[e’pirens is the phonetic pronunciation of the word appearance, just ask google and you’ll see where the word comes from. Appearance by definition is an act of becoming visible or noticeable; on arrival.]
The most powerful thing we can work on is our health.
It came to my attention the other night after grabbing chinese food from my neighborhood spot – where, due to my love of dumplings, the waitress knows my face well. That night she stood behind the counter and looked at me in surprise saying, “Woah! You look so pretty today.” I stood there perplexed. I had just left a design event, and, at that point, was 10 hours past a shower and any sort of self-care. Then I realized, that any other time I had come in to grab chinese food I had just left the gym. This poor woman thought yoga pants and sweaty hair was my staple go to look! On the walk home, while having a heated debate over chinese food, that potential glass or two of wine, and the fact that our outward appearance is a symbol to the rest of the world, restaurant hostess or other. It became clear to me, how we take care of ourselves is our portrait to those we interact with. It’s a symbol to ourselves as well. A constant reminder of who we choose to be. So, how can we become intentional in our appearance, and how can it help us transform who we are in our everyday life?
Psychologists agree we have repetitive mental thoughts, internal conversations that we play over and over in our minds. Tony Robins calls these affirmations; “yogis” call it a mantra. No matter the name, this repeated instrument of thought is powerful – for good or for bad. In, award winning author, Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, we learn that repetition overtime forms our behavior, eventually developing a habit. The information we repeatedly choose to surround ourselves with is constantly developing who we are and who we are becoming. Interior Designer, Mandy Straight, describes this best in her TEDX talk about Visual Mantras. Taking the idea, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and implementing that into interior environments – creating 3d images of the world that are repetitive reminders to the brain, implementing what you want to believe and instill in yourself. So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, an interior environment that you interact with must be worth a billion times a trillion impactful words. Imagine how many daily reps of internal affirmations that is! The same holds true for the way you dress, and nourish your body.
According to the men, who literally wrote a research paper on the effects of dress, Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam (authors of Enclothed Cognition), bodily sensations can affect how we think and how we feel. Let’s say you’re dressed up in a beautiful gown or a suite and tie, if you associate those clothes with power and confidence, it’s going to have a huge impact on your behavior and thoughts – making you feel more powerful and confident. However that may be, a suit or ball gown are understandably unreasonable choices for everyday attire. For some people, getting all dressed up makes them feel like a phony, so it’s really about what the symbolic meaning of clothes is to the person. “Clothes aren’t just a device for perception, but a tool that really affects how you perceive yourself” Galinsky says.
Clothes may not make the person, but they sure do have a strange power over their wearers.
Nutrition also affects us, mentally and physically. If you maintain a healthy diet and exercise your skin will literally glow, you will sleep more deeply and restfully, think more clearly and be more productive. It boosts your energy level. It decreases your risk from chronic illnesses. It makes you strong, healthy and happy! Need I go on? Nutrition and exercise is important! It is the foundation and it is your responsibility to take care of your body.
Take some time today and think about how e’pirens affects who you are and how you want to portray yourself to the rest of the world. Start thinking about who you want to be, what type of environment makes you thrive, and what actions you can take to live a healthier more courageous life! I think we can all agree on the need for a little extra positive influence… especially in a world filled with distractions. The beauty is, you can manipulate these distractions to your own benefit! And that, my friends is what e’pirens (pronounced ap.pear.ance) is in its entirety – taking the art that we interact with daily and consciously molding it to help influence our behavior in a positive way. So, let’s step out into the world together and let our e’pirens shine through confidence, intelligence and kindness.
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Love , Becca
photo by: Laura Grolier