Naked in a room full of people

By Leah Carey

Last night I had a crazy dream about being in an audition factory for reality television shows.  It really was like a factory – they’d audition a whole crowd of people and then they’d dismiss them and the another bus would show up and the whole thing would start again.

And they didn’t just audition to be the next Design Star or Top Model or singer or dancer or…fill in the blank.

No, they came in and went through every talent they had – sang, danced, cooked, sewed, put on a bikini, and threw a hissy fit.  And then the casting agents decided which shows they would filter the people into. They weren’t there because they had “x” talent that was just waiting to be discovered.  No, they just wanted to be on TV.  No matter what.  Whatever it took, they would do it.

I think I was there as a journalist to write a story.  At some point during the dream, I went into a restroom and when I came out, I realized I was naked on top.

This “breasts exposed in public” dream is not uncommon for me (wow, that feels oddly private to admit…)

I don’t subscribe to a lot of traditional dream interpretation – I think that what a tiger means to ME at that moment in my life is far more important than what some “expert” says tigers mean in dreams. But when I had this type of dream yet again a couple weeks ago, I decided to look it up.  And lo and behold, the description at Dream Moods made sense to me:

Becoming mortified at the realization that you are naked in public, reflects your vulnerability or feelings of shamefulness. You may be hiding something and are afraid that others can see right through you. Metaphorically, clothes are a means of concealment. …

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Often times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. If this happens in your dream, then it implies that your fears are unfounded; no one will notice except you. …

If you dream that you are proud of your nakedness and show no embarrassment or shame, then it symbolizes your unrestricted freedom. You have nothing to hide and are proud of who you are. The dream is about a new sense of honesty, openness, and a carefree nature.

Up until that morning, my dreams always matched the first two paragraphs perfectly – I was surprised and embarrassed to find myself without clothing in public, but no one else seemed to really notice.

Here’s the remarkable thing – when the “breasts exposed in public” dream showed up last night, my first thought was, “I don’t have a shirt on. There are people around and no one notices. This must be a dream.”

WHAT?!?!  That is all of the second time EVER that inside a dream I’ve realized that I was dreaming!

Then the next thought was even more interesting: “If this is a dream then there’s no reason to be embarrassed.  I think it symbolizes being vulnerable and being free, so I might as well enjoy it!”

At which point another person walked into the room also without clothing on.  Another naked person has NEVER appeared in my “in public without clothing” dreams before.

This is new dream territory!  I accept being vulnerable and matching vulnerability immediately walks into the picture.  Now that’s a dream I can get into!

I can hardly wait to see what will happen next!

Have you got any good dream stories to share?  I’d love to hear them!  :-)

Start Where You’re At

By Lisa Selow

CC Image courtesy of kpishdadi on Flickr
CC Image courtesy of kpishdadi on Flickr

Many of you have big goals, dreams, and visions. You have desires. It all can get so overwhelming at times. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve stood there stopped in my tracks, thinking, “How will I get from here to there?”

Your desires might seem far away. Maybe you put them on the back burner for a while? Maybe you just can’t think about them ‘cause you’re not taking action and it hurts too much not to make them happen? Maybe you’re not sure where to even start? Yes, I know what those feelings are like too. I myself have been prone to procrastination and perfectionism, which ends up meaning that I wouldn’t start or finish anything.

I recommend starting where you’re at. Take one action step today in the direction of your desires. Tomorrow, same thing. Take another, small action step. Just keep going. (I like Dory’s quote in the animated film, “Finding Nemo”: “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”) Eventually, you’ll get “there.”

I’m really not into the idea of “getting there,” though. I see the process as the place where there is joy. The destination, to be honest, is not as fun or sexy as the journey. So, why not enjoy the journey?

It’s totally okay to just start where you’re at, even if you are sort of imperfect. What if your so-called imperfection was PERFECT?

What if your human side is that part of you that is beautiful and talented? What if you are denying others joy in experiencing that part of you?

