This time of year tends to be a very reflective one. With the year coming to a close I begin to evaluate how my year unfolded. Did I grow? Did I get stuck? Was I present? Am I living on purpose or skating on the surface? It seems a lot of others are in the same mindset, or maybe I am more tuned in to this vibe at the moment. Last year right around this time I was reflecting on the Sandy hook tragedy and wrote a blog called Each one reach one, my call to action that "we need to pause and understand we are all interconnected, woven of the same fabric of life. We share the same challenges of the human condition." Never forgetting that in this industry we have an opportunity to help lift a burden or at least to empathize with one another's struggles. We can be that positive moment in our clients hectic day, their stressful week.
Scrolling through Facebook this week another post jumped off the page. My friend Tracy Wilcox posted this in a nail tech group
"Very emotional week with all my clients issues!! I pray that we all can uplift our clients lives and help them emotionally, physically, and spiritually, within the hour that we have them. It's not only our jobs to do their nails and make them look beautiful but it's also to make them feel beautiful inside and out!! I pray for this upcoming week for all us nail tech to have patience and kindness and show love!!!!"
It just blew me away because I had a very similar week. I cheerfully asked a client this week what's been happening since the last time we saw each other she said nothing good. She went on to share that her son and grandson had been in a head on car collision, both escaping with minor injuries although her grandson fractured his skull. Why is it she asked I do the right thing, try and be good to others and bad things keep happening? You're a spiritual person, how do you stay positive? I was taken aback for a moment, mostly because I don't usually get directly asked for spiritual advice. I took a deep breath and realized the opportunity I had before me. My first thought was man it could have been so much worse. Your family is intact, a car can be replaced. I shared with her that in all the tragedies I have faced I have always been given the grace of God to get through them and if she had faith she would find that too. We talked the rest of the appointment about faith and it was truly amazing. I felt so honored to have an ever so slight ripple effect in her world.
So this holiday season with all the craziness make sure you are dialed in. Our clients truly come to us for more than their "nails". They come for support, fellowship, advice and perspective. Tracy also shared with me she feels we are different and able to be more connected with our clients because we're one-on-one in front of each other rather than a hairdresser that's behind you and you never really get very emotionally connected. "We do have the opportunity to help our clients emotionally too." I agree.
Right or wrong, agree or disagree, these connections happen. So we must keep growing ourselves, to offer our best to our clients both technically and emotionally. I just saw this status this morning from online coach Brendon Burchard that really sums it up well.
The great compromises we make in our lives are not, like the movies often portray, centered around huge and vexing life decisions. There is no tearing out of hair, desperately trying to figure out what to do, as if a grand existential dilemma is unfolding all around. No, the great compromises in your life usually come when you're too busy to pay attention. You didn't even notice you were rude. You didn't realize it became a habit to avoid, to play small, to keep your ideas to yourself, to talk too much about yourself, to gossip, to delay, to ridicule, to be late, to forget the thank yous and the I love yous. You compromised away integrity not because of big tough decisions but because of little throwaway acts that you didn't realize were solidifying into a character that was, likely, beneath you. Sure, there may have been a handful of big compromises in life, but those are the easy ones to spot, the easy to avoid next time, the easy excuses. The tougher work is in noticing, each day, whom we are becoming by our real acts not just our hopeful intentions, to tease out the moments when we act like idiots and charlatans and bullies and babies, to see it and rise above it, to decide to live a different kind of life, more centered and aware, more loving and true and kind and bold. "I didn't fritter away my character," we shall say, "I forged it, purposefully, joyously, lovingly, day-by-day, moment-by-moment. I was here," we shall say, "and I lived by choice not chance, by design not distraction, on fire not off-handed." So let us release the old tales and excuses, and let us go forth and build our ideal selves. Day. By. Day.
And I say client by client :)