Tag Archives: Relationships

Fashion Friday: Style As A Meditation

I am attempting to live this philosophy everyday: Style as a meditation and not a mere regulatory affair.

I recently did a post on The 7 Habits of Sylish People and most of the advice was character driven. I believe 70% of style is Character and the other 30% is Clothing. Most  think clothing is important. And I tend to agree, I live and love them. They can take you places, give you access to certain environments. Yet, if you don’t have solid character to back it up you’re like a boy in his fathers clothes. You’re only playing “dress up” and that’s called “acting.” Dressing to enhance vs dressing to hide are two different things. The goal should be deeper than that. It’s about motive and intent. Let’s deepen the conversation from how we look and who we wear to how we act and why we should care.

“Elegance is a question of personality, more than one’s clothing.” Jean-Paul Gaultier

Nothing is worse than arrogance dressed in elegance. Substance always trumps surface.However, a Twitter user reminded me:

“there are far worse things than arrogance dressed in elegance, arrogance dressed in ready-to-wear would be one. A good suit is worth plenty on a rotten man! It’s usually the ONLY thing he’s worth, so he may as well look fabulous!” –  Alexander Stacey

I think he is right in of those statements, there are far worse things a person can be (I know his intent was light banter)  but I think there is something to be said for a person who gives the appearance of refinement but proves false to this by the way he acts toward people. ( I cover this topic in a previous post) what good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten? We must not use clothing as a way to deceive others by hiding who we really are on the inside.

For example: A man hires a stylist to help him pick out clothes for an interview. Together they pick an appropriate shirt and tie, pair it impeccably with a tailored suit, possibly even stir within him the confidence he needs by means of coaching and direction beforehand so that he actually lands the job. Granted, the boss/interviewer is impressed with his résumé and his interviewing skills. But soon after the boss notices things that may make him question the hiring decision. His constant tardiness, failure to meet deadlines, incomplete or inaccurate reports or even laziness may make him more of a liability. Sure, he nailed the interview, made a good first impression and was a convincing candidate. But an awesome wardrobe won’t cover-up bad work ethic. He may be the topic of discussion and even the resident expert around the office on how to pair this with that. However, his sharp suit won’t be enough to save him from a pink slip.  Even if he has entrepreneurial aspirations his behaviors won’t get him very far.

Clothing should enhance our persona, but we also need to do the work that is required to change traits, habits or more importantly, behaviors that may be counter productive to our personal development. How? Think about the last conversation you had with your boss about your performance, your good friend or significant other about your relationship? Were you listening closely to the things you needed to tweak or even change to become a better or refined version of yourself? Or did you scoff at their suggestions? Stylish people should balance what’s in their closet with what’s in their head. They know that teachers come in the form of people they meet, places they go and in events they experience. Thus, when we go out into the world dressed up or move through life rocking our killer “look” it will be far more than just mere sartorial elegance.

Start from the inside & the rest will follow. Less “clothes maketh the man” more “the man maketh the clothes.” – Dublo

Thank you MyrtleTakesTeadublonothing for inspiring this post and engaging me in some brisk debate on style.


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Transformations: “Diva’s Wanna Know”- Her Love Questions Answered Part III

A few months ago I was asked to take part in a blog series called “Divas Wanna Know” by @Jendiva of Mind of a Diva, a great blog for women full of empowering posts that encourage women to redefine what it means to be a Diva.

This is part three of questions that women wanted to ask men in a frank and honest way. Here’s part I & part II.

What questions would you have asked? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

1. How will you know when you’ve met the right woman? Or if you’re in a relationship how did you know?

For me it was a slow realization. As I spent time with her all my fears (yes we get scared too, no matter what we tell you) began to dissolve and I realized this was the person I NEEDED to be with (her personality complimented mine) and WANTED to be with (she is the one that I want to spend all of my time with) and when I realized this I had to marry her.

2. Is it important for you (as a man) to have a partner (wife) that is an intellectual equal or are there more important factors that you consider?

What’s more important is similar VALUES. What does she BELIEVE in? What motivates the course of her life? Sure intelligence is important, but what good is all that intellect if she doesn’t share the values you hold dear?

3. Why do men use texting, email, chat, and other nonverbal methods to end a relationship? Why do they feel that’s acceptable?

Unfortunately this is a generational thing, it’s irresponsible, disrespectful and lazy. What used to be a cop-out confined to High School and College is now infiltrated into “adult relationships.” Grown men in their late 20’s and up to their 40’s are using texting as way to deceive and avert responsibility. Why? Because way before the relationship is over, he’s already divorced his emotions and doesn’t want to deal with the woman. In his eyes sending a text, email or any other non verbal communication is his way of not dealing with the “emotional drama.” However, If a man needs to have a serious conversation with his woman it needs to face to face, period.

4. What does it take for men to commit to a relationship?

I can’t speak for other men but for me I needed to connect and feel that she appreciated the time and effort I put in opening myself up to her, sharing my values, goals. When I know she and I are on the same page or even despite our differences we are able to respect each others mental, emotional and spiritual pursuits, that’s when I knew that I needed to be with her forever.

5. Do you think it’s important to feed yourself spiritually? If so, how do you feed your soul?

I think it’s very important. I believe it’s what keeps you grounded to a theme and a purpose in your life. I try to stay actively involved my place of worship. I read a verse in the Scriptures that relates to a specific dilemma or even a character trait I’m trying to develop. Wisdom and humility are the two that I’ve tried to work on and master.

