Dream A Beautiful Future

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicopierce/5492971031/

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

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

Creating Your Beauty-Blueprint Affirmations

cropped-beauty.jpg

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

Mind, Beauty, Spirit with Celebrity Makeup Artist Michelle Phillips

We are among the first generations of women who have the ability to be or do anything we want. The women before us fought long and hard so that we could lead countries or corporations, or stay home as mothers and lead our families and communities. We are stronger and smarter . . . yet we are lost! We’re stuck between what we could be and what we think we should be, searching to balance that with our femininity. We’re grasping to attain our ideal of beauty with the belief that if we could just find the right hairstyle or finally fit into the latest fashions, everything else in our lives would fall into place.

I believe there’s something more to achieving the balance between inner strength and outer beauty. You just have to know where to look. . . .

If you’ve lost touch with the woman you wanted to become physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it can affect every aspect of the way you look. Let’s not waste time on a makeover, though—let’s go for a transformation. Are you ready to create your ultimate life?

It’s time to make the connection between your outer appearance and your deep inner self. By doing so, and expressing it in all of your everyday actions and choices, you’ll radiate a beauty that can’t be outmatched. I believe that by rediscovering and defining who you are on the inside and what you most want out of life, you will reveal to the world what makes you uniquely beautiful. This is the basis of the Beauty Blueprint. Every woman has one, but not every woman recognizes what hers contains.
***
I spent the first part of my career behind the scenes of TV and movie sets as a celebrity makeup artist and learned quite a few lessons about true “beauty” in the process. As my career progressed and I moved in front of the camera, speaking to women’s groups, I learned even more. What made the deepest impression on me was the realization that the nature of what makes us beautiful goes well beyond our exteriors. It’s passion and compassion . . . it’s our love, laughter, tears, and sorrow, and how we combine it with a nurturing strength of spirit. Our beauty shines when we allow ourselves to revel in these qualities and share them with the world. It’s in these moments that we are all radiant and exquisite. But how do we women reclaim this authentic beauty?

I started to discover the answer to that question while on my own journey. Through my experiences, a shift of awareness occurred. That’s when my mission in life became crystal clear: I had to share what I’d learned by helping other women rediscover and express their true beauty. And so, as part of my dream to inspire others, this book was born, a “Beauty Blueprint” that would allow me to help women experience their own profound shift.

By creating and living your unique Blueprint, you’ll find that once again, or perhaps for the first time, you will walk out the door every day with your head held high. You will be more confident about who you are, what you stand for, and where you are heading. In turn, people around you will take notice and deeply appreciate you for all your beautiful qualities.

Change is always possible—in fact, it’s inevitable. My first question for you, then, before we get started, is this: Are you going to fight change or embrace it? Because you can become whomever you want to be. Believe it! You can become the woman who doesn’t just turn heads—you’ll become a woman who touches hearts as well!

To achieve this, I’ve included the three things needed for change and growth: a plan, support from others, and inspiration. Join my network and I’ll help you put together your own Blueprint, which is your plan. I’ll also show you how to establish your own support system, and I’ll provide a healthy dose of motivation and encouragement in the process.
Along the way, I’ll share the inspirational stories of friends and clients who have identified and attained the goals they deeply desired, in spite of the obstacles that cluttered their paths.

Now, if you’re ready to transform beyond anything you could have dreamed of, let’s get started. It’s time for you to become the woman your granddaughters will tell their granddaughters about. It’s time for you to become an extraordinary woman from the inside out!

Go to http://www.michellephillips.com and sign up for the Mind, Beauty, Spirit Network to receive free classes, videos, and articles to support you in creating the life and look of your dreams!

Is it time for a “Spiritual” Spring Cleaning?

By Celebrity Makeup Artist, Life Coach, and Bestselling Author Michelle Phillips
spring cleaning

Nature has a beautiful way of cleansing to purge what is no longer serving it and make way for renewal. Old leaves fall off and gentle winds carry them away to help the trees gather water and brace for the cold. With the spring thaw comes a flurry of new foliage to cover the bare branches and the growth starts anew.

In many ways, we as people have adopted a similar schedule for our own cleansing and renewal that follows nature’s calendar. We use this time each year to go through drawers and closets to clean out the clutter, dust the nooks and crannies, and give things the “out with the old, in with the new” spirit.

On a similar note, I have seen through my career as a makeup artist that much of the beauty on our skin comes from treating it with the same reverence; cleansing and gentling exfoliating off the old, dry layers and allowing the new, glowing skin to surface.

It makes me wonder though, if taking such care of our external selves is so beneficial to creating beauty in our lives, why should we stop there? Let’s keep going with a spiritual and emotional tidying up that truly sets the stage for a period of growth in our lives. Much like pulling out the couch to find life-sized dust bunnies, we might be surprised what we find by searching deep areas of our lives that may not get the attention they should.

Here are some places to look to start scrubbing away the negative in your world:

List your positives. Sometimes when there is clutter on our furniture we only see the mess. The same goes for when we focus on the negative aspects of our lives. Our failures, etc. By listing your positive influences, accomplishments, and qualities, you polish the plusses to shine beyond the clutter.

Nourish your spirit. Too many of us have influences in our lives in the form of books, TV, and movies that become the prism that we see the world through. And unfortunately today, so many of these media sources are dark and negative. Take the time to find and enjoy positive influences on a regular basis to bring a more peaceful outlook.

Plant the seeds for growth. Have you always wanted to take an art class, dance lessons, or try meditation? Rather than continuing to stagnate or grow in directions not of your own design, list the top ten things that you love to do and then start doing them. Make no excuses. When we begin to incorporate the things we love to do and experiment with new things on an on-going basis our lives become full of joy, happiness, and beauty.

While the first part of my career may have focused on outer beauty, there was a point where a shift was created. An awakening to the connection between the beauty of our inner spirits and what we radiate out to the world became clear.

By taking the time to nurture your spirit and cleanse yourself of negative influences, you clean space for more beauty to come into your world! Happy cleaning!

Your 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.

– 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.

– 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.

– 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