Dance on that Table!

Throughout our lives I worry that too many people suppress who they actually are for fear of “not fitting in.”  We are often afraid of being judged by others and because of that we miss out on many great adventures in our lives.  Those adventures may be something small or something big, but either way we are not experiencing them because of the FEAR of judgement.

So I am a table dancer.  Yep.  I am the person that jumps up on a table and dances if I love the song.  I go crazy.  I throw my hair, my arms, legs.  I take the moment in, and I am extremely carefree about it.  I will do this in a crowd full of people or by myself at home (I am also a mirror dancer – I totally rock at dancing and must witness it from time to time)!  Of course I hear the whispers in the crowd talking about my mad table dancing skills.  You know they are saying things like “she is so immature” or “she is just trying to get attention.”  So I pose the question:  am I attention seeker or the life of the party?  I always like to think I am the life of the party, but I don’t care if people think I am seeking attention.  I am not.  I am just living in the moment.  And you know what?  I bet those those people whom are judging me are silently wishing they had the guts to dance on the table too.  But they don’t – because they fear the judgement.

So my message today is simple – dance on that table like EVERYONE is watching and be sure to give them a great show!  Feel the freedom of life – dance on that table.  Take the risk.  Feel free.  Let the judgements of others roll off your body with the beat of the music.  Live in the moment and don’t miss out on anything life has to offer.

Non-conformity and Social Norms

I often wonder how we can become a more loving, caring and accepting society.  As I move through my life I run into more and more judgemental people, and often wonder to myself “why?”  Is it ignorance?  Their belief system?  Their values?  The way they were raised?

I like to live my life not caring about what other people think of me.  I like to push the limits on social norms what is “acceptable.”  I think back to my first job.  I worked in a retail clothing store, but not one a typical 16 year-old would work in (it was no Wet Seal or Forever 21).  I worked in a store that will remain nameless but let’s just say it targeted the older, professional female population.  I had gotten this job because my parents were friends with the manager, and she was willing to work with my busy high school activity schedule.  Anyone who shopped in this store will know that it was famous for “matching everything.”  So basically anyone that shopped there not only bought the red-squared printed shirt, but the matching earrings, necklace and socks. Additionally, if you saw someone dressed in an outfit like that walking down the street, you knew what store it came from.  You get the idea.  The dress code was pretty basic for the employees – dress clothing, dress shoes and no visible piercings or tattoos.  Seems easy to follow, right?  Something you should know is that this was around the time that nail polish took a risk (about 1995-997) and started creating your “not normal” colors – blue, orange, yellow, green, etc.  I, of course, felt that this was amazing and bought every color possible.  I matched my nail polish to my outfit each day.  Then it happened…”Nikki, that nail polish is not really “professional, and we don’t want our customers to stop shopping here.”  SAY WHAT?  I was young and my parents were still technically the boss of me, and they agreed with my manager.  I was just so angry.  Who decided that my nail polish wasn’t “professional?” It wasn’t in the dress code that I couldn’t wear funky colored nail polish.  So I pushed the envelope – yep – still wore it, and challenged the dress code.  I was probably pretty close to losing my job due to my “non-conformity.”  Then one day I was unpacking the boxes of stock items when guess what I found?  You got it – “unprofessional” colored nail polish.  Needless to say the disagreements about my nail polish stopped and I now got a DISCOUNT on fun nail polish.

Through my story today I want you to take two things away.  First, stop and think about how you are judging people on a daily basis.  Who are we to say what is right or wrong?  What people can wear or who people can love.  Secondly, feel the freedom of being non-judgemental.  Feel the freedom of life.  Take risks – whether they are small or big.  Go ahead – wear that funky nail polish and don’t worry or care about what others think!

Why Not Adopt Yoga Pants and Slippers Corporate America?

Yoga pants and slippers.  I love yoga pants and slippers.  Think about yoga pants for a minute.  They stretch and move with ease.  They don’t constrict or squish.  Slippers are another fantastic clothing item.  They hug your feet and make them feel cozy.  I  do all my best work in slippers and yoga pants.  So that poses my question….who designed the societal rule of “professional corporate America.”  Seriously, think about it just for a minute.

Each morning I watch my husband rise out of bed, shower, shave and dress for his job.  He is so careful to pick out his clothing – a dress shirt, dress pants, tie, black socks (we don’t want the Michael Jackson look) and dress shoes.  He rushes out the door and is off for the day.  So what is the first thing he does when he gets home?  He changes his clothes into a t-shirt and comfy pants. Why?  Because he is more comfortable in those clothes.  So that brings me to my big thought of the day.  When we go to our job each day, why don’t we get to wear clothes that we are comfortable in?  I mean, your employer is always wanting your “best work,” so why do they require a “dress code” such as “corporate casual.”  And who invented those pantyhose for under woman’s skirts – could anything else be more uncomfortable and constricting?  If our employers want our best work and want productivity, then why can’t we wear yoga pants and slippers to work?

