Why Being a DivaGirl is a Good Thing

Why Being a DivaGirl is a Good Thing

I want to start this article by asking you to come up with one positive word to describe a powerful woman–one who knows what she wants and speaks up for herself. Do you have one that automatically comes to mind? Are you struggling to think of a positive word for this kind of female?

DivaGirl

What about the word ‘Diva?’ What comes to your mind when you think of that word? 

It might be an image of a celebrity all glitzed and glammed out. It might be an image of a woman who always gets what she wants. Do you think of these as good or bad qualities? 

How would you feel if someone called you a DivaGirl, or asked you to attend a DivaGirl event or conference? Would you take it as a compliment? Or would it trigger you?

Well, maybe you already guessed this, but ‘DivaGirl‘ is more than just a phrase. Thanks to Toronto-based entrepreneur, Laura Furtado, DivaGirl® is a community of women coming together in the name of empowerment. It’s a network through which women connect, gain confidence, and get business and life advice from other female experts.

And as someone who spoke at last year’s DivaGirl conference, and will take the stage again this year, I can also say that these gatherings are more than just a melding of ambitious and empowering minds…they’re also really fun.

What happens at a DivaGirl conference?

DivaGirl Philly Conference 2017No, it’s not some sort of secret society. DivaGirl is a lifestyle-based membership group (actually, it’s the largest of its kind) made up of women who value wellness, ambition, and the shared goal to uplift all women; regardless of age, race, religion, or socioeconomic background. Events happen multiple times a month in the Toronto, Philadelphia, and now Montreal, and they are aimed at helping women embody who they were meant to be and do what they were meant to do.

Years ago, while speaking at another women’s empowerment event in Philadelphia (this is kind of my thing!), I had the opportunity to also hear Majet Reyes, the owner of the Philadelphia franchise, speak. Majet’s energy bubbles up from within her–her passion and joy are so apparent. I was inspired by her speech and when we connected afterwards, I knew I wanted to get a chance to interview her.

Below, that’s what you’ll find–my interview with Majet Reyes, who went from paramedic to DivaGirl Philadelphia owner.

In our interview we touch on the negative connotations of the word diva. She admits to me that when she talks about DivaGirl people sometimes tell her, ‘I’m not a diva, that’s not for me.’ But then they come to an event and they have a genuinely good time. All it takes is a few great connections with other positive women and the hesitation just sort of fades away.

Find out why Majet went from paramedic to DivaGirl owner

I didn’t want to give away the whole interview! So click play below to watch Majet and I chat and hear why (and how) she went from being a paramedic (and counselor… and mom… I swear this woman doesn’t sleep!) to being Philadelphia’s DivaGirl owner.

The new Diva

Majet defines the word Diva as “a woman who is confident and knows who she is. Someone who will stand up for themselves.” Does she wear heels? Is she up on the latest trends? Maybe, maybe not. None of that needs to be linked.

We’re in this era now of ‘leaning in’ and being ‘girl bosses’ and essentially what all of this is is redefining what it means to be a woman in the workforce, or simply a woman in the world. I recently wrote a post talking about feminism and how it fits in with creating your own skincare (trust me, there’s a connection!)

There are less flattering words for powerful women. They get called bitches. They get called bossy in a negative way. They get told to stop being pushy and are expected to make everyone around them feel good.

What’s important about groups like DivaGirl is that they embrace the various aspects of femininity while helping women inspire each other and teach each other valuable skills.

Now here’s the really important part:

DivaGirl is intersectional. It is not just for one type of woman (ie, it is not just for white women). That’s important, because with this resurgence of feminism due to the current political climate, and following the Women’s March on Washington and other women’s activist events, I’ve seen many, many social media posts from women of color who don’t feel that these expressions of feminism represent or include them. I’ve also seen posts from gay women, transgendered women, Muslim women, and basically any group of women who does not fit the white, cisgendered female type, post that they don’t feel welcome in feminist groups or events.

If we want to make progress, we must expand the meaning of and representation of feminism to be inclusive of ALL women, and specifically shine light on women who have been more oppressed or deliberately left out of the conversation in the past–because that’s a thing, ladies. That happened, and continues to happen.

