What Is Sexy?

What Is Sexy?

What Is Sexy?

Western Sexy

W

hat is sexy?

By definition Merriam-Webster says:

  1. Sexually suggestive or stimulating:  EROTIC
  2. Generally attractive or interesting:  APPEALING

I think for me it is something in between EROTIC and APPEALING.  It has a lot to do with feeling confident and feeling beautiful.  All of it comes from what is inside of you.

This is not about vanity or conceit.  It is simply stepping into your power; owning who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going.

In this middle of life time, we’ve grown into the faces and bodies that we now own.  We’ve earned each and every wrinkle, age spot, scar or stretch mark.  We’ve earned each and every pound gained and shed.  Some of those have come through incredible joy but many have come by heartbreak or loss.

Our faces and bodies may not be as supple and limber as they once were but there is still incredible beauty, strength and vitality there.  We do our best to take care and nurture ourselves by eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and maintaining our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.  Most of the time, anyway.

There is something to be said about the people around you making you feel good about yourself.  Each one of us is responsible for their own esteem but having people around you who do not honour or respect you, elevate you and even challenge you be your best self does erode your confidence and self-esteem.

Make sure you choose to be with those friends and family who elevate you, and most especially if you have a partner that person should support how you feel about yourself.

An article in Huffington Post listed 7 things that make a woman sexy and I have to agree, they are a good start.

1. Confidence – The appearance of being confident by walking with your head held high, being able to make and maintain eye contact and a great smile.

2.  Ambition – Having goals and going after what you want.

3.  Passion – For your work, for people or any interests or goals that you have.  Having the desire to pursue all these things.

4.  Kindness – What could be more sexy than kindness?!!

5.  Honesty – This is getting into the more substantive qualities that make us gravitate towards certain people and avoid others.

6.  Class – This is not represented by the name of your handbag or the car that you drive, rather is the dignity and respect that you show towards everyone and everything.  Perhaps, we can say the integrity with which you lead your life.

7.  Intelligence – I think we’ve all been attracted to someone based on appearance but I think you need to be able to have a conversation or discussion that is engaging, informative and maybe even challenging.

I wrote a piece about being #sociallybrave in an earlier blog post.  In it I wrote about feeling invalidated and choosing to play small.  At that time, I barely felt attractive let alone sexy.  Well, the Universe was going to have none of this so my world was shook.  

What shook out is a new me but really is the old me, only now older and perhaps, a little wiser.  I am slowly finding myself and feeling my confidence return.  Oh my goodness, I can now take photos and feel good about myself.  The smile is real and it is coming from my heart,  and I am not looking for a partner’s validation.

Dare I say, I may be getting my groove back.   

So, I invite you to find your sexy.  Don’t do it for anyone else but for yourself.  Don’t know where to start?  Start by looking in the mirror and really seeing yourself.  Look into your eyes and connect with that part inside of you that is your essence, the true you.  Bring that woman out and let her shine.  Do this every day and you’ll see, you are going to shine.

Think about it, what makes you feel sexy?

Send me a note, leave me a comment.

Christina xo

 

I think the quality of sexiness comes from within.                    It is something that is in you or it isn’t and it really doesn’t have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips.

Sophia Loren
It Took a Pandemic To Make Us Slow Down

It Took a Pandemic To Make Us Slow Down

It Took a Pandemic To Make Us Slow Down

H
ere I am almost ten weeks into this new way of living.

Living socially-distant, isolated in our home, leaving only to get groceries and one urgent visit to the vet.  There has been no need to dress up, so comfortable, casual clothes are now the mandated fashion and referred to as #WFH (Work From Home) attire.  Makeup has been limited to my daily SPF, mascara and maybe a bit of gloss.

Admittedly, those trips out have been a fine reason to exercise my fashion cravings and so yes, I put on my button-up pants and applied my makeup.

Meals have been cooked at home and we have used up all foods purchased and the staples that I stock my pantry with.  My teenager has even expanded her cooking repertoire of fried eggs and Mac & Cheese, growing more confident with each successful meal.  Without outside help, we’ve shared household chores, inside and around the home.  We’ve completed many projects that have been on the never ending to-do list.

