April 1st: Playing Dress-up: Empowering Your Authentic Self with Fun

"Learn the craft of knowing how to open your heart and to turn on your creativity. There's a light inside of you." ---Judith Jamison

"Today - All Fool's Day - is a day that for centuries has been associated with high spirits and merriment. It's a perfect day for us to remember the importance of lightening up. A lighthearted sense of spontaneity is closely aligned with Spirit. Think of the brother who makes you laugh or the friend who will call you up and ask you to meet her on the spur of the moment for an ice-cream cone. Don't you just love to be in their company?

Lighthearted people possess the special gift, as dancer Judith Jamison tells us, of being able to open up their hearts to life and turn on their creativity. Perhaps it is because these special people still honor the child within. This sacred craft of Knowing is one that we can gradually learn to nurture on the path we have chosen.

Children love to play dress-up. Think of the excitement of a little boy putting together his constume at Halloween or a little girl lost in the pleasure of exploring her mother's closet and jewelry box on a rainy afternoon. Today we're going to play dress-up, too. I love to indulge in this pastime in the spring and in the fall when I change my seasonal wardrobe. It's fun to play dress-up by yourself or in the company of an accomplice, such as your daughter or a close friend. (Be forewarned, however, that with your daughter, you'll frequently hear enquiries such as, "Do you still want this?" Yes, you do.)

Look at your pared-down wardrobe with fresh eyes. Small changes can have a big impact on your look. Try jackets on with different skirts and pants and see if you can't put together new outfits. Try pairing a lean, tailored crepe jacket wit a flounced skirt. Instead of always wearing the burgundy print silk blouse you bought to go with your navy suit, try a white cotton one with a lace jabot and big cuffs. If you normally wear your collars open, try wearing them closed with a pretty pin at the neck. A new you? Why not? Now pull your hair back and see what dangle earrings look like. Get out your shoes. Do you always wear plain pumps with your suits? What about switching to wedge suede sandals? Work with whatever you've got. Have fun with this exercise. Think seven years old. Think 'what the heck!'

Gail Sheehy tells us that 'the delights of self-discovery are always available.' All Fools Day is a perfect day to engrave this widsom in our hearts."

--from Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach


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