DivaGirl’s leadership is beautifully diverse, which is probably why their events are also. This is so important for women who identify as feminists. If we exclude women of color, whether covertly or overtly, we are practicing the wrong kind of feminism. We are missing the point.

Majet ReyesAbout Majet Reyes:

Majet Reyes is the first American Franchise Owner of DivaGirl (Philly), she is a mom and a yoga teacher to kids. Majet is also a professional counsellor with a masters of science degree in trauma counselling. Her job is to empower people through the gift of therapy. Her mission is to stop the stigma in mental health and make counselling cool.

I would love to know your thoughts.

What’s been your experience with feminism? How do you feel when someone calls you bitchy or bossy, or a Diva–is that a good thing? Please tell me in the comments below.

Are You Always Hot or Always Cold? Here's Why…

Are You Always Hot or Always Cold? Here's Why…

too hot too coldYou know how some people are always hot, even in the middle of winter? And then there are people who are always cold, even in the summer? It’s so rare to find someone who is comfortable year-round.

Why are some people always hot or always cold? There are several reasons:

Your constitution. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and even more contemporary dietary theories such as the Blood Type Diet teach the concept of bioindividuality. What this means is that different people have different constitutions, or characteristics (including hot, cold, damp, dry, oily, etc), which are categorized into different types. Different constitutions have different needs in terms of diet, physical activity, and lifestyle and different constitutions are prone to certain ailments.

Certain health conditions. Hypothyroidism/Hashimoto’s, iron deficiency anemia, Raynaud’s syndrome, candidiasis, and chronic stress are linked to cold (sometimes extreme) intolerance. On the other hand, diabetes, Graves disease/hyperthyroidism, Lyme disease, hormone imbalances, and heart disease can produce the symptom of always being hot.

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Cucumbers are naturally cooling.

Certain foods. Just like people have different constitutions and characteristics, so do foods. Some foods have naturally cooling properties (think ‘cool as a cucumber’, while others are naturally warming (ginger, cayenne). Eating too many cooling foods, if you have a cooler composition–especially during a cool season–can cause you to be cold, and the same applies to warming foods, warmer constitutions, and warm seasons.

Lack of physical activity. It might seem that people more prone to excessive heat might not want to exercise rigorously, but it’s important to understand that sweating releases excessive heat from the body, along with toxins. On the flip side, many people with a propensity to extreme cold also have poor circulation. Increasing circulation also increases body heat, so regular movement is very important for chronically cold people.

Shallow breathing. Breathing deeply on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health and wellness–plus anyone can do it at any time! Adequate breathing does so much for the mind and body, but people who are always hot or always cold especially benefit from a deep breathing practice for reasons similar to those given for regular physical activity. It helps increase the body’s circulation, and also helps regulate body temperature by releasing excessive heat and raising the temperature if necessary.

mountain teaImproper or inadequate skin moisturization. One of the skin’s many functions is to help regulate body temperature. In order for it to do so, its barrier must be intact, unbroken, able to breathe, with adequate moisture levels. Using too much moisturizer or moisturizers containing occlusive ingredients like mineral oil or petrolatum can suffocate the skin, trap excessive heat in the body, and also interfere with circulation. On the other hand, using plant oils and butters which nourish the skin and seal in moisture while still allowing the skin to breathe is a great way to help keep body temperatures regular.

What can you do if you’re always hot or always cold?

Start by understanding your constitution. You can take a quiz to discover your Ayurvedic dosha here, or your Chinese constitution here.  Once you know your constitution, it’s easier to understand where to start with food and lifestyle choices that best support your needs.

Try changing up your foods. If you’re always hot, try eating more cooling foods and if you’re always cold, focus more on warming foods. Take note of how you feel.

Start a deep breathing practice. This is a great way to start your day, end your day, or give yourself a mid-day boost. Learn more here.

yoga-meditationTry to incorporate some kind of physical activity into your day. Some people love exercise, others loathe it. Whatever the case, sometimes our busy schedules interfere with our best intentions, and exercise doesn’t happen. Remember that some exercise is better than none, done is better than perfect, and it doesn’t have to be a conventional form of exercise. I truly believe there’s a form of movement for everyone–sometimes we have to look a bit outside the norm to find it.

