Bless My Siren Star Angel Donors: Helping to Make Dreams Come True! The last time I helped out on a campaign was 2 years ago for Marianne Williamson. I learned so much…mostly that it is not about whether or not you win…but about how you are with yourself and others…
Gratitude: The Bridge connecting my past to my present
Hello New Year, Hello Dear friends!
Another new year is upon us and if you’re thinking what I am thinking – you’re probably wondering where the time has gone. As busy as life is and how hectic the end of the year always seems to be – I still wind it down and take some time for just me and practice gratitude. This year, my “self-time,” didn’t happen until after the New Year celebrations. It took a couple of days to get my house back in order and another night and day to…(as the medical intuitive teacher Caroline Mysse would say, ) “call my energy back.”
I found myself thinking “I have so much work to catch up on now that the holidays are over. How am I ever going to get it all done?” I did the things that needed to be done around Christmas while fighting the nasty cold I picked up on my recent trip abroad. Yet, somehow I still felt as if I didn’t do enough. If I didn’t get my cards out, or get the right gift for someone, or put up my Christmas lights this year…then I thought I must not be up to par. It’s no wonder I woke up grumpy on Sunday morning January 3rd looking for things to blame my mood on. What a self defeating pattern I was allowing myself to run. So, I called my energy back!
I decided to get back into my own groove, return to myself and give myself the gift of time. I started my new year day off with a gentle prayer and meditation. Fortunately, I received some new meditations as a gift from from my professor’s at the University of Santa Monica. Each year the professors and staff at USM invite all the volunteers to a holiday luncheon and our professor’s, Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, give us something special in gratitude for the time we give them in service to the university. This year they recorded a beautiful series of prayers and meditations. The one I chose to listen to on this day was the meditation on gratitude.
Mary, in her soft, nurturing voice, guides us to take a moment and give thanks for the obvious things in life. Gratitude for the gift of life itself, thanks for the awareness of her open heart, for the opportunity to be of service, to share her blessings with others, and for the knowledge that we are all divine, knowing that we always have a choice on how we want to be in our lives. During this meditation I allow the things Mary offers in gratitude to resonate inside of me – then Mary leaves open space in the meditation so I may identify the things I am grateful for too. Mary reminds me that this practice helps pull me up and out of the doldrums, the bad mood, and negative voices in my head. It’s a time to re-member myself to my-Self. In other words, to put myself back together as a whole. I am so grateful – if only for that little piece of it, and I want to write it down.
I take my little “gratitude book” with the Zebra print cover that Dr. Bonnie Paul, (co-founder of the non-profit organization “Freedom to Choose”) gave me one day out of the blue. “I saw this book cover and it reminded me of you,” said Bonnie. Freedom to Choose is the team I’ve traveled to the Valley State Prison and California Correction Facility for Women with four times a year for the past 8 years. We serve to help heal the inmates who are serving life sentences for mistakes they have made, or circumstances they found themselves in that may have been out of their control. As I write the things I am grateful for – I add this little book, the woman who gave it to me, and all the inmates I have connected with to my gratitude list. Each time I do this practice I find more things to be grateful for. When I am done – as Mary predicted – I feel SO much better because my heart opens up again and there’s room to see the beauty of life. It’s like pulling back the curtains and letting the sun shine in.
As most of you who have been following my blogs and posts already know, I am embarking on some exciting and challenging career projects. Once again I am following my dreams, this time I have called myself forward using all my skills, talents and life experiences in the world of fashion as a designer in my own right. I’m getting ready to launch my own brand fashion apparel line, and also as a producer, creating a “fashion film” slated to have its “world premier” at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in July 2016. There are crucial deadlines to meet as well as the funds I need to raise to bring this all into fruition. So you can imagine the work I have on my desk right now as my illustrious Siren Star team of lovely, earth angels help me create an Indie-Go-Go fundraiser that will be launched in mid January. My hat is off to these ladies, Cindy, Laura, Virginia and Noe, who’ve been working on this for the past two months! I am so grateful for earth angels.
Meanwhile, my dream is an 18 hour a day – 7 day-a-week dream, including time I spend on all the other responsibilities I have to take care of – one of which has become carrying on the legacy of my former fiancé, our dearly beloved Steve Clark.
This Friday, July 8th marks the 25th year of his passing and of course I could not let this significant passage of time just go by without a special treat.
In December – after shooting scenes for the fashion film Skin On Skin – Peau sur Peay in Paris I returned to visit Steve’s grave at Wisewood cemetery in Sheffield, England. It was my intention to have a gathering and film at least something on my iPhone with Steve’s loyal friends and fans to share with those of you who could not travel the distance. However, as English weather would have it, it poured rain while the winds whipped and howled over the Yorkshire dales. It was impossible to hold the umbrella, much less keep my camera steady. Even so, we braved the moist and misty weather and held hands around his grave in prayer sending all of our love and yours to his memory. I took what film I could and then we all went over to the Admiral Rodney Pub (where Steve and I used to go) and raise a pint for Steve. However, we were all so cold and wet we decided on hot apple cider and coca –colas for the “tea totallers’.” Times have changed and not one of us had a proper drink! It made me wonder if Steve would have been a tea totaller by this time too?
We sat by the fireplace for a couple of hours as Mick and Andrew shared their personal memories of Steve and how much they loved him. Andrew worked as a lathe operator alongside Steve, and Mick lived around the corner. Shannon, Lorraine Clark’s eight-year-old daughter, gave me a handmade paper snowflake on behalf of Steve – and sat snuggled up in my arms. Her mum Lorraine is a big fan of the band and Steve – and her daddy Paul, had driven them over an hour and a half in the rain from Doncaster to Sheffield supporting them in their love for Steve.
