A story that proves happiness is a choice

I just finished reading (actually listening to…that’s how I read) “The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer.  Fabulous book…especially on Audible because it’s actually a recording of the course he teaches based on the book rather than just listening to him or someone else simply reading the words.

The book ends with him reading a story that was sent to him.

” a 92-year-old petite, proud, well poised woman who is fully dressed, hair fashionably quaffed, and makeup perfectly applied by 8 a.m. every morning despite being legally blind is about to move into a nursing home because her husband of 70 years passed away making the move necessary.  After sitting patiently in the waiting room of this nursing home for several hours she smiled sweetly when she was told her room was ready.  While maneuvering her walker to the elevator, the nurse who was escorting her provided a visual description of her tiny room down to the eyelet sheets that hung on her window.  “I LOVE IT”  the 92 year old woman said with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old child who just received her first puppy.  “But Mrs. Jones, You haven’t even seen it yet,” the nurse said, “just wait, just wait”.  “That has nothing to do with it” said Mrs. Jones.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged…it’s how I arrange my mind”.  Wayne Dyer finishes with this…”You see, even at 92 years old and legally blind WHEN YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE 

I really do think this comes from having a gratitude mindset.  If you are reading this right now YOU HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR. That you are able to see to read these things, that you have the ability to read, that you woke up this morning to have the opportunity to read, that you own a device in which to access this, that you are able to afford the internet access it takes to be able to see this.  The list goes on…

You have so much more power than you think you do.  Once you start to recognize that you begin a path of enlightenment.  You begin to empower the people around you.  You begin to make others’ realize how powerful they are…it trickles.

Enlightenment comes from learning from others’.  There is something to be learned from everyone, from everything, in every moment.

My next book I am starting is “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale…I look forward to sharing my insight with you when I’m done!

If you feel that this has enlightened you , changed or strengthened your perspective, or you just found it entertaining would you please Like it and/or Share it below?  I cannot begin to tell you how much that would mean to me!

 

 

This is what happened when technology failed me…again

In my quest to change the way the beauty industry is viewed by empowering new and seasoned stylists to earn the respect they so greatly deserve I was presenting at a local cosmetology school.  I do this by teaching the importance of how you show up in the world.  The night before I made sure I was completely prepared by testing out my projector, hooking up my laptop, and doing my presentation.  Of course as luck would have it when I got to the school and hooked everything up…. nothing ..zilch …nada.  Nothing worked.  I had to get creative….I had to rely on my story telling to get me through my 1.5 hour presentation.

After the presentation the students willingly gave me feedback telling me they enjoyed this class so much more than my past presentations.  It was my vulnerability and my engagement with them they really enjoyed.  I was very thankful for the feedback since I had another presentation at the same school later that evening.  When I arrived I had made the decision to not even try to use technology.  I was incredibly nervous because I realized that 1/2 of the class was comprised of the same students I had presented to earlier.  I thought it was going be a whole new class.  The story I had going through my head was that these students were thinking “great, I have to listen to her babble on again for another 1.5 hours”.  What the truth actually was though is they were completely engaged.

When I left there I felt really good about everything.  I felt that my message was well received…the next day…I had gotten an email telling me just how well received it really was.

“Hello, my name is Danielle. I was at HP Collage in Dekalb Tuesday night getting my hair done by my sister while you were guest speaking to the class. I know the speech wasn’t intended for me, but I feel as though I was meant to be there and hear you talk. I am at work right now, still trying to process and reflect on everything you said. What stood out the most to me is “fake it until you become it”, that hit me personally because I struggle with self-confidence. I always imagine a way I’d like to “appear” to others, but never was able to work up the courage to become that person. Well, this morning I woke up early, curled my hair, put on my brightest red lipstick and went to the back of my closet and pulled out a pair of heels I bought 6 months ago and had yet to wear them. I try them on almost every day… but they never made it out the door, until today. Today I am dressed the way I want to be seen from head to toe and I feel amazing. Walking into work was a little awkward, but I was flooded with compliments. I can’t explain to you how good I feel. I can’t wait to see what my future holds. I just needed to thank you and make sure you knew that you did this. You successfully changed a life over-night. My goal is to write down things I remember so I can keep reflecting and putting your words into my everyday life. Thank you Gina, thank you thank you.”

