Beauty, Business, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women

…don’t ask…don’t get

As of late, many of those that I hold dear are feeling inadequate, feeling like they are missing out on something, wondering “is this all there is?”. Between loss of their job, their business closing, their marriage ripping at the seams, their kids struggling to find answers to questions they don’t even know how to ask, you name it, the struggle is real.

For those of you who follow my tales, you are all familiar with my past and present struggles. For those of you checking yours truly out for the first time, let me shine some light for y’all. I have been the girl who felt like she didn’t fit in. I have been the new wife wondering what my role was to be. I have been (and still am) the Mom wondering if I am screwing up my kid. I have been the woman who couldn’t look at her own reflection. I have been the woman who hated her hair and her body. I have been the woman who lost her job because of a store closure. I have been the wife of a husband with health issues. I have been the daughter of parents with health issues. I have been the sister of a wonderful gal who’s life was turned upside down. I have been the woman who found herself thinking on more than one occasion “now what the hell am I gonna do?”. I am here to tell you that no matter how dark the day may seem or how overwhelming life can get, sooner or later, the light begins to shine and you will once again feel in control. You will. Seriously, you will. You want to know how? Ask. Plain and simple. Ask for help. Ask for advice. Ask your business contacts if they know of any opportunities. Ask for a glass of Chardonnay if you need, just ask.

I know. I know. You’ve heard this before. Tony Robbins makes you walk on hot coals. The Secret tells you to put it “out there.”. Vision boards are all the craze. Everywhere you turn someone is telling you or pushing a Pinterest post in your face or sending a kitten meme telling you “when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!”. I for one believe that the mind and your perspective have a HUGE impact on your life’s outcome – here’s the little nugget that seems to get lost in translation – you gotta ask and you gotta do the work. You gotta. Walking on hot coals may remove something from your bucket list, if you don’t follow through with the tools bestowed on you, you will just have sore feet. Putting your desires “out there” is a fantastic idea, if you don’t put your plan into action, the universe will deliver to the wrong address. Creating a vision board is fantastic, I have one of my own. If you just look at it all day without speaking to anyone or leaving the couch, it’s just going to be something you made and look at.

We cannot control everything. We may not be able to reverse a health issue for a loved one or stop a toddler from throwing a fit in the parking lot. One thing I know for certain is, although we cannot control our job status/career, we can damn well have a say in it. The point of today’s tale is to give you the proof you need that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. In the big scheme of things, my accomplishments may seem tiny, to me, they are huge. I have been blogging over 6 year now. The last year I did not write as much as I wanted to. I thought my blog should change – I was listening to fear…big mistake…huge. (Pretty Woman reference…love the movie). After the shop closed, instead of asking myself what I should do, I let people tell me what I should do. Not their fault, that’s on me. Long story short, shit happened and the universe, the powers that be, the smurfs…whatever you want to call it gave me a wake up call. Gave me the opportunity to realize that my blog is fine just how it is. That it grew and opportunities flooded in when I was doing what was true to me. It gave me the back up to ask. To take take chances. I asked and took a chance and ended up on http://www.salonmagazine.ca 7 times. I had my tales followed and retweeted by Hollywood and Grammy Award winning stars. I had companies agree to have me write for them, review their products. I made new business contacts that have now become friends. I have been referred by said contacts to give Salons retail consultations to help them build their business.

Over the past few weeks, yours truly has been an asking fool. I didn’t get all I asked for, but I did get a few things. I have an opportunity coming my way – not telling yet! You are going to have to stay tuned, all because I asked a question. I didn’t just put it out there, I put myself out there. I did the work, I followed up, and low and behold, it worked out in my favor.

Here’s the deal. Ask. The answers are there. The answer may not be the one you wanted, in my experience, it’s the one you needed. Don’t ask…Don’t get. Plain and Simple.

 

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, lifestyle, That girl in the red coat, Women

Bringing light to the dark

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

 

Lately, during conversations with friends and loved ones alike, I have found myself thinking, some times even stating out loud, “if more people spoke of the ugly, the world would be a beautiful place.”. What’s the “ugly” you ask? Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Anger. Panic. Addiction. …to name a few. The “beautiful place” being we would all realize that we have more in common then we do not. I cannot count how many times in the last few months I have heard someone say “Really? You went through this too?”, “You mean my kid isn’t the only one?”, “You mean you have had money troubles too?”, “You’ve felt like you were failing as a parent? I thought it was just me!”.