Later a new friend named Rob dropped in to share his story about being at the very first Def Leppard gig ever at a high school in Sheffield! His wife Ann told me her husband (of 20+ years)“claim to fame” has always been that story. Thank goodness he showed up because at that point I could feel a sore throat coming on from the lousy weather and I needed to get some fresh ginger and cayenne pepper to ward off the first tingly signs of a cold. Rob drove me around Sheffield City center in search of the ingredients for my witch’s brew and then back to the Novotel where I swallowed the hot tea potion and put myself immediately to bed. Once there, I wrapped my throat up with the Clark Clan tartan cashmere scarf from Beverly Knight sent (via Andrew) from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Gratitude Bridging my past to my present
One more tid bit…
While I was in Paris I was retracing the footsteps of a young girl who had a dream to be a model and walk the runways of the world. The director Robert E. Ball Jr. decided we should go and film that young girl as she was back then going to work in the “cabine” at the House of Chanel where she got her first break from designer Karl Lagerfeld as his muse…While we were shooting the scene I kept asking God to use me as a channel in this film to inspire people to follow their dreams too…I said “show me what to do father-mother God, let me be a channel for you…” Then the rain began to fall on our film set – right there on the street outside Chanel – but we kept shooting anyway. Poor Mr. Ball with his skinny brim hat on top of his camera to shield it from the rain…me wrapped up in my 80’s fashions and who comes walking down the street but Marianne Williamson!
If you read my book Runway RunAway, you’ll remember Marianne and I met in 1988 in her early days speaking about “A Course in Miracles.” We found ourselves sharing an apartment of a mutual friend of ours in NCY during a trying time for me. Marianne invited me to see her speak that night at a nearby church on Central Park West. I was captivated at the abundance of enlightening information coming out of her mouth. Marianne spoke for over two hours – non-stop – inspiring people to recognize the miracles in their lives, and to shift our perceptions from fear to love. I was riveted, delighted, enthused, and wondering how did she do that?
The next morning in the kitchen I said… “Marianne, you were amazing, how do you memorize all that stuff?” Marianne chuckled at my naivety and innocence and said, “Honey, I don’t memorize anything. I meditate, I ask God to be his channel and use me as her voice. I am just a messenger and I say whatever comes through me.” I was stunned…this was one of the biggest “aha” moments of my life. I never forgot that lesson in the kitchen from Marianne.
That day in December on the Rue Cambon I recognized the metaphor- I looked up at the CHANEL sign above our heads and thought, “really God, so this how you do it!” I felt God chuckle …this very moment in time represented the bridge from where I was to where I am now – still learning – still creating – still following my dreams …
I am grateful for you. Grateful for your support in my ventures, my wild and wonderful dreams. You give me energy and inspiration and I intend to give it back to you. My art is my way of gifting you with beauty, fashion, and the inspiration to continue to follow your dreams too. Whatever they may be, they are yours and yours alone. When we follow our dreams our hearts expand, because it is in the pursuit of our our dreams that we stretch ourselves and learn who we are… Magnificent! As the gifted author and speaker Marianne Williamson would say, “we are powerful beyond measure.”
Chanel – Channel…Chuckle…life is but a dream.
Love and Gratitude 2016
PS: Steve Clark Friends and Fans: Please download the Periscope App to join the Live Tribute Q & A on January 8th 2016 – 3 PM Pacific Time- 5 PM Central Time – 6 PM Eastern Time -EUROPE 10 PM Paris time and 11 PM UK time. I will be doing a Q & A sent over to me by Beverly Knight – creator and moderator of the http://www.steveclarkguitar.com website.
I’m running away to Europe my friends, retracing the cobblestone steps of my ingénue dreams.
Only this time in John Fluevog ruby red slippers!
What is she up to now you may ask? In my recent blog posts I’ve been sketching my past and sharing the process I went through as I followed my dreams to become a model and travel the world. I spent ten of those years living out of a suitcase, chasing the runway collections around the globe and gaining the utmost stylish inspiration from the geniuses – those designers’ I had the fortune to amuse. Those icons who have set the bar each designer must follow in the world today. And I have been forever touched and motivated by their dedication to the craft of creating beauty and gifting fashion to the world. I had no idea those curious and innocent experiences would lead me to where I am today – with a fashion apparel line of my own on the horizon. With my Runway RunAway Collection® line of samples nearly complete and ready to be delivered this Thanksgiving weekend – I am feeling simply marvelous- retracing the cobblestone steps of my ingénue dreams, blessed and grateful for this miraculous life I am leading.
If anyone would have told me that the result of my book Runway RunAway A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance and Rock ‘n Roll, (my second year project in the Master’s program in Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica) would be an entire brand- that would turn into a collection, and lead me to producing a fashion film, that would be viewed worldwide- I would have said, “yeah right!” But guess what? Here it is and here I go…
Now don’t get me wrong – I am not naive…just because one designs a collection and produces as film doesn’t mean it will be and easy road ahead. In fact, this dream I have been working on has been a challenge over the past seven years since I graduated. When I say I am following my dreams – you better be sure that my dreams are sometimes “18 hour a-day-dreams” and that includes weekends too!
