How 2 Effective Techniques to Forgiving Yourself and Others Will Increase Your Self-Esteem

Forgive YourselfConfidence and Self-Esteem are born of feeling good about yourself and releasing negative thoughts and emotions. Forgiving yourself and others may be one of the quickest ways to increase positive self-esteem. And with the following two techniques – it can be easy!

Be yourself; Accept yourself; Value yourself; Forgive yourself.

Technique One: Forgive Yourself First

When you notice your are not feeling good about a circumstance, an action, something you said, or even a judgment by another person – try forgiving yourself immediately and specifically.

The best way to forgive yourself is to begin by forgiving the small things every single day. This works because you are:

1) exercising your forgiveness muscle; and

2) just plain letting go of some thought pattern that is no longer serving you.

Forgiveness may be as simple as “I forgive myself for being late to this appointment today” or “I forgive myself for not eating as healthy as I should have yesterday” or “I forgive myself for being upset by what my boss said to me today (then, forgive your boss for not knowing how to better phrase something)”.

Then move on to more complicated forgiveness… “I forgive myself for not being there today for my children/spouse/pet” or “I forgive myself for not accomplishing my goals for last year”.

If you are struggling to forgive yourself, all it means is that you have built up negative feelings around a particular subject. Those negative emotions are currently stronger than your desire to forgive yourself. Keep working at it!

Example: You’ve been repeatedly late to appointments in the past and you just keep beating yourself up about being late; you can’t forgive yourself and you then you’re late again.  In this case, it may take longer to forgive yourself because of the residual feelings you’ve piled on over time. Keep reminding yourself every single time it happens that you forgive yourself – until it’s gone.

The good news is once you have truly forgiven yourself and moved on, you most likely will have cured the perceived problem as well. Example: you are no longer late to appointments.

Why It’s Important to Forgive Yourself Daily

It’s vital that you forgive yourself daily so you stop building up those residual negative feelings about a situation/something you said/something you did. If you allow beating up of yourself to continue, it will only be harder to forgive yourself easily in the future. See the pattern?

Eckhart Tolle, Spiritual Teacher says the following about forgiving yourself “To forgive yourself is to realize this is not who you are.” Forgiveness of self is the opportunity to heal the past and to be free.

Imagine how it will feel to give up your past history so you can move forward, grow, change, be more confident and be free of negativity.

Technique Two: Forgive Others

This is often easier said than done.

However, now that you’ve exercised the muscle of forgiving yourself, its time to forgive those who have hurt you – intentionally or unintentionally.

The definition of forgive is to: “stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”

The key to forgiving another is to not generically forgive someone. Just forgiving may be too broad for the mind to embrace.

Try this instead:

Consider deeply why it is that this other person hurt you, offended you or just plain made a mistake. Evaluate the situation to get to the deeper meaning.

Always remember, forgiving does not mean you need to ever be in contact personally with the person again. It means, you have forgiven them for you and your peace of mind and contentment of heart so you can move on and not think about the person, the situation, what happened anymore.

After considering deeply about why someone has hurt you, then forgive them for that specific reason.

Most likely in your thoughts, you realized that the other person may have been or is one of the following:

ignorant (lacking in knowledge or information);

addicted to something (drugs, sex, drama, pain);

in so much pain that they only hurt others;

are stubborn and unwilling to change;

are afraid to change or look at a situation another way;

Consider, think, and find the specific root cause of why the other person did what she/he did and forgive that part of them.

Even personally accomplishing the goal of forgiving yourself and others can make you more confident about yourself. Feeling peace, giving up the past, moving on all give you confidence and will increase your own personal self-esteem.

Another thing that builds positive self-esteem – making decisions!  Make a decision to forgive – yourself and others.

Enjoy the new found confidence!

Feeling anxious about forgiveness? Check out my blog on relieving anxiety.

Much love,


Signe Holiday

#clevergirlbeautytips, #clevergirl, #forgivenessworks





Best Meditation Essential Oils for Stress Relief

Chamomile cosmetic product.

How Essential Oils Help Relieve Stress

Smell brings you into the present moment in a Snap! Think of how what you are smelling now is in the immediate present. Keeping the mind from wandering into a negative thought pattern or obsessive thinking allows the body to relax and relieves the stress.