It’s time to start to bring some light to the darkness of our lives. It’s time to start talking about those things you don’t talk about at party’s. It’s time to stop being ashamed and start being empowered. I can tell you, right now, a friend is looking at your Instagram or Facebook wishing their life was as full as yours and their family as happy as yours – all the while, you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay your mortgage this month, or hoping that your child finds the right therapist to help them, and no one is the wiser. After years of trying to keep up with the Joneses, the Kardashians, you name it, I was tired, mentally, emotionally and physically. So, as scary as it was, I stopped trying to be perfect, stopped acting like everything was coming up roses and just let my life be what is was. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes it was sad. Many days had their hiccups and many were smooth sailing. One thing was certain, I sure as hell wasn’t as tired. Life, parenting, marriage, work can be tiring enough, why add more to get less? For all of you out there;

  • it’s okay not to like your kids. You love them, you don’t always have to like how they are behaving
  • it’s okay to understand why animals sometimes eat their young
  • it’s okay if you don’t see your parents every weekend. They had kids and a life before you – they get it. Deep down, they get it
  • you are not the only parent worried about their child
  • at least two people you know have children that are struggling as yours is – be it with their studies, their friends or their mental health
  • just because your friends are world travelers does not mean they can afford it
  • more people have financial strain than don’t.
  • we have all felt like getting in our cars, changing our names and living the vida loca

 

It’s time for uncomfortable conversations – especially for those of us who chose marriage. More often than not, in my own marriage, the problems I thought we had and the problems my hubby thought we had weren’t even in the same realm.

  • your spouse is not your psychic friend. You need to tell them what you need and what you want
  • before thinking for your husband, ask him what he is thinking. Trust me, it’s never what you think it is and usually has to do with food.
  • Gents – if you think your wife is mad at you, ask her if she is. I know. I know. It’s like I am asking you to go into the snake pit. Most of the time, if your wife seems ticked – it’s not about you. Hell, he could be sitting there thinking you are sighing so much because you are mad at him all the while you are mad at windows 10 and their damn automated updates.
  • after hearing of others marriage/relationship woes, remember those are their problems, not yours. Try not to make their problems your own. …just because your bff’s hubby hides that he surf’s porn doesn’t mean yours does.
  • if you truly are not happy, you need to talk about that. Maybe you will stay together, maybe you won’t. If love, respect and honesty are there, it will always work out.
  • remember that your 10% may be their 100% and vice versa.

 

What you may see as a short coming, others may see as an achievement. Admitting your fears may help another face their own. Being true to yourself may allow another to do the same. We give children a night light so the darkness doesn’t seem as scary, so why not give ourselves a night light of our own?

 

Beauty, health and wellness, lifestyle, Women

Imperfection

So, it’s been a while. This I am quite aware of and thanks to my Facebook “on this day” memory feed, I was pleasantly reminded. You see, it was on this day last year I had posted my intentions for my blog and the direction it was going to go. It began as a beauty blog, a how to of sorts. Helping ladies and gents with their hair woes and educating them on hair products, hair stylists and everything related to the Salon. I began to venture into retail/business tips and advice for I found stylists and Salon owners were just as much at a loss about their business. Soon, I began to tell tales of life, of hardships, of parenting, of marriage, of friendship and most importantly about kindness.

Those of you familiar with my tales know that yours truly no longer manages a Salon/retail shop. I am still in contact with all my Beauty Biz reps and colleagues, so I feel I still have a sense of the pulse of that arena. This being said, I felt that it was time to let my blog evolve into something new. I knew it was time. I knew what to write. I knew what needed to be said. I was afraid. Yep. Afraid. All those voices in me telling me “what will people think?”, “no one will read it”, “you are known for your hair stuff and that is it”, “It was perfect before…what will it be now?” kept coming into my mind and I listened to them. It wasn’t until I went to reformat my blog that the powers that be reminded me of this gem I had written years ago “listen for the tiny whispers “yes you can”.”

2017 was a pretty good year. I began working at my friend’s shop, we laugh everyday. I have had customers tell me they love coming in to see us, that we make them feel better about life. My 20 year daughter is blossoming into quite the young woman and I cannot wait to see where she will take her life. I celebrated 23 years of marriage. My family has their health…a few hiccups, but healthy. All these positive aspects were there, yet underneath it all I was letting fear dictate my decisions. (…2017, Trump, fear….hmmm….another tale for another time). I was trying to mask my imperfections, as a Mom, as a wife, as a writer.

As my head hit the pillow last night, the word Imperfection popped into my head and literally right after I thought “Imperfection or I’m perfection, it’s up to me”. …cue inspirational elevator music. Perfection is made up of all the little imperfections coming together to create something beautiful. Friendships have their ups and downs, yet are still beautiful. Marriages have their stupid fights, you know the ones, where the fight is having you, the love is still there. Soups thicken too much so now you have a stew. Mascara runs so now your perfected cat eye is now a smoky eye. It’s so easy to fall prey to the Pinterest generation or the filtered Instagram pictures of how “life is”. Nothing in this life is going to be exactly as how you planned or pictured and that’s okay. Being true to who you are, being kind whenever possible, admitting faults, showing love, trying to see and understand the motivation behind others actions as well as your own, doing no harm but taking no shit, that to me sounds like perfection.

