Tag Archives: Self Help

Monday Motivations: The Art Of Dressing Internally


“A Sator/Seamstress knows that every loose thread on a garment must be either cut off or sewn into place for clothes to look refined. The ‘Character Tailor’ understands that loose threads in his or her personality also need to be cut or sewn place in order for growth and maturation to occur.” – 

TheStyleGent

In the fashion industry, spring/summer is a great time for designers to showcase their fresh new satorial pieces, shed the heavy, dark colors of winter and shift to lighter and brighter fabrics. This gets us ready and excited for the new styles of the season. It’s also the time when we shake off the winter doldrums, get a new lease on our motivations and passions. But above all, we re-focus on our purpose. I like to call this process “Internal Styling.”

Internal Styling is the art of dressing ourselves from the inside out. It means we develop character based skills needed to meet our goals, expand our thinking and deepen our relationships with others. It requires we re-examine our longtime habits and thought processes to ultimately move closer to our personal purpose.

How do we begin? How can we focus on making sure we look just as good on the inside as we’d like to look on the outside? When we pick out clothing, we usually choose according to our personal tastes. We are often inspired by celebrities, musicians, designers or even that guy or girl at work who always has impeccable taste in clothing.

Likewise, the first thing we should do is give some serious thought to who we look to or associate with. This is a good indicator where our values lie. Who we spend the bulk of our time with can either help or hinder where we want to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Associating with those who will inspire us to be better and hold us accountable is the one of the first steps to dressing internally.

Secondly, what do we feed our minds on? Are we absorbing information that will increase our understanding of ourselves and  how we can elevate our mental, emotional and spiritual self? Often times we are eager to read material that will benefit us economically because we can see the results manifested visually: a new wardrobe, car, house etc. Now I’m not knocking prosperous thinking. But when we are focusing on dressing internally the results are less apparent because they are not as tangible to the naked eye and are character based. They are seen gradually over a longer period of time.

Lastly, we have to remove any obstructions that keep us from being the best person that we can be. Since the goal is to improve our character, anyone or anything that jeopardizes that elevation has to be held under scrutiny. Dream Killers, Emotional Vampires, Mental Anchors, Haters, whatever you want to call them; All of these things have to be cleared away so that we can stay focused on improving our character.

When we do these three things:

1. Examine who we spend our time with.
2. What we feed our mind on.
3. Remove any mental and emotional obstructions.

We will not only change ourselves, but it can also encourage and inspire others.

Today, the world needs more Thought Leaders, Servant Leaders and Mentors to challenge us and our ideological differences. Could you become one of them? Dressing internally is a powerful and way to look at our motives, question ourselves and possibly take steps to become one of these types of people. It can enhance the way we interact with our family, friends, and colleagues. It improves and deepens our relationships and ultimately keeps us thinking and acting in line with our personal purpose.

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

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: 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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Monday Motivations: Vertical Thinking


The world we live in is constantly changing, headline news keep us up to date with the late breaking stories in pop culture, political uprisings, natural disasters, the unbelievable and horrific suffering of innocents at the hands of  the powerful and selfish, a hailstorm of sound-bites and information for us to form an opinion on. Here’s the rub: with all of this audio-visual stimulation we receive at such blinding speed, what or who are we to believe in? what do we take in and what are we to filter out? Which way do you go, Left or Right? Which station do I listen to, what frequency is best?

On my journey of transformation I’m learning more and more that it is easy to let the noise and chatter of the outside interfere with the internal filter of the mind & more importantly the heart. How do you elevate above it all so that you can keep clarity of purpose and more importantly, eyes of discernment? I believe the key in doing this is to rise above our own “horizontal thoughts.” What do I mean? Basically this means moving from intentions and motivations that keep us thinking basely in the mindset of just our physical and emotional wants: “closer to the dust and farther from the sky” to purposes and actions that keep us living and “Thinking Vertically.”

Vertical Thinking is really spiritual thinking. It is the ability to see a thing through the lens and focus of spirituality. In our daily inter actions with people it’s easy to look with our horizontal vision and compare ourselves to others, let our ego dictate our decisions, or even blame others for our own biases. This, along with the tug-of-war between wants and needs, the base and moral has always brought into conflict our want for a better life vs. our need for internal peace. We all need to make a living, provide for family and cut out for ourselves a path for survival. The financial turmoil that grips this economy recently has caused many to have to reset, recalibrate and check goals, acquisitions and even life courses. Many of us are unemployed and trying to hold on, while others secretly still try to live outside and above our needs and means. Add to this is the unsteady global unrest, which moves us sympathetically and causes an unbelievable amount of stress on our peace of mind about our place in the world.

Vertical thinking allows us to pause and reflect on what your life focus may be and course correct if necessary. All of us has a level of spirituality, even if it based on some basic innate internal rules of civility. We all at some point wrestle with the big life questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? This is natural. Everyone has to get those answers at some point in their life whether at the beginning, middle or end of our life walk. As I look at the things taking place in the world I am reminded of the need to look at things through the lens of spirituality and remember that life is not about the accumulation of things, but the acquisition of experiences that lead us to decide your purpose or in my case, His purpose.

I believe we are children fumbling, crawling, reaching out to take steps we’re unsure of. I believe that while we look to our left and right we perpetuate the divisive issues that continue to break our “family” apart.  I believe that the suffering we inflict upon ourselves and others could be solved if we looked, examined and changed our heart’s motivation. I believe if we loved our neighbor as we love our families, as we loved ourselves the world would be a much more peaceful place. I believe that we make things too convoluted, too complicated for ourselves. I believe we need to give more and take less. I believe that looking up, being humble and realizing our inability to work beyond His parental guidance we find peace of mind. I believe Vertical Thinking prevents Horizontal Problems.

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Transformations: Stillness


Sometimes the tiniest effort in our lives can wield the most drastic results. Most of us are afraid of change, Some of us are paralyzed by fear, a few of us actually carry out the things that make us happy. So I guess the question is why? What makes us so adamantly resist change? Why is it hard for us to break away from the things that hurt us and move toward progress? Seasons change, Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall and Fall to Winter again. Time brings changes, subtle and drastic. Lines  and wrinkles appear where there were none. People and places fade in and out of our life, but one thing is constant…change is inevitable, like it or not its the core of life itself. I think we resist because of the unknown. We are not comfortable with not knowing. Not knowing the future, not knowing what will become of our lives. We worry about  our families, we worry about our finances and our health. The first step to over coming fear of change is to realize how important it is to our own advancement. When we change we move toward the happiness we most desperately want. We go from the stillness and silence of  inertness to the positive motion of progress.

Move…Go…Push the limits.

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