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

What’s Your Top Ten List?

365 Day 363**
Today is a good day to remind yourself what lights you up. Take out your favorite writing utensil and write down the top ten things you love to do—even if you aren’t doing them right now. When I first used this exercise in a workshop, the majority of the women sat there tapping their pencils and staring at the blank page in their journals for what seemed like an eternity.
“I don’t know,” one woman admitted.
“I have no idea,” said another.
“I can write you a list of the top ten things I need to do when I get home,” one offered, half jokingly.
On the other hand, ask any little girl to do this and I bet she’ll have it done in under three minutes. Chances are, she’ll be all the way to number 40 and asking for another piece of paper. Most young girls know who they are because they listen to their hearts. They don’t worry about being practical or efficient, and impressing others. That’s why they’re also such confident dressers. They express themselves freely, without a care in the world. (Even if, on any given day, that includes wearing tap shoes, shorts, and a wool sweater with matching earmuffs.)
To help get you started, here’s my top-ten list:

• Laughing and playing with my children
• Having date night with my husband
• Taking bubble baths
• Eating at fine restaurants
• Hosting or attending dinner parties with my closest friends
• Spending quality time with my girlfriends (so good for the soul!)
• Watching my kids play sports or perform in a play (I cry with pride every time!)
• Traveling
• Fishing
• Walking on the beach
As I mentioned, most of my clients or workshop participants struggle with this exercise. The majority can’t come up with more than three things, and some eventually give up and cry in frustration. It’s very telling. We women nurture everyone and everything outside of ourselves but we haven’t made the connection between nurturing our spirits, feeling beautiful, and staying on course toward our dreams. We’re like builders trying to frame a house without a solid foundation. Despite our efforts, our work just won’t hold up, eventually toppling over.
No one sees the foundation, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Just like foundational garments or cosmetics, it’s the critical starting point. Others may not understand why you need to spend time doing something on your top-ten list, but they will notice as you grow stronger and more beautiful . . . all a result of nourishing your soul.
So, get going on your top-ten list! Remember to focus on what you love. Are you doing any of these things on a regular basis? If you aren’t, why not start now? Set your intention by identifying a simple step you can take today. Then do it!

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

When You’re Supported, You Grow!

Support

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

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.

Give Yourself Permission

By Lisa Selow

Permission slip for blog postWhen going through conscious type of life changes, sometimes our inner child feels like it needs approval from others. Even though I’m a rebel, preferring my inner authority instead of outside sources, I’m human.

It’s human to feel like you need approval, permission, or to get others’ opinions from time to time.

The challenge in waiting to get others’ approval is to not allow it to hold you back. I can get stuck in analysis, causing procrastination. If you’re sensitive (like me), sometimes, others’ words or even lack thereof, can make you start to question yourself. (By the way, I’m not saying to ignore others’ opinions, especially if you have a partner, children, loved ones, or others who will be affected by your choices. Of course, please consult them for at least the big stuff.)

I find that if I get a great idea or that I feel guided to make a change in my life often it feels right and I don’t need any opinions. Let’s say I want to change the color in my living room. I’m really drawn to coral and oranges lately with teal accents. I’m going to go for it soon. (Are you reading this, hubby? I need your painting skills!).

Some changes feel a bit more scary though. For example, I’ve had Bettie Page bangs since 2005. I’ve changed up my hair color often, but not my cut. For the past year, I’ve been agonizing about whether to let my bangs grow out. I mean, it’s just hair, right? I can cut it again, if I don’t like how the bangs turn out. I also have a stellar hairdresser whom I trust.

Other changes really scare me! Things like moving cross-country or doing my yoga teacher training. (I’m going to do the latter next year, if all goes well.) I know that some fears serve us. I don’t like the idea of jumping out of an airplane, but that is a good thing. It makes me go take a class, not that I ever would. I also have a healthy fear of going trekking in the Himalayas, but I know that I will one day. Of course, I will train for it and research the best guided trip for me, maybe doing some high altitude living for a spell to get acclimated.

I imagine that most of our first world changes that we desire to make or challenges we face pale in comparison to decisions having to be made in places that have war, natural disasters, government upheavals, revolution, poverty, and other distress. I do my best to imagine this, putting my little, old problems into perspective when I am trying to make decisions.

I’m not trying to guilt you with the prior paragraph about first world pain, and well, if you’re human, you’ve probably already mastered how to guilt trip yourself in the past. When I feel like I need approval or the green light, I see it as a chance to gently re-parent my inner child who feels lost. Then, I go into my inner adult or parent and mentally write myself a permission slip. I say you can even go one step further and make a physical permission slip, signing your name, something like the below:

“I, Lisa Selow, give myself full out permission to change the style of my hair, the colors of my website and the rooms in my house.” [date and sign]

Yes, it’s a mundane example, but hey, once you get used to giving yourself permission, it will get easier. I’ve found that this practice helps me to feel peaceful about my decision. I don’t worry as much about making the “right” decision. I only can make the best decision I can in the moment for where I’m currently at in life.

