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Just about a year ago while attending one of the BMS Mastermind Conventions, I heard one of the other stylists say, “All of this is so great, but I’ve never done this shit before and I feel like it’s a case of new level, new devil.” My mind was blown and it’s stuck in my head ever since. I revisit this quote all the time when reflecting on my business and life, particularly whenever I face obstacles or adversity.

NBR Hair Extensions

NBR Hair Extensions

You would think 5 years into owning a brick and mortar space, 10 years as an entrepreneur, and almost 19 in the industry, that it would be easier than it is. I’ve done a lot of different things in that time, but I’ve never done some of what I’m doing right now. It’s stressful, but I’m compelled to keep going because I have a certain goal in mind. I’ve realized that as you get closer to your vision and goal, there’s a lot of shit you have to bust through, that you have to end, and that you have to have weird conversations about to move forward, but that’s exactly what that stylist was talking about. That’s the new devil.

The old devil is no longer tugging at you because you’ve pushed through that particular phase and now you’re onto something new. If you stay complacent, there’s still a devil you have to work with, whether it’s mediocrity or staying stagnant. For most of the people I’m around now, the idea of no growth or change seems like hell on Earth. But even though we would rather keep moving forward into new territory, it’s scary to face the new devils. At least with the old ones, you know what to expect. With uncharted territory, all the wins that you have are met with powerful adversity. There’s no playbook, and you’ve never done it before.

I’ve found that these new challenges are an addictive state of mind and place to be.

The new devil for me is that I keep on going and it never stops. I’m constantly asking myself, “Is it ever going to be good enough? Am I ever going to get to a place where I can settle it down a little bit?” I push myself past what I probably should be doing into what I feel called to do. I move very quickly, but it’s all pressure that I put on myself. My new level, new devil is branching out into unknown territory and how exciting and fulfilling that is.

It’s always just one more thing—let’s just keep stacking stuff on. So, as I share this with you all today—this is my reminder to check in with what I see in front of me and to make sure it’s what I want, and that if I need to slow down, I give myself permission to slow down and not put so much pressure on myself to do new new shit all the time. Maybe that new shit for me might be slowing down and falling back in love with some of the first things that I did.

What’s your new level, new devil? What are you currently struggling with in your business that you’ve never experienced before? I also encourage you, for the sake of perspective, to reflect on some of your old devils that you’ve already knocked out that don’t bother you anymore. It’s a cyclical process, but it’s always worth reminding ourselves how far we’ve come.

What’s up guys…

I am coming to you fresh and rejuvenated from my vacation last week in Puerto Vallarta. One of my best girlfriends was turning 40 and wanted to celebrate with people around her that she knows and loves. I got the call back in January that she wanted to travel abroad and have her amazing 40th in this beautiful space.. I’m so glad that I took her up on the invitation and dusted off my passport.

You don’t really know how much you need something, until you are sitting in it. I generally take an annual girls vacation, to reconnect and hang out with some of my best friends… But because of life situations in different scenarios on everybody’s plate, we weren’t able to schedule one this year. In my mind I thought “no big deal we’ll catch up next year”.. I was wondering how I was going to get away with two vacations anyway… My friends 40th, along with my annual.


By the time September came I could tell that I was ready to unplug, and recharge. Things in the studio have been going great, but the constant demand of being a business owner definitely stacks up and it’s always nice to have a release… Even from something that you would consider your passion.

This is also my first year inside of a co-parenting space with my kid’s father, and again, even though things are going well there are definitely highs and lows in trying to work through this new space for us. And let’s not forget the actual two children as well. Whether you are in a coparenting, single parent, or dual parent household… Being the parent of a child is a demand like no other I’ve ever experienced before.

As soon as my feet touched the beautiful sand, I knew that this was much needed. We stayed in an amazing villa with an incredible infinity pool view out into the ocean. The Villa came staffed and we were waited on pretty much hand and foot…
It sounds a little extra, until you actually get to experience it. Now I feel like I am spoiled for life😳

There were 14 of us who traveled across the country to go and celebrate and boyyyyyy, we did everything together… Went on a yacht exploration, broke bread together, and honestly just hung out and had lazy days together. I got to find out about everybody’s story, where they were from, and I feel like I have made some new friends for life.

Sometimes being in that close of quarters with people that you don’t know can be a little intimidating, I’m telling you right now to get over it! It could be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Keep yourself open and meet new people in your adult life like you would when you were in elementary school. <—- hard to do, I know.

Here are some highlights from my trip and a villa information if you are interested…

For a five day vacation I only spent $480.. yes.. you heard right. The only other additional fee that we had to pay was for the actual food itself which only came to about $100 per person.

www.villasofdistinction.com

I’m refreshed, rejuvenated, and now on my way to California to train with in the BMS/NBR network… I’ll tell you all about it next week..

Hey Moms…

…we are having a virtual party over here on the blog today because guess what?? The kids are back in school! Can we all just agree that summertime as a mom is kind of a big giant hot mess? I remember as a kid how I absolutely could not wait for summer break and summer camps and no more school. But as a mom? I absolutely dread the end of the school year because it means an end to the routines that I love so much. Summer just doesn’t happen the same as a mom.

All summer long it’s running here and there, constant planning, trying to keep up with the ever changing needs of summer camp. There’s field trips and pool days and random Fridays off—honestly, why are there random Fridays off?? Summer camp just doesn’t have even half the routine that the school year does, which means I am all here for the school year beginning again.

It’s like a breath of fresh air. I don’t know if you all experience this, too, but I feel like as a mom I’m wound so tight during the Summer. It’s impossible to really relax when everything is so out of sync. Which is why I love returning to the familiarity and routine. It may bring more to the table like homework and such, but it really cools off and chills out all of the hot messiness that happens all summer.

And getting back to cool feels soo good. In fact, I’ve found that as the school year kicks off and moms start to catch their breath, it’s the perfect time for a little self-care and self-investment. I love every time a mom comes in to the salon at the end of the Summer just dying for some alone time and pampering and we’re able to give that to her.

If you’ve been following along on insta, you know I just changed things up with my own hairstyle. It felt like the perfect time as everything in life transitions back to school year steady. So fellow moms, as you settle back into your routine and start to cool off from the craze of Summer, give us a call. We’re ready and waiting to help you on your way back to feeling chill… as chill as mom life can ever be.

We all remember the days… when Summer was full of drinking, spontaneous fun, traveling, and just having a good time. It was all care-free and sunshine. Summer as a mom is a completely different story. Summer camp, lack of routine, no school—Summer is now all about regulation and responsibility.

First of all, in order to be prepared for Summer, you have to get started way back in January. Who knew you had to register for summer camp 6 months before the actual camp happens?? Deciding on camps, and how long they are in each camp, etc, it all takes a lot of coordination. Speaking of coordination… when the littles are out of school and work and travel doesn’t slow down, the co-parenting suddenly becomes way more complex. Communication, scheduling details, and flexibility all become super important. I’ve been traveling a lot for work lately, and it’s required a lot of adulting to make sure everything is situated and taken care of while I’m away.

Summer NBR Hair Extensions

Summer NBR Hair Extensions

Also a part of the summertime shuffle… can we have a moment for all of the meltdowns that come from being out of normal routine? Summer is full of getting ready earlier or later, going to bed earlier or later, camp being different from school, etc. The Summer schedule looks nothing like the school year schedule, and it brings a lot of emotions with it. Even as adults, having a routine is super important. It helps us maintain habits and just generally feel good. It works for the same for kids, and I know mine function best when we have a routine in place.

Adjusting to summer-as-a-mom, and a working, business-owning mom at that, can be a little overwhelming. So many shifts happen when you become a parent, and things never really stop shifting. Kingston is about to start kindergarten in a few weeks and I’m sure it will bring plenty of its own new adjustments and learning curves. Moms, I would love to hear from you. How do you manage the ups and downs of Summer? What do you do to stick to a routine throughout the summer months? Let me know in the comments below!

