I am so excited it’s Friday because it’s the weekend, but most excited to continue our conversation about Cultivating Elegance into our everyday lives. Your comments on Monday were incredible; there was so much to glean from and many of you provided much needed encouragement and inspiration. I believe my biggest challenge will be how to find the best ways to present everything I am learning. There is so much to cover.
But, it is always good to have a foundation when going through a transformation. Since I recently began this new journey, every decision…and I mean, every decision…has been guided by this principle, Pause – Ponder – Proceed. Let me show you how I got there….
Out of the mouths of babes often comes great wisdom. I have learned much from an impressive young woman, Jennifer L. Scott in her series of books about an older French woman with great impact. Jennifer spent time as a student in Paris and lived with this woman she later called Madame Chic, who changed Jennifer’s life with her demonstrations of elegance, poise, and dignity. (Links to her books are below)
In her book, Polish Your Poise, Jennifer writes that all we are aspiring for on this journey can be purposefully cultivated. She said, “Dignity, grace, style, and elegance are all learned behaviors. Anyone can cultivate these attributes.” So, I did a little word study and developed my own definitions…(it helps me understand where I am going with this)…
Dignity – Peaceful strength grounded in wisdom
Grace – unearned, empathetic acceptance; loving to all
Style – a confident understanding of me and ways I communicate it
Elegance – self- assured poise
I would like to encourage you to also ponder these words and develop your own definitions to them. What is unique to your journey for every day elegance? Of course, you are welcome to use mine!
Jennifer writes, “Poise is defined as a graceful and elegant bearing. Madame Chic’s graceful and elegant bearing certainly laid the foundation for the gracious way she lived, but it was allowing this grace and this elegance to guide every choice.”
Once I understood what I was going for…the four definitions…then I began to ask myself when making any decision, “What Would A Woman of Elegance Do?” The following has become my new decision- making procedure”
- Pause – I now wait a moment to consider what is before me. This is contrary to the woman I have been in the past….the one who forges ahead, listens to her gut , and goes with it. I often either react too quickly to something or over-react. The elegant woman brings awareness to everything and every moment. For me, this means to pause before going forward or reacting.
- Ponder – Does it require research? Does it require seeking counsel? Does it require new budgetary consideration? What are the pros and cons? Does it require a purposeful consideration of others? Does It require a time of prayer or meditation? By looking at whatever the decision is, will it enhance the outcome if I think of it differently?
- Proceed – Now that I have stopped, waited, thought it over, what direction is giving me true peace? Then, with courage, proceed that way.
I am learning that elegant women are not reactionary. They are purposeful, thoughtful, considerate, and wise.
I recently have used this process to decide how my kitchen makeover would look; to decide what to serve at a family gathering; and to decide purchases. I have used it to decide when to speak up and when to hold my tongue. Women of elegance listen first….speak later.
Pausing before speaking is always a good thing. But, as I wrote, I am a passionate person and have not always held my tongue when it should have been held. So, this is a new Pamela…an aspiring woman of elegance…who is now going to wait before charging forward. I am ceasing to be the bull in the china shop. The woman who lives the definitions of dignity, grace, style, and elegance that I have put forward still has passion but knows when to reign it in and wait for the right time and the right words. (Some of my friends just fainted upon reading that statement!) but I am committed to it.
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
It is difficult to bring this to a close, because there is so much to say, but this is where I will leave us today…our first character trait lesson for women of elegance is Pause, Ponder, Proceed.
But, here is another tidbit. Women of elegance are into details. When they pause and ponder, they are considering the small details which will improve any situation and make it special. For example, I drink a large amount of water every day. So, in an effort to make this special, I am now serving it in a lovely glass with squeezed lemon and lavender! And, I grow the lavender in a pot in the backyard! Suddenly, a drink is a special moment just for me.
Look for ways to make the mundane special. Life is too short to carry around a plastic cup all day! Êtes-vous d’accord?
(OK, I did take two years of French in college, so I know a little…very little)
Please join in the comments below with questions, advice, stories…the first two posts have been chocked- full of wisdom from this community! Thank you, ladies.
Once again, here are links to many of the books I will be quoting:
Thank you to those who have recommended other books…I placed an order this week!
ABOUT THE OUTFIT
If it looks like it was raining while we shot these pictures…you are right, it was! I will give you a fashion/style update on my new journey soon, but this outfit works for me with a tweak in my style adjectives to communicate. This is an older silk Chico’s jacket, Chico’s denim (the Girlfriend Ankle Jean in Coconut in the slideshow below), Clarke pewter ballet flats, and a necklace from a past consignment shop purchase with my James Avery silver bracelets. I am “beefing up” my basics, so I purchased (with a shopping pass discount) this Eileen Fisher black, sleeveless tank from Dillards. I needed a quality black tank with good fit, so this was a must have for my new wardrobe. More about that later.
Of course, today, I have a Fabulous Find Slideshow for you…remember that tomorrow is Would You Wear It…and, yes, next week, we are going to discuss how this new journey affects my fashion & style!
JUST A NOTE:
There are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income. Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE. Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician. My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product. I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link. Thanks for the support. This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!
Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!
My Complexion Loves Chamonix:
By Pamela Lutrell