Embrace the imperfection. Send love and light when ill will and darkness come into your mind. It’s not easy and there will be days you will fail miserably, as I have…I’m working on it. Try to remember that the word Imperfection also can be read as I’m perfection. Plain and Simple.

 

Beauty, Business, communication, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

…from the inside out

“Trade expectation for appreciation” – Tony Robbins.

It was Sunday morning. I was sitting on the couch, staring out my window while mindlessly flipping through the channels, pondering my circumstances, when I heard the above quote. I turned away from my window to see Tony Robbins speaking with Oprah, on Super Soul Sunday. This wasn’t the first time Mr. Robbins appeared in my living room. About a month ago, whenever I was on Facebook or twitter it seemed someone was posting about his Netflix documentary “I am not your guru”. So, being me, I had to see what all the hype was about. I grabbed my water and a snack, got comfy on the couch and turned on Netflix. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical. Being 44, I was familiar with Tony Robbins and his motivational workshops and books. I had given them a try in the past, however nothing ever seemed to resonate in me. I would get a spark, but the fire never stayed lit. Until now. There I was, sitting up, leaning towards the television with tears running down my cheek. Did I happen to mention I was 10 minutes in? Maybe it is my age. Maybe it is where I am in my life. Maybe it is because I am more open than I used to be. Whatever the reason, it was beautiful. It was powerful, magical even. It has been 4 weeks since I have watched it, and I think about it at least once a day. It was the first time I felt I actually saw the real Tony Robbins. No bullshit. No politically correct rhetoric. It was the most refreshing moment I had seen and heard in a long while, and it was exactly what the Dr. ordered.

 

For those who follow my blog, you know that the shop/Salon I manage is closing at the end of the month. The past few weeks have been trying to say the least. Every customer that comes through the door has the same questions “You’re closing?”, “This is so unfair! What am I going to do?”, “Where will I get my product now?”, “What are you going to do now?”, “Guess you are shit out of luck with no job huh?” and countless other negative comments and inquiries. After 3 weeks of repeating myself, smiling, being courteous, I have to admit, their opinions and statements were beginning to sink in and were setting up shop in my mind. I was starting to expect the worst, which is not my style.

Fast forward to this past weekend. Just as yours truly was allowing the “what if’s” to make their way into my mind and allowing fear to control what I expected my plans to turn out like, what do I hear at the exact moment I was getting all stressed about my expectations but Mr. Robbins himself stating “trade expectation for appreciation.”. …okay there universe…I get it. I feel the nudge. So, that is exactly what I did. Yes, it was weird at first. Yes, I had to really concentrate on appreciating. Yes, I felt a little foolish. Then I realized it felt weird and foolish because I was thinking of what others would say or think instead of thinking of what I think and what I want to say. Then I remembered a quote I came across months ago “I used to care about people’s opinions until I tried to pay my bills with them”, enough said.

What is happening in your life does not define you. It only defines you if you let it. Plain and Simple.

 

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Telling Tales

It was two years ago today, after circling my dining room table a few dozen times while looking at my home computer out of the corner of my eye, that yours truly sat down at our home computer, typed “wordpress” into my Google search engine and hit enter. I selected the link to the wordpress site. My mouse hovered over the “sign up and start publishing now” icon. I had to keep taking my shaking  hand off the mouse, I was terrified I would click and start publishing before I was ready. I was terrified to begin, what if no one reads it? What if they all think this is stupid? What if I am not a writer? What if this is all a waste of time? After what seemed like an eternity, I decided to stop listening to the shouting voice of fear in my mind and to listen to the ever present whisper of hope. I took a deep breath and began. I am so happy that I did.

As I was finishing my ‘do for the day with Joico’s Power Spray (my new FAV!), I found myself thinking of that morning two years ago, and began to say thank you to my reflection. I actually welled up a bit. Yep, there I was talking to my reflection, can of hairspray in one hand, tissue in the other. No need to call the white coats, I was having a moment. A realization of how far I have come since that morning. I like my reflection. I think I am pretty. I feel beautiful both inside and out. I am proud of myself and am confident in my abilities. Now when I have an idea or want to try something new, hope shouts and fear whispers.

If I had listened to fear that morning, I would not be a guest blogger for http://www.salonmagazine.ca , I wouldn’t be a contributing author for http://www.hairstyle-blog.com , I never would have been invited to the Contessa’s. If I had let my fear make my decision I wouldn’t have all the fabulous connections on Twitter, many who inspire me or make me laugh on a daily basis. I wouldn’t have my lovely laptop on which I tell my tales – a beautiful birthday gift from my husband and daughter, because they believed in what I was doing. I wouldn’t have had all those evenings of bursting through the back door exclaiming to my husband and daughter about the retweet or follow I received from some pretty snazzy people, or the utter excitement to share a published article with them. If I had listened to fear, I wouldn’t have been able to show my daughter that her mom was published on not one, but four websites. I wouldn’t have been able to prove to her…and myself, that hard work, taking a chance or two and faith in yourself pays off. If I had let fear control my decision I never would have found people like myself – people that celebrate each other, people that want to raise each other up and help each other out.

