A very warm welcome to Feminine1st.com! I’m so delighted that you’re here…and would like to take a moment to thank you so much for taking the time to see what we’re all about. So grab a cuppa (/glass of wine/cocktail/appropriate beverage!), have a great big e-hug and welcome to our world…!
Feminine First was launched in 2011 by me, Claire Brummell.
I’ve travelled quite a path to come to this point…if someone had suggested 10 years ago that I would launch a company to help women find genuine happiness by reconnecting with their femininity I would have laughed. A lot.
You see, this is not the path I’ve always walked…quite the contrary…I lived a life for many years that was the exact opposite of where I am now. And I know the internal conflict, misery and lack of fulfilment that it can bring…which is why I’m here now, to share what I’ve learned along the way with you.
As a child, I wasn’t what you would call popular. I was the odd one out…the misfit…the girl who followed the rules, and did as she was told. It was definitely not the ‘cool’ thing to do…and it did mean that for the most part I walked around with a big metaphorical target on my back. I was bullied at every school that I attended, and when I moved to an all girl’s school it only got worse.
I learned that girls were bitchy, mean, untrustworthy and harsh. Even the group of girls who I thought were my closest friends took advantage of my trust and used it to hurt me deeper than anyone else. It was amazing how little femininity existed in a place filled with females! I had very little self confidence or self esteem…which wasn’t helped by the fact that my best friend was always referred to by an extended family member as “Claire’s pretty friend” (as opposed to…?). I felt plain, unpopular and very lonely.
I felt that the only way to prove my worth was to do well in school and I worked hard to get good grades. The only downside of this was that friends and family outside of school then saw me as one thing….competition. I was always amazed that people could care enough about what I was doing to want to try and ‘out-do’ me…but this seemed to be the case. So when I got good grades I felt great…until someone then criticised for “doing better than them again”. It seemed that I couldn’t win! I decided that I didn’t care and that I was going to continue doing the best that I could regardless of what anyone else thought.
As I couldn’t trust many of the girls around me I decided that I would surround myself with men. I had more male friends than female ones and since I was rejected by so many of the women around me I was determined to be accepted by the men….so I became “One of the Boys”…and I was good at it! I laughed with them, I drank with them, I even started wearing men’s clothes. I was completely and totally accepted…to many of my male friends they didn’t even see me as a girl…I was just one of them.
When I arrived at university to study my bachelor’s in I.T. I felt right at home. With only a handful of girls on my course I was once again surrounded by guys…and I fitted right in. I didn’t earn my stripes by proving I knew my way around a computer system…I did it by drinking them all under the table!! My subconscious thought it knew what I had to do to be accepted, and I took on the role without even realising I was doing it.
I moved into a career in I.T., determined to prove myself – I was just as able as all of the other guys in my field. Although there were times when I wasn’t taken seriously, I stuck at it and worked around the clock to show everyone that I was just as good, if not better than the men that I worked with. In less than a year the majority of calls coming into our department came through to my phone…compared to zero when I had started.
However, although I had more than proven my skills in I.T. it was clear to me that I wasn’t in the right job. I didn’t care enough about what I did. I didn’t find it fulfilling. I wanted more.
I switched to a role in marketing…a more feminine job you might think? …not when you work in video games! Sonic the hedgehog, while a lot of fun, is not really the best way to get in touch with your femininity! But I was good at my job. It was a very masculine environment, with a lot of competition, but I had my ‘one of the boys’ persona so I got along just fine.
A further move into TV meant that I was finally doing something that I really enjoyed. I worked for a great woman who was as interested in my development as I was, and for a couple of years I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. Then everything changed. The woman I worked for left the company and that was when I realised what the company I worked for was all about. Competition. Getting to the top at any cost. Doing whatever it took, without caring who you trampled on the way. It was cut throat. There was no integrity at all. It was all about what people could get for themselves…regardless of the cost. It was a massive shock.
I had a problem.
I wasn’t built that way. That was not the way I did business, and it never would be.
I was miserable. I knew that I wasn’t happy where I was…and that I needed a major change. But I also knew that the place I was working was affecting me so much that I wasn’t able to work out what I wanted to do while I was there. So, in the middle of a recession, I quit.
Not just my job…that would have been way too easy! I quit my house. I quit my job. I quit my life. I moved in with family and went right back down to zero. I was back at the start again.
