I remember, even as a child, not caring about what I wore. Often what I did wear was really just to hide my beauty and I used clothes to make me look ugly. One time I remember choosing glasses similar to my Dad’s, which did absolutely nothing for me. As I did not care for what I wore I got all the hand-me-downs from relatives, friends and boyfriends. On reflection they did not support me at all in being me or as a woman – they were more masculine, very simple and completely random.
As a teenager I used clothes to show off. I thought it was sexy. But rather than being sexy it was actually rather cheap as my self worth and self-confidence were just beyond zero. I was using my wardrobe to hide, to keep me small, not allowing myself to shine at all, preferring big baggy clothes that hid my shape.
When I moved to Mexico in 2009 I had the opportunity to change my wardrobe twice in two and a half years – which I did – but I still chose to hide.
It wasn’t until I started to go to Universal Medicine courses in 2014 that I got a sense that it is more than ok to be and show your own beauty. It was then that I understood the importance of clothes.
At my first Universal Medicine Retreat in May 2015 I found myself inspired to wear dresses. I went shopping on my own and began to choose and wear clothes because of how they felt rather than from a picture of what they may look like on. My style changed and I pretty much threw away all the hand-me-down clothes that others had given me. I thought I’d changed my old patterns… but I hadn’t, and it’s only recently that I have come to really understand and appreciate this.
One day I happened to read Felix Kremer’s amazing blog describing how he’d had a wardrobe session with an incredible interior designer and wardrobe consultant called Jenny Hayes, and I got so inspired. It was just so lovely and simple to see how changing his wardrobe had an effect: I could feel the joy and confidence within him, knowing him personally.
I knew that this was big for me and so I made sure I did not listen to my interfering thoughts about money but instead focused on the fact that this was my next step to truly support me. To wear clothes that support me and show ME in my actual state as a woman and where I am on my path of evolution back to who I truly am.
When Jenny came I learned so much more about myself than just about my clothes. I had already recently reduced my clothes making space in half of my wardrobe for my partner’s clothes so I felt quite prepared. I didn’t think I had much left… but I soon realised otherwise.
She would ask me to choose, and in this I could not play the game of following someone else’s lead, nor could I try and please, nor could I escape. I noticed how much I was shying away from eye contact with her. What was great was that I was able to be honest and that it was possible to share everything I observed with Jenny.
It was not just about getting rid of old clothes and buying new ones. Yes indeed that’s what happens and what meets the human eye – but I could not deny the facts of what I was feeling – there were so many emotions – so many clothes and things in my house that I was emotionally hanging on to. They were not supporting me at all, and when Jenny asked ‘where is the beauty-full and sexy 33 year old woman, that you truly are?’ I had no answer – all I could see were choices of a young girl or a granny, but nowhere was there me.
Together we went through the wardrobe and made three piles of clothes – a yes, a no and a maybe. It felt challenging to choose, but I felt so supported and I could also feel the heaviness and the sadness coming up from within me. The sadness I felt was how I had dismissed myself as a woman, hiding my beauty and wanting to please others and not disturb them: behaviours to avoid any jealousy or reactions from them. What I felt through this process was the heaviness of the mass of clothes. The process supported me to feel that I don’t need all of these clothes that aren’t me.
The next day I saw so many clothes in my room. I could not believe that these fit in half of a cupboard – and I am a very ordered person and not at all a hoarder! I started to pack it up into bags and before I knew it there were 16 bags full of clothes that were not me.
Together with Jenny I made a list of what would support me moving forward to complement the yes pile. It was already quite late for shopping by this stage in the day but we still went. We rested, chatted, shopped and got everything on the list but without even trying.
Once we were home we lovingly and systematically hung everything away – there was still a sense of space in the wardrobe which felt beautiful. The next day I was looking forward to opening my wardrobe and taking the time to really choose what to wear and to put on my make up. It felt so different.
What I came to understand was the reflection of clothes: how we feel about ourselves and how much we want to show ourselves, and how much we want to hide away. Clothes can either confirm who we are, and with that, our confidence grows, or they can dismiss who we are.
I felt more present in my body, noticing the way I walked and moved in my clothes. I started to enjoy what I felt like to be in clothes that really represented me. I started to feel more confident – which for me is true sexiness, coming from within.
Now I feel really supported in my clothes and I love to look beauty-full just for me. I know that there is still so much more to discover and the whole process of discovering who I am as a woman never ends. Our clothes play a big role in this and can either support us or do exactly the opposite and hinder us in our expression of who we really are.
The whole process supported me to feel more confident in what I felt, to trust my own feelings again, and to choose accordingly – and feel the joy in that – in feeling me, in feeling strong, and in knowing and feeling the depth of my beauty, that can only come from within. I also felt the responsibility in sharing this with everyone else: what am I reflecting to others – hiding, or, shining and inspiring others to also claim their own beauty?
by Nadine Wolfsberger, Travel Agent and Sacred Esoteric Healing Practitioner, Basel, Switzerland
For further Inspiration …
For an idea of what Jenny does, watch Natalie and Rachael as they re-style Rachael’s wardrobe, and realise it was never about the clothes.
Do we dress for ourselves, or for others? Cherise’s experience.
‘You are beautiful, you all have curves… where are they?’ – giving ourselves permission to dress as beautiful as we feel.