In 2015 I was presenting in Stockport when I met a vivacious woman who was destined to transform an important aspect of myself. In July 2017 I finally plucked up the courage to spend two days with Jacqui Cooper, The Style Counsellor. She believes that when every aspect of who we truly are is in complete alignment then we access an inner sense of well-being causing life to feel easier and happier.
It took me nearly five hours to travel up to Huddersfield. With suitcases laden with clothes, I was carrying the ghosts of my life. At the time I had no idea why I was prepared to travel such a long way or go to such effort, but it felt right and I felt ready.
As I pulled out my wardrobe, Jacqui asked me “Who are you?” Because of the work I have done on myself I found this easy to answer. Then as I began trying on my clothes, I began to see that the choices I had made with my outer appearance were not aligned with the woman I am today. It was as if a veil had been lifted and I was looking at myself for the first time. There was a dissonance in my choices - my outfits were dated, intimidating, drab and restrictive. I saw that I had isolated my core self by dressing as I used to dress in my thirties.
Jacqui has an innate gift for discovering the real person inside and inspires their authentic essence by what they wear and how they wear their clothes.
The corporate package for two days with Jacqui was a whirlwind of change. My hair was cut (shout out to the fabulously creative Steve), my expensive ‘gear’ and Minnie Mouse shoes were dispatched to the local charity shop and clothes I had never worn, when worn differently, felt radiant with new energy. I was measured for a bra (I had always tried to hide my femininity with sports tops), realised that I’m a lot slimmer than I thought and experienced how shoes can change the look and feel of an outfit. I discovered that ‘sexy’ is not tight-fitting clothes but a natural confidence that comes from when you wear what reflects your true personality. At times, I felt deeply emotional as the cathartic release of old ways of being flew out of the window. More often there were moments of exquisite joy as I saw myself, the real me, for the first time.
Jacqui has an innate gift for discovering the real person inside and inspires their authentic essence by what they wear and how they wear their clothes. She blends kindness with a quiet gravitas so that I never felt pushed into wearing anything that was new and strange. She and I experienced a quiet ‘battle’ around one of my favourite dresses and my ‘Mary Poppins’ coat. Interestingly at the end of the process I gratefully offloaded the coat!
It was one of the most important two days I have invested in myself. My whole life’s purpose is about helping others to be authentic and in doing so allows their inner charisma to shine more brightly. I had devoted years working and transforming my inner self without realising that my outer self had been left behind in the days when my ego ruled the world.