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

Stuck with What’s Safe?

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Holding on to a false sense of security often lures women away from the challenge of embracing their fears. Traditionally, men are the risk takers—they’re encouraged to play hard, get dirty, and try new things. Women, on the other hand, typically grow up with messages about the importance of being safe and secure. When I was on the verge of leaving my marriage, for example, my father was very afraid for me. “You’re giving up your security!” he warned. Even though I knew I had to leave, I was terrified. My own fear made it nearly impossible to take the next, right step.

At that moment, I needed a reality check. Maybe you need one now, too. We women take care of our households, our families, our friends, our careers, our health, our looks, and our finances. If we can handle all that (and more), we can handle anything! We wouldn’t have come so far in life if we weren’t capable.

So the first step to embracing fear is to give it a good dose of reality. Remind yourself of everything that you are already successfully managing in your life. Do you see that you’re stronger than you might think?

What no one else may tell you is that the sense of safety you’re used to isn’t as safe as you think. “Sure things” can always fall through, and here’s a perfect example: Recently, a friend approached me with a dilemma. She was stuck in a job she hated but made good money. Then she was offered her dream job, but there were some unknowns and risk factors. Agonizing, she asked, “Do I go for my dream and give up my security or should I stay with this job?”

As we discussed her situation, it became clear that she should go for it, but in the end she chose to let the opportunity pass her by. “I decided to stay where I am—it’s just safer,” she explained. Several months later, though, her “safe” job was eliminated, and she found herself without her sure thing or her dream job. If my friend had eliminated her excuses and embraced her fears, she might have noticed some red flags in her current job and realized that her magic-wand dream perhaps wasn’t as risky as it seemed.

Remember, don’t get stuck with what’s safe because nothing is set in stone.
You’ve heard the story about the frog in a pot of warm water, right? The frog becomes complacent and doesn’t realize that the heat is slowly increasing until it’s too late. Perhaps it was afraid to leap into the unknown despite its growing discomfort, which leads me to the point I want you to understand: Anything can eventually become acceptable, if you let it.

Why do we live in circumstances we dislike? Why do we tolerate the intolerable? Excuses. We all have them: “What will others think?” “I’m not good enough.” “It doesn’t matter.” “I don’t have the time [or money].” “My family needs me too much right now.” “I don’t know how/I don’t know the right people.” This is the voice of fear, and it sabotages our chances for a beautiful life. Those little words debilitate us and shut us down.

I tell my clients that once you eliminate your excuses, you can make better choices and have a much greater chance for achieving real, lasting security. When you do, you will be aligned with your foundation values and start to live your best life!

Excerpt: “The Beauty Blueprint” by Michelle Phillips
http://www.michellephillips.com/book/

A Beauty Breakthrough!

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In my teachings I often wrestle with the balance between inner and outer beauty. I believe strongly that feeling great about who we are radiates a beauty unique to each of us, but where to begin tapping in to that depends on each client I work with.

At times I found that helping people reconnect to their qualities of outer beauty can jump start their confidence and self-esteem and start an avalanche of great feelings. Hence the makeover!

To do that, throughout my years as a celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert on TV, countless women have asked for my secrets to looking good. While they always expect to hear about the latest product or Hollywood trend, the answer I give them is always surprising…the key to looking your absolute best starts with beautiful skin. Believe me when I say I’ve tried everything and now I think I have struck gold!

A company called Life Line Stem Cell Skin Care approached me a few months ago and said just try these products and let us know what you think. The results were incredible! I called the rep and asked what was behind the great skin I was seeing. She said, “Human Stem cells!”

Through ethical research using human stem cells to cure some of our biggest diseases, researchers at Life Line Stem Cell Skin Care discovered that these stem cells worked with our body’s own system to replenish and rejuvenate our own skin. This patented treatment is the ultimate rebuilder for collagen, tightness, hydration and supple skin. What does that mean for us? It means erasing fine lines and wrinkles, anti-aging and a foundation for real beauty with or without makeup.