As much as she thinks my words changed her life….her words changed mine.  This made me think about one of my favorite Ted Talks.  How telling someone the impact you had on their life effects you.  Because Danielle went out of her way to share that with me has given me the confidence to pursue this mission that I am on full strength!!! Danielle has now became a leader herself….first, this new lease on life she has is going to inspire and empower those around her to do the same….second, because she sent that email my mission has gotten greater and I will continue to change the lives of others….SHE DID THAT.  A leader is defined as a person who guides or directs.  Well Danielle is definitely keeping me in the direction of greatness.

I am a firm believer in the power of the universe.  A dear friend gave me this great little box of inspirational quotes and daily motivators. Yesterday here is the one I pulled…it gave me chills.  “You have within you right now, everything you need to deal with whatever the world can throw at you” by Bryan Tracy.  EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAS THE POWER OF GREATNESS.  Are you showing it to the world?  Put yourself in a position in which you cannot be ignored. How do you do that?  You look your absolute best…if you put on an outfit in the morning and your thought is “meh, it will do”…BURN THAT SHIT.  It does not belong in your closet.  Get a killer haircut, do your makeup, smell irresistible, only wear something that you know you look fucking amazing in.  Make eye contact, shake hands, smile, use killer dialogue, stand up straight, be on time, and have a great attitude.  If you are not confident enough to do these things…..fake it, fake it every damn day until one day you realize you’re not faking it…you have just become that confident!!!

Please share this with everyone you know!!!  Shit, share it with everyone you don’t know too!  You never know who might be reading that needs to hear these exact words!

 

This is what happens when you share your story

Today is one of those days that I will remember as one of the greatest I have ever experienced.  You know those days????  When you can reflect on something that happened or someplace that you went and it changed you forever.  Today was one of those days for me.

It began with a breakfast meeting with my very first “professional” mentors.  Stephen and Tricia Wake who own Focas Salon in Saint Charles IL.  They taught me so much!  So much more than how do to kick ass hair.  They taught me how to be an amazing human being.  They opened my mind to a whole life I didn’t even know was possible.  A couple of weeks ago I had this moment where I had just realized what a profound impact these 2 people had on my life.  I had always known it but I saw it differently at that moment for whatever reason.  I knew immediately that I had to contact them!  I had to let them know how wonderful they are.  As a fellow small business owner we hear criticism on a regular basis and it is so rare that people go out of their way to share the good stuff.  I knew that I had to let them know what a positive effect they had on my life.  I knew going in that 2 things would happen as a result of it #1.  It would give them the extra boost of confidence that comes from knowing you impacted someones life and it would keep them moving forward in helping them build their team.  #2.  It would allow me to work on my vulnerability and story sharing.  What happened though was so much more than that.  It became a collaboration of minds.  3 like-minded people traveling the same path in life sharing our “secrets” to success with one another to help empower the other.  It was beautiful.

Next, I was in-between appointments and I was starving.  There is a whole lot of eating involved in today I am realizing.  Anyhow, I decided to check out this new restaurant in town called Craft Urban in Geneva, IL.  Holy shit is this place incredible…1st off…talk about a visually appealing environment.  It’s wide open, brightly colored but not obnoxiously, everyone has an edginess to them but not in an intimidating kind of way, and oh my god…the kindness…the genuine kindness.  SO amazing!  That is what I noticed just while walking in.  Now, you get to the menu…simple, to the point, unique selections, OBVIOUSLY INTENTIONAL in every possible way.  I struck up an amazing conversation with the bartender and the owner.  This place is special.  Not to mention they have a Friday and Saturday late night Ramen menu….what?????  Every Friday and Saturday they have a new ramen selection.  Taco Tuesdays serving different tacos every week…YUM, but I digress.  The point is I learned their stories and it was beautiful.

Lastly but certainly not least I went to a new place for my pedicure today.  Lisa Clark at Lacquered Up in downtown Geneva, IL.  This woman….oh my god this woman.  She is the most beautiful soul with such an amazing story not to mention she does some killer nails for a super super reasonable price (side note). It was because she shared her story and truly engaged in mine that I made a connection with this beautiful human being that I will never forget.  I am truly and I do mean TRULY a better person as a result of talking to her for an hour.  Her insight on life, love, perspective, intentionality, and her spiritual mindedness changed me!!  Listen to what I am saying…..if she hadn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable and true that connection would have never happened.  If I put up a wall and didn’t engage with her we both would have missed out on a connection.

Remember that is the whole purpose of life...connection.  That is why we are here.  There are so many people in the world that would say “oh it’s just nails”, or “it’s just hair”, or “it’s just bartending”…the list goes on of occupations that are snubbed but think of it this way…we sat eye to eye, there was actual physical contact which means there was a transfer of energy…we engaged with one another…we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.  If that is not some powerful shit I don’t know what is.  Not only did Lisa give me the confidence that comes from looking my best….I feel great when my feet look good!  She also touched my mind and my soul.  Because of that PEDICURE I am a better person.  I grew as a human being.  Thank you Lisa Clark!  (630) 277-2555 for all you local people….you won’t regret it 😉

Here is my point….it was through actual real conversation….REAL CONVERSATION that I was able to connect with people on a beautiful plane today.  Imagine what I would’ve missed out on if I would’ve just been on my phone the whole time.  What if I hadn’t reached out to Stephen and Tricia because I was to embarrassed about what they would think about me contacting them out of the blue.  Imagine if I would’ve been to self-conscious to dine alone and didn’t go into Craft Urban today.

No matter who you are…no matter what your path in life is…you have so much to offer!  You are so powerful….you have the ability to change someones entire life but ONLY if you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.  Embrace every facet of your existence…whether you came from a life of tremendous abundance or horrible scarcity.  No matter if you are a brain surgeon, a CEO, a nail technician, a hairdresser, a server, or a student…..YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD…I beg you please do not pass that opportunity simply because you were too afraid to put yourself out there.  GO BIG….show the world exactly who you are!

Please pass this along..  I would be humbled and honored if you would share this with someone in your life!

11 rules to respect for yourself and your industry…no matter what it is

I came to a realization recently that in my quest to raise the respect level of the beauty industry that this is something that can be used across the board…no matter your industry.  If you are in an industry that you feel does not get the respect is deserves it is up to you to take responsibility for it.  If you find yourself saying “I hold myself to a high standard it’s everyone else that is the problem” you have to take responsibility for that too!  If you are an industry leader it is your responsibility to lead those down the path of mastering that same leadership.  The only way we can do this is to do it together.  Here is the thing though… it’s ALL ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE!

1. Assume the best out of everyone.  If others in your industry are not holding themselves to a higher standard therefore not earning respect assume that is because they don’t know how or know that it is even an option. Not that they just don’t want to or don’t care enough.  So many people never had that person in their life telling them how smart and powerful they are.  BE THAT PERSON!!!

2. Be thankful for as much or as little as you have.  No matter what you have its is something you have to be thankful for.  My boyfriend shared with me that after working an 18 hour day only to get up 5 hours later to do it all over again he saw a man pushing a cart full of metal that he had collected from the streets.   What an eye-opener.  The thing is if I had the opportunity to speak to that man pushing the cart he too would have something to be thankful for.  When you count your blessings it gives you a feeling of power and strength that can be used to pass onto others.

3. Make eye contact with EVERYONE!  The cashiers, your server, your barista, any human being that you have contact with…look them in the eyes!

4. Smile!  Smile at everyone!!!  A smile has an energy that is contagious.

5. Shake hands….everyone that you greet…shake their hand.  Learn how to give a proper handshake…no limp wrist or dead fish handshakes…those are disgusting and will only cost you respect not earn it.

6. Stand up straight…head up, shoulders back, chest out!  I can see your confidence level in your posture…if your not feeling confident fake it with perfect posture and eventually you become confident!

