beyonce, my teacher

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Beyonce has taught me a lot in the past few weeks. I spend an hour a week with wonderful friends dancing to her music. Yes, it’s a great sweat and it also makes me feel confident, happy and super good about myself. Little did I know that reading one of her quotes on Pinterest would shift my perspective on forgiveness.

 

So often, I want to be right. If I’m hurt, I want to hurt you back ten times harder. Maybe there’s a layer of justice in that revenge, that equality exists within good and bad. There’s a lot of “me” in the conversation that goes on in my head: how I’m hurt, sad or upset. I think there’s an interesting, intrinsic human characteristic to protect and preserve oneself – maybe driven from a primal instinct (I’m no expert here). For me, it’s so much easier to play the game of vengeance than to take a step back, breathe and explore the idea of forgiveness.

 

I wrote a list of how someone has “wronged” me in the past while. I essentially wrote a list of all these spots in my heart that I have been avoiding, because they were too painful and emotionally exhausting to deal with. It hurt to write those things down because it made me angry, sad and weak all at the same time. I realized that even though I wasn’t consciously hurting this person for doing these things to me, I was hurting myself for holding on and sweeping these feelings aside.  Maybe I didn’t want to forgive the person who made me feel like this (and, that’s okay), but could I find forgiveness for hurting myself? Yes – I’m no longer going to hurt myself by holding on; I’m going to take a step in showing myself love. And through this, my capacity for forgiveness towards others grew ten-fold.

 

To Beyonce for having killer music, amazing dance moves and a depth of love that put me through an emotional wringer.

who am I?

I get scared to answer the question, ‘who are you’ because I don’t know the answer 

I always considered questions such as “who am I” and “why am I here” such daunting inquires because they ask us to consider our end, or an answer. To me, answering those questions aren’t what I’m seeking – it’s not about the answers, it’s about the better questions. And those questions, lead to more discoveries and fulfill an inquisitive nature. I feel successful, accomplished and happy when I uncover more about myself than saying I know who I am.

To me, the question “who am I” is infinite possibility. Just like infinity, we can get  closer and closer to an end and never truly reach it. It’s abstract, unknown and maybe my human capacity isn’t able to comprehend everything that I am and maybe that’s okay.

I’ve started a routine practice of mindful meditation. I practice at work with a group of co-workers and through an app. In my practice, I use the mantra, “I am”. At first, I chanted this silently to myself and words would come up like friend, partner, hard-working and so on. Yesterday, at the end of our morning meditation practice, my friend who leads the meditation said the most beautiful words around the mantra that I keep thinking about. She said, “The statement, I am, your most expansive self, yourself without ego because in fact, you are everything.”

 

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the death of my relationship with my husband

*While I typically write about beauty related material, I wanted to take this opportunity to write about a personal experience that is shaping so much of who I am – my story is important and I want you to know it. And yes, I align with my husband before posting these.

A little under a month ago, my husband came home and told me he was suffering with anxiety and severe depression. He told me he didn’t know who he was, what his goals were in life and whether he wanted to be in a relationship with me. As you might be able to imagine, this news shook my entire world – I shut down and didn’t know how to cope. He packed some belongings and headed out the door to his mom’s. That moment was the death of our relationship which, I knew to be so true.

I remember so clearly that the first thing I did was cry, uncontrollability, without hesitation or purpose – the tears simply flowed. When I was able to catch my breath, I realized I needed to tell someone, to find a sense of connection with anything because I didn’t know how to be alone. I immediately called my best friends and they comforted me. I told them everything that happened and let them know I could not understand why this was happening – what did I do wrong, why didn’t he tell me this before?

Throughout the next few weeks, I did everything to avoid the pain and emotions that were going through my brain. At first, I tried to maintain contact with my husband because I didn’t know how to be without him. When he wasn’t responding to my text messages I got the not so discreet message that he didn’t want to communicate. I went through stories in my head of what he was thinking, how he was feeling and why. I exhausted myself living a life trying to read his mind with clues I’d gather from his family or friends. I coped by talking with friends, co-workers and family and, by seeking out counselling to deal with what was happening in my life. I turned to meditation to listen to my inner self and to get grounded in the present moment. I went from being able to plan out my future in 10 years to not knowing what I’d do tomorrow. I tried to shield my heart and act normal – that didn’t last long. Within all of this “trying to cope”, what I needed most was to live in and experience the pain, hurt and loss.

Today, I stand here in all my vulnerability. My husband and I went to see a counsellor together to talk about our relationship. I learned a lot of things – some about me, some about him and some about our relationship. What was so clear to me today is that what really matters to me, in all of this, is the happiness and well-being of someone so special in my life, my husband. I gave him the grace to experience himself and discover what he truly wanted. I forgave him for making me feel like I was the monster that caused this (this was a truth in mind). I also gave myself permission to feel all the feelings I need to feel. This allowed me to have all the courage, bravery and faith in my husband during his journey. In this moment, I feel confident, have faith in a bright future and am giving myself the grace to learn and grow.

I’ll continue to share this story as it unfolds – and all the raw and real thoughts that come with that – because this is an outlet for me to truly experience what is happening.

