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Maria Sylvester, MSW, CPC
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Business Advice Only a Woman Can Give An Interview with Erin Cantrell
Being Fit At Any Size
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12 It’s a New Year! 14 Woman on the Street Party of One
16 New Year’s Money Challange 18 Closets
The Secret Clothes-Killer
20 Time for a Change 22 Delicious Recipes 24 Resolving Inflammation
Bring in the Clean-up Crew
28 Raising Inspired &
30 Finding Your Inner Wisdoms this Year
32 You Can Have It All,
Just Not All At Once
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BUSINESS ADVICE ONLY A WOMAN CAN GIVE:
An interview with Erin Cantrell of Erin Cantrell Fitness
Don’t be afraid to change your mind. To be honest, I never thought I’d have my own fitness studio, even though I spent my whole life in the gym. I trained as a gymnast and dancer since I was three and then I was a gymnastics head coach for two years. Let me tell you, that will drive anybody to never want to step foot in a gym again!
e spoke with Erin Cantrell, creator of Erin Cantrell Fitness in Ann Arbor (www.erincantrellfitness.com). She opened two boutique studios in the last three years that focus on inner and outer strength-training. All while raising her two boys and welcoming her newborn daughter this year. What advice does Erin have about business and life? Here’s what she shared.
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When I couldn’t stand to be in the gym anymore, I learned how to sell real estate. But after a while I missed the gym, the smell of it, the people; I missed the work. So I got certified in training and started working as a trainer. Shortly after, I started focusing more on the business side of fitness and began managing some of the studios where I trained my clients.
Don’t be afraid of hard work either. I worked 15 hour days: full-time in real estate, training on the side and building my business. I spent a lot of time setting up my systems, all that
grunt work no one wants to do when they start a business; hours on the phone with software companies that manage the back end. It was tough. If I had advice for women, it’s this: work hard. It’s not the smartest or the brightest that win; it’s the people who put the work in. I tell my boys this all the time; they tell me “Oh, that kid, he’s so smart.” I say to them it’s ok, maybe they are, but that doesn’t mean anything. The people who have a good work ethic always do better. It’s that way in school, in the gym, and in life.
You can only be GREAT at one thing at a time. All we do is strength training at Erin Cantrell. I learned years ago that you can only be great at one thing at a time. And when I honed in on what that would be for us, it was strength training. Because if you’re strong, you’re a better runner, dancer, cyclist, whatever. Your strength training is the heart of it. The truth is I work hard because I love it, but I also want to live in the present moment. I want to love my children, partner, and my parents, as much as I can. I don’t want to do twenty things at once. But I’ll be honest, those first two years, being a highly present mom wasn’t even an option. It was just constant work so I could support my family.
Live well. Live like YOU.
We also believe in a healthy lifestyle. We believe everyone needs good sleep, diet, cardio and strength training. Not everyone needs to be a size 6. If you’re happy at 10, we’re happy for you. As long as you’re healthy, happy, strong, and eating well, we don’t care what you look like. If you want to have a glass of wine on a Friday? Have a glass of wine. But on Saturday? I expect you to run. It’s a balance. Personally, I LOVE wine on the weekends, but I’ll also work out. We tell our clients to expect the process to take at least eight months. We want people to have their goals but have their life too.
Fail like a boy. Often when clients start, they do two-inch-push ups. I tell them they need to go all the way to the floor. And if their arms give out, who cares? It’s ok! You’re three inches off the floor! We’ll do it again! But you have to break out of your comfort zone. This is what will make you stronger. There’s constant failing when you work out, and it’s ok. Once I’ve seen clients get that it’s ok to be uncomfortable and sometimes even fail, they lose a ton of weight. I remember seeing a TED talk about research showing girls are actually brighter than boys. But girls are programmed by third grade to stop asking and answering questions unless they’re 100% sure they’ve got the right answer. This changes how they take risks in life. But boys are taught, “If you fall down, don’t worry about it. Get up and go play.” We have to break through this programming. We have to fail like we were raised as boys. It’s what makes it possible for us to know that working hard will actually pay off. Entrepreneurs like Erin inspire us to keep working toward our dreams. Her work ethic, humor, and willingness to keep going in spite of challenges exemplifies what The Brick is all about.
January 2018 | 9
BEING FIT AT ANY SIZE by Erin Cantrell
t turns out there is a reason why many of us don’t follow through with the ‘new year, new you’ resolutions we make each January. You may think that if you lose weight or exercise more, your entire life will change, and when it doesn’t, you may get discouraged, and then you revert to old behaviors. The truth is, you need to make many life changes to lose weight or to incorporate more exercise, and it goes deeper than just making a New Year’s Resolution. We tend to see a lot of people starting out on fad diets this time of year. They are unrealistic for any lifestyle, and sadly people gain the weight back that they lost plus a few extra pounds. It’s just not worth it. Researchers have looked at success rates of peoples’ resolutions: The first two weeks are successful, but by February people start reverting back to old habits. You will see this at the big box gym every year! During the month of January you cannot find a parking spot and the regulars get a bit frustrated that their parking routine has been more difficult, but they also know that it will lighten up again by February. At my boutique studios, Erin Cantrell Fitness, you may not experience a parking issue, but you may find it more difficult to get on the schedule of a busy studio year-round. At Erin Cantrell Fitness we encourage clients to get on a recurring schedule so they can keep their favorite time slots. This also keeps them on track and develops a habit of success. According to researcher John Norcross and his colleagues, who
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Have an accountability partner, someone you see on a regular basis that keeps you on track. Your Trainer!
Focus on the present. What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal? Go for a walk at lunch, park farther away when you go to work or do ten push-ups three times per day.
published their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, approximately 50 percent of the population makes resolutions each New Year. Among the top resolutions are weight loss, exercise, stopping smoking, better money management, and debt reduction. Psychology professor Peter Herman and his colleagues have identified what they call the “false hope syndrome,” which means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don’t believe, the positive affirmations not only don’t work, they can be damaging to your self-worth. If your goal is to lose weight or obtain a “FIT” lifestyle, you do not have to wait until New Year’s to get started.
Actually it’s best to start RIGHT NOW! Yes, that’s right. If it’s morning, afternoon or the middle of the night you can start right away. Here are a few tips for goal-setting that we practice at Erin Cantrell Fitness. Focus on one goal at a time and set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be. At Erin Cantrell Fitness, we look for a shortterm goal along with a long-term goal. We have found that clients that have a goal for a 5K, fun run or future hike are also more successful. Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big, requiring too much effort and action all at once. Remember you can only be great at one thing at a time.
Try to cut out one bad habit you have; maybe it’s Coke or candy for one week.
A “FIT” lifestyle includes more than just a thin body. In fact, you can be fit at many sizes. We want our clients to understand that FIT is not always a size 2! Our belief is strong; healthy bodies are built all day and not just at the gym. There are four pillars of a healthy fit lifestyle that are strength training, cardio, clean diet and good sleep. We support our clients through the four pillars with goal setting, preparing tailor-made programs and measurements to track their progress. The four pillars are a part of the many changes people need to make to be successful in a weight loss or FIT life New Year’s Resolution. All of us at Erin Cantrell Fitness believe if you follow our program with the four pillars, you will be successful this new year! Erin Cantrell is the owner of Erin Cantrell Fitness, boutique fitness studios in Ann Arbor Michigan. www.erincantrellfitness.com January 2018 | 11
by Maria Sylvester, MSW, CPC
edefining your world is an inside job. The word redefine is a verb which means “to give new definition to” or “to determine the essential quality of.” To redefine one’s world, you must begin by learning to embrace and honor yourself in new ways. As you master the art of honoring yourself, you move into living and expressing your essence. The results are magical and life-transforming. Your vibration rises, your energy increases, and your world changes!
HONOR YOUR DAYDREAMS
It’s a New Year!
Why Not Redefine Your World? 12 | The Brick Magazine
As a Life Coach, I guide clients through a growth process that allows them to get to the heart of what matters to them. Experiencing life from this place, we automatically redefine our world. How do we access the truth of what matters to us? One way is to honor our daydreams. Daydreams are those thoughts, fantasies, or dreamlike images and musings that cross our minds repeatedly as we go about our daily activities. We all have them, sometimes many daily. Frequently, we think of these colorful ideas as interruptions to our train of thought, or as silly distractions interfering with what we have to do or where we have to go. Too often we ignore our daydreams. Unfortunately, what we then fail to appreciate are the soullongings and soul-messages contained within each daydream. Daydreams are remnants of our essential self which we are being called upon to reclaim. I encourage my clients to be very mindful and respectful of each passing daydream, to slow down and listen. For in simply noting and reflecting on each dream’s contents, we are gifted valuable information that can lead us back to ourselves, and to living happier, more satisfying lives. I believe we all know, deep inside of ourselves what we value,
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust
long for, and need. Yet amid the craziness of our busy days, at times feeling emotionally disconnected from ourselves, we can lose sight of what we value. Our daydreams, those flickering, quickly passing fantasies, if carefully considered, can lead us back to soul priorities.
SET AN INTENTION Another gateway to redefining our world is through the process of setting an intention. Specifically, by setting the intention to appreciate problems as gifts. Honoring difficult moments in this way offers opportunities for profound growth. Problems become circumstances ripe with possibility for adopting new perspectives, experiencing heart-expansions and bringing about personal change. But how do we manifest this kind of transformation? First and foremost, we must be willing and committed to raising our consciousness. We raise our consciousness through shifting our reaction to, or our attitude about, problems and struggles. Instead of worrying or focusing on negative outcomes, we must seek the moment for growth within our moment of pain. If we are aligned, on a feeling level, with a sense of “What is possible here?” we will experience new, growth-enhancing ideas and information. Raising our consciousness also involves strengthening our trust muscle. Responding to difficult situations from a position of trusting surrender to a higher power (be it God, the Universe, Source Energy or however we are comfortable imagining such) can bring a sense of freedom and strength to how we face each trial. If we harness the power of our thoughts, as well as the power of prayer, and believe that there are golden opportunities for growth embedded in disappointments
or difficult times, our world cannot help but take on new definition! This is because we will be vibrating at a higher energetic level and will, therefore, draw to us higher experiences.
CONFRONT OLD STORIES Another key means of redefining one’s world is to look at what limiting beliefs or old stories you might be living from, and rewriting the script! We can have the best goals, plans or aspirations, however, if we are striving toward such while subconsciously believing we are “not good enough,” or “ineffective,” or “going to be rejected,” or any other number of negative tales we spin about ourselves, we quite likely will sabotage our endeavors. Unless the subconscious mind is addressed and altered, we are programmed to continue collecting evidence to support our false story or belief. We will get stuck, hit a wall, feel hopeless and act in dysfunctional ways. We then feel even further from our goals and living a life of purpose. Worlds of possibility and life-affirming changes await individuals who take firm stands against the negative thoughts which perpetuate these crazy stories – stories we’ve often lugged along with us since childhood. Some of the most moving moments in my coaching practice occur when I’m able to help clients let go of the false beliefs they’ve been carrying and help them begin to live from the truth of who they are. This is when we step into and truly radiate our essence. How does one stand up against these deeply entrenched negative beliefs that have come to feel like core truths about the self? We must go back to honoring ourselves. And we do this first by committing to mindfulness, and ferociously pushing back against any negative self-thoughts. For thoughts are just energy, and we can
always change our energy! We must recognize that when we believe these stories about our lesser-than-great selves, we are then inclined to act from a lessor-than-great place, resulting in the perpetuation of “evidence” which affirms the negative belief. Instead of this unhelpful scenario, we are called upon to recognize the truth of who we are. And we must begin by embracing the fact that our core, our very essence, is golden and we are just fine! We must recognize our strengths and accept and appreciate ourselves from a loving place. Once we integrate these truths, how we act and show up in life changes dramatically for the better. We begin getting very different results. And our goals, plans, and dreams begin to flow fully into manifestations.
CREATE NEW LANDSCAPES Honoring ourselves means developing the skills to appreciate the significance of our day-dreams, to embrace a mindset that looks for growth opportunities embedded in difficult moments, and to dissolve negative beliefs and old stories. When we honor our inner life, we recreate our outer one. And we feel good about who we are! Feeling our personal power and significance, our world cannot help but take on new perspectives and definition. This article was originally published in CoSoso
Maria Sylvester, MSW, CPC is a certified Life Coach who loves empowering adolescents, adults, and couples to live from the HEART of what really matters to them so that they can bring their fully expressed, vibrant selves into the world. She has a special gift for helping women reclaim their feminine power, and embrace their radiant, sensual, sexy spirits. Their lives transform. They soar into their mid-life magnificence! LifeEmpowermentCoaching.com Complimentary First Session 734.717.7532
January 2018 | 13
WOMAN ON THE STREET PARTY OF ONE by Stephanie Saline
n her fortieth birthday, my friend Marcia pinned a dollar bill to her shirt and walked around New Orleans by herself. She’d flown in with a group of friends for the weekend, but by Sunday (her actual birthday), her entourage had reached their fill of meals, cocktails, and social time, leaving Marcia on her own. Earlier in the trip, she’d befriended a local ride-share driver, who, upon learning what Marcia was in town to celebrate, let her in on the local tradition.
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“Pin a dollar to your shirt,” the woman driving her car as a side gig said. “Sounds weird, but it’s a local thing.” Marcia did as she was told and set off on solo walkabout. As she walked down the street, locals came up and hugged her like a longlost cousin. Women shouted their blessings. Strangers showered her with heartfelt wishes. Eventually, Marcia meandered her way to a bar. She walked in and
sat down at a table. A jazz singer who had just wrapped her set was making the rounds, chatting with customers. She noticed Marcia affixed with money and struck up a conversation. So it’s your birthday? Where are you from? How long you here? Marcia ordered a drink and stayed for the next set. Three songs in, the singer asked them to turn up the house lights and scatted her way through a magnificently inspired rendition of Happy Birthday.
“If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to have fun with strangers,” Marcia told me. I have friends who plan to charter a yacht and party in Ibiza with girlfriends for their milestone birthdays. Friends who threw themselves classy soirees in chic restaurants. Friends who took to the wilderness to go camping and have adventures. But for my own fortieth birthday, the truth was, I didn’t want any of that. It all felt like too much work. I’d just moved house from Cincinnati to Buffalo and gotten married in the same summer, and I was pooped. In lieu of a honeymoon, I’d eaten a pot brownie and watched The Mindy Project in our living room. When my new husband came downstairs to check on me, I complained that I couldn’t follow the plot.
Feeling the sun on my bare arms and legs, I understood this was going to be my birthday party. The idea struck me as bizarre, understated, and perfect. I set to loosening the Philodendron out from her pot, which was a challenge because the plant had a 6-foot wingspan. She didn’t want to come loose. I tapped the pot. I shook it. And eventually, I coaxed the pot off of the most root-bound plant I have ever seen. I gasped and then burst into tears. “Oh, sweetheart,” I said to my plant. Out loud. Like a crazy person.
(Which, if you’ve ever watched The Mindy Project, is really saying something.)
Side bar: That was the moment when I realized that my whole life was like a root bound Philodendron and that she was my spirit animal.
So on the commemoration of the day of my birth, I woke up and asked myself the question: What kind of party do you want today?
There wasn’t enough soil for her to put down more roots, so she had started putting out roots into the air.
Just like me.
I gave myself the grace to be. Without fanfare, hoopla, or worrying that there might be something wrong with me because the only company I craved was my own.
I’d grown up moving from city to city with my family because of my dad’s corporate job. After college, I continued my nomadic migration, moving when a job, relationship, or chapter ended.
Sometime in the early afternoon, an idea occurred to me. I carried a large Philodendron plant out from our living room into our backyard. I hauled out a bag of dirt and a big empty pot that I’d recently bought from a thrift store.
I too was root bound and in need of a bigger pot. Needing to expand, but out of room, I had also started sending roots into the air – reaching towards relationships with things I couldn’t see or touch, but that fed me all the same.
As this knowing rose up within me, I filled the bigger pot with soil. Gently setting the Philodendron inside her new container, I filled the empty space with dirt. Doing this, I saw my own life expanding, now that we were in a town where we expected to be for awhile. We’d buy a home. I’d get to paint and build shelves and finally choose furniture, instead of using whatever was there. I’d have a garden. We’d make friends and know our neighbors. We’d belong. That’s the funny thing about parties. While it’s tempting to think we need to do something spectacular, expensive, or over the top to mark the moment, the truth is, sometimes the choicest celebrations are a party of one. A teacher and advertising writer based in Buffalo, Stephanie Saline spent one decade on adventures in Japan, Seattle, and Montana, and another decade building a popular copywriting business. She now leads writing workshops where women become the hero in the story of their own lives. “We live in a world where we are all heroes now – and that’s a great thing.” Find out more about her work at www.stellaorange.com.
January 2018 | 15
New Year’s Money Challenge by Nadine Burns, MBA, CFP® AIF
anuary brings to mind RESOLUTIONS – those things you start the first week of the year, then forget by January 15th or even earlier. It has been said that if you can stick with a behavior for two months (66 days) it can become a habit. A large percentage of resolutions deal with finance and health, and while I will be taking on the health challenge this year, I would like to share some tips I have given my clients for the challenges of the wallet! 1.
Get an emergency fund of at least $1,000 built up in your savings account. Do this before paying extra on debt or increasing other savings. It may help avoid disaster if you have a place to go for money to fix the brakes or replace a broken cell phone.
GO CASH for a month. Put away all the credit and debit cards and instead use cash for your spending needs like the grocery store, gasoline, dinners out, etc. People tend to spend 14% more when using credit, they make purchase decisions faster, and they do not consider spending consequences. Many gas stations will give you a discount for cash – Benjamin Franklin said it: A penny saved is a penny earned.
Plan meals and spending. I do not like to use the word budget, just as I detest the word DIET! An eating PLAN sounds much better, as does a SPENDING PLAN. Plan what you are going to spend on food, entertainment, regular expenses and tell your money where to go instead of it telling you! Include payments to yourself for savings and fun things, like vacations. Pay off debts. The normal reaction is to pay the highest interest rate off first. However, we are human and need some WINS to feel good and compel us to continue these good habits, especially when forced with denial. I suggest starting with the lowest balance first, just to get a win. Then take the payment from that debt and add it to the payment on the next highest debt and so on. Money is emotional, so use those emotions to make strides and celebrate your wins, cost-effectively, of course.
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Regularly increase your retirement account savings. Many 401k or 403b plans allow you to automate your increases annually. This will help you continue to save more each year. If you get a pay increase, take a portion of it and allocate it to savings – hey, you made it on the previous pay last year, you can forgo the entire raise in the interest of your future self.
Check your protection. Inadequate insurance can cause havoc to the best financial plans. Do a checkup on your car, home, renters, liability, disability and life insurance to be sure you have the coverage needed. You also might be able to save with combination plans or higher deductibles now that you have more saved.
Get on the same page with your partner. Have a monthly finance meeting. Emotions can be tough at these kinds of meetings, so learn about one another’s desires. There always seems to be one person more into finances than the other. Share the control a bit, and it will go better for both parties.
Meet with a financial professional to talk about your goals and dreams. The advisor should help you prioritize your goals and create a plan to achieve them. Talk to a few different advisors to find the one that you feel comfortable with.
Bottom line, take on one small goal this month, stick with it for 66 days and it may well have a lifelong impact.
Nadine Burns is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional in AnnArbor, Michigan and is the President of A New Path Financial, LLC. She also holds an MBA and enjoys working with women. Securities offered through Sigma Financial Corporation, member FINRA (FINRA.org) And SIPC (SIPC.org). Investment Advisory services offered through Sigma Planning Corporation, a Registered Investment Advisor. A New Path Financial, LLC is independent of Sigma Financial Corporation and Sigma Planning Corporation. Ann Arbor office located at 2311 East Stadium Boulevard, Suite 202, Ann Arbor Michigan 48104. Direct Office phone is (734) 330-2266.
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Closets THE SECRET CLOTHES-KILLER by Angela Harrison
ome closets are organized like a shiny department store; some look like a tornado of early-morning struggle just whipped through; both, however, are quietly capable of ruining your wardrobe. Why do cardigans and knits stop 18 | The Brick Magazine
lying right and stretch out? How come dry clean garments smell strange and end up discolored? Hangers, bags, boxes, and hooks are all helpful tools in keeping things orderly, but they’re also our culprits in the clothing-killing spree.