The reason is because dreams evolve. They have lives of their own and that is why they are not for the faint of heart. Whatever you do while following the road to your dreams, just know there will be detours, ditches, confusion, a sense of feeling lost, lonely and sometimes even at a dead end. But if you just keep on going along the curvy road – you’ll find a beautiful, magnificent field of flowers; otherwise known as “Rumi’s field” where everything is exactly as it should be… in full bloom. You see Spirit doesn’t care if I become a fashion designer or make a fashion film – Spirit just cares that I did it – how I did it – and how I treated myself and others on the way.
Dreams have timelines of their own too…so you won’t be seeing my collection until the summer of 2016 – but, in the meantime I will be producing this fashion film “Peau sur Peau ~ Skin on Skin,” with the award winning director, Robert E. Ball Jr. In fact, thanks to our sponsor’s: YBF Beauty CEO Stacey Schieffelin, Betty Badd Couture Jewelry, Felice Art Couture & Luxury Lingerie, Diamond earrings by Jewelry by Rosalina and executive producer Mr. Kent Cooper- we have already begun shooting the teaser!!!
This weekend we will fly to Paris where Mr. Ball’s recent fashion film will be screened at the fashion film festival – A Shaded View of Fashion Film – ASVOFF-8. I will be reconnecting with the festival’s producer Diane Pernet, whom I haven’t seen in over 25 years. I modeled for Pernet’s couture collections in New York in the late 80’s and now her own “designer dream” has led her towards creating an international venue for fashion films at the Pompidou Center in La Marais. I can’t wait to see her again, and to connect with these talented filmmakers from all around the globe. And while we are in Paris we’ll continue shooting our fashion film –Skin on Skin where I’ll be following my own footsteps back in time… wearing a beautiful pair of ruby red slippers supplied by another one of our film sponsor’s – John Fluevog Shoes. Americans- shooting a fashion film in Paris…Another dream coming true!
I hope you will join me as I continue my journey back to the United Kingdom too. As many of you know I spent those whimsical younger years, living in Chelsea with my long lost love Steve Clark. Steve came from Yorkshire and so I will make the trip to the north and visit his grave at The Wisewood Cemetery. It’s been nearly 25 years since our beloved Steve passed over – so it will be my tribute to him. Maybe some of you will meet me there and we’ll raise a pint at the Admiral Rodney Pub where we used to go with Steve’s family at Christmas.
So here is what lies ahead on my Red Slipper cobblestone footstep return to Europe:
December 1-10th Paris, France attending ASVOFF and filming the fashion film “Peau sur Peau – Skin On Skin.”
December 11, 2015 | BBC Radio Interview 2:00 pm GMT – Radio Show interview for BBC in Leeds, UK with British Journalist Martin Kelner. Stayed tuned!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p037yb55
December 12th, 2015- at 12:PM: Sheffield England –Community gathering at Wisewood Cemetery. Come raise a pint for Steve at the Admiral Rodney Pub to follow: 592 Loxley Rd, Sheffield S6 6RU, United Kingdom
December 13, 2015 | MY BIRTHDAY! Runway RunAway Author & Book Reception 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the Mercure Nottingham City Centre Hotel in Nottingham, UK.
I hope you will join me over the next couple of weeks as I am retracing the cobblestone steps of my ingénue dreams, remembering from where I came and observing where I am today as a result of my dedication to the dream.
I encourage you to follow your dreams! I support you in cherishing and beholding the qualities of love, perseverance, strength of heart and courage to never give up – because you never know where the yellow brick road will lead you.
Remember…Spirit doesn’t care whether you reach your goals or not…just that you had the gumption to try. To give yourself the permission to go for it and express yourself. To live your life beyond your wildest dreams.
Happy Holidays ~ Love Always,
“Don’t let your dreams runaway from you!”
Runway Runaway Fashion: The Journey of a Muse by Lorelei Shellist
In my last blog I gave you a synopsis of my book Runway Runaway and how it was about following my dreams to travel the world and become a runway model. My book tells the gritty side of a glamorous life. Not to put you off – but to let you know that even when heartfelt dreams come true- there are always challenges along the way. The only reason I was able to write that book was because I survived those challenges and lived to tell the tale. But what I didn’t tell you was how long it took to write-edit- and self publish that book. Remember it wasn’t my idea to write it in the first place. It was the idea of a few tenacious Def Leppard fans who wanted to know the answer to the question of why Steve Clark who seemingly had everything, would take his own life. When I finally wrapped my head around writing a book to satisfy Steve’s fans it was intended to be a book about Steve. Not me.
I finally mustered up the courage to go to NYC to meet with the big literary agents who had replied to my letters. However, the response I got was- “Sorry Lorelei, Steve’s not here to go on Oprah and sell the book- besides we want to hear your story. How did you experience all of that? Go back to Nashville – (where I was living at the time) and write your story.” Well I resisted that idea with all of my might. Who would want to hear my story? I’m not exactly Cindy Crawford. And besides I wouldn’t know how to begin. Then once again the muse began to tug at my sleeve. Everyone I knew argued that I should write the book – of course they would want to read about my life… It was so glamorous and different from theirs. They encouraged me and challenged me until I said ok, I’ll give it a try, and the muse took over.
Runway Runaway Fashion: The Journey of a Muse
Every morning at 6AM I would arrive in front of my computer with a hot cup of PG Tips tea and let my fingers go tapping away on the keyboard. My intention was to write for one hour a day. But each day three hours would pass by without notice and I couldn’t believe what was going down on that screen. It just flowed. Still it took two years from start to finish. Then everything changed – the World Trade Center went down and I put down the book to join the Red Cross clean up the mess where the Twin Towers had once stood high in the sky. A month later I went back to my NY literary agent who told me he was sorry- the publishers weren’t interested in that kind of story now- but if I had a book on terrorism – to bring it on.
Was I disappointed? You bet. I’d just spent two years and a lot of money writing that book. But the world changed on that September day and it was time for everyone, including myself to reassess their lives. I left New York and drove across country to Nashville where I packed up my belongings and headed home to California where it all began. I put my manuscript on the shelf and went back to work as a life-style model in Hollywood. I was forty years old and it was time to pass the “glam-girl” baton to the new faces. The jobs I did now were on cruise ships and cereal boxes and I missed the fashion.
Wanting to do something more, I began giving workshops teaching life skills to at-risk -runaway teens. I felt this was my calling and so I went about getting more credentials so I could validate myself as a legitimate counselor. I applied and was accepted into the two year Masters program in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. I dove into those classes like a pelican at feeding time, swallowing every morsel of intelligence available to me.
In the second year of the program we were asked to create and produce something that had heartfelt meaning to us. Something we always wanted to do – but never did, or something we started but never finished. The muse showed up again and told me to dust off the manuscript that had been shelved for seven years. It was time to finish what I’d started and get that book out into the world. Runway RunAway would become my calling card, opening doors to all the ways I could be of service in the world by sharing my own life experiences and empowering others. My education at USM taught me how to counsel not only myself, but others whose lives had been affected by other people’s addictions. After traveling the country promoting my book, I returned to LA and became a full time volunteer coaching at-risk teens and women living in a maximum security- lock-down prison.
From behind the gates at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla I’ve sat for hours talking with women dressed in blue whose lives had led them to this cold grey gymnasium looking for someone who will listen to them and treat them like human beings again. I began looking around the room at the unique beauty inherent in each one of them – women from the ages of 18 to 85 who didn’t have the means to shop for chic brands labels. They didn’t have the benefit of a hair colorist or even a manicure. But they all looked amazing to me. I learned that women’s hair starts to go grey at a very young age…and in CCWF they let it grow and flow, because in prison that is the norm. I found their individuality and style inspiring based on the fact that they had such little means to make themselves beautiful by way of consumer products and fashions – but they found a way to express themselves none the less.
I was moved and challenged to understand how and why. I discovered that my lifelong experience in the fashion world was now colliding with my education in spiritual psychology. I began delving deeper into the world beneath that which meets the eye and wrote about it until the muse revealed her message to me again.
In 2014 I founded the Fashion Icon Archetypes™ Personality Programs. A series of inner-style workshops educating people on how to dress from a place inside themselves that is confident, conscious and comfortable. This is not about what your colors are, or what labels you wear…this is about connecting with your “inner- stylist” so you decide what to wear from a place of self-knowing. When you know which archetype personalities are running the show you learn to dress to express who you are – instead of dressing to impress others.
It was from that mindset that I began to value the opportunities I’d had that put me front row center in those couture houses so I could observe just how fashion was made. My curiosity of the history and meaning of fashion has always moved me. I never really cared to know the answer to the question of what other people were wearing – I am always more interested in why people wear what they wear. Meanwhile, the feedback from my universe tells me that I too have a certain sense of style that stands out amongst the crowd. I wasn’t truly aware I had that gift until others pointed it out. And the muse said, “pay attention to yourself too – what are your gifts?” Another seven years had passed – time to reassess, again!
As I counted the blessings I’d received from these extraordinary life experiences I had chosen to have – the ego aspect of my nature – the part that kept me small – began to shrivel and melt away. And what came forward were new ideas- new dreams – new horizons ahead.
Where was I going with all of this? I didn’t even know myself…But I knew what I wanted. A brand that would inspire people to follow their dreams wherever they would take them. And if their lives consisted of travel- whether for business or pleasure- I wanted to make that easier – more comfortable for them. I wanted to help people feel comfortable inside of their skin – no matter what the situation. At work, at, play, on stage, or on the red carpets and runways of the world.
But the muse is always in charge and no one does all of these things alone, and one never knows where an idea will come from. As a matter of fact, it was my assistant, Cindy Gloeckler, who suggested quite strongly and repeatedly, that I start a fashion apparel line of my own! She said, “Lorelei you are a brand. I want you to start a line of your own and I want to help you do it. ”Every hair on my arm stood up and right there in a beer and burger joint in downtown Cleveland, I said “Are you serious? Be careful what you wish for Cindy because I’ve got an idea.”
The next thing I knew I was sketching my first fashion design on a small piece of notebook paper – “Spinal Tap” style.
My own muse appeared once again and The Dream Dress® came through as the signature item for what would become the Runway Runaway Collection® for the woman on the run who thrives in her skin.
Something told me exactly what this dress should be and before I could think about it the words fell out of my mouth. “The Dream Dress® takes you from day to dinner, from dawn to dusk, from dining to dancing, to your wildest heartfelt dreams. It’s a dress that every woman will be able to wear in comfort, in class, in colors, to work to play to wherever her heart leads her.” Many times, over the course of three years, I nearly gave up – spending my own money, working long hours, spinning my wheels and trying to hold on. Cindy never wavered…she’s optimistic to a fault. “You can do this Lorelei I’ve got your back.”
Then out of the blue I received an email from a gal I used to model with on the runways of the world. We were friends in our 20’s but hadn’t seen one another in forever. Stacey Schieffelin. Stacey, and her husband David, built her cosmetic line YBF Beauty line – (which stands for Your Best Friend) into a multimillion dollar company. Stacey sells her products on the Home Shopping Network so she knows the ins and outs of the network trade. I asked her if she would mentor me and she asked me for my pitch.
