Repose of the soul.

I missed you all last week. I was making time, taking time, clearing a path, paying attention to details, rising to the occasion, and regaining focus. You all know the drill.
During this time I was reminded that repose is a quality too many undervalue.
When I find myself in a crowded room, be it a fundraiser or dinner party, I'm always drawn to the woman who is incredibly, gracefully, relaxed. She sits still because people are drawn to her.  She speaks in a low voice almost as if creating a spell around her. 
Lisa Warninger Photography
We have all met her.  If it's the first time, she doesn't treat you like a stranger, instead she listens with responsive eyes and a smile. If you're an old friend, her eyes light up when you tell her how you've been. She cares about your husband, children, parents, and even your dog. 
Lisa Warninger Photography 
When you walk away from her you feel as if you've been bathed in beautiful warm light. You have. It's the best beauty secret around.  It's called repose.
Lisa Warninger Photography 
These days I seem to have more harried moments than tranquil ones. I find myself going in so many different directions and often I don't arrive gracefully.  One minute I'm hot, the next minute I'm cold and the holidays are right around the corner! 
Lisa Warninger Photography 
So last week I acted as if I was a woman with repose. I tried not to rush my family in the mornings. I greeted most everyone I met with a warm smile. While I was with friends, I spoke softly, listened attentively and I sincerely thought that every conversation I had with them was the most important thing on my mind today. I looked my children and my husband in the eyes when they spoke to me and loved on the dog more than I usually do.
You know the saying, "As is the inner, so is the outer."  By taking the time today to step outside myself and embrace others, I found serenity within. You should try it and see how different you feel at the end of the day.
 That is repose.
Lisa Warninger Photography 
Now don't you just love it when Cindy Crawford or some blogger like me tells you that the real beauty secret in life is finding your inner light?  No Shit!
Helmut Lang
I have done plenty to find my inner light and yes I'm happier, but I still don't look like Cindy Crawford. All I can do is try to have repose and look my best. This is where the fashion part of my post comes in to play.
My mother always told me, keep it simple, go with a classic, and that I don't look good in prints. Ok. I adore this though!
Roland Bello for Forbes
But when I was a young girl my self-confidence in how I looked wasn't based solely on my mother's directive. Remember my Pierre Deux tiny French bikini story?
Denim & Chanel via Styled On
  Most of my fashion sense was based on what was on the cover of Seventeen Magazine and what my girlfriends were wearing.
Stella McCartney
Our Catholic all-girls prep school uniform had us yearning for free-dress days!
New York fashion Week
You see, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we're constantly programmed by the world to be other women, not ourselves.
Chris Blott Photography
We're supposed to look like Cindy Crawford, and entertain like Martha Stewart.
Olivia via Styled On  We are all so hard on ourselves. We not only want to be other people, we want to be perfect visions of them.
Fashion Week
How women look and how their looks change in the course of their lives is what I'm really referring to.
via Tina and Rebecca Wardrobe Consulting, LLCLauren Hutton
How do I look? 
That is such a loaded question. Instead I ask myself, how do I feel.
Via Hanneli Mustaparta
Whether the day calls for a cotton sweater or a silk blouse, I'm at my best when I feel comfortable both inside & out.
 That's called self-confidence!
100% CapriAttitude, experience, knowledge, wisdom, optimism and faith. So much goes into this special elixir.
Catherine Deneuve
The good news is that a little self-confidence goes a long way.  So who needs a huge closet full of clothes? 
Donna Karan
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that when the seasons change and the September issue shows up it's sometimes impossible to quiet down the wants.
Chanel
And then I remember fashion fades, only style remains.
Lisa Warninger Photography
Style is an intersection of what you wear and who you are.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Diana Vreeland
Once you learn that less is more, then enough becomes plenty, and your entire outlook on life, including fashion, is transformed.
Sharon Stone
Fashion is a show-off.  Style has seen it all before.  Fashion is impatient.  Style is steadfast.  Fashion guesses.  Style knows.
Meryl Streep
Style begins when you seek and discover your strengths, then bank them for all they're worth.

Many of the beautiful photos above are by Lisa Warninger a Northwest-based photographer, specializing in lifestyle, fashion, and location shooting. Nightingale Photography is where she blogs about her stylish life in Portland.
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