We’ve played games, we’ve watched countless movies and other TV, we’ve lounged outside reading, listening to music or just talking and we’ve gone for walks.  Social contact has been limited to phone calls, FaceTime or the newly-discovered, ZOOM.  Most recently, we’ve been able to have in person visits sitting the requisite 6 feet apart.

Overall, perhaps because I am an introvert by nature and being in this middle of life chapter, I have not minded this situation.  I have cherished the time spent with my daughter.  I have noticed a sense of peace and relaxation around us that is normally lacking as I am always rushing to complete tasks or get somewhere, not a minute to be wasted.  Jam-packed schedules made my days full and long so not having to rush anywhere has been incredibly peaceful and stress-free.

However, I have missed some things.  There have been instances where I have missed, even longed, for the companionship of certain loved ones.  I have missed dinners out and I have missed the freedom and convenience associated with being able to shop at leisure.

I read a great article in The Atlantic, “The Virus Is a Reminder of Something Lost Long Ago” by Alan Lightman.  He writes about how perhaps, we have been “living too fast”, where our values include “speed, efficiency, more money, hyper-connectivity, progress”.  Judging by my own lifestyle and those closest to me, I agree.  Smartphones are everywhere and are constantly in use; in restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, even in church people are rarely not checking their phones.  Schedules are full and the more we cram into a day, the better.

What has resulted is, a society of disinterested, unengaged, over-scheduled and stressed out people who are constantly seeking more.  That more is supposed to satisfy or fill some void that will ultimately make us more happy, content or satisfied.

Lightman writes about how times of adversity often lead to innovation.  Responding to a need, innovators will always find a way to do things better or to find solutions to resulting problems.  We have seen this as we have seen teaching and meetings go on-line, appointments with doctors on-line, groceries ordered on-line and then available for curbside pickup or delivery, and what about the international co-operative efforts of the scientific community to find a vaccine for this virus.

People are working from home so there has been an increased need for internet but there has been a resulting significant decrease in road traffic and travel has been sidelined so the positive environmental impacts have been an environmentalist’s dream.

What most resonated with me in this article is Lightman’s discussion of how this pandemic has allowed for “innovation in habits of mind”.  The meaning of this being that this time has made us slow down.  It has given us opportunity to spend time in personal reflection, to consider that maybe we have been going too fast and that our priorities were all wrong.  Maybe, having time to be quiet in stillness and in privacy, doing less and having less, will bring us to those elusive feelings of peace and joy?

I can’t say that I have this all figured out but I do recognize what makes me most happy.  I was already on the path to change but the pandemic has more clearly brought that to light.  The challenge will be how to take what we have learned about ourselves and how we can live in a way that is simpler.

Have you thought about that?  What has the pandemic show you?  How can you bring the good personal effects of this time into life post Covid-19?

Christina xo

“As you get older, the cliches of life ring true.
It’s the simple things that matter most: your family, the people you love, your health and sanity.”

Ronan Keating

The Girl Code at Mid-Life

The Girl Code at Mid-Life

The Girl Code at Mid-Life

re you familiar with the Girl Code?  

Those unspoken yet clearly understood by all women of all ages rules that women consider a code of conduct.  

There are various rules that stay consistent throughout the life of a woman but decidedly, at this stage we are past some of the rules that may be applicable to our younger sisters (or we should be).  i.e. must hold your friend’s hair if she is vomiting in the toilet.

I remember being at a conference once and looking across the room only to see a woman coming from the direction of the washroom and seeing that the back part of her dress was tucked inside of her pantyhose, exposing her whole backside!!  Without even thinking, I hightailed it across the room, grabbed her by the arm while I tried to shield her exposed side and urgently whispered to her that she was exposed.  The horror on her face followed by the immense relief is something I will never forget.

Or the times when I have been on the receiving end where a lovely woman has told me that I have lipstick on my teeth or doggie drool on my backside.  How grateful I have been.

