July 30, 2015

Dressing THE Truth

It is a great day here in sunny and very hot, Phoenix, AZ! My day has been good so far, though I haven't gotten as far in my to-do list as I had hoped, but all things considered, I feel pretty good about what I have accomplished thus far. This morning I woke up feeling rather "yucky" again. I didn't have a good night (another in a series of unrestful nights), and I woke up feeling a bit cranky. I have decided that my lack of sleep and my issues with sleep in general are related to menopause. Yep, I think I may be finally getting closer to the big "M" now as I am experiencing the normal symptoms most women do right before the end of their menses. I am having hot flashes (mild), night sweats (mild), unpleasant/weird dreams, fuzzy memory, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, fitful sleep, and fatigue. Some of these symptoms have been around for a while, but the hot flashes have recently started to become regular (before it was just occasional). Yep, I must have woken up 4-5 times last night as I felt my entire body catch on fire. I pushed the covers off, cooled down, and then pulled them back on. It seemed like the entire night was one session of on again/off again behavior. Thus, to say I am tired today, well that seems to be an understatement. Sigh!

After I got myself up and moving, I spent some time fixing my email problem (again!) I have had issues with my email program for about 6-7 months. My ISP has been popping my password (asking for it over and over again), and then not connecting to the server. Sometimes I am lucky and I do get email. Other times, I wait, wait, and wait. I thought the problem was with Thunderbird on the Mac so I switched to Outlook on the PC. Same problem. Then I decided it was just Cox, but miraculously my mail started to come through again without any issues. My son suggested that I use Mac Mail instead, but my mail program was corrupted some years ago and I didn't have a way (well, I didn't want to follow the recommended way) to reinstall it. Plus, I didn't want to lose all my old email from Thunderbird. Mozilla (parent of T-Bird) has made it rather difficult to export messages. You can do it, but you need to know Linux, and some system architecture to do it. It is not for the novice. I am pretty techy-saavy, but it has been years since I ran my own server, and frankly, my brain is not 100% in the best shape right now (see issue above). I finally gave up yesterday, and did the "deed." I found two add-ons for Thunderbird that 1) showed me my profile, and 2) allowed me to export my messages as mbox (versus eml). It took me a while to get everything exported, but good news, I did it. I was able to export all my email and folders and bring them into Mac Mail. I was pleased as punch, to say the least, and I felt so very confident as if I had just scaled Mount Everest. Ta-Dum! On top of that feat, I also fixed my version of Safari, and I cleaned my hard drive -- like deep cleaned it -- in order to improve efficiency and productivity. My day, yesterday, was marvelous.

So this morning, I thought it would be "business as usual" for me. I woke up early, checked my iPhone for messages, and wham! I found it was downloading 2600 emails from the server (thank you, IMAP!) I stopped that from happening, hooray, but was stuck with the realization that unless I could get Mac Mail to check my Cox account as POP rather than IMAP, the problem would persist. Finally, I cheated the system in Mac Mail, and I got a second account setup as POP (not easily done because of the new software and ease of mail account setup). I made Mac Mail force me to setup my account manually. It worked, and then while I checked my server account online, I was able to see that all my mail was downloaded. Once this happened, I removed all the mail from online, set my settings to remove mail after it is downloaded, and checked to make sure that only my devices (iPad and iPhone are set to IMAP). All in all, I think I have my Mac back to running smoothly. The password problem seems to be fixed, my mail is saved offline, and my server account is cleaned. Second Ta-Dum for the week! Hoorah!!

A Review of Dressing Your Truth

So after my tech repair, I settled into my normal routine of reading Facebook. This was probably not the best choice as I did have other things to do. Instead, I read a couple posts before I clicked on an advert for Carol Tuttle's Beauty Profiling system called "Dressing Your Truth." I had heard about this system before from some of my fellow home school friends, so naturally I was curious to learn more about it. I had first heard about it last spring, but as I was in the midst of teaching and my spring courses, I didn't have the time, the energy, or the interest to look much further. I put it aside, but as I am always looking for ways to dress according to my style, and as I am in the midst of a career change and in need of some fashion advice, I thought it might be worth investing a bit of time to check it out today.

I clicked on the link, and I was taken to a very nicely designed website (I notice those things since I am a former website designer). I browsed the site briefly before I clicked on the video course (advertised as free). The author of the website and program is Carol Tuttle, a self-proclaimed Beauty expert (and if you dig deeper, a purveyor of Chakra healing). Ms. Tuttle has created this Beauty Profiling system that she sells online through her website, Facebook, You Tube, and blog. In this life, nothing is free, so I knew that at the end of the "free" serious there would be a fee for the "real package." My home school friends told me to check out the You Tube videos because you can learn most everything about her system from them -- and all for free.

I watched the entire series from her website (like an hour or so), and like the good little scholar that I am, I took copious notes as Ms.Tuttle explained her system based on truth, energy, and expression (as she calls it). It didn't take me long to realize that her system was based on Hindu/Buddhism teaching (she has a video on You Tube where she references the need for your Chakras to be aligned for truth/understanding - hint - Christian's do not follow this teaching). I had already spotted a number of issues with her teaching right from the first video. I guessed right off that she teaches New Age mysticism as a way to "discover your true self." Her message is that in order to live your "true expression" you must understand your type. Your type is numbered 1-4 and factors in more than just fashion. It includes facial, body language, physical movement, thoughts/feelings, and personality. Through out her introductory series, Ms. Tuttle explains how all of these expressions of your natural energy work together to present the "true you" to the world. In short, by understanding your body type (your number), you can embrace the natural you and express your energy in positive ways. In essence, you can free your personality and emotions from the cultural influences of background, environment, expectations, and role playing that we all engage in from childhood.

