Protecting Your Child’s Beauty in the Cyber Age

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You’ve waited your whole life for the joys of parenthood. Your amazing genes have made beautiful offspring, your warm heart and spirit have helped develop a child with deep inner beauty too, now what? With all of the influences of the media and peer pressure, how do you keep their fragile self-esteem intact through the wonder years? And how much harder has that task become with our kid’s new online lives that have them plugged in to the “matrix” at younger ages every day?

It used to be that the biggest sore spot in a kid’s life was a schoolyard or neighborhood bully that could be diffused by an angry stomp over to the offender’s house and a gold old fashioned mom-to-mom talk. Now thanks to the “world wide web” kids are opened up to a world of possible influences. Not to mention the anonymity and distance of the internet gives people a false courage to say and do things they wouldn’t necessarily do in person.

While you can’t protect them from everything they see and hear there are some guide lines you can follow to help ease possible pains;

Computer use should be age appropriate. Younger kids have no clue about the bad possibilities of the web and tend to be overly free with pictures and personal information. Discussing this with them is a must and keep younger users in common areas for their online time.

No secrets. As your kids get older they may start to think they have “private lives” that you need to stay out of, the way they post every aspect of their lives on the net is thought anything but private. At every age make sure you have their passwords and access to ALL of their social sites and have friends and family included in their social networks. Which brings me to my next point…

Keep up with the world of social media. I know you may think you have a lot better things to do than keep with what came after Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr yet when it comes to your kids, you don’t. To truly know your kids you need to know the trends.

Constant communication is the key. The teen years can be filled with a lot of grunts and rolled eyes when it comes to parent-kid talks but continue to the dialogue. Use teachable moments from the news to spark conversations and keep as open a line of communication as possible. They may not tell you everything all the time but gathering what you can and maintaining their trust will pay off.

Keep them busy. Limit online time and distract them from computer usage with healthy activities. Too much of anything is just too much.

Use the resources available. There are a number of sites that you can use for both you and your kids to monitor what is said and seen about you on the web. Pay sites like ReputationDefender and sites like Safesocial and GoGoStat can help keep you up to date with your personal information.

Most important is to continue to be a good example to your kids. As much as their peer group will play a role in their development you are still the biggest model for who they are. To be sure you are building and protecting their self-esteem, speak well of yourself and others. Loving yourself is yet another way you show them love and build a shield around them.

Love,
Michelle

Strong, Sexy, Successful…..You Can Have it All!

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There is no denying that these are very confusing times to be a woman. The generations before us fought long and hard to give us the right to lead countries, corporations, or stay home as mothers and lead our families. And what has all of this freedom gotten us? We are stronger and smarter…yet we are lost! We are stuck between what we could be and what we think we should be, searching to balance that with our femininity.

I remember as a little girl singing along with Helen Reddy at the top of my lungs, “I am woman hear me roar!” That was the battle cry of the 70’s that told women in no uncertain terms that anything you want can and should be yours. As exciting as it should have been, it was probably pretty scary for a lot of people in both genders. The women were afraid of the unknown and just how to manage this newfound power and I’m guessing that the men were somewhere in caves having meetings about how to protect their spots at the top of the food chain.

Being strong means knowing what you want personally and professionally and having the courage to go for it. Often this requires asking for what you want and, at times along the way demanding it. From a man this is almost expected. From a woman this can bring out resistance from family and friends and of course the dreaded “b-word”.

Being successful can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. As women our internal struggles for “success” go deeper than just the pressures to climb the corporate ladder though, many of us have deep-seeded maternal instincts that leave us torn by our desires to accomplish things and the feeling that we are sacrificing our families along the way.

Being sexy while doing any of this brings its own set of challenges. The media would have us believe that sexy and “sexpot” are one and the same. It’s sad to see that after all of the fights to be taken seriously as women, this generation seems to think it’s necessary to wear three coats of makeup and have most of your body on display to be considered “beautiful.”

Thinking about all of this the questions for many of us is, “Can we be strong, successful, and sexy, or do we have to pick one?” I believe it is possible to have it all and it comes down to striking this balance between inner strength and outer beauty, you just have to know where to look…

Like everything I talk about in my book and programs having it all comes down to defining who you are, what you want most out, and rocking that throughout your life and look. By knowing what you want deep inside it will be harder for the external pressures to take you from your purpose and passion. This is the strength you can call on to achieve a success that is true to you. And by simply living this truth, and expressing it in all of your everyday actions and choices, you’ll radiate a beauty that can’t be outmatched. The sexiest woman in the room is not the one with the $1,000 dress or the best plastic surgeon but the one who knows who she is.

Love,
Michelle

Money can come and go, but emotional bankruptcy is a killer.

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Just a short time ago, I was driving my daughter’s friend, Jordan, home after a fun day at the beach. I noticed that as we were getting closer to the young girl’s home she was becoming quite upset. I asked her if she was okay and she replied “my mom, sister and I had to move this week because we were evicted from our home”. Jordan went on to share that her mom’s second husband was abusive, had left them and she was trying her best on a small salary. My heart sank as I immediately felt her mother’s pain of trying to make it as a single mom with young children. As we approached her new home I realized we were in the worst part of town.