I took a breath and gave her my elevator speech on “The Dream Dress® will take you from day to dinner, from dawn to dusk, from dining to dancing, to your wildest heartfelt dreams.” Stacey laughed and said, “Lorelei, I hear pitches everyday and that’s the best one yet!” Send me your NDA and anything else you want to share with me and let’s see where this goes. She then introduced me to the woman in Montreal who had helped her put out her own apparel line and we hit it off right away. Cydney Mar is a fantastic designer in her own right, she knows merchandising, manufacturing, and fashion inside out. She “gets me,” and she “gets my line.”
After a couple of months of communicating back and forth between Stacey,David, and Cydney Mar about my brand, it became evident that we were all aligned to develop my Runway Runaway Collection.® Thankfully my dream team, with Cindy Gloeckler as my right hand, and Shelly E. my social network manager as my left, all my lovely ducklings are falling in line. I have never been more excited in my life and I have done some exciting things in my time. I am grateful, enthused and amused by the journey I am on. I hope you’ll come along too as the Runway Runaway Collection® evolves and launches in 2018 because I guarantee there will be The Dream Dress® just for you!
Stay tuned for more Runway Runaway Fashion: The Journey of a Muse
“Don’t let your dreams runaway from you!”
Runway Runaway Fashion:
My Secret Dream designed to amuse you!
If you had a secret dream that you’d been working towards for years – that you didn’t even know you had – and your dream became a reality, would you shout it out loud from the top of the Eiffel tower – or whisper it quietly from your ashram?
As I breathe in courage and exhale enthusiasm it gives me pleasure to share some exciting dreams with you. You may already know that I have been involved in the fashion industry for most of my life. My self penned book Runway RunAway: A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance & Rock ‘n Roll illustrated the true story of neglected child turned teenage runaway who follows her dreams to become an international model, eventually finding herself in the process. I went from the streets of Los Angeles a teenage waitress, to the catwalks of Paris, Milan, Rome, Tokyo and New York, working as a model/muse to Lagerfeld at Chanel, YSL, Christian LaCroix, Geoffrey Beene, Bob Mackie and more…
My story goes on to share about the doomed love my life; my then fiancé Steve Clark, lead guitar player and masterful songwriter of the multi-platinum selling rock band, Def Leppard. Ultimately fleeing and finding the strength to save myself, I shared the candid and blatant truth of how I survived the greatest loss in my life, the aftermath and the determination to not only survive, but to heal my-self, and help others.
Runway RunAway Fashion. I don’t know how I became a “muse” to some of fashion designers of our time, or, how I managed to “amuse” my musical lovers in so much as to inspire the writings of a few classic rock ballads…some of which are chapter titles in my book. But I am beginning to understand why…
My style of dress growing up around Pacific Palisades and Topanga Beach and consisted mostly of bikini’s – halter tops- flip flops- and Hawaiian shirts tied up around my waist. What’s now called branded as “surf and skate culture fashion” we found in 2nd hand stores like the Aardvark’s Odd Ark in Venice, California. My friends and I followed the bands that played tribute to the Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin. I liked to dress like Robert Plant in bell bottom jeans and shirts tied up around my waist with a little Mick Jagger’s sparkle style scarves thrown in for pizzazz.
My high-school sweetheart was the fashionable Brian Ray. He played a gold Les Paul and wore snakeskin boots. Back then he was just a local guitar star…today he plays guitar and bass in Paul McCartney’s band. We broke up in his British MGBGT, but to this day I’ll never forget those snakeskin boots.
Fast forward. I’m living in Milan at age 19 running around on “go-sees” in in spike heels on cobblestone streets, meeting the designers for the runway shows taught me everything I needed to know about 1st impressions. A naïve girl standing in front of the gatekeepers to Valentino, Armani, or Moschino has an awful lot to learn. I tried my best to express my individual style while still looking graceful and cutting edge. Even if I didn’t know what cutting edge was- I picked up on all the clues that those designers would leave around like the crumbs thrown to pigeons’ in the Piazza San Marco.
In Paris at age 20 the competition was fierce. Getting into the doors of Yves Saint Laurent or Dior was next to impossible if you didn’t have someone behind you pushing you through them. I thought I knew how to dress until my German boyfriend told me I didn’t. He took me shopping in St. Germaine to a boutique of “a friend.” He styled me and dressed me and when they totaled the tab for clothes at the register – he left me with the bill of over 5000 francs- the equivalent of $1000. US at the time. I loved the clothes so I put them on hold and found a way to pay for them myself. I was secretly mad at him- but he must’ve known something. My style of dress just wasn’t up to par for Paris and it was his way of telling me. He hung out with Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren- and what an education in fashion I got from those two. The good news was that I did start getting past the doors of those infamous gatekeepers.
During my tenure at YSL I witnessed the brilliance of not only the designer Monsieur Saint Laurent himself, but his gifted assistants too. I gasped for air every time LouLou De La Falaise cinched a belt around my waist- and tiptoed out of the studio holding back a formal curtsy under the glaring eyes of Madame Munoz- Yves, right hand madwoman.
Paradoxically over at La Maison de Chanel I was delighted whenever Keiser Karl’s young jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane draped me in jewels, or when Lagerfeld’s chief design assistant Gilles Du Four wrapped a stole around my shoulder’s- cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. And at Ungaro- well, that was an education in itself- but more on how to “show” how to “stand” and how to “present” Emanuel’s priceless creations under the critical eye of the master himself. And critical he was.
