Five years ago my step-mom, Cindy Crino’s, life changed in an instant. One moment she was a successful science teacher in Hawaii, the next moment she was trapped in a school elevator that crashed three floors down, damaging her spine and spirit. Since that dreadful day in 2008 Cindy’s life path changed forever more as the accident caused permanent disability. No longer able to afford their home, they lost everything they had with the exception of their environmentally friendly cars. Five fighting years later in June 2013 it was those cars that helped them to make their way back to a much-needed family support system on the east coast.
I remember visiting my dad and step-mom prior to her accident and, per usual, Cindy looked put-together and displayed a jolly spirit. However, when she arrived to my home this past June 2013 after spending five years in what she calls “the wilderness” of Utah (the first nearest spot they could afford to get to on the mainland after Hawaii) the toll of chronic pain, mild mobility impairment, and still needing to be a caregiver herself was apparent. My arms wrapped around her with a verbal reminder that she was now safe at home, as the tears streamed down our faces.
This week a cleanly designed recycled bag of AVEDA’s Heart Lands limited edition makeup line for AW13 arrived at my home. I opened the bag with excitement only to be moved by a clearly defined mission statement,
“Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.”
As an Americorps NCCC alumni and a nurse who believes strongly in treating body, mind, and spirit to achieve well-being and beauty, AVEDA’s mission truly grasps the concept of beauty being more than just skin deep. As I scanned through their history, their open descriptions of natural ingredients used in their products, and their obvious vision for promoting holistic care and positive community impact I couldn’t help but be inspired to help transfer AVEDA’s bag of well-being to be that of Cindy’s.
Products used: AVEDA Petal Essense Eyeshadow = Lid 991/Antique gold, Crease 989/hyacinth & 990/bronze patina, Outer and lower lid 986/dusk orchid, eye contour 992/juniper, lips lip liner 923/plum petals, lip glaze 921/honeytree
My 20 minute makeover using AVEDA’s petal essence and nourish-mint makeup products from the Heart Lands collection on Cindy did wonders…note not only the obvious difference of her finished hair and makeup, but more importantly, the brightness of life that invigorates her smile and lights up her face. I loved turning her around to see her reaction! Cindy said, “Oh my word, oh my word! It is beautiful. I AM beautiful. I think I forgot how to care for myself over these years, but now I see it’s just a little bit of time to help me feel amazing!” It was also funny to me that Cindy noted (without reading my last post Quick Ways to Subside Caregiver Role Strain), “You know Courtney, one of the things that I noticed is that no matter what you have going on you take a little time to care for yourself and keep yourself looking nice. It makes me realize I can do the same too. I don’t have to let myself go anymore.”
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Courtney is a woman who wears many hats in life as wife, mom of seven children (several with disabilities), telemetry staff nurse, public speaker, and as a published author. Some of her notable works include, contributions in Mark I. Pinksy’s, best-seller Amazing Gifts and in world renowned Phyllis Kilbourn’s book, Let All the Children Come. She has created/lead conferences and spoke on a variety of topics in healthcare and disability from the Power of friendship to Autism to Advocating to Caring for the caretaker. Courtney was also the founder of the Links of Love disability ministry model, which was designed to come along side families affected by disability in an effort to not just help families survive, but to thrive! She is a passionate advocate and educator for the caregiver and busy woman and believes that every woman is a masterpiece in the making. Her goal is to help mom’s of those affected by disability and the busy woman in general to tap into and enhance they’re beauty, strength, balance, laughter, and health, so that they can keep pressing in and on through some of life’s toughest matters and busiest times!