Self Care Sunday

Lessons from our past and present:

What matters to you? What tugs at your heart strings? What fills your soul? I’ve spent the last year really trying to understand these questions for myself. I’ve found some of the answers in ghosts of the past and my elders.

Self care looks so different for so many people. And it has so many facets to it. When I first started this project I wasn’t sure if I could come up with enough “content” to keep it going. Where would I find the time to add one more thing to my schedule?? Then a ghost of time past floats past my ear and reminds me of my love of writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is meant to be enjoyed.

How are we supposed to create self care for ourselves if we don’t even know what we actually like? The three questions above are a consistent nag in the back of my mind. A beacon if you will guiding me to where I am willing to give my time. The light shining through my soul to where I am supposed to be.

These questions will never be answered concretely. More of an ebb and flow that follows our life. But the answers can help guide us through the ebbs and to enjoy the flows. At first, I was completely frustrated with these questions as I thought everyone else already “had them.” Like people walk around with a bunch of sure answers. And the more that I really started to look, instead of assume, the more wrong I was.

I assumed busy was fulfillment. I assumed that having “Superman Syndrome” was the best thing I could do for others. That the amount of likes on social media, meant the amount of change I could create. But the answers were never there. Yet, in the chaos I found the calm. I found the craving for something softer. Quieter. Still…

Where do you go to find those things? How do you navigate with so many directions to go? Let go. (Insert Frozen song here.) Let go of the things that don’t fill your soul or give you energy. Even when you don’t know what you do you want, you know what you don’t want. Let go of the things you don’t want. Start with the stigmas you assume others have. They are so busy with themselves, they don’t have the time for the judgements you think they do. And if they do have time for judgements, I’d wager they aren’t the happy souls you’d like to replicate.

Turn towards those with experience for the answers you crave. Both yourself and your elders. The answer is always within you and around you. I am currently sitting at the hospital with Grandpa Jim. One of the smartest, kindest, least judging man of my lifetime. It’s given me time to contemplate what matters for me. While he fights to breathe, trusts those of us around him, and continues to get better- I am learning from him. My health isn’t just a thing. It is a gift. His fighting to be with us, the medical team here, and what science has afforded us in this life- is also a gift.

Grandpa Jim has given me a life lesson without ever knowing it. Often that is how life lessons go. We don’t impart magical knowledge knowingly. But rather through the actions we live through. His soft demeanor of listening to others. He never needs to be right over being peaceful. Grandpa Jim had no problem admitting to me that he was scared the first time he recieved a massage. Even telling me why he was scared. That moment changed my life. All he did was share something, and yet that was crucial to becoming who I am. In that moment, Grandpa Jim had no problem revealing he was scared of something. I don’t know that I have done that in my short lifetime. By being vulnerable, he gave a gift to me. I have to wonder how often, my being “strong” robs someone else the chance to heal.

Brene Brown has taught me that the words we say don’t heal people. What we do does. Our basic actions create the space for us to heal and happen to allow others to do the same. We cannot heal for others. Welp, there goes my Superman Syndrome. Yet, a whole lot of freedom comes from not needing to “fix” others. The real freedom comes from working on allowing others their space while with me. Having family members with dementia is really honing this in for me.

Then there is creating the space for you. Creating boundaries to allow yourself the Self-Care Sunday Space you deserve. Or even UnManic Monday. Lean into your gut feelings. I started by waiting for the quiet whispers to guide me. The first voice when looking for reason, not the second voice or the loud one. Those voices belong to what society has taught me. My inner desires will never yell. They will always wait for me to find the quiet.

When leaning into new things, we will always second guess ourselves. While relearning to trust ourselves, we can look to our own history. When we were younger society hadn’t gotten to us yet. The outer world hadn’t imposed it’s opinions to cripple us yet. Take the chance to look at what your 4 year old self would say, your 6 year old self? Sometimes my inner child is smarter than this 34 year old existence.

Our elders have so much to teach us in the life lived before us. Our inner child knows us better than the loud world thinks it does. Reach to them to find who you want to be and who you are. Finding balance in self-care is also finding yourself. What better gift can you give the world?

E.Claire LEARNS

Salon Emotion

We recently had the Salon Emotion program in house for our team. This program focuses on how our guests experience a salon visit and how to improve that experience. We strive to not only meet our guests’ expectations but to give them the very best experience possible. If something seems different during your next visit we might be implementing some new systems to help us ensure the most enjoyable and efficient visit; if you have any questions about what seems new please ask us! 

Our team had many discoveries during this program. One team member loved the discovery that all people really want is to just be listened to; truly listened to and understood. Another team member loved the idea of making everything as personalized for her individual guests as possible. Many of us realized just how much we all support one another, and what a great Spalon family we’ve created. We also discovered a lot discussing how we can serve people out of empathy and how different that could make not only our guests’ experience but our own. 