Of course, we’re not getting rid of these elements, they’re essential in any closet, but we’re going to make sure we use them all the right way because there’s definitely a wrong way. And you’re probably doing it. The closet opens, and you’ve got an impressive inventory of random plastic hangers, a few good wooden ones from an old Nordstrom purchase, an ancient silk padded hanger for panache, and of course the hundreds of hideous dry cleaner wire hangers that have no business being in a closet, just ask Joan. Aside from this misfit crew of hangers looking terrible to anyone with eyes, most of them aren’t good for storing clothes, and some things shouldn’t be hung up at all. Basic hanging rules: we do not cut out hanger tape, the annoying ribbon loops in garments; they actually save your tops and dresses from losing shape. When you hook them on the hanger ends, their purpose is to take some of the weight off of the garment’s straps
or shoulders. With this weight being supported by hanger tape, you don’t run the risk of stretching out knits or putting stress on delicate straps while storing. Your hangers should have notches for straps and a hang bar across the bottom for any future foldover use; this way all top hangers can be multipurpose. If you’ve ever set foot in a Bed Bath & Beyond, you’ve seen there are thousands of different hangers to choose from. The only styles you need are skinny velvet hangers, wooden notched hangers, and pant hangers. The skinny velvet style is a great space saver and should be reserved for lightweight tops and dresses. The velvet texture helps safely grab your tops without slipping; the only downside is these hangers tend to run wide, so make a judgment call if your tops have narrow shoulders. Wooden hangers are sturdy and perfect for blazers, coats, heavier dresses/special occasion, and pants folded over the hang-bar if you’re short on tall space.
With heavier tops and dresses, be sure to hang the hanger tape along with any straps, these wooden hangers can take the weight, and your garments will stand a better chance against gravity’s unwanted pull. In a perfect world, knits should never be hung up. Any sweaters, cardigans, and knit dresses will stay in their original condition longer if folded on a shelf or in a drawer. By hanging these items, sleeves get long, hemlines become uneven, and shoulders start to droop; the garment becomes compromised. Yes, folding takes up precious dresser space, but you won’t be destroying the makeup of your knits, and they’ll ultimately look great longer. For bottom hangers, I always suggest the clamp style for pants (fold them in half at the waistband) and clip style for skirts. Anything in the “dress pant” category reserves the right to hanging space. Everyone’s closet is different so if you have the space to hang all of your bottoms, by all means, go for it. If you’re limited on closet space, fold your denim and chinos; these fabrics are thick and won’t crease if folded and stored in a dresser. Skirts can be doubled up on clip hangers back to back. If you have delicate fabrics like silk or chiffon, the skirts will most likely have hanger tape, so hang them accordingly. As you can see, hangers are our biggest offenders, but coming in at a close second are dry cleaning bags. Sure, they appear super useful, your clothes come to you packaged nicely, and it seems smart to keep them as is. Wrong. Strip that murderous bag immediately and toss the hanger. Fabrics need to breathe; you don’t want a plastic bag trapping chemicals in your clothes for days on end; they’ll smell strange, discolor, and the fibers can breakdown over time. While the bag and hangers feel like free perks, they’re unbelievably bad
for your clothes and will leave them misshapen and damaged. Plastic garments bags should be replaced with a breathable material, this style of bag can be found at any home supply store and are great for storing coats and eveningwear. Now that we’ve nearly weeded out our criminal lineup, the last delinquents still roaming the closet are boxes. I know a lot of people have carefully converted their shoe collection into clear plastic boxes, which can definitely be a smart space saver. However, a crucial step that’s usually missed is making sure your shoes are filled and supported on the inside before they lie flat on one side month after month. Ideally, shoes should be stored upright on their soles so the structure isn’t compromised or misshapen in any way. When this can’t happen because we’re not all working with Imelda Marcos’ closet, stacked boxes at the top or bottom of our space makes sense. Closets come in all shapes and sizes so make the changes that suit your space and wardrobe. Work with the things you already have, move garments around, and fold the stuff that shouldn’t be hanging. Do your part in making your closet a safe space for clothes; only you can save them now. Angie Harrison received a BS degree in fashion merchandising from Western Michigan University, and after merchandising for a large retailer, went on to start Angela Harrison Style; a personal, print, and film wardrobe styling service. Her experience has led her to build a loyal client list of people from all backgrounds and professions. Angie has also worked in wardrobe on local and national tv commercials and has started a visual merchandising branch of AHStyle, providing styling and merchandising expertise to Michigan retailers.
January 2018 | 19
et me start by saying, Happy New Year! We made it through another holiday season. Now that it’s resolution time let’s face it, the majority of us are ready to focus on getting back to our normal routine. Personally, my resolution is to get back to the gym, which usually takes a back seat during this time of year. What better way to jump-start your new year resolution than with a new look!
TIME FOR A
CHANGE by Ryan Brooks
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A ‘new look’ doesn’t mean chop off your hair or go from dark brown to platinum blonde. A subtle change can be huge. One of my favorite quick changes this time of year can be bangs. I feel most women have a bang horror story or are quickly reminded of grade school nightmares of your mother cutting them with orange handle scissors. Erase these thoughts from your memory; bangs can be long, short, textured or even blunt. The key is to find what is right for your face shape, and what works for your cut. My favorite this season is a take on the “Bardot Bang.” It’s a longer, more curtain style that can be easily parted any way you want to wear your hair. It creates softness if you pull your hair up, and with the right product can be pulled back away from the face if you are not feeling them that day. I love these with more of a longer textured, layered haircut. If bangs are not an option, play with color. The one thing I’ve noticed this season is the lack of women wanting
to go dark or if they are, they want dimension that looks natural. Start with lighter face-framing highlights, soft balayage, or baby lights to give subtle color change. I suggest only trying two shades lighter than your base color; this option will still give you a natural sunkissed look. Remember color can always be changed, ask your stylist their thoughts about what would work for you. Those looking to take the plunge into the new year with a BIG change, cut some length off! I’ve noticed all over the salon with stylists, with clients, as well as celebrities, the BOB is for sure the trend this winter. It’s less angle, less layer, can be a variety of lengths and is usually worn sleek or with a tousled curl or wave, keeping this look on trend and less dated. Be realistic
when asking for this look. Questions to think about: Are you going to spend time waving this look or wearing it sleek? Do you want to wear this with your natural texture? Do you want to be able to pull this up? The “lived-in look” is on trend as well as sleek, and asking your stylist for the right one is key. The one thing I do point out is the lack of exterior layers; it’s more one length, with interior weight removal. This isn’t a new technique but might be new to your usual cut. The other popular way in the salon to achieve a “lived in bob” is dry cutting; most clients are used to a wet cut with dry finishing. The dry cut is easier for a stylist to see how your hair will lay, and give them an opportunity to give you more texture without taking too much out. This cut lends itself to a
variety of styling options. Remember it’s a New Year, have fun switching it up. Trust your stylist when they make suggestions, they’re in the business to make you feel and look your best! Happy New Year and Happy Styling! Ryan Brooks has been a stylist for over 13 years in the Ann Arbor area, he currently is working behind the chair at Tricho Salon and Spa located at Briarwood. Over is thirteen years as a stylist he has worked as and educator for Goldwell and most recently Kerastase, he has also had the opportunity to work with multiple productions in stage, movie, as well as print. You can also follow him on Instagram: @ ryanbrookshair Have a hair question you need answered? Contact him at stylistryan@ gmail.com he will be answering questions in future publications.
January 2018 | 21
INGREDIENTS 3 bananas 6 dates, pitted 1½ cups water 1 can (14 oz / 400 ml) coconut milk Pinch of sea salt ½ cup + 1 tbsp chia seeds ¼ cup roasted sunflower & pumpkin seed mix (recipe below) 1 tbsp hemp seeds 1 cup sliced strawberries
Banana Milk Chia Pudding
Prep time: 5 minutes, then refrigerate overnight Serves 6 The flow and tone of your mornings have the potential to make or break your day. Sometimes mornings are a blur; you are lucky to get out the door and off to work on time. It’s so easy to scoot out without breakfast. Before long, your concentration suffers, and you will most likely end up grabbing anything and everything available to eat. The food sitting around the office isn’t usually of the healthiest variety. Taking a few minutes on a Sunday night will make your mornings run smoothly (at least the breakfast portion) by having a healthy and flavorful meal at the ready. This recipe is seriously my favorite breakfast, and there are a handful of reasons why. First and foremost, it is delicious! A must when it comes to the food I eat. Second, it is ridiculously easy to prep; then you have breakfast for the week. Who couldn’t use some extra time back in the morning by not having to worry about cooking breakfast? Third, it is loaded with nutrients and superfoods that will provide your body with nourishment that will sustain you through a busy morning. This one isn’t going to weigh you down or make you feel sluggish. It is filled with protein and healthy fats from nutrient-dense whole foods. It also happens to be dairyfree, vegan and gluten-free. But don’t let that scare you if that isn’t normally your thing. This is truly a winner. 22 | The Brick Magazine
PREPARATION Add bananas, dates, water, coconut milk and sea salt to a blender. Blend thoroughly. Pour into a glass storage container. Add chia seeds and stir. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. Spoon 1 cup of chia pudding into a bowl and top with sliced strawberries, hemp seeds, roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. DO YOU NEED VARIETY? Switch it up by swapping the fruit & seeds. Fresh pineapple chunks Sliced kiwi 1 tbsp peanut or nut butter Sliced banana Your favorite frozen fruit, thawed
Roasted Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds
Prep time: 2 minutes cook time: 10 min I make these once a week to have on hand for chia pudding and to toss on salads. INGREDIENTS 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds 1 cup raw sunflower seeds PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Spread pumpkin seeds on sheet pan. Bake 5 min. Remove pan from oven and add sunflower seeds to pumpkin seeds, mix. Bake another 5 min. Remove from oven and cool. Serve atop Banana Milk Chia Pudding.
Roasted Vegetable Salad As temperatures continue to drop, it’s natural to begin to crave comfort food. Like a big bowl of salad…WAIT, what? Yep, I said it, and I meant it. This is no ordinary salad. I admit a salad is not the first thing most people think of when they think of winter meals. However, when your days are filled with work and an endless list of chores, a hearty salad is exactly what your body needs. It gives you lasting energy to make it through the long days and reduces bloat, so you wake feeling lighter in your clothes. Don’t worry; this is no ordinary salad. It is simple. It is comforting. It tastes amazing. Throwing healthy meals together can feel overwhelming. Eat this—never eat that! You need something quick, delicious and preferably not from a box. Believe me, that stuff from the box, even the ones labeled organic, are still processed foods. The goal is whole foods. Quick meals. Delicious and satisfying is a must! It is also amazing how much you can eat when your meal is filled with veggies. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I reach for something from the box, but more times than not, I reach for whole foods. There is no doubt you feel better and have more energy by eating this way.
INGREDIENTS handful of spinach, torn a few large lettuce leaves, torn 1 head baby bok choy, sliced 1 green onion (scallion), sliced handful of grape tomatoes, halved half of a lemon 1 tbsp pesto, heaping tbsp Preheat oven to 420 F. Add broccoli, onion, bell pepper, potato, sea salt, paprika, turmeric, and olive oil to your pan and give it a good mix. Spread evenly and roast at 420 F for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prep raw ingredients and add to your bowl. Squeeze half of a lemon over the salad. When the veggies are done roasting add them to the salad and immediately top with pesto and mix. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this comforting salad. **TIME SAVERS** Use veggies you have on hand. Zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus or green beans. Don’t feel you have to race out for the exact ingredients. Be flexible. It will still be delish. Buy bagged greens. There is no produce police. If you prefer or need to buy prepped bagged salad greens, do it. You could even buy the coleslaw mix instead of salad greens; cabbage is so great for your body.
This salad has a mixture of raw and roasted vegetables, a variety of textures, and flavors that explode in your mouth. Warm roasted vegetables, crisp cool crunch, zip from lemon juice and sweet nuttiness from pesto. Best of all, it’s easy to put together. All the veggies roast in one pan for 15 minutes. While the veggies are roasting get the rest of the salad prepped. ROASTED INGREDIENTS 1 crown broccoli, cut into chunks 1 red onion, sliced 1 bell pepper, chunks 1 potato, med dice or small chunks 1/2 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Pamela Chavez is the founder of ‘Nutrition To Heal Yourself ’. As a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Chef she is on a mission to show busy women that healthy meals are quick, delicious and make you feel amazing! As a military spouse and mom to three young boys, Pamela understands what it means to be busy and being able to adapt to constant changes. She has helped countless women learn to eat locally, seasonally and fill their family’s meals with gorgeous, simple, nutritious food. Pamela believes it is about making the unfamiliar familiar, setting new routines, and being open to positive change. www.nutritiontohealyourself.com January 2018 | 23
BRING IN THE CLEAN-UP CREW by Lisa Profera MD
he New Year is upon us. Did you make a resolution for 2018? Why not do something that will help you for the rest of your life? Resolve to resolve inflammation in your body. You may have heard that inflammation is the bane of our existence in this modern society. But not all inflammation is bad.