What if you didn’t wait to be an expert or have the perfect abs? I mean, everyone is a beginner in some way, I promise you. Be okay with looking like an ass or silly. Why not? What others think of you is none of your business, as a wise spiritual teacher once said.

This past year, I had to tap into my inner life coach due to some self-doubts. I let my ego get in the way of continuing towards my dreams. In an online group I’m in, I was discussing my dream of studying to become a yoga teacher in the future. Someone there projected their reality onto me about what it means to be a yoga teacher. She said you have to be “religious” about it all and dedicating most of your time to it, to be a great teacher. The person shared a video of some teachers doing the very “advanced” asanas (postures) in yoga. Also, she said that I’d probably get bored teaching yoga due to it not being creative enough for me.

All of these limiting beliefs were not mine, I realized. I did have to dig deep ‘cause it really hurt. I’m a sensitive type of person. I ended up seeing this hurtful exchange as a gift. It showed me what I really believe about being a yoga teacher:

  • I can start where I’m at. I’ve done yoga for years, but I don’t have to be perfect.
  • All that is required to teach is an open-heart and an intention to serve, along with the knowledge of teaching others how to do the asanas safely
  • It’s okay to be a work in progress.
  • I define teacher and student as the same thing. I really feel as though we are both.
  • I don’t have to be an expert. I can acquire the knowledge, wisdom, and guidance from books, classes, and teachers and share it with love in my heart.
  • I’ve probably been a yoga teacher in many past lives and that DOES count!
  • Yoga is more to me. It’s the connection within and to the divine and others. It’s the harmonics of music and peaceful feelings from meditation. It’s the feeling of flow and allowing and accepting. It’s union.
  • Yoga is not a religion. It’s a spiritual practice.
  • I don’t have to be able to do the “advanced asanas” so that I can teach yoga. Again, it’s okay to be a work in progress.
  • I am into beginner’s mind. I love approaching yoga and other things in life like I’m a little kid learning it for the first time.

So, I felt better.

What about you? Do you ever struggle with getting from here to there? How do you feel about starting where you’re at right now? How do you handle the naysayers when it comes to your goals, dreams, and vision? Please share in the comments below.

3 Ways to Experience Peace Through the Craziness of Life

By Eric Cox

Peaceful dayI am guessing you are a driven woman with a list of goals and dreams a few pages long. I know I am, and between my strong desire to feel like an awesome mom and wife as well as carrying out all of these dreams, what most often gets lost in the mix is time for ourselves and our own inner peace.

A million stressors overwhelm and distract us.

We all go through stages where bury our heads in work and family, and sometimes miss the opportunities to look up and experience the world around us. We get caught up, stuck in our heads, and miss the beauty of the bigger picture.

The idea of being peaceful often stays a “nice concept” that we don’t feel like we can afford, but it sounds lovely. We exclude ourselves from the category of deserving or being able to have a peaceful existence. It just doesn’t seem realistic considering all we have to get done.

How can we finally live a peaceful existence amidst the noise? We must start by making an effort and taking little steps each day. With practice and experiencing the positive results, you’ll work harder and harder to make time for yourself and your inner peace!

Here are a few completely doable ideas for you:

Start the day off by enjoying stillness. This may mean we wake up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else that will be rushing to get ready for school or work but this time can help set the tone for our day. I use this time to meditate, pray, and enjoy a cup of coffee. Others like to get out first thing and exercise in peace or go for a walk. Don’t use this time to make a to-do list or read the news – there’s plenty of time for that and it only clutters our mind on what there is to do rather than allowing us to clear our mind.

Take breaks throughout the day. We don’t have to jump from one thing to another. Step away from the computer, delay a scheduled trip to the grocery store – there’s plenty of time for that, too. Repeat the mantra, “there is plenty of time for everything I need to get done today.” Often, our busy-ness is simply a mindset. We all are truly busy, but it’s also a story that we get wrapped up in. Breathe. Sit back and read a book. Savor a cup of tea, Take a look around for a few minutes and let thoughts flow. Then… get back to business more refreshed, clear-headed, and mindful.

