A Door Opened

I know you must be feeling it too…the energy of life is making us pay attention.Whether we are riding the wave or as the twig just able to float on the river’s surface, or perhaps finding ourselves subsurface, our attention is peaked.

It has been only eight months since I moved into the first floor of the Stone Mill; shortly after I arrived I bought a shampoo bowl and hired Betty Ann to Feng Shui the best place for it to be, the result was amazing. A lot of effort went into the move, then to reposition into the Feng Shui design was like another move, still it was SO WORTH IT!

Loved the location and so did clients and friends. I was in the same building as Spa at Stone Mill where I provide Aroma Therapy Acupressure Facial Massages, and Herbal foot soaks. The Florentina Salon down the hall from the Spa was Terry’s, a most wonderfully talented stylist colorist and human being.

After many years Terry came to a place of marching fourth. His heart is so big, none of us wanted to believe that he would go, though we all wanted his happiness. He visited family and upon his return announced his plans to relocate – still we all held our breath thinking that it may have been a mood that would pass, but it wasn’t, he actually moved 3 weeks earlier than projected.

Terry touched people deeply- he gave much and reaped much. Our daily chats were about to come to an end, his smile and walking art works would soon be missed, there would be an empty salon…

Did I have the stamina to move AGAIN? Chris Connolly owner of the first floor and Ole Sal’s Cafe & Creamery worked so hard to install the Euopean shampoo sink! I just got everything perfect. Was the Feng Shui moving me upstairs? The negative self talk went on and on.

It was one of the hardest betwix places to be. My colleague Blase, a Caribbean native, and I had been visioning adding ethnic hair services in my shop launching it during Little Falls annual Garlic & Herb Festival and now the salon was becoming available.

Not wanting to let Terry go, but if he was really leaving, it felt like Providence opened a door that should at least be explored. Terry and I had the heart to heart conversation; Blase & I found ourselves quickly purchasing items Terry was not able to take, then the keys were in our hands. Was I happy? Yes! Was I sad? Yes! The embodiment of what appears to be contradicting emotions is a peak state of awareness.

All I could do was sit with “it”…sit with the reality that my friend was leaving, and in his going, a gift of a dream fulfilled. His presence is in his absence because now, even though it looks very different, I am daily in his space, surrounded by his beautiful plants, and his clients finding me when seeking him.

Left: Florentina Salon Right: Expressions

Deep GRATITUDE to husband Steven Wood who hauled, painted, sawed, hammered, made manifest the vision (Yes we had Betty Ann Feng Shui us again and again it is AMAZING!)

Garlic & Herb Festival Grand Opening of Expressions Eco Salon for All Ethnicities was a full house complete with a ribbon cutting with Mayor, Alderwoman, friends, family and new faces.

David Taylor (Stone Mil) Mayor Peters, Blase, Me, Robin Prinzhorn (CARE) Kim Kelley Alderwoman

As colleague Mary Gressler LMT said “You have to walk through the opened door or you will always wonder”.  Are we the Riding a Wave of self determination (manifesting our dreams) or are we floating twigs in a river whose current is too strong for us to do anything else (a door opened we walked through)? I would like to think the former although it feels much more like the latter; either way there is DEEP GRATITUDE for the wave or the river, for bitter sweet partings and beginnings, for Providence and for the profound expereince of how acutely interconnected everyone and everything is.

Come experience Expressions

Me-volution

Well Beauties it’s so amazing to see “it unfold”.

“It” not only happens to be a life journey but “me” too so I am calling this time in my experience Me-volution. Sometimes I wonder if I really know me, even when I think I do!

I have been “doing” and creating without really understanding why. It’s as if the thought moves into the deed and while I am “doing” I keep thinking “do I really want this?” Do you have this ever happen to you or is this my personal malady?

It’s not that I am not loving creating and the creation – I do! It’s just so interesting how “things” are turning in ways I would have thought a year ago “not interested” or 2 years ago “crazy” but now is a reality!

I bought and, my great landlord Chris, installed a salon sink in my newly Feng Shui’d shop. Now the Feng Shui part I have always wanted to do – thought it would be the house.

