Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inner politics: A battle of talking heads


There is not a news channel today that does not serve up a mosaic of talking heads
, with a variety of credentials to comment on the days latest events. They claim to do this to present a "balanced perspective", or maybe just to make for more entertaining television. There are often moments in the broadcast where these experts in the heat of disagreement, are talking over one another and you can't understand a thing. Well, being inside my head is not much different... other than the fact that I don't have a show host to bring order in the midst of chaos, and my inner debates are not so entertaining.

In my head I have a panel of experts that have to comment on every darn thing I do, did, think of doing ! One says it's a great idea, one says it will never work; one says it's a bargain, another I can't afford it; one says I am right, one says I am always wrong; one says I am so lucky, one says things suck...you get the idea? How can one think, no less move forward with all these voices talking at once?

Listen up: I have learned (but hardy mastered) that my voices, or others who are trying to tell me something, don't stop until they have been heard, but moderating your own inner panel is way too hard. Talking to friends is often helpful, but most are not skilled at distinguishing which of your voices is talking. Thank goodness I have one who is.

Her name is Barbara Biziou, and besides being a renowned author, inspirational speaker, personal and corporate coach and creator of empowering programs and rituals , she is trained in a technique called Voice Dialogue. She is my personal Wolf Blitzer, Barbara Walters, and Henry Kissinger, an artful questioner, acute listener and tactful politician. During just 2 sessions with her, she has introduced me to the many voices that vie for attention in my head.

Meet "Creative Cathy"; "Critical Carl"; "Loving Linda" and "Ruth the Worrier".
I gave my voices these names, though others might refer to them as voices of the inner child; critical parent; wise woman and other archetypes. I am beginning to recognize who is talking in my head, and if their opinion is not warranted, I thank them for sharing and invite them to leave. In the case of the talking heads on TV, you can turn down the volume, change channels or turn them off with a click. With Voice Dialogue, though not as instant as a remote control, you can embrace all of your selves, and learn how to choose at any moment which voice should have the floor. I highly recommend this technique, which teaches you how to manage your talking heads. Barbara is based in New York City but you can also find Voice Dialogue practitioners in your area by going to the site highlighted above. If you live in the NY area be sure to check out Barbara's site for her many wonderful programs)


Another way to control the volume and "change channels" is using scent. Though the effects may not be as long lasting, we can shift our attention with a sniff. The receptors in our brain that perceive scent are directly connected to our limbic system..the control center of our emotions, memory and autonomic nervous system. Bypassing our thinking brain, it can interrupt or lower the volume of a chattering voice. Nervous Nellie can be pushed out by Laid- back Linda with some deep breaths of lavender. Resigned Rita can get in gear with a good dose of Rosemary. For more information on scents to help you change channels see the new essential oil guide on my AROMAWEAR website.

PS: One of my voices is reminding me to tell you..my next posts will include exciting product news for the upcoming holidays. If you can't wait, you can go to aromawear.com and see for yourself!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

When It's Best To Go Naked

Great Minds Say When Possible, Leave Off The Sauce
This time of year my husband is scouring the local farmers markets looking for the "perfect" tomato. I look for the perfect ear of corn. For us its not about the looks, but a flavor so delicious that it can be enjoyed naked. To Aristotle, "perfect" meant "complete" ("nothing to add or subtract"). Da Vinci believed that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" Contemporary wisdom advocates K.I.S.S. which stands for keep it simple stupid!

"Perfectly Simple" and "Simply Perfect" are nice phrases but...
are more common than things that fit the description. That's why we spend billions of dollar a year on the "sauces" of life. Fragrant basil leaves and a sparky vinaigrette can make a flavorful dish out of bland tomatoes, and we all know that a generous slathering of butter and salt can make for something tasty on a cob. And we have cooked up plenty of ways to sauce up the imperfections in ourselves....

Perfectionism can breed despair..or make up and accessories!
While I still haven't mastered the art of makeup beyond the essential lipstick and blush, I got so good at accessories that I was able to make a career out of it! This is in part thanks to some artistic genes from my mother's side of the family..but more credit is due to the big nose, frizzy hair and the flat chest I got from my father's side...the parts that I felt needed a lot of "sauce"
When ironing my hair failed to deliver consistent results, I took to wearing scarves artfully tied on my head. More dramatic earrings overwhelmed my dramatic nose, and dressing up became the canvas of my self esteem. No surprise then that I became a successful jewelry and accessories designer, and today, am confident enough to go out in the fashionable West Village to walk my dog barely camouflaging my night shirt with my keys as my only accessory.

What would Albert do?
Albert Einstein's stated that "everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler"
I have spent this summer with the help of three super smart interns, a brilliant colleague from FIT and my talented and supportive husband and son, and several new manufacturerers working on "simplifying" my Aromawear products and services. I have experienced over and over again that the simpler you want to make something, the more perfect it needs to be. Alas creating the perfect design; finding the perfect manufacturer; writing the perfect instructions or creating the perfect web page is as challenging as finding that perfect tomato. I think Albert would recommend a simple sauce.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do you confuse being tired with being "tired of"?

I have always envied the Energizer Bunny
Living in the middle of New York City I am surrounded by endless options for amusement. By the end of my work day I rarely go out to take advantage of the offerings. Most nights I feel too tired, so I will opt for an evening on the couch watching TV . The other night we were invited for dinner at a friends house, and I offered to bring half of the meal. As the time approached to head out to the store and over to her house..all I could think of was how I would rather stay home.

Getting a charge out of change.
If it hadn't been that I committed to show up with half of the dinner, I would have considered staying home, and let "being tired" rule my evening. Instead, I found myself in the store being energized by the bounty of the fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and the opportunity to taste delicious new cheeses being promoted that day. The subway was a-buzz with the energy of people out to enjoy the balmy weather, dressed in creative assemblages of colorful accessories. We arrived at my friend's house and ended up dining on her roof surrounded by lush plantings and then a sky that would rival any souvenir postcard of sunset on the New York skyline. It turns out that I wasn't too tired to go out,..I was just tired of working..and couldn't tell the difference.

Don't you have a separate stomach for desert? When I was a child I used to tell my mother when I couldn't finish my broccoli, that "I'm full of dinner, but still have room for desert". I thought everybody knew that there was a separate stomach for each. It looks like this is still true for me now..that I have many different "stomachs" (funny how this vocabulary is popular in our speaking i.e. "I don't have a stomach for that"; "I can't quite digest what they are telling me"). My work stomach gets uncomfortably full, and think I need to lie down to digest, but it turns out that if I switch to a different activity, I discover a new source of energy...a new appetite.

Can just chopping vegetables really give you energy?
I wouldn't have believed it if you told me, but I have discovered that it IS possible that making dinner for the family after a long days work will shift my focus and restore energy. Chopping carrots can feel like a meditation retreat compared to solving technical glitches, or getting the checkbooks to balance. When I can get myself to do it, even folding laundry while watching late night TV can be totally relaxing. But, if domestic therapy doesn't turn you on...a more delightful (but slightly less productive) way to re-boot or transform your energy is by using scent.

Getting trigger-happy!
Our olfactory system, the part of our anatomy that perceives scent is directly connected to the Limbic System in our brain..the part that controls our memory (among other things.) When we smell a familiar aroma, it will trigger memories of experiences we have had related to that aroma. When I smell the scent of rose I have many pleasant associations, and my body will respond by relaxing. On the other hand, when I experience the scent of citronella, I can't help but get anxious about getting devoured by mosquitoes!

What aromas restore the "energy" of summer pleasure for you?
The aroma of coconut oil reminds me of the beach..fresh dill,cilantro and lighter fluid of outdoor dining; lavender, mint, summer rain and fresh cut grass take me to my country retreat, and the salty smell of ocean and seaweed baking on hot rocks, to my mother's house on Martha's Vineyard. Isn't it wonderful that they have figured out how to bottle some of these divine aromas, and allow you to be inspired, revived, or even transported without ever leaving your desk! What are the aromas that transform your energy and renew your spirit?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taking Life Off Of "HOLD"

I'll do it later ... when I've________!

You can fill in the blank. If you are anything like me it may be "I'll get together with my friends when I can invite them over; I'll invite them over when I cleaned up my home; I'll clean up my home when I have finished the latest project for work; I'll finish the latest project for work when I have made the calls I volunteered to make. Or maybe it's "I'll buy some new clothes that will make me feel beautiful and confident when I have lost 10 lbs; I'll loose 10 lbs when I go to the gym; I'll go to the gym when I have finished my project for work and cleaned my home...you get the picture.