Let me clarify that I do believe that there should be some boundaries around clothing at work – or society in general, such as a tattoo that says “F#@* You” on your forehead (seriously I saw that on a guy at Wal-Mart one time – that is whole different topic in itself).  But if your employer wants your best work, your best thought process or your most creative idea, why not be comfortable?

I do my best work in slippers and yoga pants.  I am wearing them right now, in fact.  I feel free, relaxed and open to write what comes to my mind.  Guess who else did great work in slippers….Albert Einstein.  Yep, believe it.  In the 2012 exhibit at the Historical Society of Princeton of “Einstein at Home” a rare picture of him sitting on his porch in…fuzzy slippers!  He apparently did his best work in slippers as well!

For those of you that just can’t get out of the dress-up for work routine, even when it is casual day – take the risk – wear something casual on casual day!  Notice your productivity for that day – I can almost guarantee that it will soar!  If you can’t bring yourself to celebrate casual day at work, start small.  I DARE you to wear your yoga pants and slippers all weekend.  Feel the liberation and freedom while you wear them.  Honor the yoga pants and slippers. They can be your smarty-pants or your sassy-pants.  They can be whatever you want them to be.  Just be prepared for the rush of freedom you feel when you put them on!  It might even feel a little “naughty….”  Besides, who said yoga pants were meant only for yoga?

Image excerpted from www.nj.com

Corn-on-the-Cob and Commitments

Commitment.  Have you ever noticed how people fear that word?  Whether it be related to a relationship, a contract or an activity, people are afraid to commit to things.

Last night while eating corn-on-the-cob I thought a bit about why people fear commitment.  Is it the word itself that sends people running or is it the fact that our lives move and change so fast we fear being locked into something for an extended length of time?

Let’s start with a simple commitment – like I stated above I was eating corn-on-the-cob last night thinking about commitment.  Why corn-on-the-cob, you ask?  Well think about it…eating the corn-on-the-cob is a commitment in itself.  It all starts with choosing to eat the corn.  You select your corn, butter it up and chomp away.  While you are indulging in your corn-on-the-cob you really can’t put it down or stop to wipe your face.  Once you start eating it you might as well finish.  If you stop to “clean up,” within two seconds, you will end up getting all buttery again.  It is pointless.  Not to mention, once you eat the corn-on-the-cob it you can guarantee you will have it in your teeth until you find dental floss, a toothpick, or have the ability to brush your teeth.  You are committed to that corn for at least the rest of the meal if not longer.

People fear the commitment of the corn-on-the-cob.  Some people will not eat the corn-on-the-cob because of the mess and aftermath, and they are totally MISSING OUT on a delicious food that compliments a fabulous barbeque!  If people are passing on the simple commitments what are they missing out on when they pass on the bigger commitments like a business endeavor, a relationship or even a cell phone contract?

When I think about all the commitments I have made in my life I realize how empty my life would be without them – no husband, no kids, no business, no house…the list goes on and on.  Commitments can be scary, but they can also be the most rewarding.  Enter commitments with caution, but do not fear them.  Start small – don’t run out and get a huge tattoo on your back for your first commitment – but eat that corn-on-the-cob and enjoy it!

Live your FABULOUS life!

Recently I was shopping at Macy’s (ok this is nothing new – I shop a lot).  I was looking for a really great outfit to wear out on the town.  I could not find anything I liked so I ventured over to the “juniors” department.  For some reason I felt like I was totally out of my comfort zone there.  Now anyone who knows me personally knows that I am wild, crazy, and don’t care about what other people think about me.  This situation was different.  For one of the first times in my life I felt like I was totally out of place.  I walked among brightly colored jeans, leggings, neon colored shirts and mesh sweaters.  I remember thinking to myself “what am I doing in this section?  I have already done and worn all this – in 1992.”  I continued to frantically search the racks in hopes of finding something that might work for my night out, and not look like something out of my closet from 7th and 8th grade.  I was too old for these clothes.

Just when I was about to give up, on the premise of “I am too old for this,” I had an epiphany.  See what happened is I moved around the rack I had been sifting through only to find a wonderful elderly women sifting through another rack in the aisle.  She was magnificent!  She was about 80 to 82 years old, and was dressed in a fabulous hat, leopard print jeggings (jean leggings), a black sparkly shirt and had on bright red lipstick.  She was in her glory picking out a sparkly, sequined dress.

Seeing the wonderful elderly lady made me stop and think.  How many times has she already seen these fashions in her life? Life is merely a cycle.  Why stop the cycle?  This woman appeared to have lived fabulous her whole life – so why stop because you are “too old” for something?  Do we change who we are because of the message society sends like the notion that at a certain age you should cut your hair short or you look like a “hippie.”  Or the question of “why did you get that tattoo?  What are you going to do when you are old?”  Well the answer should be “still be fabulous!”

So I don’t leave you hanging, I will let you all know that I purchased my first pair of jeggings since 1992 that night and wore them out (with the lost sunglasses if you read my post from yesterday).  I looked and FELT fabulous if I do say so myself!  My message to you is simple – live your FABULOUS life and don’t let anyone, especially yourself, stop you.  You are never too old for anything.  If you think that way, you may find yourself in your later years with many regrets.