Tag Archive: Personal Care

The Star Brows Blog  Has Moved Please Visit this Link for the Post on the New Site. 

I started my dream business, Star Brows, in Arroyo Grande California four years ago, specializing in a unique “brow graphing” technique, which I developed at my Minnesota spa. Due to the success and popularity of that technique, I needed to expand, and now have a new home! Everything you know and love about Star Brows will stay the same, but better – I hope you’ll agree!

On April 15th I moved my eyebrow couture, skincare, massage, and body waxing spa to 1065 West Grand Avenue to Grover Beach (Shangri-La!) and have created a luxurious spa setting that I know you will love.

Originally, I really wanted to stay in AG, but then I found this amazing space with great exposure and plenty of room to grow. It’s across from Miners in Grover Beach. This location really fits my “brand.” You will truly feel like the star you are when you’re there. I wanted to create a more spa-like atmosphere so you could enjoy the full array of Star Brows services.

I’ve added two private treatment rooms with sound-proof walls and solid core doors :), a casual and open feeling makeup and waxing lounge, and an serene waiting area – and we’re closer to the beach! Who could ask for more? I’ll be posting pictures soon.

But, like any dream, there have been (and are) hurdles to overcome. In the end, though, it’s all worth it. I hope this encourages you to follow your dreams too. Turning dreams into reality takes guts, a lot of hard work, optimism, help from those who support you (thank you all!), and a generous pinch of the miraculous!

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I am poised to help you celebrate. Hmmm, what would you really like? I come from a background of providing fabulous spa experiences, and now that I have the space and the environment for it, I’d like treat you.

Here is a sneak peek of a spa experience created to celebrate mom’s day, or “just because” – at the new location – offered for a limited time:

Spa Facial and Massage Treatment

Arrive a couple of minutes early so you can get settled and relax for a few minutes in the quiet environment of the new spa, and plan on staying for about an hour and a half.

When you enter the treatment room you will feel the warm air provided by state-of-the-art radiant heat. You’ll smell calming essential oils and be enveloped by the soft candlelight.

As you climb under crisp, clean, warmed sheets your body’s curves will be cradled by special contoured cushions.

Detoxifying and de-stressing drops of essential oils will be applied along your spine (Raindrop Therapy), to coax your body into a state of bliss and calm, followed by a back massage given at just the right pressure for you. When the knots are eased, you turn over and the Star Massage begins with Tu’el’s Cleansing Oils and Herbalizers chosen for your skin type. Puffiness, sinus pressure, jaw tension and all signs of stress dissipate from your face, neck and should – mmm, who knew it could feel this good?

Now the facial begins with warmed towels, gentle steam, and special masks and scrubs designed to alleviate your skin’s concerns.

And don’t forget those hard working hands and feet. They will be meticulously worked out, every finger and every toe rubbed until they are eased. Your feet will be wrapped in warm towel-like booties and a little Craniosacral work will be done to balance your body’s rhythms.

Later, plan on relaxing and drinking plenty of water with slices of organic lemons to complete a perfect experience.

Who knew Star Brows was about more than eyebrow couture? Now’s your chance to see! Limited spaces are available for this special offer, so call now – 805-722-8222  – and mention the Mother’s Day Spa Special. It’s not on the menu and is specially priced at $99. It expires on May 12th, but you can get a Gift Certificate for the service and use it anytime!

See you at the new spa!

I am so excited to bring you this month’s special Product Feature. (It’s a 2-fer!)  Tu’el’s Cleansing Oils and Herbalizers and the new Travel Pack, which includes the Tu’el cleansing system for A.M. and P.M.,  Hy-Drate,  (both in 1 oz. bottles), a sample of Peeling Cream and a sample of the appropriate evening moisturizer for your skin-type.

These products are a delight to use  because they bring “spa” home to you. I don’t choose to carry products at Star Brows on performance alone. I want to use skincare that inspires me, works, is as close to “natural” as possible, is a good value and is enjoyable to use.

Taking care of your skin is sometimes perceived as drudgery, but personal care can be renewing. It’s simply a matter of perspective. If you are in the former camp, are you open to thinking about skincare in a new way?

