I stopped using shampoo almost two years ago and never looked back (shampoo strips your hair of oil, which causes your scalp to overproduce oil, making you need to shampoo to remove the oil!). I wanted to see if deodorant was a similar hygiene scam, so I stopped wearing it about a month ago. I still use plenty of soap and most of the time I smell great. Occasionally I am pretty repulsed by the smell of my sweat, and I began to wonder what that meant vibrationally.
What does it feel like to smell bad? To me it feels stressful. A couple nights ago I realized I only smell when I’m under pressure, and that must be significant. In fact, it’s a blessed indicator that I’m stressed out and I should chill my thoughts out.
Covering up body odor with deodorant is a way to mask a symptom. Remember those “Sure! Unsure!” deodorant commercials? They were about hiding the fact that you’re stressed and sweaty so people would think you’ve got it together. But why cover up the stress when you can remove it at the root?
Our bodies do the things they do to help us know what’s going on in our heads. Body odor is an indicator of stress, which is an indicator of negative thoughts. Stop the negative thoughts, stop the stress, stop the smell. Perhaps that’s not as easy as swiping one’s pits with chemicals, but it’s definitely more rewarding.
So while I work on destressing, anyone have any good deodorant alternatives? ;]
I’ve been an eyeliner fanatic since I was 12. Maybe it’s because of my screwy witch eye, but I’ve always had a hard time getting both eyes to match. I finally learned a way to overcome this beauty handicap, and I think you might find it useful as well. Here is is: while applying your eyeliner, say to yourself (in your head, or you’ll mess up), “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.”
Like playing Astrojax, applying eyeliner can go wrong when I have negative thoughts swirling through my head. It’s like my thoughts immediately influence my hand movements. When I focus on thinking “I love you,” my body cooperates with my desires and we all get to feel pretty.
I’ve had pink hair for nearly a year and a half. It’s a weird thing when pink hair starts feeling bland! So when it came time to do my roots a couple weeks ago, I decided to go RAINBOW! I get asked all the time how I did it, so I wanted to share my pro tips with y’all. It’s way easier than it seems if you know exactly what you’re doing!
I went rainbow on top of pink hair, which seemed much easier than dying on a blank bleached canvas. I recommend picking a light base color (pink, orange, light purple) to do your whole head first, then wait a month or so for your roots to come in. Then you already have a color to blend when you add more colors. But who knows, doing rainbow on a blank canvas is probably easy too!
0. Get your haircut first!
I always get my hair cut the day I plan to dye it. That way there is less to dye, and when I’m done with the dye I have a perfect style. Plus, you don’t want to get it washed and cut right after you dye it because the harsh products salons use will fade your color. Each time I go I tell the stylist my coloring plans and she invariably gives me a new tip to use in the dying process.
1. Bleach your roots (or whole head)
I use this bleach and leave it in for about 50 minutes. Make sure you do the back of your head first, where hair is darker. If you are doing only the roots, put conditioner on all the colored parts to keep them from getting bleached. This keeps your already-dyed hair way healthier.
2. Choose your colors
I use Special Effects Atomic Pink as my primary color, and added Hot Topic’s Raw brand Bright Yellow and Deep Purple. Next time I’ll probably add some sort of blue, and mix the Deep Purple with Atomic Pink to get a lighter purple.
3. Prepare your head & workstation
Cover your work area with newspaper. Semi-permanent dye stains everything! Next, cover every inch of your hairline with petroleum jelly. I slather it all over my ears, neck, forehead, and cheeks. It is WAY less annoying to remove Vaseline than color stains on skin! After you lube up, don your rubber gloves.
4. Apply the lightest color first
I put the yellow on first, at the top of my head. Darker colors will bleed into lighter colors, so you can prevent that by keeping it on top. I put some yellow on top of the old pink to make the orange gradient. Next I applied the purple on the bottom layer and wrapped a square of foil around the purple part so it wouldn’t bleed on the rest of my hair. Finally, I applied the pink to the remaining hair. If you use more colors than I did, just wrap each section in foil as you go. I leave the color in for at least an hour for extra vibrancy. When the hour is up I rinse from top to bottom, so the purple doesn’t drip into the yellow. The entire dying process from bleach to finish took me about three hours.
