Talking to Strangers

Repost from an old blog: 2013

So, it’s hot out. I mean melt the candles, burn the soles of your feet, let’s go to the State Fair hot.

We decided to go to the mall instead, you know the one–the big one, the Mall of America. Dang right, ‘Merica’s Mall!

 

I loathe it. Okay, I don’t loathe it, what I mean to say is, I hate it. Wait, what I really mean to say is, it’s like going to the State Fair but without all the cool smells and sites. Just the crowd. And they’re not even as interesting…for instance, no one is stumbling drunk and or wearing overalls. Not one person. And there are no cows or pigs, and certainly no Miracle of Birth barn…I digress.

 

But something happened today, which made me very happy we went to the mall. I talked to a stranger. And not any stranger, a young woman/girl stranger. Okay, a teen stranger.

 

Let me explain:

After doing what we came to do, spending large quantities of dollars (for prescription spectacles) we went to lunch, and let the 14 year old choose where to go. Buffalo Wild Wings was his selection. We sat at a high top, and after a little bit, a few tables over a large group of teens came in…maybe 12 of them.

 

One girl did not look like the rest–all the rest were kind of sporty/jockish/every kid. Nothing against that AT ALL–I own one of those (except he’s exceptional)–anyway, she sort of got frozen out. All the girls were filing in on one side and all the guys were on the other. As she went to sit down, a boy broke rank and sat next to a very pretty girl on the girl’s side, the other girl (the one different from all the rest) looked a bit lost, just for a moment, then she took a seat at the end of that row.

(BTW–none of these girls was the girl–rather, the idea of the girl)

Now, here’s the important part–she was so different from the rest of the kids.

Her hair was blue green, cut in a cool way in the front, kind of choppy layers, and she tucked the rest of it in a black beret (!) she wore a black and grey striped long sleeved shirt–I wish I had a picture! I had to keep looking at her…because she was the most interesting person in the joint.

 

Besides me, that is. Just Kidding, she was way more interesting.

 

Another girl had finally sat across from her and they were chatting…but she still seemed outside “the group” and I wanted her to know how cool she looked to me.

 

Now, listen, I understand that when a woman (of a certain age) tells a girl she looks cool, or she likes her shirt etc. that’s like the kiss of horribleness and the offending item/style will probably never be worn again. So as we were getting ready to leave, I said to my husband and youngest, “Hey, wait, I have to tell this girl over there something.”

 

My 14 y..o said, “No. Mom, you don’t want to do that.”

And, I thought, oh, he’s probably right, she might get all embarrassed. But then I thought, young women are different from young men–girls should hear encouraging words from their *cough* *choke* *gasp* elders.

 

I stood in the aisle, hesitating, then I thought what the hell, and made my move. I walked over to her long table, walked to her open side and said:

“Maybe you’ll hate hearing this from me, but you have more style than anyone in here.”

She smiled and said, “Really?” and I said, “Absolutely.” and she said, “Thank you!”

 

And I walked away. I could feel eyes on the back of me–the rest of the table asking her questions: who was that? What did she say? I smiled.

 

I am so happy I decided to talk to a stranger. Maybe she’ll forget about it tomorrow, maybe she thought I was some crazy older woman, but maybe, maybe it made a tiny difference in her day.

 

I hope so.

 

So I’m challenging everyone to say something nice to someone you don’t know (it has to be sincere) things you think, but don’t say–try it, say it–talk nice(ly) to a stranger!

Some Questions to Ask Yourself

I have a plethora of written material spread over numerous notebooks (paper and digital). Most of it should not be shared, but I’ve decided that if I see something that might help someone else take a step forward (and at the same time, to remind myself to take that same step) that I’ll share it.

The following was from an online free course by Emma — probably 7 years ago…and by 7, I mean, I have no idea when all this happened, I just know it wasn’t in the last 4 years. Emma wanted us to consider our “ingredients” that might make up our personal brand.

The questions are hers, the answers are mine 🙂 and the funny thing is they still hold true (for the most part) today. I hope you take the time to answer these and think about your own “ingredients” and how you show up for life.

