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…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.

 

 

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What is looking for you?

As per usual, I sat down to to tell you all a tale of the newest addition to the Joico family of products, alas, it will have to be a tale for another time. It is Sunday morning in my corner of the world, the sun is shining, tulips from my garden are blooming on my kitchen table, a cool morning breeze is making the steam from my coffee glisten in the morning light and I am happy. I am…two words that I had, in all honesty, never appreciated their importance, until about a month ago.

I was surfing You Tube, after watching all the episodes (for the tenth time) of Comedians in cars getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, I started searching all the Oprah’s Master Class episodes and came across her Life Class with Joel Osteen. (Yes, I know it is Sunday, and no I am not gonna ask you if you have found Jesus…first – that is none of my business, and second…I didn’t know he was lost.). Back to the tale at hand. “Whatever follows “I am” will come looking for you”. Can you say “LIGHT BULB!”. (I would say AHA! …but Oprah kinda owns that one.). Something else Joel said was “If you want to know what your life will look like in 5 years…listen to how you are speaking today.”. Yikes…in a good way. In my minds eye I flashed back to 2008, to myself, sitting on my bathroom floor, giving over to whatever forces may be…god, the universe, the smurfs…to help me let go of my fears and my insecurities and get me back to me. Back to present day, I am back in the business I love, I actually believe I am pretty, I no longer feel fat nor base my identity on my looks, I am stronger in all senses of the word, I am a writer, I took the leap and started my blog, I met Tabatha Coffey. I am pretty awesome, if I do say so myself…and I often do.

At the shop and in the Salon, I hear so many women, and men say “I am old”, “I am ugly”, “I am useless” and many other sad, lonely phrases. I never quite paid attention until I heard Joel’s take on the matter. As you know, my tales are about educating and enlightening us all about the world of beauty. My tales may not always be about how to apply Root Boost (before blow drying, separate your hair at the roots, spray the root boost directly at scalp, rub into roots, then blow dry…couldn’t help myself). Some of my tales will be to help you find the beauty within yourself, your family, the world. Beauty is out there, it is right beside you, it is in you, if you choose to see it, hear it, speak it.

Remember …whatever follows “I am” is gonna come looking for you…so the question is this…what is looking for you?

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How do you look?

So it has been over a week since my last tale. I could come up with every excuse in the book, the truth is I didn’t make myself a priority. As you know, I am a wife to a wonderful man and a mother to a glorious 16 year old young woman. Calm down ladies…I know I am not the only “career” mother out there…this is not a competition nor an episode of “The real housewives”…it is just a tale for today. Now, back to the tale at hand. As you also know I am the manager of a salon/retail shop. Everyday I make sure my hair is coiffed just so and my makeup applied and my pants pressed, and I look good. Yeah, I said it. What I came to realize this past week is I may have looked good on the outside…but my inside left a little to be desired.Not to sound all “Oprah”, I had given away my power. As last week progressed I could see that I wasn’t the only one.

I had a few customers that were, let say, interesting. One woman was being quite abrupt with her answers to my questions about what kind of hold she wanted from her hairspray. So, being me, I asked her if there was something I had done to upset her. She stared in silence. After about 10 seconds she said “I am sorry, I just got this new cut that I didn’t want. My stylist said I was to old for a bob and that I needed a short style.”. (I get severely pissed when I hear this, and I hear this often. Yo Stylists! Who are you to tell people that they are too old for a cut? Seriously…get a grip and become a professional). So, I assured her the cut was cute (which it was) and sold her some KMS Hair Play Molding Paste for some funky styling and she likes her hair to look shiny so we added some SOMA Prism shine spray to the mix…and I also gave her our Salon price list.

I had a customer this week that introduced herself as “stupid and useless”. I shit you not, that is what she answered when I asked “How ya doin’ today”. You see, she was trying to grow out her hair for her daughter’s wedding in the fall and gave up because she listened to the wrong people – the people who told her that a flat iron was “too complicated” for her. (Who the hell are these people?!?). I took her over to our flat iron demo display and told her to pick one up as I picked one up. We both were in the mirror’s reflection, so I told her to copy what I was doing. After about 30 seconds a smile crept across her face and she said “I can grow out my hair!”. I looked her straight in the eye and told her to stop listening to the “Can’t” people in her life and listen for the “Can” people…they are out there. They are a little harder to hear over the annoying antics of the “can’t” court jesters.

A woman has lost some weight. She has lost 22 pounds over the course of 8 months. She began to exercise. She began to eat a healthy diet in support of her husband’s health issues. She didn’t lose the weight to “show off” or “rekindle her twenties” or “to keep her marriage alive” or because she was having a “cougar crisis”. The weight loss was a positive perk of embracing a healthier lifestyle, for her family and herself. That woman is me, and yes, the above comments have been directed at me. 10 years ago, I would have listened to the nasty comments and gone and ate a cake…or two. Guess what buttercup…not anymore. I have come to realize that those who are negative, nasty or assholes – take your pick, are empty inside…plain and simple. They are so miserable that they have to pull you down to their level so no one will see how crappy their lives are. Funny thing is, they cannot even fathom the idea that no one really gives a shit, except them and others like them.

I know I say it all the time, but I was raised on Little House on the Prairie and Happy Days so get used to it. BE KIND. Raise others up, do not push them down. Your BFF gets a new cut and loves it? Love it with her. A friend is struggling with her hatred of her thighs? Go to the gym with her – don’t agree and tell her she “really needs to work on that”. A friend loses weight? Applaud her efforts and ask her how she did it. Do not  mock her and ask her “cutting out the calories trying to be a cougar?”.

“If you don’t look good, we don’t look good”. – Mr. Vidal Sassoon

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Different but the same

Over the past few days I have had many salon tales come into my mind. So many tales to tell but how do I choose which one? I began this blog with the soul purpose of educating and enlightening the masses about the world of beauty and professional hair care products with easy to follow tips and opening doors that seemed to be locked and letting you join the club. I also wanted to wake up stylists and salon owners from their nightmare of what they thought was good customer service.

My primary goal is and will always be the same, to educate and enlighten. Over the past few months my tales have begun to travel down different roads, from customer service to product knowledge to how to be kind, not just at the Salon but where ever one may roam. You see, I am finding more and more, everyday, that beauty isn’t just the visual. It’s the emotional, the physical and the spiritual….maybe it’s because it is Sunday and I am missing my grandmother…who knows. Yeah, yeah…I know…you’ve watched Oprah and read “The Secret” so this isn’t news to you…or is it? Funny thing is, most Oprah and Secret die hards that have a library of all the #1 New York Times best sellers about self help and self love and loving your fellow man are the same people who mock their teenage daughter’s in public about their oily scalp and acne prone skin, or call their sons “tinkerbell” because he wants his hair style done just so and can’t live without KMS Molding Paste. Don’t get me wrong, I slip up all the time, did it last week when my daughter and I were out and I exclaimed and pointed at a sale item (I love a good deal). The item was Always overnight pads. Oops. I apologized on the spot. I am sure there is a doll with a pin in it in her room somewhere.

Being me, I have to clarify. Drives my husband CRAZY. I wanted to let you all know that I will always give you the newest product knowledge and information I get my hands on. I will give the tips you need for a great cut or Salon experience. I promise to continue with tales of my daily adventures in the Salon and all the tales of flying flat irons and mumblers and screamers. I will also keep telling the tales of kindness, the tales of inner and outer beauty. There is so much beauty around us, from the sound of our children giggling to the sound of our loved one sleeping beside us, the way the sun casts a shadow, the way the wind feels blowing through your hair while driving, the beauty of seeing someone, really seeing them and raising them up from such a simple act.

Want to change your perspective? Want to be more kind and stop being an ass? Just like being an ass, kindness is practiced. It takes effort, an effort with a great reward. You cannot just say you are going to be kind and then it happens. That’s like saying you are Jewish just because you attended a Bar Mitzvah.

What ever you put in, you get out. Plain and simple.

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An attack of thanks

I live in Canada and this coming weekend is our Thanksgiving holiday. This has been an interesting week for me. You see, in 2011, on the Thanksgiving weekend, my husband had a heart attack. I was at work on the Saturday when he called to say he had come home from work early, he wasn’t feeling well. He told me how he was feeling and I told him to get to the hospital and  would meet him there. Thankfully my mother lives down the street so she drove him and kept a loving watch over our daughter. After I called my boss who told me “close the shop…don’t worry about it.” a woman walked in the shop saying she was looking for a blow dryer. I told her I was closing up because my husband was on the way to the hospital, “It looks like a heart attack” I said, to which she responded “So you’re not gonna sell me a blow dryer?” I shit you not. That is what she said. I told her to get the hell out. It just came out. All I could think of was my husband, my daughter, my life, the feeling of my husband hugging me, the way his hand looked and felt in mine and I needed to get to him. As she left the store she shook her hands at her husband saying “she won’t sell me a hair dryer!”. Wow.

Long story short, no damage was done to the heart muscle, hubby had an angioplasty done. Seems his D2 artery was malformed from birth, hence the heart attack. Eight days later my Dad had a heart attack. He had an extra artery that was blocked. Again, no damage to the heart muscle. Those two, always competing for my attention.

So, as I said earlier, it’s been a strange week for me. As strange as this sounds, I am thankful for all of it, the heart attacks, the rude customer, all of it. Because of my experience with the doctor’s and the hospitals, I was able to help my mother, I could honestly say “I understand.”. I was reminded of all the reasons I love my husband. I remembered all the special memories of my father, things I hadn’t thought of in decades. I was able to show my daughter strength and how to look fear in the eye and kick it’s ass. I am thankful for such an understanding boss and the support of the best Salon team in existence. I am thankful for the “blow dryer rant” for now I am able to deal with crazy, rude customers…it just rolls of my back.

What I am getting at is this. Don’t wait until the Thanksgiving holiday to be thankful for what you have. No, I am not having an Oprah “AHA” moment and no, I haven’t found my savior…it is the right thing to do, plain and simple. Live your life, love your family and yourself, do what is best for you and your loved ones,hug your children, visit your parents, laugh every day. Oh…and it won’t kill you to wait for a blow dryer…trust me.

 

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Self Help and bad hair

You all know I LOVE hair products and everything that has to do with beauty. I am also a sucker for books, book stores actually. The shiny covers, the smell of freshly pressed prose, the staff picks of fiction, the tunes that echo throughout the store that you can’t help but hum along with, ahhh…the book store. Yes, I admit, I do find myself wondering if I will run into Kathleen Kelly or Joe Fox. ( You’ve got mail…enough said). Anyway, back to the tale at hand. As I was wandering through the store humming along to Adele and daydreaming as I often do that we meet and become life long friends, I ended up in front of the Self Help section. I just stood there, captivated by what I saw. Every single person in that section had bad hair. Yeah, I said it. I couldn’t look away, and as I stood there I had what Miss. Oprah would call a light bulb moment. They may have been looking for an answer for a happy marriage or how to come out of the closet, but they were also wishing their hair looked better. (You know they were…we all have those days.) The right color, cut and product may not solve all your issues, but good hair is a good start.

I know, it’s what is inside that counts. How dare I say such things out loud or put in print for that matter. Yes, I do agree wholehearted that it is what is inside that counts. I also believe that if you like the way you look, it can make for a better day. I stress what you see and what you like. It  took everything in me not to rope the crowd in Self Help together and take them back to my shop and teach them how do to their hair. I mean seriously, even Dr. Phil would look at the hair that hadn’t been brushed in a week and say “how’s that workin’ for ya?”. It isn’t just about  looking good, it’s about taking time for you. Think about it, if you take the time to do your hair and/or makeup, you have just set aside 10 – 30 minutes just for you and you alone. I am a firm believer that healing begins when you make yourself a priority, even if only for a few minutes a day. If you don’t like the reflection in the mirror, no Self Help book is going to help. Trust me, I know of what I speak, that is another tale for another time.

Brush your hair, wash your face. Grab that flat iron and iron out that frizz. Put on some lip gloss. Take a minute for yourself. Think of it this way, if you like your hair it is one less thing that you need help with, and one less thing is always a good thing.