Sitting in on my son’s Sunday School class recently, listening intently to the teacher as he explained the Biblical references for being environmentally aware, I felt surprised to realize that I was enjoying myself. I wondered why it was so pleasant to be “in class” on an early Sunday morning despite the fact that I had to get up extra early, forego a leisurely reading of the Sunday paper, and sit in tiny school chairs made for 80-pound people. Then it dawned on me: It was because I was learning something new (or in this particular case, re-learning something forgotten). Granted, it was a simple fifth grade lesson, not college calculus, but it was nonetheless pleasant to experience the opening of my mind to new learning.

That’s what “back to basics” means to me. It’s the ability to step out of the craziness of our daily lives and away from the pursuit of the next big thing. We’re always trying to do more, create more, solve problems, push the limits, find shortcuts, perfect systems. But sometimes, in the flurry of all that, we neglect the basics, those building blocks upon which our success and creativity is built.

In this issue, we examine “the basics” from a variety of perspectives, including business, health, and technique. One of my favorite pieces is “Spring Cleaning,” where Michelle Pratt goes armed with a camera to some nice salons that just need to take a step back and look at their environment from the client’s eye. Her photos and comments should spur you to do a similar exercise in your own salon or at your workstation. If you have any doubts about what you need to do, check our state-by-state chart of implement disinfection guidelines. This issue is dedicated to getting back to basics as a way of unleashing your creativity and true potential, and as a path to renewal. I like what Tom Bachik says in his advice to nail techs in this issue: A great work of art is simply the composition of a bunch of very basic strokes. Not a bad lesson to learn, no matter what our age.

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