A huge topic of the day was consultations. We learned that only 7 percent of salon guests across the US feel that they have a consultation. Meanwhile 97 percent of service providers say they give consultations. That is a pretty huge disconnect in communication. If you have ever been a guest at E.Claire you know we strive to give excellent consultations. However hearing this statistic made us all realize we may not be giving full consultations to every person we serve; or that we may not be going in depth enough on our consultations. If you are ever in Spalon with us and your not sure if you’ve had a consultation, or maybe you wish you could have asked us more questions please stop us, and let us know that you need to talk with us some more before we big your service. 

Until Next Time,

E.Claire Spalon

Self Care Sunday Crash

Crash.

Do it. Crash into the couch with Netflix. Snuggle your pups, kid, kittens…plants. Whatever you need. Close the light blocking curtains like it blocks out the world. Turn your phone to silent and leave it in another room. Don’t shower. Don’t change into “real clothes.” Take two naps. One with just one pup on your feet. Then the other when the kid snuggles into your bed an hour later. And the kittens realize they need one too. She won’t be 11 forever.
Take a day to fully let your mind and body re-charge. Crash.

I’d been foggy for two days. Doing the bare minimum to get by and stay positive. Sleep felt like a drug I couldn’t get enough of. Food was palatable and depression was deliriously close. I caught myself becoming snippy to my closest loves. Those I reserve my rawest moments for. Finally by Friday afternoon I was 4 coffees, a Redbull deep and couldn’t even remember what time to pick up the kittens. (The time was on a post it, in a text, AND on a reminder….)

How often to “push through” thinking it’s what we need to do? And then when we “crash” we spend the whole day feeling guilty? The house didn’t get cleaned. The kid was fed, watered, teeth brushed, and loved. But the day felt good. It restored my soul. My body ready to tackle the week. I’ve done more this morning than I’ve accomplished in the last week combined. Yet I regret nothing. I would do it all again in the same order.

Everyone is still alive. The kid, the wife, and the team all still kicking. I didn’t do anything perfect last week. Hell, I’m realizing how “behind” I am today. And by behind I mean to the standards I set for myself. I can change those. But I stayed intentional in each moment, with each person-the best of my abilities. I communicated my needs and boundaries. And those my friends, is my wins.

Here’s my challenge to you: do you know what your down time is worth? Do you take the time to plan it into your schedule? How do you crash?

Savor the down time. Your 11 year old will only snuggle pile for so long….

Self Care Sunday-ish

Gratitude

        It feels like we hear it every where. A catch phrase that feels empty. What is gratitude? What does it mean to be grateful? How do you hold onto when life is torpedoing around you? Let’s dive into the nitty gritty stages of gratitude. 

It is a word that means: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

To find gratitude means to slow down. To find a new perspective sometimes. I remember talking to a friend who said, “I know I shouldn’t be complaining buuuuut…” Haven’t we all been there? Venting is perfectly human. A release of energy to be able to move on from something frustrating. I have realized for myself, that if I am “venting” to more than 3 people then it may be a real problem. Then it is time to re-assess my viewpoint. To help find that the new perspective I focus on gratitude. I offered my friend to do the same. She and I both really struggled with finding things to be grateful for. 

You could argue that at times I get stuck in my world and forget most of my issues are first world problems. They are not things that matter in the greater scheme in this lifetime. I once asked my Gpapa if he loved the life he lived. He didn’t hesitate to answer, “Yes.” When I asked what his magic recipe was, I was blown away by the simplicity. Gpapa’s response was, “don’t matter.” He chose the things that really mattered to him and let the rest go. 

If I choose to only focus on what really matters to me, it’s even easier to find gratitude. When I let life over-busy me or try to keep up with the Jones’s or compare myself to others: I completely lose sight of the things I actually like. It becomes so hard to be grateful when I am worried about others expectations. I believe practicing gratitude starts with understanding what gets in your way. My friend came back months later and told me that when she wakes up grateful for even the smallest thing, days are bearable.

Gratitude is a Muscle

Just like budgeting, meditating, being nice, and working out. It takes working out daily to improve. Starting super vague is totally ok. No one starts at the gym lifting 200lbs. No one stays on track with their budgets without planning and tracking. It’s not always easy to be grateful or nice. But keep trying (both.) Sometimes it will flow smoothly, and sometimes the brain monkeys will hijack the whole circus, kinda like your meditations. Keep at it. Start small. Watch it absolutely change your life, if you let it. 

