I wasn’t raised around women who possessed great poise, and in all fairness, they were not raised by women who understood the concept. I believed for a long time women of grace and strength were born into it and were wealthy, but about twelve years ago the lights came on. This was when I began to understand I could practice and learn poise, and I started to develop small, but meaningful changes in my life.
Now I have discovered the ultimate textbook and I am devouring it… Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. While I am still reading, I just had to begin sharing with you some of the nuggets within. This is part of a series by Scott about her Parisian mentor, she calls Madame Chic, and all the wisdom gleaned by the young protégé. Scott is also a blogger at the Daily Connoisseur.
“Every day, whether at home or in the outside world, she (Madame Chic) presented herself beautifully, with flattering clothes, age appropriate makeup, and excellent grooming. She had great posture which seemed to come naturally to her. She was well spoken and highly intelligent… Madame Chic was a beautiful example of a poised and powerful woman.” Scott defines poise as a graceful and elegant bearing. She believes there are five main characteristics of poise:
- Confidence: Feeling comfortable in your own skin; a genuine self- assurance.
- Composure: Keeping a positive perspective while maintaining calm self –possession.
- Compassion: Thinking of others and practicing selflessness.
- Presentation: Appropriately and stylishly dressed with good posture.
- Present: Poised people live passionately in the present moment
The best part of Chapter 1 is the hope it delivers. “The only thing that matters is that we are all capable of change – of transformation.” (Something I have discovered firsthand.) Scott reminds us of the transformation stories we love… Pygmalion, My Fair Lady, Gigi, Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, and Sabrina. “…deep down we believe we are all capable of a beautiful transformation and that gives us hope.” The reason I blog is to share my own transformation and what I have learned, because it does bring joy and confidence.
She writes pointedly about what I now know is true. “There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind. The moment you change your mind and decide you’d like to pay more attention to your appearance, you ignite that power.” Dignity, grace, style, and elegance are all learned behaviors. Scott writes. “Poise is something you practice on a daily basis. Poise as a way of life is an art form.” Chapter one includes a chart you really must see.
I hope you can get the book, but even if you can’t, take comfort in knowing that I will share more from what I learn. I see many women as they age go through a type of rebellion and reject poise as confining. I have found the opposite to be true. Living with poise has brought me freedom and joy – living the opposite way brought me depression and confusion. Next week I will bring to you for discussion, perhaps, one of the most controversial beliefs in the book! So make sure you return!
What do you think? What happens when you hear the word poise… do you cringe or smile? Do you believe it can be learned? Please discuss and thanks for stopping by each week. Have a good one!