Enhancing Your Outer Beauty = The Gateway Drug to Deep Self-Realization!

photo credit: inesplicabile via photopin cc

photo credit: inesplicabile via photopin cc

I know firsthand the impact that finally, *finally* feeling unugly can have on your life.  There is such an emphasis on beauty and makeup and weight-loss and perfection, that feeling beautiful can seem unattainable.  When I felt this way, it kept me frozen in all areas of my life.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, I have found that learning to love the way we look is a super-duper giant first-step to increasing overall confidence and badassness for going after what we want in life.  To me, inner and outer beauty are intertwined.  So when we can learn to love one, that love seeps over and into the other, and brings mind-blowingly WOW changes all over the place.  If someone is really ready and committed to showing up in life and embarking on a technicolor self-realization journey, starting with the outside–with appearance–is actually the way to go in my experience.  Before you roll your eyes, tee hee, please hear me on out :)

photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti via photopin cc

photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti via photopin cc

Here goes:

Imagine a women with very little confidence in herself named, uuuh, Petra.  When you pass her in the halls, she’s looking down, her shoulders are hunched and it’s like her heart chakra is closed off for protection.  When you say, “Hi Petra!”, she looks up and smiles, but is almost startled that you have seen her.  It’s obvious that she doesn’t spend time getting ready in the morning at all; in fact she seems to do everything she can to exist only in the shadows.  Her demeanor matches her appearance.  Though Petra is mega intelligent and good at what she does, she turns red when anyone asks her a question in a meeting and often backs down when she’s challenged.  

You know that annoying-ass negative chatter that can bombard our minds, telling us how dumb or ugly or stupid or unloveable or inadequate we are?  Well, Petra hears it all day long, and doesn’t realize she doesn’t have to pay attention to it.  She hears that voice telling her stuff like, “Why were you so stupid at that meeting yesterday?  No wonder nobody takes you seriously!”  And when she goes to the bathroom to get ready in the morning, she looks at herself and hears, “Wow, you are sooo frumpy and unattractive! Look at that muffin top on you!  And your hair is so limp…and…and…and…”   The negative chatter becomes what she believes to be true about herself.

If Petra becomes my client, we will focus on her thoughts and shifting them, of course, and I can tell her to write a list of her accomplishments, and recommend she start writing in a gratitude journal as homework to begin focusing on what she *does* have going for her in her life.  I know all of these and other confidence-building activities are effective over time.  However, when she looks in the mirror, she will still be seeing the same things, which serve as triggers.  Her brain has nothing visual to help create a shift in her thought patterns.  Petra’s thoughts may be shifting, and she may be starting to see the beauty in her life, and gaining more self-awareness, etc., but if we do an actual quick-n-perdy makeover, we are working together to give her visual, immediate proof that things can change.  That things can be different.  That she can feel and live differently.  You feel me?  If I can help Petra tap into her beauty in a superficial way, she will see that it exists, and it can be a HUGE first step toward overall confidence.

After a very simple makeover, a women’s posture changes, opening up her heart chakra.  Her head is up, and she smiles as she looks at herself in the mirror, totally blown away by what she sees.  It’s like a kick-start for other areas in life.  And, once the woman sees that she can *look* beautiful, it makes her begin to *feel* beautiful and *act* beautiful and *think* beautiful.  It eventually creates more beauty around her, which continues to fuel her confidence.  Suddenly, there’s room for POSSIBILITY!

When our inner and outer beauty are in alignment, they are able to work together with synergy to give us the confidence and courage we need to create the life we want.  What I mega ADORE about starting from the outside and working my way inward is that there’s an element of fun and surprise.  It provides some instant gratification and immediate visual results that can serve as very valuable motivation.

I’m definitely not saying to hide behind makeup and clothes and the media’s definitions of beauty…beautification as an unhealthy obsession can actually be like a mask we hide behind to protect ourselves.  The point of the magical makeover is not achieving conventional perfection or making elaborate changes that don’t feel authentic to the makeoveree.  The point is to give the eyes and brain evidence that change is possible…that feeling good when we look in the mirror is possible…that new habits like self-care are possible.  Putting on some makeup and clothes that feel like an authentic expression of how effing MONEY you are is a solid first step toward deep self-love.  It’s like the gateway drug to more intense inner self-realization, if you will.

And, the irony is, you eventually start feeling your inner beauty and the better you  feel about it, the more you radiate, and the less time you spend primping and fussing over your outer appearance.  FULL CIRCLE!

Have you ever felt the immediate effects of getting dolled up before going out somewhere?  Have you noticed that it can actually change your mood and energy when you like the way you look?

 

Are You Afraid to Highlight/Express Your Unique Beauty?

I’ve been doing makeovers and helping people see how effing WOW they are since I was a wee little one…it has always made me giddy!  In the past, it allowed me to live vicariously through that person as I watched them morph into a more razzle-dazzle and authentic version of themselves, and I also intensely savored the, “WOW!  I had no idea I could look like this” moment (still do!).  It’s quite a delic’ unveiling.

photo credit: Frederic Poirot via photopin cc

photo credit: Frederic Poirot via photopin cc

I remember during a slumber party in high school, I did a makeover on a friend and she was completely blown away by how she looked.  All I did was help her express her beauty, but it was powerful.  She kept going back to the mirror in amazement, and everyone else was excited about her excitement, and she was being bombarded with compliments.  The reason the change was so dramatic is because she made below-zero effort to enhance what she had going for her, which was a lot!

I told her how easy it was to do what I had just done, and that it would take her 10 minutes extra in the morning to give her makeup and hair a little pizzazz (it was the 90s, so the hair was definitely NOT au naturel!!) I explained that doing this really reflected her personality.  She was happy-go-lucky, intelligent, hilarious, unique, kind, and fun to be around, however, her, what we now call, mommy jeans + over-sized sweatshirts and keds did not even hint at any of that…  especially since we were 16!

She pulled me aside and said, “Thank you, but I can’t go to school like this!  People will notice I’ve done something different or think I have changed..and then they’ll expect me to do it all the time!  Or worse, what if I show up like this and people *still* think I’m ugly?  I’d rather stay invisible!  This isn’t me…”  

Back then, I felt disappointed that she didn’t want to strut her lovely stuff in all of its glory!  In a way, maybe high-school me was offended or frustrated that she had some new tools to light up and feel so much more confident, but had decided to stay the same instead.  Alas, it reminded me of myself…

Thinking about this now, I understand a few things more clearly about my makeover-refusing friend:

1.)  She was close to her family and they were all very conservative and salt-of-the-earth folk that knocked “fussing” over physical appearance.  She didn’t want to betray or disappoint her clan.

2.)  Change is difficult, even if it makes you feel oodles better!  It’s much more comfortable to stick to what we know, and do things that elicit the same responses we’ve always gotten from others.

3.)  She was one of the “smart kids” and in all of the AP classes, and perhaps brains and beauty were mutually exclusive in her belief system.  She didn’t know she could be a triple threat!!  Brains, personality and beauty!

4.)  Shining can be scary.  She got so many accolades and verbal flowers from everyone at the party that it made her feel *too* visible.  Being seen makes us feel more vulnerable to judgement.

5.)  We’re afraid of people’s expectations and letting them down.  She thought that if she put a little effort into her appearance, she would never be able to have an unmade-up day again.

6.)  When others can really see you, they are more likely to have an opinion about you.  This possibility terrified her.  It’s easier to be criticized when we know we haven’t tried than when we know we’ve made some sort of effort.

7.)  We all have a set of beliefs and ideas about ourselves and others that are hard to shake.  To her, enhancing her outer appearance meant altering who she was, or losing part of her identity.

photo credit: Mitya Kuznetsov via photopin cc

photo credit: Mitya Kuznetsov via photopin cc

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Today I would tell her that it’s ok to be your most WOW self, and enhance everything you have working  in your favor.  I would tell her that people care much less than our angsty teenaged minds tell us they do.  I would tell her that being invisible isn’t “safe” or comfy cozy in the long-run…it leads to sadness, despair, frustration, lack of confidence to really LIVE life like you mean it, and go after your burning desires.  It traps you in a cycle of needing approval, and thinking you’re not {insert ANY positive word here} enough.  It’s our duty to honor our physical beauty so we can shine and rock what we’re here to rock, ya dig?  (Actually, I would tell Eyenie circa ’92 the same things!)

Are you keeping parts of yourself from shining?  Do you feel safer hiding out than enhancing your goods for all the world to see?  What can you do today to highlight your unique exquisiteness?!  I’d love to hear your thoughts!! :)

Joy & Pain: A Jr. High Lesson about Overcoming Fear

I have always loved to dance, but used to be mortified at the thought of anyone seeing me bust my moves.  I would spend hours watching videos and practicing the Kid-n-Play, and that one fancy running man + the snake combo Vanilla Ice used to do, along with that left-right-left shoulder pump thing.  Despite my giant stature, high water pants and cascade bangs, I became such a masterful fancy foot, that I actually started feeling kind of cool (in the privacy of my own living room).

photo credit: DavidErickson via photopin cc

This lead to a recurring daydream:  Me in that cool floral spandex dress with shoulder pads.  The gym.  Lights down.  Music pumping.  My “jam” coming on, pushing me to really get my groove on as the entire school gathered ’round in delight, WOWed by my amazing skills.  After my performance, having that popular chola girl come up to “challenge” me to a dance duel.  Me kicking her ass, and then being invited to dance by her fine cholo boyfriend.

