Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Power of Clothing

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking on this link: Amazon.com.  Click here for her website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Formal Dress Painting“Clothes make the man.” It’s true; dressing in a specific manner affects how we feel. We wear different clothes for different occasions.

When we put on a pair of jeans, we’re of a casual, getting-ready-for-physical-work mindset. When we dress in formal wear, we get into the spirit of a party or special occasion. A bathing suit prepares us mentally to go swimming or to the beach. All of those articles, of course, can be worn for other things, but we’ve associated a particular behavior with each, and our thoughts go to that place. Some people have their favorite dress, glove, hat, etc. to relax them, stimulate them, get them ready for some specific undertaking.

Buddhist monks wear soft-colored, lightweight, non-binding garb–so much easier for prayer and deep contemplation. Business people arrive at work in suits and ties to affect a persona. Many jobs require employees to wear uniforms often with accompanying badges or insignias to establish expectations on the part of both the wearer and the observer.  When I come home from a taxing day with no plans to go out again, I usually change into my old, comfy robe and slippers.  Instant calm and tranquility!

Children know all about this.  I love to watch my young granddaughters playing dress-up as they dive into a basket of well-worn, “fancy” clothes which they use to concoct outfits for themselves.  Princess and fairy are the favorites this week.  They are transformed into the role, staying in character while wearing their costumes.

Clothing tells a story.  It conveys profession, attitude, pursuit, leaning, wealth, poverty, and on and on.  People are judged by their clothing.  It is often the first thing noticed by others.

Manufacturers and the advertising industry are very aware of the power of clothing, and it has made them rich. For example, as each new sport catches on, clothing companies create a line of wear which they tout as essential for that activity. Remember when you could just climb on a bicycle and ride off? My preferred dress to cruise down the bike path at Santa Monica beach as a teenager was a tee-shirt and jeans with a cord tied around each ankle to keep the bottoms from getting caught in the bicycle chain. Now, the sporting goods stores sell form-fitting Spandex pants, matching shirts, bicycle helmets, special gloves, and more. First, you have to buy the bicycle for hundreds of dollars. Next, you have to fork out hundreds more just to get on the thing.

It’s unsure whether special clothing for the task at hand justifies the cost or whether it’s just an image we’ve succumbed to perpetrated by Madison Avenue types. The point, however, is that clothing does put us in a particular mental mode and affects how we feel about ourselves as we perform the designated behavior. That’s not necessarily good or bad. It’s just something to be aware of.

Help yourself reach a desired state of mind.  Wear clothing that assists you in getting there.

Please forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just reply to sender, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

People Whisperer

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for book website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com

Now, on to my blog:

Cuddling She's a CharmerBuck Brannaman was the model for the 1998 movie “The Horse Whisperer” starring Robert Redford. He was a man with a sensitive way who could “talk” to horses, calm them down, gentle them.

Can a horse be a People Whisperer? I think so, because I met one. We were a group from the Horse Enthusiast’s Club who took a behind-the-scenes tour at a race track.

We saw the trainers trotting the young horses around the track, accompanying them astride an older, more experienced horse. We watched the horses being bathed, swaddled in blankets, and hooked to a huge, circular device called a hot walker reminiscent of old-fashioned clotheslines.  This allowed them to walk slowly around in a circle to relax and cool down their muscles after a demanding workout on the track.

Training on the TrackWe then went into the stable area where some horses were in their individual stalls with their heads and necks poking out over the half doors. That’s where we met the “people whisper,” a three-year-old, thoroughbred filly aptly named She’s a Charmer, and she was.

This sweet equine refused the horse treats offered to her, instead placing her head against the chest of any of us who approached her. In this photograph, I’m relaxed, calm, and in the moment as I cuddle with She’s a Charmer.

We were so enamored with our new, hoofed friend that we hatched a free-Willy-type plan. We would each contribute a like amount of money and buy her, freeing her from her life as a racehorse and bringing her into our fold. Although abandoning our plan as completely unrealistic for an almost thousand pound, high maintenance animal, we continue to think about her, talk about her, and check up on her. These endeavors alone perpetuate the contentment and good feelings she brought to each of us.

Bathtime at Race Track 10-25-15Horses are used as therapy animals for the disabled, children with emotional or behavioral problems, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. There have been wonderful stories of bonding between autistic people and horses. Yes, their size might seem intimidating. However, just being in their presence is a privilege and can be soul-cleansing.

Try hanging around with horses. See if their magic works on you.

FullSizeRenderPlease forward my blog to anyone who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. To reprint any material, contact me for permission at: gowergulch@yahoo.com. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button. To opt out of receiving this blog, just reply to sender, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized