Today's experience comes from a White Branches team member.
Even those of us who work with crowns, sparkle, glitter and glam every day can stand to remind ourselves what a crown really means to us and why we deserve to wear the crown, and not just admire it...
When it was time to wear my crown for the first time I was ecstatic, well beyond excited to adorn my head with the Amber Forest Fairy crown that I had personally picked out. It has a copper base with ornate winding vine and flower shapes, lovely amber crystals and purple beads throughout. It fit my personality and I thought that it would mesh well with my fashion sense, while also not being too ostentatious or blatantly over-the-top.
This initial fervor transformed as I wore it throughout the week and beyond. I had the preconceived notion that I would love to wear the crown, but wouldn’t be gleaning any super insightful revelations from this experiment. Instead, I was truly stunned by the personal illuminations that arose.
The journey began when I was called over to the west side of Washington state for about a week to work onsite with my boss, and creator of this crown experiment, Matthew White. Preparing for the 5 hour drive, I packed up my things and popped on my crown before I headed out the door. I kept it on the whole drive and even stopped to pump gas and grab roadside snacks along the way. I was so stoked about the crown I took the time to take some selfies with it on when I took my pit-stops, voguing and posing with a gas pump in hand. It was thrilling. The crown was a symbol for me of the work I was doing with this company as well as an extension of my happiness at a time in my life where I am proud of my career, home and personal life. I was even more excited when I arrived at my destination and Matthew was able to see that I had started wearing the crown & was going to be rocking it while we worked for the week.
I wore it while we took photos of venetian masks and other tiaras, and when we went out on work excursions to antique and craft stores in town. I specifically wanted to wear my crown out to these places hoping that I would get compliments from those who saw me in it. The first day we went into some local antique stores and the clerk commented that she adored my crown and thought it was very pretty. I thanked her, but realized I wasn’t as excited to receive the compliment as I expected. Once it happened, it was nice, but it didn’t give me the kind of joy or validation that I had been hoping for. What was that about?
The following day we went into Michaels to pick up craft supplies. I walked in proudly with my crown glistening in my dark brown hair. But this time...nothing. No looks, no comments, no nothing. For some reason I was almost upset that no one had noticed my accessory. Why didn’t anyone pay attention to me while I was wearing a crown? It made me think about why I felt the need to receive attention and external validation for my own fashion choices. Were the opinions of others the reason I wanted to show off the crown? What inside of me craved being noticed, and why was that important?
It’s like when you get your bangs cut and expect your spouse or friends to notice the fresh look you're sporting, and then get angry when they don’t. Isn’t the reason you do those things for you? Taking pride in what you wear and how you take care of yourself is great, but does it really make a difference if others notice or not? It felt like time for me to let go of that piece of my ego and focus less on external validation and more on my own self esteem and confidence in my own decisions. The opinion you hold about yourself is the most important.
The most meaningful part of the experience actually occurred after the week of wearing the crown was over. Now this part is going to get a little personal and slightly vulnerable....
It was about 2 weeks after my initial crown experience and I was home alone on a Sunday evening doing my daily workout video in an attempt to work off all the junk food I’d eaten that day and some spirits from the night before. As I was sweating and hoofing along to the video I noticed my mind start wandering down a path of self criticism and spiraling into a sudden sadness as I started thinking about all the things I didn’t like about my body. For me, I also linked this body dissatisfaction to the recent failed romance that I had gone through. In simpler terms I got dumped and felt like a fattie. Normally I would have let myself indulge in these negative feelings and given myself the space to have a good cry or call my gal pal to complain about all the things I was getting down about. But, I surprised myself, and just as I was getting choked up and feeling sorry for myself, I thought of the crown. I instinctively grabbed it off my desk, placed it on my sweaty, make-up-less head, and stood tall in front of my mirror to gaze at the Queen before me through foggy tear-filled eyes. I just stood there, taking deep breaths and reminded myself that I am worthy and strong and that queens don’t need to worry themselves with petty, self-destructive thoughts about boys and muffin tops. I had my own Kingdom to rule and a life full of joyful, wonderful things to attend to. I can’t remember how long I stood there, but I do remember filling my whole body with self-love and remarkable strength as I channeled the energy behind what the crown came to mean to me. My teary eyes dried and my full vulnerable, wonderful self came back into focus as I smiled and shifted back into a positive mood. I was a Queen once again.
After all was said and done, and I was able to reflect on my experience, I made my own crown rules:
Her Crown Rules:
No negative self-talk whilst wearing your crown
Remember that you are a Queen inside and out
The opinion you hold about yourself is the most important one
Please share your thoughts and Crown Rules in the comment box below!