 

Your ingredients as a young child:

I loved playing pretend, also coming up with elaborate story-lines for play. I was an excellent listener and loved to read and write–never wanted anyone to feel bad

As a teen/young adult:

I was totally interested in the “why”* people did what they did, thought I was going to be a child psychologist. Also this is when we lived at Harmony** so my world was opened up to psychic phenomenon, spiritual awakening, positive thinking, etc. was sure I was a true gypsy***. Loved to act and dance! Loved the spotlight and applause 

In your working career:

Talented diffuser of bad situations, awesome customer service–internal and external. Got to know customers–a connector 

Your purpose: what is your purpose:

I really think it’s helping women feel better about themselves and teaching them an easier way to walk through life. Being the entrepreneur of your own life

Why do you do what you do:

I love women and want them to love themselves, I love to write and teach and to make people laugh

Why do you get out of bed in the morning:

Because it’s a new day! With all sorts of possibilities

Why should anyone care:

Because life will be better and more fun and more fulfilling if they do

Notes:

*I verbalized this “why”-ness until a high school friend snapped at me about always asking questions to them and others, after that, I kept it to myself. Which would explain why I liked this exercise 🙂

close up of woman working

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

**Harmony Hills was a Center for Parapsychology…yup, I lived there with my mom for two years–I’ll write about this more.

*** I used the word “gypsy” because that is the word my grandfather used to describe himself, his family–he came to the U.S. from Yugoslavia as a 12 y.o. with his father.

Supporting oil: Inner Child

This oil can help you connect to your true/authentic self

Orange, Tangerine, Ylang ylang, Royal Hawaiian sandalwood, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Spruce, Bitter orange, and Neroli essential oils

Fashion Smashion–Does This Make Me Feel Happy?

Look, I love to flip through an In-Style or Vogue once in awhile–and I love to see what everyone’s wearing on the red carpet, but I am not a slave to fashion.

I am a happiness warrior. For others as well as for myself–you will be happy, dammit!

Which also means, I like to wear my happiness on my sleeve, shall we say. We shall! And by sleeve I mean all my clothing appendages. I try to always wear things that bring me joy, why wouldn’t I? I mean we all can use as much help as we can get–so let your clothes help you a little, wear the hot pink jacket, put on the floppy hat, the metallic belt, the punk rock boots, do it–maybe even all at once!

I never believed the adage “clothes make the woman,” but now I wonder if maybe clothes help make the woman happier.

Sometimes I help folks with their closets, there are times I might say, “Nope, that has to go.” but there are more times that I ask, “Do you feel good wearing it?” And if the answer is, “Yes.” well then they keep it. Simple as that.

We get so hung-up on “but it was a gift,” or “it will fit me as soon as I lose the weight,” but those aren’t the answers to the question:

Do you feel good wearing it NOW. You know the answer, you do.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to pick out an article of clothing (or a whole darn outfit) that makes you feel good. And then wear it!

Supporting oil: Joy

How to reStart Doing the Thing(s) You Stopped Doing. Unstick That Stuck.

ring a bell to clear the air

Ring a bell to clear the air, redirect your thoughts and give an angel their wings!

I wondered about my inability to write a blog post…okay, inability is wrong, I’ll do anything but write–paint the bathroom, rearrange my office (although, this might have actually helped me*), vacuum, wash the kitchen floor–my resistance to writing a blog post.

Why was I actively avoiding it? I’ve read The War of Art, I’ve listened to Melissa Dinwiddie’s Podcasts, I’m the daughter of Joan Kennedy for goodness sake! What the ever loving heck?

I wrote in my One Good Cup notebook:

What if I unstick myself in this situation and write about it…maybe I can help someone else in a similar situation.

Clearly much has been written about this before, I am not a pioneer, but I am a pilgrim and a lover of acronyms, sometimes, when they work. And when they seem the only way out of my stuckness! A while ago I made an acronym for S.T.U.C.K. and F.R.E.E.D. I haven’t shared it yet because I’m still playing with it, but my pen wanted to play so I let it!

Scared: This is the main thing, right? Call it scared or resistant–ego gets in the way.

Tired: I wasn’t feeling the zest for the project.

Unmotivated: So, why bother, why make an effort?

Cautious: Don’t want to make the wrong move…should I do this? Or that?

Knowledge (lack of): Who am I to be writing this? Creating this?

(Kind of silly…but it got me excited and motivated to figure out F.R.E.E.D. Plus it was fun–and fun kept me going.)

Feeling: How do I want to feel? I will do the things to support that!

Ring: a bell*. I am not kidding! I rang a bell (repeatedly), plus an angel got their wings!

Eyes: No one sees the world the exact same way I do.

Essential Oils: Of course! Oils can raise my frequency, help me focus & motivate.

Desire: Go back to desire–back to what I love. I have to fall back in love with my project, remember why I started it and what I wanted to accomplish.

*I painted this bell and blinged it out, it stands before me on the window ledge in front of my desk to remind me to keep going!

I’ll be working on this for awhile, you don’t just make up an acronym and change your life (or habits) around! But I know action–movement in the right direction helps, things start to loosen up, an outer shell starts to break away. Just a little bit.

I hope you all are moving forward in whatever your dreams are! Tell me how you stay the course.

 

 

Dress Your Super Power

Say whaaaaat?

Dress your super power, maybe it’s a side of your personality that is dying to get out, maybe it’s a feeling you get when you see someone emulating what you wish you were. Maybe it’s just being able to dress a part, like Halloween but for real life.

#innergoddess

#innerbikerchick

#innerCEO

#innerwitch

#innermermaid

#innerwonderwoman

#innerhippie

#innerbadass

#innersteampunkadventurerprofessor…errr, maybe that one’s just mine

#innerinventor

#innergeek

#innerfairy

The list, of course, is never ending, and isn’t that marvelous–you get to make your own list.

#innerwriterlivinginparis

letting my super powers out

#innergypsycowgirl

See?

If the Law of Attraction has any bearing in your life, you know you have to first feel the way you want your reality to be before that reality is created. So why not dress the part?

Maybe you’re thinking, “uhhh, Amy, how does dressing like a mermaid create my reality?”

Good question. Maybe you want to live a more creative life: write that book, paint that picture, express yourself more openly. Creativity, expression those are your super powers and they come from the second chakra.

SHE’S WRITING ABOUT CHAAAAAKRAS!!!!????

And the second chakra’s element is water…so dressing like a mermaid would in fact align you with water and support your second chakra which allows for our true expression with integrity. Plus, P L U S, there’s a supporting oil for this! Actually, more than one: Patchouli, Jasmine, Yling Yling, Peace and Calming, and Harmony to name a few. These could be diffused, inhaled directly or placed on location (lower abdomen) with intention.

Of course, you don’t need to dive that deep! Maybe you wish you could live your life with more ease, more flow–well what’s more flow-y than a mermaid?

Have fun with this! I might start Instagramming my #innerWHATEVER…

What’s your inner super power and how could you dress like it?

 

3 Ways to Dress Your Best (most fun and favoritest) Self

Have you ever looked at old pictures and wondered what the hell you were thinking wearing those pastel striped pants? Or, is that only me?

Yes I have a picture of myself in pastel striped pants, no, I will not post it here! I dubbed them my “clown pants” because, well, they made me look like I escaped from a circus.

Was that really the way I wanted to look, or was it easy and maybe comfy and no thought had to be involved? Yeah, I’m thinking all three of those.

Now, think about a picture or a time when you were wearing something that made you feel fabulous–something that garnered compliments from others, something that made you feel like your favorite self, your true self.

Don’t you wish you could have that feeling more often? Of having your inside self be your outside self, or maybe having your outside self help your inside self get where she wants to be?

Look, I know looks aren’t everything, neither are clothes or shoes or jewelry. But they sure the heck can make me feel good!

I have recently come to the conclusion that the reason I adore Halloween is it allows me to dress like parts of my inner self.

  • Sometimes I’m all connected with the power of magic and I like to dress as the personification of that by donning a pointy hat and wearing black and holstering a magic wand.
  • Sometimes my magic comes through in a different way, with bright colors and scarves and lots of jewelry.
  • And other times I like to be the adventurer, the seeker of knowledge, so I dress in vests and goggles, with plenty of gadgets at my waist…you get the idea.

All these “costumes” are really my fun inside me shining through to my outside.

In extreme.

But, once I figured out why I liked to dress up for Halloween I figured out how I could always have fun while dressing as the “me” I was on any given day. And in case you missed it, the operative word is FUN.

FIRST: 

LOVE your clothes. I am not even kidding, why wear meh when you could wear YES!? This is a tough one–people gift us with things we feel obligated to wear, right? All the time! And if it’s our child, we feel even more obligated, ouch.

So here are some scripts I am gifting to you:

Thank you! (yup, that’s it. If you rarely see them, just say thank you and then return it, if you do see them all the time, explain you had to exchange it, as it was too small, there was a small hole, it didn’t look right on you, and leave it at that)

Okay, I only had one script for you–Thank you. It’s really the best though, unless your husband gives you a brown fleece zip up jacket, then you say, “Really? Fleece? I will never ever wear fleece.” But that’s not the greatest script.