Your dye may leak for a couple weeks when you sweat or get your hair wet. Bring a towel to the gym to keep colorful sweat off your neck and clothes. Avoid wearing your favorite white shirt or bra to the gym until the leaky period ends!
You may also find dye stains on your fingernails, toilet seat, bathtub, linens, and computer keyboard! Use dark towels and bedsheets to keep the visible stains to a minimum. Be careful on other people’s furniture!
If you want to keep your hair vibrant for up to 3 months, DON’T WASH YOUR HAIR! I stopped washing my hair with shampoo when I first went pink. All shampoo does is strip your hair of oil, making it overproduce oil so you need to shampoo more. If my hair looks dirty (maybe once every three weeks), I wash it with 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water, and condition it with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water. Trust me, it works!
6. Be fearless, but get a friend to help!
Hair dye and bleach boxes can contain scary warnings that deter people from experimenting on their own. I’ve NEVER had a bad experience dying my own hair, and I doubt you will either! Just never leave bleach in for more than an hour, keep it out of your eyes, and you’ll be golden! However, I always do my hair with Kelly around so I can ask her to wipe dye off my neck or tell me if I missed a spot. It’s way more fun with a friend too!
I’ve spent the last two hours staring at my freshly tattooed arm, breaking only to chase off a scaryrabid cat outside. Last night, I came to a conclusion about this new tattoo: it is aesthetically upside down. But tattoos are never perfect. Instead of criticizing surface style, I want to explain how potential regrets can turn into personal power. Whether in battle, ritual, or another reality, when it comes time to put your tattoos to good use, a meaningful mark trumps a pretty one.
My talented artist, Briza, wanted to put the Ace of Wands in the same direction as my other Aces–the Pentacle and Sword. But my vision was to have the Wand going the opposite direction. So that’s what I got.
Looking at it last night, I realized my arm as a whole would look more pleasing if I had gone with Briza’s preference. And so I despaired, and regretted, and went to bed.
Waking this morning, I remembered that I chose the placement for a reason beyond aesthetics. I wanted to embrace both the right-side-up and reversed readings of the cards. By placing the cards in opposite directions, I am accepting the dual nature of the cards.
There are destructive and constructive forces in the universe, and I strive for balance between the two. I want to be able to call on both sources of energy as needed. With all cards going the same direction, there would be no opportunity to see them both ways.
2. Subject matter
These fucking clouds are a buzzkill. Clouds are an integral part of the Aces, and they are taking up a large, prominent area on my forearm. How did I come to a point where I wanted to tattoo clouds on my body? They’re gray, and they’re bulbous. I’ve always hated the cloud on the original Pentacle, so why would I add more??
This may be a weird answer, but the clouds are a shield. They are a barrier. They will protect me, and hide me when needed. They are also a life-giving source of water, and shade, and change. This tattoo brings them new respect.
3. What I see is not what you see
When you get tattooed, you want to admire it. But there are only so many places on your body that you can easily see without aid of a mirror. When I look down, I see these clouds and these birds, neither of which are my favorite elements of the tattoo. I want to stare at the colorful bits!
By forcing myself to perpetually gaze at clouds and birds, I am reminded of two things. One is the reason I got more tattoos on my arm in the first place–to cover up nasty self-inflicted scars. The other is escape. The clouds will forever recall the darker times in my life, when I don’t have a handle on my own energy and I self-destruct. The birds will always represent the choice to leave that state of mind.
I can choose whichever reality I want to exist in. Or I can wallow in depression. With such ambiguous flexibility, I find a constant reminder of the situation useful. My attitude and experience is my choice alone.