How much of the important stuff of life do we miss out on while we plow through our "TO DO" lists...most of which is filled with "shoulds" that we have created?

As most of you have noticed, one of mine was "I will write my blog when..." In my case it was when I have finished the PR for my award; when I have selected the materials to repaint my apartment; when the contractors have left; when the boxes are unpacked, when my son gets accepted into college; when he graduates from high school and when he finds a summer job. Ever notice that as soon as you cross off one thing on your list, another thing pops up to take its place? My life is very rich and I am so grateful for it, but the fact is that writing to you is an important part of my life, and I had let it get pushed down to the bottom of the list. Also, blogging as I understand it, is reporting from the field in which the game is being played... not writing a memoir. So, having seen how I created my own barriers to blogging, I have now removed them and am back, and here to stay.

Sometimes it is important to wait "UNTIL"

I am currently working on new pieces for the holidays, but will not finalize new designs for the collection or revise my website "until" I get your feedback on your AROMAWEAR experience so far. If you are already a customer, please take a few minutes to answer a brief Customer Satisfaction Survey (mostly multiple choice). If you are not yet an AROMAWEAR customer, but have visited the website... I would value your feedback as well. If you haven't visited the website yet, I invite you to do so now. Click HERE

As thanks, you will receive a sef of my wick cases complete with labels and wicks, and if you complete this survey by Sunday June 28, you will be entered in a drawing to win a $150.00 gift certificate to aromawear.com

For the survey, click HERE

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Crisis Oil

Bet you think I said “oil crisis”. No, I am not talking about the crude oil crisis that affects how we fuel our cars and our homes. I am referring to a refined way to fuel our well-being during a personal crisis using pure botanical essential oils, or “crisis oils”. Defined as a “crucial stage or turning point in the course of something”, a crisis is not always bad, but for sure, it is always stressful. One of the major crisis’s in my life was when my husband (of 20 years so far) proposed to fiercely-independent me. After I said yes, I was a basket case until the ring was on my finger. That was before I knew about essential oils.

Now, when I am “in crisis” depending on the circumstances, I inhale essential oils from one or more of these four categories:

1) Sedative -When I am exhausted and nervous, and can’t seem to calm down or sleep I like these sedative oils:
Chamomile; Sandalwood and Lavender (Lavender is a balancing oil and has many uses)

2) Grounding- When I am feeling really strung out and overwhelmed I will use one of these oils to bring me back to earth and regroup:
Vetiver; Scotch Pine; Frankincense; Cedarwood; Sandalwood and Balsam Fir


3) Uplifting- When my mind is worn out and my spirits dampened I like the restorative and uplifting influence of Geranium and oils form the citrus family
Bergamot; Orange Blossom; Lemon Balm; Petitgrain and Geranium


4) Euphoric- As opposed to needing to be grounded, sometimes I like to get out of my body and mind…and aromatically bliss-out in my heart with these heady oils.
Rose; Ylang Ylang and Jasmine

How do you choose the “right oil” for inhalation?

The right oil is the one that meets your needs AND smells the best to YOU. Fortunately there is an assortment of oils that offer the same or similar benefits, and blends that combine these beneficial oils with aromatic artistry.


What is “right method” for inhalation?

The most effective method is cold diffusion. Heating natural oils reduces the potency of its benefits. If you are at home, a diffuser which uses ultrasonic or air compression technology is effective, as is an aroma fan. If you are on the go, of course I recommend beautiful AROMAWEAR aromatic jewelry and accessories, which are personal (passive air) diffusers for cold oils. You can purchase these at http://www.aromawear.com/
PLEASE NOTE The content on this site is not intended to provide medical diagnosis or advice.The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

Accepting my new-business “Oscar”


Rising Star Award for Cathy Gins on Vimeo.
Here is the video taken by my husband Robb at the Rising Star Awards at The Rainbow Room in NY when I am announced the winner of the Beauty Entrepreneur Award for AROMAWEAR and give my acceptance “speech” (don’t worry, its short). Robb was so excited that his camera hand shakes for the first minute before calming down. I however appear quite calm throughout! No, I did not know I would win...but I did know I would be nervous. What was my secret? I was wearing the essential oil blend “Valor” from Young Living Oils in my Royal Locket Bracelet so it was diffusing around me from the beginning of the event. Also I had a backup supply of calming lavender oil in my Secret Locket which I had just taken a few deep breaths of right before they announced my category. The award is presented by Jane Lauder of Estee Lauder Companies.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I WON!

