"Once we have completely eradicated our delusions it will be utterly impossible for us to experience unpeaceful states of mind." Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Monday, December 2, 2013

From the inside to the outside, and vice versa?

Personal style is undoubtedly influenced by how you feel on the inside, but is it possible for the way you look on the outside to influence how you feel on the inside?

Four days ago, I cut my hair. It went from being reddish brown and half way down my back, to being a neutral deep dark brown pixie cut. (For the background story, click here!) Immediately after the change, I felt like I had become into my own; I felt more like my true self, if that makes sense. It's like I took a step towards aligning how I feel on the inside, with how I present myself to the world. I have often thought that for many, many women, their hair acts as a security blanket. On occasion, I was probably one of them and enjoyed being gazed upon for my long locks. When they walk into the room, the first thing people notice is their long, bright blonde, voluminous, cascading, curly…  mop, followed by a body and perhaps, if they're lucky, a brain. This may be a slight dramatization, but my point, is that instead of acting as a prop or an accessory, some women present their hair as the 'mane act' (pun intended)!

I want to share a super inspirational TEDTalk that I watched the other day. I have to admit that at first glance, I did not take this woman very seriously at all, most likely due to the fact that she has long, blonde, curly hair that reminded me of Barbie! I know what you're thinking, hell, I'm kind of thinking it too in that I kind of sound like a snob and since I cut my hair, I keep knocking on long hair! Getting to the root of this, because it's definitely true and I apologize for being offensive, but it's likely because the majority of women that I have talked to in the last four days have said that what I did took courage, and that they have always wanted to cut their hair off, but are too afraid. Well, I want you to know that there is nothing to be afraid of! You are so much more than your hair and you do not need to hide from underneath it! I hope you enjoy this and let me know what you think! (It's definitely one of my favourites! And if you haven't seen a TEDTalk before, you're in for a treat:)

Ok, moving on from hair, what about someone's general taste of style? I think that you can get a pretty decent sense of a persons values, interests and hobbies simply by noticing what they are wearing. I always seem to notice when people have a very specific sense of style, whether or not I personally can relate or enjoy it, if it is of a distinct taste, I assume that the person is very true to themselves and has a strong sense of self. Sometimes, though, people have a difficult time connecting who they are on the inside with what they are wearing. Is that because they just couldn't care less about clothes? Or is it something more than that -- perhaps that they are at a loss for knowing who they are to the core?

Some people think that the superficiality of a person is disconnected with who they are on the inside, and to be so concerned, is shallow. What do you think? I personally, disagree and would like to argue that indeed, the way you present yourself on the outside CAN affect how you feel on the inside. A quick example is using the television show, What Not To Wear. When the contestants get a hair, makeup and wardrobe makeover and the stylists help them with their style only to discover a more confident person at the end of the episode. The way they end up dressing at the end of the show, helps them change as a person on the inside. So do you think wearing glasses or a tailored blazer will make you feel more confident with your intelligence level? Or a personal favourite, wearing athletic gear will make you feel like an athlete? Personally, I can attest to the fact that when I wear yoga pants and a sports bra, I definitely feel like the athlete in me comes out so much more and I want to focus on health and eating better and stretching etc. opposed to when I wear something like a skirt and high heels. What about you?

Taking this concept from not just clothes, but to facial expressions. What about the adage that when you smile on the outside, it makes you happier on the inside? This proven fact makes me think of the expression "fake it until you make it". Some people would frown (haha) upon this, because they don't want to "fake" anything. I watched another really great TEDTalk on something called 'power posing', whereas test subjects took up a power pose for a period of two minutes, only to feel more confident as an end result. Even if you didn't feel confident going into the pose, it would be awfully nice to feel it coming out, don't you think? Something as easy as taking up space, stretching out whilst sitting down and putting your hands over your head can give you more confidence overall? Check it out to see what I mean: