- Coco was a poor, skinny woman who was not considered beautiful. But she used what she had to become one of the most recognized names in the world. And, for the most part, she did it her way.
- Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born in 1883 in a peasant village in France. It is notable that Chanel’s parents were not married and she was thus considered illegitimate. Her mother died when she was 12, leaving her father, a traveling salesman, to care for 5 children. Coco lived in an orphanage for 6 years while her father worked, and this is where she learned to be a seamstress.
- When Chanel turned 18 she struck out on her own. She tried to make it as a cabaret singer and worked in a tailor shop while awaiting her big break. She became the mistress of textile heir heir Étienne Balsan, who showered her with expensive gifts.
- At first Chanel designed hats as a hobby, eventually moving into Balsan’s apartment in Paris and opening her first shop in 1908. The Balsan home was a meeting place of the hunting elite of France and the gentlemen brought their fashionable mistresses along, giving Coco the opportunity to sell the women decorated hats. She sold fashionable raincoats and jackets but was not successful.
- In 1910, Coco got the backing of her next lover, Arthur “Boy” Capel, to try again and open another shop. This one was more successful; Coco then opened another shop in Brittany. Her third shop was in Deauville, in 1913.
- Celebrated French actresses began wearing Chanel’s hats, and she used her social connections to aristocratic families to propel her reputation higher. Women during the World War I era came to accept her view that women were supposed to dress for themselves and not their men. Chanel’s couture house opened in 1919. Chanel No. 5 was created in 1921.
- During World War II, Chanel closed her shops, stating that war was not a time for fashion. From 1945 to 1954 Coco lived in Switzerland. Her first collection after the war was not a big success in Paris because she had been a Nazi sympathizer. She had had an affair with a German officer in 1941.
- Chanel had affairs with some of the most influential men of her era yet she never got married. When asked why she did not marry the Duke of Westminster, she replied, “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel.”
- The Chanel house received the Neiman Marcus Oscar for fashion in 1957. She revolutionized the fashion industry by going “back to basics”, incorporating elegance, class, and originality in her designs. For example, she introduced the “little black dress” to the fashion world in 1926, the “Chanel suit”, and her signature leather bag with a chain handle.
Quotes by Coco Chanel:
- “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
- “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
- “How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”
- “The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!”
- “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
Well one night, I had an epiphany on the meaning of self love. To love yourself simply means that you give your best efforts to yourself first. That doesn’t mean I wait until I have company to clean my house or wait until I’m in a serious relationship to learn how to cook; I do those things for myself and give to myself a higher level of care than I would to others.
It also means:
- I love yourself enough that I don’t subject myself to a cluttered, dirty environment
- I take care of my body - I feed it nutritious foods that make it feel good and I work out to keep everything running in optimal condition; I also have adequate energy and feel happy from the hormones that are released from working out
- I look my best because it makes me feel good to look the best that I can, and I take pride in how I look, not for the attention of other people
- I do the things I enjoy to make myself happy
- I get my finances together to alleviate the worry in my own life and I do more for myself and fulfill the plans that I have through my finances
- I honor the time I give to others at work by handling my finances properly
The biggest part that links all of these is discipline. I sacrifice the instant gratification of being lazy, just throwing on anything, not being prepared and spending whatever I want. I take the longer, harder route of telling myself no upfront and getting into the habit of telling myself no, so that I can stick to my budget and my plans. Later I will have what I want and a life that runs smoothly. That is part of self love also. I can get more done, reach more goals faster, when I’m happy, healthy, and in love with myself first.
What is your definition of self love? How do you implement this into your daily life?
Last nite, one of my friends and I (heyyyy Tammy! *waves*) were discussing the difference in mentality of a rich and poor person, and how the scarcity/lack mentality is perpetuated in certain communities. One of the thoughts that I developed when I first began reading about positive thinking/motivation/self-help topics was how the advice given in that school of thought is generally different than the conventional wisdom we’re given by our families and friends.
When I was growing up, almost every adult in my life advised me to go to school (college) and get a good job. So I worked hard to get good grades and participate in extracurricular activities so that I’d get into college. I chose to major in business administration to fulfill my dream of owning my own business, but my professors constantly advised me to get a good job in corporate America first, then perhaps after 10 years or so I could branch out on my own and start my own business. I just couldn’t see waiting 10 years after college to start a business. I couldn’t see how working as a mid-level manager could prepare me to own a business. So after my first year in FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, I changed my major. Eventually I studied English, which tied together my strong writing skills and my interest in literature. Then the problem became, I’m studying something I love but how will this lead to a good job?
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It may be hard to see the finish line from where you are. You may have a stack of bills, a low (or negative) bank balance, you may be lonely, tired, fed up or discouraged. There may be so many obstacles in your way that you can’t clearly see the path you’ve set out on. During all of the turmoil, doubt, fear and resistance, you have to keep going. It may be very difficult but you have to keep pressing on.
One way to do that is to remember that your circumstances are not who you are, but where you are. If you have bad credit, living paycheck to paycheck and don’t know how you’ll get ahead – these are circumstances that you’re in but they’re not ‘you’. If its been so long since you’ve had a date that you can’t remember the last time, that doesn’t mean you’re not a dateable person. Not having dates right now is your current circumstance. Believing that the circumstances you’re in is equivalent to who you are, is like being on a deserted island and believing that you’re on that island.
Row your own boat
So how do you get off the island of negative circumstances? First, you have to believe that you can. I know it sounds trite, I know it sounds too easy.. but honestly, when was the last time you tried it? The biggest reason for our current circumstances is that, at some point, we repeated the same thoughts over and over again until our minds put us here. What conversation is your mind having without your participation? If you keep saying to yourself, “I’m broke, I can’t see a way out” then… you’re going to be broke and you won’t see a way out. Just believing that your circumstances are temporary, and repeatedly telling yourself that until it solidifies as a belief, will do wonders for not only your circumstances but your outlook on them.
We all know that the only constant is change… but sometimes it can feel that someone has hit the pause button and you’re stuck in the exact same spot. In order to break free, try to move forward. Even if that means a very small step, just move. After one attempt, keep going. You’ll pick up momentum and can make bigger and bigger steps. Its also important to remember that all journeys are not sprints, and you won’t be less happy when you get to where you’re going, if you had taken less time to get there.
Nothing changes until you decide to change it, stop beating yourself up for where you are, and focus on moving to where you want to be.
You don’t become what you want; you become what you believe.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go—purge yourself . . . If you are unhappy with anything . . . whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out.
Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.
I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminshes fear.
Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.
Susan L. Taylor
Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is Love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.
When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
- I’m not gonna front. I initially felt that Mellody Hobson was my shero because her beau is George Lucas. I mean, how many of us have pulled a billionaire?? (I’m just sayin’…..)
- But one day I googled her and was very impressed! Hobson is a formidable business powerhouse in her own right. She is president of Ariel Investments, one of the largest African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the country. Based in Chicago, Ariel manages over $3 billion in assets. She’s also Chair of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Investment Trust.
- In 1991, Mellody earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy and is a former trustee of the University.
- Hobson has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular financial contributor on Good Morning America and a featured columnist in Black Enterprise magazine.
- She is a director of three public companies: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.; The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. In 2008, she earned $755,995 from her director positions, not including her salary from Ariel.
- Hobson serves on the board of many organizations, including the Chicago Public Library, the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Sundance Institute.
- As if those accomplishments didn’t keep her busy enough, Mellody created and hosted an ABC show on May 29, 2009 called Unbroke: What You Need to Know About Money. It was intended to educate people about money in a creative way. It used celebrities such as the Jonas Brothers, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, Rosario Dawson, Will Smith, Cedric the Entertainer and Samuel L. Jackson to talk about economics.
