Jenipher Harnden's Philosophy

How did I choose to be an Esthetician and why have I stayed in it?

When we are little our soul knows what it wants to do in this world.  Our soul knew what that was without influence. Some of us forgot what that was. We got lost in life's expectations from others.... So then the pursuit began.....who are we, or who am I. What am I suppose to be when I grow up, was the big question? It's the question we asked ourselves, the question teachers started asking us so early on in life and the question that every adult bombarded us with from the time we are able to contribute to the world!

Some fortunate individuals knew exactly what they wanted. They held onto their souls calling for dear life and never let it out of their sight.... For other's like myself, it was unclear. Man, was it unclear! I remember being so confused and feeling like I had to make this huge life decision at age 16, before it was "TOO LATE"! I had a time frame I had laid on myself of how life was suppose to take place.  I didn't have all the answers to the important pieces.......  

I was a hard worker from the day I could be. So I knew that when I did know what I was "suppose to be doing." I was going to do it well because I wasn't afraid of hard work. The one solid thing that life made very clear for me, is that I wanted children and that is where I started.  I had my first child at 22 and my second at 24. I enjoyed them from the moment I conceived them with every ounce of my being watching them grow and taking pride to be the best influence in their lives that I could possibly be.  I knew they were a true gift from God, that I treasure to this day. (I ended up having 2 more of those special beings, 1 at 34 and 1 at 42).

I still needed to know what was I to become to provide a life for my children that I could be proud of. I started school, flip flopping around from being an EMT,  Veterinarian, Psychologist, Criminal Justice major etc.

I was finally  tired of battling the "BIG"question and I had enough on my plate being a parent and wife at that time. We decided as a family to move to Utah, to be closer to husbands father, who had become ill.  That's when I let it all go. I stopped fighting to try and find the answers, and  just focused on being a mom..... However, in the moment of letting go, the answer came to me. It's so funny in life the older I get the more I realize that is exactly how life works. It's taken me a long time to learn how to let go. Ha Ha! I still have a long way to go in that area.  I seen an ad for an Esthetic school and called to see what all of the details were all about. What was the process? What is an Esthetician? How could I benefit from being one? How would I incorporate this with being a mom? So many questions. I thought what would it hurt to give the school a call?

Whats the hype of being an Esthetician? I talked to the owner of the school. Of course any owner will promise many life opportunities that this profession can offer. They want you to go their school!!! Not that this profession doesn't offer numerous opportunities, it definitely does. However, what she was describing still didn't fit me. Words like "plastic surgeons office,  tour boats, high fashion resort salons, etc" that wasn't me and I knew it.  Something kept pulling me that direction. I enrolled in class with approximately 12 other girls give or take. We went through 1200 grueling hours of the anatomy of skin and modalities, that it could make one puke. I still was wondering,  "what the heck am I doing here?" I took everything very seriously though because that is my nature. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to it well with my best effort and I'm going to try to be the best at it. I'm an only child for goodness sakes!  Everything I did had to be perfect in my eyes, which is a trait by the way, many Estheticians possess. 

So here I am graduated, passed my exams, even started teaching at the school I just graduated from. I'm still not "feeling" the position I just worked so hard to achieve.  I applied at various places, I had a job for a minute at a local salon and had started doing pedicures there. Then one day I got a call from the manager of my most sought after position that I applied for. You may of  guessed if you have ever listened to my stories, that it was from the manager at Red Mountain Spa. One of the top 10 destination resorts in the nation! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! Of course I jumped at that opportunity! I went and interviewed and got the position, which I was told that was uncommon to get straight out of school. I was in shock but grateful. I know it had everything to do with my mentor from school Dyna Taylor. Dyna was the Lead Esthetician from Red Mtn. who came to the school to teach the massage portion of facials.  She had seen how serious I took my education and made comments on my performance several times to the owner.  I guess I mention that because you never know in life who is  watching. Dyna and I are friends to this day because I admire her pureness of heart and dedication to her passion. 

Here comes the good part.  

This is when becoming an Esthetician started making sense. NO, it wasn't the 6-8 facials plus two body treatments I did back back with only 10 minutes in between every single day  4-5 days a week for 7 years.  Or the constant bombarding of pushing sales coming from upper management that helped be feel I made the right decision to become an Esthetician.  

I mean, yes in one way it was all those facials but it was more. It was within me, I started to feel the energy switch, when I started  truly "listening". People had come to Red Mountain from all over the world, that had been to spa after spa after spa. These people were telling me I had "healing hands" that they just "had the best facial they had ever had,"  that "they had been all over and never experienced what they had just experienced with me!" 

What did that mean? At first, I could hear what they were saying. I would say, thank you but I couldn't feel what they were saying!!! It took me several years to be honest before I could "feel" it. ENERGY,  it's there, the transference, the connection!!! They could feel what was in my heart, more than I could. The energy was coming straight from my heart through my hands. Then I started to pay close attention to the subtleties. I could start to see and feel the exchange in energy. I could see the actual transformation from when the person first came in for their service to when they left from the service. That's when I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up...aha, light bulb moment. I've always known, that I had a huge sensitive heart. Often as a child, I was told, I was "too sensitive". I could sense and feel things about others, that I thought everyone could feel and see. I realize as an adult that is not always the case. I now have learned I am what is considered an Empath. Sensitivity is one of my many traits. It's part of who I am, and what I am I can offer to the world, one person at a time. I did end up becoming a Holy Fire Reiki Master. I use Reiki daily in my life  and the lives of those I come in contact with. I know that each energy exchange even though I can't always see it is left better than when I met it. 

Now that I have my own practice. I get to do and be what I want with my energy and combine it with all of knowledge that I have obtained in the last 15 years of skincare and modalities, to help others.  It doesn't have to be sales sales sales, like traditional salons and spas push you to do as an Esthetician.  It can be connection, giving, receiving. Yes of course the element of making money to provide a living is here, however over anything else the energy and authenticity of giving from a pure heart space is what motivates me. I learn soooo much from my clients just by being with them. To be able to provide a beauty enhancement for them is literally just the tool that allows the true beauty to flow between each other. I live for it!!!! 

So my philosophy is- Stay present, listen from a pure heart space, let energy flow freely and the rest will come. 

Oh and make sure you stay  current with continuing education of whatever your industry is in to make sure your are giving the best service to your clients that you possibly can.

Remember-I'm a perfectionist...There is nothing like someone coming in with misshapen or overgrown brows and going out with the perfect brows for their face shape and personality.   I also love to hear, "I was so nervous to come in for my brazilian wax, but it really wasn't  that painful and it was super fast"! I love to see the glow of my clients skin after a facial or the hopefulness that my acne clients feel when they start to see positive results.  Just feeling the general positive appreciation for what I can accomplish for my client with their time and hard earned money makes me happy.  My clients happiness is my goal, whether it comes to the esthetics that you can see or can't see.