Still, under the brilliant tutelage of team LouLou De La Falaise – Meister Lagerfeld – Vivienne Westwood – Georgio Armani – Valentino –Yves Saint Laurent – Lecoanet Hemant -Guy Laroche – …oh, there others – many others…I expanded in beauty and wisdom unknowingly, like a schoolgirl in the front row of the class – I noted them all.
The discipline and direction I received contracted as model for those iconic houses aligned me with opportunities all over the world. They softened my feathers and like an awkward gangly pelican I turned into a swan. My presence on the runway became more fluid and graceful and so I began to fly. I followed the collections from Milan to London to Paris- to New York – to Tokyo. When my contracts in the off-seasons completed I would fly to Dusseldorf- Spain- and Dublin to show for the designers there. And on one snowy December night in walked the love of my life, Steve Clark. A young, timid, unassuming rock star who’d also been living out of a suitcase. I’d met my match.
The travel in my life doubled as the two of us hopped planes – trains and – you know the drill, to be at each other’s side. When we came together on our days off often we would shop. Strolling into Cartier in Place du Vendome, two twenty-some-things, skinny as rails, Steve with his long blonde hair, me with my blood red lipstick, eyeballing the big glass cases filled with sparkling jewels. The hawk-eyed salesmen would usher us toward the exit until Steve would plop down his gold American express card and say, “I’ll ‘ave that,”- In one instance pointing to a Cartier panther ring from the Duchess of Windsor collection and placing it on my finger. Amazing how perceptions change when money exchanges hands. Then we would celebrate over vodka and caviar and talk about the stage clothes he was dreaming about wearing on the next tour.
Back then stylists were few- we didn’t know any so we styled ourselves.
Steve bought me a sewing machine and I collected accessories and trinkets like flags, polka dots and studs, while following the runway collections around the world. I put my foot on the pedal of my sewing machine like a blindfolded race car driver making jackets, belts, and patched up jeans for Steve to wear onstage during the Hysteria World Tour.
He loved my designs and my wardrobe. Often I would come across a newspaper photo of Steve taken while he was on tour wearing one of my blouses. In fact, Steve became the most photographed member of the band whose biggest radio hit back then was called “Photograph.” I became his personal designer, stylist, and spiritual confidant. Steve was curious about the occult and the deeper meanings of life. I had always been a soul searcher and inner explorer so our inner-worlds dovetailed when our outer-worlds failed to keep us grounded and the reality of living our dreams became more tense and real.
I have always felt my connection with the greater intelligence, or, as I like to call it, “the cosmic muse.” There behind the veil is the cast of characters – the collective unconscious – the “archetypical dream team” that is apart of who I am. It is that muse who inspires me to continue to follow my own heartfelt dreams and to inspire, uplift, and motivate others to do the same. The muse dresses me and it dresses you. My dream dressing muses take on lives of their own and often they propel at a rate I would never expect. That’s why my first dream has led to another, and another, and another…like a puff white snowball catching speed. The force of this muse is magical, mysterious and magnificent. Runway Runaway fashion… my secret dream is designed to amuse you!
What secret dreams amuse you?
Will you shout them out loud or keep them a secret too?
Follow your heart – Never give up and…
“Don’t let your dreams runaway from you!”
Right here. Right now. I AM Enough – 6 Steps to healing your own upsets.
As a dedicated believer in the “self help” way of living my life, I know I must practice what I preach and more importantly, what I have learned. I spent 3 years studying spiritual psychology in order to learn the deeper meanings of why people do what they do. Also, I wanted credentials so I could help them do better. As fortune would have it, I found the University of Santa Monica. USM offered two Masters programs; one in Spiritual Psychology (SP), and the other in Consciousness, Health and Healing. (CHH)
It’s been nearly ten years since I walked through those glass doors at USM and I have been assisting the faculty in ushering new students through the program ever since. Why do I do this? To keep my learnings alive so I don’t get the same magazine with a different model on the cover every month.
I knew when I applied to go to USM that my education there would be “hands on” and “experiential.” It’s the reason I chose it. So many “self-help” programs, motivational seminars, and workshops that I had taken, were just fluff. They “fired up” the places inside me that hurt just enough to make me feel good, but that feeling never lasted more than two weeks after the course was over. I knew it would take more than that to re-program my old way of thinking about things, and more to the point, how I thought about myself. Here I am nearly 10 years later, still practicing a more conscious way of being in my life, and some days I still wake up with some of the same old uncomfortable, upsetting, pain. Only now, I know how to work with those feelings – because I know how to identify and clear them. Thanks to my teachers Dr’s. Ron and Mary Hulnick, and everyone who has ever been to USM.
Many of you who know me, read my book, or even “follow” me on social networks, probably think I Live the life of Riley, (whoever that is.) Yes, I do get to do many out of the ordinary things like walk red carpets, get all-access backstage at Def Leppard shows, host fashion film festivals, hang out with public figures, and follow my dreams, (brag-brag-brag) but only because I put myself out there. I go for it, and that takes the courage to get past my fears and upsets. Of course I post the things I think will make people smile, and admire whatever it is I am doing. I don’t believe that Facebook is a place to play the victim and complain about my life. I go to USM or to my therapist to do that – because I know there – they will encourage me to take accountability for my upset, so I can “clear it once and for all,” as Dr. Ron Hulnick would say. One thing I know now is that we all suffer because most of us share the same rotten beliefs about ourselves – for no apparent reason.