- Hobson has been acclaimed in selections such as Ebony magazine’s “20 Leaders of the Future” (1992), Working Women Magazine’s “20 Under 30″ (1992), the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” (2001), Esquire’s “America’s Best and Brightest” (2002), The Wall Street Journal’s 50 “Women to Watch” (2004) and Time’s Global Business Influentials (2004).
- Her Muckety listing is bananas!
I write alot here about believing in yourself, moving past fear, improving your self-confidence and having faith. These are all points that I’ve built up over time, and I recognize that they might not come easily to everyone. Want an easy way to increase your faith, have an unshakable belief in the success of your dreams, and attract your desires? Read on about the secret of autosuggestion.
What Is Autosuggestion?
I first learned about autosuggestion from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. If you haven’t read it, you really should. Like, now (lol). I guarantee it will change your life if you grasp his concepts. My brother gave me this book 12 years ago and I never read it. Sometimes its very true that if you want to hide something, put it in a book. But I never got rid of it, I just packed it up and brought it along every time I moved. Finally, 2 years ago, I dusted it off. To my surprise Hill gave me a blueprint to follow in order to reach my goals. And autosuggestion is one of the powerful yet simple processes that he describes to ensure your success.
Simply put, autosuggestion is repeating a message to yourself, as often as possible, in order to change an old belief or install a new one. What you’re doing is making your subconscious mind take notice of this information and over time it absorbs the information as a belief. You can do this by repeating affirmations to yourself, reading or watching something over and over again, listening to audio with the message recorded on it, etc. What’s crucial to making autosuggestion work is inundating your mind with the message or belief you want to utilize. You can’t just do it one or a few times, you must injest this message at least twice a day for it to become part of your belief system.
One thing that I love about being in any group of black women, is that sistas are generally well put-together. Its like a black woman requirement to get your hair and nails done regularly and to wear killer shoes as often as possible. Along with that, the 20- and 30-somethings have to be seen at happy hours, the hottest clubs, and take girlfriend getaways to tropical locations every year. Let’s take it a step further: if a black woman can afford it, she’ll drive a luxury car and live in an upscale neighborhood to boot.
Now think about all that time and money I just listed in the last paragraph. Do you resemble any of the women I described?
How much time and money do you invest in your dreams?
What kills me about people, is that we’ll waste so much time watching TV, being on the scene and being entertained, but we’ll make excuses about investing in books and programs that will help us improve our lives and our businesses. We’ll claim we don’t have enough time to start our dream business, read and learn about our desired endeavors, write the book that’s been in our head for years, or can’t find the time to work out. We can’t afford to attend that conference to make the contacts we need to make… can’t afford to sign up for those teleseminars or hire that personal coach to finally make things happen… can’t afford to buy self-help, motivational or financial literacy books to better organize our lives…
So let me ask you then: can you afford not to succeed?
You have to find a way to get the ball rolling. I know that we’re in a recession, but honestly, if you didn’t get any closer to your dreams a few years back before the recession, its not the recession that’s holding you back. You have to ask yourself what it is thats causing you to stand still.
If you’ve prayed for change, placed pictures on your vision board of what you want, planned your short-term and long-term goals, and/or asked others for advice, the time is now to act on all those thoughts. We don’t use the phrase ‘step out on faith’ for nothing – the first word of that phrase is step. God/the Universe doesn’t like delay; if God has given you the talents and abilities to have that dream, trust and have faith that He’ll give you the means to see it through. You are You for a reason!
Now I’m no millionaire myself, but every time you see a Facebook update from the Motivated Sista fanpage or read a new post that I’ve written here, you’re participating in my dream. And I’m so happy to have you… but there’s no reason for you not to start yours too. There’s no reason that you should continue to dream without physical evidence of your dreams beginning to show up. If the problem is that you’re not sure what your dreams are, well that’s a different story… but if you’re clear about what you want, you have to feel the fear and do it anyway… stop chewing and start doing.
