True Beauty: Honor the God or Goddess in You

Extreme makeovers are all the rage these days, with botox injection parties, and reality shows. Plastic surgery is on the rise. Many people are trying to match the extraordinary measures actors and actresses go through to look perfect on the screen. These are shortcuts taken to try to create happiness with a scalpel, a diet, or an implant, and they don’t fulfill their promise. Beautiful people are not automatically happy people.

Diva-dom, god-ness, is just a way of expressing the goal of the human quest-to attain the highest expression of the beautiful being you are is not about sex, or perfection, and you can’t get there via technology. It’s a growth process, a transformation of self through awareness and learning. It’s about meaning, and being real. It’s an emotional and spiritual walk, and it requires faith fueled with liberal doses of loving kindness.

Every day, I have the delight and privilege of loving Richard, my husband, a real, human, fallible man. We’re about the same age, he’s losing hair, I’ve gained weight. But, after almost 20 years, we have fused our hearts and souls, if not our personalities. He clearly loves me, though I often frustrate him, and I am grateful for his presence in my life on a daily basis. Our sex life is lovely, thank you, even if it doesn’t match movie fantasies. We laugh together, we share the struggles of daily life together, and the thought that he might die before I do fills me with dread. All the buffed up male models in the world couldn’t replace my very own, live and kicking, formerly red-haired leprechaun. It took me 37 years to find him, and I’m not about to replace him with so-called “perfection”.

My friends and I are no more perfect. We can be cranky, we occasionally carelessly hurt each others’ feelings, they don’t always say the right thing. But, we are here for each other when we’re really needed, we do our best to be caring and kind, and we forgive each others’ imperfections.

Perfection, particularly media perfection, is highly overrated. Clients come to my psychotherapy office every day in considerable emotional pain because their lives aren’t “perfect” enough. They feel inadequate, dissatisfied, hopeless and frustrated because they can’t attain life as they see it on the big screen. I have to break the news that those people up there have problems in their real lives, too, and refocus my clients on accomplishing normal things that work for them..

All the face creams, cardio workouts, healthy diets, Prozac and meditation tapes in the world aren’t going to make their lives, their bodies, or their mental state much better. Life is not about remaining young and photogenic. It’s about growing your soul.

The only way I know to develop my soul is through feelings. Awe at natural phenomena (the star-lit heavens, a centuries-old redwood, the gorgeous flowers of the Mandevilla vine at my gate) stretches it, making me yearn and aspire. Human relationships bruise, batter and comfort it, teaching me resilience and humility. Love urges my soul to blossom and glow, compassion causes it to blur at the edges, and so I learn to accept others as they are.

The humans in my life are not the narcissistic, self-absorbed “beautiful people” of the screen. We’re ordinary, real, imperfect people, like you-the ones who really keep this country and the world going. Together, we work hard at life, trying to be our best selves, taking care of our families and each other, and striving to bring our personal ethics and aspirations alive in the world. We come from numerous backgrounds and religions, we don’t always approve of each other’s decisions, but we care for each other the best we can. We struggle to be less self-indulgent, more compassionate and understanding. We try to resist the fads, the manipulations of advertising, the con artists who prey on our weaknesses. We survive through government administrations we don’t agree with, through natural and unnatural disasters that take our loved ones and possessions, through fads and fancies that are often unhealthy. From each event, we learn, we stretch, we recover, we process the emotional aftermath, and we move on. These life events are the soul’s workout, and though we may groan and complain, we can feel the growth eventually.

Today, an elder of my church, a man in his late 70s, pretty physically battered and a bit stooped over, proved to be one of the most forward-thinking of the whole congregation. Life has beaten him up a bit, but it has not passed him by. His spirit glows radiantly. Have you ever seen an elderly person like that? One whose wisdom shows in his or her eyes, and whose love is not flamboyant, just there in a gentle query about your health, or a brief touch that calms and reassures. The spirit that shines from within them is true beauty, and it can’t be bought in a jar.

The miracle is, that each of us has the total capacity to achieve this perspective, this fullest embodiment of the highest expression of soul, even as our bodies wear out and crumble.

Here’s a visualization to help you access the god or goddess within, your inner wise person:

Picture a person of seventy or more-just the kind of elder you admire, the one you would like to become. Financially secure, in good health, surrounded by people who care, good friends and family… active with lots of interests… Introduce yourself to this elder, and notice your names are the same… this is you, later in life… Make an agreement with this ideal older self that you will get advice about what decisions you need to make as life goes on, to live to a healthy and happy state of being. Continue your conversation as long as you wish, and ask what your elder’s secret is for living to such a lovely old age.

Once this contact is established, you can check out your decisions regularly by using this wise mentor within. For example, how does this inner counselor react to your life choices? At that advanced age, will you look back on what you’ve done and think it was worth it? Does your wise self approve? Does he or she think your choice will last? What is the difference between what’s important to you, and what this inner counselor regards as important?

All the experiences of your life, especially the difficult ones, have taught you valuable skills-using what you’ve learned in life to help yourself and others can create meaning out of pain. Buddhist teachers note that poisonous plants and venoms become healing medicines with careful processing. Every trial that you face has something to teach you and can become a source of wisdom-this inner counselor will help you access what you know.

It is a very effective tool to help you look at your own life and your decisions from a different and valuable perspective. The decisions you make today affect the rest of your life, and you are ultimately the only person to whom you are accountable and for whom you are responsible. Every new decision is truly a new life’s resolution.

How to Prevent Colon Cancer Disease

There are many cases of colon cancer today, with significantly more people being diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease below age 50 than previously. Colon cancer used to be considered a disease of the elderly, but nowadays many younger people are diagnosed with this kind of disease. This is more because of unhealthy lifestyles such as eating habits, lack of exercises and many other factors.

People tend to consume junk food and any other foods that are over-processed and contain high fat and sugar. This allows the chemically-laced food to sit in colon for longer time and lead to the cancer disease.

Several ways to keep your colon healthy:

1. Balancing your diet

A balance diet will supply your body with sufficient nutrition: balance in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. It will be better to get all these nutritions naturally by consuming healthy foods such as: fresh vegetables and beans, fish, fruits, seafood and milk. Taking daily supplements also will help.

2. Reduce over-processed foods

Reduce intake of over-processed foods, especially fried foods because these foods contain of high fat that is dangerous to health. You can also choose organic foods that are higher in nutrition. Avoid sausage, hot dogs, ham, and many of which contain salt, sodium nitrites and sodium nitrates, which play big role in leading to colon cancer.

3. Exercise regularly

Do exercise at least 3 times a week is adequate to maintain your stamina and health. If you have any disease, it would be wise to consult with your doctor what exercise suits your current condition.

4. Drink eight glasses of water daily

Adequate water is essential to your body and will help to clean your system by gently washing out offensive bacteria and germs that can harbor in the colon and lead to illness or problems.

5. Colon cleansing

Colon cleansing method has been so popular as an option to keep your colon healthy. Consult with your doctor if you wish to take this method.

6. Visit your doctor and have an annual medical check-up to prevent diseases.

He’ll Look at You Differently If You Do This

Do you feel like you need to look a certain way in order to attract the right man for you – or get more attention from your current man?

You may believe that most men – especially the good looking and successful ones – only want women who look like runway models and don’t want to settle for a woman who is considered average looking.

And you’re so not alone. Millions of women think they don’t fit their country’s beauty standards.

As a woman who used to only see her flaws in the mirror, I say I hear and feel you darling.

And I’m also here to give you the good news: It’s not true.

However here is what’s true: If you deep down believe that you are not pretty enough, thin enough, tall enough, you’ll often end up attracting people who would think the same about you.