I guess at this stage of life we’d probably refer to it as The Middle of Life Women’s Code.  Here goes some of my list:

  1. Every woman shall support and uplift the other so that she can be her best and achieve all her dreams and aspirations.
  2. No woman shall date her friends’ exes:  this includes husband/partner, boyfriends, crushes.  If said friend gives you permission then, it is perfectly acceptable.
  3. No woman shall become involved in a relationship with a married man and especially married with children.
  4. No woman shall disrespect another’s man unless she is agreeing with her friend that he is a jerk.  Exception:  if your friend got cheated on or dumped, then it is perfectly acceptable to trash the jerk.
  5. It is not advisable to hang out with another woman’s man if that woman is not present.
  6. No woman shall knowingly wear the same outfit, perfume or lipstick colour as her friend unless her friend has given her expressed permission.
  7. It is a woman’s duty to notice and comment on her friend’s new haircut or colour, new outfit, jewellery or weight loss.
  8. It is highly encouraged that a woman let another know when she has lipstick on her teeth, clothes tag hanging, or some other aesthetic foible.
  9. When a woman is privy to private, personal information it is her absolute duty to keep this confidence, even if she has to lie to keep this secret.
  10. Never insult a friend but also do not let her leave the house looking foolish or inappropriate.  Tell her kindly that perhaps, another outfit might look better.
  11. Friends are supposed to protect and look out for each other so if you have information that your friend should know, tell her.  This includes everything from the latest and best in menopause treatments to finding out her partner is cheating.
  12. If a woman is overwhelmed caring for elderly parents or sick family, take some time to visit with her, bring her dinner or take her away for the weekend.
  13. When your friend is facing the Empty Nest, make sure you make extra effort to get her out and busy so that she knows she’s not alone or grab a tub of ice-cream, chocolates or wine and go watch some Netflix with her to cheer her up.
  14. Support your friend’s dating life but do let her know if you think she’s being mistreated.  Also be there if she goes through a breakup.  Refer to 12 and 13.
  15. If a woman has a problem with her friend, she will kindly and respectfully discuss the issue with her friend and not bash her to all her friends.
  16. It is advisable that if a mid-life woman starts dating, she stick with people who are half her age plus 10.  eg. 54/2=27+10=37.  This way she is not in the same dating pool as her children.

So, there it is, a basic women’s code of conduct.  The point is that to have good female relationships, we must support and uplift each other.  The more we do this, the more we all thrive. That’s what I think good friends do for each other.

I’m sure that I’ve missed some important ones so feel free to comment or send me a note.

Christina xo

 

“Every friend represents a world in us, a world possibly

not born until they arive, and it is only

by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Anais Nin
I’m Going to Marie Kondo My Life

I’m Going to Marie Kondo My Life

I’m Going to Marie Kondo My Life

I literally feel like I’m ending a chapter.  No, I’d rather close the book, not the chapter, on this first half of my life.  It’s been a good book with lots of highs and lows, twists and turns, love and heartbreak but it does need a sequel. 

Mostly, this first book was about a woman for whom family was the most important thing and how she built her life around that.  The ending wasn’t a satisfactory ending but she is strong, capable and resilient so the next book will be really interesting.  Read one of my previous stories, “A Change Is Gonna Do Me Good”.

However, before this new life can completely begin, a bit of housekeeping needs to happen.  I need to get rid of all of the things that are weighing me down.  Things that I’ve outgrown, things that bring me down, and things that don’t bring me joy.  I want space.  

I want space to evolve, to create and to allow new experiences and opportunities. I don’t want to feel the weight of the past any longer.  The past that was, that could have been, that should have been.

Let’s call it the Marie Kondo approach to life.

This is going to take work.  I am going to make this my year long project.  I am going to go through all aspects of my life, my home and myself.  It is going to be a part of my healing and my rebuilding.  

I hope that once I’ve made room, then I can be more clear in allowing the new.  I can be more thoughtful about what is important, what brings me joy, what brings purpose, what inspires, what brings me peace.  More than ever, I want to live with intention and so what remains and what comes in, must have meaning and purpose.  It must bring me JOY.