Last month we launched Star Brow’s Rewards and I couldn’t keep September’s feature, Youngblood’s Pressed Mineral Compacts, on the shelves! I ended up happily doing  rain checks!

I’m so glad you’re all enjoying the new Rewards perks.  I appreciate all of you!

The beautiful model in this picture is a friend and client,  Amanda De Bello. She brings the customer testimonial for this month’s feature:

“Linda was kind enough to answer many of my questions by simply “trying out” Tu’el products on my face, which ended in a purchase I do not regret.  The Cleansing Oil is such a relief to my skin (it even gently removes makeup!) & I can feel my face literally getting softer each day I use it.  The Herbalizer is like nothing I’ve ever tried before; my skin seems to “drink it up” and the herbs smell so good! I have been known to spend money on high quality, big name products, and honestly just wasn’t getting the results I was happy with. What I realized is that previously I was willing to spend whatever it took to “fix” what damage was done to my skin–and now I am on a preventive path to consistent care and nurturing my skin daily with the entire Tu’el cleansing system. Thank you Star Brows!”

The Product Feature(s) of the month give you Double Rewards. The Cleansing Oil and Herbalizer are each in 4 oz sizes and are $50 for the set. The Travel Pack (seen right)  is $48. That’s $5 in Star Brows Rewards regularly, but ($10 this month).  And who doesn’t love FREE spa services?

And as dear old dad says, “I didn’t just save $10, I MADE $10!”

As many of you know, I won an award for a new treatment called Star Massage which utilizes the Tu’el Hydrophilic Cleansing Oil System.  This link will take you to the YouTube I produced–as well as to Tu’el’s founder Lori Nestori’s YouTube–on the Oil and Herbalizer cleansing system.

See you at the spa!


In Straighten Up!, Part 1 of Beauty On The Cheap we talked about posture and how standing and sitting up straight strengthens and beautifies.

In this post let’s talk about how smiling and laughing makes us more beautiful inside and out.

Growing up, I heard the words, “Put a smile on your face” often. Who can (or wants to) smile on command? So, when we talk about smiling in this piece, it’s not to conform to or please anyone else.  Yes, a smile looks beautiful to others, but wearing one cheers you up too!

In the beginning, you may have to practice if you’re not used to smiling much, just like getting into the habit of standing up straight. Tyra Banks coined a term called smizing: smiling with your eyes. At the same time you are smiling you need to recall a happy memory, or imagine a beautiful place – while doing so, your thoughts will actually illuminate your eyes.

Speaking of smiling and being happy, how about laughter? I have a funny story:

One time years ago, I was asked to do massage for “Wild Women’s Weekend”. I packed up my massage table and headed to a beautiful island in Minnesota for the weekend. What I encountered was a group of women engaging in riotous laughter the whole weekend from pretty much everyone – except me. I remember thinking; “I want that!”. The sad part is, I realized I didn’t laugh much – at least not so anyone could hear. My laughing muscle was emaciated  from all the years of disuse. Through Simply Noticing and not judging myself harshly, I began to cultivate a vision of becoming a laugher.

So when I got home I decided to begin “practicing” laughter. My family mocked and jeered me at first because my laughter was contrived – it was funny! But after spending a few weeks on choosing to laugh, it began to feel comfortable.

Am I perceived as a funny person today? Probably not, but I can laugh now – and I value joy above all because I know that when I am joyful I am fully present, thankful, breathing and living life to the fullest.

In order to really produce a beautiful and abiding smile, it needs to come from within. Sure, you can turn it on for an acquaintance or the camera – but that is momentary and looks superficial. What I’m talking about is a perpetual glow of peace, joy and contentment on your face that attracts others and makes you more beautiful.

So we must go deeper. Does a house look clean if you just tidy up and dust a few items? No, but if you deep clean with, as mom would say, “warm soapy water” you can feel the clean – it radiates because it is really clean through and through.

I guess what I’m talking about is “soul cleaning”. Take this little quiz and see what may be dulling your countenance and suppressing your smile. Give yourself 1 point for each yes answer:

  • Do you regularly let-go and forgive others when they offend you?
  • Have you wrestled with childhood issues that need clearing?
  • Do you make an effort not to gossip or hold grudges?
  • Do you keep jealousy and comparing yourself to others in check?
  • Do you consistently live according to your values?
  • Have you chosen friends that are good for you?
  • What about thankfulness? Are you thankful for something everyday?

How did you do? 7 is perfect, don’t worry if you’re not quite there – no one is!

And what about joy, happiness, passion and pleasure?

  • Do you have something you are really looking forward to in the next day or two, in the next week, month or year?
  • If there are relationships or situations in your life that are stressfully unresolved, are you taking action steps toward resolution?
  • Are there intimate friends in your life – and do you spend time nurturing these friendships?
  • Have you made your work part of your life, not just a job, and do you bring your best self to it?
  • Hugging others is one of the easiest ways to stay “in touch”. Do you have human touch in your life regularly, daily?
  • Do you have a “big picture” dream? Have you shared it with others?

Sometimes it’s good to reflect and take inventory. 6 is a perfect score, if there is an item or two that you had to really think about, you may want to jot it down to ponder later.

How well do you care for yourself?

  • Do you sleep enough?
  • Drink enough water?
  • Eat healthy most of the time?
  • Exercise regularly?
  • What are your spiritual practices? Do you spend time in prayer and meditation to renew this aspect of your being daily?

5 is perfect – don’t be too hard on yourself. It has taken me 55 years to develop healthy lifestyle habits, and I still fall short – often!

How about bad self-care habits?

  • Do you abstain from smoking and drinking or at least keep these vices to the bare minimum?
  • Do you make a conscious effort not to spend time feeling guilt, shame or regret?
  • Do you know what’s good for you, and do it most of the time?

3 is great, but maybe we should be scoring one another so there is no bias. 😉 We all justify our habits and choices, I know I do – but be honest with yourself, that’s the most important thing.

So raise your hand if you got a 21! Now do 10 “Hail Marys”.

Did you know smiling and laughing required so much work? Well, it doesn’t really – it is actually a state of grace, but living your life so that smiling and laughter are a natural habit will require some “inner house cleaning”, and of course homes don’t stay clean, you need to develop a regular habit of maintenance.

Above all, don’t wait for your circumstances to change to be happy. Happiness is a choice.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” And remember: “Faut souffrir pour être belle.” “One must suffer to be beautiful.”

See you at the spa!

Wilma from the Flintstones made me happy when I was a little girl – and she still does! She was great at expressing herself (especially if she was mad at Fred), but she was also quick to laugh and move on.

I’ve heard it said that you were “your most true self” when you were very little.

Gretchen Rubin, who wrote “The Happiness Project” reminds us to “Be Ourselves”.

As an adult,  I find myself wrestling with “chronos” time (the Greek word for time that means chronological, sequential time) while longing for “kairos” time (the Greek word describing how events unfold at the perfect time).

Many of my lists and tasks as wife, mother, business owner, homemaker etc. are done in chronos time, it’s my default mode. In fact – my temperament type, personality and upbringing all point to this rather driven way of being.

Yet I aspire to shift  into kairos, which is a space where faith lives. This is the space I was born into and occupied effortlessly for the first years of my life. I can be “Linda” and still relax into the moment, if I can remember how.

I need to consciously choose to believe that I’m not behind, that things will work out, and that life is bigger and more forgiving than my limited  and harried race against the clock.

Walt Whitman says: “Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour.”

I was raised by a woman who was into the women’s lib movement. She went back to school to get her law degree with 4 kids at home. She would flit off to fabulous destination spa resorts while my dad was on hunting trips. She was creating a new kind of role for a woman that was so different from her fore-mothers.

At home, mom went to The European Health Spa – a glorious facility, and the only place in the Twin Cities like it at the time… the 70’s.

She would sneak me into the spa at 15 (pretending I was 18), and I would sauna, steam, swim, get a massage and drink smoothies to my heart’s desire.

Who would have known that I would own a spa myself someday? I found pleasure in those quiet hours at the spa as a girl, the same way I felt swimming at the cabin, hunting turtles, picking fresh berries in the woods, or sitting on grandma’s lap. The common denominator in these experiences was the joy I felt.

I fancy myself as being in the “happiness business”. At the spa, time disappears. No lists to complete, people to please, or tasks to perform. Just you, your breath, your thoughts and a myriad of sensations. A safe place to go where your contentment is numero uno.

