10 ways we as a nation are “numbing out”

After listening to the most recent “couragemakers” podcast (click here to experience it for yourself) I really started to think about how much I continue to numb myself. Although I work really hard on self discovery I still have a long way to go. Today’s episode was called “Challenging The Shit That Holds You Back” with Andrea Owen.

Andrea talked about how when she really started down her path of self discovery how her drinking had really accelerated. How when she really started to look deep within herself and address her pain the numbing became more prevalent. That really made me think about how we numb and all the different tools we use to numb. A lot of which you probably don’t think of numbing agents. Also how we really stunt our emotional growth when we numb ourselves.

Growth really happens in the most painful, uncomfortable, awkward times of our lives. If we numb ourselves in those moments to lessen the pain we are feeling we are really doing ourselves a HUGE disservice. If you can put down the drink, put down the doughnut, avoid the pills, or whatever it is that you are reaching for in that moment and just look that pain right in eye…feel the pain, and yes it’s going to hurt like a motherfucker….but those are growing pains and they are necessary.
First, let’s think about all the different agents we use to numb and how it is affecting us and those around us.

1.) Alcohol
This is a tough one for me because I really do enjoy cocktails…Prosecco is my current drink of choice…The thing is though how is it affecting not only you but those around you. Most people would say “what is the harm in just having a couple drinks”…I am one of those someone’s btw. One thing I start to realize with myself though is after even just one drink…I change. I lose momentum. My ambition towards greatness starts to decrease…I get this “meh, it can wait until tomorrow” sort of attitude. For others, they love the way the drink let’s their guard down but then they don’t know when to stop…before they know it they are slurring their speech and depicting themselves as someone their not which can make them look very unattractive to the people they love most.. Then there are the one’s who think they are “OK” to drive and end up injuring themselves and becoming the responsibility of a loved one. Or maybe get a DUI which again puts pressure on the loved one to drive them to work and everywhere else they have to go.  This can often cause resentment and inevitably lead to the end of that relationship. Or the absolute worst case is tragically taking the life of another human being…possibly ruining the lives of an entire family and more.

2.) Drugs
Drugs come in so many different forms now, Legal to illegal. Anything that is going to change the way you FEEL…masking physical and emotional pain, anxiety, sadness, fatigue…I am not talking about antibiotics here. Anything that if when the effects of the drugs wear off that you feel the emotional pain you were trying to mask with the drug in the first place…that is what I am talking about….Although I do not really think that marijuana is a harmful drug at all and I don’t think that legalizing it would be a bad thing it is still a mind altering drug and it numbs you from the pain you should be experiencing for growth. Which leads me to the other point…you cannot selectively numb….if you numb pain…you numb joy and happiness along with it. If you have someone in your life that loves you…they love all of you…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I recognize that many people suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety but I think many times those symptoms can be fought with a change in perspective, ownership of mistakes, and self-love.

3.) Sex
We as humans are here on earth for one reason and one reason only…Connection. So often we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to show the people around us who we really are so we feel the only way to feel actual human connection is through sex…I’m not talking about sex with someone you love and have a beautiful relationship with. I am talking about just having a warm body that you are trying to connect with. The problem with that is without that real connection that only comes with vulnerability of the heart you don’t connect anyway and you start to trust people less and less. You start to feel more alone than you did before this “connection” therefore even less likely to truly connect. There can be so much pain involved in this ….I think particularly with women as we tend to get more emotionally attached after sex then men do. When that emotional attachment happens but there is no foundation in which the relationship was formed there is a feeling of rejection when the deed is over with nothing to show for it.

4.) Shopping
Shopping actually boosts the same neurotransmitters, serotonin, as sex and drugs. When we buy things it makes us feel good which in many cases can be awesome. Anytime you make a purchase so many people prosper as a result of it. The company you purchased from, the creator of the actual item, the paper company that the receipt was printed on, the company that created the bag that you carried your time away in…the list goes on and on. The downfall is, much like alcohol, when is enough enough. We are the most in debt nation in the world for this reason. We max out credit cards, we blow our savings, we take out loans, you name it…we do it… all to just keep buying things that we don’t truly NEED. As a result our families suffer as we are now not able to provide the needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and eduction….or medical needs perhaps. I absolutely believe in buying things that make you feel good but there has to be a limit..it has to just be the things you NEED. Be intentional with your purchases. If you don’t absolutely love it then you don’t need it.

5.) Video Games
Whether they are on a gaming console, your phone, or your computer games can often times act as a distraction from the pain you are feeling. I think a game, when you are intentional about when you choose to play it is awesome. If you find yourself reaching for your phone, computer, or game controller because you begin to feel the tinge of pain when you sit in silence….you have to fight the urge and just feel the pain.

6.) Social Media
This is a major one. Social media has a wonderful place in this world. I will forever be grateful for Facebook because that was the medium in which my boyfriend Heath and I were reunited. The question is how are you using it? Aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and other sites is a sign that you are avoiding something. Worse yet, we like to share the things on social media that make us look really really good….what we WANT people to see. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a couple snap a pic of each other in this really lovey dovey pose with big smiles and pure happiness only to go back to not talking or looking at each other after the photo was taken. We are creating a mirage of what we want people to think in hopes that will make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. All that does is drive us further and further away from connection. Use social media for inspiration, motivation, entertainment…but make sure you are not using it to numb or mask. Unless you are intentionally searching for something or you are posting something that you are really proud of that you think your friends, family, and the rest of the world needs to see tread lightly because you are likely just avoiding facing the pain you are inevitably feeling

7.) Food <——my numbing agent of choice
This is one I can really relate to the most. I have struggled with my weight and my body for as long as I can remember. I love food, I love the way it makes me feel. I love the feeling of being full…not stuffed but full. I wish salads would give me the same satisfaction as pizza did! We need food for survival which is what makes it extra difficult. You can’t just say “ok, that’s it, I’m quitting food”. Food is a must. Unfortunately there is something in a big ol’ plate of nachos that really gives me comfort than I cannot find in a bowl of quinoa and kale. This is something I have really been working on. Identifying when I am truly hungry versus when I am just trying to numb some pain. When I am traveling the road of healthy eating though it is amazing the difference you feel. The energy and genuine happiness you feel. Because I am not filling a void or feeling of emptiness with a sleeve of Oreo’s I am forced to face my demons and identify with where they are stem from….and fight them.

8.) Television
This is very much in the same realm as social media and video games. If you find yourself scrolling through the guide on tv…you are avoiding something. If you reach for the remote, find exactly what you want to watch, and pay attention and enjoy that is different. I think, again, like social media and video games, television has a wonderful place in this world….but you have to be aware of are you just distracting yourself, just passing time??? Or are you engaged with what you are watching?

9.) Over-exercising
I have a feeling there would be some people who would fight me on this but it’s true. Exercise is something, much like food, that we all need. This is also something that so many people avoid…myself included. However, there is a whole lot of truth in “too much of a good thing is bad”. Working out also stimulates that beautiful neurotransmitter, Serotonin. It makes us feel good which is awesome but there are people that are spending 5-6 hours of everyday working out. Our bodies need rest and our brains need to be stimulated. I get it though…nothing makes you feel like you can conquer the world more than working out. But it has to come in healthy doses. Work out, build muscle, burn fat, escalate your heart rate….but be cognizant of when you are just trying to numb out…trying to avoid the emotional pain.

10.) Plastic Surgery
We see this all the time in Hollywood. The most beautiful people in the world go under the knife in hopes of changing the way they feel inside. I can understand how this happens. As I’ve gotten older it becomes harder and harder to identify with the person I see in the mirror…who is that person? Inside I feel like a young 22-year-old woman but I look in the mirror and see the reality, It can be tough to swallow. I am not against plastic surgery….I think if a little enhancement is going to make you feel beautiful go for it. A nose job, breast enhancements, Botox, facelift. Go for it….BUT, if you find that you get one of those done and you end up wanting to go back for more there is a deeper issue there. You have pain that needs to be felt and fought and until you do that there is not enough plastic surgery in the world that will make you feel beautiful. You have to feel it on the inside before you yourself can see it on the outside.

