The fear of not being valued by others is really a fear of death on some level. Of being abandoned by the tribe. Forgotten, left to starve or die. Eaten by wild animals. Unconsciously, it drives most of our social transactions such that we become enslaved to relationships out of an attitude of scarcity instead of abundance. 

Kathryn Sommer, Beyond the Silver Glass

In 2010, someone challenged me to a better personal style. From there I expanded the challenge into decor and later into a general reordering of everything else. Along the way I learned a few things:

  1. You cannot be other than who you are.
  2. Successful aesthetics owe as much to engineering as to creativity and good taste.
  3. The best “fit” for you insofar as your clothing, lifestyle, and environment goes must take into consideration your innate rhythms and energy.
  4. The universe does not always cooperate with your plans and preferences, even if you get yourself figured out to (apparent) perfection.

Every innovation I consciously undertake to improve my living circumstances and surrounding aesthetics now harnesses the natural rhythm of how I really “roll” in this world. I have come to think of my approach as a sort of “style jujitsu” wherein I redirect the momentum of opposition to my preferences into something I can live with. Here is a definition of jujitsu I found on Wikipedia (under its updated spelling of jujutsu):

"Jū" can be translated as "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding", and "jutsu" can be translated as "art or technique". "Jujutsu" thus has the meaning of "yielding-art", as its core philosophy is to manipulate the opponent's force against him- or herself rather than confronting it with one's own force.

Originally, I began this site with only personal style in mind. It is still the entry point and is based on the broad principles of Aesthetics + Personality + Context, which I gleaned from many style consultation systems. However, I further developed it into a style philosophy that encompasses the values, preferences, lifestyle, goals, and personality of the individual.

The study of aesthetic harmony went further when I realized that personal style is a small subset falling within a much greater unified theory of aesthetics covering the interrelationships of multiple design fields to one another: decor, architecture, landscaping, urban planning, and land use, to name some common ones.

I expanded my original topic to include a section on decorating which you may find useful for interior (and maybe exterior) ideas. Most personal image consultants suggest basing the colors of your interior on your personal palette (or even combining it with someone else’s palette if you share a home). I’m sure this is related to personal and sometimes business branding. However, after seeing that greater principles governed the whole of aesthetics, I stumbled upon a counterintuitive argument that convinced me against using the personal image approach alone when it comes to tangible designs involving buildings and cities.

There is not space to include the breadth of my findings for now, but suffice it to say that ignoring the blueprint of the universe has been the cause of so much bad design in the world and ecological disturbance: i.e. personal will imposed upon the natural order. The page entitled “Game Changing Tips” touches lightly on that idea in points 2 and 3. Architectural frameworks, building materials, geography, and weather all suggest the fitness of home design and personal dress. Without the guidance of a larger natural order, personal preferences often result in stylistic follies.

How to Use This Site

If you are interested specifically in the subject of personal style and image, I suggest beginning with the topical pages corresponding to “Aesthetics,” “Personality,” and “Context.” After that, you may wish to read the pages in the drop-down menu under each category to flush out this dense subject. The subject is so dense that you may find it helpful to take notes and return again to these pages as new ideas occur to you. This will all come in handy when you get to the topical page “Your Formula.” Lastly, please do share how your are moving beyond that mere reflection in the silver glass to authentic transformation in your life and home. Your successes are more encouraging to others than you have any idea.