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The Appeal of Flamboyancy

This week's Monday Quote was all about my comment to something attributed to William James, 1842-1910:

"To change one's life:

1. Start immediately.

2. Do it flamboyantly.

3. No exceptions."

My response to that was, "Oooh, I love doing anything flamboyantly!" and, I do.

(Before going any further, I'd like to mention that I don't believe we have to change our lives, necessarily. I'm all for tweaking things from time to time and maybe a better rephrase would be, "To change something in your life ...")

William James, brother of novelist Henry James and sometimes called the "Father of American Psychology" studied to be an MD at Harvard, but never practiced. He immersed himself in psychology and philosophy and treated his own "soul-sickness" through his research. While it was not the fashion to smile in photographs in his day, it's still hard to picture him doing anything flamboyantly. I'm going to trust that he had a twinkle in his eye that was not evident in the old black and whites.

Flamboyant: (of a person or their behavior) tending to attract attention because of their exuberance, confidence, and stylishness. Ostentatious, lively, vibrant, vivacious, dashing, extravagant, fancy-pants.

What a delightful way to consider being. Imagine what it would look like to apply it as an adverb to almost anything. If we play with the idea of changing something in one's life it could look like this:

  • Flamboyant dieting - eating only colorful, healthy foods you enjoy that are arranged beautifully on gorgeous plates.

  • Flamboyant exercising - only taking classes that are fun (like salsa lessons) and wearing attractive work-out clothes that flatter your body

  • Flamboyant housekeeping - playing music, loudly, that makes you want to dance with the vacuum and duster.

  • Flamboyant meditating - finding the perfect chair or cushion, lighting a scented candle, and throwing an exquisite shawl/scarf over your head to create a sacred meditation "tent".

Are you getting my drift? I challenge you to pick something you want to do or want to adjust in your life. Maybe it's creating a budget or cleaning out your closets or getting rid of a habit or one of the four examples I used above. Holding the intention of having a good time doing it, figure out what it would take to make it elaborate and showy, based on your ideals. Then go for it! As some of the lyrics from "This Is Me" say in The Greatest Showman film ...

I am who I'm meant to be, this is me Look out 'cause here I come And I'm marching on to the beat I drum I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me

I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies, this is me

Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek

Add some glitter and ruffles or whatever is your "thang" and do it flamboyantly -- this is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,

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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager whose mission is to co-create a happier, healthier life with and for others.

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