What is your exact brand of beautiful?

What is your exact brand of beautiful?

What is your exact brand of beautiful?

Some of you may know that I am not the most organized person in the world. I can clean off my desk with the best of them, write a few appointments on the calendar and tidy up a bit. The problem: I often stumble back to the mess and getting caught up in life and before I know it my old ways of processing information and “stuff” creeps back in.

Recently, I started listening to a podcast called “The Life Coach School” by Brooke Castillo.  During one of her podcast, Brooke said something that I stopped what I was doing to write it down (being unorganized, I now have to remember where it is… just kidding I know where it is).  Here is what Brooke said, “Your thoughts and words are artistic expressions- they are your exact brand of beautiful.” Sit on that just a minute…. Whoa! In case you are interested, here is a link to her podcast.  https://thelifecoachschool.com/category/podcasts/

My thoughts: What does my exact brand of beautiful look like, here goes….

  1. I often let fear guide my thinking – fear is not pretty! Fear holds us back from reaching our full potential and allowing us to serve out the purpose we were put on this earth for. How do we overcome fear? We change the words that we say to ourselves. Often, I use music to remind me.  My go-to songs are “Fear is a liar” by Zach Williams and “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli.

  2. I believe that there are still good people in the world. This is sometimes a struggle to remember, but as I step into the salon each day, I am surrounded by some of those “good” people. Each one of the ladies at the salon has a good heart, and they each put forth their smiles and come to work prepared to listen and care for our guests. I was reminded of the goodness in the world when walking into Kroger the other day. A woman and her teenage daughter stopped and offered to help an elderly gentleman get his groceries into his car. Moments later, those same ladies joined me in the line for coffee.  I was given the opportunity to be able to reward them by paying for their drinks, paying forward their kindness.

  3. As many of us do, I know I’m not alone here, I look in the mirror and criticize my body, my wrinkles, search for grey hair (or my silver lining) and spend more time evaluating than I do giving thanks that I woke up today. There is breath in my lungs, and I can walk, I had hot water and was able to clean myself properly, I had breakfast, lunch and dinner and a snack or 5 (LOL). You get the point.

  4. It is easy to look back and think I should’ve done this better, changed this, and taken the time to do xyz…. The past is just that, the past. Let it go! It is hard, but it is what gave you strength to end up right where you are today. The more you let the past control you, the more you give that person, the thing that happened, situation, etc. the control to determine the actions, attitude, and achievements of today.

In conclusion of this, I want to end with a little vulnerable confession: I have always loved writing, journaling and putting my thoughts on paper. As a teen, poetry was my way of expression, as a young adult, it was journaling my days, good and bad, for a while I was so lost I couldn’t even find words to express my feelings, and today, I journal my thoughts, prayers and step out and share some of these thoughts with you. There is fear in sharing publicly. Will people read it? What will they think? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but what I do know is that in this journey called life, I feel called to inspire YOU! If one message I put out inspires only one person to be “their exact brand of beautiful” then I have succeeded. Take a minute today to check your thoughts, words, and actions. What does your artwork look like? Is it messy and unfinished or is it a beautiful masterpiece in progress? Make today the day that you ask yourself… “Does the thought I am currently having help me or hurt me?”

Transform your brand of beautiful starting today!

Until next time!

Blessings,

Michele

Who Told You That?

Who Told You That?

     “Who told you that?” This has been the question my friend asked me recently as I messaged her in a day where sadness filled my heart for no reason. (I mean truly, there was a reason, I just wasn’t willing to admit it to myself at that moment) You may be asking, “Who told me what?”  What I’m talking about are the things that we often tell ourselves. The negative self-talk that flows through your mind as you look in the mirror, as you drive down the road or sit in your office after a conversation where someone expresses displeasure with you or something that they didn’t like. The thoughts that our mind says that our heart says: “No, no, no.”  but our mind talks louder at that moment.

     What do you do when the person looking back at you in the mirror says, “You’re not good enough, unworthy, failure, not successful enough, not a good mother, wife, friend ….” you get the picture. What do you tell that person? Do you confirm her negative comments or do you reject them and replace the words with positive affirmations?

     After meeting with a wonderful group of ladies the other afternoon, I realized my self-talk had been my issue. I was believing the lies my mind was whispering. My amazing friend reminded me once again of 2 things…

     Who told you that? Who in your life told you that lie, who made you believe that about yourself or where did you get the feeling that someone thought of you?

“Whose are you?”  For me, I am God’s child and he would never talk about me the way I speak of myself at times, he would never call me unworthy or unlovable. When I take a moment to think of what he would say, it is loved, unconditionally, beautiful inside and out, smart, funny, he might even say perfect 🙂

It doesn’t matter what you believe, whoever your “universal parent” is, what matters is that you believe in YOU!

You are beautiful, unique, wonderful and perfectly made. You were created to rise and fall and life is full of ups and downs. What you believe is up to YOU!

Open your mind, listen to your heart and choose JOY!

Until next time,
Michele

  Good morning, afternoon or evening, even middle of the night if that is when you are reading this. It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything, but you know, when you just aren’t feeling inspired it is hard to put words together. Anyone else ever have that problem?

   So, last time I was here, I was shouting praises to the She’s Still There book. This time I am just finishing up an online study of that book and going through it a second time!

  Can I just tell you, it amazes me how much you miss sometimes in the first reading of certain books and where it hits you the first time is not where it hits you the second time around?

  If any of you rushed out and purchased it last time, I am telling you, READ IT AGAIN! OMG!   The section I am currently on is all about our self-talk….hold on come back here, don’t run off yet! I know it is a touchy subject, but we are our own worst enemies most of the time.

  Last night as I was reading through Chapter 24 I realized all of a sudden why I have been in such a funk the last 4 weeks, I had simply been beating myself up over something I had to do, but in doing that “thing” I felt like I was quitting, failing and giving up.

  Now I don’t know about you, all of those things don’t sit well with me in my head. When was the last time you did something that needed to be done or delivered some hard truth to a friend, loved one or co-worker and even though you were simply being honest with them or yourself, you left the conversation feeling guilty?

  Sometimes, we take on the burdens of others and place blame on ourselves. It is realizing that you are only one person. It is the old saying of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” that struck me last night. Even though I knew going into the situation that my heart was right and I trusted the process that led me to the conversation I had to deliver, the feelings it left me with were sadness and a feeling of failing another person.  Unfortunately, those feelings spilled over into the last 4 weeks of my life. Doubt, uncertainty, and every mistake or moment of irritation quickly turned into a “you’re not good enough” moment in my brain.

 Yesterday afternoon, my amazing friend Melissa shot me a random text asking “how can I pray for you today friend?“ While I processed her request, I giggled at how she had no idea that I had been struggling with my own insecurities for weeks, but God did and he used her to reach my heart.

You will never find time for anything, if you want the time you have to make it.

You will never find time for anything, if you want the time you have to make it.

“You will never find time for anything if you want the time you have to make it.”

I found this sentence staring back at me from the top of my planner the other day. It is funny to me the reminders that show up often to keep me in check of the things I am working on in my personal and professional life. This little statement is BIG and a source of contention in our house. I, ever the optimist and my husband, ever the pessimist often disagree on this subject. While I can move, shuffle and shake things around to make time for something important, he struggles with letting go of the schedule and commonly adds “ I don’t have time.” It doesn’t make either of us right or wrong we just prioritize our days differently.

I said the word prioritize, I know, are you SCARED? Let me add the word balance to that and I am starting to get a twitchy eye. Just kidding, in all seriousness, when we learn to make choices on who, what and when people and things get our time, we begin to find a little balance in our lives. I never said it was easy, actually, it is one of the hardest things I have done over the last year and a half. Finding the courage to say no to friends and family for this people pleasing “yes “girl has been a challenge.

What I have learned is that over time there is freedom in putting the things that are important first on my list. Freedom to be more in the moment, freedom to be focused, freedom from guilt and freedom to just be and be ok with that.

I am always reading and the last book I read was on priorities, you guessed it! It listed prioritizing in this order: spiritual, tending to your own heart, husband, kids, household, friends and then everything else. Personally, I do put my faith first most mornings and if adding coffee equals tending my own heart, then I have that mastered, but from there the lines get blurred.

After coffee, I normally feel like a dog chasing my tail as I get breakfast for my son, pack lunches, oh yeah let’s throw some laundry in, oh wait, a shower, why aren’t you dressed son, then comes the 5 minute warning and yep you guessed it running out the door late.

How many of us really take the time to balance our lives? How easy is it to stick to the plan you make? Making the plan is the easy part for me, following through is hard. Life happens and before you know it, I am back to tail chasing. Writing for me is a joy. I schedule a time to do it and distractions happen.

This post actually started 2 weeks ago and I was frustrated that I let something take over the priority. Then, the other day sitting in the sun I realized all I needed for the words to flow was sunshine and a peaceful spot. I could’ve given up on it but it brings me joy to share words with you. I may have let life plan me for a moment, but I refused to let it own me, and I tried again.

In closing, I sit in the sun at one of my favorite places, prioritizing and seeking balance in my heart. (Look, I’m tending me) and when I leave this space I will follow the rest of my plan for the day. Today may be good, tomorrow may be messy.

If you are one of those super organized people, I applaud you and am jealous. If you are not, just start one step at a time and plan. If and when you fall off the wagon, get back on, don’t beat yourself up, find your focus and DON’T feel guilty. Perfection is not what is expected it is in continuing to try that we achieve!

As I Began to Love Myself

As I Began to Love Myself

  Good morning, afternoon or evening, even middle of the night if that is when you are reading this. It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything, but you know, when you just aren’t feeling inspired it is hard to put words together. Anyone else ever have that problem?

   So, last time I was here, I was shouting praises to the She’s Still There book. This time I am just finishing up an online study of that book and going through it a second time!

  Can I just tell you, it amazes me how much you miss sometimes in the first reading of certain books and where it hits you the first time is not where it hits you the second time around?

  If any of you rushed out and purchased it last time, I am telling you, READ IT AGAIN! OMG!   The section I am currently on is all about our self-talk….hold on come back here, don’t run off yet! I know it is a touchy subject, but we are our own worst enemies most of the time.

  Last night as I was reading through Chapter 24 I realized all of a sudden why I have been in such a funk the last 4 weeks, I had simply been beating myself up over something I had to do, but in doing that “thing” I felt like I was quitting, failing and giving up.

  Now I don’t know about you, all of those things don’t sit well with me in my head. When was the last time you did something that needed to be done or delivered some hard truth to a friend, loved one or co-worker and even though you were simply being honest with them or yourself, you left the conversation feeling guilty?

  Sometimes, we take on the burdens of others and place blame on ourselves. It is realizing that you are only one person. It is the old saying of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” that struck me last night. Even though I knew going into the situation that my heart was right and I trusted the process that led me to the conversation I had to deliver, the feelings it left me with were sadness and a feeling of failing another person.  Unfortunately, those feelings spilled over into the last 4 weeks of my life. Doubt, uncertainty, and every mistake or moment of irritation quickly turned into a “you’re not good enough” moment in my brain.

 Yesterday afternoon, my amazing friend Melissa shot me a random text asking “how can I pray for you today friend?“ While I processed her request, I giggled at how she had no idea that I had been struggling with my own insecurities for weeks, but God did and he used her to reach my heart.

  So, as I read the designated chapter for the day last night, my heart screamedGIRL! YOU ARE PERFECTLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!!”  And this morning I awoke with words in my mind and sense of renewal and feeling inspired to share my words with you.

  As I end today, I would like to share a part of an article on Self-love by Charlie Chaplin: 

 “As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

  As I began to love myself, I understood how much it can offend somebody as I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today, I call it RESPECT.

  As I began to love myself, I stopped craving a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow.  Today, I call it MATURITY. 

  As I began to love myself, I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at exactly the right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.”

For those of you, that would like to read the entire text, check out http://www.lifeintherightdirection.com/charlie-chaplin-began-to-love-myself/

Blessings and Hugs, Michele

Where did you come from? Where did you go?

