Style maverick and the founder of Fabulosity is here to help you transform. Are you ready to create a new identity?
Yolanda Drewell is on a mission to highlight that every woman has the ability, and right, to look, feel, and do fabulous.
Yolanda Drewell's website
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[00:04] Debra Jones: Welcome to OWN THE GREY, a podcast to dispel the notion that aging is undesirable and setting new positive attitudes. I'm Debra Jones, and I believe you can be vibrant and healthy throughout the best years of your life.
[00:21] Debra Jones: Yolanda Drewell is on a mission to highlight that every woman has the ability and the right to look, feel, and do fabulous. She's the founder of Fabulosity. It's a habit and lifestyle philosophy that includes radical self embracing, bold expression, and living life with a lightness and curiosity. And she'll be the first to point out that it has nothing to do with perfection, extraversion, or frivolity. Welcome to OWN THE GREY Yolanda.
[00:56] Yolanda Drewell: Debra, thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here and to meet you.
[01:03] Debra Jones: Absolutely, and I looked into the word fabulous because it's a word that we don't use that often. At least I don't use it that often. And the idea of calling something fabulous, it's out of out of the ordinary. It's a really strong word, and it really has an impact. So why don't you share with us why you chose to use the word fabulosity and what that word means to you?
[01:33] Yolanda Drewell: Oh, I love that question. Debra, the word fabulous is just such a fabulous word. As you've pointed out, there is no other word like it in the English dictionary. And you know, when I say to somebody, if I say to somebody, let me say I said that to you, Debra, you look fabulous today. And I said to you, Debra, you are doing fabulous work. Yeah, doesn't it feel great? You cannot help but smile all the way from the inside to the outside, and you just walk a little bit taller. And that's what I love about that word. And I don't know really how it became so important to me, but I think one of the things that are part of that story is when I was at school many, many years ago now, and there was this chap in my class, we were 16/17. He was very charismatic, and he was a real natural born leader. He was a fabulous guy, but he was very naughty in school. He hated school. He hated lessons. He was very bright, but he couldn't understand the point of school, so he messed around and he stirred some chaos and things. But my overriding memory from (Mitchell was his name) from Mitchell was when you asked him how he was, even though we were 16/17, he would say something along the lines of, “I'm so fantastic, it's frightening.” Now, I've never forgotten those words. What kind of a thing is that to say when someone asks you how you are, “I'm so fantastic, it's frightening.” It says so much about the person, doesn't it? And every time I heard him say those words, I kind of also walked taller, and I felt bigger and felt excited and thought, wow, this is amazing. Other people will say “I'm fine,” or “things are okay,” but “I'm so fantastic it's frightening.” And that sort of started the whole thing, I think, during my life. And I've got other stories as well about that. So when I stepped through my midlife portal, I just decided that I wanted to live in a spirit of fabulosity. I wanted to look fabulous. I wanted to feel fabulous, and I wanted to do fabulous things, but I didn't want to do it on my own. I wanted other fabulous women to be on this ride with me. And that's kind of where I thought, well, I was looking for a reinvention of my own. I was coming out of having, you know, raised my kids. And I thought, well, why don't I just start something that's completely different to where I was before and reinvent and then do it with lots of other amazing women?
[04:09] Debra Jones: Nice. It sounds like you've started a movement. I have a question then. What if we don't actually feel fabulous? How do we start?
[04:20] Yolanda Drewell: Well, this is the interesting thing. Now, I am very much into clothes. I'm into individuality through style. And the interesting thing…and I hate fashion, and I hate fashion rules, and I hate any sort of parameters. The interesting thing about style, when you wear clothes that light you up and you forget about what everyone else thinks, but you wear clothes that light you up, what happens is the energy of that, just like the word fabulous, it kind of works from the outside inwards. It's like if you're having a bad day or you feeling depressed, you speak to any professional organizer, they will say, go and clean out a drawer or go and clean out a cupboard or a closet or anything, even if it's small, and see how much better you feel. It's like you're getting the energy moving. It's the same thing with clothes. Clothes have energy. So I'm sure you have felt, how you feel when you put on old clothes. Those clothes don't support you being fabulous. But if you consider yourself at your prom or your wedding day or any other kind of event where you dress up and you really make an effort, you feel so fantastic. And so if you are in a place in your life, and these things happen in life, life is life and sometimes it's not all that fabulous. But if you are in a downtime just by putting fabulous clothes on your body, clothes that light you up and support who you are as a person, you will automatically feel a lot better. And just by doing tiny little incremental, what I call fabifications. So let's just say you're really feeling flat and you really don't want to even put on something interesting on your body. If you just put on some lipstick or you just brush your hair or you just have a shower and put on a clean tshirt rather than an old manky one or something. Just a tiny fabrication that in itself will make you feel a lot better. And so if you can string together… it's like happiness. If you can string together little happiness moments, happy moments, you will have happiness. If you string together all these little fabifications, what you eat, you know, how you speak to your partner, how you speak to your child, doing a little bit of exercise, even if it's five minutes standing outside in your garden. All these fabrications together lead to feelings of fabulosity.