Moisturize with a natural plant oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba daily. In addition to helping to seal in moisture, this helps insulate and regulate the body temperature. Apply enough that the skin absorbs it, but not so much that you feel a greasy residue on the skin–this means the skin has absorbed all it can handle, and any excess on the surface could have an occlusive action, which we don’t want.

Consult with an integrative healthcare professional. If you’ve tried all of the above and are still always hot or always cold, then you might have a health condition that needs attention. Integrative and functional healthcare professionals like integrative or functional MDs, naturopathic physicians (NDs), and homeopathic doctors have had education on the topics mentioned above, and might be able to provide you with information a regular allopathic doctor can’t.

Share your thoughts-2Are you always hot or always cold and found ways to alleviate your symptoms?

Tell me what’s worked for you in the comments below!

*Cucumber image by Stacy Spensley,

*Affiliate disclaimer

A No-Mess DIY Deodorant Recipe That Actually Works

A No-Mess DIY Deodorant Recipe That Actually Works

fear

Ineffective deodorant can be very anxiety-producing in social situations, as well as physically uncomfortable.

One thing I find kind of funny is that even though I’m an aesthetician and natural skincare formulator who specializes in facial skincare, one of the most common recipe requests I get is for a good DIY deodorant recipe. I think the reason for that is because finding a good deodorant–even a conventional one–can be tricky business. Some leave a white residue, some feel sticky, some are skin irritant, most have really strong fragrances–and the natural ones that do tend to work best can be either really expensive or really basic.

Whether a deodorant “works” or not is something that’s really subjective–even more subjective in some cases than facial skincare, since whether a deodorant works or not can mean the difference between confidence and embarrassment in a very profound way. It’s also subjective because unlike the skin on the face that has contact with the air regularly, underarms don’t get to “breathe” as much. Combine that with heat and friction, and the wrong product can easily turn into a very uncomfortable situation.

It’s easy to understand why people ask for a DIY deodorant recipe that really works!

Just like facial skincare, the efficacy of underarm skincare is dependent on a person’s constitution, skin type, body chemistry, as well as lifestyle. I always wondered why they sell different fragrances, strengths, and “lifestyle” categories of deodorants (teen, sport, etc)–and I think they do sell some for super sensitive skin–but manufacturers don’t really address individual needs.

Conventional deodorants and anti-perspirants like these contain aluminum, synthetic fragrances, and other toxic and irritant ingredients.

Conventional deodorants and anti-perspirants like these contain aluminum, synthetic fragrances, and other toxic and irritant ingredients.

Aside from that, conventional deodorants are highly toxic–containing aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimers, as well as other chemicals that have been known to produce other toxic effects on the body. Remember that controversial 2004 study where Dr Philippa Darbre found intact parabens in breast cancer tumors? It was suggested that parabens from underarm deodorants were to blame.

My philosophy regarding skincare, nutrition, and lifestyle is that because we’re all unique individuals, our products and regimens should be customized for our unique needs. The best way to do that is to make them yourself. Luckily, DIY deodorant is really easy to make. My particular recipe uses all-natural, non-toxic ingredients, and can easily be customized according to your personal preferences.

Ingredients and supplies:

I get the majority of my skincare ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs, and I also really like Herbiary.

