Recipe for an at Home Zen Spa Experience

imagesI went to get my nails done today and of course the first thing the nail tech asked me was what color? I replied soft brown or beige. She looked at me as if I was an alien who just sat down. Beige? Beige is boring…so plain…so simple. Everyone else is wearing dark colors for Fall…don’t you want to join in the Fall festivities?

 

For a moment I felt like a weirdo. Then in the next few seconds I thought, no I am not a weirdo! I want beige!

In fact, I began loving the idea of beige even more as I started to think about what beige represents to me.   It’s soft, simple, clean, timeless, like a pottery barn magazine, a spa, a zen place. Personally, I am gearing up for the change of season by creating more zen in my home as well as some zen in my daily life.   As a busy mom, I am running around taking care of everyone else, I have made a vow to take care of myself too. I want to spend more time feeling cozy, warm and relaxed rather than crazed. Burnt orange or red will do another time. But not today.

After my manicure, I went home and decided to create a little spa experience for myself. If you are looking to create some zen for yourself, Here are a few of my simple tips to create your own Spa experience in the comfort of your home…to take care of the one person that you may put on the back burner way too often..YOU!

Recipe to create you Zen At Home Spa Experience:

Ingredients:

Soft towels

Bath tub

Candles

Soft music

Book (optional)

Herbal DeCaf Tea (Celestial Seasons- Camomile/Lavender is my fave)

Homemade Sugar Body Scrub: Mix 1 cup olive oil with 2 cups of raw sugar and add essential oil if desired.

Moisturizing Body Bar or Wash

Homemade Face Mask: 1 cup of oatmeal cooked, 1 tablespoon honey, egg whites from one egg (to hold ingredients together ). Mix and apply to a clean face for 5-10 minutes. Gently rinse Oatmeal and honey soothes and moisturizes the skin.

 Directions:

  1. Draw lukewarm bath (not too hot as hot water robs our skin of moisture). Add some bubble bath if you prefer.   Just remember, the oil from the home made body scrub will moisturize your body while you are in your bath.
  2. Light candles, start music, grab your book
  1. Apply face mask to face and neck. Avoiding eye and lip area
  1. Use Sugar Body Scrub to gently exfoliate body- (avoid face and neck) leaving your skin moisturized by olive oil. Follow with gentle body wash if needed. (I like to mix body wash with a little sugar scrub mixture and gently massage into skin).
  1. Lie back and sip tea, listen to music or read, and relax.
  1. Once you have rinsed body and washed face mask off- gently towel dry and apply eye cream and night cream.
  1. Enjoy the peaceful sleep (don’t forget to blow out the candles)

Louise Hay is true beauty!

Me and Louise
LIKE MOST PEOPLE, I first came in contact with the work and spirit of Louise Hay at a difficult time in my life. Although I was living my professional dream of being a celebrity makeup artist and stylist, there was a nagging emptiness in my personal life that I hadn’t put my finger on. That was until the day I was drawn into a bookstore with a little extra time on my hands.

I had no idea what led me to that store any more than the divine hand that guided me to a copy of You Can Heal Your Life.  I had never heard of Louise Hay, or any other Hay House authors, yet as I flipped through the pages her words touched me like no other book ever had. From the moment I opened the cover I couldn’t put it down. It felt as though she was speaking directly to me, touching me in a way that didn’t just encourage and strengthen my mind, it validated and invigorated my soul. I felt as though everything I believed spiritually, but had previously questioned, was ringing true through the power of her words. These were beliefs that I had discounted up until that very moment because they were so different from those everyone around me held. Wrapped in Louise’s words I had found freedom, security, and a spiritual home.

Along with discovering the strength of my authentic self came the realization that I did not truly love who I was. On top of that, I was in a marriage with someone who did not love or honor who I was and definitely not who I was becoming as I grew.