You are probably wondering by now, “well if she isn’t living the Life of Riley, then what could she possibly be upset about?” And I am here to tell you – its probably not much different from whatever it is you are upset about- it just has a different magazine cover on it. For example, I have a colleague that I work with who can really make my blood boil. She is someone I respect and admire for her tenacity and non-stop-go-getter attitude in business. It’s why I hired her. On the other hand, she is a bitch to work with on many levels. Now I know that sounds like a projection – but hang on now- I’m just getting started on the judgments’ I have about her. The only difference between me and her is- I make a conscious effort to grow from the judgments’ I’m making by clearing them from inside myself. Thank God. Otherwise I would just fire her and move on to the next person who would most likely give me the same experience. You see that’s how it works, until we clear the judgments – those places inside that hurt- we just keep on having the same issues come up over and over- same magazine with a different model on the cover.
Last night she and I had a text battle on an issue having to do with a project we are working on together. She complained that some of the email addresses I gave her were wrong and implied that it was because someone didn’t know what they were doing. I asked her to send me a copy of the bounced back emails she was trying to send and I would take care of it myself so she wouldn’t have to go look for them. I reminded her that I have been asking her to copy me on all the emails she was sending on my behalf a few times, but for some reason she refuses to do that. She refuses to let me talk to her assistant too, for whatever reason. Maybe because she has been disrespectful and condescending to my own assistant, she may fear I’d do that to hers – or worse I might learn something about her that she doesn’t want me to know. I would never be rude to her assistant- in fact I applaud anyone who can work with this woman who is so hell bent on proving herself instead of being accountable. I reminded her in the text, (she wouldn’t talk on the phone with me- she was too busy- but she certainly had lots of time to text) that we are supposed to be on the same team. You can imagine why my blood began to boil. She would not cooperate. She would not share the emails- she would not let me connect with her assistant – she would not talk to me directly- she would not let me help her –she just wanted to complain that my assistant gave her the wrong emails. I told her it wasn’t my assistants fault and that she was doing the best she could, and that I would not ask my assistant to go back and find the addresses because obviously – whatever my assistant was doing – was never going to be good enough! I told her it would help if she could be more of a team player.
These texts went back and forth for over an hour- I never got anything I asked for. All I got was a review of her resume on how long she’d been doing this, and how good at it she is, and how I have no right to question her, and blah blah blah. It’s no wonder I woke up with anxiety asking myself why I’m paying this person who feels she has to prove herself to me? I don’t need this kind of aggravation….and then I asked spirit…”How is this happening “for”me? My inner counselor kicked in answering that question. I knew what I had to do. I had to learn the lesson. I had to identify my projections – my judgments on her – because I knew they would lead right to the heart of the judgments I had on myself. I would have to forgive them in order to heal them from deep inside. Otherwise, I would fire her and have the same experience with someone else.
So what were my judgments? I judged her for bragging about all the years of experience she had in her business, for being condescending to my assistant, rude, unaccountable, and for having to defend herself and prove her worth to me…that was it! That was what bothered me the most. She’s always telling me how great she is at her job- how long she’s been doing it- how successful she is- and I am thinking “well if you’re so great at your job – why do you feel you have to convince me?”
What did I do with all those judgments?
First, I asked myself how she was being a mirror to me. I identified the judgments – and then I forgave them. I didn’t have to forgive her– I had to forgive myself for judging and for buying into those beliefs about myself. I had to be accountable for my judgments first, in order to forgive them.
“To forgive means to give as I gave before.”
I judged her for being uncooperative, rude, condescending, and the big one: always having to defend herself and prove her self worth by bragging about her years in the business and how good at it she is. Then I had to ask myself – how am I that way to myself and to others? (This is why judging others is so potent- its like throwing rocks at glass houses!) And the deeper cut- how often do I feel the need to prove myself to others?
The next step is doing the forgiveness and mine went like this: “I forgive myself for judging her as rude, condescending, un-cooperative, and for always having to prove herself. – I forgive myself for judging my-self for ever being rude, condescending, uncooperative, not being a team player, feeling the need to defend myself or prove myself” …and the deeper cut- “I forgive myself for buying into the mis-belief that I ever have to prove my worth to anyone for any reason.” WHY? Because I don’t have to prove anything. Right here. Right now. I AM Enough.
I can forgive myself for being so hard on myself too. If I validate myself I don’t need to get validation from out there. So, I learn to praise myself for all I have been and done, and for who I am today. I am good enough. I am already good enough – we are all good enough – and somehow worthiness is the thing we struggle with most. I don’t know why, but I do know after years of doing USM, prison projects, working with at-risk teens- women’s empowerment seminars… I’ve witnessed the fact that we all have the same core issues…and the things we need to clear and forgive are our own judgments on our own self-worth. It wasn’t until I recognized the projection and did the self forgiveness that I could move into the gratitude part. As I exhaled the judgments and forgave myself – I inhaled the lesson and appreciated myself for getting it.
I became grateful for the learning, grateful for the woman who gave me the opportunity, grateful for the university, grateful for the experience and grateful to myself that I would give myself the time and love to heal the issue at the core- once and for all. I’m not upset by her and I’m not upset with me. I am at peace. This is where self-love starts- giving yourself the time it takes to learn-heal and grow. Now I have a new magazine and a new cover that reads:
Right here. Right now. I AM Enough. And so are all of you.
6- Steps to healing your own upsets.
1.) Identify – Look for the judgments you have on the person, the situation and on yourself.
2.) Be Accountable– Own it. Be honest with yourself. Where do those judgments reside in you? What are the beliefs you hold about yourself that don’t serve you?
3.) Forgiveness– Forgive yourself for buying into those irrational beliefs you have about yourself.
4.) Love & Compassion– Apply love to the place where those judgments lived. Be compassionate with yourself and others. We are all learning. There is an empty space there after a clearing and you want to breath love into those spaces. You deserve it. We all do.
5.) Appreciate the lesson, the person who gave it to you, and yourself for getting it! Say, “I am so grateful for this opportunity to heal and grow.” Thank yourself for showing up to the plate.
6.) Praise yourself. Give yourself kudos. Acknowledge yourself for your honesty, vulnerability and courage to do the work and love yourself.
So dear friends – repeat after me:
For more on the USM education go to http://universityofsantamnoica.edu
Blessings and Love,
On a recent trip to Ontario, Canada, I happened upon a lovely young creative artist named Shireen Nadir at an organic winery called Frogpond Farm in Niagara.
I couldn’t help being drawn towards The Blue Brick Jewelry table because the designs are so unique and magnetic to the eye. I immediately whipped out my trusty iPhone and asked if I could take a quick little video of her to share with all of you. Shireen was delighted and jumped towards the opportunity like a cat to catnip.
Shireen comes across as soft spoken and quite knowledgeable about her craft. Not only that, she speaks warmly of her fiancé, and soon to be husband, who is the silversmith and metal maker who designs the encasements that host the delicate flowers molded in resin.
Because Shireen is confident in her understanding of how to make this unique art, she doesn’t mind telling you everything about it. In fact, she has written a step-by-step book featuring her own illustrative photography sharing all of her knowledge in detail with those interested in learning all you need to know about resin jewelry.
However, Shireen doesn’t stop there… she is also an avid photographer, a diligent knitter, (her knitwear designs sell on Etsy and Ravelry.com) and and a blogger too! In her blogs she’ll tell you all about her yarn designs, color schemes, and most likely, she’ll even teach you to knit it yourself!
As an image consultant and beauty blogger myself, it is always refreshing to come across a true artist that inspires me too. I am now the proud owner of a very unique necklace made by Shireen and her Salvadoran, husband to be. (pictured here)
The delicate heart of an iris flower was my mothers’ favorite flower, so now when I wear it, I think of my dear mum. Being that one of my own dominant Fashion Icon Archetypes™ is the “Explorer” archetype…I love to find things on my travels that nobody else has. I want to feel a connection to everything I wear. It has to have a story, a memory, and a feeling attached to it. It gives meaning to the things I wear. As author and philosopher Eckhart Tolle, (who ironically lives in Canada,) reminds us… beauty is everywhere… it encourages us to be present. Tolle says that when we stop and smell the flowers, we will be “grounded in stillness and inner peace.” It is all about “awareness.”
That is why meeting Shireen and discovering her one-of-a-kind, hand crafted jewelry made from real flowers, was like finding buried treasure for me! I am all about bringing consciousness to dressing and helping others become more aware of what they are buying, wearing, and the messages they are sending about themselves every time they walk out their door.
This beautifully, mindfully, crafted piece of wearable art speaks to my inner explorer as well as my outer explorer. When I made that purchase I knew that this was money well spent. My purchase had meaning to me and hopefully to others too. Why, because it is beautiful, and beauty is what I love to share with the world. Not only that, I know whose hands made this tiny piece of “her-story.” And I am blessed to wear it always.
This Explorer Fashion Icon Archetype™ not only stops to smell the flowers…she wants to wear them too!
“Bring Your Style to Life!”
Lorelei Shellist Promo from Chris Tittle on Vimeo
Have you ever had a last minute invitation for a weekend getaway, or the urge to just “get out of Dodge” at a moments notice and then thought…oh dear I have to pack…
If you are anything like me then your plate is already full of responsibilities, commitments, promises and invitations that you accepted way too far in advance to know where life was leading you. Sometimes I just need to get away to the beach, or the forest, or, as Taylor Swift would say, “out of the woods!”
Other times I may need to have a meeting in another city to edit a video, do a job interview, or reconnect with a family relative I hadn’t seen in forever. Packing can seem like a drag when all of a sudden there are clothing choices and decisions on top of everything else. Add in a plane trip to say…Vegas or Atlantic City and who wants to pay the new “luggage fees” the airlines are now charging?
Do you live in the city or have a long commute to work and back? I do. I live in Los Angeles. It can take me an hour to get from one side of town to the other…and sometimes even longer in traffic. So when I know I have a long day of driving from place to place I already know I won’t have time to go home and change in between. I may need to “scrub up” after a yoga class on my way to a lunch meeting in Beverly Hills and then go to a dinner meeting over in North Hollywood or Malibu. There is no possible way I can get home and change in between meetings on a day like that!
So I decided to get it down to a science and I asked myself. “ok, Lor, what do you really need?” By the way, did I mention that I have a dog, a cup of coffee and keys in my hand as I descend down 16 stairs to get to my garage? I don’t really want to carry a suitcase too! Instead I keep my Tote bag make-up, hair, and Goddess goody essentials packed so the only things that may vary inside my over-the-shoulder tote bag are my outfits and shoes. The final decision on what to wear will be dictated by the weather and the occasions ahead – making it clear, clean and simple.
Stay tuned because soon I will be launching my own “Runway RunAway Collection ® …but meanwhile use your imagination and have fun creating your own Goddess Survival Tote for the Man or Woman on the Run!
“Don’t let your dreams runaway from you!”
Arianna Huffington Thrives as Keynote, Expressing Authenticity and Beauty at USM Graduation! Her Athenian, mythological eyes—soft, smiling and direct. Dressed age-appropriate, in her own Ambassador Fashion Icon Archetype™ style, in an elegant black-and-white crepe de chine and chiffon flowered dress. Arianna Huffington thrives as she expresses vulnerability and beauty from the…