Interview with Crystal Andrus

Q: Why do you believe women are so competitive with one another in the realm of beauty? There are often stories of “cat fights” at fashion shows and modeling events.

A: I guess most beauty-focused industries have so much backstabbing because their livelihood is based on looks. Why are so many women competitive, you ask?? I don’t think all are but perhaps there is an innate sense of survival that goes back to our hardwiring. Think about it, a hundred years ago women couldn’t vote or hold office and had absolutely no rights over their own bodies. Their entire existence was based upon marrying the right man. Back then being “marriageable” came down to hair, fertility, body shape, and facial features. Remember, a woman’s life and the lives of her off-spring, literally, depended on getting the right man. Even feminism is not that old – only 40 years! And at “that time” there suddenly became “two camps” – women who rejected sexuality to get ahead verses those who used their femininity to succeed. I think it has only been in the last 10, maybe 15, years that there has been a shift, whereby women recognize that their strength and success lies in each other. In my own life, my livelihood depends on woman … I can’t view them as my competitors … they simply aren’t! I think such attitudes are changing with time.

Besides, envy and jealousy stem from fear and freeing yourself from these destructive emotions is a journey that demands work. Self-love is not going to “just happen” without understanding where you are at today, how you got here, and then to know how to get to where you want to go! For example, for someone struggling with jealousy they would need to consider that where they are right now is a long way away from resonating in love. So, I would ask them to imagine that the city of insecurity, which is what jealousy and envy comes from, is on the opposite side of the country from the city of love. Getting to the city of love means passing through many cities, one in particular is a city called courage. It is here that I would ask them what they would have to do that would build their “courage muscle”. What would they have to face, admit to, or release in order to honor their own spirit and to find their own worth? Once that happens you’ll quickly see them move into the cities of willingness, acceptance, faith, and finally, love! That is how they would heal their own inner struggles … because jealousy is really never about anyone else. I’m simply there to guide them through the healing process in order to love the skin they’re in!

Q: Younger and younger girls are falling prey to the idealized version of commercial beauty and developing serious mental and physical conditions. How can mothers intervene to prevent this from happening?

A: One of the things that I said in Simply Woman is if you have a daughter tell her you love living in a woman’s body. My two daughters are looking to me to discover what life will be like as a woman–if it is good and if they should they feel good in their own skin. They are listening to my every word. So being in love with myself is the greatest gift to them. This is not conceited. I don’t talk about what’s wrong with my appearance anymore. Nothing is wrong in claiming beauty. And if you are the father of a daughter she needs to know you adore her! Dr. Phil once said, “If you are a father of a teenage girl tell her she is gorgeous every day”. It doesn’t make someone vain. It helps a girl embrace all aspects of being a woman. Besides being a woman means being many things: smart and pretty, strong and feminine. Moms could be all for their daughters. Things are changing. I really believe that this kind of work is helping other women. Adult woman have a choice to redefine messages and core beliefs that are not empowering to their self-esteem. But it is hard if you don’t have the tools.

Q: Why are women so threatened by another’s physical beauty to the point that there is such a thing as plastic surgery addiction?

A: I think that someone who goes from one cosmetic surgery technique to another is really just terrified. Perhaps it is a fear of not being enough and that if they could just be a little more they would feel adequate, but sadly they rarely ever do because beauty resonates from deep within. I think that the searching, in fact, is the devious distracter from ever attaining. The searching is ego-driven. Unfortunately, the ego tries but can never be–the soul simply is. When you invite the soul into your consciousness you know you already are magnificent!

This sounds kind of “woo-woo” but we all have seen certain people walk in a room and they light up the whole place. So, beauty clearly comes from within. Someone who loves themselves is naturally vibrant and it is actually self-love that exudes that brightness. Our cells are made up of atoms, atoms are made up of vibrating energy and those that resonate with transcendent beauty literally vibrate faster at the atomic lever. David Hawkins talks about this in his book Power vs. Force. Every human being can be calibrated to the level that they vibrate at. Thoughts, food, movement, and surroundings all affect the speed of their vibration. Sophia Loren once said there is nothing more beautiful in a woman than the belief that she is. Again, this is not being conceited. Rather it is a sense of “I really like where I’m at”. A woman who is feeling good exudes such an ease and confidence … it’s intoxicating.

Q: How does Transcendent Beauty empower a woman to be her own source of affirmation?

A: It is a place of knowingness, being in sync, feeling at ease, a humble, frank confidence, and gentle strength that oozes from you. It is a place where we have transcended ego, fear, insecurity, anger, guilt, and shame. It is courage, faith, love, and when we are in that place we feel like life falls into place. We trust ourselves, like who we are, and it is magical. We begin attracting people who are resonating at the same place. Life is effortless.

Q: A very sad reality is the beautiful girl who was so affirmed in her youth that she failed to develop anything else, even if she had the potential. Then she suddenly goes into a serious crisis when the looks begin to fade. What would you say to someone going through this on how to heal this loss of power?

