5.17.2015

Strength

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
Maya Angelou


So true are the words of beloved Maya Angelou...it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are... I think back over my life and early on, I realized that I was/am, in fact, a vulnerable person. In years past, to be vulnerable meant that you were not strong and were deemed as weak. After all, most of us are conditioned to hide our true feelings; to not be totally in tuned to what we like and dislike; to hide behind a smoke screen and not let others know that we hurt, have lost our way, or simply need help in a certain matter. However scary this may all seem, in retrospect, I have discovered by embracing my vulnerability, it gives me pure and utter strength.

Recently I watched Brene Brown at the TED Talks discuss a subject called The Power of Vulnerability (enjoy the video below). During her discussion she points out these important facts: In order to be vulnerable, you have to have the courage to be imperfect. And, vulnerable people have connection because they are willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be their true self. In other words, vulnerable people are not afraid to be authentic. Who doesn't gravitate towards people who are real? I know I most certainly do. That's the connection that Brene Brown talks about. I find it very refreshing to be in the company of a person who is in touch with themselves, and isn't afraid to be imperfect. 

As I studied Brene's topic in greater detail, she also stated vulnerable people are usually creative people. Think about it...The creative mind is an open mind that is ready to explore, discover and be free. To have an open mind, wouldn't it be necessary to be true to yourself? Absolutely! It totally makes sense. To be vulnerable is being true to yourself; living free - not living in bondage which equals STRENGTH.


For today I'm wearing an outfit that speaks to my strength. The sturdy, black turtleneck which represents the courage and stamina it takes to live authentically; the lace skirt demonstrates the delicate process of becoming true - though the process of becoming true may in difficult, in the end, you'll have such lovely details that others will admire. The gold belt represents the link between having the courage to take the delicate steps and becoming true. The sandals for this ensemble are feminine but are in fact, the anchor for this entire story. Though the sandals look delicate, they are in fact sturdy and able to carry me through my journey.

Outfit Details: Lace Skirt Loft (Old. Options HERE); Ann Klein Black Short Sleeve Turtleneck (Options at Shopstyle); Stuart Weitzman Sandals (I've had them for many years. Options in Shopstyle Bridal); Embroidered Bag is vintage.
  








And now, please enjoy the 20 minute video of Brene Brown's talk on the Power of Vulnerability at TED Talks, or what I would like to call it - the STRENGTH of Vulnerability{wink}


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Whitney Nic James
Photographs by Freddy and are the property of So What to Twenty!


50 comments:

  1. I am going to watch the video later, but your comments have me wanting to watch. I agree ...this outfit speaks STRENGTH...you look confident and ready to run a company! Good thoughts in the post!

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    1. Thank you so much, Pam! Yes, watch when you have time.

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  2. You look lovely - and the video is on my must-watch list. I think of vulnerable now more positively - that one is open, not rigid, and feels deeply. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

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    1. Thank you Patti, and I agree with your ideas of being vulnerable.

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  3. Yes, yes Glenda! I love how you juxtaposed the lace with the turtleneck, such a powerful visual statement as well as verbal. Thanks for sharing a powerful word!

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    1. Hi Shon! Thank you so much. I'm glad you could read the outfit :)

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  4. Great post. Very encouraging and a wonderful reminder that strength lies in authenticity.Blessings!

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  5. I've been meaning to watch that Ted talk. I've heard lots of good things about it.

    LOVE those sandals! They really make the outfit for me.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you! Suzanne, you'll become addicted to TED talks. Great subjects.

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  6. Another thought-provoking post. Love how your outfit expresses who you are. I used to think of vulnerable as synonymous with gullible, but that is just not true. I, too, am vulnerable but see it as a positive thing these days.

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    1. Hi Karen and thank you! I also thought of it as a negative. Mostly because when I heard the word being used, it was used to describe a negative trait in someone. I'm glad I now understand the truth about its meaning.

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  7. What a great great post. I actually have tears in my eyes from reading it and cant wait to watch the TED talk. I get so tired of "being" strong and trying to carry the world and reading that quote made me tear up. You look elegant and strong and perfect. Thank you.

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    1. It is such a pleasure to know that in our tenderness...our realness, we are strong. I am touched that this subject resonated with you.

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  8. I have just watched the very thought provoking video, thank you for sharing this Glenda. I guess it just confirmed what I had always thought , we are all vulnerable and that is strength in itself.
    Your well thought out outfit is wonderful in all ways. Once again thank you, Glenda.

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  9. Interesting! Obviously there is more to vulnerability than just negativity. Hot look by the way, Glenda!

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    1. Yes, there is so much more to the subject. And thank you!

