Prefer to listen? Click below.

She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

Kate Chopin - The Awakening

Over the course of my life, I think I have tried to fit into about 100 boxes.  That’s more than 3 boxes a year. Exhausting! I’ve been in the vegetarian box, where no meat was allowed to enter my body for about five years, until one day my daughter and I were driving home from school and she turned to me and said, “I want a burger.” I think we ate two each that day.

Then, I boxed myself in as a raw foodist, which lasted about 3 months after my digestion went to hell and back.

I’ve been in the country club box.  I didn’t last long in that one.  A girl can only play so much tennis and drink so many martinis.

I’ve lived in the sommelier box thinking I had to buy the most expensive bottles and drink every night to fit in. That was not good for my waistline or my wallet.

I’ve been in the yoga and meditation box, swearing off gyms and any non-spiritual movement (whatever that means).

This is embarrassing to admit, but I remember telling my friend Julie when I first moved to Durango, “I’m afraid that I might end up wearing Patagonia everyday and actually like it.”  Yep, I had created a style box for myself. (This has NOT happened yet.  My soul still loves style:).

I think you can see that I’ve attempted to fit into many boxes.   Underneath it all, was my need to control my external world to feel safe.  Ultimately, it left me feeling like a prisoner.  Go figure!

"We say we want freedom, but then we trap ourselves with labels, roles and self-made boxes"

When you box yourself in it leaves very little room for movement.  

Last week, one of my School of Self-image students asked me, “I feel torn between my desire for luxury and simplicity.”  This is what boxes do.  They tear us apart.  They make us choose between this and that.  They are very black and white.

I asked her, “Why do you think you have to choose?  Why can’t you have both?”

With those two questions, I tore her box apart leaving her room for possibility and range.  Shall I even say, freedom?

The most elegant woman honors the different seasons of her life and understands that her desires and needs change, sometimes within a moment.  For this reason, she flows with her life and doesn’t box herself in. Because she’s a woman, she has made peace with her complexity.  One day she may desire solitude and the next a grand party.  She stays in touch with each moment, asking herself, “What would you like right now, darling?”

I’ve learned the hard way that I do much better without boxes or labels, just allowing myself to follow what feels good and right in that moment, to flow, to move with life, to live out the questions instead of trying to control them.

That’s sensual, feminine, and a much more elegant way to live.

This is why I’m comfortable hanging with my cousins in the deep south sipping sweet tea or having high tea at the Ritz in Paris.

I can be floating down a river in a raft one day or rolling down the street in a Rolls the next.

I can be sleeping in a tent on a rock one weekend or sleeping in a Parisian apartment the next.

I can be in yoga on Monday and pumping iron on Tuesday.

I can be munching down on a juicy hamburger at lunch and taking a wheatgrass shot at dinner.

I can sip wine one night and Perrier the next.

I can be wearing fleece sitting by a fire or in a beautiful dress in a swanky lounge.

I can be lazy and lounge on a Sunday and hustle and take massive action on Monday.

A well-lived life will not exist in living in boxes.  That’s imprisonment.  

The best-lived lives are a bit messy, eclectic, passionate, and full of diversity.

So, here’s a question for you:  what box are you trying to fit in that feels constrictive?

Personally, I refuse to live in a box ever again.

This is how you become iconic!

What about you?  Are you currently trying to live in a box that no longer fits?

Please share in the comments below.




Self-Image Makeover

Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance