ABC Carpet & Home’s Second Annual Beauty, Wellness, and Wisdom Event
April 20th, 2013, New York City
At 9:30 on a Saturday morning, ABC Carpet & Home, Manhattan’s eclectic, sustainability Mecca, was already abuzz. ABC’s second annual Beauty, Wellness, and Wisdom Event celebrated Earth Day; it was a day to explore our own wellness and our planet’s.
A stylish crowd, sipping on Hugh Jackman-approved Laughing Man coffee, was milling about the store’s mezzanine, signing up for the event’s treatments and workshops: facials with skin care expert Tracie Martyn; makeovers with organic makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift; skincare with Tata Harper; flower and chocolate therapy with Lotus Wei’s Katie Hess; and aromatherapy with Hope Gillerman.
To set the tone for the day, Deepak Chopra led attendees through a meditation focused on the relationship between our bodies and the environment. Paulette Cole, the visionary and CEO behind ABC, as well as a student of Deepak’s for over twenty years, introduced him. She encouraged us to see our homes as an extension of our bodies, and our planet as our “collective home.” This sentiment flowed seamlessly into Deepak’s meditation. “Think of the well-being of ourselves and the well-being of our planet,” he said. “We need to see the environment as our extended body. The air is our breath. The seas are our blood. The trees are our lungs.”
Horst Rechelbacher, who will be opening an Intelligent Nutrients boutique in New York in September, was the event’s first speaker. He encouraged the crowd to see the body as a delicate eco-system, one that can be easily polluted by the myriad of chemicals found in the products we use and fabrics we wear. An organic farmer as well as a green chemist, Rechelbacher expressed deep concern about the negative effects non-organic beauty products can have on the body. “Cosmetics are really really dangerous,” he said. “We have a right to safe and healthy beauty products.” He directed the audience to safecosmetiecs.org, a website whose mission is to educate consumers about the products they apply to their bodies. “Everything penetrates us,” he warned, illustrating this point with a screening of “The Story of Stuff,” a short video about the toxins hidden in consumer goods.
Jason Wachob, CEO and co-founder of Mind Body Green, an online space with the goal to make wellness fun and inclusive, led a panel of doctors and nutritionists in a discussion about nutrition. The consensus reached was that there is no “one size fits all” approach to diet and health care. We need to be in tune with our bodies and cultivate our own awareness of how we are affected by what we eat. Functional medicine practitioner Dr. Jeffery Morrison encouraged patients to interview potential doctors by asking, “What do you see as the connection between healing and nutrition?” Aliza Vitti, founder of The Flo Living Center and author of The Woman Code, shared a few fertility-friendly diet tips that included avocado and sunflower seeds for women, and Brazil nuts for men.
On the mezzanine, attendees experienced firsthand what they learned from the event’s speakers about both the pleasure and importance of using natural, safe, chemical-free health and beauty products. With Tata Harper, they pulled back their hair and cleansed their skin. Hope Gillerman led them through breathing, moving and stretching, applying essential oils to lower cortisol levels. Katie Hess–who will be launching Lotus Wei’s first Insiders’ Program in June–sprayed wildflower essences into the air around them. Tracie Martyn applied creams to help women firm and tighten their skin. And Rosemary Swift gave individual lessons in makeup application.
As the group gathered around Hope Gillerman’s booth reached their hands into the air and brought them down, rubbing oils onto the crowns of their heads, I was reminded of Paulette Cole’s opening remarks about our planet as our collective home. This was the energy cultivated at ABC, which felt very much like our collective home that day; a place to nurture and care for ourselves and others.
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