12/30/2011 09:05 EST | Updated 02/29/2012 05:12 EST

It's All About Me


Now it's all about me -- all over again. What began as a subtle change of thought, an almost imperceptible mood alteration, has now arrived. It is visible, audible, tactile, and it has a name.

Holistic personal evolution.

The perception of what keeps us happy -- in a personal comfort zone -- is key.

Fashion and lifestyle are cyclical and trends go around and come around again -- the same, but different. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Seeking non-conformity, individualism and a distinctive persona as did the hippies of the '70s, today's style-trend is to be unique. How different is this from the decadent "me" generation of the '70s? Today one observes that the public embraces the spiritual side and practices spirituality to enhance their physical world. Culture, the quality of private and social life and the values one embraces are being expressed in practical ways.

The confident ones choose to present themselves as they really are, without needing to mask their true personality. By consistently showing their weaknesses as well as strengths, they influence how they are perceived. Imperfect and proud of it.

Madonna has embraced Kabala, and in her wake, CEOs, movie stars and the hoi polloi have rushed to investigate wearing a red string bracelet as a spiritual tool. Spa/retreats have become a most popular vacation, Yoga studios proliferate, Feng Shui practitioners have all become part of the collective conciousness. And why?

Because spirituality and conscious evolution uplifts one's quality of vision, thought and commitment. Positive energy and the holistic approach gives new meaning to defining oneself. In department stores, most customers shop for themselves and their purchases pamper their spirit as much as fill a practical need.

Living in a true global village, everything is possible and every product is available through electronic information. The choices are endless. Each individual becomes a work in progress, carving out their own place in society. These are turbulent times where anything can and does happen. And so, one must create a sanctuary of inner strength, well-being, mental and physical health and clarity of thought within one's own healthy body -- a mind-body connection.

To illustrate, there is a calm cohesiveness in today's wardrobe, an unstructured connection of favourite pieces -- and yet this eclectic selection reflects the individual psyche. Age is no longer a factor. People have the confidence to be comfortable in their own skin, their own clothes and their own bodies, to have fun, to enjoy and to be comfortable doing it. Throughout, an exuberant sensual awareness exists and it includes a cheeky and sassy side that provokes an ability to surprise and amuse. Joie de vivre thrives.

Making one's own dynamic reality a seamless whole, intimately connecting all life's styles within that reality creates a multicultural palate from which one can paint one's own individual canvas. Thereby, it's possible to develop an eclectic yet cohesive personal style.

But knowing how is not enough. Without action, the knowledge is sterile. Think, say, do. Camera, lights, action.

The key is to achieve balance: the outside self must be aligned with the inside self. And only through true harmony of the external and internal can true beauty be achieved.

One can fulfill their aspirations to create a calm, uncluttered ambiance in their home and live surrounded by favorite things. The bathroom, no matter how simple, can become a haven of sybaritic pleasure. An aromatic candle, a plush robe and fluffy towels, body moisturizer in a scent uniquely chosen to personalize the space can increase the pleasure of the acqua effect.

Using fragrance as a tool to draw people closer; find a scent that works to suit one's life. Let it compliment the personality without overwhelming it. By layering the fragrance -- lotion and solid perfume one day, moisturizer and a spritz of perfume the next and eau de toilet in the final laundry rinse -- it becomes unique to each person. And, like all creatures in nature, a person is defined by their individual scent.

Through dietary empowerment, new and individualized foodie traditions are created. Clearly the values in food are better understood today than ever before: Bright, dark fruits and vegetables, fish and whole grains are the nutraceuticals for strength and health. Water has become the elixer of well-being, and more is drunk now than ever before. Even the world's beautiful people have begin and end each meal with hot water and lemon.

Eclectisism is the new black. When one garnishes a wardrobe with the experiences of their lifetime up to now, they become a characteristic, an idiosyncracy, a "me-ism"; bracelets picked up while backpacking in Greece; grandmother's ring on a pinky; a T-shirt with an audacious message. Know that the handbag is number one and will always be recognized as an adjunct to the personality -- one's day-to-day life is kept in that bag and it attains a glowing patina of age. Textiles and colours give pleasure; the sensual softness of a pashmina shawl from Tibet, the comfortable familiarity of American blue jeans, the lively sparkle of a diamond stud, the brilliance of Masai beads, the unique design of an Elsa Peretti silver cuff in the shape of the wrist bone.

When one devises their individual, personal brand and exploits it masterfully, they sing to their own music. Celebrate the life in you and it will ignite your own niche in life. Why be the mirror image of another's vision when it's smart to connect to one's own fantasy/reality?

What better compliment can one hear than "Oh, this is so YOU."