And I get to come along on the journey! I set the tone, the mood – create the space for you to be…just you.

That’s not to say that spa-going is the end-all, be-all to self discovery or enlightenment; it’s just one simple, uncomplicated way, one place to discover and be you!

I’ve found that serving others through the art of touch and personal grooming is one of the many things that brings me happiness. Now, your job is to figure out what brings you happiness, can you remember? – once you’ve done that, it’s easy to share!

See you at the spa!

We’ve all encountered people who are just plain nasty, haven’t we? This is  a great little book for recognizing an all too common behavior that cripples self-esteem.

Leo Buscaglia says,  “Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”

In my profession, I am privileged to hear people’s stories and come alongside them with support and encouragement. Some of these stories are about relationships with people who are “nasty” and have hurt them, sometimes over a period of many years.

This post is kind of heavy, but I HAD to write it because it contains some secrets of happiness for those of us who have survived the cruel intentions of those we love or have loved.

Recently I had an encounter with someone who was particularly nasty. And now that I am studying this phenomenon, it explains the behaviors of others that I have questioned over time.

These people (and unfortunately, sometimes we are them) are what may be  called Invalidators. Hitler was the archetype of an extreme invalidator.

A true invalidator can bypass your logical mind. When you’re around one, you find yourself feeling bad without knowing why. Invalidators are underhanded, and the person being invalidated is often unsuspecting. Their methods of invalidating include:

  • Uncertainty. They “make you feel” uncertain of your environment for long periods of time with vagueness, changing the way they treat you,  and not making  commitments, until your adaptive ability fails.
  • Projection. They take their own feelings and project them onto you. For instance, they may ask a person they don’t like, “I don’t think you like me do you?”
  • Generalization. They attack your self-esteem instead of the problem. Let’s say you forgot to bring home eggs from the store. The invalidator may say, “You’re inconsiderate,” “You’re stupid,” “You’re irresponsible.” No! You simply forgot the eggs. If you had remembered them, would you magically become more intelligent, responsible and considerate? Chipping away at your self-esteem so they can control you – that’s the game.
  • Judgment. The person who says, “You are irresponsible” has cleverly implanted the implication that “Anyone who knows you would agree.”
  • Manipulation. This is bad control. Good control includes a fair exchange and is ethical. You may be pressured to do it his way because he wants control.  An invalidator is by definition a manipulator.
  • Sneak Attack. “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” “I don’t want to upset you, but…” “Don’t let this bother you, but…” Watch it! These lines are a dead giveaway to what the invalidator has planned.
  • Double Message. These can lead to schizophrenia in childhood. The real message contains daggers but is masked in sweetness and love. You’ll know this by how your “gut” is feeling.
  • Cutting Off Communication. Interrupting you or walking away when you’re talking are prime examples.
  • Building You Up, Cutting You Down. Be careful about depending on someone else’s opinion of you for your self-esteem. The invalidator’s goal is to get you to look inside yourself through introversion and introspection so you don’t notice what’s going on outside yourself. Remember my Taming Your Gremlin post?
  • The Double Bind. The invalidator puts you in a double bind: “wrong if you do, wrong if you don’t.” The beginning to the solution for escaping the double bind is awareness (simply notice) and staying present (choose and play with options). Don’t become introspective!

Still with me? Nice deep breaths, now. 🙂

In truth, the invalidator actually feels inferior to the other person, so he tries to make the other person feel small. Thus, he can exert control over the “victim.” He has to control the other person because he perceives the other as being superior.

Actually, it is important to keep in mind that the invalidator is a personality, not a person. Invalidators look big but feel small. They have low self-esteem but large egos. They invalidate when they feel inferior or out of control. The worst cases are those who invalidate to gain destructive power and control.

Invalidation is contagious. If you have been invalidated, you may begin to do it to others yourself, or you may fall prey to someone who does.