Negative thoughts or obsessive non-stop thinking is exhausting! Essential oils help to stop the thoughts with smell and relax the body with their specific properties. Relaxed body = relaxed mind = stress relief.

Quality, therapeutic grade essential oils can also help you achieve a balanced and grounded feeling allowing for a much improved meditation and relaxation process. Being scattered and attempting to meditate is certainly a challenge. Feeling balanced and grounded = successful and enhanced meditating.

How to Use Essential Oils During Meditation

  • Topically – add a few drops (depending on strength and type of oil) to a carrier such as massage or coconut oil. Apply to chest, neck, hands. Breathe Deep and Relax.
  • Inhale – diffuse in the room with a diffuser or sprinkle a few drops in the palm of your hand with carrier (massage oil, coconut oil) if needed or simply sprinkle a few drops on a tissue if you prefer. Breathe Deep and Relax.
  • Make a spray/spritzer by adding the oil of your choice to a spray bottle then adding a carrier which can be as simple as 3.5 ounces of water (distilled water plus 3 tsp of grain alcohol, vodka or witch hazel is even better). Add 5-10 drops of essential oil to start and if you prefer add more depending on type of oil and desired strength. Spritz, Breathe Deep and Relax. Use throughout the day if needed.

Best Meditation Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

  • Lavender – for stress relief and to relax the body, blends well with Rosemary
  • Orange – for clarity and focus
  • Lemon – for focus
  • Cedarwood – for relaxing and calming without creating drowsiness
  • Frankincense – to deepen the breath and ground a scattered mind/body
  • Rose Oil  – encourages creativity and feelings of love, both for the self and others. Assists visualization
  • Rosemary – promotes metal clarity; can be stimulating and energizing; combine with Lavender for a more relaxing blend. I often use Rosemary when I just can’t clear my head of some obsessive thought
  • Vetiver – calming and grounding, great for restoring balance

Give essential oils a try for an enhanced relaxation and meditation experience! If in doubt, or new to essential oils, begin with Lavender.

For a short post on Four Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind to Relieve Stress, click here




Best Green Juice Recipe


We know vegetables are good for us! Juicing is one of the most effective and quickest ways to reap the benefits of digesting greens! Yet not all juicing recipes taste good!

A good tasting Green Juice Recipe is hard to find!

The recipe below includes two important ingredients – lemon for tart, apple for sweet. You may want to change or experiment with some of the ingredients based on desired outcome of nutritional benefits but never forego the lemon and the apple.

The Best Green Juice Recipe

Use only organic vegetables and fruits…

Handful of Lettuce – Red or Green Romaine

One Half Cucumber

Two Celery Stalks


One Half Apple

1-2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

One Fourth Cup Water


Blend in Juicer, Food Processor or VitaMix until desired consistency. Add water if you prefer it thinner.

Cold is better. Add more ice if desired.

Watch the sugar content – only half an apple for sweetening!

Other Ingredients You May Like To Add:





This green juice is clarifying, detoxifying, green vegetable rich, ph balancing  and great for anytime you have just over done it with your diet – a perfect reset!




10 Tips for Natural, Effective Anxiety Relief


Anxiety is a truly disrupting way to feel, for some it may come and go with life’s circumstances, for others, anxiety is a daily occurrence.  Feeling anxious may arise when we least expect it and unless you have had a full on panic or anxiety attack you have no idea how truly terrifying these attacks can be.

You are not alone. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health).

You can empower yourself to feel better and once you master your anxiety, not only will you feel better but you can potentially help others – you will know what to do for yourself and be able to give others suggestions and their own peace of mind.

Number 1: Exercise – even more!  Exercise moves the accumulated stress and anxiety from your muscles out of the body.  Sometimes I have exercised until I cried. Not because it hurt physically but because the stress and anxiety was leaving my body.  Certainly do not exercise to the point of hurting yourself but get out there. Walk, Run, Hike, Lift Weights. Do Yoga. Move!  Body movement gives your mind something to think about other than what worries you and as said before, movement moves the stress out. Exercise is number one on the list for a very good reason.

Number 2: Get a Massage. Massage and body work relieves the buildup of emotions of worry, stress and fear from the body. Very similar to exercise. Massage can be very emotional for some. Be sure to find someone you trust and if the idea of continuous touch is too much, consider a hot stone massage. In a hot stone massage, the massage therapist primarily uses warm stones to massage the body versus complete hand contact massage.

Number 3: Try Guided Visualization or Meditation. YouTube has some wonderful guided imagery and meditation videos/recordings to listen to for no charge. You can search for specific topics for anxiety or stress relief or fear. Listen several times a day if you need to. My favorites are Deepak Chopra and a guy with a great voice – Jason Stephenson from Australia.

Number 4: Turn off the negative sources, seek solutions. Facebook, news, radio – take a break. Most information conveyed on these outlets are nothing more than complaints and fears with no solutions. The mind needs and wants solutions to feel safe. If you are listing to non-solution based news or social media feeds, or even people, switch the source off and find solution-based information. Only talk and listen to people offering solutions and ideas. There are amazing people doing amazing things in the world. Being around solution based individuals, you will feel more creative, more empowered and less fearful.

Number 5: Use Essential Oils. Strong smelling essential oils are the most beneficial when inhaling for anxiety relief. Oils such as Geranium (which is excellent for shock), Lavender (for relaxing the mind) and Peppermint (for clarifying thinking). All three of these essential oils wake up the senses and can help your mind snap out of a thinking pattern. Inhalation of essential oils is especially useful in the middle of the night, when you just cannot get that mind to stop, try inhaling essential oils out of the bottle or a drop in your hand while breathing deep until you are in control of your thoughts again. Combine with tip Number 9 – listen to your breath.

Number 6: Acupuncture Works! Acupuncture is effective by helping the body “remember itself” or by getting the body back to its natural balance (also known as homeostasis). A body out of balance feels anxious and nervous. Acupuncture works with very specific points on the body creating relief, then balance. When the body is in balance your thinking is clearer and the mind is calm. Acupuncture is the best remedy for a full-blown panic attack so find an acupuncturist near you. Acupuncturists consider anxiety relief this  way: when your heart is happy, you feel at home.

Number 7: Read a good, enjoyable book while soaking in a bath in Epsom salts. Water alone is very therapeutic, calming and comforting. Add Epsom salts which help relieve muscle tension and you have a very effective combination. Add a good, light-hearted story to get your mind off your worries and if nothing else, you will find 30 minutes of peace.

Number 8: Acknowledge, if you can, what it is you are really afraid of. We don’t always know right away what our fears are but if you kindly ask yourself, you may reveal the answer. THEN, acknowledge that it’s there, know it is okay whatever you are feeling and then find the opposite of that fear. Breathe in confidence, breath out the fear. This specific technique is great to use during the day if you begin to panic and have no other tools to turn to.

Number 9: Listen to your breath. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Breathe in DEEP for 5 breaths, breathe out for 7 counts. Repeat. Breathe as deep as you possibly can. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Bring yourself into the present moment and get yourself “out of your head” by listening to your breath. Consider that thoughts of the past can equal regret and guilt. Thoughts of the future can equal worry and fear of what may happen. Be in the present. Return to the present when you are too far off track.

Number 10: Get some Bach Rescue Remedy. Bach Rescue Remedy can be found at health stores. Dr. Edward Bach became interested in homeopathic remedies after working as a surgeon and casualty medical officer. Rescue Remedy is a blend of five unique Bach Flower Remedies. The mix “was created by Dr. Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – the moments when there is no time to make a proper individual selection of remedies. It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness.” (Source: Bach Flower website You can purchase Rescue Remedy in drops or lozenges.

Be kind to yourself and I know from experience, that you can manage your anxiety naturally.



The #1 Thing You Can Do Today to Immediately Break Your Sugar Cravings

Sugar Love

Ahhh sugar, that handsome devil of an addictive love affair that has us wanting, craving, obsessing for more. Attractive, luscious, kissing our tastebuds, making our mouths water at the thought of the sweet, sometimes creamy, lickable, often lip-licking, wanted fixation of our desire.

Sugar is a preoccupation of the most destructive kind – a habit which grabs ahold of us with strong physical temptation and eventually leaves us crashing, exhausted, depressed. Sitting on the couch craving more.

Anyone who has experienced this bad boy of pleasure and has tried to break the habit knows how hard it can be to stop the cycle. We know sugar is bad for us… yet like with any addiction, the breakup can be rough.

The reasons for sugar cravings are complex and there are many things you can do to permanently wean yourself of this destructive love affair. An affair that can come and go in a day, in a week, in a month, in a lifetime.

What You Can Do

If you are seeking a fast reset, the number one thing you can do to immediately to break the cycle is to drink a tablespoon of raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in a half glass (4 oz) of water. This tart, powerful, natural substance is the defender of your honor in your desire to breakup with sugar!  Your best friend, your ally, your healthy alternate lover in putting your health and yourself first before sugar.

If you are thinking, “no way, I despise that tart taste” and your taste buds are furious with the thought, then no surprise. For us that have the sweet tooth of taste, a sour counterpart can initially appear to be the enemy. This is exactly part of why ACV works so well. You cannot fight a battle or make a change with something of the same.

One trick is to drink it as cold as it can be – cold water, cold ACV, and maybe even one ice cube to swirl around in the glass to cool it down. Another trick is to drink ACV before you go to bed and/or even first thing in the morning. Drinking before bed can set you up for less sugar desire in the morning – one of my favorite times to drink this natural medicine. And always, drink it quick – power it down before your tongue knows what has happened.

Best general practice is to drink it after a sugar binge you cannot seem to break or control – after the holidays, after a party or weekend celebration. Think of ACV as your new lover who in the form of food is medicine wants the best for you and your body.

How it Works!

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar helps sugar cravings by doing the following:

  • sour counteracts sweet
  • regulates and controls blood glucose levels
  • creates a healthy gut bacteria therefore may reduce the craving for sugary foods by giving sugars nothing to feed upon

For more on ACV, read Dr. Mecola’s Article What the Research Really Says about Apple Cider Vinegar

For more on breaking the sugar habit, read my book review on JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet.




Four Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind to Relieve Stress

meditation for stress relief

concentrate on a candle flame to increase your ability to focus

Why Meditate and Quiet Your Mind

For women, meditation can be a very powerful stress reliever. A potent practice and discipline which can clear the mind, balance hormones, reinforce your ability to focus during a day, and create an overall calmness of inner power and confidence.

Four Easy Ways to Quiet Your Mind

  1. Light a candle. Focus on the flame. Every time your mind wanders (which it will), return your focus to the candle flame. Practice often.
  2. Try a guided meditation. YouTube has a variety of guided meditations to choose from. Topics from increasing sleep to chakra balancing. Search for a subject and find a guided meditation that fits you or try one of these from Deepak Chopra – guided meditations.
  3. Music without words. Sit upright in a chair. Play meditative music of your liking. Preferably with around 60 beats per minute (slow). 60 bpm is associated with the resting heartrate. Listen closely to the notes. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the music. Count the notes or the instruments or the beats.
  4. Mantra Meditation. Repeating a mantra during meditation gives your mind something to focus on besides your thoughts. Find a short mantra. Close your eyes. Listen to your breathing and repeat the mantra. Returning to the mantra when your mind wanders.

Taking Meditation to the Next Level

Time your meditations with a soft alarm – there are apps available for this – increase the length of your meditation time as you become more focused and your mind wanders less.

Practice sitting meditation. Sit upright in a chair on a meditation pillow. Strive to be as still as you can, increasing your ability to be still for longer amounts of time.

Use essential oils while meditating. Some good ones are: Frankincense for stillness and inner strength; Lavender for peace and calming the mind; Peppermint for present moment awareness for focus on your breathing; Lemon lifts the spirit and can help you gain clarity.

Meditation is a quiet practice with very incredibly powerful results. Stick with it, develop self-discipline and enjoy the rewards.

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Book Review: JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars, Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks

Sugar addiction is real and complicated and it can be incredibly challenging!

Goals of dieting, weight loss and eating right can be blown away in two bites before we know what is happening by this compulsion that can become out of our mental and physical control. Science has confirmed that sugar can be an unmanageable dependence if we let it get out of hand and into mouth.

If you struggle with this addiction, conquering it can be frustrating and even seem hopeless at times (especially when hormones are doing their thing).  Personally, I struggle with this inclination all the time – I have my whole life. Some days/weeks/months are better than others. Situations such as celebrations, parties, holidays, stress, hormones sets this addiction off into what seems to be an uncontrollable eating pattern.

Sugar addiction, like any other addiction, can be managed yet it takes more than tenacity – it takes information and tools.

For a quick prompt relief of a sugar binge, read my blog The #1 Thing You Can Do Today to Immediately Break Your Sugar Cravings.

For a long-term understanding and a diet plan that works, read JJ Virgin’s The Sugar Impact Diet.

Numerous books are available on breaking the sugar habit – I think I have read them all! Most authors on this topic explain the reasons to stop eating sugar and give tricks and ideas for, in most cases, going “cold turkey” with sugar consumption. This might work for some but I learned this never worked for me and certainly never worked long-term. I was back to eating the white stuff (hidden in everything) in a week or two of solid determination.

Part of what makes breaking the sugar habit tough is sugar is added to many foods that we don’t even realize, compounding the cravings. Sugar creates sugar dependence like any good opioid releaser.

What I found to be different about The Sugar Impact Diet is that JJ explains in detail where and how sugar is hidden in our foods; how breaking the sugar addiction is far more than just cutting out the white stuff; how to ease off the sugar for best results; and she gives ideas for substitution foods. Her book is an informational process of ideas and knowledge for successful ways to drop the sweet destructive monkey on your back.

She is also honest about the fact that the monkey may return and what to do about it when it does.

If you are ready to conquer the sugar fixation or at least be more in charge of the dependence, I would highly suggest reading and having as a tool JJ Virgin’s Book: The Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars, Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks

Sugar Impact Diet





Book Review – How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp

Learn how looking old is less about genetics and more about your style in Charla Krupp’s book How Not to Look Old.

How Not To Look Old was published in 2008 yet is still my go-to-book for easy ways to look younger, appear stylish for my age (age appropriate) and look overall improved. I have personally followed tips from every single chapter of this book and continue to do so.

As a Clever Girl, there were many things I had learned from the women in my family and Charla’s book confirmed and enhanced these lessons with her down to earth, easy to implement suggestions. Suggestions on each subject for High Maintenance, Medium Maintenance and Low Maintenance personalities.

How you are dressing, hairstyle, makeup choices, hair color, glasses style, teeth maintenance and even your perfume could all be giving those who know you the impression that you are older than you are.

After reading this book you will not only be able to update your own looks to appear 10 years younger but you will also begin to notice how others appear older just by some simple tips they may not be aware of!

A New York Times Bestseller

Buy How Not to Look Old on Amazon!


Clever Girl Beauty Blog

Clever Girl Beauty Blog is written for women over 40 who want to learn, experience and be inspired by healthy living and anti-aging practices to feel as good or even better than they ever have.

Written in a practical, inspirational and easy-going voice – this blog is intended to be non-complicated, interesting and thought-provoking.

Subjects of this blog will include health tips, inspiring stories, anti-aging practices and copious ideas to improve the physical body inside and out including improved personal appearance and increased mental health. Intended results being feeling more confident, less stressed, more healthy with increased happiness and an improved quality of life for women over 40.

To find out more about me, check out my Home/About page on



Measure for Health Management

“What get measured, gets Managed” – Peter Drucker

I have to admit, measuring things has never been of much interest to me. I am more of a go with the flow, let’s see how it all works out kind of girl.

However, after I turned 45 and I realized that weight gain and weight loss was going to have to be something I would need to manage more than I had to in years’ previous and I began to embrace the whole measuring things for better results.

With regards to weight loss and health, consider Peter Drucker’s quote and consider deeply what it is with regards to your weight loss or health that you need to begin, or continue, or increase measuring for better, lasting results.

Measurements for weight loss and health may be:

  • Measuring daily or weekly steps with a fitbit or jawbone
  • Measuring water intake with your fitbit app or
  • Measuring food intake for calories, salt intake, sugar intake with
  • Measuring your blood pressure
  • Measuring your blood sugar
  • Measuring how much sleep you are getting
  • Measuring your activity/exercise
  • Measuring your hormone levels
  • Measuring your BMI
  • Measuring your muscle or lean body mass
  • Measuring your weight

Measure what’s needed so you can Manage your results and accomplish your weight loss and health goals. Look at measuring as nothing more than a tool and the numbers as the data that is going to help get you towards what you want most.