PS. And if you don’t know what to be grateful for today, put your hand on your heart. Feel that beat that says you are meant to be here. Your heart beats without you consciously thinking it. Your own body is a miracle. You are a miracle here. If you are reading this, I know you have a purpose in this life. You exist for a reason. Feel that heartbeat, you are alive. And I am so grateful for you. 

E.Claire NEW: G.M. Collins

We are excited to announce the incorporation of G.M. Collins Skin Care systems to our service menu! To be honest with all of you, we are changing companies because we like getting (and passing along) what we are promised. Other systems we’ve used have failed to educate our team, and continue to educate and support our team. Now, you’re wondering how will this be different? Don’t worry, we asked that too. 

G.M. Collins has already proven to be different in a couple different ways. First, we asked around to some other salons and salon spas we trust from around the country. Everyone we asked agreed that this company, their systems, and their products were some of the best they had experienced. Also, we’ve already had a great experience with one of the representatives. She took extra time to discuss with us what exactly our current guest list would need, so she could make sure to set us up successfully. She also asked what type of services we wanted to grow, so we aren’t left hanging when you ask for that new treatment. No other company we’ve experienced has taken that much care with us in the beginning. We will also have a specific educator that connects with our Spalon, we will be able to send specific questions and get real answers.

To share a little about G.M. Collins, they started as a skin care system specifically for burn victims. Their focus has always been to repair the skin, help it regenerate, and do so gently. Our skin is living; it’s the largest organ of our bodies and they actually get that. They are also a Canadian and US company, which is a cool thing because Canada tends to be more strict on ingredients and testing; that means we are getting the purest substances possible. In their mission statement they say one of their goals is to help everyone find their unique beauty and complete self confidence. That’s an idea we are already behind; something we already believe in. 

In case you couldn’t tell we are all super excited to be introducing this new Skin Care system and cannot wait for you to experience it with us. It will truly be skin changing. 

Until Next Time,

E.Claire Spalon

Self Care Sunday 3

Do you every feel like you can take on the world in the morning? Then you wonder where the day went by bedtime? These are my current feels. I woke up today ready to tackle the world and now I am trying to figure out if I was useful as a human being today. What did I do successfully?

I am sitting at a table in the lobby of a hotel with my dinner still scattered next to me, my notes on my right, and feeling like I wasted today. Just a waste of space. But that is only my perception, not my reality. Sometimes self care is about learning to let go of the times we berate ourselves based on the expectations we woke up with.

After taking 3 deep breaths, three count in, hold three, and then three count out….I am seeing things a bit more clearly. I have accomplished what I needed to do today. Not what I wanted to. That doesn’t make me a failure. That means I set my expectations too high for myself. Again.

Now to walk myself through the letting go promise and forgive myself. I wouldn’t bat an eyelash if it was anyone else. I wouldn’t hold it against them. I would remind them they got this and have them list what they did do. And have them find one thing they were grateful for. Even the tiniest of things.

Can you make a list of things you accomplished today? They don’t have to be big. Today I accomplished getting to the airport on time, the dogs to doggie daycare, the kitties to Uncle Chuck and Aunt Blessing, remembering to rent the car before landing, not getting frustrated at the rental counter (this is a big win for me), checked in with a few friends, and made a new acquaintance that reminded me life is about human connection. I am almost done with the program for tomorrow. This is my break. Have you given yourself one today? Even if only setting a timer for 5 minutes to do so?

I am grateful that I have a company that let’s me write blogs for them. I am grateful I have a family that loves our animals as much as we do. I am grateful for those willing to coach me from afar. I am ridiculously grateful for my new friend with new perspectives.

Can you turn your day around with 3 breaths, listing your accomplishments, finding something to be grateful for, and walking away from the chaos even if for a moment. Now the challenge: will you share those wins with me? The gratitude?

E. Claire NEWs

E.Claire CELEBRATES: New Hires & Promotions

You know we are all about celebrating at E.Claire Spalon and this September we have some serious celebrating to do! First, we want to give a big welcome to our new team members Jodi and Liz. We are so excited to have new members of our team joining us; we can’t wait to see what magical creatures you two become. We also have to give a huge “whoop, whoop” to Jennifer, who has earned her level 2 promotion. She is crushing the dedication to her guests and her team! If you see her please help us give her a big Congratulations.

A little bit about our new team members and why you should be pumped to meet them too. Jodi has been working in the industry for one year now, and really loves creating beautiful hairstyles. She is most excited to learn more about hair extensions. She loves pugs and has one named Bella. Jodi enjoys spending her spare time shopping. Liz is joining us immediately after graduation. She will be working through our Associate Program with Sarah and Erika to gain her Master’s level education. Liz’s passion is doing nail enhancement services. Liz loves to adopt animals and spend her extra time baking. 

