Living Inside the Kaleidoscope.

A New Perspective to a Colorless Tradition

Since I was very young, I’ve believed that life is really just made up of small moments pieced together—much like a kaleidoscope, the colors all blending into one magnificent masterpiece as you turn it, always changing and unique. When we get so focused on a big goal or manifestation, such as our New Year’s resolutions, we can miss out on the colorful experiences, the learning curve, and all of the beauty and joy along the way. It’s like looking through the kaleidoscope but being color-blind—we miss the whole point of the goal.

It’s the journey on the way to the goal that makes all the difference.

New Year’s Eve is a time of reflection, a time to look back on all the accomplishments we’ve made in the past year and pat ourselves on the back. We should be proud of each and every small change or experience that has helped us to grow and become better human beings; not focus on what we did not accomplish or do. The promise is to start the new year off on a fresh note, not carry our baggage over the threshold. It’s a time for absolution.

I enjoy getting cozy with my journal and a glass of Prosecco, recollecting the past year while watching the ball drop in Times Square. I sip, take notes and write down all of the wonderful things that have happened, what these experiences have taught me and where I want to go in the year to come.

New Years Day is a rebirth, a fresh start, an eyes-wide-open kind of day! Setting our intentions for the year is a wonderful thing, but only if it feels good when we do it—we will surely fail at our resolutions if we set them from a not-so-good-feeling place! Wanting to lose 10 pounds, quit smoking, find a better job, etc. are all wonderful goals to have, but if we’re not having fun along the way, is it really worth it? It’s no wonder why resolutions have a bad rap—nobody likes being forced into changing!

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Instead of the word Resolution, how about trying Renovation?

Renovations are more of an adjustment, or a refinement of one’s self. For example: I currently exercise four mornings a week, five minutes from my home. I decided for 2014 to renovate my routine and switch-out two of my weekday yoga classes to a downtown Mpls location which is five minutes from my new office. This requires me to step out of my comfort zone, scout out unfamiliar territory, meet new people, have new experiences, be the new girl in the class, and claim a new piece of floor to roll out my yoga mat. Adding to that, I will be switching out one morning class to one evening class, changing the perspective once again. My view will change and so will I!

Renovations challenge us to change the small, doable things; renovations inspire us to take action!

They are also about letting go of old energy to open up space in your life for new adventures and new energy. For the last 8 months I have been working on rebranding my company Greenbody Greenplanet, and today, I am officially announcing the birth of AHNESTI Professional Haircare.Yes, this was a very big goal and the only way to get to it was an eight-month series of renovations. Somewhat like living in the kaleidoscope —never really knowing how the next view was going to be, but always trusting it to be beautiful. I am enjoying each and every step along this convoluted path and when I reach my goal of product launch this March, I will know that the reason it happened was because I had so much fun along the way to it!

I would love to hear about the renovations you’ve made in your own life this year, or the ones your going to make today! Have you accomplished any big goals this year? Did you have fun along the way?

I’m closing this blog down on Jan. 11th and moving over to WiseGirl.ahnesti.com so jump on over there to leave your comments. And don’t forget to follow the new blog as I cannot transfer my followers!

Always BeWISE in Beauty,

Lorri

The Tiki Gods Have Spoken

I love to be awake in the early morning but I’ll admit it, I’m a snoozer. 

 

I’ll set my alarm clock for 5 AM with all good intentions and then proceed to press the snooze button 4,5, or even 6 times before I actually decide to stay up. It’s not the best trait to have when there’s another person in your bed so I’ve moved my alarm clock into the second bedroom so it doesn’t wake my husband. I also did this so it would force me to actually get out of bed to turn it off and ultimately just stay awake, but that didn’t help. I just crawl back into bed and snuggle up under the covers for that extra 10 (okay 10 x 4) minutes.

