Cultivating Everyday Elegance: How to grow in kindness and grace
Thank you, ladies, for all of your emails and kind comments encouraging my journey toward becoming a woman of elegance. Today, is Step 2 in our journey Cultivating Everyday Elegance with the importance of being kind and full of grace. Last week we officially started with learning to pause, ponder and then proceed when making decisions. The idea is that a woman of elegance is purposeful in all she does and not rushing from one decision to the next. Overall, we are learning poise.
“Poise is something to practice on a daily basis. Poise as a way of life is an artform. Just as an artist strives to perfect her art throughout her life, we will work on our poise.”
– Jennifer L. Scott in Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic.
I believe kindness, grace and friendliness are natural by products of poise and elegance. When we slow down, exude confidence, experience more joy, and move forward with purpose, it is very natural to take time for others and reach out to those around us. A couple of readers mentioned women they thought to be elegant, because of their exquisite style and how they carried themselves. But, then they said they were not kind at heart. I am here to make the assertion that true elegance comes from the inside, as well as seen on the outside. I do not believe you can call yourself elegant without a kind heart.
How is it practiced? Everyday elegance is seen through smiles; speaking to others around you no matter where you are; reaching out to help when needed; taking time to send a meal to someone in the neighborhood just out of the hospital; writing a handwritten note of encouragement; sending a card for no occasion other than to say thinking of you; encouraging people you know and don’t know. Remember my personal definition of grace?
Grace – unearned, empathetic acceptance; loving to all
This means that a woman of elegance practices forgiveness, empathy and understanding on a daily basis. Perhaps there is someone who needs your forgiveness today in order to move forward or one person you need to reach out to because you just cannot get them out of your mind. In her book, Living Forever Chic, Tish Jett has a checklist for dealing with unpleasant people or circumstances. Number 4 on the list reads:
“Speak clearly, explain respectfully, and listen. It’s not always necessary to be right. Sometimes being gracious is far more effective.”
Oh, how I wish I had learned these lessons earlier in life…thank goodness there is still time to practice social graces. As I have experienced a surge in confidence and joy since my reinvention at age 50, kindness has become a huge part of who I am. Now, that I am purposefully slowing down, I hope to cultivate this even more into in my life each day.
I agree with Tish when she writes, “Elegance is not self -importance, snobbery, vulgarity, or arrogance.”
IMPROVING HOSPITALITY DETAILS
In my very busy life the last few years, I have become lazy with hospitality (not all of the time, but too much of the time). My new life plan includes refining hospitality and doing everything with proper details to bless others. When we were invited by three other families to attend a “fun-time” at the lake last weekend, my old thoughts would have been to just pick-something-up to take. But, I paused, pondered, and proceeded with a plan to take dishes to our big Saturday meal that would please the crowd and honor the occasion. The occasion was a summertime fellowship with friends getting back together after being quarantined for months. So, I wanted something that said summer! What popped into my mind first was a lemon pound cake. My old recipe was made with lemon extract, but I wanted this cake to be fresher than that. After some online research, I selected the Lemon Pound Cake on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and so glad that I did…this cake is fabulous and not a crumb remained on the plate. The fresh lemon juice and zest added to the icing and cake make it refreshingly good!
I also took my own recipe for Spinach/Strawberry Salad. You just load up a salad bowl with fresh spinach, cut strawberries, chopped (roasted) walnuts, and feta cheese. Toss with a Fat Free Poppyseed Dressing. Where ever I take it, this salad is always a crowd pleaser. My friend Karen is another Texas woman of elegance and when we arrived to visit her lakehouse, she had this spread of snacks ready for us. We have three dear friends who own lake houses near to one another on the same lake…so it was fun to visit each one and have some time laughing and going out in a boat.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT
Yes, this Karen Kane tunic (which is actually a dress) came home with me from Dillard’s and it was on sale! I knew I would wear it often over the summer. Though this is a print, I am toning it down and sticking more with my own personal style colors within prints. I wore it to the lake with capri leggings and Chico’s jewelry…but changed into something much more casual to go out on the lake! I am also wearing The Chill Sandal by BZEES. Perfect for any adventure because they are comfy and washable.
While at the lake, we were visited by this swan. They are elegant in their movements through the water…though this one is a bit persnickety with his demeanor when wanting food. However, I observed how slow and purposeful the swan is when swimming. This one was not rattled at all by humans. Good lessons on elegance.
Of course, I have a Fabulous Finds slideshow for you today…
KEEP SMILING, EVERYONE….HAPPY WEEKEND!
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!
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By Pamela Lutrell
Great posting today Pam! Definitely lots to ponder to make changes to become more graceful.
Your lake get away photos are spectacular as always. Glad you had an opportunity to get away.
Have a fabulous weekend 🌞!
And may you have a fabulous weekend, too!
I like the fit of the tunic on you. It is very slimming. The capris lift the outfit to refined elegance.