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Acute inflammation is a good thing; it helps our bodies heal. But if left unresolved or uncontrolled it can wreak havoc on our systems. When inflammation is ongoing, it becomes chronic, and this is the root of many debilitating disease processes such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, some
neurological disorders, and even some cancers. Any disease process that ends with “-itis” is caused by inflammation. Historically, the resolution of inflammation has been regarded as a passive process. We’ve known so much about the onset and action of inflammation, but very little was known about how it is resolved until recently. It
happens all the time in our bodies: your skin is cut, it gets red, sometimes there is pus, it scabs over, heals, and the underlying new skin is back to normal. Or, you catch a cold, your nose gets stuffy and runny, you feel ill, and then in several days, you get over it.
can be as high as 15:1 Omega 6s to Omega-3s in the typical American diet. The ideal ratio is 1:1. A person would have to consume a very large amount of sardines and anchovies to get enough Omega 3 to make a difference in this imbalance.
Innovative researchers from Harvard have shown that inflammation is an active process orchestrated by a cascade of complex chemical reactions that result in the formation of SPMs (Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators). Once the initial insult to our system (injury and infection) is under control or eradicated, the SPMs move in to clean up the mess. There are four distinct families of SPMs, called Resolvins, Protectins, Maresins, and Lipoxins; each carries out a different biochemical function. They regulate the “off” switch to stop the acute inflammatory process. They contain and control remaining infectious offenders (thus reducing the need for more antibiotics). They signal the special white blood cells (macrophages) to come in and clean up dead cells and debris. They oversee the complicated process of homeostasis and healing aiding in repair and regeneration of tissues.
So you may be saying to yourself: “I’ll just up my dose of fish oil when I’m sick or injured.” Good thinking, but unfortunately, it is not that simple. Many of us have a relative SPM deficiency due to unhealthy lifestyle choices plus physical and environmental stresses. Nutrientdeficient diets, poor gut absorption, too little exercise, toxins and the aging process all contribute to this. Our bodies primarily use EPA and DHA for important functions such as maintaining cell membrane structure and integrity and supporting brain and cardiovascular health. This is the priority, resolving inflammation is secondary. The pathway that results in the production of SPMs involves many additional enzymatic steps. When the body does not have enough SPMs, the inflammation pathway cannot be turned off. People who have a chronic inflammatory disease such as diabetes, asthma,
rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disorders, have difficulty manufacturing SPMs. For decades, we have been focusing on blocking the inflammatory process with medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) or other enzyme inhibitors (Cox-2 inhibitors such as Celexa). These medications block inflammation effectively, but they do not promote the resolution of inflammation. They are also associated with adverse effects such as stomach irritation, ulcers and bleeding, high blood pressure, fluid retention, kidney, and heart problems. There is also evidence that anti-inflammatory medications delay the resolution of inflammation and may be hindering the “clean up” process. This may lead to scarring and organ damage over time. What can we do to help resolve inflammation so that the “clean up” crew can help everything get back to normal? Basic things like eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising and reducing stress are the first step. I outlined some suggestions for this in my previous article (December issue).
These compounds are derived from essential fatty acids in our diet, mostly from Omega-3s. The DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) we ingest from fish and plant sources are further metabolized into 17HDHA (17-hydroxy-eicosapentaenoic acid) and 18-HEPE ( 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid) to form the SPMs. As we know, our diets are very high in Omega 6 fatty acids which promote chronic inflammation and are low in Omega 3s, which help to resolve it. The skewed ratio of these
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Making smart lifestyle choices also include taking care of your oral health, taking supplements, and reducing chemical exposures. More and more studies are demonstrating a clear link between oral health and overall health. Poor dentition, chronic gum inflammation, overgrowth of bacteria and biofilms not only leads to plaque, tartar, cavities, and tooth loss, but it can also contribute to cardiovascular disease and dementia (Alzheimer’s). So brush and floss daily and don’t skip your preventative dental visits.
AVOID THE BEIGE DIET Avoid fast food and processed foods as much as possible. I call this the beige diet: fried chicken, mashed potatoes or fries, vanilla shake, you get the picture. Eating the “rainbow’ of fruits and vegetables has many benefits. Brightly colored foods contain a myriad of phytochemicals (too many to list here)
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that support our systems, cellular health and mitochondria by providing anti-oxidants, enzymes, and cofactors that are essential to healthy inflammatory balance. The beneficial effects of consuming fermented foods have been known for ages, and current research is proving this. Eat fresh, eat local, eat seasonal— this can be challenging in the wintertime. Our soil is also depleted of key nutrients. For example, the broccoli we ate a couple of decades ago had about ten times more magnesium in it than it has now. We can do the best that we can, but supplementation of nutrients is also important. We cannot possibly eat that much broccoli! Choosing a good supplement can be very confusing. There are so many out there. First of all, our gastrointestinal tract needs to be healthy and supported with “good bacteria” so that we can absorb the nutrients we need (I discussed the importance of a good prebiotic/ probiotic combo last month). The supplements themselves need to be in a readily bioavailable form so that they can be absorbed. Making a conscious effort to reduce chemical exposures can also help reduce inflammation. Drink water out
of glass or stainless steel container rather than plastic containers. Do not microwave foods in plastic either. Reduce the chemical footprint in your home by switching out some products (household cleaners, soaps, detergents) and use less toxic ones (this will be a topic in a future article). The chemicals triclosan, and triclocarban, found in popular soaps and toothpaste, have been banned by the FDA for being potentially harmful endocrine disruptors. Other chemicals have been banned as well. Some are still being researched. The cosmetic industry is widely unregulated. Be mindful of what you put on your skin; like it or not, it is getting into your system. Do your homework and read labels carefully. This is a lot of information, but realize that if you make one change, you are one step closer to resolving inflammation in your body. Make a resolution you can stick with for 2018 and beyond. Make a positive difference for a healthier life! Lisa Profera MD Owner and Founder of PROJUVU MD Aesthetics and Lifestyle Medicine Please note that the information in this article has been designed to help educate the reader regarding the subject matter covered. This information is provided with the understanding that the author and any other entity referenced here are not liable for the misconception or misuse of the information provided. It is not provided to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The provider of this information shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity concerning any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this information. The information presented is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling or care. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
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RAISING INSPIRED & SELF-MOTIVATED KIDS by Randi Rubenstein
s parents, we recognize that our world has changed in many ways from the good old days when we grew up. Who remembers unchaperoned days at the neighborhood pool ending in shriveled fingertips resembling raisins? Or a mom that barely knew your teacher’s name and only showed up at school if there was an actual call from the nurse reporting a barfing episode…and you better be running a fever above 100 too.
on US to constantly inspire and stay on top of THEIR responsibilities.
These days, our kids’ reality is vastly different, I’d say! Many of the “new age” child-raising philosophies can leave modern parents feeling confused about the best parenting practices. As we aim to inspire our kiddos to show up in the world bringing forth their “all,” we also receive the message to be WAY more involved than our parents were. Quite often we find our kids ultra dependent
WHAT’S A PARENT TO DO?
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As we attempt to navigate our biggest assignment in life (growing people), the dreaded helicopter parent label is always lingering close by. However, we are tired and dream of a day when the kids wake up to the sound of their own alarm clocks and simply TAKE. CARE. OF. BUSINESS. You know, the way we were expected to behave when we grew up.
