Genuine wealth is inseparable from genuine health. This year’s 14-Day Business and Money Challenge has brought this back to mind. In light of our unprecedented times, I think we ought to revisit the meaning of genuine health even more.
A while back I wrote the article, Remarkable Wealth Has Everything To Do With Genuine Health. You can read about it here.
We are all prone to working too hard and getting back into the hamster wheel of the American dream so much so that we can lose sight of the more essential things. Sure, we can work all our lives to make up for lost income during COVID-19 but will it truly make us genuinely wealthy? Or happy?
On the other hand, we can become depressed and anxious about the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought upon all of us. The question now is this, are we taking care of ourselves properly? So much is at stake at the expense of our striving for wealth. Most of the time we risk losing our health in exchange for the elusive genuine wealth.
In my own journey towards building my business and juggling family, self-education, and self-care, I came across the powerful use of positive affirmations.
The Millionaire Course by Marc Allen has changed my life, as I have shared in my previous article. Every day for one of the toughest, emotional years of my life, I wrote down my affirmations in a notebook. These notes to myself served as an incremental movement towards health and wellness. My self-examination left no stone unturned; I reviewed every area of my life, came up with the statements that felt true for me, and reflected what I needed and wanted.
The following is one of the daily affirmations I use from Marc Allen’s book,
“In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, all the money I want and need is now coming to me, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.”
Are you suffering from low self-esteem or self-doubt right now? Are you feeling down or hopeless about the future? Use the power of positive affirmations to get you out of the muck. Affirmations simply work. Once you begin using them, you find they become part of you. You simply find yourself saying these statements as if they have already happened. You are talking to your future self.
But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what the science behind affirmations says,
“…affirmations have been used to successfully treat people with low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health conditions. And they have been shown to stimulate the areas in our brains that make us more likely to effect positive changes in regard to our health.” (Mindtools.com, 2020)
“ Affirmations have helped thousands of people make important changes in their lives. They work because they have the ability to program your mind into accessing and believing the repeated statements and concepts.” (Clinical Hypnotherapy)
There is a host of information on the internet about affirmations and why they are life-changing. Take advantage of this powerful tool and be proactive in taking control of your overall wellness.
As you prepare for incorporating positive affirmations in your self-care routine, find ways to create a special space and devote time to practice this regularly. Ideally, these should be repeated a few times during the day every day.
If you have no idea where to start, here 6 examples of Affirmations for Women fromthat you can use and tweak as you go along:
I choose to be happy;
My life is taking place right here, right now;
I’m gifted with and surrounded by amazing friends and family;
I opt to rise above negative feelings and ditch negative thoughts;
I am resilient, strong, and brave, and I can’t be destroyed;
And here’s one from me;
My business is overflowing with happy, and loyal clients.
Use this list or create your own. Remember, your words have power. Use it to shape and guide your thinking towards genuine health and wealth will follow. Let me know how it goes for you.
We’ve talked about coaching as being a relationship like no other, right? So, we thought here we want to share WHY coaching is the best idea moving forward in 2021.
The beauty industry was broadsided in 2020, and depending on where you live, your ability to actually work in your salon may still be inhibited. While it is true the beauty industry was sent reeling, there is no industry that will actually thrive and soar in 2021 and beyond.
My projection is that people will return to salons and their hairstylists in droves, and they will want to be pampered like no other time before. For the businesses that have been able to stay in business, you have everything to gain by doing your homework now.
You need to come up with a plan to succeed this year to accommodate the changes in the customer psyche, and changes in the marketplace, and overall business strategies.
Hiring a coach to support you as you do so is the best investment. These are the top 5 reasons we believe so:
Reason #1 Accountability
A coach provides the accountability that you need to get things done. Often when we set goals or say we want something to happen, it can be easy to let our dreams slowly slip away because it is too hard to attain, or things don’t happen fast enough, or things switch on a dime.