What about you? What do you need to write a permission slip for in your own life? Share in the comments below and let’s support each other.

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!

Clean Your Closet…And Get More Creative?

CC Image courtesy of Librarian by becaberry on Flickr
CC Image courtesy of Librarian by becaberry on Flickr

Living in my small, quaint, 1959-built house is cozy and I wouldn’t trade my house for anything (except maybe a similar version right on the beach when I retire). The only downside is that the closets are 1959-sized (read: very, very small).

I’ve overtook two of our three closets. The upside to having such small closets is that it forces you to do a purge every couple of years. As I just typed the word couple, I cracked up, since really, I hadn’t cleaned out my closet in five years until recently, tackling my closet purge when hubby JT was out of town. My closets were so stuffed that I couldn’t push multiple items on hangers around in them without shoulder strain. Ouch!

I turned on some good classic rock and began the process on a Saturday afternoon. I did the usual sorting into piles such as Donate, Toss, and Unsure. (I just make my Keep pile the clothes still hanging up in my closet, as I go through item by item.) At the end, I try on the Unsure pile’s items and usually, I end up putting them into the Donate pile. I even cleaned out my drawers.

I felt so good, which is the whole point. I now can easily find things like my Rolling Stones t-shirt or my favorite pair of yoga pants. I’ve experienced the expected feelings of relief from my closet purge, but with an unexpected benefit too. I’m more creative! 

I reason that it’s because I made more space for new things. A friend gifted me a cute jacket shortly after my closet purge. Yet, I didn’t realize that besides new, physical items that aspects or qualities I was desiring would come into my life as well. Whoa! This is interesting.

Inspiration has hit and I’ve been writing poems, song lyrics, and playing my guitar more. It’s hard to keep up with all the ideas that are downloading each day for my life, art, music, and business. I always carry a notebook with me to record them, so I don’t forget them. Creativity has expanded in every area of my life, including my writing, cooking, yoga practice, and even my beauty routine (ah, the joy of eye shadow palettes!). I am doing artwork again, using all my fun supplies. I even felt motivated to move my supplies from the basement into my upstairs office, finding innovative solutions for my small space.

It wasn’t until a month or so after that I made the connection between reducing my closet and increasing my creative flow. When I thought about it though, the connection makes sense. Feng Shui experts talk about how clutter prevents new things and conditions from coming into our lives. Law of attraction experts discuss how the universe abhors a vacuum and new things, people, or conditions have to come into our lives once we make space for them.

I asked my friend who is a decluttering professional what she thought about my recent creativity surge and she said something along these lines:  “Well, it’s all connected. If you feel good after you reduce your possessions and open up a space, you will do even more things that feel good.” This made me smile because my friend is down-to-earth and tells it like it is.

Gosh, it’s that simple? Okay, sign me up! I’m going declutter some more.

How about you? What benefits do you receive from cleaning out your closets or from decluttering? Share in the comments below.

What is True Beauty?

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As a makeup artist, I’ve made a career out of working with both celebrities and regular people from all walks of life. It has been my job to make these men and women look and feel their best before appearances on TV, film, and the stage. As I worked to get my clients “camera-ready,” I began to see a clear connection between who these individuals truly are and how that translated into their outer beauty.

I realized that the magical “it” factor we all search for as women had nothing to do with finding the right shade of foundation or being a size 2, and it went well beyond mere celebrity status. There was something more, and I wanted to know how to get it.

And so my journey began. I kept working on helping women look beautiful while searching even harder to find the secrets to actually being beautiful. I spent years trying to understand what made certain individuals such rare standouts. My hope was that if I could figure it out, I could combine that knowledge with my expertise as a stylist and makeup artist and bring this life-changing beauty to others. 

One day as I arrived at the CBS station I worked for, the morning-show producer caught me as I came through the door.

She wanted me to come up with a beauty-and-style segment to appear on the newscasts from time to time. And not only was I supposed to help create it, they also wanted me to host it! My dream had always been to work behind the scenes making women feel beautiful, but I realized that this new opportunity would allow me to reach thousands of women at once.

As soon as I agreed to step up to the challenge, my mind immediately raced in a million directions.  I could help people learn how to become more beautiful! I was ecstatic!

Of course, I couldn’t have known it then, but this assignment would not only be the catalyst for me to achieve my lifelong dreams, but would also prove to be the beginning of a brand-new me. Within weeks, I received my first assignment: find a woman who needed a makeover and create a segment around her. Instinctively, I shied away from choosing someone who could just use a new haircut. I wanted to find a woman who needed a makeover on a much deeper level—someone who needed to feel beautiful, not just look beautiful. 

Near the TV studio was MacDill Air Force Base, and many of the soldiers stationed there had just been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The majority of those left behind were women, and the stress and worry they had to bear was unimaginable. With their husbands risking their lives fighting for our freedom, these military wives patiently survived the daily grind of working, and raising their children on their own.

