Conversations In Closets with Kendra Younger

My first guest!! I’ve known Kendra for a few years and worked at her store, Renaissance Fine Consignment, when I first moved to Santa Barbara. The store is HUGE with so many treasures to find—a MUST SEE if you like designer labels and special pieces. I’m just getting started on these little videos so keep watching to see improvement in my interviewing skills :) and get ready to meet so many FABULOUS women with such great stories. Thanks again for watching.

CONVERSATIONS IN CLOSETS

It’s where we keep our treasures, our secrets, and our “maybe somedays…” Maybe yours is expertly curated or bursting with treasured possessions, but it’s just as likely to be a corner in your bedroom that is disorganized and packed with potential but no idea where to go with it. I totally get it. I’ve been there. Conversations In Closets was created to introduce women (and men) who will inspire you to show the world~ and more importantly yourself~ who you really are and to walk out the door with confidence, grace, and style.

Flower Remedies

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To be completely honest; I was a doubter about them; but curious.
The flower remedy I am currently using is for creativity, inspiration, confidence and success (think of how you feel on a REALLY GOOD DAY and bottle it up) and 4 drops, 4 x a day allows me to feel that way even in situations that may have stressed me out or where I may not have been in control and would normally fear failure. 
I'm in week 3 (of 4 )of taking the drops and feeling like this last week has allowed me to start seeing how I used to react in similar situations because I'm not behaving like I once did —which is more than I could have hoped for✨. Does that make sense?

For example, a month ago if you would have told me I would be writing about these flower remedies that are similar to acupuncture and homeopathy and assist in positively changing mental and emotional patterns, I might have thought: 
1. Someone else knows more about this than me and I can't talk about it for fear of being "found out" that I don't know all the facts.
2. If I know it; then doesn't everyone know about this already?? (hello insecurity and limiting beliefs...)
3. Should I keep it a secret? 

I may have had the idea to write about something new to share with you—but would rationalize not to do anything about it for fear of failure or putting myself out in the spotlight (but being found out) or not wanting to share. Such patterns from childhood that I'm working on to change. But that being said; I now SEE the pattern and realize that I'm the only one judging me and not to worry about "other people" doing it (because I was doing a pretty good job of it before I started the flower remedy 😂)
Phew. Most of my posts deal with my style and clothing (where I'm more than confident); but I have many more interests and discoveries that I'd like to take "out of the closet". And thinking this little corner of the world might be the perfect place to do it.

Take a look at @alexissmartflowerremedies website (www.alexissmart.com) and it will fill in any blanks you have. A month ago, I would have had to have learned everything about it before sharing this information with you...but now...I'm okay with sharing my enthusiasm and curiosity about something that I believe can benefit you as much as it has me. Enjoy.

Want to be friends?

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When you meet someone and you both want to learn more about each other and set up a time to meet that very same week. When your conversation is open and flowing and you share more with this new friend in a few hours than you have with others in years. When stories share common threads and the light dances between sips of tea.

Friends. As we get older, sometimes new friends are hard to find and fit in with our schedules, families, work, responsibilities, and other friendships. There are times when the universe is putting a potential new friend in your path for you to expand. to learn. to grow. and to share new experiences. Are you looking to find a few new friends in your life?

Reach out. Suggest tea for two or a visit to a museum to someone that you've met or want to get to know better. Sometimes meeting in the day seems a bit less formal but go with the flow and see where it takes you. 

Do more stuff. Go to a workout class you've always wanted to go to and you may have the opportunity to meet a future friend there. Sign up for a knitting class or an activity that you have an interest in and start off with common ground with other participants. Start looking in local newspapers for things to do and GO! You'll never know who you could meet. 

Invite people into your world. Do you love a soundbath or an independent movie theater and usually attend alone? Invite a new acquaintance to share in the experience. They may love it or they may not but you've taken the first step in creating a friendship. 

When we were young, the kid we met at the park on a Tuesday afternoon was your best friend for the day and you were making plans to meet the following week! It's a little more challenging as you get older but just by saying something to an individual that you find interesting is how to start creating the road to a possible great friendship.

Play, Praise, and Perfection

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Those first 5 years when your kids are at home are SO important for you to let your child KNOW, LOVE, and VALUE who they are to create a healthy sense of self-worth. When you send them off to school, much of what they believe and have learned from you will be tested, rewarded, bumped and bruised, and your child's beliefs can be shaken. And you wonder why they're so tired when they come home??!

During school, from 6-13 years old, we learn everything we can to prepare for adult life. School allows us to think freely and spontaneously about our future. Children who garner success, fit in, learn the material, feel industrious and competent, gain a sense of new power and hope during their early years at school.  

That being said, school can also be very wounding for a child's authentic self as it is a place that can penalize a young student for not being as advanced or structured as the system. The grading system in most schools can feel very shaming and distressing because it's perfectionistic, where skills and abilities are compared and graded. In order for your authentic self to remain intact, you can’t be compared to another-- because there is no one else like you.  Even if children do well in school, everything in life becomes an A; everything is centered around performance.Things like conformity and memorization most likely are rewarded rather than creativity and uniqueness. 

One of the most important skills that school does give a child for the future is socialization. Play is serious business for the school-age child. Connecting with friends and being eager and curious to learn are what you should look for as your child starts elementary education. But the perfectionistic grading system even drips over to socializing in school and and may create a bullying atmosphere or one of shame. Failing causes shame or "I'm not enough" and a bully is already feeling inadequate somewhere in their life and acting out.  

On a personal note--I was a small group reading teacher at a "traditional" elementary school--desks all in a row, teacher in front teaching to the upper third of students leaving "average" students or those with learning issues in the dust bewildered and struggling. I would see 4-5 children in a group setting to assist and give them options, encouragement, and accountability to strengthen their reading muscle. There were many times I asked the full-time classroom teacher "why is this child at this school??! They really need a different learning environment to ever feel successful" (and add in parental involvement at home). The best thing a parent can do for their child is to not find the "best" school in town BUT the school that appreciates your kid, challenges while encourages them, and tries to know your child for WHO they are and to honor and grow that light in each child. When you find a teacher like that...love them hard.

In order for our authentic self to fully develop at school, we would have to be honored for every unique aspect of ourselves – our gifts. Rewarded for it, loved for it, and supported for it by peers, school, community leaders, and family. Most likely during this time, aspects of our authentic nature will receive praise and many aspects will be disliked, shamed, and rejected. Therefore, most of what we are today is a collective shell of what was socially OK and acceptable for us and we form into that and grow into adults. 

Chances are if you've read this far you know that raising a child needs to be a selfless act of love but many of us (me included) are learning, reprogramming, and just doing our damn best along the way. That's all you can do and now that I've dropped a few drops of wisdom on you--use that to marvel at your child and encourage them to OWN those beautiful gifts they have brought into the world and your family.

Power, Purpose, and Preschool

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The 3-6 year old child is discovering WHO they are. And to know who they are is to have an identity, which involves knowing their sex (M/F), sexuality, beliefs they've formed about themselves, and their fantasies. Children begin to test reality in order to separate it from fantasy; therefore, kids “test their boundaries” at this age in order to discover their power. To test is to find out how much power they have. 

Caretakers must model healthy intimate relationships, healthy sexuality, good communication skills, such as clarifying, listening, asking for what they want, and conflict resolution. Why? You are the example; the imprint for which your child will take away an example and beliefs from. It is also crucial that sons and daughters bond with their fathers during this time. Bonding must include both physical touch and emotional sharing.

During this stage, kids begin modeling their parents or other heroes during make-believe (fantasy) in order to further envision and develop their sense of purpose. THIS IS A CRUCIAL STAGE FOR FUTURE MANIFESTATION surrounding career and worth (regarding the subconscious modeling we received, and imprinted). You'll begin to see what's happening in your kids heads when they are in their princess outfits cooking "dinner" for their friends or your 3 year old dressed like "Batman" playing a game of Candyland. Power comes out of having identity. The power to initiate and make choices. A healthy child at this age, with an identity, thinks: “I can play like my heroes and I can dream about being an adult and creating my own life.”

A healthy authentic child self at this phase needs to reflect a need to be independent, to be curious, to test their individuality, to ask questions, and see healthy modeling from their parents/caretakers. 

Explore, Create, Adventure

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Congratulations! You are now the proud parent of a toddler. The trust that they've experienced from you at birth-9 months of age is now going to be utilized to explore their world from 9-18 months of age. This involves moving around, touching, tasting, and in-general exploring. If a basic sense of trust was established during infancy from emotionally balanced and nurturing parents (that's you), the toddler will have a healthy sense of future exploration, creative risk taking, and adventure. And how cool is that for you to have planted those seeds in your child??! Parents need to have a lot of patience and emotional balance in order to look after their toddler constantly during this time (and to guide them) and to "tag team" when one needs a break and to find rest.

The second period kids go through from 18 months through 3 years old is the separation stage. This is the stage where your kids learn balance...in more ways than one. They will pump their "willpower" muscle to learn more about "holding on" and "letting go" and what that means in their life. In order for kids to develop healthy limits in their exploration; they need to have two parents that model a healthy expression of anger and good skills in resolving conflict (see first paragraph in regards to always being "on duty" and needing rest). When things are STRESSED (and they WILL be) kids are going to see, hear, and tuck it all away in their little subconscious minds (which by the way becomes tucked deep down in their future adult minds). Therefore, children need to witness two parents honestly expressing their true feelings and resolving their disagreements (about raising baby and about daily life) and realize that communication and compromise are a healthy part of any relationship.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have trouble knowing what you want?

Are you afraid to explore when you get to a new place?

Are you afraid to try new things? Before you do, do you wait until someone has tried it before you?

Do you have great fears of abandonment?

In difficult situations do you long for someone to tell you what to do?

If someone gives you a suggestion, do you feel you ought to follow it?

Are you a big worrier?

Do you have trouble being spontaneous? Are you too spontaneous?

Do you tend to be obsessive about neatness and cleanliness? Or is your space too out of order?

Will you do almost anything to avoid conflict? Or do you do things to trigger conflict (to reinforce that you are loved)?

Do you extremely overdo or over-consume anything in your life?  

Are you often excessively critical of other people?

Your answers were created from YOUR childhood. This period in your child's life is what forms their beliefs on control, adventure, worry, boundaries, and intimacy.

It’s equally important to learn during this stage that nobody is perfect.Your child needs to learn that they can have a bad day and still be loved (after those tantrums) and the same applies to you Mom and Dad. You're learning along the way. This is not a blame game. Fill your tool box with the tools that can help you model a healthy sense of boundaries, exploration, communication, risk-taking, and willpower for the little people in your life.