The school dance was approaching.  I kept practicing and had butterflies in my stomach when I thought about going.  I begged my mom until she finally said yes.  Then, the special day finally arrived.  I went to the gym, and stood against a wall, moving just a little bit to the beat.  I loved every song that was playing, but couldn’t bring myself to just go to the dance floor.  My movements started to get more and more intense, and the urge to just dance was painfully strong, but my guts were nowhere to be found.

When Rob Base’s “Joy & Pain” came on, the feeling was just too strong, and I finally broke… By “broke”, I mean, “I ran to the bathroom”, locked myself in the handicap stall (large enough to fit a wheelchair), and started to dance like a MOFO, lipping the words, “GIVE IT TO ME ROOOB BASE!!!”  An hour later, I walked out of the stall drenched in sweat, with bright red cheeks, feeling elated about doing my moves.

Thanks to Gem for not kicking me out of her wedding reception…

Today, I go to parties and weddings and dance like my life depends on it .  In photos of these events, I’m grimacing, dripping sweat (my dress even looks wet most of the time), and my arms are flailing (please see photo).  Now I know that nobody at the dance would have given a rat’s ass about how good or bad I was on the floor.  And I would’ve had so much more fun dancing far away from the toilet (more space for the running man).  We all have things we love to do, or really want to do, but fear keeps us from putting the pedal to the metal, grabbing our cojones and doing them.

Next time fear stops you from doing something you’ve been daydreaming about, think of “Joy & Pain” and ask yourself how much of each this something would bring you if you flipped your fear off (yes, I’m talking The Middle Finger) and just went for it.

Running on Empty? YOU Can Fill Yourself Up!

How does it make you feel when… someone is disappointed in you?  Or when you say no and they give you a guilt trip?  How about when you give what you’re sure is the *perfect* gift, and the person’s reaction is not as WOO-HOO and over-the-top as you had imagined?

Here’s my guess:  Empty.  Sad.  Frustrated.  Dissatisfied.  Like you’re not enough.

Do you do certain kind or positive things and hold your breath waiting for that AMAZING compliment that will give you a dose of serotonin?  And like a sugar rush, does the effect of the compliment wear off way too fast?

When you sit around waiting for other people’s words and actions to fill you up and make you feel complete, worthy, valuable, beautiful, smart, visible…  there’s never enough.  Nothing anybody does or says will ever match up to the scenario in your head.  The reality of it will never ever be as good as you think you *need* it to be.  When you depend on others to fill you up, you’re insatiable.

But, here’s the beautiful truth:  Even though you may think you need others to fill you up, you don’t.  Only YOU can do it.  Only YOU can fill that void.  Only YOU can fuel your confidence.  And it’s not as hard as you may think!  You can start right now…I dare you!

  • List 20 things you’ve got going for yourself and read it aloud.
  • List your major life accomplishments and things you’ve overcome and allow yourself to feel proud.
  • Think about stuff you love to do, stuff you’re an expert at, what makes you tick…and make a point to do more of it!  Remember how you feel when you do what you do best!
  • Stop punishing yourself, or passing judgement.  You’re only human, so give yourself a break!
  • Remember: nobody’s expecting you to be perfect, so stop expecting it of yourself.
  • When you decide to do something nice for someone else, set the intention of not expecting anything at all in return–not even a specific reaction.  Just feel good that you did it in the first place.
  • Start a gratitude journal and focus on all the good things in your life.
  • Don’t take anything personally!!  (one of the magical and powerful “Four Agreements”)  When you realize things aren’t all about you, it makes it much easier to take them lightly.

Everything you need is inside of you!  You’re a complete kit!  Now go on, start filling yourself up!!!!!!

No Monday Blues: 10 Easy Peasy & Fun Ways to Make Someone Feel Lovely!

It’s Monday, which can sometimes feel like a mega drag.  So, a great way to feel good about yourself and make your Monday maaahvelous is by doing something lovely for someone else!

Plus, simply taking a moment to focus on someone else without expecting anything in return helps to fuel the confidence fire!!

Here are some of my favorite ways–you’ll see it doesn’t take much! :

1. Send a cool/funny/wacky postcard with a quick message about something you love about them or an inside joke you remember.