As you may know, last week was my birthday and I wanted to take a moment to share some of my reflections on turning 36. For a long time, every year for my birthday it was about going somewhere or doing something. Now I’ve reached a point in life where I choose to go nowhere and spend as much of the day relaxing as possible. I’m officially a Dream House Hermit. I absolutely love being in my space and I love inviting people into my space.

This year, my mom came over along with some friends and their kids and we all just had a good ass time. When it comes to my mom, well, I’m the apple that didn’t fall far—we love so much of the same things, the most important one for birthdays being creamy delicious alcoholic beverages. She made me drinks and kept things going all day
long.

NBR Hair Extensions

NBR Hair Extensions

What struck me the most about this particular day might seem like such a small thing, but to me it meant so much. We spent the entire afternoon at the pool. No big deal, right? Well, I have never lived in a community that had a pool that I could just go to. To me, it was amazing to just get to go sit out at the pool, relax, not stress about my kids because this pool also has a kiddie pool, and just be there.
Then there was the after-pool nap.

You know the kind. The soft nap where you’re not like totally asleep the whole time, but just completely chill. My mom took care of my littles to gift me with said soft nap and it. Was. Everything.

Overall, 36 feels pretty similar to 35, but I can feel that I’m approaching a different phase of my life. It’s become all about finding the quickest, simplest way to get to the end result.

And for the first time ever, I actually enjoy time off. I have always been so much of a workaholic that not only did I rarely take time off, when I did I could never relax and enjoy that time. I’m finally finding a work/life balance. Raise your drink of choice (mine is a mudslide) and let’s cheers to 36!

Today I wanted to bring you all a message that’s a little different from my usual.

You may or may not be aware that the month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health has not always been something I put a lot of thought and effort into, but recently it’s been showing up for me with both myself and people I care about. I’ve been realizing just how challenging it can be, and how much effort it can really take to maintain a healthy mental state. As it has impacted my life, it has become very important to me to contribute to bringing awareness to the mental health struggle.

I wanted to bring in someone who is familiar with sharing her mental health experience to shine some light for you all on the importance of the conversation and some ways to manage your mental health. You may remember our former studio manager, Kassy. She shares about mental health and the reality of living with mental illness on her instagram (instagram.com/coffeewithkas), and I wanted to share her voice with you all.

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The thing about mental illness is that it sounds like such a scary word, but we all know and love someone living with it. And the reality is that more than half of those living with a mental illness are not being actively treated for it. Which means that so many of our family members, friends, and ourselves are all silently struggling through each day trying our best to self-manage in whatever ways we can.

The two most common mental illnesses are depression and anxiety, both of which can show up in different ways for different people. Particularly anxiety, which is a blanket term for a number of different disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, all of which look and feel entirely different. It’s important to remember this fact when talking to someone living with the disorder as it may look different than you expect, and it may feel different to them than it does for you, or it did for your mom, best friend, etc.

No one set of coping mechanisms will work well for everyone, and finding the right formula for your particular mental health can be an ongoing process of trial and error. For many people medication is a vital ingredient to the formula that works for them, but for many others medication is not even an option. What works for someone with depression may not work for someone suffering from PTSD, but here’s just a small sampling of ways to contribute positively to your mental health.

Exercise


This could even mean taking a five minute walk in the sunshine, getting up from your desk to stretch, or dancing around in the kitchen while you cook dinner. Of course, the more traditional “working out” such as going to the gym or yoga or swimming works, too, but just moving helps. If you ever saw Legally Blonde you know all about how exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you feel better. This is why it’s always one of the first recommendations for mental illness. THAT SAID, part of depression and anxiety can be chronic fatigue, and exercise isn’t always a possiblity. Do what you can, give yourself grace when you can’t, and know that even a little bit makes a difference.

Meditation & Breathing Exercises

As cliché as this may sound, proper breathing techniques REALLY do make all the difference in the world for when you’re experiencing the physical symptoms of anxiety. Meditation and mindfulness, which focus on being present in the moment and utilizing awareness of your body and surroundings, also help negate the effects of anxiety.

