Our blog has moved!

April 15, 2008

You can now find us over at blog.carrieanddanielle.com

The Idea Fairy.

March 30, 2007

Richard Bach, author of the metaphysical classics, Jonathon Livingston Seagull and Bridge Across Forever, noticed that the Idea Fairy came to him when he was gardening, or flying in a plane. That’s when he’d get his storyline ideas and life solutions.

Call it what you want: the zone, the flow, the magical gap, the illuminating silence…there is a place in space and time where we tend to think and feel most clearly. And in that place, ahaa’s, creative genius, strategies, and revelations tend to flow our way.

THIS WEEK: Identify when and where the Idea Fairy likes to visit you. Notice how solutions enter your being. Maybe it’s when you’re talking to a particular friend or associate (interaction). For Carrie, it’s in her car or on a morning run (movement). For Danielle, it’s in the bathtub or washing the dishes (water). We’ve heard other people’s idea Fairies like to show up after a good meal or great sex, first thing in the morning, or just as they’re drifting off to sleep.

The Idea Fairy can be slightly unpredictable. She won’t always show up when you’re in the zone. But she really appreciates being invited. And when she does appear, you can count on getting some custom-made magic.
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
Carrie & Danielle will be speaking and conducting Style Statements in Dallas April 5 – 8! Check out the Discovering the True You event, sponsored and hosted by Renee Rouleau: http://www.reneerouleau.com/Events/Events.aspx

Mind the sale.

March 23, 2007

I was shopping once and watched a woman holding up a dress for her man to check out. “What do you think honey?” she asked. “It’s ugly, babe,” he answered. “Yeah, but it’s 50% off!” She defended. “Yeah,” he said patiently. “But it’s ugly.”

This, ladies and gentlemen, aptly illustrates the Curse of the Sale. Oh, the seduction. The deal, the dollars. Retail victory? Or retail folly?

Money is a form of energy and who wants to waste it? Frugality can be power, to be sure, but you only win when you get great value for your money, AND great value for your life. Buying something at full price that will always give you pleasure is a great return on your investment — as opposed to a dozen “what was I thinking?” discounts.

THIS WEEK or ANY WEEK:
Conduct a sensual and aesthetic experiment. {NOTE: This exercise should not cost you a dime.} Go clothes or jewellery shopping with your senses in the lead. Pick out what attracts you. Try a few things on. DO NOT LOOK AT THE PRICE TAGS.

When you’re clear on what you’d ideally like to have, then, and only then, look at the price. Walk away if you can’t afford it. Buy only what you absolutely love. We venture to guess that if you shopped this way all of the time, you’d not only save money in the long run, you’d have a plenty of good looks and feelings to show for it.

Here’s a radical notion: what if you really liked, even outright adored every material thing in your own life? What if the quality, shape, color, function, and feel of the things you owned gave you satisfaction, pride, and delight?

Carrie was an interior designer for years. Many a time she’d come across people who were holding on to futons and tired old chairs long after University days has passed.
“Get rid of it,” she’d advise.
“Well, we hate it, but we really need it.”
“Get rid of it.”

Enter, The Divine Law of The Great Chair. When you let go of things you don’t love, you create space for things that you do love to show up. EVEN IF: it’s “useful”, it’s filling an “empty” place, it was a gift, it was inherited, expensive, imported, exotic, or you truly loved it once upon a time -– if you don’t like something in your space, it’s dragging you down. This isn’t about old, or new, or what you can afford – this is about how STUFF makes you FEEL.

THIS WEEK: Identify the “old chair(s)” in your life that you’re making do with, and get rid of it. You may have to sit on floor cushions for while, but you’ll be dwelling in possibility – instead of compromise and regret.

And you know what’ll happen? The “Great Chair” you desire will show up. Your neighbor will be getting rid of a chair they don’t like (because they also read Friday Focus,) and it’ll be the Great Chair of your dreams. Or you’ll get a raise next week and treat yourself to…a new Great Chair. Or you’ll find it on a road trip…finally! Your Great Chair, oh-so worth the wait.

Satisfaction and delight feels juuust right.
(PS…please purge responsibly. Deserving friends, charity shops, and shelters are much more practical than landfills.)
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
Carrie & Danielle will be speaking and conducting Style Statements in Dallas April 5 – 8! Check out the Discovering the True You event, sponsored and hosted by Renee Rouleau: http://www.reneerouleau.com/Events/Events.aspx

Dream Analysis

March 9, 2007

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.”
— Carl Jung
Plenty of modern-day motivators instruct us to dream BIG. Bigger than life. (What is bigger than life anyway? LIFE is as big as it gets!) And then there are the old-fashioned pessimists who tell you to keep your head out of the clouds and your expectations low.

