It’s A Mind-Set

3360216464_4698061422_m (1)
As a beauty expert and stylist, I’ve seen it over and over again: a woman projects externally what she feels internally. If you want to achieve a genuine transformation, one that changes your appearance and impacts your relationships, you need a positive mind-set. Beauty and growth always come from unconditional love and support. Negativity blocks lasting change and tears down beauty. When you’re loved, you feel beautiful. 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 (www.MichellePhillips.com) for ongoing support, love and encouragement.

Love is all around you! Identifying the beauty surrounding you can be a revelation. It can change the way you feel about your current challenges as well as how you view any future hardships or mishaps that come your way.

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips

Identifying the Beautiful People Around You

Support
Whom can you turn to for encouragement? Who will support you while you make the changes needed in order to uncover your true essence? Write down a list of these individuals. And don’t neglect to name your spiritual source of support. Whether you rely on God, a Higher Power, or some other type of divine energy or force, know that this loving support is always with you!

Excerpt: The Beauty Blueprint by Michelle Phillips

To Purchase: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401931731/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3525344955&ref=pd_sl_qdo7p6n55_ee

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 I Gave Up Because I Felt Fat

By Melissa Kathryn

scaleHave you ever stayed in because you felt fat? Missed a party, didn’t go on a date? Even worse, declined going on a trip or vacation because you didn’t like your body and the thought of being in a bathing suit put your mind into a complete frenzy?

I recall several instances in my life where I did not go on trips, made up excuses to not go out and didn’t attend parties, date or events because I “felt” fat.  I look back now and I get frustrated at the experiences I could have had.  Instead I chose not to go, which is essentially choosing isolation.  What happened next? I would feel even worse for not going, which would lead to emotional eating, then self loathing…and the cycle continues.

Does this resonate with you? Can you recall a time when you chose, willingly to miss out on life because of your weight?

By staying in isolation, by choosing to say “No” to life, you are missing out on life, living and experience joy.  It is through isolation that we continue to deprive ourselves of happiness.

Here are simple steps that you can do to ensure you stop missing out on life and start living it!

  1. It begins with Self-Acceptance – start to learn to love yourself and your body exactly as it is.  Weight is weight, you are you are your core – you have to begin by loving her (your body) and accepting her no matter her size, shape or the way she looks.
  2. You body is your temple – care for it. It provides you with everything you ask it to do.  Be kind and loving, nourish your body with movement and food.
  3. Say “YES” to life – be you and the rest will come.
  4. Recognize that “You” are judging yourself, whatever thoughts you have, they are not the thoughts of anyone else.  Work to get out of your head and into your heart for yourself.

Once you do this, the fulfillment you will find from the pleasure of being around others and the experiences you will have, food and your weight will become an after-thought.

Sit, Stay, Heal!

sit-stay-healNegative emotions are not fun to feel. They hurt. Oftentimes, to avoid feeling the pain, we will numb ourselves and stop feeling all together- or we will mask our pain by engaging in unhealthy habits like excessive eating, spending, drinking, or drugs. We may feel hopeless or that these feelings will never go away. Darkness, doubt, and fear may have become our constant companions. We may even come to identify with them and hold on to them because it’s all we know.

These feelings can “go away”. We are not victims to circumstance and feelings- we are creators and we can be choose to be victors instead of victims. We can choose to continue to allow our negative experiences to create our reality or we can work through these feelings and invite in experiences that feel better energetically.

Instead of rejecting our negative feelings or energy, we should explore these aspects of ourselves. It’s time to get comfortable with our discomfort and make friends with it. These moments are teachable moments and they are an incredible growth opportunity.

We need to learn to sit with our discomfort and we need to learn to stay with our discomfort so that we can work through it. Think of a puppy whom you teach to sit, stay, and heel. This is your invitation to sit, stay, and heal.

Think of the warm feelings of loving kindness that you would feel towards a puppy and extend those feelings to yourself. (You deserve this!) Think of the patience you would have for a new puppy as you are teaching him new tricks. You wouldn’t get angry because he can’t sit on his first try or because he can’t stay for more than two minutes right away. Not at all! Instead you would praise him for the 30 seconds he managed to do. You would delight in the fact that in a few days from now he manages a whole minute. You would enjoy the work of teaching your new pupil as well.

Treat yourself like that puppy. You know he’s a baby and you treat him accordingly. As a species, we humans are babies in our evolution as well. Have patience with yourself. Enjoy working with yourself. Learn to sit with your discomfort; learn to stay sitting, and you will teach yourself to heal. You will teach yourself how to transmute these feelings into opportunities for growth and positivity.

Happy healing journey to you!

April Dawn Ricchuito, D.D. & MSW is a writer, speaker, and integrative practitioner who brings a unique voice to the field of health and wellness by combining traditional evidence-based techniques with ancient practices such as yoga and newer findings in contemplative sciences. She has been recognized as a part of “Generation Inspiration” and is also named as one of 20 Young Champions for Women by the White Ribbon Alliance and WIE Symposium, presented by Donna Karan and Arianna Huffington. You can follow April on Facebook or Twitter. Visit http://www.beingandwellness.com to learn about services she offers, including Reiki & coaching, or Verbal Vandalism to check out her latest written works. She is now taking on new Reiki clients.

By April Dawn Ricchuito, D.D. & MSW