Go off-track. Spontaneously go on a walk, run an errand, call a friend for a glass of wine – do something that shifts your tempo of urgency to slow you down. Don’t rush. Take a look around, breathe, and intentionally take in the beautiful world around you. As the thoughts of, “I should be….” enter your mind, invite them to leave.

All of these actions will encourage you to develop the healthy habits of making time for yourself and taking breaks so that you can experience peace amidst the noise.

You’ll be amazed by how much more efficient you are by granting yourself the gift of peace. When we re-set our focus by interjecting peaceful moments through a day, we tend to get more done and have a calmer approach to the tasks we’re committed to fulfilling.

Live the moments – don’t let them pass you by.

Please share what you do to maintain your inner peace and joy throughout the day!

What If Making Your Dreams Come True Doesn’t Make You Happier?

By Lisa Selow

hemingwayquoteThe sales woman was kind to me, asking me if I needed help. I was taking my time, which has become a normal thing for me as I heal myself of chronic fatigue syndrome. Rushing around just isn’t an option any more.

She looked down at the dark bluish bruise on my right arm, blurting out, “Oh my gosh! How’d you get that bruise?”

I smiled as she apologized for asking a personal question.

I said, “It’s okay. I don’t mind sharing. I’ve been getting some intravenous nutrients the past two months. We couldn’t get the needle in my right arm last week, so I’m a bit bruised. I asked if we could try another vein and it didn’t work. Luckily, we found a vein in my left arm.”

I explained about my turning to integrative medicine again to heal chronic fatigue since it had worked for me in the late 1990s during my first bout of the illness. It turned out that the sales woman had a family member with similar challenges.

Really, there’s no coincidences. So, it made sense why I had shared so personally with a complete stranger. Maybe some of my journey could help her loved one, I reasoned.

The sales woman was curious about how I ended up getting sick. I didn’t want to keep her from doing her job, so I told her I’d give her the short version. I said I made a dream come true of getting my book published and I worked myself to the max for two years. I explained how I neglected my own self-care at times and how I became emotionally upset to the point of making myself ill.

We ended up having a deep conversation about the price we think we need to pay to make our dreams a reality. We both decided that maybe it could be fun or even easy next time around.

I smiled as I walked out of the store. Even though most days the past year I’ve been faced with two or three symptoms each day of varying degrees such as insomnia, digestive challenges, fatigue, soreness, migraines, and mild depression, I have hope. I know that I’ve healed myself before.

I’ve been doing my best to see this recent health challenge as a gift. I figure there’s some things I’m learning. I’ve been able to return to my passions and hobbies, self-care, and learning how to relax again. My inner teacher knows there’s lessons that I can pass along to (hopefully) help others. Some of these lessons have revealed themselves to me. I share the main ones learned so far here with you:

  1. Sometimes, making your dreams come true doesn’t make you happier. As someone who’s creative, sensitive, and a perfectionist, I push myself really hard. I’m hard on myself to do well and please others, along with my intention to be of service to others on the planet. Talk about pressure! I’ve learned that it’s so important to enjoy the process, not just the result. In hindsight, I see that I would have been much less stressed had I just enjoyed the simple pleasures of writing and marketing my book, instead of worrying about making it all perfect. The cost was not only my health, but my inner peace. I’m working on reclaiming both.
  2. If you help even one person, you’ve done your part. Yes, our human side really wants to touch as many lives as possible. If you’re an artist, healer, writer, musician, or scientist, you might be hoping to reach thousands, if not millions of people. You want to make the world a better place. This shows up for some as working to get as many media placements as possible to spread the message. This can be tiring and even distracting from your purpose of actually helping people. I’ve revised my vision to be helping a small corner of the world, the people or tribe I’m meant to help that I can help the most. It might be only hundreds of people and this is okay. If I kill myself overworking and striving in the process, I won’t be around to fulfill my mission
  3. I’ve learned that it’s not about me. Giving birth to a project or book can feel like such a personal thing. The thing is that we’re all an aspect of the universe. The universe needs us to do its work. We’re just willing channels for healing, writing, music, art, ideas, and inspiration. It doesn’t really belong to us personally. It belongs to everyone. Once we release the work into the world, it will take on its own shape and do what it’s meant to do. We might not have control over the process at all. If you’re working for the higher good of all, things will feel natural. If you’re working for your own ego’s gratification, it might not ever feel like enough. You’ll push yourself to achieve, do more, and be more. It becomes about the numbers, not helping people. I myself took on others’ definitions of success for a short time, which is not like me as one who is prone to questioning societal definitions and norms. I’m learning to be okay with how my definition of success is much different from corporate America’s and some in society. My definition includes life balance, happiness, and inner peace. These are more important to me than media placements, my book sales, my social media numbers, or becoming famous.
  4. I’ve learned that it’s so important to remember who you are when you’re working so hard on a goal or project. If you don’t know and honor your values (what’s important to you in life), you’ll get sidetracked. It is all too easy to be pulled in a million directions, but a bit more challenging to stay true to yourself. I myself noticed the areas I wasn’t being authentic and I’m taking small steps to correct this in my personal life and in my business. I’m already feeling happier.