[06:44] Debra Jones: It sounds to me that it's about putting in a little bit of extra effort, automatically shifts your mindset, I think, a little bit. But as you were talking, something came to mind, and it is the idea of colors and how colors make us feel. So in my world, in the healing world, we know that colors do have a different vibration. And that's why we work with the chakras. That's why we use colors and crystals and different colors to help shift the energy. And so red being a very vibrant color, it's also a very grounding color from an energetic perspective. What can you share with us about what you understand about the colors we choose to wear?
[07:32] Yolanda Drewell: I'm not interested in any of that, to be quite frank. I am only interested in what colors light me up and what colors feel good. Okay? So I was told when I had to create my brand for my business, look at what colors your people are going to enjoy and look at the energy of colors and all that sort of thing. And I thought to myself, but I want red. I want red. And there are days where I want to only wear red. There are days where I only want to wear gray because I feel like I'm a more classical sort of a day.I don't know. I wake up and I think I feel more classic today. If you look at my background, the listeners can't see, but my background is white. So on the one hand, I'm this flamboyant, all color, lots of rich, beautiful tones. On the other side of me, it's like this minimalist calm, stark almost. And so it just depends on my mood. And so I'm sure there is a lot to be said about all that sort of thing. I'm not poo pooing it. It's just that, like I said before, I don't want those rules. I don't want to even contemplate that. If I like a color, I'll wear it. If I don't like it, I won't wear it. And that's kind of how I'm finding myself being now that I've stepped through my midlife portal.
[08:46] Debra Jones: Yeah, that midlife portal. Sometimes it's a little bit nondescript. It's not really a portal where you say, “TADA, here I am.” It's just a matter of we are subtly shifting sometimes. And I'm wondering about when we reach that midlife portion of our life. We are sort of reinventing ourselves because we are not who we were. We maybe like or have decided that we like certain things and don't like certain things. So I think our views and our values shift and change. And so when you help people that are transitioning, how do we know which direction to go? Or how do you help somebody decide who they are? I know on your website you said, I want to know what is you 2.0. What can you share with us about that?
[09:47] Yolanda Drewell: Okay, so I love this whole concept of reinvention. And in my opinion, we don't reinvent enough as adults. You know, the superstars like Madonna and Cher and all of these amazing people, Lady Gaga even, they all spend a great deal of time and energy and money reinventing themselves. But us other fabulous, normal mortals don't seem to do that nearly as dramatically as they do, if at all. And I think that is such a shame because in my opinion, mother Nature gives you lots of opportunities to reinvent all through your life. So what I mean by that is big birthdays, when you turn 20, 30, 40, 50, older, every decade, that birthday is a momentous, amazing opportunity to reinvent. But a lot of the time, we spend it being depressed, we spend it being depressed, and it's such a wasted opportunity. They say, never waste a good crisis. If you're having a crisis, have your crisis moment, but then come out of it and be determined to reinvent and step out in spectacular fashion, whatever that means for you, in a different way. And so that's what I love about this. So other reinvention opportunities that Mother Nature gives us are things like when you have a baby or when your children leave home empty nest, which is sort of what I'm going through now. If you survive a horrible disease or you get divorced or whatever, you lose your job or you start a new job or you move, there's so many of these opportunities. And I think if we can just understand that we need to reinvent us people as adults, that's what keeps us vital and young and forward-looking and present, which are all the things that we need to remain relevant and be able to create amazing futures for ourselves. For ourselves. And a lot of midlife people complain that they feel irrelevant and that their best years are behind them and that they're invisible. Well, that's because they're not reinventing themselves. And so you need to honestly use all these opportunities, as many opportunities as you can, to reinvent, and ask yourself, who am I next? Who do I want to be next? What is me 2.0? I'm going to turn up the volume on me, and what does that mean? And for everybody, it's different. For me, it was stepping into fabulosity in a very big, bold, flamboyant way. I've never dressed this colorfully in my life before. But I really love it. And the more I do it, the more compliments I get, because when I dress, what suits me and what lights me up, there's the vibration that comes from me to others. And then they sort of think, oh, wow, okay, what can I wear that lights me up? And sort of the vibration of it is so profound and so, yeah, that's a long winded, hopefully, but good answer to your question.