 

Trust:

 

 

 

 

ombre | aveda

I did it – for the first time in over 10 years I’ve coloured my hair! To be honest, I was nervous about getting my hair coloured because I couldn’t imagine what it would look like on me and I didn’t not want to look like me. I went to the Aveda Institute here in Vancouver where stylist, Hayley worked her magic.

I came prepared with some photos from Pinterest that I had screen grabbed to show her the tones and colours I liked. I’m learning more and more about my hair and going into the appointment I knew that I didn’t want to start with an all over colour and them ombre but, ombre from my natural colour. The reason for this was because I didn’t want to start growing roots (my hair grows fast) and, I wanted it to look as if I was naturally growing out colour in my hair. Hayley was great in asking my lots of questions: where do we want the ombre to start, what range of tones did we want to put in and so on. When we were totally aligned on the game plan, she started coming through my hair, separating it out and adding in colour.

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Let’s take a moment to talk about the colour we went with. Naturally, I have dark brown/black hair. My hair isn’ jet blue/black and when the sun shines on it, it turns a brown colour and you can see natural highlights in it. Because of this, i knew that golden/warmer tones would suit me best. And, this is exactly the colour we went with: mid-tone to light warm browns. What I love about this colour is that I have the option to take the ombre up or leave it down and put in darker or lighter shades in the future for even more dimension. What I know is that to get the luscious, depth in coloured hair, it can take a few trips to the salon.

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I took this photo a few days after I got my hair coloured – it’s since faded a bit at the ends.

botanical therapy treatment | aveda

I’ve mentioned on my blog that I’m no hair expert – it’s literally the last thing I think of as I’m running out the door each morning. Having said this, I’m always curious to learn tips and tricks on how to manage my mane. I’m a low maintenance gal when it comes to my locks so I always ask for the same style at a salon, “easy to care for, no product needed, wake up and go type of look”.

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This past weekend, I went to Aveda to get a trim and a botanical therapy treatment. To be honest, I had no idea what a botanical therapy treatment was but it sounded like it would do my hair some good. My stylist was the lovely Christine, who knows hair inside and out. I was telling her how my scalp starts to hurt if I wear my hair up in a high ponytail and she looked at my hair a few times, looked at my scalp and let me know that the growth of my hair grew the opposite way to which my ponytail went. This made so much sense! She suggested that I try putting my hair in a lower ponytail. For my trim, we went for a style that I could grow out (I let her know that I wanted to grow my hair out), trimmed my bangs and cut down that slight angle on my front layers. Next, we went onto the botanical therapy treatment.

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The botanical therapy treatment adds moisture and hydration to your hair without the weight. I’ve tried those home remedies before where you put some coconut oil in your hair or whatever else Pinterest tells you to do. I’ve always found that it’s hard to wash oil out of my hair so I’m nervous about those DIYs. The first thing I noticed after the treatment was just how shiny my hair was – I literally could not stop touching it! My hair isn’t coloured or has a perm so it’s pretty healthy to begin with but this treatment just makes it look super healthy. If shiny, healthy hair is your jam, I highly recommend a botanical therapy treatment.

aveda cut | hair

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I had a bad hair experience once and ever since then, the thought of getting my hair cut makes me nervous. I went to the Aveda Institute Vancouver for a trim last weekend and my faith in Vancouver hair dressers has been restored. My experience was simply amazing – a tour of the beautiful Gastown building, scalp massage, wash, cut and make-up touch up to finish it off.

Last Saturday I went to the Aveda Institute Vancouver for what I thought would be your run of the mill hair cut – sit down, flip through magazines, get my hair cut  and that’s it. Well, when I walked into the building, I was first offered something to drink – I went with tea. Let me tell you, the Aveda tea is delicious. I’m not one for liquorice but this one wasn’t too overpowering with it. Then, I received a tour of the whole space. If you haven’t been to the Institute, then you probably don’t know it’s Aveda’s hair school. You’ll find rows of chairs, filled with practicing and professional hair dressers cutting, dying and washing hair. The space is beautiful and I didn’t know it was once a rug store. As I waited for my hair dresser, I browsed through the nicely organized shelves of product.

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I loved all the different hair oils Aveda has. Once my hair dresser and I met, we talked about my hair type, the length and what I wanted. I ended up cleaning up my current style with a nice trim and thinning out my hair in areas where it’s super dense. At the end of the cut, I had it styled with curls and finished with a tad bit of hair spray. I can’t tell you how in love I am with my hair – I received so many compliments on it! My hair dresser walked me through every step which, was comforting for me knowing that I once had a really bad hair experience. Once the cut + style was done, we walked over to the make-up touch up space where I got some blush and gloss on and I was good to go!

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m looking forward to my next hair experience.

luminous silk foundation + strobe cream |base 101

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I’ve received a lot of compliments over the summer on my base – aka. foundation. Well here’s my secret sauce for this time of year: giorgio armani luminious silk foundation and mac strobe cream. I start off with a freshly cleansed face, apply a tad bit of toner and moisturize with my cetaphil moisturizing lotion. I will then go in with mac strobe cream – that’s right, more moisture – and use my buffing brush from real techniques to blend in 1 pump of the luminous silk foundation. The rest of my base: primer, concealer, setting powder etc. I always mix up but my strobe cream and foundation are always the same.