 

Last week, on my way back from the alarm snooze, I glanced up and saw this larger than life-size image of a Tiki God — standing on guard like Tiki Gods do — in the middle of my living room. At first it really startled me as he looked so real in the shadows of the morning, but in my half-asleep euphoric state I realized it was a combination of the light of the November moon, the textured stone and wood mantle of our fireplace — and a floor lamp.

 

 

I’d see him every morning, not giving it too much attention (but always making sure he was there), until the third or fourth day when I remembered that I had watched the movie Kon-Tiki just the week before.
 
Kon-Tiki was an ancient Polynesian god, and the name given to the balsa-wood raft used by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl in his 4600 mile expedition from South America to Polynesia in 1947. Thor and his crew set out to prove that Peruvians settled the Polynesian Islands in pre-Columbian times using only a raft and the ocean currents for their journey. 

 

The raft was to be made exactly as it had been made thousands of years ago, no wire and no modern technology —except  a radio, watches, charts, sextant, and metal knives. They were to be carried and guided only by the currents of the Pacific Ocean. It would take 101 days and they had no back up plan, no help, no life raft and no one to save them if they failed. It was literally an all or nothing type of situation.

 

In a modern day, entrepreneurial way —I feel I can relate.

 

There was a defining moment in the movie where a crew member panicked when he saw the raft slowly breaking apart and grabbed a roll of wire he had stowed in his trunk. He begged and pleaded with Thor to use it as he truly believed they would all perish at sea within days. Thor took the wire and cast it into the ocean with the insurmountable faith that this journey would be completed as he had envisioned.

 

Thor and his crew made it to the islands. He proved it could be done. He proved his dream true. He believed in something unseen and followed his desire, not letting anything or anyone stop him.

 

Explorers inspire me. 

 

I am currently in a transitional phase with my company and for several days I awoke to see my very own Kon-Tiki god standing like a beacon of hope in my living room. I actually looked forward to seeing him standing strong, powerful and symbolic of my own journey and dream. He didn’t disappoint. I would press the snooze, give him a long admiring stare and fall back asleep imagining all of the possibilities of my own life. I began to realize that, I too, am an explorer of the unknown, an adventurer in my own special way.

 

We all are.

 

My uninvited, but very welcomed guest stayed with me for 7 days giving me inspiration and a sense of inner guidance. Maybe not unlike how Thor felt as he looked at the horizon each night at sunset. Seeing my Kon-Tiki helped me hang on to my vision, to keep moving forward and to remember to follow my own path. I know he wasn’t real, but the thought of him became real and what he stood for became even more undeniable to me.

 

Courage. Determination. Belief. Knowing.

 

This morning I awoke hoping to see my friend one last time, to thank him for his gift and to say goodbye, but he was not there. The full moon is waning, the light has shifted through my windows and just like everything else in life, nothing lasts forever and change is inevitable.

 

That is certain my friends – and exciting. 

 

Keep dreaming…
Lorri

 
 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

You Can Have Mine Joey…

I heard a statistic a few days before the 4th of July that said Americans will consume 150 Million hot dogs — just on the 4th. I know were a nation hooked on the high consumption of animal protein, but for some reason learning about the quantity of hot dogs eaten in one day kinda threw me off.

I felt kinda queezy, like I had just eaten them all. Maybe not unlike Joey “Jaws” Chestnut who won the 2013 Nathans Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest last week.

69 hot dogs later, Joey doesn’t look so good.

We were invited to a party and eating a Plant Strong, Gluten Free + Dairy Free diet, it can be a little challenging for me. I knew 4th of July was going to be no exception and so thankfully we were all told to bring a dish to share.

Move Over Frank N. Furter.

I love to just experiment with recipes and cooking. Being inspired to create with things I find in my pantry + fridge has produced some amazing results for me over the years, so I went to the cupboard and searched around. I had Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa), artichokes, chickpeas + pepperoncini on hand, which got me to thinking Mediterranean style. I went to the market, picked up ingredients that would blend well and made a salad.

quinoa

This makes about 10-12 cups.