I continued on the path of self-discovery, though, by reading more Hay House books and attending workshops. After eventually leaving my unhappy marriage, and still in the depths of the soul search, I would have another more personal and divine encounter with Louise.  When a mutual friend invited me to the I Can Do It Event in Tampa to meet Louise, I jumped at the opportunity.

Even a brief “audience” with Louise was life changing, and while my career was taking off in the ways I had always dreamed it would, Louise’s spirit and words were guiding me in a new direction. I knew what I was truly intended to do, along with focusing on external beauty as a makeup artist, my calling was to be a teacher and help people bring true beauty to their lives. I was to help others feel this beauty by learning to love themselves the way I had from Louise. I created a vision board with the picture of Louise and me in the very center and the journey began.

Two years from then I would take my seat at the Speak, Write and Promote Event in Boston, moments later to be joined by Louise herself. From the first time I picked up her book to the times spent with her today, and now as a Hay House author. I cherish beyond words the guidance her spirit has been to mine.  To be a part of the Hay House family and for my message to have the endorsement of trust that comes with her name brings tears of joy and gratitude I could never truly express.

What Motivates Visionaries To “Dominate” The World?

By Lissa Rankin

te108-361835d9-ab5f-4437-8c80-65a1ecfdbcad-v2I’m writing this on a plane from Portland back home to San Francisco after joining 3000 visionaries and thought leaders who attended Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit. This very inspiring conference was peopled with those inspired by Chris’s manifesto “A Brief Guide To World Domination,” which is less about colonization and more about saving the world.

Gretchen Rubin is saving the world by teaching people how to be happier, Don Miller is helping people rewrite the stories of their lives, Nancy Duarte is helping people tell stories that can change the world, Bob Moore is changing the world by putting people before profit, Jia Jiang is changing the world by helping people learn to take risks by getting comfortable with rejection.

Pretty much everyone I met was either on a mission to fulfill a calling or on a quest to find one. After the conference ended with a tear-jerking sparkling apple juice toast, I found myself reinvigorated in my own mission to heal health care, and everyone I spoke to felt inspired to change the world in their own small or big way.

It was awesome.

But as the afterglow of the post-WDS Bollywood dance party wore off, I found myself pondering what motivated all of us to try to make the world a better place.

I wound up posting this on Facebook:

After spending the weekend with 3000 visionaries committed to changing the world, I find myself reflecting upon on what motivates visionaries. Are we motivated by a pure, unadulterated desire to leave the world better off than we found it? Or are we operating from a place of deep unworthiness, of not being enough unless we make the world a better place? Or is it some combination of both?

So many people are desperate to find their calling, their reason for existence, their meaning of life. And many others, like myself, feel they have found it- and are now on a quest to fulfill a vision. But is the quest driven by the right motives?

What made Martin Luther King, Jr campaign for civil rights? What made Nelson Mandela take a stand? What made Abraham Lincoln free the slaves? What made Evita and Mother Teresa fight for the rights of the poor?

Is it a deep-seated sense of unworthiness that needs to be healed? Is it ego? Do we need to feel like we’ve contributed big things so we know we are valuable? Is it karmic? Are we trying to pay off some debt for wrongs committed in past lives? Are we craving love, acceptance, external validation?

Or is it noble? Are we just caring, committed souls devoted to service without any self-serving motives? Are we clear vessels for Divine work in the world moving through us?

What do YOU think?

The Facebook Response

Forty-seven people responded with very thoughtful answers, including these:

Beth Gradone Krajewski wrote, “I suspect human beings come from mixed motives much of the time, and we can afford to be forgiving of the ego-ridden places in ourselves and others if the work is really being done and done well. But motives do matter, at least as far as they can poison the work if not recognized and dealt with. Lifting up the questions and asking all those who engage in visionary action to get real about their self-worth and the source of their dreams only furthers the work itself and the quality of the results.”

