. A man who truly owns his masculinity has no need to prove anything, and is confident in his value and abilities.

4. Masculine is not Lazy

Men tend to get a bad rap from us women because when we see them doing ‘nothing’ or doing the minimum required to get a job done, and often they get labeled as lazy. Compared to us and our constant and never-ending to-do lists, (and often our identity and sense of significance being tied to how busy we are and how much we have to do) doing less, or nothing seems unacceptable. In reality most men aren’t lazy at all, they are just incredibly aware of a desire to be efficient. Men know that in order to continue to perform, they need to relax, they need to have down time, they need to recharge their batteries, to continue to ‘do’ when they will no longer be effective is futile. The masculine sees inefficiency as a waste of energy and avoids it wherever possible.

5. Masculine is not Destructive

While we’re aware that masculine is competitive, we can sometimes misunderstand this as being destructive and expect a man to do whatever it takes to win, including destroying anything and anyone that gets in it’s path. In reality, the masculine is about rising to the challenge rather than destroying anything that threatens it’s potential to win. The true, empowered masculine doesn’t want to win by destroying another, it wants to win by being and becoming better itself. The masculine wants to win, but it wants to do so in an honourable way; if it has to take someone else out to get the prize, it knows it’s not truly won.

6. Masculine is not Void of Emotion

While the masculine does tend more to the logical, it also isn’t void of emotion either. Often the perception of a masculine man is a strong, silent type, who never speaks about how he feels, and doesn’t understand or relate well to his emotions. A man truly connected with his masculinity understands that we all have both masculine and feminine inside us, and that neither can flourish without the other. While emotions are not as dominant in the masculine as they are in the feminine, an embodied masculine man is connected to, understands and can communicate his emotions.

7. Masculine is not Infallible

The masculine can sometimes be perceived as being all-knowing, and sometimes it can feel like the masculine has to always get it ‘right.’ The responsibility of leading can weigh heavy on a man’s shoulders and the pressure he can put on himself to have all the answers can be immense. In reality, the true masculine regularly learning, growing and stepping up and into more of himself. Most importantly it is not just OK for the masculine to make mistakes, it’s important for him to be able to and give himself permission do so as it’s one of the most effective ways to learn and grow. Being masculine does not stop a man from being human, in fact the true masculine is wonderfully real, beautifully flawed and perfectly imperfect.

Come back next week to discover the final four, and in some ways the most important misperceptions about the masculine. Click here now to see part 2

So I’m curious, what are your experiences of the word masculine? Do any of the misperceptions I’ve mentioned above ring true for you? Have you felt that any of these were true at one point or another, and what did that mean for you and your relationships? Are you aware of other misperceptions about masculinity that have created some challenges for you?

…and watch this space because in the next couple of week’s I’ll be sharing the other side of the coin for you to understand what true masculine and real feminine is really all about…

With Love,

Claire x