When was the last time you thought about what governs your choices around what you wear?
Does your conscious or unconscious mind direct your selection of clothes?
The wardrobe is often where our habitual life patterns and mind sets can become our blind spots.
We get hooked into a particular style. We reach for safety, for comfortability, for the known; even if we are not inspired by what we wear or feel a sense of insecurity around what we look like.
Our wardrobe doesn’t just house our clothes. It is a vehicle that can shine the light on where we may be hiding in our whole life; where we show up as who we ‘think’ we should be rather than who we feel is the truth of who we are.
And when we do that, we dim our light, our genius. We unwittingly play small. We hide and diminish our true power.
When we unearth these ‘hiding patterns’ in our wardrobe, we are alerted to their presence in the whole of our lives.
Whatever pattern you are playing out in your wardrobe, you are playing the same pattern in the rest of your life.
I had a client, Rosie*, who was looking to take her business to the next level. Already a super talented and successful expert in her field, she knew deep within that it was time to step up onto the next big stage. Increase her reach, her turnover and speak at large conventions.
Rosie was feeling frustrated that she was unable to break through the fear that was blocking her from taking the necessary actions to step up in her career. She didn’t understand why. She was disillusioned and it began to eat away at her confidence.
So, we went searching for the answers in … her wardrobe.
And what we found in her dressing habits and her choice of clothes, was a lack of confidence, indecision and an addiction to comfortability.
An addiction to comfortability in our wardrobe, can see us trying to stay safe within the whole of life – not pushing the barrier to go to the next level, not stepping outside our comfort zones. It is often a smoke screen for ‘hiding’ from our power. No wonder so many people feel frustrated in their lives, when they unwittingly reinforce that emotional pattern every morning when they get dressed.
Rosie convinced herself that she liked particular pieces of clothing because they were comfortable; oversized tops, leggings, lots of black. (To some ‘comfortable’ might be simply familiar, easy or repetitive). Yet when she put them on, her body language told us otherwise; her shoulders slumped, her legs were awkward, and the tone of her voice had a high pitch screechy sound.
When we delved further we found pieces in the closet that truly ignited her, yet she was avoiding these. All of them had common themes. I call these themes Style Essences; they are the connection to the parts of us that light us up. They are different for everyone, unique to us in name and expression. For Rosie, her Style Essences were Elegant, Sexy and Playful. And it wasn’t just her outfits that were lacking these. When she viewed these essences in relation to her life, they were all asking to be ignited within different parts of her life.
When we know our own unique essences, we become resilient to the noise of the world that says we need to be something other than who we are, this in itself leads to a profound confidence that builds a robustness against the subliminal messaging we are confronted with on a daily basis.
We explored Rosie’s sexy essence and realised it was symbolic of her full feminine force, allowing her to be fully seen. True sexiness comes from a power within that ignites us. It is the power of a woman who feels connected to her life force, to her kundalini energy, to the force that allows her to birth others (and ideas) into the world. How we connect with this through our wardrobe is very individual and for most women it is paramount to find our own unique expression of our feminine, be it sexy or otherwise
Elegance was another barrier for Rosie, to her it reflected a perception of luxury and there was a guilt harboured around this. She felt undeserving of ‘nice’ things and would instead shop the sale racks and settle for something she didn’t particularly like, yet it was cheap.
There is nothing wrong with picking up something on a bargain – yet if you don’t like it, it reinforces the disconnection of living your own desires and then ultimately it gets tossed away and creates a further negative impact in the problem of landfill. When we shop in a discerning and dedicated way, then we only buy garments that align with our essences and these pieces then stay within our wardrobes for years.
Playfulness was Rosie’s third Style Essence. She had ignored this aspect that was yearning for expression. Her addiction to ‘comfortable’ was translating in her wardrobe as ‘sensible’ and this left no room for her playfulness. Her desire to be playful and light had been hidden behind practical based-stories of being a mum and working her own business. As if an adults life was one of martyrdom and the play was left purely for the kids. I see this a lot with Mum’s. Having been one myself for 25+ years, I know this pattern only too well and it took me great insight to understand where I needed to allow myself the freedom to lighten the load of responsibility and intersperse it with my own expression of fun.
Once we found her three essences, we put together outfits that combined these and Rosie came alive. I alike it to plugging into an electrical socket. Boom! Her power, light and joy was turned on. Her stance was different, she was beaming in her outfits and she felt a renewed sense of fulfilment in what she wore. She was shining. Her smile said it all.
At the beginning of our session, what started off as being ‘comfortable’ pieces to Rosie had now become the very opposite. The comfort veil she had convinced herself was her worth, was traded in for clothes that lit her up, connected with her heart and allowed her to value the parts of her that felt inherently her. And most of these were already hiding in the back of her wardrobe, just as her confidence and determination to level up in her business were hiding in the recesses of her mind.
Not surprisingly, once Rosie switched her approach to dressing each morning and honoured her essences, she took that energy out into the world each day and created from her full power.
The twelve months following the session, Rosie has risen to BIG heights! Her impact on this world is growing well beyond that old glass ceiling. And oh, did I mention, she’s just been invited to do a Ted X Talk.
Are you expressing or hiding yourself in your wardrobe?
(*Names have been changed).
Photo by Tess Emily Seymour from Pexels