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  10. This is probably my favourite post ever! I too love Maya Angelou, I too have come fairly recently to accept my natural vulnerability and see it as my strength, and when I listened to Brene Brown, I was thrilled about what she had to say. Recently I have written poems on these ideas. I have written about the difference between courage and bravery and about the feeling of connection that comes from being your true vulnerable self.
    I love how your outfits always have meaning and this one is beautiful, just like you are. xoxo

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    1. Oh gosh, Shawna. Thank you so much for believing in what I put out there. I struggled with writing this post. Usually a topic will flow easily, but with this one. I wasn't sure how to best approach the subject. When I found Brene's speech, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Her final point of I Am Enough is what I struggled with in the past. Feeling like I was worthless most of my life, but now knowing that I am valuable has made me live my life differently. It is our strength, Shawna. And I'm so thankful we have the courage to embrace it!

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    2. If you radiate anything it is a quiet strength though I would say charm and beauty and kindness too. So basically, keep being you, Glenda. You are a light in this world. xoxo

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  11. I swear you always write just what I need to hear in that moment! You have an amazing way with words, and of course fashion! Those shoes and skirt are just stunning!

    xx Cara
    www.carascliche.com

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    1. Thank you, Cara. Now I understand why this post was so difficult to write...it was important for me to get the words right. It seems that many needed to understand vulnerability. Including myself.

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  12. Glenda, I absolutely agree with you on the subject of vulnerability - absolutely yes! You are doing a wonderful favor to yourself (and your readers!) by listening to yourself. Yes, we all are vulnerable, but it is common to think of it as a weakness, so majority hides their vulnerability and stops themselves from being genuine. Our feelings, our sensitivity are a very fine tool, a compass that tells us what direction to go, and also what way to reach that desirable destination. It's a pity more people don't realize what's their strength. Such talks and such posts as yours will help others!

    You look wonderful in your beautiful skirt and shoes! I especially loved the photo on the bench - I guess because of the color splash the bench adds. :) xxx

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    1. Thank you, Natalia! I love this statement, "Our feelings, our sensitivity are a very fine tool, a compass that tells us what direction to go, and also what way to reach that desirable destination." This is so true. I can't imagine not being in tune to such emotions...our own personal gauge. And yes, it is a pity that some will never recognize that God-given gift.

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  13. Such a great story behind the fashion, I enjoy reading the backgrounds and inspirations.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying them :)

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  14. A very good, thought provoking post and...I like the outfit, too. You look wonderful and that handbag is awesome.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the outfit :)

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  15. Nice post =)
    Kisses
    http://blamod.wordpress.com

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  16. Glenda,
    I agree with your thoughts, and do think that the creative mind allows a different and more open mindset. We who are creative see the endless possibilities, and i think that makes us more optimistic, too, as well as vulnerable.
    I adore this outfit, the contrast of the sturdy sweater and the lacey ( gorgeous lace, too!) skirt, the sweet glimmer of gold at your waist, the fabulous bag, and oh dear!! <3, those shoes!
    xx, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com

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    1. I agree with the optimistic portion too. I love having conversation with artist and the way we view the world. Thank you, Elle. I thoroughly enjoyed putting this look together. Would you believe I almost parted ways with this skirt...What was I thinking?

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  17. Strength, yes!!! What a beautiful quote from Maya Angelou. I love your look as well. Very classy!

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    1. Thank you Stacie! Ms. Angelou left us with so many beautiful words.

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  18. I love this look on you! Especially loving that skirt. I found one at the thrift store for my client yesterday. I need to be on the lookout for one for me.
    Darlene
    http://whosaprettygirl.com

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    1. I'm usually not a huge fan of lace, but this one is so intricate and unique!

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  19. Great post and THANK YOU for sharing the video link. What stuck out to me was "in order to be vulnerable, you have to have the courage to be imperfect." Very true! Thanks again for sharing, and the outfit sure does speaks to your personal style..and strength.

    ~Whitney
    www.whitneynicjames.com

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    1. I agree Whitney. That particular statement stuck out the most for me too.

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  20. Beautifully chic and elegant look, Glenda. Classy and timeless.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  21. Beautiful post, these words are so true. Love the gold accents in your pretty outfit.

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

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    1. Thank you, Alice and thank you for the reminder!

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  22. I agree on being open and not being afraid of vulnerability. If you are open, you will get hurt sometimes, but it brings you so much more than when you are living within a cocoon.
    Your outfit is wonderful. I love the way those fabulous sandals relate to the skirt. Great bag with it. Absolutely perfect.
    Greetje

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    1. Thank you so much, Greetje! I felt great in this outfit...strong is the word. And I agree with you - you may get hurt being open, but it's so much better than living in a cocoon.

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  23. Amazing posts, your sandals are to die for. thanks for the dose of inspiration.x
    www.deemako.com

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    1. You're so very welcome and thank you!

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  24. Elegant and Chic. That skirt is to die for. . . .Enjoy!

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  25. you look great! I LOVE your skirt! It's so pretty!

    lifeisashoe

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda