Sunday, February 1, 2009

So I was asked to give this speech...

and it went something like this:

To my fellow Aveda Graduates; Andrea, Nicole, Ivette, Daphnie, Caroline, Katie, and Megan - we are here to celebrate. We have accomplished so much. It is truly amazing for me to think back to 13 and a half years ago when we started here at Aveda - I mean 8 months ago. We started as a group of 14 very different women. Every single one of us had a story that was unlike anyone else’s. We all have our own very personal, unique reasons for choosing this path but no matter what twist, turns, tumbles and falls brought us here we were all meant to find each other – of that I’m certain.
Now what I could say is how our path led us to learn skin care, and then massage therapy, and then customer relations and salesmanship. But those were simply the destinations, and like they say, it’s the journey that matters.
Yes, of course we learned all of those things – and with a deep, enthusiasm that transformed us into proficient executers of our craft. But what we truly learned about ourselves and what we can do is something that can not be read in a book, forged or imitated.
We learned the significance in the power of touch Рthat keeping your hand on a guest shoulder while reaching for the cr̬me cleanser might make the difference between a ten dollar tip and a fifteen dollar tip. It also makes the difference in a service that is good and a service that changes your guest outlook. That a knot in ones hamstring will not be healed by staring at it, but that a knot healed will make anyone a believer of you. That a tight hug for a class mate that is struggling to hold on can be just enough to keep them from letting go. We learned that there are points all over our bodies that can be activated to present wonderful healing results to other, seemingly unrelated points of our bodies. Because we have learned that everything is connected. The eight of us, with Ashliegh and Monica as well, are all connected.
We have learned. We have learned so much. Science, spirituality, other peoples perspectives. I’ve never in my life been in a situation where I was this close to such a variety of people who were so incredibly different from myself. Of course at times this resulted in a clash of conflict or differences of ideas, but mostly it gave me many outlooks from which to gain knowledge, many different eyes with which to see. So many different ways to absorb the knowledge that transformed us into outstanding estiticians and massage therapist.
We learned this, of course, through our educators, Monica, Ashleigh and William, who believed in our strengths and our abilities before most of us were even aware of them ourselves. Our teachers nurtured us as we cultivated our craft. The education we have received at this school is incomparable to anywhere else we could have gone – and not just because of the curriculum that was taught, but because we have educators who invest their own time, spirit and compassion into shaping us. Without their passion, where would we have inherited it from?
We have learned that questioning authority in this institution is kind of like trying to tear down a brick wall – at times we felt powerless to change. And while this may have caused our spirits to waver, it also altered something significant in all of us – our ability to stand up for ourselves – maybe we never broke down those walls, but we got around them. We didn’t change them, but we sure changed us, and this was as vitally apart of our education as any
We learned to believe in the power of healing. In our own abilities to heal. In our own power. I find myself consistently in awe at the ability to change someone so drastically, so instantly, for the better. I think back to the beginning of our massage course. I was frustrated because, while I was certain I was doing all of the moves correctly, it felt superficial and ineffective. I was scared that I would never learn how to give a valuable massage because this aspect of it couldn’t be learned with flash cards, or memorized from a book. “Use your hands as eyes” Ashliegh told me. “Stretch your two” Monica said. “Trust” William assured. “Trust that, in time, you will find within yourself what you need to reach other people” And he was right. It is a truly amazing feeling when you sit a guest up at the end of a service and they swoon over you, but it is indescribable to place your hands on someone’s scapula and know, truly know, exactly how it hurts them and how you can help.
I have joked that our class is like the television show Survivor – but it’s true. We started as fourteen, gained one more, but lost half. The eight of us that are here right now, we survived because our resolve to be here and our drive to continue learning what has become our passion overcame the challenges, both professional and personal, we have faced over the past eight months. I can’t imagine leaving here with the wealth of knowledge I now have with out each and everyone of you contributing significantly to that.
It is said that the journey is important, and that is true. But let’s not downplay the destination, because that is where we are today. We are at the end of our Aveda institute experience. So we rejoice that we’re at the conclusion and we mourn that our little family that we have come to depend on now has different roads they must take. Different journeys, different destinations. With great certainty I can say, that everyone here will carry the rest of us with them wherever they go. We impacted each other significantly and so my last words tonight, for everyone in this room – my fellow class mates who listened to my never ending tangents, my educators who dealt with my very scattered mind, friends and family that supported us through this, thank you.


Vanessa said...

Congratulations! You DID IT! You must be so proud of yourself (you should be). Sending you celebratory eHugs!

PS Beautiful speech. I know exactly what you mean by the power of touch.

bittersweetheart said...

Wow. That was a really good speech. I was totally expecting sarcastic Sarah to come through that but sounds like you learned a lot and had a great experience. Good luck! Congratulations!