Now, I would love to say that it was just in my professional life that I was having a few challenges….but that wouldn’t have been entirely true. You see, my “One of the Boys” persona had meant that I had taken on some pretty masculine traits. I was competitive, continually trying to prove myself, always wanting to lead the charge and a very dominant personality. Unfortunately these were all elements that I had brought into my intimate relationships. Now, I’m not sure if anyone might have mentioned this to you before…but these aren’t exactly traits that men look for in their ideal woman!
I moved from relationship to relationship, determined to protect myself from being hurt…by keeping control of everything and ‘fixing’ all of the problems myself. Funnily enough this strategy didn’t work out so well(!) I went through relationship after relationship…and it seemed that each one seemed to hurt more than the last.
But despite all of this, I thought I was “doing OK” (it’s incredible the stuff that we can convince ourselves of…even when all evidence is indicating otherwise!)
Life decides on a rather painful intervention
So there I was. I had a new job. I was convinced that I was alright.
Isn’t it funny how when you’ve managed to convince yourself that you’re “fine” (when if you were honest with yourself you know deep down that you’re not), that life has a way of sneaking up on you, smacking you down and suggesting somewhat forcefully that you go “THAT WAY!”
Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.
I went, to an event in London. It was a fantastic weekend. I was there with loads of friends, there was a lot of laughter and a great time was being had by all. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better….BAM.
I was trampled.
…and when I say trampled, I don’t mean I got shoved roughly during a stampede for the ladies during the lunch break! I was knocked to the ground where several very large-framed men (who were jumping to catch something) then landed on top of me. I was rushed to hospital where we discovered that my back and my neck had been injured. I was in agony. I was in bed for weeks, and I was in so much pain that I was unable to attend my best friend’s father’s funeral. I was devastated. It was the low point of that year.
But it was also the turning point. Not just of the year, but of my life.
The Turning Point
You see, when I had recovered from my injuries I was given a gift. I got to travel to the other side of the world to go to another event. This event gave me the key which opened the door to my entire life.
I learned about masculinity and femininity, for the first time ever. I realised that I had been living my entire life with a masculine mask on…and it was hurting me…mentally, emotionally and physically. I finally understood why I had been so unhappy. It was very simple…I wasn’t being me. It wasn’t just hurting me, it was hurting others around me. It was affecting every single area of my life. I realised that there’s unfortunately no escaping yourself…you have a habit of showing up everywhere!
I made a decision there and then. No more. I was going to make a change.
The response was incredible. People who I had only known for a few days were coming up to me and telling me that they could physically see the difference in me. I was not the same person who had walked into the room just three days earlier. They were telling me that my face had changed completely. For the first time in a long time I felt like me. I felt confident, happy, at peace and yet powerful. It was an incredible feeling…I felt totally transformed.
Just the Beginnning…
I felt so lucky to have had this experience. It was just a shame that I had had to travel 32 hours to make the first small change that would start a chain reaction.
I had no idea that this was just the beginning…
When I got home I made it my mission to learn as much about femininity as possible. I read books, listened to audio programmes, researched online, watched videos and attended courses. I wanted to know as much as I could. I spent way more money than I could probably afford, because to me there was no way I could put a price tag on the way that I felt as a result of the changes that I was making in my life from all of this new knowledge.
As the weeks and months went by I was making more and more small changes which were completely transforming my life. I felt a confidence I had never experienced before. I was experiencing deep compassion and kindness blended with vibrant passion and a gentle but very intense power. I felt incredible!
Now I’m no-one special. I’m just an ordinary girl…like you. I was just lucky enough to have been given a few small insights which set me on the path I am now on.
…and the difference it has made to me, my life and the lives of people around me led me to take the insights and knowledge that I have learned and share it with other women, like you. To lead them to a happier, more fulfilled life full of special and sparkle.
I am so glad that you’ve decided to let me be a part of your journey – and I look forward to you becoming a part of mine. I would love to get to know you better so please feel free to add me on facebook & twitter…and I invite you to join our newsletter below so you don’t miss out on anything!
Welcome to the family!
Much love and squishy hugs,
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Every day I am online to get my daily inspiration from Claire, she has a huge heart and will go out of her way to help, love & support someone.
Lauren D’Elboux, Sydney, Australia
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