We want our kids to be inspired, confident and self-motivated. When our kids continuously require our over-involvement to perform simple tasks like completing school assignments and frankly, even putting on their shoes in the morning without 27 reminders, we find ourselves beginning the day in a puddle of frustration and worry.
It’s usually our most challenging kiddos who absolutely REFUSE to comply with the old school tactics when we are pulling out all the stops to get them to listen, cooperate and perform. These fiery kids usually dig their heels in deeper when we resort to the methods our parents or teachers used to motivate such as: “If you bring home anything lower than an A, you are grounded from watching T.V. until further notice!” Or, “You have one job, and that’s to do well in school. Why can’t you be responsible like your sister? You’re not going to get into college at this rate. Dad and I will not pay your bills once you move out of our house so you better shape up.” Does this sound familiar? Fear, threats, blame, comparison and name calling are the parenting tools interwoven into this old motivation model. Please raise your hand if you
find this conversation encouraging in even the slightest way?
are down is not part of the solution. An example might look like: “You have an amazing way of thinking of solutions when you are calm and creative. Remember when you figured out how to rearrange your room so you’d have more space to display your Lego masterpieces? You can bring that same ingenuity to this situation too.”
ALL kids benefit from a more positive approach. In fact, our extra stubborn little firecrackers are simply the catalysts for an improved conversation. They require something different than the way most of us were raised to become self-propelled and inspired.
HOW CAN I HELP? Do you need my help in buying supplies or making a list of what you need for this project?”
As far as “best parenting practices” for a new conversational model to raise self-motivated kids, begin with this 3 step strategy:
Model the behavior you seek. The conversation starts with yourself. Ask yourself if you are showing up in the world from an inspired and self-motivated space. Kids are inspired by what they see modeled rather than through our words, scrutiny, and lectures. Stop telling your kids what not to do and who to become and focus on being that person yourself. Kids are rarely listening to our words. They are perpetually watching every movement we make. No pressure!
Be a sounding board, not a “fixer” for your kids. It’s hard as a parent to watch your kid go through something difficult. It feels painful to know your child is sad, frustrated, insecure, disappointed, etc. Empathize when your child experiences a challenge or a failure by allowing her to express her negative emotion. Here’s the REALLY hard part: Resist trying to fix it. Don’t point out the bright side, the silver lining lesson or jump into
solution mode. For example, if your child says, “I don’t know how to do this dumb assignment.” Don’t jump in and take over. Allow your child to feel his frustration without trying to happy him up. We frequently tend to go into lawyer mode by arguing and defending the teacher’s position. This will infuriate your kiddo and will not be considered helpful. Simply respond by saying, “I hear that you’re frustrated. It does seem a bit confusing. How can I help?”
Encourage, and problem-solve. Rather than pointing out all the ways your child should have done better, focus your energy on support and encouragement. We are all human. When humans feel discouraged, we are not in the most brilliant executive parts of the brain and therefore, not inclined to learn from mistakes and improve. This is why lecturing, pointing out flaws and kicking our kids when they
The old parenting conversation involving fear, threats, and bribes to “get” kids to strive for success isn’t working anymore in our evolving world. Squashing a kid’s spirit with raised voices and aggressive measures for the sake of compliance is inconsistent with our end-game goal: raising inspired and self-motivated kids who will grow into the leaders of tomorrow. Practicing these three simple strategies repeatedly will tap into your kids’ intrinsic motivation to work hard and share their natural gifts with the world. The beautiful connected relationship between you and your inspired future leader will be the cherry on top. Bon appetite! Randi Rubenstein helps fed up parents learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self-motivated kids by closing the parent gap - the gap between the parent you want to be and the parent you currently are during the REAL triggered moments with your kiddos. But you never yell at your kids, right? As a parent coach and author, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. You can find her at www.randirubenstein.com/
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Inner Wisdoms FINDING YOUR THIS YEAR by Sharon Lawlor
ith the new year, it’s an open possibility. A blank slate. A mystery of the unknown. A new seed that we get to nurture and grow. If we were diligent in the fall, releasing what no longer was serving us (mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual levels) then, the ground this new seed will be planted in will be rich. No worries though, if one wasn’t diligent in letting go in the fall season, we can still ‘weed’ anytime to create more viable space. This primed spaciousness allows the seed of our desires to grow and flourish. I know for me, looking ahead to the next twelve months, there is so much spaciousness I haven’t filled the calendar with. I feel a sense of lightness. I can breathe. There is movement and flow. This
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is a thread I want to continue throughout 2018, but it is something I cannot leave to chance. It is something I will need to be aware of and fuse every day with the energy I want to carry forth.
Block out time on your schedule. This may be a full day or a few hours over a few days where you have the time for yourself without distractions.
Place them on your poster board, canvas board or heavy weight paper without gluing first. Rearrange, move, or layer until it speaks to you that it is complete.
Create a sacred space. This could be an altar with the energy you want to invoke for your new year to help hold the space for you to delve in. This could be a candle, or a special notebook to write down messages that may come to you and your favorite pen. You may want fresh flowers or a plant at the desk/table in which you are working or whatever brings you joy.
Glue down each piece. Things may shift a bit in this process, and that is okay.
Take in the entire finished piece. Listen to any messages it speaks to you and journal.
Perhaps the energy you’d like to carry forth is quite different and should be unique to you; that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? The more I delve into this, the more I follow the sparks of inspiration to understand more what this new year is about. For the past four years, I have done a ritual during the Capricorn new moon to help anchor what it was I was creating for the upcoming year. I consciously design a powerful creation plan for my year and incorporate movement to activate this energy throughout my body.
The past few years I have also layered a visual component too, a Vision Quest, in the form of a vision board or an essence board. Have you done this before? If you are unfamiliar with this, here are 11 basic steps to create your own:
Gather your supplies ahead of time. Collect some magazines, a pair of scissors, liquid glue for paper or a glue stick, a large poster board or I have also used a heavy weight watercolor paper (140lbs) or canvas board.
Ground into your body and connect with your heart. This could be through meditation, a movement piece, dance, writing in a journal, or what works for you.
10. Place the finished piece in a spot where you can connect with its energy and vibration frequently. Keep holding that intention in your heart that you want to create in your year. 11.
Enjoy the journey. Take actions that are aligned with your vision and see what manifests.
Here’s to the creation of a wonderful new year!!
Write down your intention for the new year onto your paper or board.
Connect to your intention while you go through your magazines. Cut out images, words, and phrases that speak to you. Cut out more than you think you need.