SALAD

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 seedless (English) cucumber, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 C. Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 C. fresh parsley, stems removed and chopped fine
  • 2 C. loosely packed fresh spinach, chopped
  • 5-6 pepperoncini, chopped
  • 1/4 C. fresh Goat Feta, broken into bits (omit if vegan)
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cooled + diced (omit if vegan)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed + chopped lightly
  • 2 C. cooked Quinoa, cooled

DRESSING

  • 3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 C. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 small room temperature lemons)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 t. kosher or sea salt
  • 4-5 turns fresh ground pepper
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder

For the salad: Mix all ingredients together gently and chill.

For the dressing: Mix all ingredients together and chill slightly. Shake before serving.

I put a small amount of dressing on the salad just before serving, but also left it on the side if people choose to add more.

This salad was a pretty big hit! Enjoy!

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FYI :: I believe in using only fresh + organic ingredients. If I post a recipe with an animal protein it is only from a sustainable source, grass-fed, free roaming and organic. Please adjust the recipes to fit your needs!

And Now For Something Completely Different.

Finding the Silver Lining.

Well. I honestly never thought I’d be in this situation, but now that I am, I’m quite happy it’s happened.

When I tell people I have to change my company name because of a trademark issue, I usually get a somewhat confused look and then the inevitable “What? How can THAT happen? “

So here is the condensed version, some advice, and what I’m doing about it.

  • My trademark was never secured and there was miscommunication between myself and my former attorney about what my “office action” was really about.
  • I was busy putting my life back together after my husbands illness and, quite honestly thought she was handling the situation.
  • After hiring a new attorney, I found out a company in Canada (with lawyers here in Mpls) had a trademark for a nutritional bar called Green Planet. They originally were in a different category than my products (nutritional supplement vs beauty) but have since added beauty as a category.
  • There is no dispute and no legal action, in fact they may not even know I exist. (Or maybe they are waiting patiently in the wings?) I was advised by my new attorney that if I continued to use Greenbody Greenplanet there could be an issue down the road and her advice was to change now —instead of 5 years from now when I may be legally forced to.

TIP #1:

Hire a trademark attorney FIRST. Even if you’ve done your own search and all looks safe. Attorneys can access information that we would never find —and find things we would never see.

TIP #2:

Interview 2-3  attorneys before signing with one. Have a list of questions to ask and make sure you are getting a free consultation.

TIP #3:

Hire one that charges per project and know EVERY cost up front. That way you won’t get a surprise bill after a one sentence email or a 2 minute phone conversation.

TIP #4:

Question everything, no matter how insignificant you think it may be. Make sure you walk away understanding the entire process.

TIP #5:

Don’t ever be afraid to change attorneys.

TIP #6:

Don’t ever assume anything. Ever.

I now heed my own advice and use these tips as a guide for hiring ANYONE I do business with. Personally or professionally.

In the Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity.

I don’t like to ruminate on problems. I prefer to see them as a challenge, a growth experience and an opportunity to learn. So after thinking about my situation for a few days, I realized this was a beautiful opportunity to re-brand, re-design, re-think + re-build.

This experience has provided me a fresh look at my company and I am more focused than ever in the direction I want to bring it!

My core values, vision and mission statement will not change, nor will the existing product formulas. What will change is the company name, the product name, the design, logo and image. And of course, the expansion! The new business plan is finished and the process has started!

— with ecoBEAUTY + toxinFREE love,

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Cancer: A Journey From the Other Side.

An Unwanted Reminder

In early May a very close friend of ours was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. When Klink (my husband) and I went to visit him and his wife at the hospital, it triggered memories of the journey he and I were on just a few years back. Our friend is in the same hospital, has the same oncologist, a few of the same nurses, and of course, he will be having many of the same experiences.

But his will be different. They all are.

It’s impossible for anyone to understand how Cancer affects your life, your relationships, your marriage, your spirituality, your values —until it slaps you in the face.

I remember clearly the day we found out my husband had stage 4 non Hodgkins lymphoma. As I drove home on the freeway I felt as if I was in a translucent tunnel and everything around me was rushing past at the speed of light. I remember the feeling of surrealness, of time stopping, of confusion, of anger, of pain.

Apparently I was driving quite slow because drivers were honking at me, aggressively passing me, and occasionally giving me those friendly hand gestures that meant I should probably get off the road. I wanted to scream at them! “DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO US? DON’T YOU GET IT? HOW CAN YOU JUST GO ON WITH YOUR DAY LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED?!”

It took some time for me to adjust to the news, and as I did, I slowly came to understand that this was going to be our “new normal”. From now on, every decision and every choice we make will be preempted by the big elephant in the room —Cancer.

I knew that I had been initiated into a secret club that no-one wants to belong to. Not the secret club of a Cancer victim, but the other secret club. The one behind the closed doors of the first secret club.

I wasn’t the victim. I was the wife of the victim.

I became subservient to Cancer and I wasn’t even diagnosed. I became collateral damage in my husbands war and my life would never be the same. ‘Cancer: A Journey From The Other Side’ are my stories.

This series is a collection of memories, observations, lessons learned + transformations from my journey. It is quite simply my own point of view as the spouse, which is rarely (if ever) talked about. I can’t tell you exactly how many blog posts I will write for this series or when it will end, so I hope you’ll just enjoy the ride and post a few comments along the way.

—with love,

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You Can Start Washing Your Hair Again.

How Long Has it Been For You?

Recently, my company Greenbody Greenplanet was able to take a survey of over 200 consumers at a local event we were participating in. We gave away our Mini Sets in exchange for a 2 minute survey in which we asked people about their hair care habits, needs and wants. After reading through them the other day, I was really surprised with some of the answers I received. One in particular.

Being able to have one on one conversations with a customer is one of the things I miss most about owning my salon. It always felt so good to help customers through their hair struggles and offer some solutions. Nowadays, I rely mostly on online communication and so talking to people face to face about their hair care issues was refreshing.

What did I learn?

I was surprised to find out that many women have stopped shampooing their hair!

Not forever of course, but out of 200 surveys 60% of them said they only shampoo their hair once or twice a week. And out of that 60%  —20% only shampoo every 2-3 weeks.

Now there were many reasons for why this is, such as wanting to make a color last (think red:) but out of that 60% —more than half said it was because they didn’t like the chemical ingredients in hair products. They were concerned about the potential health risks from repeated use and figured the best way to eliminate them is to, well, simply eliminate them!

Most said they just wet their hair down every day (or every other), some were trying out dry shampoos (but were still more concerned with the chemicals in them as well) and some were using just a plain Castille soap! Ouch!

They explained to me how they missed the feeling of “cleanliness” and felt their hair wasn’t as manageable. Some felt it made it oilier, some felt there was a ‘build-up’, some felt eliminating shampoos gave them more ‘fly aways’ —some just wore a hat.

We would like to tell you something……

YOU CAN START WASHING YOUR HAIR AGAIN!

You don’t have to deprive yourself anymore. You don’t have to sacrifice your shampoo for your health —and you do have permission to…

TAKE YOUR BEAUTY BACK!

There are options available to you and using high quality, natural and organic ingredients such as those found in Greenbody Greenplanet products will allow you to have that wonderfully clean-feeling, soft and manageable hair —sans chemicals.

Oh, to have those Good Hair Days again! Glistening in the sun rather than hiding under a hat!

  • Have you quit shampooing your hair because of your concern of chemicals?
  • If you received our samples at the event, how did you feel about them?
  • Have you had a health crisis that has changed your thoughts on chemicals in beauty products?

I would love to hear your voice! Leave us a message below and let us know what has changed for you, if you are still struggling or what solutions you have found!

