Are you a Rhinoceros?

Apr 27, 2011

Last week some girlfriends and I were chatting together over a “liquid lunch” when one of my friends asked, “what animal would the people that know you say you are?”. Well at this point, I started to think about all the lovely creatures I “felt” I could be; a lovely butterfly, a peacock, a koala etc etc. After much ribbing and laughter between us, the friend that posed the initial question turned to me and said “Van, I think you are a rhino”! Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. I was absolutely gob-smacked. This was one of my closest friends saying I reminded her of a rhino. However, before I could retaliate, (I think my friend noticed the ghastly shade of green I had turned), she explained herself very quickly. She said, “Van, you remind me of the horn of a rhino because that part boldly sticks out and precedes the body. The horn goes first; it is strong, courageous and relentless. It explores the unknown and dangerous; it removes all obstacles in it’s path so it can move freely and travel safely with greater speed. The horn confronts the problems it has on it’s path; it helps the rhino change direction and protect it from harm. The horn is the teacher, the body the follower. The horn gets scarred so that the body can remain safe”.

Suddenly I felt really happy at being described as a rhino (for the first time in my life I might add!). I wanted to jump up and hug her. What a wonderful description. I didn’t have time to think about the details, and the fact that now, following reflection, I think she was being over-generous, I just felt so pleased that her perception of me had been so strong. Make no mistake I am a real “girlie-girl”, but her description made me feel very powerful and strong.

When I got home I looked up some facts about the rhino, and also found out (by chance!) that when it breaks of part of it’s horn, it grows back as good as new. This I felt really sums up most women; the ability to start over when we have failed. For me this is the best part of being a rhino horn. It’s the part of us that plunges ahead into change even though we may be terrified. The part that feels the way forward in the dark. It’s the part of us that represents courage; courage to question, to be willing to hear answers we may not want to hear, courage to look within, courage to learn more about ourselves.

Suddenly I was really happy being a rhino and not a cuddly koala as I had initially hoped for.

What animal would your friends describe you as, and why?
(p.s don't forget to enter our Blog Giveaway below).

Spring Blog Giveaway!!!

Apr 21, 2011

OK my friends, I'm not sure if it is the Easter spirit that has prompted this Giveaway or Spring Madness (I'm sure if you talk to my hubby he will say the latter as many strange things have been happening lately!),but I am in the mood for a Giveaway.

OK, up for grabs are these GORGEOUS Swarovski crystal earrings. They are in a beautiful light blue (which would be perfect for Spring and Summer) and have silver fastenings. They are approximately 18mm in size and for pierced ears only.

So the rules for the Giveaway are as follows:
i) Become a blog follower and leave a comment
ii) Go to our website here and subscribe to our newsletter on the bottom of the Homepage. Don't worry we don't send out newsletters too frequently, so your Inbox won't be bombarded; and remember to leave a comment here.
iii) Follow us on Twitter (and comment back here).
That's it friends!
Every comment will be counted. If you are a follower, but you haven't commented, your name will NOT be included in the draw. So don't forget to comment.

Giveaway ends on Sunday 8 May..
Good luck my friends, and may the best girl win!!

Who Are You?

Apr 16, 2011

The question I would like to propose is this. Who are you when you are introducing yourself to someone new? How do you sum yourself up in a few phrases?

I spoke to a wonderful woman/client of 80 this week, who described herself as an “80 year old stroke survivor”.However, after speaking to her I realised she was so much more than this; she was a teacher, a passionate business woman, a grandmother, a free spirit etc.

Another new customer I spoke to introduced herself by stating the country and neighbourhood she was from.

I know it makes a difference to who you are talking too and the context etc (or does it??)

I know when I worked in my former profession as a Criminal Psychologist I rarely mentioned my occupation when introduced to someone for the first time outside a business context. My profession became a real conversation killer. It made people really nervous of talking to me in case I was analysing their every word, their body language etc. Usually I wasn’t. But sometimes when someone was really elaborating their life my husband has said a “wry smile” would come over my face subconsciously. So maybe I was always “on the job”. So I rarely said what I did/was. If pushed I would say I worked in research.