Jennifer Newcomb Marine wrote, “I think the vision, altruism and drive spring from someplace pure in your heart. Then fear and ego get involved and create this start-stop dance of self-doubt, craving validation, and thinking, ‘To heck with everyone!’and so on… The trick is to get out of your own way so you can make a contribution. But the journey there is full of learning about how and why you trip yourself up too.”

Pamela Potter wrote, “I really think it is a divine push that we can’t avoid. Many of the historical figures weren’t what we’d consider personally enlightened and many of them didn’t get any kind of recognition until much later, so I don’t think ego figures in. If you are called to do something, you just CAN’T not do it. Even if you just babble at people and write a blog that no one reads or articles that don’t always get published, your heart has to know that you are doing something. I’m not sure most of us go into it with a plan. We just can’t stop thinking about our thing, what ever it is, and we have to DO something.”

Lori Santo posted, “I personally feel that it is a powerful inner pull….. combined with a ‘Priestly Divine Appointment’ ~ which of course transcends language ~ coupled with an intense sense of and alignment with profound compassion for humanity.”

The Evolution Of The Species

I don’t know the answer to the questions I pose. But I have a hunch that our species is evolving, maybe not so much on the physical plane, but at the level of consciousness.  For many years, many of us- myself included- have been spiritually asleep.  But more and more people are waking up to a broadening consciousness, and this awakening is accompanied by a desire to leave the world better than we found it.

Uri Geller once suggested that we only use 10% of the capacity of our brains, and while PET scan imagery and fMRI seem to refute this, I do suspect we have capacities of consciousness we are only just beginning to tap into.  Neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, author of Proof Of Heaven, wrote about how his near-death experience, which occurred while he was technically brain dead, changes his belief that consciousness lies in the brain. He now believes that consciousness transcends the brain, that we have souls that exist beyond the body, and that there are realms of consciousness a few lucky ducks like Dr. Alexander and Anita Moorjani have been blessed to experience and then remember.

Stealth Agents For God

World Domination Summit has nothing to do with religion, Chris Guillebeau certainly wouldn’t self-identify as a spiritual leader, and many of those who attended probably wouldn’t even label themselves as spiritual, but I left World Domination Summit with a strong sense that the Divine is at work though the vehicle of the people who attended this conference.

Martha Beck would call these people “The Team” or “Stealth Agents For God”. We are all doing our part, in our own Divinely unique way, to make the world a better place.

So I guess it doesn’t really matter what motivates those of us to “dominate” the world. The important thing is that we are making ourselves vessels, allowing Divine work to move through us, spreading love and kindness and compassion and grace, leaving the world better than we found it.

What Do YOU Think?

Tell us your stories.

With love and world domination,

Warning :: Pleasure + Connection Ahead

By Nancy Levin

Untitled3I’m at the tail end of a week in NYC. I lived here for 5 years a long time ago and come back often, but I was particularly struck on this trip – in a very positive way –  by a specific segment of the population that usually gets a bad rap: construction workers!

I made it part of my ritual nearly every day on this trip to go for an outing up on the High Line, which meant crossing several of the avenues west in order to get there. And there’s a lot of construction!

When I used to live here – and for many years after – I walked around guarded, closed off, uninviting. I’d scowl and practically bark if a construction worker even looked at me, let alone talked to me. And eye contact – never!

But on this trip something shifted…I found myself meeting the eyes of these guys. And truly taking in their expression.I began to experience them as connoisseurs appreciating beauty and I felt like a work of art in their presence.What if they were really just my mirrors, reflecting my own light back to me. No one said anything lewd, I mostly received lots of smiles – and I willingly smiled back. The best thing I heard was:  ”Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ and eatin’ what you’re eatin’!”

Maybe it’s that I’m getting older – but I actually think it’s that I’m willing to truly connect now and be seen. For much of my life I was so shut down. I didn’t want to see myself and therefore certainly couldn’t handle being seen by others, in any capacity. The truth is that I didn’t want to connect.

And now that I’ve released those old protections that no longer serve me, I’m happy to walk down the street leaving little morsels of pleasure along the way while allowing myself to receive the same hit as well. And I’m grateful for a safe and fun way to play.