In celebration of my 2nd Anniversary, I have a wish. A wish that you will find your passion, that you will chase your dream, that what was once lost will be found, that your shouts of fear will be silenced and your whispers of hope become the song you sing in your mind and in your heart. More tales are on their way Beauties. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sticking around when tales were few and far between. Thank you for the love.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

I have seen the enemy and she is us.

As I sit here, all that keeps coming to my minds eye are the Dove commercials. You know the ones. The commercials that tell us how girls will stop sports because of their body image…and then my mind’s eye flashes to the mothers and daughters who come into the shop and the mother speaks about the daughter like she isn’t even there. Yes, I agree that the media has a part to play in the self esteem issues of girls and young women, hell of women in general…but I think we are each other’s worst enemy. As Pogo stated “I have seen the enemy and he is us”. In this case, she is us.

Every day, I mean every damn day a woman comes in to the shop and says things like “Oh…I’m too stupid to do my hair”, “I need big hair so people don’t see my big ass”, “Her hair is so greasy it looks like an oil slick” – this coming from a mother talking about her daughter who is right beside her. Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe you are so upset right now and say such things because you are doing what people expect of you instead of what you want to do? Maybe you are being nasty instead of supportive of your best friend’s new hair color because she has the guts to do what she likes instead of what her mother/husband tells her would look good. As for our daughters, ladies, be kind. There is no excuse, none, for a grown woman to pick apart a young girl’s oily scalp or oily complexion. Especially in public, that is just cruel, plain and simple. By the way, that doesn’t fly in my shop. I will always side with the young lady who is being bullied by her mother. That’s right. I said bullied. To be clear – literally pointing your finger and pointing out pimples and oily scalp = mean. Quietly asking for advice to help get rid of oily scalp while arm is around daughter’s shoulder = kind.

It is time to stop being so damn mean and so damn afraid. That’s right, afraid. Dig through meanness and you will find fear. If you are over the age of 21, it is time to stop being afraid of what your mother is going to think. Maybe your mother didn’t know any better, but we do and as Maya Angelou said “when you know better, you do better”. It’s time to do better, to each other and to the young ladies behind us. Ladies, if your best friend goes blonde, she did it for her, not to steal your husband. Your daughter dyed her hair black because she thought it would be cool, not because she is joining a cult. If you like to do your hair and makeup, it does not make you a shallow person or a bad mother. Stop being afraid of what people are going to think or say. Like I always say, people are going to talk no matter what you do so why not really give ’em something to talk about.

It is time to make the room change when we enter it instead of blending into the furnishings.

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

What’s your sign?

Today marks my 1 year anniversary in the blogging world. 1 year. Wow. Last year at this time I sat at our home computer with a quivering hand hovering over the “publish” icon…so afraid that I would fail, that no one would read my silly opinions or think I was funny. What I really was afraid of was succeeding. Yep. Afraid to succeed and not for the reasons you think. I wasn’t fearful of people now expecting better of me, I was scared shitless that success would make me look back on my past 20 years and realize I should have been doing this all along and my world would come crumbling down. Then I realized that the only reason I was able to do this was because of my past 20 years. – I say 20 years because quite honestly before the age of 21, we don’t know a damn thing. One of my favorite quotes (now) is by Mark Twain – “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.”.

Back to the tale at hand. In past blogs I have written about kindness, about taking the time to listen, to take the time to see, really see the person in front of you. We all have struggles and stresses in this life – Christ – this past year I feel like I have lived 5 years in the span of 12 months. There were days I wanted to wear a sign around my neck to let the world know what I was going through that day and then maybe I wouldn’t get a flat iron thrown at me. (It happened more than once – I have witnesses). One day the sign would have read “Father in hospital”. Another day it would have read “Husband’s heart medication is working against him”. Another day it would have read “My daughter has to deal with a sick parent way before she should have to.”.

The one thing the past year has taught me is this…DO NOT WAIT. In the blink of an eye your life can and will change – it may feel like for the worse but the best comes out soon enough. Take your kids to the park – even when you are tired and bored. Take the time for your spouse – for cuddles on the couch or romps in the boudoir. Leave the crumbs on the kitchen floor for a couple of hours and watch the movie with your kids. When your hubby comes up from behind and hugs you while you are doing the dishes, let the dishes soak and hug him back and be sure not to be the one who stops hugging first. Start your blog – tell your story.

I have also learned we all have our own signs, some are harder to see, but are always able to be read if we take the time and pay attention and show a little kindness.