Impact and Influence

Persephone Magazine Positivity Mantra Week 18

I often talk about the meaning of true beauty, beyond the superficial, and material, digging to the core of what makes some stand out over others. In my experience that can be nothing more than the man or woman who walks around with a beaming smile. Passersbys will take notice and feel a beauty that no makeup could match.

That said, have you ever heard the phrase, “wipe the smile from your face?”…meaning something that happens that could strip a happy, radiant person of their beauty?

As much as we would like to think, and for that matter should be, in charge of the beauty that comes into our worlds, there are a lot of influences that shape our existence.

Throughout our lives many things, especially people, have made impacts that have sent us in an emotional or spiritual direction. This direction could have been positive…or it could have been negative…and as difficult as it may have seemed it was what was intended for us at that moment. The challenge for us in the more trying times is how we deal with that person or event…how we choose to process how it influences us over time. Do we carry broken baggage with us on our journeys forever?

Let’s take a second to go back, not all the way to some deep dark recess of our spirits, but in the last few days or weeks. Think for a minute about someone who influenced you, positively or negatively. Was it a warm hello at your favorite coffee place or a word of praise from a boss or coworker? Or was it someone who was quick to take your parking place or close relation that said something as simple as “you’re not wearing THAT are you?”

How did you process these events? How did they affect you? Were you a person who created those influences on others?

Each of these seemingly little events in our daily lives can have huge repercussions and to work towards truly beautiful lives it’s time we take charge of the impacts and influences flowing to us… and from us and radiates that positivity back out!


Shine Your” Million Dollar” Light


One of the things I say all the time about beauty is that if you feel amazing you look amazing .. and one of the most important facets to feeling beautiful is your self-worth. If you’ve ever heard or used the phrase, “She looks like a million bucks”…that is a value…and a worth…and more than likely goes way deeper than someone who is wearing a million dollars worth of clothes and jewelry but rather someone who holds their head up high and radiates a million dollar light.

But what can keep us from looking…and living that way? What can take our self-worth away…the simple answer is ourselves! It is called SELF-worth… and SELF-esteem for a reason. Like most things in our lives- having and living that personal value can be easier said than done.

For me the challenges with my self-worth have come when I have based it on the opinions of others. In the past I put too much emphasis on living according to the way my husband, family, or friends said I should ….rather than in the ways that were in alignment with my dreams, goals, and values. There were times in my life I was paralyzed by simple decisions…before I could do anything I had to take a survey or a poll of everyone I knew- so my choice would be “acceptable” to the majority of the people in my life.

I felt like this was what I had to do to be loved…and valued. I spent an unreal amount of energy like that to be accepted. I tried to be perfect for everyone around me. I tried to build a perfect marriage,create perfectly overscheduled kids and a perfectly decorated house. Of course, no one around me appreciated it the way I thought they would because it wasn’t their goal. They definitely didn’t appreciate a stressed out me from running myself ragged. If you’ve been there, you know the next step is resentment… “I did all this for YOU people!…and this is the thanks I get!” ???  Change?

And then you continue on the cycle of self-doubt, thinking “No one values what I do or who I am” and your worth and purpose are gone…

It’s time to break the cycle…and start loving YOU, building self-worth, personal value, and BEAUTY… from within.

Before we can head in a new direction, it helps to figure out where we are. You can start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

–         Where do you think you are giving away your self-worth?

–         Is there someone in your life you are giving the power away to? And how can you get it back and keep it for yourself?

–         What in your life isn’t in alignment with your goals and values and is taking away from your self-worth?

Remember: “If your outer world reflects your inner self, you are in alignment and living a beautiful life!” 




~I'm falling in love with your favorite song~
by Joan Herrmann
I was watching television recently when it happened … I saw the first commercial for the Valentine’s Day diamond collection – you know, the gift that every woman will treasure. As I listened to the music and watched as the camera panned the romantic setting, waves of emotion overcame me like a tsunami. At that moment, in my mind, everyone in the world was in a loving, committed relationship and I was going to be the only person sitting home alone on February 14 (most likely eating ice cream).

