For most techies in Silicon Valley, if your laptop computers and mobile devices are as badly synched as your clothing is with your lifestyle, you’re in big trouble!
London is defined by two foundational styles – City and Country – and they both influence your personal style today. Visit London, as I just did, become immersed in its rich history, and you will see how true this is. Style doesn’t occur organically in London. Like everything in this great city, how style was developed here, and how it has progressed, is part of an orderly plan. This may not make sense at first. But keep reading, and it will all make perfect sense.
Think of a fresh approach to occupying a fresh “you” with your personal image. There’s plenty of iniquity to get riled up about in the world today. But not putting your best personal image out there would be one of the greatest injustices because you have total control of it.
Just about everybody wants a confident personal image, but have one or more fears or barriers to actually developing one. It’s really important to consider these fears and barriers, and how holding onto them can really hold you back from making progress, not just on developing your personal image, but on achieving your long range goals.
What could your personal image and the vision of Camille Pissarro, the dean of Impressionism, have in common? My cheeky answer is that image is in the eye of the beholder. But there’s actually much more to it than that.
Making your personal image deliciously irresistible is similar to what goes into serving up a delicious plate of authentic Mexican food.
This past weekend while in Hawaii, I met Hector and Helena Sol, two well-known Silicon Valley restaurateurs who own and run Palo Alto Sol and Viva Sol in Mountain View, and who really love running these thriving hot spots. The more we talked, the more we both became clear about some pretty big things that I think you’d really appreciate reading.
I’ve never met someone with such tenacity to live. Her strength of mind causes changes in the lives of those who she touches. She is a source of inspiration to her family, friends and colleagues. Certainly, she always had the gifts of sharing and personal strength. And she has always offered that of herself to everyone. But now it’s time to be there for her and to return that tenacity, that strength, that inspiration. To know a strong woman with advanced breast cancer is to know a woman who is still alive – and kicking.
The journeys of women with metastatic breast cancer are each unique. Fighting to live requires a strong enough body, a strong enough resolve, and excellent medical care. Some women are too frightened to fight the disease beyond accepting medical treatment. Others see their diagnosis as a death sentence and just give up. And then there are the strong ones who inspire everyone with their bravery and who don’t think they are special at all. They don’t recognize that their decisions to stand up to their cancers are conscious choices. It’s an arch example of the fight-or-flight mind-set.
For women who live with advanced disease, their battles are filled with ups and downs. Grateful to be alive, they are still wrought with self-image issues because of the ravages of cancer and its aggressive treatments. Over many years one can grow accustomed to losing one’s hair multiple times due to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. “I really didn’t like the way it grew back last time,” said a very special woman who anticipated the arrival of several new turbans selected by her son.
Always colorful in physicality and in her attitude, she relied on accessories to keep her in style. Sumptuous scarves and colorful canes coordinated with her heathery palette of tinted pastels. For a burst of extra energy she’d wear brighter jewel tones. And no matter how her body had changed – the loss of a breast, the repeated loss of her hair or even the limited use of her hands and feet due to neuropathy – nothing would shake the resolve of this classically trained pianist.
“I can still sing and enjoy music,” she says.
The greatest accessory, it turns out, isn’t any of the turbans or scarves; not even makeup. The greatest accessory for a woman with cancer is her attitude. It’s also her greatest weapon. She can wear her attitude on her sleeve, put a smile on her face, put some pep in her step or wear her favorite pin like a campaign button informing one and all that “Cancer Sucks.” No wig or prosthetic device can come close to recreating the spirit of a woman. “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative,” just like the song suggests. So here’s to you, Mom: you captivate us with your courageousness. I’m so very proud of you. Happy Birthday.
It’s been five years since originally penning this piece, originally published in Metro – Silicon Valley’s Weekly Newspaper, to honor all women afflicted with cancer, especially breast cancer. Writing this hit the center of my heart because I wrote it when my mom was dying of the disease. I certainly hope and pray for a cure to all cancers. Sadly, not all who are diagnosed with cancer will find a cure, like my mom. But all are entitled to fight to the end with dignity. And that’s why I wrote this in honor of my mom’s final birthday, five years ago on October 24th. It was the greatest gift to be able to sit at her bedside and read this to her. I hope you will please consider sharing this tribute and treating those who you know to have cancer with even greater compassion.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.
When was the last time you looked at the clothing in your closet and said, “these are some awesome clothes?!” It’s a terrible feeling to open your closet door day after day to a wardrobe to look at every morning that you feel disconnected from. Time and again, clients tell me just how often they feel frozen when looking at their clothes to dress in the morning, to go out at night, as well as for special occasions. This arresting feeling is not a promising way to begin any day of work, of leisure, or an exciting night out.
What happens when one of the world’s most handsome, famous, and well-respected violinists dresses like a street person in a Washington, DC subway station? It’s a lesson in image, style, and context.
In planning and preparing for our recently completed mega-trip, I conducted so much research to be sure that our experience would be memorable, just in case we never did it again! I wanted to live every day of this trip like they could be our last ones so there could be no regrets, and that meant doing it up big time.