—with ecoBEAUTY + toxinFREE love,

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Photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Feel Your Way To Beautiful.

We are born beautiful.

It’s hard to say when it may have started. You could have been 8 years old and told you were ugly by a classmate at recess. Or you may have been insecure as a teenager and started comparing yourself to the popular and pretty girls in your high school, or as an adult —skimming through the glossy pages of Vogue wishing you looked like the airbrushed beauties that adorned every page.

: How is it that you became to see your beautiful self as so ugly, so tired, not enough, smaller than life?

: Why is it that when you get together with your girlfriends you focus on the parts of yourself you don’t like or you wish were different?

: Why is it incredibly simple to be so self critical? So judgmental?

You may never really know the answer to these questions and maybe the truth is —you don’t need to. What you need to do is change your self talk, right here right now.

Walk over to a mirror and take a good, long look at your self. There is so much beauty there, so much to offer the world. You are so incredible and unique and have beautiful gifts and talents. Deep down inside you know this! You know you were born beautiful!

TELL YOURSELF!

Speak out loud to yourself how you would like to be seen. How you would like others to describe you. Focus on the things you love about your face and body. Make a pact with your girlfriends to no longer self deprecate with each other AND HONOR THAT. When negative self talk squirms it’s way into your habitual conversations, STOP YOURSELF and help your friends do the same.

You don’t need to substitute a negative with a positive, that won’t make you feel any better and in fact probably worse. You only need to do one thing —just. stop. talking.

Thoughts are things and the Laws of the Universe are bringing you more of what you are thinking about, whether you believe it or not —and so wouldn’t you rather it be the most beautiful things? It’s just as easy to say something good about your self, than to say something bad. The point is to FEEL good when you speak of your self. It takes a little practice but it’s not going to make you feel any better if you stand in front of the mirror and say “I’m beautiful” when your envying the photo shopped sexy model on the cover of Cosmo. Look at your self and say ” Ya know? I have really beautiful eyes. I’ve been told they sparkle when I smile and today maybe Ill smile a little more”.

That’s it. That’s the work. That’s all you need to focus on today. When a negative self comment wants to bellow from your lips, just remember your daily mantra and feel yourself shift within.

How can you maintain this good feeling?

: Everyday find a new beautiful aspect about yourself to focus on and in no time at all, you will be able to feel your way back to beautiful.

This moving video brought tears to my eyes as I watched it. A sketch artist composed pictures of several women based on how they described themselves and then how others described them —the results we’re astonishing.

Does this strike a nerve? It’s meant to.

How are you going to make a change on your self talk today? Please leave your comments below and share with the rest of us. We could all use a little inspiration!

—with ecoBEAUTY + toxinFREE love,

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Time to Wise Up!

We’re Ready For You!

  • Have you been reading more and more lately about the use of certain chemicals and toxins in the personal care products your using?
  • Does it concern you that companies may not be telling you everything?
  • Are you confused by all the symbols, labels and names of chemicals you can’t even pronounce?
  • Would you like to empower yourself and learn how to make healthier choices for you and your family?

Then it’s time you became a WISEGIRL!

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Sign up for our blog updates and get these videos delivered straight to your mailbox!

—with ecoBEAUTY + toxinFREE love,

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The Beauty of Cancer

Can Cancer Be Beautiful?

It seems like a lifetime ago, but really it’s only been 6 years. That was when Klink (my husband) was diagnosed for the second time with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He had been in remission for 4 years, almost to the day, when it returned —throwing our lives into another tailspin. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of a moment like this then you understand how surreal it all is.

How life-changing.

Being the spouse of someone diagnosed with Cancer can touch us in many different ways. It can be hard and cold —violently ripping our belief systems apart, abusing us with it’s repetitive behavior and leaving us feeling beaten, battered and worn. Our experience isn’t the illness —but how the illness now affects every part of our life and our relationships.

Everything changes.