7. Use powerful words…words that perk people’s ears.  Delivery those words in a way that create intrigue.

8. Take care of your hygiene!  Respect is lost when you are the stinky kid…deodorant, breath mints…if you’re a smoker find a way to get rid of that smell….use perfume/cologne but use it sparingly!

9. ONLY wear clothes that you KNOW you look fucking awesome in!!  If you put something on and you look in the mirror and think “meh”….donate it!  GET IT OUT OF YOUR CLOSET IMMEDIATELY!  Only wear pieces you feel killer in!!!

10. BE EARLY!  I’d rather be 3 hours early than 1 minute late!!!

11. Choose to have a killer attitude…at the end of the day EVERYTHING is a choice!

If you follow these rules of thumb, teach them to the people in your industry, hold yourself and them accountable….you become a force to be reckoned with and so will your industry!

 

 

 

What happens when you define your mission

My favorite artist/singer/poet/activist/ultra-feminist, Ani Difranco, has a song titled “Out of Habit” that contains the lyrics “Art is why I get up in the morning  But my definition ends there And it doesn’t seem fair That I’m living for something I can’t even define”.  Even though I’ve been singing that song at the top of my longs for nearly 20 years now….those words have really began to resonate with me.  Until recently I knew what I wanted my life to look like but I couldn’t define it.  It wasn’t until meeting a few truly inspiring people who I am finally able to define my purpose in life.  “To change the way hairdressers and the beauty industry is viewed.”  By demanding the respect the industry so greatly deserves.  Empowering them to hold themselves to a standard so high they cannot be ignored.  To let them know that no matter who is sitting at the table there is a seat for them…ceo’s, cfo’s, state officials, doctors, lawyers, professors….pull up a chair people!”  What I have found is so many people go through life not knowing how damn smart and powerful they really are.  So many people don’t have that person in their life telling them they can do anything,  supporting them and to help push them to the top.  If that person does not exist in their life..I will be that person.

I share this with EVERYONE because this applies to human beings in general.  This is a concept that can be utilized with anyone…whether you want to change the way you as a person are viewed or the industry you have dedicated yourself to.  This certainly does not just apply to hairdressers.

I will be preaching the good word about how strategically branding yourself will earn you the respect you so greatly deserve. I was lucky enough to be taught the importance of this by Bennie Pollard and Paula Hensen of Cool Beauty Consulting.  It is now my responsibility to share this with the future hairdressers of the world.

Smiling, making eye contact, shaking hands, having a killer wardrobe, great personal hygiene, using great dialogue and delivery, great posture, being punctual, and having an exceptional attitude.  Sharing the importance of these 9 things to the future hairdressers of the world.  But this goes FAR BEYOND hairdressing.  This is just human beings holding themselves to a higher standard in general.  This is something we should be teaching our children and something that we as adults should be doing every day!

At Lola we call this “The Art of Mastering Badassery”.  Now that I can define my mission….now that I have an actual strategy of spreading this mission…I AM UNSTOPPABLE!!!!   As long as my heart is beating I know that my assignment is not complete!!!  I invite you to join me in being a badass and teaching those around us how to be badasses….ANYONE can Master the Art of Badassery!!!  Let’s do this shit!!!!!

What happens when finally you know what you didn’t know?

It’s crazy how often it happens that I will be listening to an audiobook or reading a blog and I just have an A-HA moment…sometimes it has nothing to do with what I am even reading or listening to.  My theory is that I am in a state of open-mindedness when I am reading/listening so my brain uses it as an opportunity to explore other ideas.

Well here was my A-HA moment that I had this morning.  I made the discovery today that I’ve always known what I have wanted but I did not know how to articulate it so it’s impossible to put it out in the universe.  I feel that it takes hearing someone else articulate it that you have that moment of “THAT’S IT!!!  That’s what I want”. I met the person that articulated exactly what it is that I want.  Not only did she articulate it she did it in the most passionate, energetic, motivational, inspirational way that it literally took everything I had not to jump up on the table and start praising’ Jesus and howling’ hallelujah!