  • 1/4 cup (57 g) organic virgin coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) plant-based butter (I used mango butter here. Shea butter will produce a similar consistency but if you like a firmer deodorant, try cocoa butter or illipe butter)
  • 1/3 cup unrefined beeswax pastilles or candelilla wax (50 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.29 g) of neem oil (neem has a strong scent, just FYI, but you can mask it with your essential oils. If you don’t have neem, you can try Vitamin E oil–just make sure your source is non-GMO)
  • 2 tablespoons (27.6 g) of aluminum-free baking soda (kinda defeats the purpose if your baking soda contains aluminum!)
  • 1/4 cup (34 g) arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I prefer arrowroot powder)
  • Essential oils:  I only recommend a .05% concentration of essential oils in deodorants since underarm skin is so sensitive, which in this recipe is about 22 total drops. I used ylang ylang and rosemary. Be sure to check with an herbalist or aromatherapist if you’re pregnant (no rosemary if you’re pregnant) or have a chronic health condition to make sure there are no contraindications.
  • 2 empty deodorant tubes. I know it’s tempting to reuse empty tubes but please don’t do this. Plastic containers are not reusable and cannot be safely or effectively sterilized. Look for PET plastic to make sure your container is safe for use with essential oils. Amazon.com has a good variety. You may, of course, opt to use a jam jar or other glass or metal container–just be aware you might have to adjust your consistency to have a softer deodorant. I personally prefer a tube.
  • You’ll also need one double boiler setup with a pourable spout, a spatula, and a whisk
My coconut oil, mango butter, and beeswax melting down

My coconut oil, mango butter, and beeswax melting down

Instructions:

  1. Over a simmering (not boiling double boiler), melt down your beeswax, butter, and coconut oil until you have a clear, uniform liquid consistency.
  2. Turn off the heat but keep your pot on the double boiler as you stir in your arrowroot powder and baking soda. Gently whisk until you get a uniform consistency. You might see tiny little bubbles. This is normal.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until your mixture is just warmer than room temperature. Then add your neem or vitamin E oil, and essential oils and stir. This won’t take long!
  4. Immediately pour into your deodorant tubes. The mixture might settle–this is OK–just top them off.
  5. Wait for them to cool and harden before closing the containers to prevent condensation from contaminating the product.

This recipe makes about 5 oz of finished product–about two 2.5 oz deodorant containers.

Why do I say this is the DIY deodorant recipe that actually works?

DIY DeodorantThis formula, on me, did not feel sticky or slimy at any point in my day. It also isn’t drying or irritant, nor does it leave a white residue. It’s not an antiperspirant (I believe antiperspirants are dangerous), but it did absorb sweat during my yoga practice and there was no unpleasant odor.

Will this be the case for you? I don’t know–we’re different people. But if there’s anything you don’t like about your finished product, you can easily tweak the consistency by adjusting the proportions of your ingredients (make sure you make up the difference with another ingredient in your formulation) the next time you make it. That’s the beauty of making your own skincare products–you can always change your formulas and customize them for your skin, preferences, and lifestyle.

Want to learn more about how to get started making your own products?

I teach a 6-week online course called Create Your Skincare. Our next class is starting soon!

Click HERE to learn more and start for FREE with our 4-video Prerequisite Module.

*Image 2 by Th145 (photo taken by Th145) [CC BY-SA 2.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

**Disclaimer

 

A Better Way to Look at New Year's Resolutions

A Better Way to Look at New Year's Resolutions

new yearsWell, it’s the end of the year and as always, my Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with “best of the year” lists, and how to actually keep New Year’s resolutions, and so on.

I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions.

It’s not because I don’t believe in setting goals or bettering myself–it’s that I focus on them on a regular basis. It’s kind of similar to how my husband and I look at gifts–if we need or really want something we buy it when we need or want it, rather than wait until there’s a holiday or special occasion when it’s “OK” to ask for it or receive it. That’s not to say I don’t believe in gift giving–I do–but I think gifts should be given and received whenever the inspiration strikes rather than putting it off for a planned gift-giving extravaganza.

For self improvement, and other reasons I typically set goals, I think that saving it up for a New Year’s resolution is a form of procrastination.

Procrastination typically means one of two things.

1. You don’t truly desire it, or it’s not truly aligned with your core values

2. You’re experiencing resistance because accomplishing your goal will bring you to a new or different place in your life that might be unfamiliar or scary–and often with that, a new level of spiritual evolution (which the ego doesn’t want, so it builds up the resistance to keep things “safe” and easy)

As I wrote in my recent post about willpower, change won’t happen unless it’s what you truly desire. If you want something badly enough, you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. That being said though, saving up a big goal for one time a year isn’t the best way to make something positive happen in your life–even if it is something you truly want.

