Quite Continental Charm School: Day 29 — The Icing

01/03/2012 § 5 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Photo by Ed Clark for Life Magazine, 1955.

Editor’s note: I almost can’t believe that we have reached the 29th post in this series.  February has flown by!  Before I launch into the last installment, I just want to take a quick moment to remark upon what an amazing experience this month has been.  First of all, I am exceptionally thankful for all of your comments and emails and thoughts and encouragement throughout the month.  It is exceptionally gratifying to know that you have been enjoying Charm School as much as I have.  Thank you, thank you!  Second, it has been a distinct pleasure collaborating with some of my favorite people, and I hope you enjoyed meeting them.  And lastly, while February may be over, I’m going to try to carry the spirit of Charm School throughout the year, and I hope you will too.

Day 29: The Icing
Today, for our last lesson, I wanted to mention something I like to call the icing.  At times, when we aren’t feeling grateful, when we let our competitiveness get the best of us, we sometimes start to hang our would-be happiness on future events.  I’m sure I’ll be happy when  I lose 5 pounds.  I will be happy when I get a girlfriend.  I will be happy if…when…  Sound familiar?

The thing is, when we condition our happiness on external events, it is the quickest way to feel bad about yourself in the present.  Moreover, when you perceive a need for things to make you happy, the things are going to keep changing.  The goalposts will forever be moving.  You will always come up short.

Instead, try to remember that you already have everything you need to be happy.  You don’t need a huge engagement ring or a baby or a boob job — you don’t need to be completed, because you are already complete.  You are as complete as that tiny seedling in the picture above.  Everything that seedling needs to become a tree is contained within, just as everything you need to become the fullest expression of yourself is contained within.  You are enough.  Turn your focus inward, not outward.  That way, anything that arrives in your life — that boyfriend, that promotion — is simply icing on the cake.

When I looked back over all of the lessons, I thought it was important to mention this, as I definitely don’t mean to imply that you have to buy any things to create a charming life for yourself.  Rather, I believe that those with charm work on the inside stuff first.  Charming people allow that quality to shine through their daily lives, no matter if they have a nice umbrella or not.

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
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§ 5 Responses to Quite Continental Charm School: Day 29 — The Icing

  • i loved this series! thank you for this…i think this post sums up the whole month beautifully.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks so much for putting this series together, Mariah! I’ve really enjoyed it, and gotten a lot of good things from it. And thanks for this post – such a good reminder.

  • Nat says:

    Thank you very much for these, I’ve looked fwd to your lessons every day… it’s been a lovely way to reflect on how I can make my life and the lives of others more charming. I loved this post in particular, it was a wonderful way to end a beautiful month.

  • Hai Yen says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve enjoyed reading the entire series over the last month. This post came on especially appropriate day. I’ve been feeling anxious about all the things that were missing in my life and reading your words that I am already complete was a great reminder to focus inward on myself and nurture what is there.

  • Norma says:

    I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed this one. It made me stop, think and appreciate. Thanks Señorita Mariah!

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