You’ve given to everything and everyone else — isn’t it time you give the most to yourself? Why not start today? Take one small step toward your dreams, even if its small its still moving forward. Slow and steady wins the race.
One night, while browsing the internet at work, I came across the blog Green Beans and Little Things. I thought it was really cute, but as a single, childless gal, I don’t really follow blogs like this one. However, the bloggers have a great eye and I liked their photos, so I stayed and browsed through the blog. The pics of their little girl are really sweet. I started having a strange feeling in my chest while looking at them… and then I found this post. At the end of the page, I just sat there and let my mind run away from me.
Their pics are funny and cute, and you can clearly see how affectionate, goofy and playful they are with each other. But what stood out to me was how extremely comfortable they are with each other, and with themselves. Its evident that they love each other just the way they are, that their individual selves are enough.
Suddenly I felt utterly blind for the way I’ve been evaluating men for a potential relationship. I thought about the items on my List, and felt that I’d been focusing on all the wrong things. By the time I got home, I was in tears. But good tears, cleansing tears, that made me feel like the weight of self-blame had been lifted from my chest.
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What’s your theme for 2010? Did you come up with a sentence to motivate you to reach your goals, something catchy that you’ll use to help you keep focus?
Alot of people are going with the themes “Get It In In 2010″, “Here to Win in 2010″ or a similar variation to those. At first I chose “Get It In In 2010″ also. I sat down and reviewed the events, goals and intentions I had in 2009 and changed my theme to a phrase from the recurring observations I wrote in my journal.
How I Chose My Theme
Faith was one of the principles I focused on in 2009. If you’re a religious or spiritual person, you can never have too much faith, and I wanted to grow my faith and really trust that the things that I need and want will manifest into my life. Its one thing to pray for assistance or release your intentions into the Universe – but if, deep down you don’t believe and expect to receive what you’re asking for, then your asking is pretty much in vain. So this was an area I consciously improved last year, and want to continue to improve. More specifically, I will prepare for the intentions that I’m asking for, which will build my expectation and trust that they will happen for me.
If motivation is the boost you use to get started on a particular goal, then focus, persistence and determination are the principles you use to ensure your success. I find that when I’m working toward more than one goal at a time, focus is essential yet I often try to juggle too much at one time. Its hard to focus on one thing well when I have too many balls in the air at one time, so this year I intend to focus more like a laser beam than a lamp. I will concentrate more on each goal instead of trying to keep them all in my view at the same time.
Once motivation fades, and you’re knee-deep in the work of reaching a goal, thats when you turn up your persistence. The difference between persistence and determination, in my mind, is that persistence is continuing to move forward, putting one foot in front of the other and doing the work, regardless of the results you’re currently seeing. Determination is not moving from a decision that you’ve made, once you’ve made up your mind; its not taking no for an answer, staying fixed on your intention, not wavering in your resolve to succeed.
I feel that I need these principles in 2010. There were times where I focused on too many things at once, like the bootcamp I started. There were other times when I focused on one thing at a time, but my persistence wasn’t up to par and I stopped short of my goal. And still, there were other instances last year where I didn’t stick to my guns and keep going for something – I wasn’t as determined as I should have been.
A Niliarific 2010
My real name is Anilia and I will be switching to that name here instead of Prosechild. So now you know where the ‘Niliarific’ part comes from =). I have several intentions for 2010: lose weight and incorporate healthy eating habits into my life, take my business and blog to the next level – become my own boss, write an ebook for Motivated Sista, start a committed relationship, and improve my cooking skills. For the next 3 months I will focus on losing weight and learning healthy eating habits, and my posts will probably reflect that. Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, so if you’re on the fitness bandwagon also, I’d love to hear from you!
What is your theme for 2010? How will you utilize your theme in your pursuit of success?