‘If values are the touchpoint to self-knowing, then clothes are your passport’
Fully understanding my base values came from an unexpected event. It all happened long before I had ever thought of becoming an Image Consultant. I was a nursing sister on an oncology ward and “he” was the newly assigned registrar.
We were an unlikely pair. He was a single, practising orthodox Jew who wore a yarmulke and I was a non-practising Christian, happily married with two very young children. The attraction was so strong that I sensed his presence even if I had not seen him, and standing next to him on a ward round meant I hardly heard any of the incoming information.
It was only a matter of time before something had to happen. Late one afternoon, a patient reacted to his chemotherapy which meant I had to work late and as I left the ward “he” asked if I could give him a lift home. When we arrived outside the doctors quarters he asked me in for a drink. My rational side must have glued my hands to the steering wheel. “No thanks,” I said, “I need to get home.” I did not sleep well that night.
The next morning, my suspicions materialised when he popped his head into the room where I was drawing up the chemotherapy drugs and asked, “Lynne, if things were different would you turn Jewish for me?” I don’t remember what I said but I requested to move departments shortly after that. I never saw him again.
Because of this experience I understand how easy it is to have an affair. In fact, it was this acceptance that helped me to understand my ex-husband having an affair a few years later. What was not acceptable was that I was the last to know. My touchpoint values of respect and trust had crossed the boundaries of what I will and will not accept. But what I also learnt was that it was time to trust and respect myself. I took myself down the road of having an image consultation and I started wearing colours and shapes of clothing that suited me. But I also focused on selecting clothes that I really loved. I spent time putting outfits together that expressed who I was – fun, sporty, lively, feminine and maybe “the girl next door” type. I noticed that I started to attract people that had similar values to me. I started really enjoying my life.
Today, when I am working with clients and teaching people to become Image Consultants, I always focus on the importance of self awareness and its relationship to being authentic. The more we know about ourselves the more we can choose clothes that express our essence. There are no mixed messages to either ourselves or how others perceive us. We are also more likely to find our purpose in life and have more fun than those who are still trying to be someone else. Our clothes are our passport to our authenticity and ultimately our freedom.