Before I share my A-HA moment let me share a story that I believe to be a tragic.  We have a beautiful young woman on our team.  She started out as concierge but was so inspired by Lola that she decided she wanted to be a hairdresser.  I saw her change…she became more passionate than ever.  Then I noticed another change.  She just wasn’t herself.  I talked to her about what was going on.  Her parents were not supporting her choice to choose hairdressing as her occupation.  They told her there was no money it.  They told her if she continued to pursue that path they would cut her off completely.  They wouldn’t help her in any way….room and board, food, cell phones, student loans…totally cut off.  I was appalled.  I couldn’t believe that an industry that I have pledged my allegiance to was being viewed this way.  A career that bought me homes, cars, supported a family of 5, paid for family vacations, not to mention all the people my industry has helped by giving them the added confidence that comes from looking their best.  Because she so greatly depends on her parents support while going school she had no choice but to leave the industry and pursue a field she is not passionate about.  I can’t think of anything more tragic honestly.

I had spent a weekend at a convention…I hate using that word… it sounds so vanilla…we are going to call it a gathering of greatness.  I was able to see a woman speak who literally was able to give me the words to articulate what my goal is.  My goal is to change the way that hairdressing is viewed by empowering future professionals to demand the respect my industry so greatly deserves.  Demand respect by being their best possible selves…by branding themselves in such a way that they become all-powerful leaders themselves.  I have come to realize that this is not already happening because no one is telling them they can!!  That they are smart, courageous, powerful human beings that have the ability to change the world….they don’t know what they don’t know….but I do…so now, so will they too!

We all know the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that is about as true as true gets.  You don’t know what you don’t know…but someone knows!!!  If they don’t know yet they are on the path of knowing.  It’s a matter of seeking those people out.  Sometimes you don’t even know who or what you are looking for…all you have to do though is google a word that you are interested in…health, fitness, leadership, parenting skills, healthy relationships, beauty, whatever it is…you will come across an endless list of options to begin that journey.   Take a moment today to just google a word you are interested in…the universe works in mysterious ways.  I guarantee if you being to seek it out they answer will come to you.  I have personally seen it happen time after time.  Please share your discoveries with me!!

Being your very best self starts with how you dress

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when we begin the journey into living an intentional life. A life that portrays us as being our very best self. One of the very first things that I recommend doing to start the process is going through your closet.
I remember when I first began living my intentional life I got rid of all the clothes that I did not feel amazing in. Which was A LOT!!! We all have our favorite items of clothing that we KNOW we look good in. Well shouldn’t that be every piece of clothing? Often times the way we feel about ourselves on any given day begins with what we see in the mirror. If you begin your day feeling confident with the way you look your attitude on the day’s challenges tend to be much easier to handle.
I’m sure many of you are thinking that it would cost a fortune to get an entire new wardrobe but really you don’t need tons of clothes. All you need are pieces of clothing that can be paired easily with other things. When you shop you have to shop INTENTIONALLY. Is it something that fits you in ALL of the right places? Does it complement your figure? Do you LOVE the way you look and feel in it? Is it something you can wear with several different items? If you answered no to ANY of these questions than put it back….that piece is not for you.
After cleaning out all of the clothes that really were just “meh” I went from a huge bedroom size walk in closet full of clothes to a small 4 foot wardrobe rack and 1 drawer half full of clothes. I had made the decision that black was my favorite color for clothing. I love the way I look in it. I have found I like myself best in solid black…no prints. I also made an intentional decision on exactly what cut of clothing fits me the best. When you are very strategic about what it is you are looking for it weeds out a ton of items so I don’t even bother looking at anything unless it fits within the guidelines I mentioned. To make these limited items of clothing look different every time I wear different pieces of inexpensive jewelry and different shoes. Also by slightly changing the way you style your hair can make an outfit look different as well.
As a hairstylist I know how the confidence of looking and feeling your best can effect EVERYTHING!! When you KNOW you look GOOD and I mean really GOOD you behave differently. You treat your children with more patience. You are more affectionate with your spouse. You are kinder to strangers. You are also more willing to take chances…like asking for a raise or joining a social club. Looking good equals feeling good.
One other great little aspect of this exercise is getting rid of a bunch of clutter in your closet which will be one step closer to de-cluttering the mind