Bodyography Makeup

Favorites line up!

Why Bodyography?

We <3 alll of the things below. They also give us education in our OWN spalon company! And their products feel good on our skin! Our team believes that better ingredients and better education are the ways we can serve you BEST!

Liz’s favorite part is that the product is buildable. This means that your looks can range from simple and soft to vibrant and holy cow! Everything from the foundation to the eyeshadows have the capacity to give you multiple looks in the same week. Jodi is in love with the glitter pigment. The softness of these are suitable for all age groups.

The educator, Bethany, was open with the team. From her personal life to professional, she was transparent and real. Her tips for color correcting skin tones was on point. They learned how to blend blemishes or red noses, without feeling cakey. Feeling beautiful with makeup shouldn’t feel like you are wearing anything.

The Bodyography Mission

Bodyography is proud to be 100% CRUELTY-FREE!

Bodyography Professional Cosmetics and Bodyography SKIN are proudly PETA certified cruelty-free. Our products are never tested on animals during ANY stage of development or production. We love our furry friends just the way they are, and we’re fully committed to their well-being! As such, we do not allow third parties to conduct animal testing on our behalf, and we do not sell our products in markets where animal testing is required.

In addition to being cruelty-free, we believe in keeping our products as clean as possible without compromising performance. For that reason, we offer a wide variety of products that are Vegan and free of Gluten, Parabens, Talc, and Mineral Oil. We use only the finest, most effective ingredients, and we’re constantly on the lookout for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to infuse within our formulas.

Bodyography is an ethically conscious brand. In 2016, we redesigned all of our packaging to lower our plastic consumption. By eliminating caps and incorporating airless pumping technologies, we have successfully reduced our plastic usage by 35%. As we move forward, we continue to challenge ourselves to further reduce our impact on the environment.

Peyton applying makeup to Jodi during our Bodyography class in spalon.

Self Care Sunday Ep. 1

IS it really Selfish to selfcare?

How often have you set aside time for you, and then spent the entire time regretting it? Like the various stages of grief, it’s more painful to have the “self care” time than to just grit through something….right?
When did we begin living in a society where it became socially acceptable to take care of everyone but ourselves? Yet, personally, I would really rather not have someone “take care” of me. Doesn’t that mean I have to take care of myself first? Why does this feel so backwards?
What if we made taking care of ourselves a priority to make other’s lives easier? What if we became the first on the list to show our kids, families, and friends that loving ourselves first, means we love them more?
“Clear is Kind” is from Brene Brown’s book Daring Leaders. I LOVE THIS PHRASE. Both for others and myself. If I can clearly define the times I need for me, that fit my schedule now, I will feel less guilty. If I can clearly define to myself that I really can’t stretch thin for three months in a row, I will find the times within the busy to focus on me.
Sometimes we have the luxury of getting two hours every four to six weeks to sit and chat with someone. Sometimes life just takes over and you don’t see your bestie for three months because you both have kids and new-ish businesses. What if you could carve out 5-10 minutes for you? What would that look like?
More importantly, who could you take better care of by showing them that being selfish is really being selfless?

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday and Coffee

Self Care Sunday Ep. 2

Does it feel like “self care” is being screamed from the roof tops to anyone else? Usually tied to an ad or a shortcut promised to bring immediate relief…
I’m conflicted because I believe self care is the most important way to give back to others. I love that a lot of places are jumping on the bandwagon. BUUUUUUUUUUT it is overwhelming, a lot of work, and the choices are always, always tied to monies. What if you found what worked for you?
In the next few weeks, I will bring my favorite “self” care tips. None of them have any science based facts. Nothing other than feeling better, happier even.
This week I want to focus on journaling. Self care doesn’t always have to mean someone else pampering you. Sometimes getting alllll those jumbled thoughts onto paper has a freedom of its own. As a recovering perfectionist, I couldn’t sit to write unless I had all the periods in the right place or the correct conjugations….even in my own journal. Way to take the fun out of self care, right? It turned right into self deprecation within the first 30 seconds every time. To the point I would convince myself I was a terrible writer and never deserved to grace a piece of paper again. (Did I mention I could be a bit dramatic…)
Then I learned of something called free writing. Legit, no strings attached writing. You don’t even have to reread it if you don’t want to. Just pen and paper and thoughts. The first thing that comes to mind gets written down, into the next thought. So on and so forth. No one needs to read this, so the thoughts get to be truly free. How do you feel after? Did you make the five minutes? Can you go longer?
I love taking five minutes before the kid and wife wake up to free write. It can be vision writing, ranting, mumbling, or all of the above. The journaling time gives me a few moments “away from it all” to process me. This allows me to give so much more of myself. When will you give yourself the gift of 5 minutes?