What about you? Have you ever worked hard to make a dream come true and then, felt disappointed? Have you ever sacrificed your true self to work on a goal? How did it make you feel? I’d love to hear about your experiences. By sharing, I think it helps others to not feel so alone. We’re in this journey together.

The Law of Attractive Positive Impact

law-attractive-positive-impactYour Significant…Self?  How to be the best you for any relationship

That famous country song said we were looking for love in “all the wrong places” but maybe we were actually looking in all the wrong ways.  You might have a “list” of what you are looking for in your ideal mate or you might be looking for that special someone who “completes you”.  In the process you might be bringing in that same person who we may think is our type yet the reality to finding love successfully may be asking the question, “What type are we?”

Before you put on your Friday night best or log back on to your favorite hook-up website again let’s take a minute to look and feel your best about the most important person in the next relationship, YOU!  It is absolutely true that we attract what and who we are in to our lives.  When it comes to bringing in our friendships and romantic relations what we radiate is something I call, “The Law of Attractive”.  It is the true beauty that can’t be painted on or pumped up in the gym, instead it is the kind of amazing that, when you have the confidence to let it shine, will bring in the perfect person who compliments you not completes you.

I recently had a client I was coaching and after we conquered her work fears she said that her next goal was to get back into a relationship. Of course, no one who wants a relationship truly wants just anyone, they want Mr. or Ms. Right! And most of us know in our hearts exactly what that means, when someone asks we unfurl that dreaded “List”!  It is the magic, 10-foot long scroll with every physical, emotional, and spiritual quality that we think we need in a mate to be happy.  I asked her what was on her list and she rattled off things like; patient, extroverted, and easy-going.  I have to back up by saying I had already been working with her for a few months, and, while she was working on herself currently, she was none of those things.  So when I asked how her manhunt was going she said sadly that the people she was dating were none of those things.  Shocker!

So where do you start? Think about the phrase, “He” or “She” is a good match for me.  You don’t match socks by finding some that go nicely with each other, you match them by finding two that are as close to each other as possible.

  • Check it twice.  Before you start on your scavenger hunt for love, check the list once for yourself first.  If there are areas that you find important in someone else think about if you have them.  If you don’t, there is nothing wrong with taking some time to work on you.
  • Make your list.  Make a note of all the attributes you would find important in a long-term or forever type relationship.  Be sure to list more than just physical qualities like dark hair and full lips, the values that you find important such as; honesty, integrity, loyalty, and compassion, will play a much bigger role in the long-term success of your partnership.
  • Pay close attention to who is naughty and who is nice.  All too often when don’t stick to our list out of fear of rejection, (something), or maybe just a physical connection that we mistake for love but the whole time the alarms are going off inside us to run.  Trust your gut here and know that when the time is right for you and that special someone it will work out.