Of all the companies who have approached me over the years I have finally found one I feel so strongly about that I will endorse them wholeheartedly.

To order a free sample go to:
http://lifelineskincare.com/
and if you decide to order the products, enter the code: Michelle for a 15% discount!

For an even better explanation of exactly what the Life Line Stem Cell Skin Care products do- check out below this segment I recently did on the NBCshow “Daytime.” and an interview with America’s favorite Dermatologist, Dr. Tess Mauricio on my radio show “The Radiance Factor”.

Say goodbye to dull aging skin and hello to a beautiful glow!

With love,
Michelle

The Beauty of Freedom

In addition to celebrating Independence Day, this year we are also exercising the freedom to choose our next President. No matter which side of the political fence you are on that freedom is certainly worth appreciating. After working for all of the major TV networks and world leaders during election years I am very excited to announce that I have been chosen to be the Head of Makeup and Image for the Republican National Convention in Tampa! They will have me leading a team of makeup artists and stylist to ensure that candidates and supporters we have to choose from will have a polished, professional image.

Which brings me to my next subject…

Are you making a strong first impression?

Whenever I am hired for my image services it’s rarely to make someone look like a glamour queen. In the case of the upcoming RNC I will be tasked with helping people achieve what we should all be going for; a look that is knowledgeable, credible, and trustworthy.

Studies have shown that we have exactly seven seconds to make a first impression. More importantly, we have seven seconds to make a GREAT, and lasting, first impression.

After reading that your mind might be drifting off to taking a mental inventory of your closet thinking, if I were headed out for a big interview or to potentially meet Mr. or Ms. Right I know exactly what I would wear. Then you may think, but if the person or job was meant for me should it even matter what I was wearing? The answer there would be yes…in a way.

Whether you are entering the job market, looking for a mate, or creating personal or professional relationships of any kind, making positive imprint relies as much on the emotions you are wearing as the clothes you pick out.

While many stylists put all their effort-and yours-into creating an outward image, what I would like to concentrate on for a minute is your inner image. By knowing who you are spiritually, emotionally and physically you will create the image you want to project on the outside. Doing this will make your look about so much more than just well-thought out fashions or the ideal haircut: it will be about radiating your uniquely beautiful qualities in a way that won’t just turn heads, you will turn hearts!

To get started it’s time for a quick and honest assessment. Think for a minute about how others see you. Do people find you sincere, interesting, open, or engaging? If not, it might not be your wardrobe but rather something in the way of a vibe you are putting off? So before you put on your clothes every day, figure out if you are already dressed with enthusiasm, excitement, and an overall positive outlook or are you stressed, overwhelmed, angry, fearful, or lost? By acknowledging any of the issues that you may be dealing with you can strip away any unintended negative messages you might be projecting.

Next, when it comes to your clothes, I tell my clients to think of dressing for a job interview, every day. However, don’t think of it as getting “dressed up,” you are dressing to move up! Too many of us have gotten a bit too “casual” and wonder why we are getting passed up for promotions or treated beneath the level of person that we are. In order to be treated with the respect we so richly deserve we have to remember to present ourselves that way physically and believe it our hearts.

There are many ways to express who you are in your wardrobe, the most important facet to remember is to dress in a way that is appropriate for your profession by choosing clothes that will have you are perceived as; knowledgeable, credible, and trustworthy.

“People who dress in a professional manner everyday are twice as likely to be promoted and earn up to 20% more income.” – Social Psychology Quarterly

The market for a job or a mate is truly only as hard as we want it to be. The next time you are headed out the door, take a second to think about the fiery passion for life that burns within you. Open the door to your heart and let the world gather around your warmth.

written by Bestselling author, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Radio & TV Personality Michelle Phillips

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

Putting a Wrinkle in Your Sweet Tooth

Here is some news that’s not too sweet – experts believe that a lifetime of overeating sugar can cause wrinkles. A natural process called glycation is the culprit. With glycation, sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called “advanced glycation end products,” or AGEs, appropriately. The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. The more AGES you develop, the more they damage adjacent proteins in a domino-like fashion, according to Fredric Brandt, MD, a dermatologist and author of “10 Minutes/10 Years.”

Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects the type of collagen you have – another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling. The most abundant collagen types in the skin are I, II and III, with type III being the most stable and long-lasting. Glycation turns type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile, making the skin look and feel less supple. It also leaves you more vulnerable to sun damage. Diabetics can have up to 50 times the number of AGEs in their skin than non-diabetics. Another good reason to cut out sugar and eat your veggies.

If your sweet tooth does kick in, you may want to reach for some fresh watermelon. Besides being loaded with fiber and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, B6 and potassium, recent findings suggest that watermelon may help in lowering blood pressure. Researchers at Florida State University found that two amino acids found in watermelon, L-citrulline and L-arginine, had powerful heart-protecting effects, able to help keep blood pressure at a healthy level. In fact, the researchers found that the amino acids led to improved arterial function, which resulted in lowered aortic blood pressure in every single one of the participants.

by Jackie Silver, AgingBackwards.com

Jackie Silver is the founder and president of Aging Backwards, LLC and author of “Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young.” Sign up for her free newsletter at: http://agingbackwards.com/ and connect with her on Facebook , Twitter  and Pinterest .

The Surprising Side of Shame

surprising-side-shameAn excerpt from “The Beauty Blueprint 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of Your Dreams” written by Michelle Phillips (Hay House Publishing 2011)

Dealing with your shaming voices from the past will lead to happier, healthier relationships in the present. Researchers have shown a link between shame and negative relationship behaviors such as anger, irritability, indirect hostility, resentment, and a tendency to blame your partner for various things. Dealing with your shame won’t just set you free to love yourself—you can freely and fully love others as well.1

“The Beauty Blueprint”

Exercise: Silencing the Voices

Take out your journal and try to recall all the inner dialogue that ran through your mind as you were creating the parts of your Beauty Blueprint. For each bit of inner dialogue, answer this question: What was the true intent behind the statement? 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 completing her Beauty Blueprint, we went shopping to create a new look to match her new life. 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.

Learning to Forgive

Once you start identifying and disarming your shaming voices, you need to go one step further. If you’ve been hurt or have suffered, you need to forgive the people who planted those voices in your mind. Freedom comes with forgiveness. However, this doesn’t require you to speak to certain individuals or open the door to old relationships. Forgiveness is simply a decision you make to let go of the past. This is for you, not anyone else.

Exercise: Write Your Letter

Any lingering negative feelings from the past are often signs that you need to forgive someone or something. If you’re always replaying hurtful words or painful situations in your mind, you need to identify someone or something to forgive.

You can do so by writing a letter that will never actually be mailed. (You can write as many as you need to!) So grab a pen and paper, and pour your heart out. Tell the person exactly what he or she did and how it hurt you. Was it a hurtful word, deed, or a cruel tone that you remember most? Don’t try to justify or minimize it. How did that person’s words or actions impact you then, and how do they impact you now?

One of the letters I wrote went something like this:

I forgive you for being so cruel and degrading in your words, and hateful in your tone. I felt abused and unloved, and sometimes I still hear those words in my head today. But I am ready to be free.

Next, write down your decision to forgive and let go. For example: “I release the pain I once felt, I release you, and I send you a blessing of love and light.” It’s not enough to simply forgive. I believe you must also make an offering of love. Forgiveness releases, but love heals.

Now you’re going to burn your letter. (Some people prefer to tie their letters to balloons and release them into the sky.) The reason you don’t mail your letter is because going back to the offender can sometimes stir up more chaos and hurt. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t require a confrontation or conversation; you’re not condoning what happened. Forgiveness is something that happens inside you.

So, over the stove, on the backyard grill, or in your fireplace . . . just let it burn. As the smoke rises, ask that this person be blessed and find peace. Visualize your forgiveness extending into the sky and beyond. What is forgiven is finished. Those voices, once dealt with and forgiven, can no longer hurt you or hold you back.

“The Beauty Blueprint”