SECOND:

Do not own too many clothes. Once again, I am not even kidding. You dilute your wardrobe with too much detritus. I always need to relearn this one, I love going through my clothes at the change of seasons–I actually see what I have, I decide if I still L.O.V.E. each thing and if anything needs attention.

Have you ever shopped in a store where you could barely move the clothes on the rack to see the next item? Well that’s what happens in your closet–too many clothes EQUALS “I have nothing to wear.”

THIRD:

Have fun. F U N. Add things that make you smile. That give you joy. I have an off white scarf with pink skulls on it.

I adore that scarf–and I love to wear it with pearls, that’s part of my fun with clothes, a sense of irony. I add two or three pins to my jacket du jour–a cameo and a name crest and an old school girl scout pin (they don’t have to match, but there could be one thing about them that ties them together).

I usually try to keep FUN to accessories, but sometimes it crosses over to actual clothing–the only thing to be careful of with FUN articles of clothing is they might not actually GO with anything. I have an awesome gauzy shirt.

But I can wear this with jeans, black dress pants, I also wear different shells under it, black, orange, green–that changes the look of it.

That’s it. For now. Next time I touch on style I’ll dive more into the “themed” dressing, aka a Halloween closet.

What’s your biggest wardrobe style challenge?

I am not an expert at: SEWING!

Welcome to the first in a new series of I AM NOT AN EXPERT AT…I’m excited to share this, because, well, I am not at expert at most things (am I an expert on anything? Laughter, probably. Making people feel good, sometimes…) yet I want to do so many things! Play the guitar, sew a dress, create rad jewelry, re-purpose awesome found things.

Do I know how to do any of these things? Soooooort-of? Kiiiiind of? Not really. But that hasn’t lessened my passion for them, just my actually trying to do them :).

So, today, I am saying eff-it, I am going to try this! Here’s something you need to know about me: I love paint and fabric. But I hate to use the paint or do anything with the fabric, because what if it doesn’t work out–I’ve just wasted the paint and/or the fabric (as if having both sit unused isn’t a waste in itself!). I also save things for a “just in case” scenario…THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Okay! Today’s post is on sewing–sure I took Home-ec, back when Home Economics still existed, too bad it didn’t actually teach you economics, instead, we learned how to sew a peasant shirt (it was the 70s), how to bake an apple pie, and… oh yeah, how to give yourself a manicure. I am not even kidding.

I’ve wanted to make an apron (again, I am not even kidding) to wear around the house–my accomplishment apron–with large pockets, and not so cute that I’d hate getting it dirty or full of paint (because I am not an expert at that either and tend to get it all over–another post though).

I have an old curtain that I’ve been saving (I don’t know why!) and I found a scrap cut from a tablecloth (mine is an adventurous life). I was going to make a skirt for the hallway bench, but as I looked at the curtain, I realized if I cut it in half it would be the perfect size for an apron…hmmm. And then three weeks went by. But this week, my vacation, I thought, “Gol darn it! I am doing this–just do it! AAARGH!”

Here I am JUST DOING IT! Cutting without measuring, Figuring out a seam without measuring. Anarchy! And I love it!

I am not measuring anythingcutting my curtain in half

Once I started, it was so easy to keep going. I had a raw edge, and I was going to add bias tape, but it seemed like a lot of work so I re-cut the raw edge with Pinking Shears–that makes me sound like I know what I’m doing, but believe me, the only reason I have Pinking Shears is because they make a pretty design.

here's the scrap material on the apronI had to get the bias tape through the seam...knitting needle

Above, I decided to use the bias tape as the tie, but had to figure out how to get it through the slim opening. first I tried the safety pin method, you know how you pin it to the end of the tie and then feed it through…centimeter, by centimeter. Yeah. Did not work well at all. I finally decided on a knitting needle (something else I’m not an expert at), I shoved the tip through the end of the tape and then slid it through the opening. Ha! Take that!

Anyway, the whole point of this is don’t wait to be at expert at something before you try it–because you will never have the expertise you want in order to do the things you want to try. So, make mistakes, have fun, and do the things!

me in my accomplishment apronYay! I made that! Then I started painting stuff…but that’s another post!

What have you tried outside your comfort and expertise zone?