When Making ResolutionsKnowing WHAT your goal is–but more importantly WHY you want it and HOW you want to feel once you accomplish it is more than half the battle–and sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to become clear on figuring out the WHAT, WHY, and HOW you want to feel (not the HOW you will get there–that can lead to procrastination!). I know for me, it takes meditation, journaling, prayer–and sometimes time to help me gain this clarity. Sometimes I think I want something because it’s what I’m supposed to want since it’s what my peers are working towards–but after I let it sit a bit, I realize it’s not really aligned with who I am or how I want my life to be. Or maybe it’s something I want eventually, but there’s something more I want now.

At any rate, once you figure out what it is that you want, why you want it, and how you want to feel once you get it–don’t wait to start working towards it! I constantly hear about people waiting for a new cycle before they start working towards a goal–a new week, month, quarter, moon cycle, year, stage of life, etc–because the time won’t be “right” until then. And I get it–as someone who studies the cycles of nature and the moon, there are definitely certain times that are supposed to be more favorable than others for starting new projects and ending others.

This knowledge is extremely helpful and should be used when making plans within a cycle and for the next year–but the problems arise when it’s used as an excuse or form of resistance. For example, “I can’t write that book until the lighter half of the year because we’re not meant to be outwardly creative during the dark cold months.” That’s an excuse I, myself, used for both my books, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself and The Sauce Code. But I still knew I wanted to write those books and have them published within a set timeframe and that if I waited until the lighter, warmer days to return, it wouldn’t get done. So, while my own creative brain doesn’t write books when it’s dark and cold, the rest of my brain can do the other tasks involved in writing and getting a book published. There was research to do, data to compile. interviews to conduct, systems to learn, strategizing with my publisher that had to take place–so many different tasks involved with the book that had very little to do with the actual creation of the content itself.

I have no problem with New Year’s resolutions, goals, or intentions.

In fact, I’ve decided that for myself, my main goal in my own personal development is to become more organized and allow less clutter in my environment–both mentally and physically. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, per se, but it’s an intention that I have for myself right now. In the past, I would have put it off until a set date-like January 2–or January 15–or February 1, etc and gone on with my normal habits until that start date. Not anymore–because whenever there’s an end to a cycle whether it’s a cycle of nature, the moon, or designation of linear time, the end signifies the end of the old habits–and old habits that are brought into a new cycle will continue to manifest throughout that cycle and will be harder to break.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 12.58.17 PMThis year, I’ve decided to leave my clutter and disorganization in 2014 by already making changes before 2015 begins. I’ve been working on cleaning and organizing different areas of my home and office each day, and I’ve also begun work on a new project in a more organized fashion than I normally would. I’ve set small, attainable goals, and have given them deadlines and have an accountability partner. I’ve made my intentions public and have asked for support from my family (the kids aren’t thrilled, but oh well! Better for them to learn organization and decluttering now than later!). I’ve started reading up on feng shui and have already taken action to improve the energetic flow in my space. By the time the clock strikes midnight tonight, my space will look exactly how I want it to look everyday.

Why begin something later that I want to change in my life now? (Click to tweet!)

How can you make this work for your New Year’s resolutions?

  • If you’re trying to eat healthier, go shopping for some fresh produce today so you can make a nice smoothie tomorrow morning. If you’re going to a party tonight, eat something really healthy before you go so you don’t arrive hungry, and enjoy the festivities with moderation. I see too many people overindulge right before they begin a health or weight-related resolution, and then when they wake up feeling like crap the next day, the last thing they want to do is drink a smoothie or eat a salad.
  • If you’re trying to exercise more, have your exercise space at home cleared out and ready to go with your favorite DVD. If you go to a gym or studio, have your classes already in your schedule for the next month so you don’t have to think about it on Monday. Maybe buy yourself a cute new pair of sneakers or yoga pants.
  • If improving finances is your goal, then take time today looking at all of your invoices and pay whatever bills you can today. Schedule your due dates in your calendar for the next several months with reminders. Open an account on Mint.com and setup your profile. All this can be done in about an hour–and then you’ll be able to ring in the new year already feeling more in control of your finances and more abundant.
  • If you want to improve your skin or transition to healthier skincare products, then go sign up for the VIP list for Create Your Skincare–you’ll receive my free video series in just two weeks that will help you get started!

