1

…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.

 

 

3

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.

0

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.

1

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.

0

Permission granted

This tale is for all the women out there that are afraid of their voice. You know who you are. At some point we have all been her. You know the one…the one who keeps her opinions to herself , the one who doesn’t speak her mind, the one who goes along with everything out of fear of rocking the boat. The one who still speaks in a cutesy high pitched voice. The one who hates her hair cut so much she cries on her way home from the Salon but won’t tell her stylist because it might hurt their feelings or the stylist won’t like them anymore.  I know, we have heard all our lives, “be the good girl”, “just smile and be polite”, “boys don’t like girls who talk too much”, “the stylist knows best”. I have come to realize, all these lessons were taught to us out of fear. Our parents, teachers,mentors (take your pick) only knew fear, so that is what the majority of girls were taught, fear. Fear of what may happen if you speak your mind, fear of what may happen if you choose not to go with the flow, fear of being alone. As Maya Angelou says “when you know better, you do better”. Ladies, (and gents), it is time to “do better”.

Every day, I mean EVERYDAY, a woman will come into the shop or the salon, her eyes at the floor, mumbling a request. I make it my personal mission in life to raise these people up. I ask them what they need, what they are looking for and I always get the same response “I don’t know, what do you think?”. In turn I answer “I think you should have pink hair”…and then I give a gentle friendly giggle and tell her I want to help her feel better about her hair. I ask her what picture she has in her head of what she wants her hair to look like. 9 out of 10 women tell me they don’t like the style they have now, that their stylist doesn’t listen to them and that they hate the color of their hair. This is when I tell them “it is time to find your voice”. I reassure them, the world will not open up and swallow them whole if they speak their mind. That if they are able to yell at the girl at the drive thru for getting their coffee order wrong, I think they can talk to their stylist about what they want.

As women, we worry about what people are thinking about us or saying about us. It is time to stop worrying. As my Dad often says “worry is a debt that never comes due”. He’s right. People are going to talk no matter what, it’s what they do. Live the life you want, have the hair style and color you want, wear the clothes you like. Find your voice, embrace it, walk with your head held high, make eye contact. If you are still a little worried you are going to hurt someone’s feelings – get them a present – buy them “knitting for dummies” and tell them “here is your new hobby.”.