2. Write a wall post on Facebook that says something you love about them using each letter of their name, like for Pam it would be, “P is for “pretty” cuz damn girl, you’re fine!  A is for “apple” cuz you’re the apple of my eye!  M is for “marvelous” because that’s the kind of friend you are!” (I did this for my mother-in-law, and she actually framed it and has it hanging up!)

3. Buy some iron-on letters and make your friend a funny t-shirt with an inside joke or something they like written on it.

4. Create a “this coupon good for _________” and give it to a friend or family member. These used to be pretty effective in the 80s when I was a kid, and I find they still work like gangbusters!

5. Write a few little notes that say dreamy things and hide them in your loved one’s briefcase, lunch, purse, agenda, or hide them between the dishes and ask them to set the table. (I know, it really doesn’t take much, I’m telling you!! Read on…)

6. Make up funny lyrics for a song they love and leave them a voice mail message with your kooky song. OR, if you’re a YouTube + iMovie wiz, put the new lyrics to a karaoke version of the song and post it on YouTube.

7. Make paper party hats and throw the person an a.m. coffee-run, lunch or snack party in the park or in your car just because.  You can throw in a candy ring, candy necklace and fake tattoos to give some extra oomph.

8. Throw confetti on someone and wish them a spectacular, out-of-the ordinary day!  (Note: know your audience on this one!)

9. Pay for a complete stranger’s coffee + pastry just for fun.  Or, leave someone a pastry or something you know they like on their desk…again, just because!

 

 

10. Send someone you love/dig/like/have a crush on a “check the yes, no, maybe” box note to ask them to do something fun.

I have the heart of a pre-teen/eternal adolescent, so a lot of times I dig into the archives of my childhood for inspiration.  Try it!

What cool/funny/unique things do you do to make others feel spectacular?!  Please share!  And if you do any of the 10 I listed, let me know how it goes!

Now go on and make someone’s day!!

Overcoming Shyness: The Magic Doppelganger

Many of us suffer from shyness, whether it be in specific situations, or in general. I know that in certain situations I feel like the life of the party; in others, I’m so angst-ridden and anxious, I don’t know what to do with myself (or my profuse sweating! It ain’t perdy…)

In my early 20s, I didn’t drink, so I didn’t have the effects of booze to help me let down my guard and meet people/interact smoothly when I went out. One night at a bar in New York, I decided to pretend I was Katja from a small fishing village in Iceland, paying a visit to my “cousin Chloe”. When guys came to talk to me, I didn’t freeze or hear the, “he only has shady intentions cuz he thinks you’re drunk…must act like a-hole to make him go away now!” voice in my head.  I just had fun and felt confident (lying through my teeth about my identity with a cray-cray made-up accent, of course, but still…)  The night was a smash hit, and my role-playing shenanigans even helped my friend (aka “Cousin Chloe”) score a promising exchange with a fellow.  And my shirt was dry–no anxiety-induced water works!

When thinking back on this night, it also brought up my prank-calling days.  I had such amazing interactions with all kinds of people when they didn’t know who I was…when I didn’t have that burden of excruciating self-awareness and “what will they think?”  And eureka, it hit me!  I could use this constructively to overcome my shyness and anxiety in all situations life presented–interviews, cocktail parties, networking events, business meetings, etc.

So, I created an alter-ego/internal doppelganger that I sort of “activate” when it’s game time–think Jerrica & Jem sans the magical electronic fairy godmother, of course.  (Remember?  ”SHOWTIME, SYNERGY!”–I actually say that line sometimes and feel activated!  Ha!)

If you’re ready to get over your shyness and be the most confident and assertive You, create your alter-ego!

List some qualities you want to have and design a character around them, and give that character a name!  Instead of feeling shy or anxious, just *activate* this badassness within you, lovingly called {insert your new alter-ego’s name here}, and it’s ON!  When it’s time to rock, you can say a little phrase to yourself to call on/tap into your alter-ego and voila!  Soon enough, you’ll be able to activate your badassery without even bringing the doppelganger into the mix :)

Some well-known celebs who bust out their alter-egos when it’s time to shine:
Beyonce = Sasha Fierce
Serge Gainsbourg = Gainsbarre
Courtney Love =  Cherry Kookoo
Joaquin Phoenix = Dirty Bum Rapper

Now go out there!  It’s showtime, you!!!

 

How to Dress Intuitively + The Magic of Vintage/Thrift/Flea Market Accessories

Are you really really ready to start showing up in your life in a major way? Starting with your appearance and personal style can get things rockin’!

