Tag Archives: life advice

Don’t Do It Alone!! Learn To Let Help Happen

When is the last time you asked for help? I don’t mean ” Babe can you open the jar of pickles?” help. I mean real, swallow your pride and ask for it H.E.L.P. If you’re a pro at this already then I applaud you and you get a gold star. However, if you’re like me then you may be trying your best to balance everyone’s needs except your own and pretending it’s a breeze. I’m guessing you are wishing you had a few clones and some more resources to help with those necessary and stressful tasks like washing dishes and starting a savings account. I know you are probably pretending that being an independent do-it-yourself-er is super fulfilling but the real you is waving a white flag and hoping for some rescue! I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do it alone and learning how to ask for help is a valuable key to success.

Learning to ask for help is critical to survival and it starts with a powerful concept called vulnerability. According to Brené Brown, an expert on the subject, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation and change.”  The act of being vulnerable allows you to acknowledge to yourself and others that you’ve tried your best but you can’t do it alone. It means being strong enough to let others in on some of your dark secrets and scary situations, fully knowing they could laugh in your face or damn you to hell. It means recognizing that you need other people and you’re not a super hero. No judgement here if you have been ignoring it all… I GET IT!! Please know that a few steps beyond all that pesky pride business and silly fear is a loving team of fellow humans looking for people to help! They just need to understand how they can be of service. The perfect example is ME!! So, if you need more advice or some questions answered please send me an email and let me know how I can help.

Once you have identified that you cannot (or should not) do “it” alone, it’s time to start the real work and that’s finding the best form of help and asking for it. Receiving help when you’re in need is wonderful, but it won’t have lasting effects if it’s the kind of help that isn’t actually helpful. Like when my 4 yr old demands to help make the bed but she just lays there giggling in the sheets. Or when you begrudgingly offer to let your unemployed buddy stay with you til they get on their feet, which you fully know won’t  actually help them find a job or a place. “Helpful” help is the kind that is mutually beneficial, meaning that there is some greater good that will come to all the people participating in the task. Whether it is a helpful feeling or an exchange of goods and services, all parties should be able to settle into some feeling of  ‘this is a good idea’ for things to really flow.


Recently I was asked by a customer of mine if I would help her apply the henna hair color kit she had purchased online. Jen admitted to me she was nervous to do it alone the first time and she wanted an expert to assist her. I hadn’t worked with henna much and I love to try new things so of course I was totally happy to help out! Working together we achieved mutually satisfying results and we had fun!. Jen got the shiny red glow she was after on her new hair and I got to learn more about using henna as a hair dye. Check back in next week to read all about it and learn some more about henna dye and other “natural” hair colors. Now let’s imagine what could have happened if Jen had asked my 4 yr old to help her. She definitely would’ve said yes, but the results would not have been so good. So make sure to get the right help and try to find someone who is happy to give it to you.


After you have identified what you need, who can help, and how you will get it done it’s time to put the plan into action and reap the rewards. Eventually you will become such a pro at asking for help that you will find yourself feeling so awesome and energized that you will literally NEED to help others!! When people come together in support of each other for mutually beneficial reasons, their combined efforts will produce amazing results and generate a state of interdependence.  Interdependence is the fabric that the quilt of teamwork and cooperation is made from and contributing to its’ creation is like being wrapped in amplified love and support. Doesn’t that sound nice?  There are billions of people in the world who all NEED to give and receive varying levels of help. They don’t need this because they’re needy, they need it because they’re human, and being connected and useful to one another is how we survive. Success and personal fulfillment is just the cherry on top once you learn the importance of knowing how to ask for help when you need it.