But what does that say? It says I’m making judgements or assumptions about who I’m talking to, and therefore short-changing them, but more importantly short-changing myself!

Now I would sum myself up as: “I am a corporate refugee, a lover of life and all things sparkly,a creator of my own world etc etc” (which I have used before, and to some very strange looks!)But I'm still not sure that sums up who I really am.

What about you? How do you describe yourself if introducing yourself outside your professional/work context.

I would love to hear all your comments.

Are you Happy with Enough?

Apr 10, 2011

One thing hubby and I are constantly being asked since we moved to Spain is, “How could you give up your salaries in London to come and live in Spain?”
You see what most of my friends don’t seem to understand is that we got to a point in our life when we made a decision to choose what kind of life we wanted, and that included just wanting to have “enough” to enjoy the new lifestyle that we had chosen.

In every field you can make a choice. You can choose to live with enough and to stop making money when you have enough, or have what you need. Yes, there will always be another reason that you seem to need/want more, but when you eventually find that balance of having enough, it will really free you.

When you stop chasing, then you can really start to appreciate where you are at now (and I am only just learning that). One of the keys I think is not to compare yourself and your lifestyle with others. Here in Spain people have no qualms about asking questions such as “How much do you make?”, “How can you afford that car?” , “How do you manage to have so many holidays a year?” And that for me is where the problem lies; envy is Spain’s national sin. It appears in every context imaginable. The reason, I have now deduced, is because people have no qualms about asking what most of us deem personal questions, which then gives them the information they need to COMPARE; and this is where the envy stems from-making comparisons with others.

Now when I get asked questions about what I make a month, I simply answer “enough!” much to the exasperation of the recipient.
Millionaires aren't the only ones who can have what they want. Everyone can, but we have to choose what we REALLY want, and then be happy when we get it.

You CAN be happy with enough. However, you’ll never be happy if you never have enough (which seems to be the society we live in). I have friends who fall into the latter category,and they really are never satisfied (altho’ if you ask them they will deny this blatantly obvious fact).

So when was the last time you turned down more, to be happy with “enough”? (C'mon now girls, be honest, I won't tell anyone).

She Wore it Well!

Apr 2, 2011

"I never planned to acquire a lot of jewels
or a lot of husbands."

As a fellow Brit, I had to pay homage to the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor, but from the perspective of her unbelieveable jewellery collection.

A love of precious jewels seems to be something she was born with. She recalls,

"My mother said I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, and when I did, the first thing I saw was her engagement ring. I was hooked!"

Elizabeth Taylor went on to acquire one of the finest private collections of jewellery in the USA, altho' she always insisted that was never her intention.

The Bulgari sapphire and diamond necklace was another gift from Richard Burton. "He loved to watch my reaction to any piece he was buying."

Richard Burton bought the above set in emeralds and diamonds from Bulgari in Rome during the making of Cleopatra. He would go on to complete the set (previously owned by Russian royalty) with a matching ring, earrings, brooch and bracelet.

Particularly dear to Elizabeth was the Peregrina pearl bought for her by Richard on Valnetines Day in 1969. Three years later the couple took the pearl to Cartier (New York) where it was incorporated into a ruby and diamond choker.

The famous 33.19-carat Krupp diamond was bought by Richard in 1968 for a mind-boggling $305,000 -equivalent to about $2 million today. When Princess Margaret saw the ring, she asked "Is that the famous diamond........How very vulgar!" (unfortunately you wouldn't expect anything less from the Queen's sister).

Richard wasn't the only man to shower Elizabeth with precious gems. Her third husband Mike Todd gave her this dazzling Cartier diamond and ruby necklace, presenting it to her whilst she was in a pool. Elizabeth recalls, "Since there was no mirror around, I had to look into the water....... I just shrieked with joy."

No doubt many of these pieces will be sold as part of her estate. Lets just hope they go to a good home, where her memory will not be erased.

" I have been supremely lucky in my life in that I have known great love, and of course, I am the temporary custodian of some incredible and beautiful things".