Your may think you don’t have personal style, but believe me, it’s in there…you just have to allow yourself to discover it and bring it on out! It’s all about telling your brain and self-judging thoughts to butt out, and just letting your intuition flow. Think of yourself as an artist when you go shopping, and as you get dressed for the day or for a special event. Go for what *feels* dreamy and makes you happy when you look in the mirror, or make eye-contact on the street.  Forget what you *think* you should look like, or what others expect you to look like/wear (easier said than done, I know, but practice, practice, practice!)

Personal style = Dressing intuitively.

Developing your own personal style comes down to dressing intuitively.  How does one “dress intuitively”?  Before going to your closet, ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today?  Swirly and whimsical?  Like a true bad ass? Strong and confident?  Creative and giddy?  Optimistic and joyful?”  Once that’s determined, set the intention of only allowing positive thoughts to enter your mind as you get ready, and to focus on that which you love and appreciate about your body and appearance.  And smile!!  When you’re in this positive and open mindset, your intuition can flow more easily.  You may also want to put on some music that evokes the feelings you want for that day to really get you in the zone.

Now, go to your closet, and select like an artist would choose colors for a palette, or a chef would grab spices to prepare a delicious dish.  If your clothes don’t reflect how you’re feeling, go for accessories (think of them as spices)–they can change everything!!  If you don’t have many, an easy way to begin exploring your personal style and dressing intuitively is to go to a vintage or thrift shop and go nuts!  I find many a magical treasure when I go to my local thrift store on Tuesdays and Thursdays (that’s the only time it opens!  Vive rural France!)  Second-hand items are usually one-of-a kindish (at least for the most part), so chances are you’ll have something that’s really uniquely yours and demonstrates your style.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Here are some of my latest finds to give you some ideas:

Square bracelets (vintage), detailed cuff (from flea market), scarf with vintage print (thrift treasure!), fabulous Saint Tropez glasses, bold earrings (thrift treasures)

This vintage suede bag with gold metal sword makes me feel like a bad ass! Perfect for a soiree or for adding some coolitude and edge to a classic outfit.

Vintage silk scarf wrapped around neck--instant pizzazz to a casual outfit.

How do you want to *feel* today?!  Let your intuition guide you when you go into your closet, and prance through your day like you mean it!!! 

Guest Post chez Uncommon Chick!

I am so effing excited to be a guest blogger on Kesha Brown’s site Uncommonchick.com!!  Check out my nifty new article and let this kid know what you think!  It’s about dressing up so you can really show up for life and BRING IT!

A little pizzazz makes a whole lotta difference when you want to increase your vibration and have beauty flow into your life!  Hope you dig it! :)

http://uncommonchick.com/dressing-up-when-you-show-up-for-life/

Fine, it’s my birthday: A confession & declaration/oath

This year, I’m celebrating my birthday.  I know, it’s what loads of people do…but, I’ve spent the past three decades bobbing, weaving and dodging all festivities having to do with my birthday.  In fact, when people would say stuff like, “whose birthday is coming uuuuuup?  huuuuuh?!” in a nice and excited way, it would actually make me cringe and feel extreme dread (oh man, a year older and little to show for it).  Extreme anxiety (am I living up to the expectations of my age?!).  Extreme sadness (wow, I’m a total loser! i haven’t accomplished anything!).  Extreme “poor me”ness (see, _____ doesn’t cares that it’s my birthday, so why should I?!).  It all stemmed from FEAR.  Of disappointing, of being disappointed.

This year, the proverbial buck stops here.  Basta with all that negatron crapola.  I have committed to no longer living in FEAR and to live in a space of LOVE.  Embracing my birthday is part of that.

This year, I’m actually celebrating my birthday.  I will allow myself to be in the spotlight, and just express my gratitude for those who want to put me there.  I will focus on everything I HAVE accomplished in the past year, and all the cool-ass things on the horizon.  I will be grateful for everything I am, everyone I’ve met, and everything I have learned over the past year.  I will be thankful for all the delightful things in my life, and will be grateful for the motivation, passion, love, fire under my arse and desire to keep my eyes on the prize and work toward it.  From this day on, I solemnly swear to honor, respect and enjoy my birthday and leave Cap’n Birthday Negatron eating my dust.

Today, I will be sprinkling some extra pretty on myself and my surroundings:
~Outfit with extra pizzazz–CHECK!
~”Fiesta” red lipstick–CHECK!
~My favorite songs on queue, and heck, even a mariachi bday song–CHECK!

~Accept birthday wishes with joy and appreciation–CHECK!
~Yummy food & drink & celebration–CHECKETY CHECK CHECK!!

My name is Eyenie.  Today is my birthday.  I’m a year older, and that’s ok.