Like a wild horse being broken, it can exhaust us in a way we’ve never thought possible, taking what’s left of our strength and crushing it with it’s strong force —sucking what seems like the very last breath out of our lungs, leaving us suffocating and gasping for air.

But it can also be tender and gracious and purifying. Giving back to us much more than it stole.

Wonderland

Klink was treated for almost 3 years before being told he had 6 months left to live, and then 6 months after they quit giving him chemo —he went into remission. His body was beaten, abused and weak but his mind was strong. 3 months later he contracted Spinal Meningitis (bacterial) and I was told once again he wouldn’t make it, this time it was only 24 hours to live but he once again, proved them wrong.

My experience with my husbands Cancer has been my biggest teacher, the most beautiful teacher I’ve ever had. I am certain I didn’t understand at the time the impact it was having on me, but as time went on I started to see things differently than I had before. Cancer significantly changed my life and along with it gave me precious gifts that I think about and work on daily.

GIFT #1 —Finding My Voice
I have learned how to ask questions and speak up when I don’t understand something, feel something is wrong, or if I am not being treated properly with a doctor, business colleague, friend or family member.

GIFT #2 —Letting Go of Control
I have learned that I cannot control any circumstance, situation or person — only change how I react and respond.  I had to learn I was not in charge of my husbands health, diet or lifestyle choices and to honor his choices as I would want him to honor mine. I now try to apply that with everyone I meet.

GIFT #3 —Learning to Allow
I’ve become more open and vulnerable, allowing myself to experience and accept life’s beauty and rawness as part of my growth. It has helped me to become very “real” with who I am and who I strive to be.

GIFT #4 —Learning to Accept
I’ve learned not to judge others and accept them for who they are –individuals trying to figure out this crazy, beautiful life, just like I am. I try to remind myself that everyone has their own journey and it’s none of my business how they choose to walk theirs. I only need to focus on my own path.

GIFT #5 —Learning to Forgive
Mostly of myself. I’ve learned that I can’t forgive others if I don’t forgive myself first.

GIFT #6 —To Focus On What I Want
I’ve learned that if I’m not clear about my choices, I’ll get too many things I don’t want coming my way. I’m much more specific about what I want for my life and I try to make conscious choices.

GIFT #7 —All Thoughts Have Power
It feels much better to think about something good, than to think about something bad. I control or eliminate the amount of negative media I see and surround myself with good-feeling energy whenever I can.

GIFT #8 —All Words Have Power
It feels much nicer to say nice things to another person —and to ourselves. Negative and hurtful words create an imbalance within ourselves and cause discord. Discord creates dis-ease.

Gift #9 —All Feelings Have Power
When I feel good, I attract good to me. When I feel bad, I attract bad to me. Simple. And I always make sure I’m in a “good-feeling” mood before making any important decisions.

GIFT #10 —I Am Powerful
I have the power to choose, each and every day how I want to live and experience life. I’ve learned to live my life on my terms and not of what’s expected of me by others.

My experience started off as a long, painful journey but in the end it turned into an enlightened one. A beautiful one.

Danaus

  • Have you or a loved one experienced cancer or an illness that impacted your life in a positive way?

  • Has it changed who you are and how you live your life?

We all heal differently. I created Greenbody Greenplanet, an organic and toxin free hair care line to make a difference for others. The gorgeous images I’ve posted here are by photographer Kirsty Mitchell who created a visually stunning Wonderland in honor of her late mother Maureen. These photographs were created by her in the years after she lost her mother to Brain cancer to ‘remind others of their forgotten magic and beauty’. Her story of healing is inspiring to me, and hopefully to you as well.

I know it’s not always easy to share such private moments but I would love to hear how you’ve changed your life in a profound and positive way or if you’ve left your mark somehow because of your experience.  Please leave your comments in the comment bubble at the top of this post and share your journey with us!

To your Health and Beauty!

XXOO Lorri

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