These are just some examples, but you get the idea. Don’t wait for the “right” time to make a new beginning or set a goal. There’s no time like now.

Happy New Year!

Comment BelowHow do you handle goals and resolutions? Please tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

How The Law of Attraction Made Me Fall Flat on My Face…Literally.

How The Law of Attraction Made Me Fall Flat on My Face…Literally.

You know how there’s book learning, and then there’s life learning? Sometimes these methods of learning never coexist or coincide; whereas other times, you read something and then life happens and tells you “yup, that was true.” That happened to me late last week.

Thought creates reality.

Let’s back up a bit. You may already know I’m a student of metaphysics (I just got a second bachelor’s degree in metaphysical science…high five for me!), and one of the main teachings of metaphysics is that thought creates reality. If your thoughts are positive, then positivity will be reflected back towards you and if your thoughts are negative, then negatively will be reflected back towards you. There’s more to it than that, but essentially it’s a version of the Law of Attraction–like attracts like or the Law of Karma–what you give is what you get.

51A+qi-XyfLMost people think of the Law of Attraction only in terms of Rhonda Byrnes’ The Secret or Charles Haanel’s The Master Key System which are geared towards helping people attract financial abundance and success, but these spiritual laws definitely apply elsewhere in life, especially to one’s health, self image, and wellbeing.

As I wrote in my own book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, I wasn’t able to improve my acne or weight and health issues until I broke out of my own pattern of negativity and choose to see myself in a positive light (in addition to cleaning up my diet and making my own safe, all natural skincare products. It wasn’t easy, and it took a great deal of practice in front of the mirror and mindfulness to develop the ability to intercept and reframe my own negative thought patterns, but sure enough, it happened. I lost 80 pounds, my acne cleared up, and I was able to reverse chronic health conditions I had developed while overweight. I began to develop my own meditation and visualization exercises, spiritual skincare affirmations, and teach these methods to my private clients, who have also benefited from this work.

Love-your-skin-love-yourself-bookI even built some of these methods into my Create Your Skincare™ online course, because I firmly believe that when you create something for your own self nourishment using positive energies and intentions, it automatically works better. It’s the same theory as blessing food before you eat it.

Back to how the Law of Attraction made me fall flat on my face.

I had a serious car accident 11 years ago that I was lucky to survive. I was extremely fortunate to come out of it with minimal injuries, but I did experience damage to my spine and nerves that’s been rather bothersome over the past several years.

Having a daily yoga practice, using my inversion table, applying essential oils, and getting periodic massages helped me significantly, but I have to admit that I’ve been off the happy wagon a bit lately. There’s no excuse–I could say my work schedule and my kids’ schedule makes it difficult, but I truly believe we always make time for what we value. Over the past several months my non-mommy-time energy has been devoted to getting The Sauce Code published and Create Your Skincare™ created, in addition to supporting my wonderful clients. Days often run into nights and sleep hasn’t been lucid (because I keep getting all these ideas!)–so needless to say, all that has taken a toll on my body.

I had a neck spasm a few months ago (while sitting in a lawn chair on my daughter’s lacrosse field in the rain), and my neck didn’t quite snap out of it. It got very stiff and I started feeling other nerve symptoms again, so I decided to see a chiropractor. I had some tests done that revealed that there was more damage done to my spine than I had initially thought, and it kind of put me in a funk.

Fast forward a few weeks of traction, chiropractic adjustments, electric stimulation, and while I did experience some improvement in my symptoms, I still had a lot of pain, numbness, and stiffness. I had my re-evaluation with my chiropractor, and I’m not going to lie–I kind of had a meltdown. I was sad, mad, fearful–I basically felt every negative emotion towards myself at once. I was sad that I wasn’t feeling better, mad that my body wasn’t responding as quickly as I thought it should (knowing full well that my lack of movement and sleep weren’t helping matters at all), and fearful that this wouldn’t work and I’d continue to get worse. I used the term “fragile” to describe how I felt about my body, and said that I felt failed by my own body.