I have read some books and thought of taking classes but when the sink wanted to come into my shop – and that’s how this feels, I definitely did not want to place  it in a wrong location … that’s when I called Betty Ann. She lives in Little Falls and is a professional Feng Shui consultant/designer and YES I am amazed and thrilled with the results!

But this is about THE SINK and the puzzel it is to me! Years ago I had a full service salon but I never saw retuning to it – I enjoy the educational/consulting part of my mission; but there are not many non-toxic natural hair coloring cosmetologists and I was moved to install a sink and provide this much needed service.

Sink is installed! sink included

My first reunion with the shampoo bowl was actually for a wash and style for a mom and grandmom of a groom. My God/dess the stress around “did I do what they expected”, “were they on time”, “am I their crazy experience”  was enough to make me rip the sink out!!

This self beating after services  was one of the reasons, aside from kids hanging from the salon rafters, that i decided to let go my original salon! I carried that stress … and let it go… repeatedly  through out the whole weekend (Sat-Tuesday) Picking it up – dropping it – pick it up – drop it…

I kept wondering do other cosmetologists go through this or is this just my personal negative self talk? When I returned to the shop on Wednesday – there was a small hand written thank you note that helped the bees (they were not butterflies!) in my stomach to sleep.

Here’s to doing and creating and not knowing why! Just because the journey must include a sink?! Onward with Me-volution!

It’s ALL ABOUT ME!

February 13th is my Valentine Grand Re-Opening celebrating my new digs! There will be Free Mini Facials using Aubrey Organics Skin Care, 3 min MakeOvers with Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Prizes and Refreshments! I was visioning the food fare with Patricia a most amazing cook/caterer; “No sugar and no meat” I said. Maggie teasingly retorted “I want sugar and I want meat – she thinks it all about her – and it’s not…”

Food by Patricia & Melting Pot Caterer

It’s true, an Open House is about serving others but a healthy dose of Self-love is always in order. I choose food for others that I can share in, because I WILL cheat (“special occasion” ~to hurt myself!). I feel it when I cheat; I am really just cheating myself of the liberation that comes from feeling healthy, energized and vital when I consume positive choices.

We  “know” the dangers of sugar but moving away from it can be as challenging to the average person as quitting alcohol is for an alcoholic. The average American, including children, eats almost 2 lbs of sugar a week!

John Robbins book Healthy at 100, reveals that our children are not outliving us due to their food and lifestyles we as parents have given them.

As a Holistic Beauty Practitioner it is ALL ABOUT YOU, but you could not receive knowledge that is not lived. A favorite story of mine is about a mother who took her child to the guru asking the guru to tell the child to stop eating sugar, since “it’s not good for him” The guru responded, “Come Back in two weeks”; when they returned the guru said “Stop eating so much sugar it’s not good for you” The shocked mother quipped “We had to come back in two weeks for you to tell him this?” to which the Guru smiled and stated “I had to quit first”. There are some mentors who merely tell the knowledge but do not live it.

We can “feel better” ease the emotional pain of living… or we can experience Total Transformation. Kat James’ book The Truth About Beauty has the tricks on how to break the sugar addiction with success – I tried 3 or 4 times always relapsing until I read her book and incorporated her “food upgrades” it has been 4 years now that I am sugar free and free of cravings for it!!!

Counselors mentor us to SURROUND ourselves with people and places that are “good” for us; the same goes for food. Deepak Chopra said to eat “real food” defining it as “having no label”.

There is more than enough scientific research concerning effects of sugar on our body ecology from simple inflammation to severe diseases. As for my not wanting to offer meat – that is more of a personal option and while I have been a vegetarian over 20 years with a “moral” perspective that ending violence begins on my plate, I am aware that ALL life forms, including veges and fungi etc. are consciousness; my main reason for not offering meat is due to cost since grassfed hormone free meats are more costly, plus skipping meat on occassion is ok! I splurge on other very yummy options. By focusing on ME and MY health for MY events – all the foods YOU will consume will be DELICIOUS, DECADENT AND HEALTHY FOR YOU TOO!!

It’s ALL ABOUT ME and it should be ALL ABOUT YOU too!

Joining Youth Hungering for Justice

Many of you know that some 10-7 years ago in my other vocation, I worked on Climate Change issues. My position lead me to many locations and Boards, one with the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Working Group, I was graced to represent the Antiochian Orthodox archdiocese of North America, the faith of my birth and cultural, ethnic heritage.

As a priest daughter fasting was a normal part of living faith refraining breakfast every Sunday morning, meat every Wednesday & Friday.  During lent abstinence included other fare: sound (TV & Radio), speech (quite time for reflection) but also included engagement in other forms of sustenance – caring for neighbors, sick, elderly. Today it seems strange, and harmful, which it can be if done by those frail, or if done with ego or detached from spirit. Intention is important with this…it is important to fill oneself when emptying with nourishment from love, joy, and spirit for strength.

Fasting has an ancient tradition, all faiths practice some form of it, the intention of it being a Self Sacrifice as a Petition to Source on behalf of self or others. Hunger Strikes are public political pleas demanding justice, seeking compassionate resolution; in essence open hearts of the oppressors affording liberation for all parties. Many practices overlap.

So when our children, some literally, others we created by our social constructs, gathered now in Copenhagen, for the [Climate] Conference Of the Parties (COP 15), are intentionally Hungering themselves for authentic leadership, I could not deny my participation in this profound opportunity to join our hearts.

Pictured here: Matthieu Balle’ of France, Sara Svenssen of Sweden & Anna Keen of Australia in Copenhagen COP 15

While one might think they are validly concerned for their own future, the economy, environment, health – yet what they are sacrificing self for are those without voice, those whose present is already witness to the linage of greed, those whose “foot prints” are the smallest yet will bear the heaviest burden.

Ravenousness for Authentic Leadership, from the governments, from the corporations, it matters only that the heart rules.

Standing witness with and for our children… will you join me?

Super Size Inspirations!

Changing perceptions, apathy, or anything worthwhile takes effort & time but once we reach a pivotal point the change occurs seemingly effortlessly. Being the lead contact person in NYS on Climate Change issues nearly a decade ago engaging people, communities, and corporations in the conversation it was amazing to see the day the world came together on Sat Oct 24th for a global action on climate change sponsored by 350.org

With as much excitement, and almost as much fan fare, I am deeply moved to see young women taking back their persona. With gratitude to Glamour Magazine for being unafraid, our sisters sense of self is secure and poised to be “Plus” size. I have browsed the links in this blog, eyes, brain, and heart feasting on their exquisiteness, wisdom and promise of a new modality.

Our Daughters are Amazing!

Glamour Magazine Plus Size Models

More women than not are unsatisfied with their appearance. I know, as I am one of them, but also because in my beauty boutique they share their frustration with me. We remember when eating didn’t translate into fear and guilt which turns into stress which turns into cortisol which turns into the front tummy or all over; Some were born Plus and never knew otherwise. Some had children, significant others needing to find compromise and common ground, work, house, community, vigilance on political fronts, and then save the planet all in a day, every day, and have to be a size 0 to be worth something, or be considered “beautiful”.

When consulting with my clients, words I heard from my mouth are, “anyone would look beautiful if clothes were tailored.” When money became God, the corners cut were too deep – we lost creativity, quality, thoughtfulness, and yes love; and joy is not separate from love. When we create from the bottom line only, we loose love and joy in our creating and creations, extending to other areas of life. It’s easy to fit to flat; but curved bodies in cookie cutter clothes is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole – no one is going to look or feel appealing; so it resonated with me when plus-size model Jennie Runk, 21, stated “the true sign of a great designer is someone who can fit the curves.”

The label “Plus Size” for some has negative connotations, but as always we can take ownership of a term rather than letting it limit or be our master, it then becomes our liberation. “Plus” is more, is positive, is advantages, assets, is pro to the con, are our benefits,bonuses & perks! I choose to see plus as positively liberating. Thank you younger sisters and daughters for being such an asset!

Comments from readers are exciting, so take your time browsing the articles and comments, leave some of your own! Check out the wisdom in Body Confidence Secrets by Crystal Renn! and watch the story on TV!

I want to know, are you as thrilled and moved as I am??

Motivation to Manifestation

Today was cool and sunny. The morning dew was thick and chill, an indication the season is shifting to autumn. I wore pants, long sleeves and a jacket for the first time after a summer of dresses and skirts despite the stubborn rain that seems only now to be dissipating with the approach of fall. Steve laughed because I still had my beaded sandals on my feet. “I put shoes on first” he said smiling in his jeans and t-shirt. My feet love being open – they would not think shoes until later in the evening, and they compromised saying I should bring a pair of sandals with me where ever I go for those, just in case days of warmth… for spontaneous liberation… Before I can manifest shoes on my feet I have to have motivation!

At this time I am witnessing a Motivation/Manifestation impulse in my life that is amazing me. One that affirms what quantum physics claims – make an intention and it appears; it doesn’t always appear immediately. When I have experienced these types of “manifestations” there is often a delay from the intention made.

It makes me wonder though if I have intended/manifested or, have I sensed what was becoming… are these mutually exclusive since what we know as reality is less solid than we think?

Many years ago when my daughters were girls I bought a braiding book we loved to learn from. Years later I purchased Naturally Healthy Hair and again sometime after that, a workbook for beauty industry professionals, Body of Knowledge. Mary Beth Janssen is the author of all these books; I loved her style, perspective and her broad range of experience. Personally certified by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D., Mary Beth is a Mind Body Health Educator for Deepak’s organization, The Chopra Center for Well-Being. She is also a certified massage therapist, herbalist, aroma therapist, and registered yoga teacher (Yoga Alliance). I wanted to be her when I grew up! (Little did I know I was older than she!)

Mary Beth wrote “Real beauty begins with health, and true wellness is directly related to how we nurture our mind, body and spirit. A profound sense of well-being will enhance one’s self esteem and resiliency. When we feel good and have effective coping strategies in place, our true beauty is able to radiantly shine through.” I wanted more!

“My goal, through retreats, educational seminars, on-site visits, and one-on-one consultations, is to engender a paradigm shift within these professions [beauty/spa/caregivers] at the grass roots level. I have seen first hand the creative energy that is released as individuals begin to internalize the value and power of what they do when they serve others though their work, or right livelihood. My role is to help them recognize and enhance that value. And in transforming their own lives first, they are better able to serve their cherished guests and clientele that visit them every day.” OK where to I sign up!!??

Deep motivation ensued searching online for workshops and/or trainings unsuccessfully – the closest I came was a yoga website in Chicago that stated, “if you are looking for Mary Beth Janssen do not call here” ok … won’t do that!

I had to let the external search go, but held inside that one day there would be a workshop or training with Mary Beth.In an adventure story of it’s own, two and a half years ago I was able to meet her at a special event sponsored by my former boss now girlfriend.

How elated am I to be bringing MBJ, as she signs her emails, to Little Falls, NY on October 17th & 18th for a Meet & Greet and Tutorial on PLEASURE HEALING, the title of her newest book and workshop, where she will reveal techniques that will inspire you to treat your body and soul to the ultimate in Health Care ~ Self Care.

Pleasure Healing Info

Pleasure Healing

A star in all ways, yet accessible, joyful, loving, healing, enthusiastic, and contagious, Mary Beth lifts all those around her to that cosmic universal space where we meld into one.

THIS is a not to be missed event! You will leave knowing you have shifted from who you were on your way to who you are becoming! Whole, holistic, embracing the multiple expressions of the one you!

For Event Details & Tickets: http://pleasure-healing.com

QUESTION: How do we know if it’s the Deep Motivation that brings Manifestation or that Kismet is at work? Would love to hear YOUR thoughts on it!