You really don’t need to be so hard and critical on the way you look anymore in order to have a man to love the way you look.

Here is what helped me and can turn things around for you too:

Celebrate what’s unique about you

Although it’s okay to notice that another woman is very beautiful, comparing yourself to her is like expecting two flowers to look the same. A Lily and a Rose look so different, yet they are both so lovely in their own way. It’s ridiculous to expect them to look the same for them to be considered as beautiful.

Also don’t forget that someone might find a rose much more desirable than a Lily, while another feels the opposite.

When you truly embrace this and start viewing things this way, you begin to exude self-love and acceptance of a high confidence woman.

And as a result, the right man who are loving and appreciative of your unique beauty will take notice.

I certainly am not a size 2 and don’t fit into society standard of beauty, yet I frequently have high quality men notice me; and I never get tired of hearing my fiancĂ© telling me how beautiful he thinks I am.

You have heard it often enough that confidence is key, and it’s so true. A woman whom in her core feels confident, talks, walks, and carries herself differently. There’s just something alluring about her, even if she doesn’t have the perfect nose, and her arms and thighs aren’t toned.

To men there is something so magnetic about a woman who simply does not care about what a man or anyone thinks about how she looks. And she draws the attention of men like bees to honey.

So from now on, start celebrating and appreciating what’s unique about you. Is it your eyes? Your hair? Your nails? Focus on your favorite features, be thankful for them, and smile in confidence that there is only one of you. And your man will love and adore every part of you, if you fully embrace your unique beautiful self.

Love,

Shahrzad

Jesus as the Rose of Sharon

The words “rose of Sharon” comes out of the Old Testament in the Song of Solomon. The verse reads:


“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” (Solomon 2:1)

Here are some facts about this verse and how it may be related to Jesus.

  1. Nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus actually referred to as the rose of Sharon. However, He is “symbolically” referred to as the rose of Sharon.
  2. You are right about Sharon being a place. Sharon is a plain – it is one of the largest valley-plains in all of Palestine. Back at the time of Solomon, it was considered a wild, fertile plain that had a lot of beautiful flowers in it. Sharon was supposed to have been known for its beauty and majesty back in those days.
  3. The person saying she is the “rose of Sharon” in the above verse was a Shulamite woman who apparently was Solomon’s bride.
  4. Here is the reason that I think people like to use the analogy of Jesus being the Rose of Sharon. The New Testament refers to Jesus as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride. This tells us right here that God is using the “lover” analogy to describe the relationship that He wants with us and that He also wants us to have with His Son.

However, in the above verse, the person saying she is the rose of Sharon is a woman, not a man. Jesus is obviously referred to as “male” since He is always referred to as “He” in the Bible. The rose is supposed to be considered the most “perfect” of all flowers. You will notice that Jesus is symbolically referred to as the rose of Sharon. Jesus is perfect in His God nature. He thus can be considered the “actual” rose of Sharon since He is totally perfect within His own nature – just like the rose is supposed to be considered the most “perfect” of all flowers.

Normally in a husband-wife or boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, it is the male who gives roses to the wife or girlfriend. Since Jesus is considered the Bridegroom in His relationship with His church, it would thus be Jesus coming to us to give us the flowers. However, in this case, God may be going one step further in allowing this analogy to be made of His Son.

I feel like God may be trying to tell us that Jesus will go one step further. Instead of Jesus being the one who would “give” us the flowers as we have in our normal human relationships, Jesus is actually referred to as the flower itself! And with the rose being the most perfect of all flowers, God is telling us that His Son Jesus is the Rose of Sharon rather than just having Him be the One to just give us this rose flower due to His perfect nature and perfect love that He has for all of us.


Women love flowers. They love the way they look and smell – especially roses. I feel God wants us to have realization of how special His Son Jesus is to us and He is using the rose flower to compare His Son with so we can truly appreciate the beauty and perfection of Jesus and the perfect love that He has for each and every one of us. Bottom line – Jesus is perfect love just as the rose is the most perfect of all flowers in its looks, beauty and smell.

By using the rose flower as a “visual symbolism” of Jesus’ love for us, we can better appreciate or “see” what God is trying to tell us in the personal love relationship that He wants to establish with each and every one of us. He wants us to realize how “special” His love is for us and that He wants more than anything to be able to enter into this personal love relationship with each one of us.

The above is my own personal opinion on what this analogy is referring to. I’ve always had a good witness that God the Father does approve of us using the Rose of Sharon to symbolize His Son’s love for us even though it is not actually stated per

in Scripture.

Don’t Want to Be a Glamor Puss – Or Do You?

Once upon a time – a long, long time ago in the ’90s – we had a dream. It began at the top of our noggins with an ice-straight blowout and then we worked our way down to the D&G dress, Gucci purse and the fabulous jewelry that we couldn’t afford, but our benefactor Visa seemed to support.

No matter what the cost, we wanted one thing: To be glamorous. Even if we worked at the local mall stocking Hanes tighty whities, we wanted to look like a movie star. A funny thing happened after the economy collapsed. My clients are saying words that could have sent you to style penitentiary a few years ago.

“Tamara,” they lean in and confide. “I want to look good, but I don’t want to be too glamorous.”

This is an interesting phenomenon because while women want to be pretty – or even very pretty – they don’t want to be too much.

This leads me to ask you: When it comes to looks and style, what do you want? Do you want to be pretty or glamorous? A head turner or a heart breaker? Or are you still humming that U2 song when it comes to style -“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for?”

I think I can give you some resolve on this issue even if your own style has been in flux since you turned five. You do want to be pretty, but more importantly, you really need to step into who you are as a woman. Then the rest will fall into place.

Style isn’t an exercise in looking like Demi, Michelle or any number of these Jennifers or Jessicas floating around out there. Style is about finding the best shapes for you along with the best colors, best hair style, best clothes, best shoes… the best everything for just you. It’s not about what Reese is doing. Again, it’s about how you are as a woman.

Just a little side note: you might just get a little glamorous along the way when you figure this one out. Sorry, it’s the fallout of finally finding your unique style. Glamor is that little pouch of makeup samples they offer you with the big purchase. You could turn it down, but why would you?

When you finally figure out the real you, how to pull it all together and polish up what you have..you just can’t stop it. The glamorous, gorgeous, glowing version of YOU will be on display for all to see.

You will become that woman.

You know that women.

She’s the one who shows up at the PTA meeting in the black pants, simple white shirt, the great layered haircut and looks absolutely stunning.

Everything she’s done seems right. Her skin glows; her eyes shine and that damn hair swings in the right direction even when she sits by the air-conditioning vent. She isn’t worried about buying 10 pairs of black pants (because they all fit differently). One really is enough.

She is confident in her body. Even if it’s not perfect.

This blog is dedicated to you finding your best self. It’s not about vanity because there is a vast difference between vanity and beauty. Vanity is standing in front of a mirror and getting so lost that you can’t come up for air. The type of beauty we’ll find here is the type where you say, “This is what I have to work with in life. I’ll do my best with it. I’ll own it.”

Look at Jackie O. She was never the most gorgeous, but with those trademark sunglasses, classic cardigans, slim Capri’s and that perfect dark bob, she was stunning and classic.

Look at Michelle Obama who looks so much different since she has moved to Pennsylvania Avenue. During the campaign, she was beautiful, but now she has a new rock-solid confidence and has transformed into gorgeous. What could possibly be different other than she sent out change of address cards?

Answer: She owns her beauty. She wears clothes from J. Crew and looks like she just stepped off a runway.

She’s not a perfect beauty, but most of us would be happy to feel that good about ourselves. By the way, she looks quite glamorous to me now. It’s just part of the deal.