We appreciate our Aveda Artists every day of the year, and on April 30th — Stylist Appreciation Day— we will honor them wholeheartedly for their dedication to their guests and their craft, as well as to the Aveda Mission. In the spirit of this day, we shine a light on Naomi Dove, Director of Operations and Master Stylist at Haircutters in the Park in Litchfield Park, Arizona.
Known as the “Aveda It Girl,” Naomi delivers the ultimate service to her clients while further deepening her own self-awareness to live a full, serene life. This was most evident when this past fall, Naomi took an unforgettable journey to India, as part of the Inspire Greatness Study Abroad program. Thirteen people from Inspire Greatness were part of the adventure, led by Helga Hefner, Aveda Manager of Professional Spa Education. The trip focused on wellness and cleansing of the mind, body and spirit, through Panchakarma treatments, yoga and meditation.
Naomi captured her learnings in a journal documenting her trip to India. Here we share some of our favorite moments of wisdom that Naomi gleaned from this voyage.
Throughout this trip, Helga's wealth of knowledge, passion, and words of wisdom were an inspiration to my soul: "Every day when you get up, take time for yourself. For it is only when your cup is full, that you have something to share with others from an authentic and a true self." –Helga.
The story of the river Ganges, according to Hindu religion, is very inspiring and rich. For Hindus in India, the Ganges is not just a river, but a mother, a goddess, a tradition, a culture and much more. Many believe life is incomplete without taking a bath in the Ganges at least once in their lives.
We of course, all took a bath at the Ganges.
Along the way we had the honor of meeting Aveda partners, Ayurvedic Doctors Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay. The doctors are located at the Sadhana Mandir Swami Rama Ashram, the place where Aveda’s Founder, Horst Rechelbacher, studied.
Our time with them included a powerful and spiritual visit to a meditation cave where Horst spent hours meditating.
Thanks to this incredible journey, I learned how well I'm able to adjust in new situations. Most people know me as the ‘technology girl’— but in India Wi-fi was not readily available and I thought ‘how will I survive?’ But I did, and it was fantastic! More than fantastic. I was able to unplug, take in the culture, appreciate the simplicity of life, enjoy the people I'm with, fully immerse myself in my studies and learn how to open my heart.
As I relived this trip through the imagery, I was overcome by so much emotion. I felt the joy within me and was reminded of all it brought to my fellow travelers. The bond that was created between us in less than 10 days is remarkable. I'll never forget us and will always be grateful.
Lani McCall Fischer from the Aveda Institute Denver was one of those travelers and her thoughts on her own experience were such a testament to how we all felt: “"I am now even more grateful for Aveda and everything it has brought me in life. A year ago I wouldn't have had this opportunity to meet these amazing people and see these amazing things. This trip not only helped me grow as a cosmetology student, but as a person."
During our time in India, Helga taught us an ancient practice of reconciliation and forgiveness called "Hoʻoponopono" that has stuck with me. The words in this mantra include: I'm sorry, I love you, I forgive you and I thank you. I include this in my daily meditative practices and life situations every day.
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Post a photo of your favorite stylist on Instagram on #StylistAppreciationDay on April 30 to say thank you!