I instantly knew that they were the ones I wanted to work with, and that I was going to do more than one makeover. This was a way I could show my appreciation for their unselfish “call to duty.” So together with a team of stylists from my salon, we updated hairstyles, cosmetics, and even wardrobes. Everyone on my team worked diligently to lift the spirits of these special women.

As often happens when you serve another, your own spirit is lifted. I began to see beauty in a new way.

Once the makeovers were complete, the women were videotaped, and those recordings were then sent through a webcast to their husbands overseas. The entire experience was heartrending and beautiful. I cried along with them as the couples connected via cyberspace, and I watched in admiration as these brave and exquisite women conveyed their love.

I observed, I learned, and I understood: 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.

From that day on, I no longer defined beautiful as a hairstyle or a look. I viewed it as a woman glowing with love and living a life of purpose.

…then I’ll be happy!

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by Celebrity Makeup Artist, Self-Esteem Coach and Best Selling Author Michelle Phillips

We’ve all said something like this, “When I lose weight, find the right guy, or get a better job”…then I’ll be happy.  For so many of us there is a little voice inside that makes us think having what someone else has, or what we don’t have, will make our lives better. 

We look at the people around us; friends, colleagues, even celebrities, and think that if we could just have a perfect partner like they do, perfect kids, maybe even perfect bodies, we could finally be happy. But what is “perfect,” and are the people who have it happy? Will we be if we attain it? The answer is more than likely no, so what should we do?

Comparing ourselves to others is totally natural and it is also normal to want to be better or improve ourselves. But chasing perfection, especially someone else’s, definitely won’t give you a fair chance at feeling good about being you. Not to mention that perfection is unattainable and striving for it will only leave you disappointed, so stop. 

Long before I became a Life Coach I was a Celebrity Makeup Artist and could always tell just by looking at someone what is going on in their life.  I could tell a wide variety of things from their skin, eyes, smile, the way they stood, spoke, and the way they took care of themselves.  

It’s simple, if you don’t feel good about yourself and your life, it manifests in your image and you have to admit, you are all fully aware of it when you look in the mirror.  Unfortunately the growing trend is people trying to cover up what is going on inside by getting work done on the outside. Our “quick-fix society is turning to Botox, plastic surgery and fad diets rather than doing the inner emotional work that could create lasting “beauty” in our lives.  For example, over the last few years, I have been working with a plastic surgeon who sends me clients that feel that once they got “work” done they would finally find the level of perfect happiness they were searching for. Thankfully, by coaching patients towards a holistic transformation instead of yet another let down from searching outside of themselves, they found the perfection they were searching for…internally. As a result, they lost weight and began to look better because they were finding their bliss within. 

Rather than dealing with symptoms let’s go a little deeper and try to figure out what is creating the feelings of inadequacy that are driving us. All of us want to look good, feel good, have a great life- I am in total agreement with looking good on the outside, but to achieve that I recommend a different approach. 

  1. Find gratitude for what you have- What if your life abruptly changed tomorrow and you lost everything? How badly would you want to have your life back the way it is today?  Start a gratitude journal. Write down what you are grateful for and take time to make note of the beauty in your life each day. 
  2. Start being happy today- If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow you never have a chance to enjoy today. Where can you create your happy moments for now? Take time to smell the roses!
  3. Make sure your life is your own- Are your decisions and goals your own? When we live the way we think we should instead of the way we could we grow resentful. What could you do and where in life could you live more authentically?  
  4. Stop comparing yourself-   What if you were the trendsetter of your own life?  Would you feel less pressure?  Worry? Doubt?  It’s okay to hold yourself to a higher standard as long as it’s yours. 

The bottom line is that it is okay to strive and grow and to want more as long as you enjoy the ride.  Check in with your goals to make sure they are yours and remain grateful every step of the way. When you do, an authentic power and beauty will be yours to radiate!

 

About Michelle

Michelle Phillips is redefining beauty! By combining her years of experience as a top Celebrity Makeup Artist and Stylist with powerful self-esteem tools, she has created a unique process that is transforming women across the globe.  Throughout her career, Michelle’s job was to create the illusion of perfection on camera, and like so many other women, she strived for the same illusion of perfection in her personal life. Along the way though she became disillusioned with the world of “beauty,” and saw this same struggle in the hearts of women everywhere.  Michelle saw that women’s quests for perfection were leading to feelings of inadequacy that they were trying to cover up with external fixes like new haircuts, makeovers and fashions, and when that didn’t fill the void, many turned to plastic surgery, dangerous diets, anti-depressants and sleeping pills. She said, “Enough!” and created a process to discover true inner beauty and radiate it outward! 

Today Michelle Phillips shares her Beauty Blueprint process in her speaking programs, TV and radio host, and bestselling author of The Beauty Blueprint: 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of Your Dreams (Hay House, 2011).  You may have seen Michelle on TV shows and networks such as; Oxygen Network, We-TV, HGTV, TLC, CW, KCAL-LA, Fox13-Tampa, Daytime, or speaking on the Power of Women Tour and “I Can Do It!” events with inspirational icons Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay.  She has also been heard on Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius/XM, Hay House Radio and many more.