Yes... that is a trophy I am holding!
I was so thrilled to share with you last week that AROMAWEAR had been nominated for this award...so you can imagine how honored I am to have won
The Fashion Group International's 2009 RISING STAR AWARD
for Beauty Entrepreneurship

Check out these 2 articles on the web:
In this first one, scroll through photos to see me with presenter Jane Lauder, president of Origins at : http://tinyurl.com/bk24zd and here with the winners in the other categories: http://tinyurl.com/cepf9p I will be posting a video and more news as it comes in. Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do You Want a "Touch Up" or a Full Year of Inner Beauty

Usually we begin a new year with a list of resolutions, and most resolutions are about getting to something that wasn’t accomplished last year, or fixing something that was. How do you get to the fresh and exciting “New Year-New You” marketed on the cover of the January issue of every publication? The fact is that most resolutions are temporary “touch-ups” and don’t work long term. Why? Here is a wonderful article by Mattison Grey called “Top 5 reasons people don’t achieve their goals” Number 3 is my downfall… What is yours?

Is January Too Early To Make New Years Resolutions?

How fresh and transforming can your resolutions be when your heart, mind, home and office are cluttered with the debris from the rash of holidays and a year just ended. I admire cooks who clean up as they go, and folks who balance their checkbook every week… but to do a mental, emotional and spiritual accounting, which would clear the decks for something really new, takes some time and thought...

The IRS Understands What We Need???

The IRS gives us 3 1/2 months to process the prior year and to account for our accomplishments and failures. Its only then we can see the bottom line, or our “net income”. In terms of our life experience we might say the “net outcome”. Though Byzantine in their level of complication, the IRS gives us pages of forms to evaluate our performance with. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a simple one-page form to fill out for our personal accounting? When I mentioned this to my friend and fellow entrepreneur Marci Lipman , she sent me an excellent one she just completed! This powerful ONE PAGE will help you complete 2008 and ONE PAGE will help to plan 2009. It was created by Robin Mascari, a successful independent entrepreneur. I highly recommend it. Click here to read it.

The planets say that this year's New Years RE-Solution deadline should be extended to February 5th!

Many people debunk the effects of the alignment of the stars and planets on our daily lives, but even with many “grains of salt”, over the years I have found a lot of truth in this aspect: January 11, 2009 - February 3, 2009 is a period in which the planet Mercury appears to move backwards…and it is called “Mercury Retrograde”. This occurs 3-4 times a year and lasts about 3 weeks. There are benefits and challenges associated with this time.

Communications related activities can be disrupted during his time including travel, electronics and agreements between people (not a good time to sign contracts). It has been described as “holding back forward action” which delivers one of the benefits: time for personal accounting and reflection before proceeding with next steps. It is a good time to do all of those “RE” things like RE-view RE-consider RE-present RE-invent before you RE-solve. it is like a course correction during the flight from one destination to another.

The events during the Mercury retrograde time frame help us to veer away from the past and take bold steps into our new future. This information was paraphrased from this site where you can go to read more about Mercury Retrograde. Take heart…

Hermes (Greek name for Mercury) is the god of the unexpected, of luck, of
coincidence, of 'synchronicity.'…Whenever things seem fixed, rigid, 'stuck,'
Hermes introduces fluidity, motion, new beginnings - as well as the confusion
which inevitably precedes new beginnings.

Arianna Stassinopoulos, The Gods of Greece

NEW RE-vised format for “Well-Being In Style”

In the spirit of creating something new in 2009, the “Well-being In Style” newsletter will be different in 2009. How? I can’t tell you too much...(not yet time to make my resolution), except that I will say less, and you will have the opportunity to say more. That’s why I am moving to a blog format: so you can post your point of view. I can’t tell you much more about it because I simply don’t know yet. How uncomfortable is that? I admit, the feeling of not knowing is more than awkward for someone who likes to be in control…but that the same time, its totally exciting! So please join in on the adventure, and post your comments below. Or, you can e-mail me at cathy@aromawear.com