MY HOME

I am going to look at and through my home.  Room by room, closet by closet I am going to sift through everything:  clothes, linens, art, furnishings, keepsakes.  I am going to think about how these possessions make me feel.  Do they bring me joy or do they weigh me down with feelings of sadness, regret, broken promises?  All the projects that I thought I’d get to maybe it’s time to just let them go because either, they no longer have purpose, or my time will be better spent elsewhere.

MY MONEY

I am going to reevaluate my finances.  What am I spending money on?  What do I need to spend money on?  Are my savings adequate? Are my investments meeting my new goals?  Is my will up to date?

MY EATING AND EXERCISE

What about myself?  My health?  I must say that over the past year my body has been put through the ringer.  Stress and anxiety have been my constant companions, and even with efforts to manage, they have exacted a toll on my body.  Unlike some, I lose weight when under stress as I have no appetite.  

Exercise too has been spotty at best and even though I am not an athletic person, I have always exercised to maintain strength and flexibility. My intention going forward is to re-evaluate and refocus to develop better practices and habits to get to my best health.

MY MENTAL HEALTH

Further work on my self will also include some metal and emotional healing.  Grief and trauma are not easy to work through and can affect for a long time.  I will continue with my meditation and mindfulness, journalling, reading and even therapy, as necessary.  

In examining all of this, I will think about where my energy is being directed and which relationships are serving me at this point in my life and which ones I might need to take a break from.  I will also remind myself that it is okay to just say “no”, if something or someone does not bring me joy and make me feel good about myself.

The good think about clearing out the old is that it also releases that bad or stagnant energy that may have been holding you back and allows a new, positive energy in that better serves you at this time of your life.

What about you?  How do you feel about this?  Are you ready to do a middle-of-life clear out?

I want to hear from you. Send me a note, leave me a comment.

Christina xo

 

“The space in which we live should be for the person

we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”

Marie Kondo
Me:  Becoming #sociallybrave

Me: Becoming #sociallybrave

Me: Becoming #sociallybrave

here is a woman on Instagram whom I follow:  Wendy Knipp  (@wendyknipp) whose goal was/is to become socially brave.  I say “was” because as I follow her, I think she’s quite fearless.  When I first started on IG and connected with her, she encouraged me to share a #sociallybrave story.  

I really resisted because I was going through something big in my life that not only affected me but affected my daughter, so I wanted to be thoughtful about what information I wanted to share with the world.

I still feel that way but have found some sort of balance between privacy and sharing.  My desire or goal with sharing is to offer support or encouragement to other women who are transitioning to a new chapter in their lives.  I think we do that for each other when we share.

As I have been thinking about what being #sociallybrave means to me, I have come to realize that it is much more than just putting myself out there on SM.  That, in itself is huge to me as I have always been a very private, fly-under-the-radar kinda girl.  I have never sought attention nor felt that I needed it.  Becoming active on IG was just an offshoot after I started writing, and I must say that initially I was really not comfortable.

You see, for the past 20 years or so, I came to really dislike my photo being taken because I felt I never looked good.  The look on my face most of the time was dull, no spark in my eyes and maybe a half-smile.  Even the photos of mile-stone moments lacked, what I now recognize, as JOY.  I was sleep-walking through my life and it showed.  

Maybe, to avoid facing the truth I avoided being in photos.

I remember a long time ago a dear friend of mine counselling me as  I started this new relationship, “don’t make yourself less just to make others feel comfortable when they are with you”.  

I’m afraid that I did not heed that advice.  Instead, I put myself into this box where I knew what my limits were (I didn’t want to upset or make them feel inadequate) and still I was constantly reminded that I was “too” this or “too” that.  I came to believe that my desires and expectations of a life that was based on goodness, integrity, growth, accomplishment were too much.  

Instead, I should be satisfied with mediocrity and a life that was static.  Intrinsically, this is not me.  Curiosity, learning, growth always were a big part of who I was.  This was part of me personally and professionally.  It was what gave me vitality, confidence, purpose.

I then became solitary, introverted.  I lost my footing.  Socially, I became withdrawn and unsure.  Old friendships were shelved and new friendships didn’t really happen.  

Not sure exactly when I felt an inkling for change.  Maybe about three years ago.  It started with just wanting to connect on some level.  Offering a smile or eye contact with a stranger, getting to know the people who I saw on a regular basis, talking to strangers, reaching out to people socially.  This was the beginning of my shift to being #sociallybrave.  A little more confident.

