WHEN THINGS FALL APART (Shambhala Classics, 2000) by Pema Chödrön, an American Buddhist nun, posits the idea that a fundamental opportunity for happiness is always within our reach, yet we usually miss it. By leaning toward painful situations with friendliness and curiosity, says Chödrön, we can discover that truth and love are indestructible. TWINKIE, DECONSTRUCTED (Hudson Street Press, 2007) by Steve Ettlinger is one man's journey to discover how the ingredients found in processed foods are grown, mined and manipulated into what we eat. Hey, did you really think Twinkies were good for you? In TRANSFORMING STRESS (New Harbinger Publications, 2005), longtime stress researchers Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., show you how to take even the most debilitating kind of stress and transform it into positive energy. The key is to live authentically from the heart, thus gaining control over how you respond to chaos. —M.D.
Q. What do you do to give back?
We posed this question to Joel Warren, celebrity colorist and co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salons in New York City, Greenwich, CT, and Los Angeles, CA.
"My friend Scott Harrison started a nonprofit called Charity, which seeks to raise global awareness of extreme poverty through various campaigns," says Warren. "Its first campaign is called "charity: water," and it aims to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in the developing world through the construction and rehabilitation of freshwater wells. To fund the building of the wells, the organization sells bottles of water for $20 and donates 100 percent of the proceeds to the effort. We sell the bottles in all Warren-Tricomi salons."
Since it started in August 1996, charity: water has provided drinking water to more than 31,000 people in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Liberia, and is currently constructing 65 wells that will give close to 100,000 people clean and safe water. charityis.org —C.W.
CHANGE IS GOOD
Have you ever wondered why certain people are successful at almost everything, while others with similar educational backgrounds, experience and skills never seem to achieve their goals? Arnold Zegarelli, education director at Izzazu International in Pittsburgh, has some suggestions that might help you reach your goals. "Positive achievers are always asking themselves if what they're doing is working," he says. "By constantly asking yourself about your progress, you'll know if your choices and actions are moving you closer to or farther away from your desired outcome." The bottom line: Stop whining, complaining and blaming others for your lack of success. "If you want to see changes in your life, you've got to make changes," says Zegarelli. —M.D.
MUSIC YOU'LL LOVE
QUIET JOY (heartmath.com) by Doc Childre is a companion piece to Transforming Stress, his book on how to turn stress into a positive influence. Just listening to it facilitates the heart-mind-body connection. Redken's Ann Mincey gave me a copy, and I've been playing it nonstop in the office. EARTHSONGS is a 2005 release from Secret Garden, an Irish-Norwegian duo that plays new instrumental music, which is sometimes called neo-classical music. It features the Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry and the Norwegian composer/pianist Rolf Løvland. Barbra Streisand had one of their songs, "Heartstrings," played at her wedding to James Brolin. Then there's THE MOST RELAXING NEW AGE MUSIC IN THE UNIVERSE, which features the music of various New Age artists. I'm usually not a big fan of hyperbole, but in this case it's justified. Finally, I recommend the ethereal INNER PEACE by Steven Halpern. Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Reinventing Medicine, calls Halpern a "musical magician, a healer with sound." —M.D.
Your body's not the only thing you'll want to shape up in time for summer. Help get your skin ready for swimsuit season with Zents' all-natural soaps. Triple-milled and lovingly hand-wrapped, the soaps are made with palm oil, coconut oil and shea butter to intensify moisture and smooth skin, and also antibacterial neem oil to help fight breakouts and reduce inflammation. The bars are available in three scents, each one redolent of a summer picnic: Fresh, with notes of cucumber and green apple; Water, an invigorating blend of citrus and mint; and Pear, with hints of mimosa, honeydew and vanilla bean. zents.com —C.W.
Breathe Your Way to Better Health
If fatigue, stress or anxiety keep you from performing your best every day, improving the way you breathe may help boost your energy, clear your head and ease your worries. In fact, breath training has been FDA-certified to treat depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and more. In The Breathing Box (Sounds True, 2005), Dr. Gay Hendricks provides guided sessions on how to use breathing techniques to expand consciousness, clear mental fog and fatigue, help heal emotional trauma and reduce stress. The complete set includes a DVD, 48-page guide and nine cards that show the proper postures for each technique. gaiam.com —C.W.
Q. What Keeps You Centered Every Day?
I began meditating about a year ago after attending a retreat at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY, where we concentrated on de-escalating the aggression in ourselves and in our daily interactions with other people. At first, meditation didn't make me calm. What it did was make me realize how noisy my mind really is. Now I meditate daily if I can. I also run for about half an hour three times a week, which was something I never thought I'd be able to do again since I ruined my knees years ago skiing. This is an ongoing process that keeps me focused on how I'm really feeling every day, and that I'm so unbelievably lucky to be in this business where I have the opportunity to travel and meet so many people. My new motto? Peace and patience. —Ellen Lawlor is a Redken artist.
THE RIGHT STUFF
SuperFoods HealthStyle: Proven Strategies for Lifelong Health (William Morrow, 2005) by Steven G. Pratt, M.D. (Oprah calls him the "Food Dude") and Kathy Matthews is a program for promoting vigor, preventing disease and extending your life span. Think of it as an introduction to a new and better life. Dr. Pratt covers topics like how ordinary spices such as black pepper and cinnamon can make surprising contributions to your health, why paying attention to one simple aspect of eating could be the answer to weight control, and how achieving "personal peace" can prolong life and improve brain function. Want to improve your physical and mental health now? Start including these 25 "super foods" in your diet today. —M.D.
Revival Soy's organic "coffee," made from soybeans, has the same flavor and richness as conventional coffee, but all the health benefits of soy isoflavones (10–15 milligrams per cup) and no caffeine. There are six flavors to try, including Dark Roast Diva, French Vanilla Flirt and Breakfast in Bed Blend, which is 50 percent soy and 50 percent real coffee, in case you need more than soy to jump-start your day. revivalsoy.com —L.A.