Our attention span can go off in a million directions. But we don’t just set goals as busy work. These dreams come from a deep place within, a clear place of knowing, and these goals are worthy of manifesting in a very concrete way. They don’t come from shoulds, could or would haves.
All too often we can fall into the masculine way of doing business, instead of working from the inside out. For example, working harder, longer, without lunch. Or, keeping ourselves so busy, we end up not taking care of ourselves. We end up going against what we know is right ourselves.
In contrast, honoring the feminine way of working requires listening from within, intuition, communicating, and making space for the wisdom, and respecting the wisdom of others
Reason #2 Witnessing
My role as a coach is not cut from the masculine model. My work comes from an understanding that my ability to listen is the most valuable gift.You have everything inside you to change your behavior, I am here to listen, witness, and guide you.
Through listening, your truth speaks loud, all the superficial meanderings float away, and your deep knowing has a way of surfacing.
You see, most of us don’t allow enough silence to actually see and hear our inner calling. We are too busy flailing that we can’t hear the wisdom that is there for us.
Reason #3 Expertise
A coaching relationship with someone that has expertise in the beauty industry is a real plus.
The hours one has applied in the field is worth gold. This is where the rubber meets the road, how your coach has come back from their falls.
What kind of person are they? What are they made of? How have they transformed their own lives to make space for others to transform? It doesn’t mean they drudge through their story with you, but that they can support you through yours without their own baggage getting in the way.
Reason #4 Truth
No matter how much the industry has evolved, there are universal truths that cannot be denied. These truths allow the relationship to be clean, honest, and allows you to open to your innermost reality. This is where true transformation occurs.
A wise coach does not fear the truth and allows room for you to come to your own. They don’t rush to fill the space with nonsense.
Reason #5 Results
Of course, the bottom line is, we want results. We want our lives to move in a positive direction. I want that for you.
I want you to feel supported in facing what is the real energy drain in your life, whatever area that may be. Often when one area is out of whack, it can bring down your energy in other areas.
Coaching has been proven to increase a person’s self-confidence by 80%, improve work performance, relationships and communication skills by 70%.* The numbers speak for itself. A coaching relationship can help you maximize your potential.
Are You Ready?
Let’s discover your truth together, and help you achieve the dreams you don’t even know you have. Feel free to reach out to me via email at [email protected] or book a free consultation call with me here.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”Winston Churchill
Giving is a language we all understand. You give something, and you see people smile and feel better. The concept is simple by nature, yet complicated by us.
We spend most of the year trying to get, to make money, so that we can live happy lives. This time of year can be full of expectations, and giving can seem forced; you may feel pressured to buy things that you later regret. Maybe you are spending more than you budgeted. The feel-good part of giving can get lost in the holiday’s mania and leave us feeling angry and not very generous.
Consider this– when you give, you can experience joy, ease anxiety, and help yourself sleep better. Giving, when done freely, brings lasting happiness to your own life. It is a way of life that underscores just how powerful a role generosity can play by helping us feel connected to our families, friends, and community at large.
Giving back to the community
When I opened my studio six years ago, I understood the next frontier was supporting my community by giving haircuts to people who lacked access to regular grooming services.
On my drive to my studio each morning, I witnessed the growing number of the homeless lining the streets. I struggled throughout my career to find meaning in my work. I asked myself, “What could I give?” A haircut seemed the obvious choice. I called community organizations to see if they could use my services. They answered with a resounding, “YES!”. Over three years, we offered 1500 haircuts to the Bay Area’s unhoused and low-income people.
Although my nonprofit is closing this year because of the pandemic, when I reflect on the experience of gathering 200 volunteers, hairstylists, barbers, manicurists, and makeup artists, I am left with awe.
As a diverse coalition of beauty professionals, we experienced joy together for the greater good will be remembered. Soon into the work, it became apparent that we realized the giving was coming from the people we served in the giving. They opened to us and allowed us to care for them.
The experience has left an indelible mark on me. Even though the nonprofit is coming to an end, I believe I will always give. I will always find a way to serve because I know this creates more profound meaning in my life, and the language of giving is spoken of or heard; it is a silent language.
Giving your time and resources
Now, I’m not saying that having your nonprofit is the only way to experience the joy of giving. But what I am saying is that each of us must find our way of giving, which satisfies, adds meaning to our lives and those we serve.
Sharing your time and resources creates a pathway of exchange in your communities and is vital to the services they offer. Giving is the language that all people can feel whether you are the giver or receiver.
We don’t have to spend to give either. The gift can be free. Consider giving your time at a local shelter, or perhaps design work is your specialty or social media. All organizations need help, particularly now. The gesture doesn’t need to be grand to be significant.
Many organizations will be ending their work in the community because of the pandemic. So, even though you may feel tapped of resources, giving your time is gold, and you will be paid back far beyond what money can buy.
Giving as receiving
When we work towards the greater good, our tank gets filled in the process. Giving is the key to happiness. Give often and freely. You will see the reduction of depression, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. You will see the interconnectedness between us all. What a great gift that is.
Coaching is a relationship like no other. The connection is not one like your family that may keep you in the role of daughter or sister. Not your friend, who most likely doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, not your salon owner, who sometimes has their agenda, nor your therapist, if you have one.
A great coach builds on your strengths and sees your weaknesses as areas of opportunity for growth. The relationship is about supporting you in your development and achieving and being the greatness you desire.
When I coach people, we start with a coaching conversation to see where you are in each of our program’s three pillars. We look at your personal life, career, and relationships. I listen for where you struggle, where you short circuit the joy or get in your way of living the kind of life you say you want. We start right where you are and build from there.
A Coaching Plan Walkthrough
Before our first meeting, you will receive homework via email to go over it together in our first session. We cover a lot of ground since our two-month session goes pretty quickly. Your full engagement is essential. We then virtually embark on our work, meeting for an hour, every two weeks, for two months.
The One Page Plan
The engagement of coaching includes your spending time with YOU and writing. What are your goals? Break them down from small picture to big picture.
In this step, many hairstylists can’t articulate where they see themselves in their careers. They don’t look ahead, and most do not plan. Some stylists fear they will fail if they set their bar too high; some just don’t care or simply don’t know that coaching is available. Then people live from day to day until they get broadsided by a life occurrence.
We look at the resources you have to accomplish what you desire and plan accordingly. No stone goes left unturned.
Resources come in many forms; a couple that we look at are your human resources and economic. What relationships do you foster in your personal life and your business? Whether you work for yourself, rent a chair, or are an employee at a salon. You probably have more resources than you think.
Your economic resources are probably more than what you think as well. First, we must look at where you are. I don’t know about you, but most of us learned not to discuss money, even when we fail. Yet, If I am to coach you, we need full transparency.
Facing our money head-on is the only way to go. We will create a cash flow chart for a year, including your income and all your expenses. This picture, if you will, will give you the ability to revise as you move forward. Knowing these numbers allows you to see just how much growth will happen; only by shedding light on the subject, you become aware of corrections that need to be made and naturally occur.
We then look at timelines you have or intend to have. You can arrive at these holistically, without badgering yourself, or by arbitrary deadlines. These timelines you create are rooted in your set goals and serve as a framework so that you can perform what is needed to manifest them.
Next, I hold you accountable for what you say you want. NO HOLDS BARRED… No movement happens if you can’t let yourself be supported. Ask yourself, “Am I coachable?” The Up Your Salon Game program is not for those who have their arms folded or need to be right about their life story.
Coaching is for those high-performance hairstylists out there who desire change and are willing to roll up their sleeves to get into the nitty-gritty of their life; honestly look at what is not working to shift.
I hope this is you. 2021 will be a year for rebuilding, remaking, rethinking for the beauty industry at large; let coaching be the first action you take to ensure it is successful for you in all the ways you need it to be and want it to be. Let’s create your future together.
