“To give up on style is to give up on life.”
–Maggie Smith’s character in Downton Abbey third season
Nature and the stunning countryside is said to have inspired Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. The works of other great writers such as Plutarch and Geoffrey Chaucer have been credited as inspiration for William Shakespeare and for top American designers such as Tory Burch and Diane von Furstenberg their travels are what they draw upon for inspiration when creating their newest collection.
Revealing our own individual style doesn’t only occur with the clothes we decide to don each day, but also in our decor, our words, the food we prepare, the routine we keep, the trips we take, our mannerisms and our life’s journey. To choose to live with style is to choose to live an authentic life that is true to our hopes, dreams, talents, curiosities and experiences our life presents.
And it is when we live with style that we create what seems on the surface to be magical inspiration. Inspiration that allows our true gifts to be exercised and revealed helping us to live our best life.
So while Violet Crawley played by Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey may be speaking specifically about proper Lord and Lady entertaining expectations and traditions, I found her words to speak to something even more profound. To follow the trend, to follow the crowd is to neglect your own style. To blindly and ignorantly go along living a life that everyone expects you to live because it is what they understand when you either haven’t investigated what you want or are choosing to suppress what calls your name is to allow someone else to be the designer of your life. Instead, live in such a way that is styled by you – from when you wake up in the morning and how you begin your day to what you fill your mind with throughout the waking hours – style it according to what inspires you to be motivated to live your best life.
Perhaps you’re like Beethoven and your creativity blossoms when leaving the city behind. Or perhaps visiting new destinations and locales fuels your soul and affects the meals you prepare when you return. Or maybe your insatiable love for reading and learning opens your eyes to places and ideas that speak to you and perhaps would have never known about had you not opened a book.
The gift of living a life of independence and freedom is that we are able to be the curators of our very own life. We are able to say yes or no. We are able to take a chance or appreciate and cultivate what is working well. Most importantly, we are responsible for our own contentment, so if you’re life doesn’t sit well with you, begin seeking inspiration until you determine how you want to style the life you want to live.
“Everything will line up perfectly when knowing and living the truth becomes more important than looking good.” - Alan Cohen
Living with style doesn’t mean the masses will applaud, but it will mean you will sleep soundly at night, and that is the best gift. If the former should happen, fabulous, if not, so what. Your heart knows when you’re the curator of your life or when someone else is. For example, whenever you’re sick to your stomach after an event or occurrence that others are celebrating and cheering and you are assumed to be doing as well – take note, you may be following instead of curating. And on the flipside, when time passes in a flash and you lose yourself in the moment intoxicated by life not spirits, then most likely you have found your niche.
The beautiful gift of our one and only life is that the choices we make every single day determines our contentment. Choose wisely.
Have a wonderful week everyone, and trust yourself. You already know which direction you want to go, you simply need to slow down long enough to get the directions.
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