As I listened to her system, I couldn't help but think how much of what she was sharing sounded like the Four Temperaments and Four Color Seasons I learned back in the 1980s when I took a Personal Fashion class at my local community college. Her videos were slicked up, of course, and they presented a lot of other information in addition to the basic air, water, fire, and earth approach. I remembered how back then I was told that I was an "Autumn" (earthy colors). I embraced my colors back then -- loved the fact that I could dress in certain colors and make the most of my appearance. It was fun, you know, a good thing. I never took it any further than what it was meant to be -- a way for men and women to dress in colors that matched their skin, hair, and eye color.

When I finished the series of videos, I clicked on the Beauty Transformation link and of course (as expected) I was presented with their 3-step system offered between now and August 1st for only $147. Hey, save $100 by ordering now. I left the website and headed over to You Tube to catch the free videos that Tuttle and her daughter/in-law have posted. Most of these are "sample transformations" or are about mistakes people make in finding their type. Throughout all of these videos comments such as "people often mistype themselves" or "not everyone is 100% of a type, most people are a combination of all four types" and there are "dominate and secondary types." What is more, the longer I watched the videos the more confused I became regarding the mistype problem. Apparently, you can be a 1/4 OR a 4/1 and then believe you are really a 3. Ms. Tuttle says that in her years of experience, she has helped thousands of people discover the truth about their inner beauty. I am guessing that if you are confused about how to figure out your type, you need to purchase her books, videos, and the online system. (The funny thing is that in a lot of these videos -- the free ones -- clearly Tuttle and her daughters seem to not be very sure of themselves nor do they appear to really know what they are talking about. I digress…).

After I watched her videos, several things became clear to me.

  • First, Carol Tuttle practices New Age mysticism and occultism. 
  • Second, she has no real training in psychology, medicine, or beauty (like aestheticism) or anything she peddles except for alternative therapies she classifies as "healing" therapy. 
  • Third, what she offers to women under her "Dressing Your Truth" program is nothing more than repackaged teaching on color coordination and body style suggestions mixed in with East-Indian practices. 
  • Fourth, her supposed "experts" who do the makeovers are not experts at all. They are her daughter and daughter-in-law who really are nothing more than young women who can put an outfit together. Nothing they do or share has anything special. In fact, if you watch the makeovers, most of them are awful. The women in the video are actually nice looking to begin with and are dressed fashionably. They are all give new hair, boring makeup, and lots of jewelry. 
  • Fifth, if you visit her "Dressing for Truth" online store and browse the clothing, you will find that the selections are horrific. Does anyone really buy these clothes from them? They are the ugliest clothing I have ever seen. I can find cuter items at Walmart or Target. 
  • Sixth, and finally, for those of us who are reflective Type 4's (according to her system), know that her approached is flawed from the get go. There is no scientific or empirical evidence to anything she says, and while I have no doubt that she is a savvy business woman who has sold millions of copies of her books, and who has appeared on TV and in magazines, she is a charlatan selling mystic wares to an unsuspecting public.

Know The Truth

After I finished watching these videos, I realized what a sham this whole system is and that many, many women are being taken in by her supposed expert advice. Furthermore, I googled, and I found that many women shell out $150 or more to have personalized Skype consultations or worse will pay $1500 to visit her store and center in Southern Utah. I read with sadness how many of these women were taken in by her people, how they were demoralized, and even victimized on the phone, over the Internet, and in person. Of course, it would be easy to say that these women were emotionally wounded, but apparently the methods used to help with their emotional healing were not compassionately cared for, but rather brutally treated. I wasn't shocked necessarily by this news, but I was distressed over it. You see, my heart aches for men and women who are wounded emotionally, specifically those that carry those burdens of shame regarding their appearance into their adult years. I know the pain and suffering of what it feels like to be made to feel like a freak, to be unwelcome at the lunch table or to be called names as you walked home from school. I remember those insults, and how that criticism has stuck with me. However, I also know that there is no other healing system available on the market today that can truly liberate a man or woman from those feelings, those negative thoughts, and the destructive habits and patterns we use to self-medicate. No, I know the truth, and that truth has set me free -- completely free -- and I am no longer seeking affirmation, confirmation, and validation through my physical appearance. The truth that I speak of is the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The great mystery is how Christ can transform us from the inside out, give us a new identity, and a new perspective on every area of our life. Yes, we can see ourselves rightly because we are given a new lens from which to look. That lens is the beauty of Scripture whereby we can come to appreciate our great value and worth. We are daughters and sons of the King, and that means that in His eyes, we are beautiful, good, and worthy.

2 Corinthians 6:18 says, "And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty."

I know the truth because I have read the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit guides me into all truth (John 16:13-14). I also recognized the truth because I have studied many of these beliefs over the years, and I have met people who practice them. Furthermore, anything that causes such confusion, that requires a so-called "expert" to guide you, is a red flag warning to me. This system is not just about taking people's money, it is about trying to make people feel better about themselves through the use of occultic practices. In this day and age, we no longer talk about New Age mysticism. We live in a society that is bent on relativism -- a worldview that says "your truth is your truth, and my truth is my truth." The problem is that there is no absolute truth so anything goes. The Bible clearly advocates that there is Truth, and it is God's Truth. Do not be taken in by anyone's so-called truth. Go to the Word, study it, and know the truth.

John 8:31-32

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

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