Support System

This is absolutely crucial to maintaining your mental health and coping with mental illness. Whether this is family, friends, really great coworkers, or a combination of, having people to lean on when you’re not feeling well can make all the difference. Whether it’s just calling someone on the phone, or texting if that feels like too much, or if you’re able, meeting up for a cup of coffee, spending time with people who care about you can be a really great way to help counteract the feeling of being entirely alone in your struggle.
There are tons of different coping mechanisms and resources available. I encourage you to seek out what works for you and continue trying different combinations until you figure out the best fit.

More than anything else, though, I want to talk about “the conversation.” When it comes to mental illness there are huge amounts of stigma surrounding it, and coupled with the fact that people experiencing it often feel alone, it can be incredibly difficult to reach out for help. This is why so many people suffer in silence. It’s also why I passionately believe in being open and honest about how you’re feeling, even when you feel like “no one wants to hear that.”

As a culture, we’ve become so obsessed with the idea of “positivity” that we’ve forgotten how to empathize and recognize that “positive thinking” doesn’t make the pain of mental illness just go away. Of course, mindset can make a huge difference, but it’s all about balance. I believe one of the most powerful things we can do to help people heal is to be open and honest about our own struggles. It’s when we see our pain mirrored by others that we feel validated and no longer so alone.

If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, or something you don’t know how to describe or label, I encourage you to reach out to someone close to you. A partner, friend, parent or sibling. If you have someone in your life that you know is experiencing mental illness, reach out to them. Send them a text or a card, take them out for coffee, let them know that even if they don’t want to talk about it or know what to say that they are not alone.

If you don’t understand or don’t know what to say back, that’s okay, too. Just letting them know you are there can make all the difference. And if you hear someone else say that they are struggling, instead of staying quiet because it’s easier, have the courage to stand up, and say, “Hey, me too.” It’s only when we all start to share our stories that we begin to recognize how much of our pain is shared, and how much healing we can find in one another.

Continuing the theme of love from last week, I wanted to do a spotlight on my very first baby. He doesn’t get much attention usually (and trust me, he prefers it that way), but I wanted to show a little love to the guy who’s been with me for the past decade.

Introducing, my pup FoXx. Yes, with two Xx

FoXx is of unknown age and origins, and came to me sort of out of the blue, just about ten years ago. A friend of mine’s husband found him on a military base and brought him home as a surprise to her. Little did he know, she had an even bigger surprise for him. She was pregnant with her daughter, so they decided they couldn’t keep their new pup. So I showed up for a lash appointment with Jill (of company name) and left with a whole ass dog. Seriously.

Natural Beaded Rows

Confession: I wouldn’t exactly call myself a dog person. But somehow, FoXx just fits. He’s a very quiet man… he rarely ever barks. He’s the most chill dog I’ve ever met. After I got him, I spent some time researching his breed (he’s a Shiba Inu) and now I can’t imagine having any other dog.

He’s been with me for so long—before kids, before Garnish, he’s moved multiple places, been to every party hosted at my house—he has truly been a part of my life for the last ten years.

Other than the fact that he was my first baby, he is the lowest maintenance relationship I’ve ever had and he’s the perfect man because he’s great with kids. He doesn’t want much from me, but yet he’s always there.

Basically, everyone needs a FoXx in their life!

I wanted to introduce you all to my newest love, the one I’ve got butterflies over, and the one I’m pouring all of my time and energy into. It’s bright and beautiful, and I’ve been dreaming about it for a long, long time…

Introducing, this year’s Valentine…

Just like a new relationship, I’m definitely in the obsessed and in love phase with this new adventure that is home ownership. Even though I’ve lived here for just about six weeks now, I still get a high every time I walk in the door.

I’ve spent years talking and dreaming about buying not just a house, but my dream house, and this is truly it. For one thing, the closet… y’all, my closet fits ever-y-thing. All of my things aren’t scattered throughout the house anymore… they are all actually living in my closet together. Then there’s the patio… Oh man.

Let me tell you something about the screened-in patio on this house. It’s almost resort-style in its level of relaxing, and for me that means so much. I travel a lot for work, but don’t actually get to take a lot of vacation, and when I step out onto my patio, I get the same kind of vacation vibes, but in my own home. It’s nice to have that kind of space to get to experience that feeling, but still have it be your own space.