I’m still figuring it out.  Last year brought me to my knees and forced me to reach out for a lifeline, if nothing else.  I was surprised and touched by the kindness and generosity of spirit of so many.  Without reservation, without any expectation people connected and supported me.  I will forever keep that in my heart.

And then there was this IG community of middle-of life women that I discovered.  So many generous, kind, creative, supportive women.  I think everyone has something going on in their lives, maybe something they are struggling with. No one’s world is perfect but by sharing a bit of yourself, being somewhat vulnerable, but mostly being willing to uplift and empower, we connect as women, as friends.  

I don’t think what I’ve described is unique to myself, I feel that there are a lot of us out here who have lost parts of ourselves as we have worked to take care of others.

So @wendyknipp, I have become #sociallybrave.  I am reaching out and connecting with like-minded women.  I’m making friends and it fills my heart.  It’s healing.  It’s leading me back to myself.  Thanks for inspiring!

Maybe I can get #sociallybrave enough to do an IG story and actually put myself in a video.  

What about you?  Are you being your authentic true self?  Are you happy with you?  Are you connecting with people?  Do you have a tribe?  

Tell me your story.  Share a comment or shoot me an email or DM.

Christina xo

 

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

Brene Brown

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

New Year’s Eve 2019.  Both photos.

I was okay with nowhere to go. For the first time, I was perfectly fine at home by myself. No plans. No company. Just me, the dogs, really good champagne and my future all in front of me.

Instead I sat with the knowledge and satisfaction that I survived 2019, a little worse for wear but strong in that I still have my integrity, my faith, my belief that goodness and kindness triumph, my belief that the future is abundant in every way possible. And, I have my beautiful girl; beauty, brains and brawn. I could not love one more nor be more proud of who this girl is and will be.

2019 absolutely kicked by butt. My life as I knew it, changed just like that. What I knew to be true, was no longer. My heart broken, my faith shattered, my hopes and dreams crushed. Loss, in all forms, affects you to the core. Your physical, mental and emotional health suffer. I could not eat. I could not sleep. My heart just kept racing and then it just plain hurt. The professionals talked about shock, trauma, grief and anxiety. They helped but I knew that it was going to be time, and whatever it was deep within me and my faith that were going to get me through this.

I started writing in my journal. A lot. It helped. A bit.

I didn’t leave my house for about a month except to drive to and from school. I don’t remember even buying groceries. I guess I must have.

My girlfriends blanketed me with love, compassion, advice and humour. They listened. They dried my tears. They held me up. They stood me up. They did what girlfriends do for each other.

Slowly, I started to venture out. To the market, school sport games, dentist, hair, dog park. The days, for the most part were manageable but the nights were so long.

I spent a lot of time writing and somehow, I discovered blogging. Women were always talking to me about what I was wearing or how I was redecorating or other lifestyle things. I learned about how to set up a blog site but before I got too far, my dear friend Patricia told me she designed websites. She asked me a few questions and away she went and designed this beautiful site for me. She’s the ultimate girlfriend.

As all of this was coming together, I also discovered Instagram. Previously, I had only used it to keep a SM eye on my daughter but as I spent more time looking into the people and things that interested me, I found a community.

I found women who were in middle of life. They each had passions that they were happily, proudly sharing with other like-minded women. What I really liked was that people were kind and encouraging. Some posted photos of themselves or their families or their homes or where they traveled. Some were empty-nesters, others were just about to be, others had family at home. Some didn’t talk about family, rather just their passions: cooking, fitness, health, decor, fashion. Women from all over the world. These were my people.

Unknowingly, this community helped me get through each and every day by comforting me, inspiring me and motivating me, bit by bit. Creativity has always been my salve so starting a blog and learning the ins and outs of a website, carried me through the year as did starting an IG feed. New friendships. A blessing from 2019.

Next week, I’ll talk about how I became #sociallybrave.

Send me a note, leave me a comment.

Christina xo

“Your best friend is he who brings out the best that is within you.”

Henry Ford