[12:47] Debra Jones: It's a great answer. It's a great answer. For me, I'm focused on empowerment, and what you're saying is we're empowering ourselves to take charge of our life, to move it into a direction that feels better. That's what I'm hearing you say between the lines. And so do you come across situations where people are reluctant to do that?
[13:14] Yolanda Drewell: Yes, all the time. You started the interview by saying that fabulous is a big word, it's a scary word. And so when I say that to people and I say, well, are you feeling fabulous? Or what fabulous things are you going to be doing? Or it's scary for people. People struggle with that, but that is where the excitement is. They say the comfort zone is a fabulous place, but nothing ever grows there. And that is so true. You have to get out of yourself if you want to be vital and you want to be young and instead of lamenting old age or lamenting aging and ageism and all those things, people spend a lot of time complaining about how ageist society is and the media, and they blame everybody else except themselves. So many people that complain about all of that, they don't dress in a way that lights people up or actually creates a positive vibration for themselves or for anyone else. They are not interested in other people. They are not reinventing. They are not creating communities. They are not stepping into their matriarchal role as women. They complain about the patriarchy, but they don't step into their matriarchal role. You know what I mean? The responsibility also has to come from oneself. And then I think it can only benefit society, can only benefit you, but it has to come from you rather than looking outward looking what I can do. And I was watching a master class with Richard Branson. He was in fact one of my first clients when I had my PR business many, many years ago. And he's obviously an amazing guy. And he was saying how one of their philosophies is this concept of the ring around things. So you always started with a ring around you. And so the ring around you means making sure that everything about you is good. So you look after your health, you exercise, you eat well, you look after you. So you make sure that you are functioning and being fabulous. Then you take the ring and you put it around your family, and you check that your family is doing well. And you make sure you are looking after them very well in all the different needs that they have, then once that's perfect, then not perfect, but once that's fabulous, then move the ring to your extended family or to your community or your business. So you keep expanding the ring out. And I think that's a wonderful way of actually looking at it. So the responsibility starts with you and then radiate out, and that will only change things. That's the only way forward.
[15:53] Debra Jones: I think that's not unlike the idea of putting your mask on the airplane first, right? If you don't do that, you can't affect change in any other arena. So what I hear you say is that we do have the power to change the way we feel about ourselves by going into our closet, picking the clothing, because what we wear and going back to when I talked about colors, they do have an effect on us. And so if we choose something that is gray or black, in my understanding, that's a way to close yourself off from the world. Whereas if you wear something brighter, it's a way to expand out into the world. And that is the difference between fear and love or comfort and discomfort, for instance. So by choosing something that opens you up, a bright color or a joyful color, you'll have an opportunity to let that color make you feel different. And I think that's why if you're saying about how you like to navigate to red, red is a very happy, vibrant color and it makes you feel happy and vibrant.
[17:17] Yolanda Drewell: That is absolutely true. Except my belief is that if you wear black and gray as a neutral color, that is when you come into trouble, you need to wear black and gray as a color. What I mean by that is a lot of people wear black because they think it makes it look smaller, thinner, or it's easy to wear. It goes with everything. That is when the energy is going in the wrong direction. However, if you are a very dramatic person and you say, I'm going to wear black today, I've got this kick *** blaser that's black, and I've got this amazing turtleneck black shirt and I've got these incredible black trousers that are black. But it's a completely different energy, isn't it? Same thing can be worn as a neutral. I hate neutral colors. There's no such thing as a neutral color. All colors go together. So don't wear colors as neutrals. Wear them as colors and then that energy will radiate out and will make you feel amazing.
[18:22] Debra Jones: Yeah, I was at an event recently where tie dye was the thing to wear and that's like a whole bunch of colors together. And you can't help but smile when you see tie dye.
[18:35] Yolanda Drewell: Yes, we have a lot of tie dye around us. We're in a hippie sort of town area and yeah, it's an unusual, interesting.
[18:43] Debra Jones: It makes us feel great, and it puts a smile on everybody else's face, too. So I'd like to shift gears a little bit and this identity shifting - so it can be conscious by what we choose to do ourselves. And we talked a little bit about coaxing people or if we don't feel that comfortable in doing it. What reasons can you share with us of why we would want to be fabulous?