With my dedication to provide the best and most up to date resources and information to my audience, this week I had the privilege to interview two of the best fitness trainers in the East Bay. I like their approach and the methods they use for training. I also appreciate the quality of their education and experience in the field.
I interviewed Lisa Vonnegut, owner, and massage therapist along with Mark Lynn, co-owner, and both are personal trainers at Bay Functional Fitness (BFF). I also love their acronym, which they said they hadn’t realized the reference till after opening their business.
Mark describes his approach to fitness and his practice as taking a holistic approach based on the individual’s specific goals. He says, “The key is to assess real and perceived strengths and weaknesses and then develop their program accordingly.
If performance, as in the case with athletes, is the goal, the protocols used will be unique to the skills or specific fitness they’re trying to develop. If someone has a desk job and spends a great deal of time sitting and their goals are based on general fitness, injury prevention, and/or weight loss those factors are addressed.
In addition to activity level we also ask questions about sleep, energy, mood and of course nutrition habits. Wellness incorporates the whole person and is unique to each individual. There is no one-size-fits-all formula.
There are common themes that are often predictable in terms of movement, strength, flexibility, etc, but what’s always important is to be aware of the client’s unique needs, and be there to meet the client where they are.”
I love how approachable and “friendly” BFF is and how relevant their brand comes across to many.
When asked why they opened BFF and what did they want to offer that is different, they say:
“BFF is currently an all online business. We offer corporate wellness programs for companies as well as individual training.
What makes us unique is our vast network of highly skilled instructors, trainers, and practitioners. Our team is all top notch and science based, but we’re also real people who can empathize and relate to the struggles of our clients.
We’ve been around long enough that we’ve been able to curate an extremely knowledgeable as well as friendly staff.”
Here is the rest of the interview with the BFF trainers.
Question: What are you paying attention to and listening for when you begin working with clients?
Answer: Physically I am paying attention to flexibility issues. I’m less concerned with absolute flexibility as opposed to relative flexibility. I want to know how opposing muscle groups are working with or against each other to promote or limit movement. That goes for everyone.
I’m equally paying attention to strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed in accordance with their goals. There is more to training than just the physical aspect, however. Everyone has their own physical discomfort threshold that needs to be paid attention to. It’s important to work hard, but not at the expense of the overall enjoyment of exercise. If someone hates working out, they’re very unlikely to stick to a program.
All of the components of a fitness program should be tailored to the individual. One of the most important skills good
trainers have is being able to LISTEN and read their clients.
Question: Why should our viewers consider working with a fitness trainer, if they don’t already or have never?
Answer: There are so many great reasons to work with a trainer. Like all specialized trades, good trainers are experts in their fields. One can waste a lot of time with their workout regimen if they don’t know how to approach fitness. Goals will be achieved much faster with a trainer.
Accountability is another feature to having a trainer. If it’s on your schedule, you’re way more likely to get it done.
If someone is experiencing pain or injury from their job or otherwise, a good trainer can help relieve pain through better posture, strength, and flexibility as well as weight loss if that’s an issue.
Question: Can you speak to in general first what you see as the issues could be for hairstylists and their physical health?
Answer: I actually have a number of friends who are stylists, and I’ve spoken to many of them over the years about physical health issues related to hair styling.
The most common issues I’ve heard about are associated with long hours on the feet, constantly raised elbows, and hand/wrist repetitive stress. There is also the mental strain of being “on” all day long, often with people sharing emotional issues. A hair stylist is part artist/part therapist/part mediator. It’s got to be exhausting.
Question: What are three exercises could they do to support their body while at the salon, in between clients? At home?
Answer: In between clients I would say full body stretching and foam rolling if there’s space for it.
At home, a fully integrated strength and flexibility program with an emphasis on posture would be most beneficial. It’s hard to narrow it down to three exercises without knowing specifically what is needed for the individual.
Question: What if working out is the last thing a stylist wants to do, and has a hard time getting motivated to do so? What do you suggest, and how would you work with someone like this?
Answer: KEEP/MAKE IT FUN! The beauty of working with a trainer is that you don’t have to “want” to workout.
I tell my clients that they just need to show up–after that, it’s up to me. The rapport we build, the way we modify and tailor each session to whom the person is and where they are in the moment…that’s the artistry in what we do. It’s very similar to what hair stylists do! At the end of the session they will walk away feeling better, and that’s what keeps them coming back.
Question: How have you worked with someone if they live with chronic pain, as I think some hairstylists do?
Answer: Lisa is very good at this component of training. Here’s her take: Pain is not a natural state of being. It’s an action signal from your brain telling you that something is wrong.
The first thing is to find anything I can do to reduce the pain level and increase the motion in the painful area. Having hope that the pain level can abate is really important to motivate clients to want to take action.
I also do a lot of education about pain itself. Pain is multifactorial, it’s not only about tissue damage. It’s also about movement, mood, stress, diet, sleep, life satisfaction and many other factors. Understanding the complexity of it and de-mystifying it helps you feel a little more in control of it. And that is a huge step in pain management.
Question: You have a massage therapy aspect to your business. How does that play a role in physical health and well-being in your mind?
Answer: Again, this is very much Lisa’s wheelhouse. I think the bottom line is that massage feels good. It also can help reduce inflammation, increase circulation, breakdown adhesions and scar tissue to improve movement (which also reduces pain).
Want a little neuroscience? The sensory cortex in the parietal lobe of the brain helps fuel the motor cortex in the frontal lobe of the brain. In other words, you need to have good sensory information to have good movement. And good movement means less pain.
Massage is the ultimate sensory experience. So it can decrease pain and increase health and well-being in many ways.
Question: What effects have you noticed with your clients(in general, but is there a theme) through Covid?
Answer: People are scared, bored, and full of anxiety. People are also grieving. Not only for the loss of a loved one, though that’s certainly affected over 200,000 families. People are grieving for lost businesses, lost hobbies and passions, lost intimacy, a lost way of life.
The uncertainty of the next few months; physically, emotionally and financially can be crippling.
Question: What can you say about the effects of stress on the body, and ways that my guests might be able to counter through fitness and massage?
Answer: The effects of stress are many-fold. The body produces a hormone called cortisol when experiencing stress. Cortisol has its purpose, but in excess it causes a host of issues from an overtaxed adrenal system to weight gain.
Exercise naturally reduces stress and promotes hormonal balance. Runner’s high is a real thing. Prolonged stress promotes higher blood pressure which exercise helps reduce. Exercise and massage are, for many, the best ways to promote good mental health.
Question: How much does diet play in your program?
Answer: How much diet plays depends on the individual. Humans can be extremely resistant to changing the way that they eat. That said, every person embarking on a fitness regimen, regardless of goals, will do well to address nutrition.
For weight loss, many studies show that nutrition is 80% of the equation. But it goes beyond body weight. Food can affect mood, sleep, coping, energy, skin, sex drive–essentially everything that makes a person human.
Question: What sort of mindset does someone need to begin a fitness program?
Answer: The most important mindset is having the simple desire to take a step. Taking a ‘start where you are’ approach is key.
We also recommend that people set realistic goals based on changing habits. If the goals are set too high, it’s very likely that they will not be sustainable.
Question: What do you suggest if someone is at a plateau in their workout? Or, a slump?
Answer: Change it up! Try a new modality. Get a trainer! Find a workout partner (masked and distanced, of course). Always change your exercise program. Don’t do the exact same thing you’ve done for years.
The brain thrives on novelty. You can’t do the same thing and expect a different result.
Question: How often do you work with clients?
Answer: I’ve worked with folks from once a month to 4 or 5 days a week. It all depends on goals and the need for accountability.
Question: How long before someone can actually begin seeing results?