If you have been the victim of an invalidator over a long period of time, you may manifest the flip-side of the invalidator. It may have forced you into a survival mode that looks like this:

  • You never get angry, and if you do you’re not sure how to express it without hurting someone – so you hold it all inside. When you suppress anger, you simultaneously repress other feelings.
  • You never put anyone down.
  • You were “made to feel” so wrong that at one point you made a forced decision that you were completely OK – so much so that one can almost see your halo.
  • You may have developed a stubborn unwillingness to be wrong.
  • You listen to people – in fact you actually make people right – because you don’t want to hurt someone like you were hurt. In the process, you fool people to build their egos and are dishonest with your true feelings.
  • You fear change. If you find yourself changing your opinions or point of view, you may fear that you are succumbing as you almost did to the invalidator long ago.
  • You may develop funny quirks in your personality because nothing can be allowed to shake the foundation you are hanging onto.

It is especially difficult for someone who was made to feel wrong to be willing to appear wrong. Your willingness to be wrong has been abused, and you may feel completely vulnerable.

A healthy person realizes that she is OK and can accept other people’s opinions and judgments. She is willing to see that sometimes someone else can be right and she can be wrong, which keeps things in balance.

So what can you do if you find yourself in a relationship where this behavior is present?

1.  Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. What is also true, as a reader suggests; “Remember that someone who makes you feel inferior is actaully trying to exert control over their own negative feelings by dumping them onto others.”  Thanks Angie!

2.  Realize that the invalidator is  a person with many qualities and that she is likely trapped in an unconscious behavior.

3.  Identify the problem for the invalidator.

4.  Set limits for the invalidator’s behavior. Let her know what is not acceptable to you.

5.  Make a time limit for change.

6.  Be respectful and diplomatic yet firm. You can use humor and words that express your feelings.

7.  Don’t judge, label, blame, generalize, or make it personal.

If reasoning doesn’t work, you might try cause and effect (there is no formula, play with options):

  • Disconnect, quit, or leave.
  • Raise your eyebrows and stare unwaveringly.
  • Do something outrageous like laughing shrilly, talking loudly, or winking – anything to “change the dance” and throw the invalidator off his game.
  • Your goal is to make the invalidator uncomfortable whenever he invalidates. And of course, if the methods of invalidation are harming you, or your children – you need to get away from it until and unless they change.

    See you at the spa!

    I have a part time position at a local studio teaching  3-6 year olds girls to dance. The other day in class one of the little girls was looking very sad, and almost in tears. When I asked her what was wrong she said;

    “I am afraid.” — Of what? I asked. “Of doing it wrong.” she whispered.

    Girls, I asked the whole class – what happens in dance class if you make a mistake? “Keep trying” they all answered. And are mistakes bad? I asked.

    “NO!” they all shouted. And why are we taking a dance class? I continued. “To learn” they chirped, squirming and giggling.

    As you can tell, we’ve had these conversations in class before 😉

    So to you I say the same thing I did to the littles dancing girls: mistakes are just what happens when you are learning – and we are ALL learning.

    What is a gremlin? How do you tame him? Do I have a gremlin? These and more questions are answered in one of my favorite books called Taming Your Gremlin (TYG) by Rick Carlson. In the last two posts I covered step 1 & 2 of the three step process for TYG: Simply Noticing and Choosing and Playing with Options .

    Today is the last step, it’s called: Being in Process – the dictionary.com definition of process is: A systematic series of actions directed to some end.

    So, a process involves a series of actions/choices – not just one. And the “end” refers to the desired outcome of an action.

    Let’s use the example from Part 2 of the TYG series; Linda’s Lenten Adventures, aka — my recent withdrawal process from 3 toxic substances ;)):

    I deliberately am not disclosing the “substances” because I want you to fill in your own blanks on this one, and because that part of it is my personal business.

    Content is also interchangeable. You may struggle with lying, stealing, gossiping, abuse, laziness – it makes no difference.

    The truth is I live in process. I am also continuing to simply notice how I am doing, what I’m feeling, and what I’m thinking about. Breathing instead of stuffing feelings and thoughts down is harder in some ways. But the end game is much more rewarding. The fruit of the Spirit is self control.

    I am choosing and playing with options as well to bring about the results I want, which are: good health, no guilt, more energy, self discipline, enlightenment and clarity.The whole process of TYG is a circle. It is the breath by breath process of noticing, choosing and processing. I am open to feeling and being with “what is showing up”. I can discover moment to moment what I need, and make conscious instead of automatic choices. I can participate in the process of creating the life I really want, the life “the natural me” was meant to live.

    What being in process is:

    • It is a dance. A dance that is performed as a solo, with guest artists showing up. It is a dance you are choreographing, a dance the Lord Almighty created you to do. It is an improvisational piece that is a response to the music of life. It is meant to be easy, flow from your depths. You did this dance when you were a child, and it was a joy. You can do it again, I know you can.
    • The “neutral observer” or non-judgmental response, to how the choices you are making in any given circumstance are working for you, and based on that assessment, choosing and playing  with new options.
    • Giving yourself permission to be a learner!
    • Realizing that the path of your life is followed step by step, breath by breath and choice by choice.
    • Being aware in each moment to the fact that you can change your response to any situation as many times as you need to in order to get the results you want.
    • Seeing that there are really no mistakes, just choices that didn’t yield the results you wanted.

    What being in process is not:

    • It’s not about regret, guilt or shame.
    • It isn’t about should’ve, would’ve, or could’ve.
    • There doesn’t have to be a solution right now to everything that happens. Ambiguity is OK to live with.
    • It is not your job to control anyone or anything. You are only responsible for yourself and your choices.

    Ready to tame your own gremlin? May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts & minds.

    See you at the spa!

    This is the second in a series of 3 that I am writing on one of my favorite books. Here is a link to  the Taming Your Gremlin (TYG) website, if you want to check it out.

    I hope you’ve read and have been “practicing” Part 1: The first in 3 steps to TYG called Simply  Noticing. We were all born simply noticing – and then we developed our intellect.  It’s kind of like  doing artwork when you were a kid: it was a natural, free and fun process until Mrs.  Brown said,  “That’s not a house Susie, draw it like this, and please try to stay in the lines”….remember?

    But never fear, it’s not too late to recover the child within! You too can learn to deeply breath, feel again, and live in the joy of the present moment.

    So, that brings us to Step 2 in TYG: Choose and Play with Options. Take a breath, and as a neutral observer simply notice what you are feeling and thinking. This amazing “window” opens and fresh “air” floods your mind, (isn’t breathing wonderful?).

    Choosing and playing with options comes after the all important breath of awareness that you take. If you skip this breath/noticing part – you’re on your own. You will continue to do the “same old” – and how’s that working for ya?

    The important parts of choosing and playing with options are:

    • Choosing comes right after the breath, but it is not the final opportunity for choice, it is just the beginning.
    • If you are feeling lots of pressure/stress in the moment, the process of choosing an option will have to evolve over time – no biggie! That’s why we call it playing with options you can start one way and change.
    • Sometimes you need to observe and simply notice over an extended period of time to develop awareness of an issue before you are ready to choose an option.
    • Remember, not choosing is a choice/option. But when you pick that, remember to simply notice how it’s working for you.

    I am always “re-learning” about this little process: Recently I decided to give up 3 toxic substances for Lent. You see I simply noticed that every time I felt certain emotions, I would use a substances instead of breathing and simply noticing. Blocking, avoiding, masking, breathing shallowly and hiding from the truth of the matter – you know the drill :).

    In my situation, I simply noticed that I was:

    • Using toxic substances often.
    • Feeling extra stress in my body.
    • Forming some habits/addictions.
    • Feeling powerless.
    • Having a hard time discerning what I was really feeling.

    Here are the options I chose to play with:

    • Being a Type A, I decided to quit all three substances cold turkey. Dive right in, that’s me! Whee 😉
    • First I needed to check to see if the water was deep enough so I didn’t smash my head. What kinds of support would I need? Both for my physical body, and my heart/emotions.
    • I also needed to explore what emotions, fears and anxiety sources I was hiding from.
    • Then, I could begin to walk it out, breathing and talking with God step by step in my new journey. Staying fully present and choosing and playing with options as I went along.

    Because I have developed some skill in this little game, I am actually enjoying it – and I’m enjoying sharing it with you. After all breathing is not hard to do, and playing isn’t difficult is it?

    See you at the spa!

    As a “personal care” provider in the spa industry, I spend lots of time helping people figure out how to relax! Because the work is sometimes intense, I also need to keep myself “in tune”.