 

 

 

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The Gift Of The Present

When you are an ambitious working mom with a busy social schedule, living in the moment is more like surviving moment to moment. This week I’ve been so scattered I’ve forgotten where I set down my cell phone numerous times, officially lost a set of car keys within the mess of my car, and misplaced my precious make up bag! I’ve also failed to pay attention to the urgency of a few important matters in my daily world. Like I said in my first post, I am a major procrastinator and because of that I often let things erupt into a five alarm fire! For example, my recent string of bad luck with my car. Two breakdowns that left me stranded and over $1,600 in repairs later, I’m wishing I had taken the check engine light more seriously. I also have been ignoring a flea infestation in my apartment – the side effect of letting my cat cruise around outside on the balcony. For about a month I’ve silently prayed that they would just go away but after I noticed that I was literally being eaten alive, I had to accept that I was losing the battle of the bugs. My first instinct is to blame life for these major inconveniences but I know that the blame is on me. I’ve been too distracted by things that already have happened in the past or things that I think may happen in the future, to pay attention to what’s happening right in front of me!

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Whether I’m cutting, coloring, or styling a clients hair, I have to stay in the moment. If I don’t I risk hurting myself or my customer and their hair, while at the same time ruining my reputation as a master hairdresser. Once I was in a rush to add caramel lowlights to a blonde client’s hair and in my haste I mistakenly grabbed a level 1 (black) tube of color that was hanging out with the level 7s (dark blonde). Black streaks in blonde hair does add dimension, but it definitely wasn’t what my customer was looking for that day. Oops! Another time, I had my head in the clouds during a haircut and I nearly cut my finger off!  I knew immediately after it happened that I wasn’t paying attention and I was thankful I had sacrificed my finger instead of my clients ear. Being out of the moment can be dangerous and its most often when accidents happen that may make it even more difficult to enjoy the next moment!
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There are times when revisiting the past can be fun, like a 1960’s themed Christmas party. Last weekend I was invited to my friend, Rachel Belle’s, holiday work party. The theme was Mad Men and we were encouraged to dress the part. Rachel and I love to dress up, and more than that, we love attention!  I accepted the invitation to do her hair and be her date, knowing that I had a closet full of faux furs and vintage hand gloves that would be perfect.  After about an hour of prepping Rachel’s coif with a flat iron and endless backcombing, I had transformed her wild curls into a polished beehive-esque up do. Ready to take on the night, we headed out to Lake Union where the free food and fun was awaiting us. As usual, we were a little livelier than the rest of the crowd, so we left after munching and took our do’s to a small bar where we received even more attention. The night was fun and we did look amazing, but the best part of the whole night was getting to spend time with my gal pal Rachel.
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Time is a precious gift and it’s the most important thing we have to share with others when we are living in the moment. A couple of weeks ago I had a cold reminder of just how precious time is; I lost a long term customer and friend, Jen, to breast cancer. A couple days before she passed away I had made plans to visit  Jen because I knew she was sick. I was all set to head out to her place, when my stupid car broke down! Stranded and annoyed, I canceled our get together and rescheduled it for a couple days later, thinking that a few days wouldn’t really matter, but it did. I was so sad that I had missed our “last visit” and I felt silly remembering all the things I had complained about earlier that day – things that didn’t matter at all.  When I talked to Jen’s brother to express my sympathies and heartache that I hadn’t been able to see her a few nights before, he thanked me and said, “I know, we all thought she had more time.” More time.
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It is so easy to lose sight of the most important things in life like family, friends, and time. The magic of the holiday season isn’t on sale at the mall, it’s happening right now in front of you! Take a look around and appreciate all the good things you already have in your life because the future is quickly turning into the past, and the present moment is the real gift. Reflecting on the past can be a great tool to help us navigate the potential future, as long as it doesn’t overwhelm our attention and make us forget to enjoy the moment. The future is only something that may happen, and no matter how much we plan for it, we have no control over what will come to be. The only thing we can do is enjoy the moment and make sure we share it with the people that bring us the most joy, so keep that in mind this season when you’re wondering what to get that special person on your list. The gift of time is something that doesn’t cost much and it can be shared with anyone and everyone. Happy Holidays!