My chiropractor said he felt I was being overly hard on myself and reminded me to follow my own advice to choose to love myself as I am, like my book says. He was right, of course and it was a good reminder.

My Facebook status right after the fall.

My Facebook status right after the fall.

Apparently the Universe felt I needed a stronger reminder. I took my girls to ride bicycles in an empty school parking lot late last week. My younger daughter’s newly off training wheels and is still a little wobbly on the two wheeler, so I was jogging alongside her as she pedaled. Well, she started to wobble a lot, and started to head for a curb and go down. Well my mommy reflexes kicked in and I dove to break her fall–which I did. However, I landed on my chin and right palm on the pavement and my left shin either hit the curb or got hit by the bicycle–I have no idea. I was maaaaad!

But when I got home, I started laughing, because I realized that this negative situation was reflected back to me as a result of all the negative thoughts I had allowed myself to wallow in last week–but also that it was confirmation of what I’ve been taught and a reminder of what I already knew to be true–that thoughts create reality. I said a quick prayer of gratitude for the lesson, and of course that my daughter wasn’t hurt at all, and what do you know? I immediately felt better. I felt more positive, more focused, and also have set reminders for myself to take breaks for self care throughout my work day and to start and end each day with gratitude and positive intentions.
Do you need help learning how to use positive intention to improve your skin? Book a Spiritual Mind Treatment or request a customized Spiritual Skincare Affirmation today.

Did You Miss Expo West? Here's My Recap…and A Giveaway!

Did You Miss Expo West? Here's My Recap…and A Giveaway!

Kettlebell Bombshell, Lisa Balash and I with our awesome event sign

Kettlebell Bombshell, Lisa Balash and I with our awesome event sign

I just got back from the Mecca of the holistic health and wellness industry–Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA. I spoke and did a book signing at the east coast version of this show in Baltimore last fall, which was AMAZING–but this show was just unreal. It was like Expo East on steroids…that is, an all-natural drug-free version of steroids 🙂 I was extremely fortunate and am very grateful to NeoCell for giving me the opportunity to attend, speak at, and sign books at this incredible event. I know not everyone who wanted to go had the opportunity to go so I thought I’d share some of my experience and photos with you.

By the way, I put a larger assortment of photos on my Facebook page, and I know my friends Steph Hendel, Lisa Balash, and of course NeoCell have lots of great photos on their pages too. So enjoy this recap and stick with me to the end because I’m doing a giveaway and the details are at the end of this post.

It was like pilgrims flocking to their holy shrine…

IMG_0132First of all the Anaheim Convention Center is the biggest convention center I’ve ever seen…and there were just people everywhere enjoying the outdoor sample tents and gourmet food trucks lining the streets before even entering the show. Everywhere I looked I saw excited people and vendors giving out goodies. The weather was beautiful–clear skies and warm–but not hot–weather–although it was a bit freezing in most of the exhibit halls. Because of this the exhibitors who were sampling hot tea, soup, and other warm foods had quite a crowd.

There were 5+ exhibit halls filled with 2600+ exhibitors and more 67,000+ attendees. I was there as NeoCell‘s Beauty Brand Ambassador (which I was given a shiny award for!), and I also gave a talk called “Love Your NeoCell Skin” and gave away signed copies of my bestselling book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself.

Giving my #LoveYourNeoCellSkin talk at the booth

Giving my #LoveYourNeoCellSkin talk at the booth

I also got to talk about the benefits of collagen, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and other nutrients to curious NeoCell booth visitors, and had the pleasure of listening to truly amazing stories of how these products have improved lives. Many people associate the use of collagen and other nutriceutical ingredients with superficial goals like smoother, plumper, firmer skin (and there’s NOTHING wrong with that!) but truly, the difference the products made to people with joint and muscle issues, eye health issues, and thinning hair due to certain health conditions and medical treatments was inspiring. NeoCell also presented the charity Vitamin Angels with a donation of $192,000.00 which was much appreciated! Vitamin Angels is a wonderful national and international organization that provides at-risk individuals and families with life-saving and life-changing vitamins and minerals.