 Realistic assumption? Of course not. But for a few minutes the drama queen in me took over and my emotions ran wild. Fortunately, I was able to reign them in, but the feelings I experienced are very common.

 The truth of the matter is that while there are many people in wonderful relationships, there are more people today living life as singles than ever before. So, there are more people sitting home believing that they are less of a person because they are one and not a part of two. Society perpetuates this belief.

 When we are little, we are taught that we need someone to complete us. The princess is always in search of her prince. We search high and low for him, trying on every glass slipper looking for the perfect fit. Sometimes we find the right shoe, other times we squeeze a size nine into a seven. Going barefoot is never an option.

 We are given the misguided notion that life is a Hallmark commercial. But… guess what? The fairytale doesn’t exist; at least not in the way it’s portrayed. There is no prince or princess that will make any of us live happily ever after – no outside person can do that; it’s an inside job.

 Until we rekindle the flame of self-love, there will be failed or unfulfilled relationships and tears at the thought of being alone. The self-love I refer to has nothing to do with being selfish, it’s actually being selfless. It’s putting the time and energy into understanding who we are and what we want. It’s about finding our path and fulfilling our dreams. It’s making ourself whole so we can be in a relationship with another (or not) in a healthy way. When we’re whole, there is no jealousy, resentment or neediness. It enables us to find (or stay with) someone who complements us – not completes us.

 What better time than Valentine’s Day to reestablish a relationship with yourself? Let it take root and then share it with your soul mate or your sole mate!



The Self-Help Guru Needed a Little Self-Help!

"The Opposite of Fear is Love."
Fear has been my best friend lately.  My husband and I split two months ago.  I have been trapped in fear on so many levels in every direction.  Fearful of letting go of the love I had and wishing it didn’t end.  Fearful of not being able to take care of myself financially.  Fearful of what others will think. Fearful that the awful things my husband has said about me are true.  

 Dwelling on what is wrong with the situation and wrong with ourselves is the natural path we take when we are going through a difficult time…especially heart break.

Today I received a phone call from my landlord- one of those people who I have been afraid to call.  I know in order to take care of my children, I feel that I need to downsize to a less expensive home.  However, I have been afraid to do so…what if I break my lease and don’t get a good reference, will I not be able to find a new home? 

I answer the phone and my landlord began by thanking me for helping her through one of the most difficult times in her life.  Me?  How?  What was she talking about?  Last year when I rented her home, I gave her a copy of my book as she handed me the keys to her beautiful home.  What I didn’t know at the time, was that she was going through a divorce and was feeling down about herself and her life.  She continued by saying that my book helped her regain her sense of self.  As she went through the exercises, she found herself again, she focused on what was beautiful about her, how amazing her life is and began to take the steps to rebuild.    Nine months later her life is beautiful again and she recognizes her amazing self!  Bottom line, her self-confidence has been restored. 

 I thanked her for sharing with me and in turn by doing so, she helped me realize that I needed to re-apply to myself what I teach others. 

I wrote my book after going through a terrible divorce and living on food stamps.  I rebuilt and became even stronger because of the difficulties I had faced.  DUH, how could I forget so quickly? 

 Because that is what happens.  We continually go through difficulties in life.  When life presents another blow to the heart we either bury it and move on (only to have it resurface later or worse…wash rinse, repeat) , we hide under the covers, or we can do the work. 

 The self-help Guru needed a dose of her own teachings….

 I hung up the phone and decided to re-apply to my life what I taught others.  It was time to let go of the fear and focus on who I truly am, what gifts I have, what I am grateful for, what I have accomplished, and most importantly…how I haven’t failed.  It’s a beautiful opportunity to rebuild and become more.  I am fine!  YES..I AM MORE THAN FINE!  I can do this!  I give myself permission to stop feeling sorry for myself and start taking action towards building my life in a new way…an even better way. 