More than my favorite aspects of the house though, I love that this is a home for me and my littles. The way they talk about the house gives me all the feels because I can just tell that they are super proud of it. And in addition to being special to hear them talk like that, it also gives me the opportunity to talk to them about being grateful. There’s not a lot of ways to explain that to a toddler, but it’s a concept that’s so important to me. I’ve been able to teach them that we say “thank you” because this house is important to us. And, how to care for something that means a lot to you.

Talking about buying a home, as much as I wanted it, used to stress me out. All you hear about from other homeowners are the challenges of owning your own home… it’s easy to forget about the high that comes with buying it and investing in it. I’m thankful to get to experience that for myself. It may seem like finally purchasing the house is “the end” of a journey, like—Yep, I did it. It’s done now. Instead, it feels more like the beginning. It’s a milestone of what I’ve been able to create in tangible form, but there’s still so much more to go.

I hope you enjoy this little mini virtual tour of my new love, my Valentine.

Okay mamas, this one goes out to you. Particularly working moms.

I wanted to share about some difficulties my kids and I are currently experiencing, and how we’re navigating such a pivotal time inside their lives… Because maybe you can relate. Did you know as a parent that you have to preregister and apply for schools THIS early if your child starts school for the first time in August? I did not know this until a fellow mom told me. So as Kingston turned five earlier this week, this is the year he will start kindergarten… and let me tell y’all… having to find a school for him has been very tumultuous. Not only have I been looking at schools for him, but am now having to figure out what to do with Houston as they will now have completely different schedules.

(more…)

When December becomes January… January then has to become December.

Huh? I know, it sounds confusing, but let me explain. Every year my November into December looks exactly the same. It’s all about goal-setting and prepping for the new year. My goal-setting has become so regimented that it’s almost like breathing. I don’t even have to really think about it, it’s just in the plan and I set aside time for it at the end of every year. You would think that would mean that nothing could keep me from sticking to my schedule…

Well, this year went a little bit differently. Typically at the beginning of November I hand out goal packets to my entire team and I give both them and myself about 60 days to go through their goal-setting and really reflect on the upcoming year. THIS November, I traveled to Laguna for two separate trainings, and was gone for just about 10 days right before the Thanksgiving holiday. It was my first time on stage at an NBR Extensions Convention as a platform artist, teaching to everyone in attendance. Talk about a whirlwind where I did literally nothing else but breathe extensions. Then as soon as I returned the Thanksgiving holiday was underway and before I knew it, it was December. Half of my typical goal-planning time was gone.

NBR Extensions

December rolled in just as full of hustle and bustle as November had been. Before I could even realize, December took on a very January-ish feel. Newness was happening constantly, I decided to buy a house, and it felt very much like one chapter of my life was closing as the next opened. I knew throughout the midst of everything that I could force myself to sit down and knock out my goals worksheets, but it kind of defeats the purpose if you don’t take the time to really reflect and focus while going through the process. I decided to break my routine for the sake of the routine and push off the goal-planning until I was settled into my new home.

The month finished up even more chaotic than it began as I closed on my house on December 28th, and was set to move in on the same day… Until the movers refused to move me in the pouring rain and I got stuck in limbo between two houses. After staying with a friend for two days we finally got everything moved and the past week has consisted of slowly putting my life back together.

NBR Hair Extensions

Thus my January is about to become my December. I plan to take the next 30 days to reflect, plan, and work through my goal-planning for the rest of the year. With the chaos behind me, I feel like I can finally start the year in a place of peace, even if it takes a few weeks into the year to get there. This whole experience has reminded me that it’s okay to take a step back and course correct and try something different if your typical routine isn’t working for you. It can be a temporary course correction to get you through a crazy time, or it can be something that you shift permanently.

NBR Extensions

Either way, it’s okay to change things up and move forward differently. Even if that means swapping out your Decembers for Januarys and vice versa. Happy New Year, my friends! Stay tuned for more as the Mot Blog gets back on schedule… 😉

C A N D I C E G R A M

Owner of @GarnishExtensionStudio | Transformations are my Specialty | Fashion is a hobby | Fun is a Necessity
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