Where did my happy hair go?

    Yesterday I went to the hairdresser and convinced myself that I needed to have the hairspray that she used to make sure my hair would not move. This is something I do every time I go. As a result I now have enough product to open my own salon. My hair has gotten thinner with age and I have come to the conclusion that if I put enough productin it, or on it , that it will be full and sassy. I have been on this quest since menopause when my hair became extremely uncooperative and started looking like an old Brillo pad. Who knew how important estrogen was to having happy hair. It seems that estrogen is important for a great deal of how women’s bodies function. But thats another story.

    At this point in my life my biggest concern is not to look like I have spaces in my scalp. I could become really hip and tattoo the spaces with pictures of my grandchildren, but Im not there yet. Since Im fairly optimistic, I think for now, Im going to continue my quest to find the holy grail of hair products that will produce volume, shine and the ability  for it to stay still in the midst of a tornado.

   I often think about my grandmother Francesca when I find myself upset by not getting the result I was promised from a product. She used a bar of brown soap to wash her hair and then she would apply some olive oil as a conditioner. She used brown soap for everything that needed to be cleaned, dishes, floors, clothes, and her body. She had beautiful skin and great hair. Of course, she didnt color, condition, or volumize it. They hadnt been invented yet. But, I dont think she would have used them even if they were available, since she was very invested in living a granola like life.

   Unfortunately, I became seduced by the promises made by a myriad of hair products. Im afraid to look under the sink since that has become a cemetery for stuff that didnt work. My shower has several bottles of shampoo and conditioner in it as well. It all does the same thing nothing! I assuage myself by thinking Im just not using it properly. But how many ways are there to apply shampoo in order for it to do its magic.

   My mother was always appalled at what she thought was a total waste of my money. She like my grandmother was an advocate of brown soap. Her consistent remark was You could have put the money you spent on this stuff in the bank instead of your head. I hate the fact that she was right. So what am I going to do from now on.  Well, I think its time for some brown soap.


Is being negative influencing the productivity and morale of your company?

Whenever I’ve been hired to do a workshop in a corporation the individuals who hire me often relate that they want me to try to get the employees to realize that being negative is influencing the productivity and morale. Of course that makes sense not only in the workplace, but also with every relationship we have. Now, I’m not a proponent of trying to make all of us into Gurus of positivity. We need the ability to notice when things are not going well and to be able to discuss them. Unfortunately some people become habituated to being negative and need to learn to walk a more moderate path.

A good technique for reshaping negative thinking into a more optimistic mindset is to simply look long and hard at the way we talk about life. Researchers have proven that our brain patterns are defined in part by how we think—our brain is deeply affected by our inner dialogue; in fact, the language we use helps us create our ability to think positively or negatively. Optimists take credit for their successes and see bad events as flukes. Pessimists, on the other hand, blame themselves for anything that happens and often discount success.

Have you ever been with someone who just can’t say thank you when you give them a compliment—they’d much rather tell you what’s wrong with them? Dr. Martin Seligman has dubbed the dialogue of pessimism and optimism as explanatory story. He points to the fact that pessimists use the three P’s to explain themselves: personalization (“It alway happens to me!”), pervasiveness (“It happens to me every day in every way!”), and permanence (“ It will never end!).

This practically guarantees a life that contains a feeling of hopelessness and suffering. It also contributes to a sense of inner worthlessness and self-control. The more we think we are a certain way, the more we become that way. If we continually think we’re a failure, then before long, no matter what we do, we fail. If we go around thinking that we’ve been working so hard that we should be tired, it’s going to be awfully hard to access energy.

Over a lifetime, our brains create pathways that lead us down certain ways of thinking. As a result it is difficult to change our thought process. We are also at the mercy of how we were parented and the environment we lived in. However, it is possible to reframe our thoughts by doing the following :

1. Try to think about what you’re thinking about

2. Can you ask a trusted friend if they can be your “thought detective”? Have them help you investigate whether what you saying makes sense.

3. Lastly, don’t take yourself so seriously. Nothing is written in stone, except a tombstone.