Sharon Marie helps clients create spaciousness within for them to pause, connect to their heart, and feel a new sense of peace. She brings so much compassion and understanding to her clients as she holds space for them on their journey. Her suite is the perfect space holder for her work, providing a safe and sacred container for her clients to fully relax. Sharon’s eclectic mix of modalities include healing massage and bodywork, infrared sauna, medicine walks in nature, the natural rhythms and elements in nature, the wisdom of the season’s, and creativity for healing. Sharon Marie, Founder and Creative Director at Tranquil Being. Contact her through email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734-761-8753. She’s located at Tranquil Being, 320 Miller Ave, Suite 185, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE How one woman grew a $2.3M training company (hint: it wasn’t alone) by Kristen Domingue
aggie Bayless is the creator of a company called ZingTrain (http://www. zingtrain.com/) at Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor Michigan. While Zingerman’s is a food-based business with several restaurant and event locations in Michigan, they’re unique in their approach to customer service and leadership. ZingTrain, (co-owned by Ari Weinzweig, Paul Saginaw, and Maggie Bayless) makes this unique approach available to the world. During Maggie’s 23-year tenure at Zingerman’s, she created the leadership and customer service training company called ZingTrain based on Zingerman’s internal bestpractices, made applicable for other organizations. This is the story of what it took to build a $2.3M training company from an idea. I followed my curiosity When I was first introduced to instructional design [the technical
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term for creating training, often facilitated by a consultant brought in by human resources], I was working for a consulting company that’s now no longer in business. The process triggered a huge realization: “Oh, there are ways to design training, so people really learn something?” This was interesting to me. But there would be several twists and turns that interrupted my “plans” before I created the company now known as ZingTrain. Shortly after, I started thinking, “How can I find a company that thinks about management, leadership and building organizational culture the way Ari and Paul do?” [Ari and Paul are the co-founders of Zingerman’s.] Eventually I said this often enough and my husband finally suggests, “Why don’t you work with them? You’re never as excited as when you talk about what they’re doing.” I’m not superwoman. I had a husband. I had co-founders. And I had time. In the spring of 1994, Ari and Paul published their first, formal, long-term vision; a 15-year vision for the company and I was inspired. I knew there would need to be a “keeper of corporate knowledge,” plus good training and infrastructure. I also knew if their vision was successful, people would want to learn about Zingerman’s and how they could implement what Ari and Paul
were doing (which was already starting to happen.) One night, I stayed up late after my two-year-old son was in bed and wrote a vision for ZingTrain and presented it to Ari and Paul. They thought it sounded great and together we started ZingTrain in June 1994 in my attic. Because what do you need to start a training company? Business cards, I already had a computer, letterhead (it was 1994!) we put in a second phone line and got a fax modem. Soon after, I found out I was pregnant with my second son. If you look at the growth trajectory of ZingTrain, it was pretty low-curve early on because I was willing to make the time-for-money trade-off. I had a husband who had a job with benefits, and this was huge because I was able to start ZingTrain without needing a certain level of revenue. In the last five years it’s been gratifying to say
to him “Ok, whenever you’re ready to leave your corporate job you can, you don’t need to stay any longer than you want to be there.” We brought in the right players at the right time. By 2000, ZingTrain was six years old, my kids were five and eight, and they thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown (and so did I.) Ari and Paul were out there getting sales, and they’d call with a new client for me to train. Instead of feeling excited it made me sick to my stomach. I knew we needed to grow, but I couldn’t imagine how I’d accommodate the growth. And as synchronicities often happen, Stas‘ Kazmierski who had facilitated the first Zingerman’s vision that Ari and Paul created, was looking to step back into an organization. To determine if we may be a good fit as managing partners Stas‘ and
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I wrote our own ten-year visions and then compared them. It was surprising that our individual visions had way more similarities than differences. From there we decided to join forces and were managing partners together for 13 years. Stas‘ joining allowed us to grow at a time when I couldn’t keep things growing on my own. All of a sudden it wasn’t completely overwhelming. At first, his presence simply meant clients could book more training days. Then we added more trainers, and we grew revenue that way. In August of 2013, he stepped down as managing partner and started doing some project work for us. He passed away this spring which was really hard for all of us. For us, Vision is everything If you can’t already tell, visioning is a big part of the way we do things. We plan for where we want to end up. Right now, our 2020 vision says that in August I’ll step down and there will be one or more new managing partners. To prepare for that, we already have Katie Frank in training for the managing partner role after I step down. We’re hoping she’ll be approved, buy-in and become an owner. Then Katie and I will have two years of co-managing together before I step down. My family takes visioning seriously as well, in 2013 my husband Fred, took the visioning seminar in preparation for his retirement in 2015. He’s been a pilot his whole life, and part of his vision was to become a flight instructor. Part of my long-term vision was to get a camper and take
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long road trips after I step down. Things are already in motion for us to be on track with our visions. Our managing partner is in training, Fred and I bought a camper, he recently passed his certified flight instructor exam, and we just returned from our first, five-week road trip. While I do feel really lucky, I didn’t just end up here. We consciously decided it would be great to be in this place, both my husband and I, and my team at ZingTrain. The journey has been really gratifying. On being it all, all at once I have women ask me so often, “You had kids, you built a business, how did you make it all work?” And I tell them honestly, “At any given moment, it felt like it was out of control.” There were months I was on the road, way more than I wanted to be. And I could say to myself, “I’m having this March because in July we’re going up north for two weeks and I will be completely off the grid.” At any given moment, life was not in balance, but big-picture, it was. So looking back I can say I had a really satisfying career, I had long vacations and trips with my kids. Was I always around and spending as much time with them as I wanted? No. But that whole idea that you can have it all at the same time? I don’t think that’s possible. I think you can have much of it but not necessarily all at the same time; you’ve got to juggle. A huge “a-ha” for me was learning to say no to things. I got to the point where I said no to the things I didn’t want to do, and that was good. But
then I realized, “Oh, I have to say no to things I really want to do too, because those take energy, and time and emotion as well.” And that didn’t seem fair. But it became clear, “Ok, you can keep saying ‘yes’ to those things and go out of your mind, or you can say, ‘maybe that’s something I’ll try to come back to later.’” I can always go back. There really is a point when your kids don’t need you as much and aren’t as interested in you. I learned control is an illusion. Having a great therapist helps, too. What we left out of this interview were the number of different positions and roles Maggie had before she teamed up with Zingermans to create the ZingTrain arm of the business. Maggie’s willingness to keep following her breadcrumbs (without overidolizing following her bliss) led her to build a cutting-edge training company aligned with her vision and values and trust the process of life’s unfolding. We admire her honesty and willingness to share exactly what it took. When one woman takes off her superwoman mask, it allows the rest of us to breath easier and to know that if she can do it, we can do it, too, just as we are. Imperfections and all. Thank you, Maggie.
There’s no such thing as a damsel in distress. We now live in a world of heroes.
WRITING YOUR WAY HOME A workshop about telling yourself the (hero) story of your own life
WINTER SESSION: December 20, 2017 – March 21, 2018 Theme: Lost & Found Wednesdays 1:30 – 3pm Eastern www.stellaorange.com/writing-way-home
Celebrating 47 years as the real estate leader in Ann Arbor
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