What this all comes down to is being intentional. Give yourself a few moments every single day to feel your emotions. When you are in the car alone, turn off the radio, put your phone on airplane mode, and just be. For most people this is going to hurt….to actually feel your emotions…it can be excruciating but once you do it…it is the most peaceful beautiful feeling in the world. Trust me on this, I can always feel when I haven’t gave myself a little silence. When I do though, I recognize my value, my worth, my beauty, and my power. You will too!

 

10 lessons I’ve learned from my nail tech. 1 for each finger

I spent another amazing 2 hours with the incredible Lisa Clark today at Lacquered Up Nail Studio (click here to visit their facebook page).  I want to say that something amazing happens when you are intentional about who you choose to work with, get services with, shop with, and surround yourself with.  When choosing my new nail design artist I knew that I wanted to support someone local.  I first heard of Lisa through my sister, who shares my same philosophies about making intentional choices on who you work with.  It took me a while to finally carve time into my schedule to get my nails done regularly.  I had no idea how much my life was going to change as a result of that.  Lisa Clark, nail design artist…AKA…mind blower upper, is the kind of person you must meet and I have 10 reason why….1 for each finger.  Lisa, for the sake of this blog, is going to be the name we use to represent the person in your circle that you can learn from and grow with.

  1. Lisa creates a safe haven for man, woman, and child

The love that Lisa shows to everyone is truly incredible but the most beautiful part is the safe place she creates for the people who struggle with vulnerability the most…..Men and teens.  Unfortunately society has made men feel that sharing their feelings is a sign of weakness.  Brene Brown talks about a man that she met who had told her that the women is his life would rather see him die on his white horse than see him fall and fail.  You show me woman who gives her man a safe place to share his feelings without judgement and I’ll show you a woman who will be taken care of in ways you didn’t know possible.  Same goes for the teens in the world.  Being a teen is the hardest thing in the world.  They are trying so hard to just fit in and be “normal”.  They are trying desperately to fit into the mold that their peers have labeled as acceptable.  Their brains are not fully developed however they appear to be fully functional fully developed human beings.  It’s  a mirage really, an illusion.  Inside they are confused, scared, and un-equipped for the expectations that are bestowed upon them.

2. Lisa loves with her whole being

The love that Lisa shares with the people in her life is insurmountable.  She accepts the best parts of you and the worst parts of you equally.  She recognizes the good, bad, or ugly that is who you are and she loves you for it.  That is a lesson we could all stand to learn.  No one is perfect.  We all make choices from time to time that do not shine a great light on us however it does form and shape us into the person we become.  Lisa will accept every aspect of you but will tell you when you are not being your best self.  Not only will she tell you…she will guide you through the darkness into the light that most flatters you!

3.  Lisa researches her emotions

When Lisa is experiencing a dark emotion she truly dissects it until she figures out where it originates.  When she is angry she truly thinks about where that anger comes from and deals with the source.  She not only admits when she is wrong but she makes it right.  And then she takes the steps necessary to grow in a way that she doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

4.  Lisa recognizes what makes her happy

Lisa is present and recognizes when she is truly experiencing happiness.  No matter what it is.  She finds joy in the little things and is intentional about experiencing that joy.  She finds just as much joy in cooking burgers and drinking beer with her husband as she does getting all gussied up and having a killer night on the town.

5.  Lisa learns from every single person she meets

Every single person that Lisa crosses paths with serves a purpose in her life.  Sometimes the person serves as a someone she strives to be for her own personal growth.  Sometimes that person serves as a student who learns from her own life experiences.  Sometimes that person serves as a bad example…the person she knows she doesn’t want to be.

6.  Lisa asks excellent questions

Good questions get good answers….great questions get great answers…Lisa recognizes this.  Not only does she know that she is going to grow as a result of your answer but she also is genuinely interested in what you have to say.