Where did you come from? Where did you go?

Sometimes I wonder how I come up with this stuff! Laughing in my head to the “Cotton-Eyed Joe” title takes me back to a different time in my life. It was a time of freedom, laughter and a few moments I might like to forget.
Do you ever look back at your life and wonder where that carefree person is? I know I have. Then I wonder… How do I find her again? I am a podcast listener. I find new books to read, inspiration and occasionally get sidetracked with a shopping spree of some new company I learned about. One morning not long ago, I heard Chrystal Evans Hurst on a podcast, talking about her new book “She’s Still There“.  The title instantly caught my attention and by the end of the podcast, I was in my car yelling “YES, I FEEL YA GIRL!”

Please, click on the book to purchase this book on Amazon.

 

 

It wasn’t long before listening to this podcast that I had shared with a friend that I needed and wanted to take my life back. The problem was, I had no idea how to do that. Some of you might understand this feeling, waking up, looking in the mirror and wondering; when did I forget about me. How much time had passed and when did I become someone’s wife, mom, and caregiver to everyone but me! It seems selfish. In reality, it is honest. I love being a wife and mom to my people, but I miss those moments of exercising when it’s convenient for me, having time to read a book or practice a hobby, to just go sit quietly for a moment or go have dinner with a friend without feeling the guilt of taking care of someone else’s needs.

Have you ever just held a book and felt relief? While waiting for my book to come via Amazon (of course), I had discovered Chrystal’s podcast where she was telling her “She’s still there” story along with others sharing their stories. I learned I was not alone in standing in my own way and stuck in the middle of my own road afraid to make changes for fear of “what will people think”. While every woman’s story is different, she refers to it like AA in some aspects. The first step is the hardest; Chrystal writes “Hello. My name is Chrystal and I am a girl who has struggled with insecurity, battled promiscuity, experienced pregnancy outside of marriage, fought the fat demon regularly and wrestled with a sense of shame and insignificance because of it all.”

It takes courage to admit all of those things about yourself. I find her story fascinating and feel relief in her honesty. What is your story? Do you find yourself in the middle of your own road? None of us mean to end up in a job we hate for years, in broken relationships, out of shape and overweight, in financial hardship or receiving an unexpected call from a doctor or family member with illness striking you to the core. The good news is … This is YOUR life; YOU are going to be ok. Can I encourage you, just as Chrystal encouraged me through her book and podcasts, to take the first step: BE BRAVE, BE HONEST and TELL the TRUTH to YOU! Whatever you have been through, YOU are on the other side of it and guess what? YOU’RE STILL HERE!

The girl you want to be is depending on YOU, dig deep and grab her hand. “SHE”S STILL THERE” Rescue her!

Until next time,
Michele Lawrence

The Ticking Clock vs The Heart of the Matter

The Ticking Clock vs The Heart of the Matter

“Beauty Slowly Fades!” I saw this saying in the background of a webinar I was watching the other day. Still a couple of days later, I found myself questioning this statement and looking at it from a different angle.

  As women, we can be incredibly hard on ourselves. Come on, I know I am not alone here.  The mirror is our best friend and our worst enemy. The place we all go to evaluate ourselves from top to bottom. Wrinkles and grey hair might be where we start, then, before we realize it we begin checking out our sagging triceps, bottoms, once taut tummies and let us not forget the ever famous chicken neck! That’s right I said it, the chicken neck, the jowls, the “oh my, I look more like my mother everyday.”

The aging process is inevitable. When we look at ourselves superficially, it is easy to see each flaw. Next time you look in the mirror, SMILE! Watch your eyes glisten, feel your heart shine from the soul, feel your mood change. Think of the things you’re grateful for and the blessings in your life. While beauty may slowly fade on the outside, the beauty within can shine and be polished and last forever.

Today, take time to compliment another woman today on her smile, watch her face light up, watch the way she walks away with her head held high and know that you have added beauty to her soul!

From today forward, YOU tell your mirror about beauty don’t let it tell you! It only sees outside, BEAUTY comes from within!

Until next time,

Michele Lawrence