 Fear is the opposite of Love

 When we focus on what’s wrong with us and continually fear what may happen, we block the love that surrounds us and the love from those who so desperately want to lift us up and mirror back to us how beautiful and amazing we are. 

 I AM __________.

 I am beautiful, kind, loving, and smart and more.   I am safe.  It’s all okay…it’s only change.  As I say in my book The Beauty Blueprint  “change is inevitable…we attract who we are, not what we want”.  I now embrace change and celebrate who I am. 

 How about you?  It’s your turn.  Who are you, truly? Are you fighting change? 

Here’s to love and letting go of fear!



Inner beauty is easier to see when it isn't buried under fat.
“True beauty is not what is on the outside; it’s what dwells deep within our hearts, in the essence of our beings. The only thing makeup can do is enhance that true beauty.”

A recent study revealed that women today are less happy than women of the same ages 25 years ago. Why do you think that is so? One of my clients told me that while we’re aware of all the possibilities waiting for us, we’re also aware of everything lacking in our lives. Another suggested that the stress we face in trying to get it all and balance it all has been magnified by a terrible economy. So while the stresses are piling on and the economy is straining our wallets, the pressure is also getting more intense for us to maintain an artificial standard of beauty. It’s as if women are being squeezed out of the lives we fought so hard to win the right to have.

For many, the first sign that we’re losing that battle for our best life is a nagging dissatisfaction with our appearance. We know there is a standard, and we fear we can’t meet it. This fear often comes to a crisis point when we approach our 40s.

When a woman is in her 20s and 30s, she’s in her “getting years.” She’s focused on getting a job, a husband, a house, and children. Those goals take all of her mind, soul, and body to achieve. For many of us, after all these years of intense goal-oriented living, we wake up one morning and realize there’s nothing left on our “to get” list. We’re married (or we’ve been married), we have children and a comfortable home, and we’re established in our career. Suddenly we realize, with a sense of nagging dread, that although we may want everything we have, we don’t have everything we want! We achieved many of the goals we set in our 20s, but now we suspect our list wasn’t bold enough. It’s time to rediscover who we are and who we could be.

Our beauty shines when we allow ourselves to revel in our inner qualities and share them with the world. It’s in these moments that we are all beautiful. When we share from our hearts and help someone else learn from our experiences, or ask for support for ourselves, we cultivate our true beauty. It’s when we aren’t afraid to ask for the support we need, and when we open our hearts to each other, that true transformation occurs. That is when we open ourselves to what the pursuit of true beauty can help us achieve.

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips

When You’re Supported, You Grow!


When I was in the downward spiral of my depression, a friend suggested that I try attending his church. I told him that while I appreciated the suggestion, I wasn’t a very religious person. I considered myself more “spiritual.” He assured me that his church was different and that the person giving the sermons was less of a preacher and more of an inspirational speaker.

Since I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, when the following Sunday rolled around, I picked up my mom and we went to my friend’s church. I listened to the speaker and hung on her every word, tears flowing down my face the entire time. Although there were some 500 people there, I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. Most of all, I felt like I was home. I started attending regularly, and the sermons would lift me up and carry me through the week. Since I was becoming a familiar face there, I also stepped into a beautiful circle of new friends. The church became a constant source of unconditional love and support.

You don’t have to go to a church to experience this, though. Go online or visit your local community center and look for clubs or organizations that are of interest to you. You might even be able to find a women’s club in your neighborhood. You can also sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website ( for ongoing support, love, and encouragement.


How to View Yourself as a Work of Art


Your beauty marks are actually marks of distinction. They’re what makes you a designer original. When you go to a museum and look at the art on the walls it is all beautiful, right? However, when you truly begin to discover  the beauty of the painting is when the tour guide explains the thought process and the love that went into the painting and what it’s meaning is. Then you begin to see it in a different way, and even if it is not your particular style, you admire the process and the way that story translates on to the canvas. We are all divine and unique pieces of art. Each with our own stories, our own experiences, interests, and talents. When we begin to revel in these qualities and cherish every little thing about ourselves, our “Flaws” are not such a big deal anymore.