While there may not be a club, church, or online dating site to find true love there is one place that holds the magic of cupid’s arrow, your heart. Find that and honor it and you will be fully capable of loving someone else.  Love and be loved, it starts with you!

Michelle Phillips is the author of the bestselling beauty and self-esteem book, “The Beauty Blueprint- 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of your Dreams” (Hay House) is now available on major book sites. You can listen to her live onMondays at 12pm est on www.HayHouseRadio.com .  She is also a regular guest on the national TV shows, The Daily Buzz, GalTime, and Daytime. www.michellephillips.com

Am I Pretty?

am-i-prettyIn a disturbing new trend thousands of girls as young as 11 and 12-years old are posting videos on YouTube asking the question, “Am I pretty?” This public call for validation shows a dangerous lack of self-worth and an unhealthy focus on outer beauty at an early age.

Am I pretty? The answer is YES!

As a Celebrity Makeup Artist and Life Coach I have been working with people for years to build their ‘beauty’ from the inside out. Usually though the questions of; “Am I pretty?” “Am I good enough?” or “Am I worthy?” don’t really start to weigh on us until life as taken its toll a little bit more. Seeing such a display of low self-esteem at such a young age though really troubles me so I feel strongly that this is a topic that needs addressing.

Whether it is the images in the media, social networking, or increased peer pressure, people, especially teen girls, are feeling pushed to look and act a certain way. One of the things they don’t understand is that in trying to find acceptance online they are opening themselves up to even more negative influence. The relative anonymity of the internet creates a breeding ground for hostility and hate resulting in wave of hurtful responses to their videos. Not to mention the fact that online predators are constantly lurking, typically preying on girls in this exact age range.”

To remedy this I suggest a variety of solutions.

– Monitor your child’s internet usage! The web is just that, a dangerous place for those that get caught up in it. There are just as many physical and emotional hazards to be found in the virtual world as there is in the real world.

– Talk to your kids about their ‘beauty’. Have your child create a list of their most beautiful qualities; their values, dreams, and maybe even throw in some physical attributes they love as well. By working to build a foundation for what makes them uniquely beautiful you create a source for real and lasting self-worth.

– Model strong self-esteem yourself. Even with all of the other sources of information your kids have access to you are still their biggest influence. By relating to them your self-worth you are instilling that same value in your kids.

Most important is have as open a line of communication with your kids as possible. And when the question “Am I pretty” is ever asked by you or them, the answer is always “Yes!”

My Vision For A Spring Party!

my-vision-spring-partyA very important process that I share in my book “The Beauty Blueprint” and my coaching circles is to create a vision board. Over the past few months I have had a couple vision board parties that were a huge success!

If you are asking, what is a vision board…let me back up for a minute. A vision board is a corkboard or poster board or anything to post your dreams to, to help the manifesting process of making them come true. What better way could there be to concentrate the power of making something come to be is there than actually seeing it?

So how do we get our vision board party started? That’s the fun part. Invite some friends over, put out some snacks…and drinks to help the dreaming come easier… have each person bring or you can provide poster boards, scissors, tape..and lots of magazines to find the images or words that appeal to you—

Be sure to have your guests bring pictures of people, quotes, or personal letters that inspire them.

I like to cut out positive words from advertisements, such as powerful, truth, and beautiful. If you like uplifting quotes, O Magazine is a great resource.

While you do this, try not to concentrate on material things. Rather, focus on your dreams and on living your best life; your job, family, relationships, hobbies, whatever it is, be specific about how you would want your life to look like the people or places that inspire you.

In the center of my board is my personal mission statement you might choose a picture, quote, or a verse that really resonates with you. The important thing to remember is that there is no wrong or right way to create a board…or two! I have three in my home and feel that it is a fun thing to do every few months. You will also find that all your dreams and aspirations will come true after posting them on your board…so updating is crucial.

Doing this by yourself can be a blast, but doing it with your friends can be even more fun and a great way to support each other in making your best lives a reality. It’s really fun to see what your friends are dreaming about…

Here are some thoughts on how to do that with some fun pics and video from my last vision blowout.