[19:19] Yolanda Drewell: Well, why wouldn't you? Because fabulous people do fabulous things. That is fundamental to our whole philosophy here. It can be fabulous. If you are looking fabulous, you're going to feel fabulous. If you're feeling fabulous, you'll look fabulous, and then you will do fabulous things in the world. It will give you the energy, it will give you the vitality. It just creates a platform for you to just live our lives in a fantastic way. And why wouldn't you? And does that mean that living the fabulous life or living the fabulous way is perfect? It's by no means perfect. There will be times where life is not fabulous, and in those times as well, if you can just understand that this is all part of a fabulousness of life, it's so much easier to get through if you say, I want to live a fabulous life, it keeps you very present. It makes you count your blessings. It makes you be more loving to your family. You know, if I want to be fabulous, I'm going to put better clothes on my body, I'm going to tidy up my house in a better way. And all those things have got energy. It's a spiral upwards, spiral into fabulosity and positivity. I say that so many times. I'm so sorry.
[20:39] Debra Jones: That's okay. Well, I heard you're the queen of Fabulosity. What makes you the Queen of Fabulosity, do you think?
[20:47] Yolanda Drewell: Well, I decided. I decided I was the queen of Fabulosity. And, you know, that's tongue in cheeky. But who's going to give me permission to be the Queen of Fabulosity? I'm not waiting for anybody else to. I'm going to give it to myself. And I don't know if you're a Game of Thrones fan or if you even know what it's about, but in Game of Thrones, there's this amazing character, and she's called Daenerys Targaryen. And there's this fabulous scene in the movie where she is introduced to a sort of a compatriot of hers. She's a queen and he's a king, and she is sitting on her throne, and she has the sidekick, and I'm going to get the words completely wrong, but you'll get the gist of it. The sidekick sort of steps forward and introduces Daenerys to this other king, and she says something along the lines of, this is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, queen of the this and that. I've now slaughtered it completely, but she rambles off the breaker of chains, all these incredible words of who she is. And then this other king sort of looks at his sidekick because he normally introduces himself. So the sidekick gets the message, he nods, and he steps forward, and he says, this is Jon Snow. And he steps back, and everyone's obviously waiting for the whole list of titles. And Jon Snow looks at his psychic again, and he gets the message. He steps forward again, and he says he's King of the north. And he steps back, and that's my absolute favorite scene in the movie, in the series. And for all of us to say, I am the mother of four teenagers. I am the survivor of difficult marriages. We should all have these incredible titles for ourselves because we are so spectacular in what we survive and what we do every day. You know, we don't give ourselves enough credit. And so I just love the expansiveness of that. So I thought, yes, I am the Queen of Fabulosity because I say so.
[22:44] Debra Jones: That is so amazing. So I'm Debra Jones, queen of OWN THE GREY podcast and queen of making people feel empowered… and that needs a lot of work.
[22:59] Yolanda Drewell: Queen of Empowerment. Why not Queen of Empowerment?
[23:02] Debra Jones: Debra Jones, Queen of Empowerment. We're laughing at it, but it is really very powerful. I mean, I was very inspired by your story, and I don't watch Game of Thrones, so I'm sure it's even better when you do understand who these people are. But just the idea of owning it, whatever it is you want to own and not waiting for permission, that's the part that I loved about what you said.
[23:31] Yolanda Drewell: That is the whole point. How long are we going to wait for our partners, our husbands, our wives, our children, our bosses to give us permission to self express, and our boldest, fullest, most amazing, fabulous self? Whose permission are we waiting for? And we do. We wait. The difference between men and women is that men will proceed until apprehended, but women will ask permission. So we wait. We ask, can we see? Is it okay? Can I do this? Shall I do this? Are you all right? If I do this? Men will just do it. Unless somebody says, hey, don't do that. Such a big difference. Obviously, it's a generalization, but I just find it a very, very interesting observation.
[24:14] Debra Jones: Wow.
[24:15] Yolanda Drewell: And I don't want to wait for permission anymore. I want to proceed until apprehended. And so far, no one has apprehended me, so I want to read that word. If we can all just do it. We all need to step up and just be the biggest and most boldest version of ourselves, whatever that means for us.
[24:34] Debra Jones: If you enjoyed this episode and are inspired to discover more ways to live your best life, I invite you to go to DebraJones.ca, scroll down and subscribe to stay connected, I promise to only email once a month with new episodes.