    There is a little book called Taming Your Gremlin (TYG) that I have studied for years. I have attached an audio from the author. What I’d like to share with you today is step 1 in a 3 step process toward healing that I learned from this book:

    Step #1, Simply Notice: With each breath in and out we are experiencing a moment in time. It is in this moment that we need to be fully aware and present, because each moment is truly a present, a gift, it is what I like to call “God’s Eternal Now”.

    Some call this state of awareness being grounded, focused, balanced, centered, present… you get the idea. I believe that it is in this place that we find the peace that passes understanding and joy unspeakable. Moment by moment, breath by breath, we can handle what ever comes our way. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do we live our lives? One breath at a time.

    So simply noticing is nothing more than being fully aware of  what’s going on with you in the  present moment.

    It is being aware of your:

    • Thoughts – Ex: What are the thoughts coming up? What is my “spotlight of awareness”?
    • Feelings – Ex: What emotions are coming up right now? How intense are the feelings?
    • Senses – Ex. What do I smell, see, hear, feel?
    • Body – Ex: Am I holding tension anywhere in my body? What sensations am I feeling? Do I normally notice this area when I am feeling this?

    This awareness takes literally one breath’s time, once you have developed the pathway of awareness and unblocked hindrances.

    Hey, once upon a time this was natural to you. When, you ask? Your childhood!

    Simply Noticing is not about:

    • Making judgments – Ex. Why does she always talk to me like that? What a jerk!
    • Trying to change – Ex. I need to quit eating so much.
    • Beating yourself up – Ex. I am such a jealous person, no wonder he left me.

    My hope is that you practice step 1 when you remember to breath. Build a pattern of open awareness, so that you can be present in each moment.  Simply notice what is showing up.

    I’ll leave you with this: The author of TYG, Rick Carlson, gives us a wonderful insight he calls the Zen Theory of Change:

    “I free myself not by trying to be free, but simply by noticing how I am imprisoning myself, in the very moment that I am imprisoning myself.”

    See you at the spa!

    I am in the process of writing a 3 part post that explains a process I’ve been  using for years called “Taming Your Gremlin”. It is from a book of the same name by Rick  Carlson.

    His definition of a gremlin: “A macabre master of misery lurking in the  shadows of your very own mind. Your gremlin is not your negative  thoughts and traumatic past experiences. He is not your fears, regrets,  or self limiting concepts. He’s the one who uses them – and more – to  create elaborate cinematic works suited to your unique  vulnerabilities…his intention is to make you miserable by constantly  diverting your attention from the simple peace and contentment  already  within your heart.”

    Taming Your Gremlin is a three step process:

    1.) Simply Notice 2.) Choose And Play With Options 3.) Be In Process

    I look forward to unfolding this skill set for you in the next week. I’m Taming My Gremlin right now in fact – and it is so fun! Want to join me? Tune is later this week for more, or rush out and grab the book for yourself!

    See you at the spa!

    I am obsessed with birthdays! Not so much the gift part, but I love to encourage people to celebrate and enjoy themselves with those near and dear.

    And just in case you didn’t know, my clients get 20% off the month of their birthday! 🙂

    So – when March roles around (mine is the 15th) the party begins. I personally play the whole month, cause it is hard to fit all the fun into one day.

    Now lest you judge me as vain or self involved, let me just say; “I am wonderfully and skillfully made…in His image” , I haven’t always felt this way, but I’m a survivor, and I just look for fun wherever/whenever I can find it.

    This year I am officially a senior citizen (55) at least at Dennys (which I don’t love), but I’m just sayin ;). I also get senior drinks at McD’s, a pitiful .25 cents!!!, and cheaper movies. Why not enjoy the little perks?

    I wish older women would celebrate their age more. Not just the cougars & celebrities who have a part time job working out, getting lipo, botox and tucks – but every woman…in every shape, size and skin condition.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love makeup, skincare, working out and fashion. But I also accept that I am wrinkling, thickening around the middle, and forgetting things. I call it Healthy Aging! It is wonderfully merciful that it happens slowly over a long period of time.

    So, whether you are a person who likes to celebrate your birthday or not, remember to celebrate you – year round!

    See you at the spa!

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