Jordan went into her house and quickly came back out running to my car-crying hysterically. She begged to stay with us for the night. She said she didn’t want to go into that awful place. It was the “slums” in her eyes and she was upset at her mother for moving her there. Jordan’s mom quickly followed, tears in her eyes holding her six month old baby, and assured me it was okay and best to take her daughter for the night.

My heart broke for her as we drove away. What she didn’t know is that our stories are the same. Yes, stories.

Many years ago, I left an abusive marriage and ended up on food stamps to support my kids. The lack of money was not as much what took me down, it was more about pulling myself up from the damage that was done from the words and threats that I endured on top of feeling as if I was a failure. Little by little, I was able to pick my self up and do the work to build a solid foundation of self-love.

When we are emotionally bankrupt it can be a danger zone. Not taking the time to fully heal and regain our sense self-worth can often times put us right back in a relationship with someone else who doesn’t value us. When we are hurt and feel down about ourselves, quite often the first person that comes along and tells us we are beautiful and fabulous wins our heart. We begin to find our sense of worth in someone else’s arms only to find ourselves back in the same cycle over and over again.

I got my daughter and Jordan back to my house and settled for bed so that I could make a very important call. I picked up the phone and reached out to the troubled and heartbroken mom. I wanted her to know that I’d been there too and she didn’t do anything wrong. She’s not broken… she’s beautiful, loveable, and capable. I wanted her to know she’s not alone… If she needed anything, I am here. My home is her home. We cried together and talked about how life throws us curve balls and when we pick ourselves up and remember who we are, shower ourselves with love, and surround ourselves with love (ask for help), we can and will survive and thrive in the end.

I dedicate this to all women who have felt or do feel broken. You are not. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are capable of anything. I am here to remind you that you are not alone and you are love…pure love inside. Don’t let someone else break your spirit. Break free and let your spirit soar. Fly beautiful girl, fly!

Love,
Michelle

Enjoy the Rewards!

Many people want to change but aren’t willing to do the work. When you have faith that the difficulties you face can be healed and fixed, our wonderful minds begin to use their subconscious energy to create solutions, there are physical effects as well. Frown lines begin to soften, worry lines disappear, mindless eating stops, and quality of sleep improves. We can breathe deeply and laugh more often. As life starts to look brighter, our faces do, too.

Affirmation :I am courageous and strong. I face the truth in every area of my life, and I reap the rewards.

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips

Dream A Beautiful Future

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The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul.” — CARL JUNG
While flying cross-country recently for an appearance on a morning talk show, I was seated next to a young man in his mid-20s. Clean-cut and friendly, he didn’t seem to be in need of any type of life advice or coaching whatsoever.
As we settled into the flight and exchanged pleasantries, it became clear that he wanted to talk more. As we struck up a conversation, he told me that he was an architect by day and a bartender at night. He came from a prominent family and was well educated. I noticed that he was writing or doodling while he spoke, and when I asked him about it, he remarked that he often drew when he told stories. In fact, he shared that when he’s bartending, he sketches on napkins and leaves them in front of each customer so that he’d know where he left off in his conversation with each person. I casually mentioned that he was obviously a creative person.
He replied, “Yes, but being an architect doesn’t pay very well—that’s why I’m also bartending. I’m hoping to make enough money so that I can have the option to try something else.”
“What is it you want to do?”
“I have no idea.”
I rephrased the question. “If you could wave a magic wand and create your perfect life, what would you be doing?”
“I’d build boats!” he answered immediately.
We talked about his passion for boats and his dream of designing and building them one day. As we parted, I urged him to go for it, and I really hope he does. Within that dream lies the true beauty in his life; and his chance to leave behind a wonderful, rich legacy.
I found it interesting that outwardly, he seemed like someone who had it all together. It was only when he spoke honestly about what he truly wanted that he came to realize he wasn’t following his heart. I think he left our conversation acknowledging that no matter how great he is at architecture or bartending, he’ll never feel totally fulfilled until he builds that first boat.

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillip
To Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/The-Beauty-Blueprint-Building-Dreams/dp/1401931731

Creating Your Beauty-Blueprint Affirmations

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Just as a magnifying glass can focus light onto a targeted beam, affirmations focus your mental energy onto targeted life changes. They can also be a powerful reminder of how beautiful you truly are.
Now that you have a list of your beautiful qualities, let’s use those to write some affirmations. It’s best to keep them short and simple; they’ll be a lot easier to remember and repeat. Go through your list, and try adding the words I am or I have in front of each statement. Your affirmations might look something like this:
• I am compassionate and patient.
• I have a joyful, strong spirit.
• I am creative and inspiring.
Pick out a few that really resonate with you (or all of them, if you wish) and copy them onto index cards. Place these powerful statements in prominent places just as you did with your beautiful qualities. (You can keep both sets of cards out, just display your affirmations, or use a combination of both; perhaps put the “leftovers” on your nightstand.) Recite these affirmations until they become a part of you. Watch as they harness your mental energy to manifest incredible life changes!

To purchase a copy of my book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Beauty-Blueprint-Building-Dreams/dp/1401931731

When You’re Supported, You Grow!

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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 (www.MichellePhillips.com) for ongoing support, love, and encouragement.

Michelle