7.  Lisa lets you know how wonderful you are

For some people telling others how wonderful they think the people around them can be uncomfortable….not for Lisa.  Her words feel like warm hugs wrapped around your whole body.  If you ever need to feel like you are important and that you make a difference in this world…hang out with Lisa

8.  Lisa respects your purpose

No matter what greatness you are trying to pursue Lisa will be your biggest cheerleader. The sole fact that you have a passion to pursue is enough reason for Lisa to encourage you to keep going.

9.  Lisa is not afraid to push you into greatness

Choosing to be your very best self every single day takes a great deal of energy.  It’s hard work but it is worth it.  When the pain and fatigue start to weigh on you Lisa is right there to support you through your time of need.  Most of the time it’s simply words of encouragement that are needed to push you through however Lisa is not afraid to break out the tough love if she sees that’s what you need.

10.  Lisa is Lisa

No matter where you are, who are with, or what you are doing you will always get the same Lisa.  Her true, genuine, beautiful, empathetic, loving, caring self.

 

You never know when you are going to meet your Lisa.  They come in all shapes, sizes, creeds, religions, backgrounds, and occupations.  The key to finding your Lisa is to engage with the people you come accross…your server, your clerk, your mailman, your hairdresser, and most certianly your nail design artist.

 

 

This is why people like each other less and less these days

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have heard people tell me that they just don’t like people….They go out of their way to avoid talking to others.  There is 1 specific reason for this.

People are not being real with one another

My boyfriend and I were having a conversation the other day after talking to a friend of ours that is knee-deep in the dating world.  It was so incredibly eye-opening for me because our friend was asking so many questions on how you are supposed to behave while dating…UGH!!!  It made me realize the reasons so many relationships that start strong take a turn for the worse.

When you are on a first date with someone you are at your absolute very best….often times you behave in a way that you think your date would view as your very best…not being authentic at all.  In other words you act in a way you think they will be attracted to instead of being yourself.   Well, here is the thing…when you present yourself in a specific way people will of course assume that is just who and how you are.  If this person is attracted to the “facade” you have created they are not truly interested in YOU…they are interested in the person you are acting like.  Eventually when you begin to feel more comfortable with this person you are going to start behaving as yourself.  Here is the thing though…the person you have been dating fell for that “other” person.  That is when things start to fall apart.

What if we were just our true, authentic, vulnerable, badass selves from day 1?  Let them see the real you.  I am not suggesting that you divulge your deepest darkest secrets. I am simply saying when it comes to getting to know each other…be honest…If they don’t like the real person you have shown them…move on but if they do you just surpassed a whole bunch of dating mind games.  What an amazing feeling.

If you at the end of the date you realize that you had a great time…no need to play hard to get.  If you want to call or text them the next day….do it.  Who made up these stupid ass 3 day rules anyway?

Let’s get back to a place in the world where we enjoy talking and getting to know others again.  But let’s do it as our true authentic selves.

This is what the path to greatness feel like

Over the course of the past 2 years I have truly come to realize that if you are not completely fucking terrified that you are at a standstill in personal growth.  That feeling of complete terror has actually become a place of comfort for you me.  It’s crazy how some things in life just become the new normal.

Embracing fear has become the mantra of my life.  I have actually gotten to a point of enjoying the feeling that fear gives.  My stomach starts to spin, I get very clammy, there is a feeling of shortness of breath, and my heart feels like it is pounding so hard you can see it through my skin.  When I start to feel those things I know that something amazing is going to happen.  It usually comes in the form of tragedy though…later revealing itself as a lesson.

How do you get to that place?  YOU CHOOSE IT! You CHOOSE TO change your perspective on terrifying moments.  When your gut tells you to run and hide from something you have to start hurling yourself into it instead….CHOOSING TO believe that is going to be great.

In my opinion there is nothing more terrifying than baring your soul….showing the world exactly who you are.  Taking off any mask that you have worn in hopes of acceptance.  That feeling of complete terror tells me that greatness is right around the corner.  The world doesn’t need a knock off of something else…which is exactly what a mask is. The world needs your true self…a fresh beautiful perspective that can only come from you.

What does greatness feel like to you?

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