Spa Journey

Working a busy job, raising my children, and looking after my husband.

It was nearly a decade ago when I was in the thick of a lifestyle that is so familiar to so many women. Juggling all the responsibilities in my life at that time was challenging, but it was what I’d become accustomed to. There came a time when I knew deep in my heart that it was time for a break in my routine, a reset for my perspective, and a chance to re-energize my body, ground my spirit, and restore my soul.

But oh… the guilt I felt for wanting to do that!

I had no problem tending to all the other things I needed to do in my daily life.

I supported all of my children’s activities, responding to the requests of my husband, and even dropping everything to take care of my aging parents while still juggling work and volunteer responsibilities.

But somehow when it came to doing something for myself, it was a different story.

It was the same “different” story for three of my dearest friends. We all needed the same kind of break and had together hatched an idea to take a trip somewhere. But it took a great deal of internal struggle to finally reach a place of peace, one where we each gave ourselves permission to do something just for us.

The struggle was intense, but we finally got to that place of peace

Once we had arrived, there was no turning back. We carved out four days from our very busy lives to go to the Mii Amo Spa and Resort in Sedona, Arizona. From the moment we sat on the plane together in that wonderful silent stillness, we created a friendship bubble that quieted the demands of our daily lives and allowed us to just be.

All these years later, I can still vividly call up joyful conversations dotted with laughter. I remember the taste of each meal, the feel of the water, and the touch of the therapist as I experienced each new spa treatment. And even though my three friends have since moved on to other phases in their lives or other areas of the country, I can still see their faces as we hiked the beautiful Sonora Desert together and gathered in our soft Mii Amo robes to share lunch. There is no question in my mind that having taken the time to treat ourselves to this rejuvenating experience not only strengthened our bodies and fed our souls, but clearly nourished our friendships with an enduring warmth and richness.

You wouldn’t be alone if you considered this sort of experience a luxury.

And you wouldn’t be alone if you are just as stressed and busy as I was before I made the decision to make this retreat.

But you’d be very wise to step back and consider that a spa experience isn’t a self-indulgent experience at all. It’s an important component of a holistic approach to health and wellness. It’s not just my own experience that underscores this truth. In fact, we can all take a lesson from the Maori people in New Zealand. This ancient aboriginal culture has long understood that a spa experience is essential for well-being. A well-executed spa treatment is a holistic one that heals, restores, and empowers us at a very deep level. Traditional Maori healing practices hold that massage is equal in importance to medicine and spiritual guidance, with an understanding that massage not only releases toxins and relieves tension, but also helps us let go of deep seated emotions – a much overlooked cause of disease in our society.

Spa experiences create positive spaces for healing, places that draw us in and make us feel safe, nurtured, and cared for. Gentle touch, beautiful sights, running water, soothing sounds, soft voices – these are truly more than simple luxuries. They leave us feeling calmer, stronger, and more grounded than before we experience them. They are essential to balance, purpose, and wellness. They speak to the deepest yearnings of our human souls.

And although a spa adventure is so much more than a nice luxury, it is also an exquisite and pampered experience that, when shared with people we love, can not only bring healing and joy to us personally, but can more deeply connect us in our most treasured relationships.

I no longer feel an ounce of guilt for taking the time to care for myself in this way.

I know without a doubt that I owe a great deal of the health of my mind, body, and spirit to making a commitment to continuing in my own spa journey. In fact, it has become an essential part of my commitment to personal wellness, and my favorite way to remain connected to the people I care for the most – the very best friends in my life.

I invite you to consider taking a spa journey of your own. I promise that you will remember with great fondness and joy the time you take to care for yourself in this way.

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