We tend to think that connection is so scary, but what if all it takes is simply letting someone’s eye contact and smile in, reflecting back the impact it has, and then basking in your own warm heart. It’s a start anyway…

How to Overcome “Imposter Syndrome” and Believe in Yourself!

By Erin Cox

self-confidenceYou’ve done it. You’ve finally achieved one of your biggest, greatest goals and it feels amazing! You’re flying high, and life is glorious! And then…something happens that shakes your confidence. The ugly, negative self-talk starts to creep in, saying, “you don’t belong here,” or “you don’t deserve this,” or “everyone is going to see right through you,” or “who do you think you are?”

How do I know these horrible statements? Because I’ve asked myself every one of them at one point or another over the past year.

I’d left a career where I’d felt confident and knew where I stood. It was… well, boring. I was no longer pushed out of my comfort zone. Then I quit and entered the world of being a writer and speaker. I’ve never felt more alive, free, joyful… and fearful of not being “good enough.”

While heading author’s cocktail party at my first Hay House I Can Do It speaking engagement, I had to repeat in my head, “I belong here” dozens of times as I met authors whose books rocked my world, like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Robert Holden, and Anita Moorjani. I felt like there was no way I could measure up to those amazing people or even deserve to be in their presence. Self-doubt crept in and nearly took over… but my true voice, that powerful voice within, came through for me. I went in, head held high, took some deep breaths, and had some of the most amazing and meaningful conversations of my life.

Self-affirmation has to become a practice. You deserve all the amazing things in your life. You truly ARE worthy!

Self doubt and having moments of feeling like an imposter happens to everyone, and I mean everyone! Think of the most accomplished and successful person you know. Yep, they’ve felt that way too. It’s human nature.

Here’s what you can do today to believe in yourself and know you completely deserve all the wonderful things that you have experienced and are doing to experience:

1)   Write down the top three accomplishments that you are most proud of, and under each, describe how hard you had to work and what you had to sacrifice to achieve of those amazing things. Let it sink in how very much you deserved every one of them!

2)   Come up with a positive affirmation to combat the statements of self-doubt that pop into your head. So, if the thought, “What if they find out I’m an imposter and I don’t deserve this?” creeps into your head, then write down affirmations such as:  I am worthy, I am enough, I am talented, or I deserve this. Find what most directly combats your thoughts of self-doubt. Write it down and read it countless times each day.

3)   When in a place where you feel insecure or out of place, start repeating in your head, “I belong here.” Then reach out to one person at a time and connect when each person as an individual. Don’t beeline for the most important person in the room, but rather connect with whomever you are most drawn to! Once you are comfortable and in your zone, feel free to casually walk over to the “big shots” in the room and give them a sincere compliment. That should start a nice conversation right there!

Everyone struggles with self-doubt from time to time, and awareness is the first step to overcoming this pervasive problem. Once you are aware, you can come up with a strategy to reassure yourself that you are exactly where you belong. Let go of your ego and strive to become more fully and authentically yourself, and these feeling will slowly dissipate. In moments of weakness or self-doubt, try the three tips I mentioned here and keep moving forward.

Have you ever struggled with feeling like an imposter? What strategies do you use to overcome self-doubt? Please share below!

Like a fine wine we get better with age.

photo_1839_20060807On June 6th I turned 50 years old. 50 YEARS OLD! Like most other 50 years olds, I’m not sure how this happened – it feels like a blink of an eye. One day I’m a college girl, the next a young mother, and now one half a century old. How can I be 50? Most days I feel, think and act like a 24 year old, so I know it’s only a number, but when that AARP membership card arrives …

When I was growing up, I thought 50-year-old women were old; they were on the downside of life. Or were they???