Super-sized or minimized, reaching for someone else’s dream is a sure way to keep bliss at bay.

THIS WEEK: do a little dream analysis. Create two columns on a page: “My Dreams” + “Because Why”. On one side, write down the dreams you have, or used to have. Go ahead and include the dreams you “think” you should have, or would be “cool” to have.

Then, for each dream, recall what inspired that dream (a movie, a tender inkling in your young psyche, the dying wish of your grandmother?) And ask yourself why you desire that dream to come true. What would that new reality feed in you? How would it make you feel, change your look, inspire you to act? What would it prove, and to whom? How would that dream-come-true affect others? And where might you go from your new reality?

Consider if some dream modification is in order. What needs to be colorized, amplified, re-fuelled, and sprinkled with extra-strength wishing dust? And what needs to be tossed, smashed, or burned in the sacred fires of your evolving self?
Dreams from the heart are always real.
Dream aloud via our blog: www.carrieanddanielle.wordpress.com

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT:
Carrie & Danielle will be speaking and conducting Style Statements in Dallas April 5 – 8! Check out the Discovering the True You event, sponsored and hosted by Renee Rouleau: http://www.reneerouleau.com/Events/Events.aspx

black and me

March 2, 2007

I’ve had dreadlocks for a few years now. They’re uh, “dramatic”. (My Style Statement is Sacred Dramatic.) Around the time I dreaded my hair, I’d was just starting to lose weight from having my baby. I’d been spending a lot of time in big black t-shirts. And I was redefining my self in some ways.It was time to say goodbye to a lot of things, and that meant wearing black.

Something overtook me. I was channeling some fashion force that inspired me to expunge all things black from my wardrobe. Over the course of a few months, I hauled bags and boxes of black clothes, hair wraps, scarves, even shoes and hand bags, to the women’s charity shop. Cheap, expensive. Treasured, trivial. It all went.It was the best fashion move I ever made.

Black actually works with my skin. Technically speaking, I look good in it. (I know because both Carrie and I had a great “Style Profile” experience with image consultant Audrey Beaulac www.audreybeaulacstyle.com and black was a match for me.) But I stopped feeling good in it. Black was a cop out for me and it was due time to embrace ivories, and greens, and slates and mochas. Brown became my new black. It was a bit scary at first (how would I hide the chubs, and could I keep up with the extra laundering care that neutral tones require?!)

Bye-bye black, hello light and bright. Ahhhhh.

(BTW…I adore black as a home décor accent. I just painted our fire place brick a high-gloss, true black, and it looks like a magic space portal. Love it.)

Black and beyond

March 2, 2007

Okay, let’s talk about black, baby.It’s classic, clean, and elegant. Absolutely chic.It’s practical. It’s readily available. And it can be remarkably flattering. 

And…wearing black is a social epidemic.We wear it when we’re too lazy to put effort into what to wear. We wear it to hide. We wear it without thinking about it. 

Hey, we appreciate black, like we appreciate good wine, trashy magazines, and blonde highlights. We’re not suggesting that you strike the color black from your life (tho’ that might be incredibly liberating and flattering for some), we’re proposing that you examine your relationship to it. (And FYI, scientifically speaking, black is actually the absence of color. White, on the other end of the spectrum, is all colors combined.)   

THIS WEEK: Step 1:   Ponder on black. Black has a range of cultural meanings…death, birth, sex appeal, purity, darkness, space. What does it mean to you, and why do you wear it, or not wear it?  

Step 2:   While you’re examining black in your life, you may as well tune into the palette of color in your life. Hook up with a color expert: a make up artist, a graphic designer, painter, interior designer, or image consultant. (Just because the fashion industry’s majority offering is black, does NOT mean that it works with the majority of skin tones and hair coloring. “Stylish” and “enhancing” can be mutually exclusive.) 

Head to any hardware or paint store and pick up some paint samples, or get some textile swatches from a fabric store. And here’s a simple color test that you can do on your own. How does a particular color actually make you feel? What does it make you think of? Color vibrates and your body sensations will signal you if a color is match for you. Color – from black to white and everything in between – should lift you up, not weigh you down.  

Step 3:   Open yourself to change…because color can change your life – it is that powerful. Perhaps you’ve already found the colors that add value to your life…your complexion, your space, your mood. Or perhaps you need to purge the hues that are actually weighing you down.  

Like taste, like words, like touch, color is a life-affirming substance. Choose your palette consciously. Feel good.

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