A: I would treat it the same as any other loss of power. You can’t make empowering choices when disempowered. I’d ask them “where are you resonating? Is it in fear?” If so, they’d need to move to a place of courage. Maybe some grieving or anger work is needed. The question to ask is what can they do now? How can they feel better? A shift in thinking is a must. I would guide them to look at their life through new lenses. They need to find redefine their definition of beauty to one that fits them.

Remember, we can only heal what we are willing to face. Besides, beauty has nothing to do with age. Imagine if only the rose was considered a beautiful flower! There are so many versions of beauty. And in order to see our own beauty, at any age, we’d have to shift our thinking to a new set of beliefs. In other words, if we only believed that being young makes us attractive but we were now older we’d simply need to ask ourselves what if we were wrong about that belief! Wow! That could really change how we would carry ourselves throughout our lives. So this is really about finding ways to see our strengths and claiming who we are. You have to be who you are. People come in different packages. Beauty shines in more than one way.

On the opposite end there is a pressure on keeping your looks that it can be painful. Women whose identity is around being beautiful sometimes have a neurosis about maintaining that appearance because of all that was built up around it. This can work against someone just as much as the person who wasn’t so attractive or even the ugly duckling.

Q: I’ve heard that it is possible for a woman to train and diet but reach an impasse in her fitness program. Do you believe that mental blocks can be behind this? If so, why and what does one do about it? If not, what can they do about it?

A: We are physiological machines and a person who follows the program strictly will see the body respond. Mental blocks are what start to sabotage it. We have these mental ideas and core beliefs. This is why we fall off track and make poor choices. The body has knowingness. The body is a messenger. Long walks and long runs can be meditative for the mind. There is nothing obsessive and fearful when living in tune with your body. Overdoing exercise though can be a mask that we hide behind. If something is driving you ask whether it is out of fear or passion or excitement. You can sense in your body what is driving you. The key is if it is adding to your life force or subtracting from it.

Q: I’ll be honest you look like someone who has always been attractive. Then I hear about your weight struggles after having two kids. Now you are very fit again. How do get people to see the real you when on the surface you look like the ideal?

A: All you can be is as real as you are. I really speak from my heart and truth, not from the ego. I think people feel that truth. If you are checked in you can feel it as authenticity. People can recognize truth by how they feel. If they can’t see beyond the mask that is their problem. It is what and how we project that counts

Q: How can women stop devaluing themselves for the sake of men? This is a loaded question but could you answer it with your own philosophy and “Simply Woman” program in mind.

A: You just got to stop! Why some do it is because of feeling powerless. It is what you make it mean about the attention. It is not good or bad per se unless it harms other people. I would ask “what is that person feeling and what are they getting out of it?” We have to shift again into this place of courage. I believe it signals a need to connect with the higher self or the soul. One is best to make choices about what the soul would do. Gaining a temporary bit of power that is from someone else is fleeting. Abide by our soul. People attract and purchase based on a lie many times. If you are looking for an absolute true connection then speak and be your truth. Then it would begin in truth. If you are setting yourself up with a lie it will end in a lie.

Q: Describe the Simply Woman mission in a nutshell and how any woman can incorporate it into her life.

A: The mission statement – To get to a place where you could be better or worse but happy right where you are; to love your own skin; and to nurture with life instead of food.

Q: What is your take on programs like Overeaters Anonymous?

A: The 12-step work is phenomenal. They are amazing places of support to address why addictions are there. Addictive behavior is done to fill an emptiness. My only concern with OA is that food is not the enemy. We have to feed ourselves. We don’t need to drink, smoke, gamble, etc. We can’t just say we are powerless to food!

My whole philosophy: Your body is your temple–your messenger–and it is the most profound conduit for the soul to talk to us. So numbing or masking the signs with pills, food, or whatever our addiction of choice is, simply robs us of our own healing opportunities. Our body is a brilliant machine that we must check in with.

Q: What is next for you?
A: I am working on another book, doing some TV projects, and just continuing on my journey with my healing retreats, and coaching women and letting it organically evolve. Not really a plan. Just going along with the currency of life.

Q: Why can’t you plan life?
A: There is a divine plan and if you think that you know better you undermine yourself. You have to be focused but you also have to be in the flow. The flow allows people to show up and great timing. Check in and meditate. One of the big things when running, I say to God, “I am just making this body this strong so when the doors open I have the strength to run through them.” If I take care of me and God will do the rest. One Buddhist quote I like is “that attaining happiness and enlightenment depends upon one’s own efforts. Effort is the root of all achievement. If you want to get to the top of a mountain, just sitting at the foot thinking about it will not get you there. It’s by making the effort of climbing up the mountain, step by step, that you eventually reach the summit.” The Universe likes action but tunnel vision loses the big picture.