6. As a man do you feel that women’s standards are too high when they are looking for someone to date/be in a relationship with?

That depends on what their standards are. In reality it’s all about mirroring the qualities you want a mate to have in your own life. Honestly speaking, you can’t want a specific quality In a man that you don’t already have in yourself. That’s only fair. One of my Twitter friends once said “You can’t ask for Superman unless you are at least a Wonder Woman.”

Dress Internally – TheStyleGent

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Transformations: Joblessness And The Male Ego

It seems that U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, evidence of an economy still growing only sluggishly.  The Economy added 115, 000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work.  The breakdown is as follows:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men
(7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites
(7.4 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in
April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month.
The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April (not seasonally
adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

This is telling because it shows the emotional effect that joblessness has had on the job-seeker.  Since unemployment rates fell to 8.1 percent because more people gave up looking for work, how men deal with job loss or search affects the  relationship with his spouse (Money is the number one issue that men and women fight about) his children, and how he may feel about himself. A woman’s joblessness will affect the way she feels about herself as well. The pressure to be “all things to all people” can be an overwhelming task that makes an already tough role even harder.

Close your eyes. Relax. Breathe. There is light at the end of the tunnel, maybe not fiscally but there are ways we can deal mentally and emotionally. Understand that you are not alone. A lot of us are going through this. No one piece of advice can make it all better but knowing that you have support from your spouse or significant other can be a real confidence booster.

If you are a Man and your woman isn’t working the best thing you can do to show your support is by listening, not hearing but LISTENING. Remember that she lives in a world where men make more than she does. Remember all the work she does to keep the family together, the time energy and pride she takes in managing her life, including the effort to take on the world and endure the onslaughts to her femininity. Knowing that you understand the conflicts of children and work, career and life passions will go a long way to strengthening your relationship with her.

If you are a woman and your man isn’t working, this is really when he needs you THE MOST. Traditional society and archaic gender roles have tied his ego to his paycheck. It’s the way it is. We could debate the “why’s and wherefores” of this issue back and forth but it’s safe to say that it has a profound effect on how he may feel about himself. Urge him to talk about it (I know this part is the hardest thing for him to do) and express how it may make him feel. Knowing that you still support him, believe him and love him will help to ease the self-doubt that may creep in his head.

We don’t know how long this economy may stay sluggish or tepid, let’s just make sure our relationships grow and last longer than this recession.

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Transformations: Men, Self-Esteem and Relationships

In a earlier post I talked about a man’s perception of beauty. Now, I can’t and wont speak for most men. However, I think a discussion on a man’s self-esteem as it relates to his choices in his relationships is worthwhile. Self-esteem is not just a woman’s issue. With the economy being in serious trouble and the earning roles of families changing, some men are having to re-examine themselves in ways they never had to before. The epidemic of “Father Hunger” in our communities also has had a massive effect on the way some men feel about themselves. With these issues in play, a man’s self-esteem can be deeply connected to the choices made in terms of the women they choose to sleep with, date or even marry. Even if he had a father or depending how he was raised, a man’s self-esteem can decide if  he sees a woman as a threat to his “man-hood” or a partner in his relationship.

If a man sees himself as a “ladies man,” observes the way his peers treat women and under subtle peer pressure, become emotionally detached, seeing woman as nothing more than objects to be played with, used or even worse, treated with disrespect.

If he’s an “aggressive man” he may have seen the way his Father treated or controlled his Mother and carried that over into his own relationships, possibly leading to emotional and physical violence.

If he is a “passive man” he may not have had a father to guide him or observed a dominating Mother and now chooses women who either do the same to him or don’t encourage him to take the lead in the family.

Hopefully through it all he aspires to be the healthy balance of an “assertive man” who understands the need to use his power to protect and encourage, his wisdom to guide the course of his life, love to fill his life with humility and mildness to see her as his partner and life-mate.

Now I know that you can’t put all men into these categories but what you can do is ask yourself do I fit into one of these types of men? Can I strive to be embody the qualities that will move me closer to becoming a better man than I am now? Food for thought.

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Transformations: Monday Motivation – Ten Things to Remember and Avoid This Week

A good friend sent this to me about a year ago in an email and I thought it would be a good idea to frame a post around it. As we all start our week, it would be a great way to reinforce good habits  that have gotten us to where we are now, but also shine a microscope on things we may need to improve on.  Life for most of us has become ever so stressful and for some of us maybe even difficult, but if we can focus on these ten do’s and dont’s it may help change at least the way we feel about ourselves and improve our relationships with others.

Ten Things To Remember:

1. Do kind things for others without expecting a reward
2. Always improve yourself
3. Take responsibility for your own shortcomings
4. Complement yourself when things go well
5. Nurture friendships and relationships
6. Be aware and pay attention
7. Meet new people and try new things
9. Slow Down
8. Look up
10. Believe that good things can happen to you.

Ten Things To Avoid:

1. Don’t hide behind emotional walls
2. Don’t judge others
3. Avoid self-pity
4. Never forget that there will always be greater and lesser gifted people than yourself
5. Never let fear stand in your way
6. Never let your inner voice put you down
7. Avoid negative people
8. Try not to be suspicious of others without good reason
9. Don’t put yourself down in front of others
10. Don’t be a tool.

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