Answer: Most people will notice differences fairly quickly in mood, sleep, energy and even strength and stamina. You want to allow time for your body to react and demonstrate aesthetic changes.
We usually tell people to assess progress after 8 weeks. If you’re consistent and following your nutrition plan, most people should see tangible changes in that amount of time, often quicker. Improved mental health often happens immediately.
Question: How are you working during Covid?
Within three weeks of sheltering in place, the owners and staff created a virtual practice! If you ever wanted to train, these trainers know what they are doing, and I have a feeling you would have a great time getting physically fit with this group.
Log on to their website to make an appointment or email them for any questions.
Here’s to a healthy 2021!
PS. We all know the strain and physicality of our role as a hairstylist. The repetitive nature of our work can be hard on our bodies. It is all too easy to put off creating a plan for working out. Now is the time. Don’t wait any longer. Let 2021 be the year that you take care of yourself and get fit.
Let’s talk about gratitude. Not as something out of pop culture but a timeless, and profound virtue. The great philosophers wrote and spoke about gratitude. Cicero calls it the “greatest and parent of all virtues”.
How can we feel gratitude when we feel constricted, scared, angry, stressed, and or in physical pain? I’ll tell you right now. It takes a whole lot less energy to feel gratitude than it does to feel any one of the above mentioned.
Interest in the topic of gratitude dates all the way back to the ancient philosophers up to modern times. Why?
Our “monkey mind” needs to be reigned in sometimes. Our mind jumps from thought to thought like a monkey in a tree. The part of one’s mind that wants to go down the same old track and take over, needs to be put in place. Train it to subside!
This is where gratitude comes in. Gratitude can be cultivated in a daily practice, and for those of you who resist the discipline, remember that no great thing comes easily. The process takes all of five minutes.
Daily practice means getting up before your official day begins, and when distractions are at a minimum, and writing down what you are grateful for. They can be small, or large, long ago or current. Choose a lovely journal, or a simple pad, and a beautiful pen. Keep it in the same place, so you can come back to it. Develop the routine.Write down whatever comes to mind, and you will see your list gets to the real essence of your life, and the people that matter, the aspects of your life that matter.
A little back story. For a year, I wrote down every morning what I was grateful for. The discipline of doing so made me see how much beauty, synchronicity, love, appreciation, not to mention; the basic needs in my life were fulfilled.
I overlooked so much when I simply went about my day without taking a moment to reflect on the goodness of life.
Practicing gratitude does more good than what we know. Gratitude is the fuel to a happier, more contented life. In an article entitled, “The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How It Affects Anxiety & Grief”, psychiatric counsellor, Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury writes,
“When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.”
As you can see, the exercise of gratitude is not just some pop culture woo woo. It is backed by science and is worth pursuing.
It is never too late to let people know just what they mean to you. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. All of the withholds take up space in our hearts and minds
Here are 5 ways in which gratitude can play a role in your self-care and wellness:
Gratitude is by far the easiest route to feeling wellness in our lives. A lovely way to wake up with a cup of tea or coffee. Light a candle, sit quietly, and write.
Gratitude requires no effort. Try listing out as you close your eyes at night, or actually writing them down before you go to bed. I think you will find the page is filled without struggling.
Gratitude opens our hearts and gets us out of our heads. When we are in touch with our heart, we smile more, we offer help, we don’t expect, we don’t compare, we don’t judge.
Gratitude brings us to the present, rather than thinking about the past or worrying about the future. The feeling is immediate. Tame that monkey mind.
Gratitude reminds us of our humanity, of what connects us, versus what divides us. It teaches us to treat each other with more kindness. Allowing ourselves to feel gratitude may even lead us to how we can serve. Doing anything in service of the greater good is a humble act.
May you find great peace and gratitude this Thanksgiving. Create more beauty in the world.
Where in your life do you feel gratitude? Let me know on Facebook and Instagram.
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UP YOUR SALON GAME?
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