Thank you, Pat!
First of all, such a beautiful outfit!! I love the color, pattern in the top and your hat! Your lake pictures are gorgeous! Nothing quite like nature to ground us and give us joy. Today, I’ll be putting elegance and poise to the test as my sister and I are leaving on our annual shopping trip. We are so excited, and for me in years past this has been pretty much me not knowing where turn first and racing from place to place, hardly the picture of poise!! This year I’m going to change that! I admit that I struggle in the hospitality area. I love to entertain, but being an introvert it is really exhausting and takes a day or two to recover. Another area to work on! Very insightful points here.
Have fun with your sister, Karen. Can’t wait to hear how it goes! Stay safe too!
Pam, you look refreshingly cool, serene and elegant in these photos. And that lake house! Beautiful. Love the look of the foods too. I’m going to make your salad this weekend! Have local strawberries and the rest of the fixings. Yum. Enjoy being with friends. Even though our state is in a huge decline of Covid cases,we are all still very cautious…..trying to keep that way,
I think you will love the salad, Paulette! Stay safe and enjoy!
Hi Pam. I love this outfit on you. The proportion of the top to the capris really works! I also love your message of kindness and I can tell by all you write that to know you is to know that kindness. I wonder if I might humbly suggest considering extending that kindness to all? The hospitality spread would be more appealing if not the result of the horrible suffering and torture of other living beings. Not trying to troll your page or judge but since the topic is kindness I chose to be honest about something that feels quite unkind to me. I’ll understand if you choose not to post this comment.
Lisa, I have no idea what you are talking about. Please explain. I have said that I do not delve into political topics with the intention to be kind to all. I hope to provide information meant to unite us and not divide us. Kindness and acceptance for all should be universal…that is what I have expressed here. Are you referring to the current political climate…or something else?
Oh gosh Pam, sorry, it wasn’t clear…no I’m talking about animals not politics. It’s hard to find kindness in the raising of animals only to suffer so that we can have meat, dairy and eggs..
Thank you for clarifying! I respect your position. I am not vegan, but have many friends who are.
Love your post today. Your top is beautiful. You look great and elegant! Enjoyed your lake house pics, and your spinach salad sounds easy and refreshing. Enjoy your weekend and stay well! Covid is on the rise out west and south.
Thanks so much, Dawn, we are watching it!
I have many friends who are vegan and also entertain them at my home. They are always offered something they can enjoy when I host them. Might I suggest that kindness also includes not finding it necessary to postulate your beliefs and present them as superior attitudes or as appearing self righteous? I’m sorry, but it angers me that someone wishes to embarrass their host to make their viewpoint known. Pamela is our host on this blog, but Lisa has also just shown us all something that should be avoided. It was a lecture not a kindness.
Hi Connie, I appreciate your idea to offer two menus when hosting a dinner which includes both. I think this is part of the discussion on kindness and to find ways to be kind to everyone. I do not mind that Lisa brought this up so we can perhaps ponder hospitality to both. All it good!
Pam, I appreciate your willingness to post my response even though I know my position can be off-putting to some. I wouldn’t normally comment on your posts regarding veganism however something about a post mixing kindness with animal products felt incongruous. Perhaps I could have waited to comment as you might have done in my shoes–a less than elegant approach on my part perhaps. I admire your open-mindedness and non-defensive attitude. Your commitment to personal growth has always inspired me. Considering our treatment of other living beings is certainly not anathema to that. Warm regards.
Kindness is at the very heart of elegance. I can be wearing the most expensive outfit in the world, but if I am mean spirited & rude, I might as well be wearing a garbage bag. I also appreciated you thoughts on writing notes & sending cards. We live in such an instant world today. We text & e-mail rather than pause to write a few heartfelt words in pretty card & drop it in the mail. Thank you notes also seem to be a thing of the past. May we all do better at practicing kindness & hospitality as we move forward.
I agree, Becky! May we all do better going forward!
I love that “tunic/dress” with the capri-length leggings — I’ll echo Lisa’s comment about how the proportions work perfectly. The strawberry-spinach salad looks incredibly tasty, thanks for that. We eat tons of veggies & salad greens year round so I’m always on the look out for fresh ideas because it’s so easy to fall into the lettuce/celery/toms/ cuke with vinaigrette “rut” (I mean, yes, it’s tasty, but why not try for an upgrade now & again?).
And I appreciate your discussion on grace. My husband taught me that I don’t always have to verbalize every thought that flutters across my frontal lobe; sometimes it’s okay to have an opinion & keep it to myself. And my mother taught me that “kindness costs you nothing but is a treasure to others” and “you can never go wrong by choosing to be kind” (the latter in response to my asking her what I should do in some situation). I may have disagreed with her on many things, but she was dead right on this! Wonderful topic & I enjoy reading everyone’s views.
Thank you for being here, Janet!