Nobel Profit & the Earth is Hiring

Steve’s garden is in – the weather was at first a wonder, soaking or dry, hot or freezing all within a day. Now there is some consistency and the peas are already high on the fence. The grape vine that shades our dinning nook is now full. Summer Solstice is approaching, I am just thawing out…

My last two writings were of Sustainability: My experience at the Salon/Spa Sustainability Summit, and Earth Day the Interdependence of a steady economy with a sustainable environment.

Our collective condition of depleted resources, toxic footprints, and plastic oceans some say is a result of our lifestyle – which cannot be separated from our livelihoods.

Here is the conundrum (a riddle with an answer in the form of a play on words) that holds the predicament and the solution to present day conditions.

Looking up the word livelihood I found it originated from an Old English word for “way of life”, also “lode”. The word changed in the 16th century due to an association with lively and -hood . Other definitions included: source of income, means of support, living, subsistence, keep, maintenance, sustenance, daily bread, job, work, employment, occupation, vocation; informal bread and butter.

I noted it was a noun and most of the single word descriptions stagnant, not creative or empowering.

My heart holds it a verb, “ life”, “course” speak of action to me…
I searched the web “verb of livelihood” the reply was… no verb.

My heart nagged “this is the problem” there is no passion, there is no action, there is no movement in this “livelihood” – it has become a noun. I dissected the word; Lively – living, animate: imparting spirit or vivacity. Lode – way, course, variant of load; a lodestone in the early 16th cent. Hood –Old English hōd; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut ‘hat,’ also to hat and currently a neighborhood, esp. one’s own neighborhood : 1970s: shortening of neighborhood.

Livelihood has become intertwined with “Business”; Old English bisignis (busy, -ness) was “anxiety and the state of being busy” used from Middle English down to the 18th century, is now differentiated as busyness.

So we have come from making our “way” in the world with “spirit and vivacity” to now being “busy” a product of “anxiety”.

Collectively from home to corporate halls more of us are making subtle changes in our lives bringing more “spirit and vivacity” and less “busyness” having bought into a model and standard that gave us emptiness – no job, no environmental, no economic security – no contentment, no accomplishment, nothing to show for – so why put more energy into the illusion?

We are witness to a transitional economy one from money to support me and mine to one of “Nobel Profit”.

Dr Michel Bernard Beckwith, Founder of Agape International Spiritual Center, in his book Spiritual Liberation states, “ Those who go into business simply for money have yet to realize how business for profit alone has caused tremendous damage to our planet and its people. Such individuals are behind the times and have not yet realized that today people seek to align their personal values with their livelihood and purchases. When you work just for profit, this is an unevolved approach to livelihood. Nobel Profit is defined as that which is used not only to support our livelihood but to help create a kind and just society”

There is another piece of Sustainability – personal sustainability – recognizing the interconnection of body, mind, and spirit acknowledging that in any venture, true success is realized only with an integrated approach.

Just like ignoring the value of a sustained, nurtured environment impacts positively our society and economy, so too ignoring any aspect of our being, creates a breach in our ability to function wholly and harmoniously. Care for the body gives care for the mind and spirit; and care for the spirit creates a whole mind and body.

There is a connection between our spiritness and that of our planet – the “Green” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew states the desertification of the planet is a reflection of the desertification of soul, we seek always to be satisfied outside of ourselves – we surround our self with our own creations and have little of Creation which feeds us; what we seek can only be found inside, and when full, our soul, we will see the deserts lessen…

Care for our planet body, creates care for our societies which contribute to our spiritual well being…we are inseparable, we are one, the ages have declared it – we are witness to this realty.

There is no “other” – there is only one struggle, the summon of our times which environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author Paul Hawken stated in his Commencement Speech at University of Portland: “YOU ARE BRILLIANT AND THE EARTH IS HIRING”.

Livelihood is a “way of life ” or a “life course”.

Imbue your life with spirit and vivacity, be it in your organic garden, your skills after a long day at work to help someone else, or changing your course all together… the whole world is waiting and depending on you!

Beauty & Blessings!

christine

Paul Hawken Video

Patriarch Bartholomew