I know I’m not the first half centurion to say age is only a number. We have to say that, right? Growing older can be a challenge. We must work hard at looking good, keeping our mind sharp, and maintaining our weight and health. Nothing comes naturally any more. But, to be honest, I truly feel the best I have felt in many years. I am stronger, more confident, much wiser, and doing work that I never dreamt possible. And, this transformation began at age 46! An age that most feel the best is behind them.

I think the reason I feel so great is because I never bought into ageism. Sure I joke about getting older, but I don’t really buy it! People always say 50 is the new 30, but if you look around it’s true. Middle age people are accomplishing more than ever before and doing it at later ages. Growing older does not mean it’s time to retire, I truly believe that it’s time to refire! Have you seen Roger Daltry, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney lately? At their age, they aren’t the grandpas I knew when growing up!

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Diane Gilman (you may know her from Home Shopping Network). When she was younger, Diane was a fashion industry “it girl”, but in later years she found herself at age 50, widowed, overweight, unemployed, and depressed. She created her DG2 brand, which was met with a negative response from fashion industry experts. She did not let that deter her and went on to create a brand that has sold more than 7 million pairs of jeans and leggings. Now, at age 66, her life is rewarding in every aspect possible.

My advice to you, don’t let age be a factor in your life. Don’t buy into ageism. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to embark on a new journey. Follow the example of so many people that have achieved greatness during the 2nd half of their life.

So … happy birthday to me (and to you)! To turning 50 years old I say, bring it on baby!

Whose voice is running in your head?

images-3We all have them; those voices in our head that cause fear and doubt and undermine our lives. Often, they are the voices of people who we trusted and felt safe around but betrayed that security, and in the process, created a life-long internal battle for our self-esteem. It could be the voice of a parent, love interest, or even a teacher or boss whose opinion you valued, and now their words hang over your heart. “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat.” “Don’t bother trying that you’re not capable.”

I know those voices all too well.  Several years ago, after going through a difficult divorce, I lost my job of 12 years, and found myself raising three small children with no money.  For months I paid my bills with credit cards and when those ran out, I applied for welfare.  As I struggled through a downward spiral, voices from my past played like a broken record telling me that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.  That was until my best friend Lori called and told me she had stage four colon cancer.

I realized at that moment life was too short to listen to any voice other than mine.  I decided that whatever was playing in my head, and no matter who said it, it was time to erase the tape and live my beauty! When I did, my life changed dramatically.

So how do you erase and reprogram your positive inner dialogue…

Identify the negative and re-program the dialogue.

Write down all the negative inner dialogue that runs through your mind.  For each bit, answer this question: What was the true intent behind the statement, meaning, who made it and why? Here’s a story to help you get the gist of what I want you to do. . . .

I was working with a client shortly after her husband left her. After weeks of self-esteem coaching, she wanted to go shopping to create a new look that matched her new life. As a celebrity stylist and life coach it’s always fun to help women bring their inner beauty to life through a look that matches who they are.  After trying on several flattering outfits, however, she looked dejected and stared at the dressing-room floor.

“I have to tell you something,” she said. I braced myself because, by now, I’ve learned that clients who are making bold changes also confront even bigger fears. “I think my stomach looks terrible in all these clothes.”

“What?” I gasped. “You look incredible! You have a great body. Where is this coming from? What is the voice in your head saying exactly?”

“It’s my ex’s voice,” she confessed. “He told me that I was getting fat, and he didn’t want to have sex with me anymore.”

“What was his genuine intention behind that statement?” I asked.

“To hurt me, I guess.”

“So, it wasn’t true, right? He only said it to upset you. Do you see the difference?”

She nodded, and relief washed over her face. The inner voice that had damaged her so deeply wasn’t true, and now she saw it for what is was; a lie.

She stood up straighter and smiled, and I knew she was on her way to becoming a free woman.

Now it’s your turn to do this exercise so that you can finally be free of any shaming voices that hold you back. And even if the original intention was positive—as a way to protect you, for instance—the result may still be the same. This exercise enables you to observe this dialogue for what it truly is and no longer allow it to control you.