On this trip to Expo West, I also had a different mission–to truly focus on gratitude and blessings.

As you may know, I’m currently going for my PhD in metaphysics and holistic life counseling and I’m a huge believer in The Law of Attraction and other Universal Laws. One of the books I read on my flight was E-Squared: Nine Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments to Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality by Pam Grout. I know–deep stuff! My fellow NeoCell ambassador and my new dear friend, Lisa , the Kettlebell Bombshell, Balash and I spent a lot of time together all weekend and decided to try the first experiment together since it only required 48 hours. Steph Hendel joined in the fun as well.

The experiment is called: “The Dude Abides: There is an Invisible Energy Force or Field of Infinite Possibilities,” and the task is to simply ask this force/field/source/light/God/whatever word you like to use to give a blessing–and to make it clear so you KNOW it’s the one–within 48 hours. And you can’t just sit idly back or play on your phone all day waiting for the blessing to come–Grout says you have to actually look for it in the same way you’d look for lost car keys when you’re running late–under cushions, in drawers, closets, everywhere–because you expect the keys are there somewhere–they didn’t just vanish. Don’t you usually find the keys? Of course you do–because they’re real–they were just somewhere you weren’t looking.

Lisa, Steph and I having some fun and enjoying some Enlightened Ice Cream while on the hunt for our blessings.

Lisa, Steph and I having some fun and enjoying some Enlightened Ice Cream while on the hunt for our blessings.

Well Lisa, Steph and I decided to give it a go and we began to look for blessings everywhere at the show–on the floor, in the booths, in the crowd, etc–and we found many. Each time, we asked each other “Is this my blessing?” We agreed that yes, it was a blessing…but was it the blessing? Well we both received our blessings–and both times we knew it it was the blessing with every sense of our beings. But we also realized that on those two days we received more than our share of wonderful blessings and had we not looked for them, we likely would not have received them. Which of course got us thinking…what if we looked for blessings–and gave thanks for them–on a daily basis? Aha! Well done, Pam Grout.

Expressing gratitude for blessings received…as well as those which have yet to manifest is important, and one of the ways I like to do that is to give.

So I decided to do a big giveaway of some of the amazing natural products from NeoCell and other natural product companies I brought home from the show. And I brought home a lot…enough to add 20 lbs of weight to my suitcase! Here’s a sampling of what I brought home–some of which isn’t even available in stores yet!

IMG_0198I already gave away not one but THREE sample prize packs to my email subscribers last night. I send them an email, similar to this post, about the show and said that the first three to respond to the email would win. Guess how long it took for me to give away three prizes? A whopping 30 seconds. And after that I was flooded with enthusiastic emails not just from those who wanted to win a prize, but from those who simply wanted to express how much they value my emails and share their own passions for holistic skincare, health, wellness, and natural products. THAT was a beautiful blessing, for which I’m incredibly grateful!

Grateful for my Best Beauty Ambassador Award from NeoCell! Lisa won for Best Fitness Ambassador.

Grateful for my Best Beauty Ambassador Award from NeoCell! Lisa won for Best Fitness Ambassador.

The subscriber-only giveaway is over, but I wanted to give more goodies away too–so I decided to do a public giveaway with only one prize–and this one’s happening on my Facebook page. We’re going to do another “Like, Guess, and Share” contest–to enter, all you have to do is Like the Holistically Haute Facebook page, Guess which single NeoCell product I recommend the most to my clients, and Share the post with your friends. I’ll have it pinned to the top of my page so you won’t miss it–but the giveaway will end soon so act quickly! I’ll randomly select ONE winner from the list of readers who Like, Guess correctly, and Share and that winner will be notified on Facebook. Neocell product giveaway

By the way…

My subscribers get exclusive giveaways, advance notice of new projects and announcements, and a whole bunch of other goodies in addition to personal insights and my best tips for how to truly achieve beauty, health, and vitality from the inside out and outside in–many of which I don’t share here! If you’d like to be on the list, subscribe HERE–it’s totally free.

**The giveaway has ended. Subscribe for updates for info on future giveaways and bonuses.

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