Isn’t She Lovely? No. 7 | feat. Grace

 

Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly at Engagement Announcement

To be completely honest with you, I can’t wait to share the latest column in our series, Isn’t She Lovely? Whenever I see a photo of Princess Grace of Monaco I am so inspired to re-embrace the elegant lifestyle in a brand new way.   I’ve always said that there is nothing quite like old-fashioned manners and I have to add there is nothing quite like old-fashioned elegance. Perhaps it is the way in which ladies composed themselves back in old times that so inspires me!

I’m excited to feature the late Princess of Monarco in this column for the first time althought no doubt – not the last!

Grace-Kelly

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Is there someone who inspires you to lead a more elegant lifestyle?
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“When at last I took the time to look into the heart of a flower, it opened up a whole new world; a world where every country walk would be an adventure, where every garden would become an enchanted one.”

– Princess Grace of Monaco

 

Why I’m Still Proud to Promote Grace & Poise

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As I scrolled through the evening news on my local news website, a particular headline caught my attention.  My interest usually falls short of the modern celebrity and their antics but this time I decided to flick across and see what all the comotion was about.

What I saw was nothing short of distasteful and repulsive.  If you’ve read the news today, no doubt you’ve already seen the images of Miley Cyrus’s performace at the MTV Awards.  If it made your jaw drop, take comfort in the fact that Rihanna, Will Smith (and his family), Nick Cannon and a handful of other celebrities were also among the shocked and stunned audience who rather vehemently exposed their thoughts via Twitter.  I don’t feel any need to discuss what  viewers witnessed but I am reminded that Miley herself is only one year younger than I am – just twenty years old!  Yet she is an example of a young woman who exemplifies everything opposite to what we promote here at Grace & Poise.

It is with this example in mind that, if I could, for a moment take you back to the year 2007: I was 16 years old.  It was in the early months of January 2007 that my curiosity for an elegant life began to blossom.  I remember quite vividly a conversation I had with my mother one summer’s afternoon, sharing with her my longing for mentor who I could look up to that held the qualities of a elegant and graceful woman.  Although such women were far-and-few between at that stage in my life I began to take a great interest in the style, elegance and poise of Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark.

If you have been following Grace & Poise for a few years you’ll have noticed that Princess Mary is featured quite frequently on this blog during those early years.  Although, I’m yet to have the privilege of meeting her in person, I learned so much from her via newspaper interviews: her style, her elegance in difficult situations, her calm yet optimistic view on life.  These values taught me so much and were encouraged by my mother who was delighted to watch me grow into a woman who desired these qualities.

It was with great interest that I searched the internet for websites that encouraged women to cultivate such qualities.  My search proved unfruitful.  I found it difficult to find any real, practical inspiration on such topics.  I wondered… “surely I can’t be the only girl to desire such qualities in her life?”  Perhaps there were other young girls and women around the world who pursed such a lifestyle?  And that is when Grace & Poise was born… Out of young, humble roots came a little blog about a girl on a pursuit of a more poised, elegant and feminine life.

But this interest in an elegant life, was rather unique in the fact that few of my friends grasped my vision.  When I shared with a handful of them my dreams of one day possessing this ladylike elegance and femininity I was presented with harsh responses.  Some criticized me for the pictures I used, others mocked me for trying to be ladylike and yet others teased me with jealous remarks.

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Yet here we are: 6 years on and still going strong. Those that previously mocked, criticized and teased me have now confessed their admiration of the fruits this blog has produced.  Sometimes, I look back and see how far I’ve grown but other times I feel like I’ve only just begun.

The term ‘grace and poise‘ no longer resembles simply the way I walk or how I eat at the dinner table but it has extended into a lifestyle of graceful composure and elegant living.   Yet, I don’t think I’ll ever reach a destination where I feel like I can resemble ‘elegance’ or have fully attained ‘poise’ but I believe through the challenges that life gives – I’ll continue my journey…

It is because of this very personal experience that I turn to these pages and share with you.  That despite the sex-obsessed, raunchy world we live in, as Miley Cyrus so aptly displayed tonight –  I’m still proud to promote grace & poise.