I now look at tattoos as tools. The symbolic and literal meanings of the objects on my skin serve specific purposes in this reality and others. As a designer, form versus function is a constant challenge. No matter how pretty something is, if it doesn’t work, it won’t get used. As time speeds up and we enter new planes of existence, I am still searching for compromise.
1. Decide you’re going through with it by a specific date, no matter what.
You won’t get it until you make it happen. I had been thinking about getting work done for months, but couldn’t decide on the art. I also didn’t have any experience with Austin artists. But once I determined an actual date (March 11, 2010), things started falling into place. I forced myself to make time to choose art and visit studios. Making the deadline the day before my birthday was stressful but rewarding–a tattoo is a great way to start a new year.
2. Decide where the tattoo is going.
Some people choose art before deciding where to put it. I have some beautiful art by my friend Hannah that I wanted to use, but as I kept trying to wrap it around my arm, I realized it wasn’t the right piece for the area I needed to work on. I felt a specific part of my body was calling out to be protected (left forearm), and a tattoo is a sort of shield. So I am continuing my left-arm work even though it means different art.
What do you want this tattoo to do for you? What do you want it to say? Do you need to integrate tattoos you already have? My existing arm tattoo was based on the Ace of Pentacles tarot card, so I decided to add the Ace of Swords and Ace of Wands to continue the theme. Instead of getting the Ace of Cups as well, I am getting the 10 of cups which is my birthday card.
I am entering a new part of my life and the Aces represent “actions, ideas, beginnings. Possibility. Initiation. Thesis. Starting point. Concentration of the will. Attention. Mindfulness. Unity. Self-consciousness. Intention. Threshold” (Greer, 2002:247).
The Ace of Swords is about new ways of thinking and mental clarity. It’s also about cutting away bullshit, which is rather relevant to the scarred up area. The Ace of Wands is a “symbol of possibility in the area of creativity, excitement, adventure, courage and personal power”. The 10 of Cups represents an ideal emotional attitude of love, positivity and joy. Combined with my Ace of Pentacles, these tattoos will protect and inspire me as I enter a new reality of thinking, creating and loving. They are reminders that I can manifest whatever reality I choose.
4. Design it!
Sometimes I draw the art on my body, sometimes I try to work in Photoshop. This time, Kel suggested I print out the photos of my arm and draw on top. That worked perfectly. I was able to get away from the computer and stop looking at tattoos on other people–they just don’t help me create something unique.
After sitting down and drawing for an hour, I realized I just needed to choose the tarot cards I wanted and bring them to the artist. But I sketched the cards on the printouts I had and brought them to the artist, who found them very helpful.
5. Choose the artist that feels ‘right’.
After an unsuccessful trip to Resurrection (they wouldn’t deal with my scars), I met Briza at True Blue. I felt like she understood what I needed and would work hard to execute it. I also really wanted a woman to do the tattoo because… I wanted a woman’s touch. All my past tattoos have been done by men (with the exception of the star on my wrist) and they have been very heavy-handed.
Briza was available at the time I needed and offered to draw her own version of the cards I wanted. When I came in for my appointment, I fell in love with her drawing and we got to work. I absolutely adore the final result and am returning Tuesday to complete the remaining two cards: the 10 of Cups and the Ace of Wands.
Log in to see a preview image of the tattoo article I’m working on for our new graphic novelish publication LIFEFUCK. Also included is a video journal covering hair dye process, tattoo conversation, and living for adventure. [Duration: 00:18:02 | Recorded: 3.8.10-3.15.10]
I’ve been thinking about my next tattoo for the last two years. Clearly my upcoming birthday (March 12) is the ideal opportunity to get more work done! (possibly with Tina or Annie at Resurrection Tattoo?). Sadly, the art I want and my body aren’t cooperating. Plan B is to focus on the area I want to work on (left arm) and what original concepts were there and where I want them to go. The arm’s sordid history:
First iteration, summer 2003. star on wrist. Ha. My explanation is only “a star is a symbol of power” and it serves as a vivid memory marker from a hazy time.
Added on Ace of Pentacles tarot card theme, February 14 2008:
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