The Spa at The House

We sat under the restaurant pavilion, patting our faces with chilled, aromatic white face towels eager for the arrival of rum punch and bruschetta – the recovery from hours of traveling has begun.

Our concierge takes the necessary check-in documents, brings paperwork for signatures and proceeds to name the fabulousness that is available or can be made available “no problem”. There’s no doubt we are impressed with the inclusiveness of the package: afternoon tea, 24 hour bar, water sports, water taxi to sister properties, free massage at the The Spa. Pause. Rewind. Play. Yes, free massage at The Spa. As a spa lover and junkie, this was my “in-love with a resort” moment.

The spa smell, cleanliness and soft music had me falling into relaxed mode instantly. Shakeria, my masseuse, her voice was calm and comforting, took great care to make sure I was all good:

pressure – deep massage for this women, temperature – cool enough so the blankets were not annoying, noise – light music that lulled me to sleep at some point

Element: Wood (determined when you fill out the get to know you card during checkin) Aromatherapy: bergamot, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, orange (what I think I picked up with my “oh so keen” sense of smell)

Thank you Shakeria and The House by Elegant Hotels for another great spa experience!

Cooking With Ghee

After a character building week, recharging is an absolute must. For me, that starts with having a big breakfast. If you’ve never tasted ghee, you are doing your taste buds a disservice.

Ghee, a form of clarified butter, is a staple for people that follow an Ayurveda lifestyle. Its highly aromatic, nutty flavor accentuates the taste of your favorite veggies.

Breakfast for People Who Do Too Much:

Mixed greens, purple kale, white button mushrooms and vidalia onions over eggs. Veggies sautéed in ghee – homemade ghee that is, and yes, I did that 2 weeks ago.

The Art of “No”

no-thanksSaying no is so easy for some people.  They can cut you off mid-sentence with a shake of the head, a quick hand gesture before verbally letting you know that they will not be able to do what you are asking – no explanations given, to the point, with a smile that is not condescending or rude, nor apologetic or guilt ridden.  Then there are those who think they have mastered this art because they can formulate a reason or excuse to decline performance or escape contribution so quickly that you don’t even realize you are being told no, so you end up reformulating your request just to affirm your appeal was declined.

For those of us still working on our transgressions, we feel good about graduating to the ability level of  telling telemarketers “not at this time” or “no thank you” even.  It’s hit or miss when it comes to letting down the charities that call about helping war Veterans, children in need or the County Police Association.  Where we are the weakest is when it comes to people that ask us to assist them with something they know we are either good at or something we do daily in our profession.   Sometimes no amount of verbal dodging or quick lashing of the tongue to evade acceptance can be summoned; a smile imitation followed by “okay” and there you are again sending your inner gremlin just a ragin’.  Where the heck is the honesty that hides the fact that you do not have an iota of interest, the bold honesty that asserts the fact that you are busy creating a healthy and fulfilling life which should not be disturbed?

But which is better?  To endure damn near excruciating pain exacted by being untrue to “self” or the possible pounds of guilt from practicing this art of “no”?  I guess if practice makes perfect, the art in itself eventually lends its master a reassurance – knowing when to say no, learning how to say it and why it is being said is like being able to reach Yoga Nidra as easily as it is for the art’s grand master to say “no”.

Brown Paper Bag – please?

I accompanied my daughter on a field trip last week.  I got to pack lunch for us – quinoa with kale, spinach greens, watermelon radish and onions, rattlesnake green beans, spinach with garlic and sesame seeds and sprouted mung beans.  Of course I knew she loves this compilation because she cleaned her plate when it was previously made.  As the brown lunch bags were handed out to her other classmates, my daughter looked around for other “misfits” but could only find one, a girl apparently not on her BFF list.  I knew what was happening, she stared from quinoa to turkey sandwiches on white bread, I could see it unfold as she stared from the other misfit to her friends giggling as they crunched potato chips – “Mommy, I don’t like this.  Can I have a brown bag please?”

Fitting in is important for children and for the most part a lot of adults.  We seek like minded people and communities that share our same qualities and family values in order to maintain the feeling that we belong.  This can sometimes be stunting to our growth; we are not always able to focus on exploring individualism first then allowing ourselves to be nurtured among people that support our lifestyle choices whether or not it is the same as their own.  Having a holistic, healthy lifestyle does not always fit in workplace luncheons, family dinner, girls’ dinner and night out or preschool field trips but it is a choice that I am committed to because ultimately, feeling good about myself is much more powerful than appearing to fit in.  My daughter will learn that one day.  She will begin to listen to her body, her instinct and intuition, and she will not see herself as being a misfit but a happy compliment to the people around her.

Allow yourself the greatest opportunity of self-discovery, self-acceptance and self-love.