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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hair And Skin Products Pioneer Aubrey Hampton Passes Away

The iconic Aubrey Hampton, Founder and CEO of Aubrey Organics, has passed away, peacefully, on May 9th after a brief illness, surrounded by friends and family.

A pioneer in natural hair and skin care, Aubrey was a trailblazer for a fledging natural products industry by making plant-based, synthetic-free personal care products on his own terms.

In other words, Aubrey Organics became and remains the ONLY hair and skin products company that does NOT use ANY chemicals or animal testing in the manufacturing of its superior line of product.

Some companies profess to not use chemicals, but they do. Other companies say there is no chemicals, but they still test their products on animals.

Aubrey Organics, on the other hand, is the real deal.

Aubrey's company distributes its hair, skin and body care line all over the world, but Aubrey's connection to natural ingredients goes back to his father's organic farm in southern Indiana, where his mother made her own herbal beauty products at home.

In 1967, Aubrey founded Aubrey's Nature Labs with just two products - Relax-R-Bath and GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner - humble beginnings he swiftly grew into the multi-national, multi-million dollar company that bears his name.

A prolific author, Aubrey's books include Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care, a seminal text on herbal cosmetic products, now in its sixth printing, What's in Your Cosmetics, and The Take Charge Beauty Book, co-authored with his late wife, Susan Hussey.

Aubrey was publisher of Organica: A Magazine of Arts and Activism, a free publication which has featured the work of such literary figures as Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Shihab Nye and W.S. Merwin.

Multi-faceted and multi-talented, Aubrey enjoyed a successful second career as an award-winning playwright and theatre producer.

In 1990 he founded the Gorilla Theatre, Tampa, Florida's only Equity theatre, with his wife Susan, also a playwright. He published two books of plays, GBS and Company, based on the life of George Bernard Shaw, and Wolf Trilogy, a collection of three thematically linked one-act plays. Of his many accomplishments, he was perhaps most proud of his Young Dramatists Project, a playwriting competition for middle and high school students, now in its 11th year, which awards full-scale productions of short plays to budding playwrights.

Aubrey is survived by his two sons, Mitchell and Trevor, his sister Millie Newman, and the large extended families of Aubrey Organics and Gorilla Theatre. At the heart of his legacy is his joyful and generous spirit. He will be deeply missed.


For more information about Aubrey Organics, click on the link below.

For more insight into Aubrey's amazing life and influence, please click on the link below and read Trish Riley's article, Aubrey Hampton: An Organic Legacy for our Future.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bully For You? Bully For Me? Bully For No One!

Bullying shows up in many forms, some more obvious than others, and in either case, can prove to be an obstacle to living fully the A-Life.

We all know about the mean-spirited school-yard kid (or worse the teacher!) or a middle-aged co-worker (or worse, the boss!), who speaks with condescending tones, employs hurtful name-calling tactics, and/or seeks to somehow make the other person feel unworthy.

In actuality, of course, it is the bully who is insecure and lacks true self-worth. The bully is littered with low self-esteem and tons of self-hatred. He or she does all they can to lift their own lowly spirits by attempting to - and many times succeeding - to douse the joy or comfort of the happy spirits who they deem less worthy.

Unfortunately, I speak from experience, not as a bully, but as one who been bullied, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and professionally my entire life.

For example, I've always been athletic, but never interested in sports. When I was a kid, that was a tough stance, because many of the jocks in school frequently laughed and called me names (its little wonder I identified with Rudolph).

Of course, and fortunately, karma eventually shows its ugly or pretty head.

As when at my high-school Senior Ball, back in 1978, during which a few bullying classmates attempted to embarrass me. From what I can remember, they had instructed the band to perform a disco song (I Love New York), and the lead singer then invited me to dance, a talent for which I was both praised and ridiculed.

Today, any kid who can dance is glorified and worshipped.

In 1978, not so much, as John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever superstar status was still in the infant stages of reaching mainstream acceptance.

In any case, back at the Senior Ball of ’78: I did my dance, and ended up mirroring every dance-move that Travolta made in Fever. Once I completed the performance, all the girlfriends of the bullying jocks ran and cozied up to me, leaving their boyfriends in the cold with dropped jaws.

A few minutes of euphoria almost made worthwhile the four years of tortured bullying.


I was bullied because I was not fond of sports; because I could sing, dance and act; because I had a personality, and lived life with enthusiasm and joy without any of the extra securities that my peers seemed to hold dear. I didn't know how to play basketball (except for one glorious day in gym class), and I laughed a lot at the simplest of treasures.

For some reason, none of this was understood by a certain hurtful few. So, I was attacked and abused (and, unfortunately, similar experiences still transpire today).

Yet, I still don't understood why someone who is gifted with various talents, would set out to hurt someone else who was also gifted, but with no or different talents?

Or why any bully would call anyone else dumb? Does that automatically make him or her smart? Or at least make them think their smart? Is that why they do it?

If a bully picks on someone, does that give them a sense of superiority?

If a bully attempts to manipulate the life of another (and that other person allows it), does that make them feel more in control of their own lives?

Probably and sadly, yes to all of the above.

But what of the more subtle bullying that transpires between folk of all ages?

If there is someone who is need, and an individual with power and position and money knows of this person who is need, and does nothing to help them, is that a form of bullying?

It would seem so.

Anyone can feel sympathy for the less fortunate. But true kindness, and a non-bullying manner, is displayed when we can not only be happy for the person above us on the ladder of success, but when we are also indeed the REASON the other person climbs the ladder to the top and succeeds.

Another example of the Subtle Bully is the Passive-Aggressive Bully, who we may refer to as the Judas or the Brutus Bully.

The Judas/Brutus Bully seems to be your friend, treats you nice, compliments you, and praises you to others with you in the room. He or she then sets out to sabotage your character or any part of your life (and career!), when you're no where to be seen (and then again, sometimes even in plain sight).

It's like the classic image of the lover who kisses and caresses your face, while whipping out the dagger to stab you in the back.

In all, and in every case, the experiences are staggering.

Yet, bullies have always been and will always be. They are hurting and lacking in ways that non-bullies will gratefully never know.

Non-bullies are content, and have no reason to call other people callas names.

Non-bullies have no desire to control the lives of others, for they are too busy being happy and sharing joy.

Bullies, meanwhile, do not so much need pity, as much as they need prayers and blessings.

And if we are to fully lead the A-Life, then, to paraphrase a very wise soul from ages ago...we must bless those who curse us, pray for those who hurt and love and forgive those who hate us (and themselves).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's, Father's and Child's Day!

On this special day, as with every day, we must live fully our lives. For in doing so, we truly honor not only the memory of our Parents, but the "essence" of our Parents' mission. For "Honor Thy Mother and Father" does not simply mean to respect our Moms and Dads while they are on Earth, and not only to honor those who God gifted us with as guides in our early lives. But "Honor Thy Mother and Father" also means to live fully the life God gave us through our Parents. To reach for our A-Lives...our Best Lives!

In doing so, we must be mature, live wisely, and never loose the child's heart. By retaining the child's heart we remain connected not only to our Earthly Parents - but to the great Universal Parent of Light.

To paraphrase what I once wrote in a tribute to my Mom (Frances Turri), who now abides with my Dad (Herbie Pompeii) in Heaven: "In my view, our life journey and final destination is like a rocket soaring into space. The pieces of us that we don't need (the petty jealousies, the anger, the addictions, the physical maladies, etc.), fall away as we move closer to the Light of Love's embrace – until all that is left is the little capsule that holds our soul. And that 'capsule' is filled with every Loving thought and every act of Loving-Kindness that we ever displayed on Earth - bundled together, magnified, multiplied and showcased in Heaven. Simultaneously, that bundle of Love is also transferred into a personal, immeasurable, immortal and priceless legacy that we leave behind for everyone on Earth."

My Parents certainly left that legacy for me. For as my sister Pam recently relayed, "They were good people who asked of nothing from anyone. They did their job. They were pure."

I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day, Happy Father's Day and Happy Child's Day. And may each of us appreciate the most-Loving aspects of our Moms and Dads, whether they're still here on Earth or have returned to Heaven. May every good thing they ever taught us live on not only through us - but through our children - and everyone we meet. May each of us embrace the Maternal, Paternal and "Eternal" pieces ("peaces") of ourselves which are defined at the core of our being as the ever-protective essence named "LOVE."