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Thank you for stopping by!
xx

Queen Elizabeth II: the epitome of sophistication and style

As The Queen wraps up her Jubilee Celebrations I thought this to be the perfect opportunity to look back over the years in a tribute to Her Majesty’s ever-glamorous style and regal sophistication.  From a young princess to becoming the Queen of England she has proven that good grace and a sense of elegance never go out of style.

“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”
– Queen Elizabeth

To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?
– Queen Elizabeth II

“The lessons from the peace process are clear; whatever life throws at us, our individual responses will be all the stronger for working together and sharing the load.”
– Queen Elizabeth II
“Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.”
– Queen Elizabeth II

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”
– from the Queen’s Christmas message in 2008

The Art of Poise

One of my biggest hits in my blog stats is the Google search how to have poise or how to develop poise. So in response to the ladies out there I would like to share an in-depth article that will directly answer you question.

Firstly, let’s take a moment to actually define poise as such. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines this beautiful characteristic as “graceful and elegant bearing in a person“; “composure and dignity of manner“; and the last definition is “balance“.

Poise is not something that one can demand of you. It must be your willingness and your choice. It’s an attribute that will flow from your heart – coming from your inward thoughts and transcending into your actions. I believe the most essential element to perfect composure is for one to have the control over her emotions. Take the most elegant, sophisticated woman endowed with grace and dignity but who’s emotions are not restrained? I’m afraid all the former attributes are wasted.

Every decision and every action a poised woman makes shouldn’t be hasty and based purely on emotions rather part of a plan and given thorough thought. If a negative decision has not been given enough consideration in the past and the effects are visible she will take this opportunity to learn and grow. Whatever life throws at her she reminds herself that there is a purpose behind every challenge and a equal measure of strength to overcome it.

This woman should also have a defined purpose in life. She doesn’t meander her way through life aimlessly. She’s focused. She’s on a mission; if not several. Does that mean life’s perfect? Most probably quite the opposite. But it doesn’t phase her. Opportunities and offers may be graciously rejected if they are not within the plan. Although highly focused, this lady doesn’t just have a Plan A. She holds the blueprints for Plan B, Plan C, Plan D right through to Plan Z. Life always won’t go as planned. She may adjust and reschedule accordingly. If she follows an avenue that leads to a dead end – is there time to fret and complain? No way – life’s way to short! Why not try the next street?

One’s outlook on life incredibly effects her poise. How do you view the future? With hope, joy and excitement or does it hold a fear over you? Do you take on challenges with calmness and thought or does it cause you to doubt yourself?

Although, confidence plays a large role in a graceful, poised woman it’s not the ultimate ingredient. Many people will tell you confidence is the first ingredient to a graceful, poised lady. It’s true. If you have confidence you can gracefully hold yourself with strangers and in new situations much more ease. But can you still be elegant with a touch of shyness? My answer is a definite yes. How so?

I’ll let you in on a secret…From personal experience – I’m naturally a shy, quiet individual. My innate desire is to withdraw from big crowds and unknown places. For years I really struggled with building my confidence but I one day realized that confidence wouldn’t just show up on my doorstep one day. Confidence has to be pursued and chased and that’s exactly what I did! I forced myself out of my hometown, traveled across Europe, meeting strangers, working with people who didn’t speak my language, creating new friendships. At 19 years of age I moved myself to a new state, started a brand new circle of friends, attended a new Church, got myself a new job and started studying in a new school. Did I do it all at once? No. Bit by bit, step by step. For example, at school I didn’t start a group discussion in class; I only talked to one new person at a time. I only attended one job interview at a time. Gradually the confidence arose. I was successful at the last attempt why wouldn’t I be at the next one? Remember that “success comes in cans, not cant’s”.

Posture is another essential. People who exercise regularly have much better posture than those who don’t. Here’s a nifty idea of how to strengthen your posture.

If you don’t have great posture, stand up right now. Now imagine that there is a balloon on a string extending from the crown of your head. Imagine that this balloon is pulling your head upwards towards the sky. You’ll automatically stand upright with your spine elongated. Doesn’t this little mind trick work great? If you keep doing this for a few weeks, the habit will stick and you’ll have corrected your posture. Try it! It actually works!

In conclusion, don’t be surprised if you’re noticed. Poise is a rare quality these days and there is nothing more striking than a woman who knows how to hold herself with dignity and ease. Remember the words of Simone de Beauvoir when she stated “One is not born a woman; rather one becomes a woman.”