fashion

When fashion and spirituality go hand-in-hand

We often think of a spiritual practice as yoga, prayer, meditation, working with crystals/cards or some form of spiritual healing. It’s thought that we can only find peace or deepen our connection to our Higher selves through such practices. But, in my experience, this is not true.

On my journey I have found that each and everyone of the practices mentioned has supported me on my journey. Deepen my connection with God, the Ascended Masters and Angels. Enhancing my relationship with the real me. However, there have also been times on my journey where I have rejected each and everyone of those practices because I had perceived them not to be working. Equally there have been times when I have worked with these practices too much, moving away from other pastimes that would have served the same purpose or better.

Finding a balance when walking my spiritual path has been crucial in:

Staying on my path
Not rejecting it
Keeping grounded

In the early stages I would become frustrated that all of the healing work, prayers or meditation were “not working anymore”. Finding it hard to recognise or accept that the perceived obstacles, blocks, challenges and hurdles were part of the journey too. That they were opportunities for growth. In my frustration I would reject my spiritual practices. Only to come up back to them later on.

Over time I realised that there was a need to find balance. All the answers, all of the peace and love was not solely in that spiritual book or on that yoga mat. They were also in those hobbies and pastimes that are not so typically spiritual. I found that I could find peace and love in dance class, going to the cinema or in the dressing room at Topshop Sometimes I didn’t even have to buy that new dress because trying it on was enough. Being in that moment of feeling and looking a million dollars was enough. That moment would reignite within me something that I thought I’d lost but that was only hidden temporarily. What these pastimes did (and continue to do) was illuminate the real me, highlighting other hidden diamonds that had previously been buried within.

Having those pastimes I enjoyed outside of my spiritual practice further supported my connection to my Higher self. They also brought me inner peace, especially on those days where it wasn’t practical to get out my yoga mat or use my tarot/angel cards. These pastimes also kept me grounded in the “real world” as everyone knows it. For me that’s what spirituality has to be about. It has to be about living in the real world too, rather than floating on a spiritual bubble.

It’s tempting to live in a spiritual bubble. Although I lived there for a little while and I grew to hate it because it wasn’t all of who I am. Part of me loves the “real world” with the fashion, the dance classes and romantic movies. Rejecting these in favour of my more “spiritual” practices didn’t work for me. Participating in typical spiritual practices only, worked for a lot of the spiritual people I encountered on my journey but, not for me. That didn’t mean that I was (or am) less spiritual or that they were (or are) more so. It just means that we all found what works for us. Our own balance and that is just right.

Unapologetic authenticity

I recently came across a Gabrielle Bernstein lecture about Authentic Power. Apparently she discusses authenticity and releasing whatever interferes with your true confidence. I say apparently because I didn’t get round to watching it because, for some reason, I scrolled down to the comments section.

Briefly reading each one there was one that caught my eye. One that I read ever word of. This particular comment seemed to suggest that Gabrielle authenticity was masked or overshadowed by her appearance. According to this viewer there was a “mismatch” between her outer appearance and message about living authentically.

The comment really struck a cord with me. To be honest it really annoyed me. (There’s obviously some healing work that needs to be done here.) I think this was because I have lost count of the amount of times I have been judged and misjudged because of the way I look. The way that people, women in particular, roll their eyes or smirk when I talk about anything remotely spiritual. ‘You don’t look the spiritual type.’ Or ‘You’re a lot smarter than you look.’ Charming.

But in reflecting on my experiences I thought about the times when I ‘played down’ my image. Doing so in order to be liked and accepted. I’d wear less make-up or not wear that sparkly top because it would make me stand out from the crowd. Because if I stood out it would pee off my ‘friends’ who were already annoyed at the fact that I was slimmer than they were. Just recalling all of the ways that I ‘played down’ is mentally exhausting and I can feel a twinge of anxiety building up in my body. This must of have been how I felt at the time. Tbh I can’t remember. I can only guess that I got used to it in the end.

It wasn’t until I went deeper into my spiritual practice and completed my Angel Reiki master teacher course that I realised how much I’d ‘played down’ the real me. To the point that I had lost all sense of self. I hadn’t been living or being truly authentic at all. It was all a charade. Before my course came to an end I made a commitment to live authentically. But first I had a lot of forgiving to do.

Once I’d made my commitment I found that forgiveness came easily. For giving myself, my old friends, bosses and colleagues I was able to bury the person I used to be. I was able to walk the path of authenticity. A path that I strive to walk today.

I say strive because there are moments where the old me resurrects itself. Led by the ego she tries to step forward advising me that ‘playing down’ would be in my best interest. That ‘playing down’ will keep the peace: will make people accept me more. I know that she’s trying to protect me but I’d rather be accepted for the person I truly am not the person people would prefer me to be. However, sometimes my ego plays smart, cohersing me to go the other way and buy that new top (the one that I really don’t need or want) in order to piss off my haters. Either way, I know deep down that this isn’t the real me and I’m able to go beyond my ego to hear the voice of my Higher Self. Sadly, sometimes I don’t. But that’s okay, because I accept that we all fall off course sometimes. What’s important is that we are able to realign ourselves again.

What I’ve learnt is that I can be spiritual and cool. That how I look can mask or reveal my authenticity. If getting dressed up, wearing make-up and rocking a super sexy hairdo is what I want to do then that’s just perfect. It’s not so perfect if I’m hiding behind my glossiness/sexiness/coolness. It’s also not so perfect if I’m using it as a weapon against my haters. And it’s so not perfect if I’m playing down in order to fit in.

For me my clothes, hair and make-up are an expression of who I am. My image my change from day to day because I feel different from  day to day. And that is perfectly fine. I can still be spiritual and glamorous. Intelligent and sexy. Wise and cool. All this is perfect so long as I’m always authentically me.
Have you ever played down to suit others? What tips and advice do you have to share with others about how you overcame this? I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions.