Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Equine Therapy, Healing, Healing Music, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, Zipline, facials, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, love, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
January is one of the best times to experience a destination spa retreat and if you’re looking to make 2015 one of your best years, then this might be the opportunity to do just that. Miraval Arizona will be the setting for this four-night retreat from January 7 – 11, 2015.
Whether you’ve experienced Miraval before or are considering Miraval for the first time, journey with me for a few minutes and take a look at a few specially selected links, information, services and activities to help you learn more about one of the world’s best spas.
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
Time away devoted to our health is invaluable, as we all know, and when you add inspiring lectures from Miraval’s specialists, healing spa services and a challenge course to go beyond self-imposed boundaries, you set the stage for a year of transformation. You can use this time to focus on fitness and perhaps schedule a private session with Andrew Wolf, Miraval’s Exercise Physiologist or focus on healthier eating and learn from Miraval’s nutritionist, Junelle Lupiani and perhaps also consider a Resting Metabolic Rate Analysis and Personalized Nutrition Plan to help you meet your goals.
Let 2015 be the year that you learn how to manage stress and while you’re at it, learn the 7-Keys to Joy and Vitality from Anne Parker or consider using some of your allowance of resort credits for one of her private sessions like Activating Your Emotional Intelligence or a personal favorite, Mirror of the Soul.
A sample journey at Miraval – take a look at this short video to get a better feel of Miraval.
Mindful Eating at Miraval
Healthy menus utilizing locally sourced ingredients create an exceptional dining experience. Eat better, live better, feel better. Gourmet meals that are delicious and nutritious, even dessert.
Enjoy this Miraval recipe of Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Scones from their Sweet & Savory cookbook.
What about spa services?
There are many services to choose from including several outdoor treatments.
Aqua Zen is one service you might want to consider because the pool is heated for this service done by a Watsu®-trained therapist. Your body is moved effortlessly through the warm waters of the specially designed pool (water invites complete relaxation to the massage, allowing your body to be manipulated and stretched with greater freedom than traditional massage). This is suitable for non-swimmers.
If you’re looking for something really unique, then Nâga (created at Miraval) may be of interest. This is offered only at the Spa at Miraval and evolved from the healing principals of Thai Massage. Your therapist uses strands of richly colored silk suspended from above as an extension of their body. The silks are used by your provider for entwining and gracefully suspending themselves as well as wrapping and supporting your body, taking you deeper into the stretches and releasing restrictions impairing full movement.
And maybe a massage is what you need after a day of hiking and yoga. There are many to choose from including a Relaxation Massage, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone and more. I love the Restorative Deep Tissue (with arnica) and I’m also a fan of Shamana Karma (under Ayurvedic services in the guide). Sample Guide
There are many other classes and activities to choose from, including Miraval’s Equine Experience, which I recommend to all new to Miraval guests. It can be so profound and a great way to start your Miraval journey as it offers you the opportunity to practice living in the moment – Mindfulness – the key philosophy of Miraval.
(Space is limited and based on availability. Review the flyer and feel free to email me with any questions.)
Friday, September 5th, 2014 | Abundance, Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Equine Therapy, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Healing Music, Manifesting, Meditation, Michigan spas, Peace, Prosperity, Relaxation, gratitude, healthy living, joy, love, mindfulness, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
“All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he’ll listen to me any day.”
~ Author Unknown
The Horses Know: A Reflection of Self at Souls at Play Equine Center
What I know to be true is that horses reflect our energy and much can be revealed in their presence. I’ve always felt a connection to horses and I believe it’s the sense of freedom they convey to me. I always looked at that freedom as a physical attribute of riding free in wide open spaces, however learning more about the energy of horses and how they reflect back to us our energy has been cathartic.
“Horses reflect our energy and reveal to us
a missing part of our soul.” – Donna Adinolfi
In 2000, I had the opportunity to experience Wyatt Webb’s Equine Experience at Miraval Arizona (back then it was Miraval – Life in Balance), and it was one of the most profound experiences of my life. At the time I was seeking answers as to what my purpose was and what to do in the next chapter of my life (the ‘turning 40′ time period) and I learned a lot about myself from Wyatt and my other teacher – my horse – and it helped to set the stage for Mindful Adventures and pursuing writing in a greater way as well as working with Miraval and other destination spas to help people lead a healthier life. I’m grateful for that time. I’m grateful for Wyatt.
Fast forward to a week ago and my experience at Souls at Play Equine Center, which happens to be about an hour away from where I live. It was serendipity that brought me to this opportunity as it was during a holiday silent auction at my church where an item for a session at the Equine Center would become mine. Mike (my significant other) knew of my love for horses and interest in equine therapy and the rest is history.
Serendipity might have been a catalyst to get me here, however life as I knew it
changed drastically a few years after that first equine encounter and I can’t
help but wonder if the teacher is appearing because the student is ready.
The Center has three Friesian horses that were imported from The Netherlands and they’re quite large. All are black and all have their own personality. At first, I thought that I would connect with Revallier (known as Reval), however it wasn’t about what I thought. It was about my energy and letting go.
Let’s meet the three horses. Aris is known as the wholehearted horse and was my first teacher (more later). Beaucheme is limitless and the leader of the three. Oh, and he’s blind in one eye (more on that lesson later). And Revallier, also known as Reval, is the one with the amazing hair. I loved that about him and he’s the one I identified with first, yet another would ‘reveal’ more to me. Reval is the largest of the three.
Sarah DesJardins created Souls at Play Equine Center as a way to combine her love for horses and her life’s work to empower people to know their own value. She’s a catalyst of change. Intuitive and beautiful, inside and out.
Our Session Begins:
Sarah met us upon our arrival and our session unfolded in unexpected and profound ways. With the memories of my first equine encounter with Wyatt in Arizona, I had some ideas as to what we’d do, however I soon let go of them as each session truly takes on a life of its own based on the energy of the moment. It’s all about being present. When you’re with the horses, especially these three, you connect to your heart and for me, well, let’s just say quite a bit came up rather quickly.
This is also a story of vulnerability and perhaps sharing this is also
part of my journey and can help others.
Shortly after arriving I asked about Aris. I had concerns about his demeanor in the pen and I asked Sarah about him. And Sarah asked, “what do you think?” Hmmm……the session begins. Both Reval and Beaucheme had walked out of the pen and Aris was alone. He was facing the opposite wall for a little while and I said he looked sad as if he isn’t needed and he looks lonely. Oh my God! That’s me. The tears started streaming down my face with an overwhelming yet revealing emotion. That’s how I’ve been feeling and Aris picked up on it. Was I unapproachable and withdrawn when I arrived? I don’t know. What I do know is that I faced that and felt a little better after sharing it and bringing it to the surface.
Mike and I continued to connect with Sarah and while our conversation continued about how our lives led us to one another, our common challenges (all three of us lost our spouses), life, love, self-trust, and more we noticed that Beaucheme wanted to be part of our conversation. Sarah shared more about him. Remember when I mentioned he’s blind in one eye, yet he’s limitless and the leader of the three? It revealed another lesson to me. More of an aha, yet something that I’m reflecting on and processing through journaling.
Much more was discussed and brought to the surface while surrounded by all three horses and then Sarah wanted both Mike and I to do an exercise together. While it was to involve all three horses only one seemed to align with us and that is exactly how it was meant to work out. The exercise was to help Mike and I communicate better. It was a little comical at first because we weren’t telling Beaucheme what we wanted from him (uh…nor each other!), yet he was guiding us and once we paid attention we got through the first part. It took a little time and a little guidance from Sarah, however we got through the task with a greater understanding of each other and some tools to use moving forward.
Equine therapy is also about ‘peeling away the layers’ and healing, which leads us to reconnecting with ourselves and I believe will also reveal a more confident and empowered self so that we can share our gifts with the world. Isn’t that what most of us want?
I’m ready for my next session.
The Horses will reveal more to me and I’m excited to see them again.
The farm is located in Manchester,Michigan (about an hour from Detroit)
Contact Sarah directly at 734-417-4112 for more information or to make an appointment.
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Healing, Meditation, Mii Amo, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, well-being, wellness | No Comments
This is the follow-up to a previous post of my podcast with Danielle Fryer, Fitness Director of Mii amo in Sedona, AZ. Our conversation continued after the podcast interview and in the text below I share Danielle’s answers to my other questions.
Did you miss the podcast?
Just click the link below.
Original post with podcast
I believe you’ll find Danielle’s insight is beneficial to you as a reader as well as anyone considering her Body Transformation retreat at Mii amo.
Our conversation continues…
Please share one or two of your ‘know how’ actions that will be revealed in your retreat:
Most professionals will NOT give away all their secrets because it keeps clients coming back for more. NOT AT THE BODY ‘TRANSFORMATION RETREAT!
I will be giving away ALL my secrets and teaching the guest how to be their OWN Dietitian/Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer.
1. Knowing how to create your personalized meal plans without the constant follow up of a dietitian, nutritionist, trainer or latest fad diet book. Know how to determine if a diet plan or fad is right for you BEFORE you even begin. Knowing when to eat (meal timing), how often to eat (mindfulness tips and practice), and what to eat (food grouping) to maximize energy utilization and nourishment for the living cells to perform better and/or lose body fat if this is the goal. This is all defined in the workbook provided, The Mindful Clean Plate
2. Know how to create a practical plan for exercise and nutrition that is DO-ABLE with life’s circumstances (for example: how to manage food on the go + cooking for picking eaters + workouts in a busy work week while also raising 2 teenagers).
3. Know how to create and DO an effective workout by use of various fitness variance and fun! Each individual group workout will be written and provided to retreat participants. These workouts can be taken home and used with year round results.
How will guests achieve a super-fit and energized mindset?
To let go of any preconceived ideas that you are not good enough as you are. Letting go of false evidence that appears real (FEAR) and recognizing that old behaviors are either fed or starved with your thoughts and reactions, but they don’t disappear. Behaviors EVOLVE with surrender! They evolve if you can accept that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be in order to further your journey of transformation. Once this occurs, the doors open for possibilities.
2. Awareness (Mindfulness)
Awareness is the greatest agent for change. 95% of the clients I have served over the years THINK they know why they can’t lose the weight, or speed up their race time, etc. However, it is those 95% that leave my workshops saying “OOhhhh, I see my issue now.” Then, once this is established, they can focus their energy into the issue and get a different, more specific, energized result.
What are some of the tools and support that guests will experience from the retreat?
Every morning we start the day with a unique, fun, and challenging workout in the weight room (modifications will be provided to suit all fitness levels). These upbeat, playful workouts will set the tone for each day. My workouts have been described by guests as “kick butt exercise to strengthen and lengthen my body that I would have never thought would work for me, but they do! She is energetic and inspiring.” Also, “she is a high spirit, high energy person that I look forward to working with again!”
The morning workouts will be followed by a group morning ritual in the crystal grotto. Then, we meet again before lunch for the daily two hour nutrition workshops: These workshops are somewhat of an emotional nutrition boot camp. In this time together we will get down and dirty about what it means to cultivate “AT HOME” support, vision, and goals for success! We meet up again in the early EVENING for a second unique, fun, and challenging workout that is always different from the morning workout (outdoors, pool, yoga room, etc.). Additionally, we will have a Body Transformation specific cooking demo and a Body Transformation menu feature for every single meal in the Mii amo Café. I have been working with Chef Nicole and we are really jazzed about the NEW and exciting things we will present to the group. One of the biggest highlights for me during the retreat is the ability to stay RIGHT HERE on property with my retreat guests. I want to be available to them 24-7. My door will be open for silly conversations, stargazing and deep conversations, and/or a shoulder to cry on. I want to cultivate an oasis for a body image and performance REBOOT!
And, please review other benefits of the program.
Guests can expect to take home a more defined sense of what it means to transform their body. They will receive cutting edge fitness and nutrition education that is specific to their individual needs, visions, and goals. They will be encouraged and able to continue use of the materials when they go home. They can expect to take home a wealth of information that will keep them immune to the false, misleading, main stream, media fads that are marketed in order to make trillions. They can expect to receive authentic empowerment from myself and the group that will keep them energized for time to come! They can expect to make a FAN for life…me! I see the potential in EVERYONE I meet! I love what I do so much that the inspiration is contagious! Some of my most loved clients call me “Vitamin D” LOL!
Body Transformation Retreat Dates:
August 24 – 28
November 2 – 6
If you’d like more details about these retreat dates or 2015 dates, please email me directly at email@example.com
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Meditation, Nutrition, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, hiking, massage, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
Michael Tompkins, ISPA Chairman, has joined Hilton Head Health as their new CEO. If you’re in the spa and wellness industry then you’ll agree that this is exciting news for us for 2014. Tompkins has been in the field of health and wellness and luxury hospitality for over 25 years. He began his career as a Registered Nurse and most recently served as CEO of Miraval Resort & Spa, Tucson, AZ.
I am excited about where Hilton Head Health is heading in their wellness transformation with Michael Tompkins at the helm. Since 1976 Hilton Head Health has been known as a top weight loss and wellness resort in the U.S. and they’re expanding at a crucial time as more of us seek out more opportunities to improve our health and well-being.
A Wellness Revolution Begins!
Hilton Head Health is focused on including more wellness and health-based initiatives and has brought together industry leaders to do just that. Tompkins joins CMO Carol Stratford, formerly of Miraval, and CFO Ben Campsey, formerly of the Umstead Hotel & Spa.
The expansion is set to take place over the next 6 months and includes property growth, development and program enrichment to expand beyond the property (focus will still be on weight loss at the Hilton Head Health location). And, the development of the new programming will help guests focused on wellness get a kick start on a healthier lifestyle.
Hilton Head Health offers Mind-Body programming such as self-reflection and group forums (body image, life transitions, self-discovery), which are vital for lifestyle change and a selection of massages and facials. The new Indigo Spa is currently under construction with an estimated completion of Christmas 2014. (Indigo means deep inner discovery.)
A 30-room Inn is underway and expected to open late Spring 2015.
True restaurant was completely renovated and a new a la carte menu will feature healthy options (and offer wine).
A new lounge area is next to True for guests to utilize before and after group classes.
Three separate tracks will be offered
LoseWell – This is their intense (4-week) weight loss program and is designed for people seeking guidance and to be held accountable to lose 40-lbs or more.
LiveWell – This is a week long program for guests wanting to jumpstart weight loss of 10-30 pounds. And the new changes to the one-week program will shift to more of a healthy lifestyle and wellness focused experience.
PlayWell – A new initiative launching this fall. This option will focus on the fun recreational outdoor offerings on Hilton Head – a focus on the destination yet still targeting health and wellness. Golf, beach yoga, walking tours (Historic Savannah), paddle boarding, kayaking, etc.
- “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients
in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet,
and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison
For more information, visit: www.hiltonheadhealth.com
And check Mindful Adventures on Facebook and this blog for updates.
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Healing, Meditation, Mii Amo, Nutrition, Peace, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being | 2 Comments
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Danielle Fryer, Fitness Director at Mii amo and we discussed her upcoming retreat, Body Transformation. There are two retreat dates to choose from: Sunday, August 24 through Thursday, August 28 -and- Sunday, November 2 through Thursday, November 6.
Are you ready to be inspired and gain the tools and ‘know how’ for your own Body Transformation?
You’re in the best place to get started.
Danielle Fryer is the Fitness Director at Mii amo. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Specialist in Dietetics, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Author of The Mindful Plate, which is being published by Balboa Press/Hay House in early 2015.
Body Transformation Retreat:
This empowering and personalized retreat includes group workouts, nutritional workshops, early evening fitness sessions and everything that Mii amo is known for including healthy meals, relaxation, spa services, healthy cooking demos and more. As Danielle stated, “this is a fitness and nutrition vacation where wellness and relaxation come together. Take this opportunity to listen to yourself and join the Body Transformation Retreat.”
Let’s connect and discuss this retreat further.
Insight and personal experience from my own Mii amo journey and planning assistance.
And the conversation continued between Danielle and I after the microphone was turned off. Stay tuned for the follow-up post with more insight on Body Transformation, a Retreat at Mii Amo.
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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
When I was first approached about reviewing Friends with the Scale: How to Turn Your Scale Into a Powerful Weight Loss Tool by Linda Spangle, RN, MA I couldn’t help but think about my own angst about the scale. At a recent medical visit I kept thinking about what I could do to ‘fool the scale’ into showing a lower weight*. Surely my sneakers weighed about 5 pounds. Well, not really and so I asked the nurse to write down the number and not share it with me.
* From her book, this is Power Key #2: Remember that I can’t trick the scale.
I’ll include a review and other tips from her book in another post, however I also reviewed Linda Spangle’s ‘8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Scale’ and I know you will connect with these (I’m connecting with 5 & 6). These are also in the book and so much more.
Please include a comment about the one that helps you the most.
8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Scale By Linda Spangle, RN, MA
The scale isn’t our enemy. We allow negative self-talk, pressure from others, life-long behavioral patterns, and other factors to give that number on the scale more importance than it deserves. It’s time to use the innocent bathroom scale as the helpful tool it was intended to be!
The way to do this is to change your relationship with the scale and make it your friend. Here are eight ways to do this.
1. Step on, step off, leave.
You don’t brush your teeth in the morning, then obsess all day about whether you should brush them again. With the scale, build a similar routine. At your chosen time of day, step on the scale, note what it says, write it down if you like, then leave the room.
2. Look, then move on.
No matter what the scale says, learn to treat it as a number, and nothing else. More important is what you do after stepping on the scale. Eat a healthy meal, take a walk, or do something that’s productive and moves your thoughts in a positive direction.
3. Note how you’re trending.
By recording the number on your scale at regular intervals, you can track your progress over time. As you do, don’t concern yourself with the daily number, but whether it’s trending in the right direction.
4. Don’t assume you’ve gained weight.
A jump in the scale number may have nothing to do with your weight. In reality, your body takes a long time to translate food intake into actual fat stores–so let go of guilty thoughts. Among other factors, eating an extra-large meal or food high in salt can cause that scale number to go up. One bad evening doesn’t translate into a higher weight.
5. Detach from the numbers.
If you get a poor grade on a school midterm exam, it doesn’t mean you’ve flunked the class. Instead, it provides information about what you need to do before the end of the term. Likewise, the scale number is merely information. Learn to say something to yourself, such as “That’s interesting,” and then get back to work on your healthy living plan.
6. Stick with your scale.
One of the quickest ways to let your weight get out of hand is to stop weighing yourself altogether. Don’t ignore your scale because you don’t want to see what it says. Instead, stay aware of your weight situation and keep your data current.
7. Don’t discuss your weight.
Avoid discussing the scale, your weight, or your diet plans. You can say, “That’s information I keep private.” This will help prevent naysayers and curiosity seekers from sabotaging your success, and it will also help you avoid engaging in self-critical talk. At the doctor’s office, you can say you prefer not to be weighed. Or you can weigh yourself at home and then ask your doctor to record that number at the end of your consultation.
8. Use the three-day rule after holidays.
After you’ve been traveling or celebrating holidays, take a three-day break from your daily weigh-in ritual. Often a change in routine or diet will cause a temporary uptick in the scale number. Your body will get back to its old self after three days, and the reading will be more accurate.
More information about Linda:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA is a weight-management coach recognized nationally as a leading authority on emotional eating and other psychological issues of weight loss. A registered nurse with a master’s degree in health education, she is the owner of Weight Loss for Life, a healthy lifestyles coaching and training program located in Denver, Colorado. Her newest book is Friends with the Scale: How to Turn Your Scale into a Powerful Weight Loss Tool (SunQuest Media, 2014).
Friday, June 13th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Relaxation, hiking, stress relief, well-being | No Comments
Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day is here and if you’re thinking about doing something different for dad this year consider an ‘experiential’ family getaway. Dad doesn’t need another tie or barbeque set so take a look at these ideas and help create amazing memories for years to come.
On my radar this year: Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches near Wilmington, N.C.
A Day at Carolina Beach could include a multitude of activities. World-class fishing, miles of beach and a stroll on one of the top boardwalks in the country would be fun, however so would these ‘dad-inspired’ activities.
- Browse the Boats – Maybe you’re not looking to buy a boat, however you can certainly enjoy a day at one of Carolina Beach’s Marinas.
- Take a Hike – On Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15 – Spend the morning with dad and see who can be the first to spot a Venus Flytrap during a Carnivorous Plant Hike at Carolina Beach State Park. A ranger-led hike leaves from the Nature Trail Parking Lot at 10 a.m.
- Child like Wonder – Take dad to the award-winning Carolina Beach Boardwalk where he can ride the Ferris wheel at the seaside amusement park.
And there’s plenty to do at nearby Kure Beach
- Dad can Dance – Sunday, June 15 – From 5-9 p.m., Boogie in the Park presents the talented ensemble of musicians known as Port City Shakedown. Pack the blankets and lawn chairs and head to Kure Beach Ocean Front Park for a free night of family-friendly live entertainment.
- Canoe Excursion – Saturdays (including 6/14)– Paddle with dad during a three-hour guided exploration that takes you deep into the estuarine Research Reserve on Zeke’s Island. Activities may include crabbing, seining or birding, and the trip leaves at 9 a.m. from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Reserve a canoe in advance by visiting www.ncaquariums.com.
- Butterflies are free to fly (and so is dad on 6/15) – Visit the new Butterfly Bungalow and watch hundreds of butterflies flying free. Open through September.
- Dad meets Mother Nature – Saturday, June 14 – How about a hike to celebrate dad and National Get Outdoors Day? A guided hike through the basin at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area leaves from the Park Office Exhibit Room at 9 a.m. On Sunday June 15, treat dad to the 2:30 p.m. Turtle Talk – the Park’s most popular program – and find yourself fascinated by sea turtles while learning what you can do to help protect the local population.
Ease on over to Wrightsville Beach
- Complimentary Cruise for Dad – Sunday, June 15 – Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours is offering a buy two fares, get one free deal, so it’s okay to bring Mom! It’s good for all of their cruises, including the morning inshore fishing trip, the Masonboro Island cruise and the sunset cruise. Call Captain Joe at (910) 200-4002 to reserve a spot.
- Stand-up Paddle Boarding – Through June 15 – Wrightsville SUP is offering a 15% discount for all dads during Father’s Day Weekend. Take a private lesson from a seasoned pro or rent and explore the salt marsh or open ocean on your own.
- Fish Fights – Challenge dad to a fishing contest and cast from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. Bring your own gear or rent a rod and reel, You can bring your own gear or rent a rod and reel.
Relaxing in Wilmington
- History Lesson – June 14; July 12 or 8/9 – Before hitting up the beach, stop by the USS North Carolina for Battleship 101 and let dad learn what life was like on a WWII battleship. Free with admission, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Microbrews and a Cruise – Saturday, June 14 – Treat dad (and maybe mom) with a ticket for the Beer Tasting Cruise with Wilmington Water Tours. The two-hour trip starts at 7 p.m. and is hosted by a brew master from Front St. Brewery. Tickets are $40. Must be 21 or older.
- Relax on the River – Sunday, June 15 – If dad’s idea of an ideal afternoon is a cash bar and cruising the Cape Fear River, he’ll want a seat on one of the Father’s Day Sunday Cruises offered by Wilmington Water Tours. Cruises leave at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children ages 4-12.
Whether you’re planning on being in the Wilmington, N.C. area this weekend or not I hope these ideas will help you create a memorable Father’s Day weekend wherever you may go and note that most of these activities will go beyond this weekend so you can plan a future getaway to Wilmington and Beaches. Happy Father’s Day!
Photo credits: Wilmington and Beaches CVB
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Healing, Relaxation, Skincare, facials, massage, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
Earth Day Inspired Spa Services from Around the World
Happy Earth Day!
Over one billion people in 192 countries are taking action today with over one thousand events around the world – from America to Zimbabwe. From planting trees, to cleaning up the community, recycling, or offering gardening workshops; we’re united in taking action to protect our planet. While Earth Day is celebrated once per year, it’s an everyday focus for many, including the spa industry. Green product offerings, environmentally friendly and sustainable services can be enjoyed any day at some of the best spas in the world.
Let’s start with New York and the Guerlain Spa in the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria.
Take an Earth-friendly experience further with their “Urban Island Escape,” a treatment that incorporates extra virgin organic coconut oil and the hotel’s Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey. If you’re in the area, a go-to is the 20th floor garden and the local roof-to-spa concept, which also includes a “Milk, Haute Honey and Rooftop Herbs” manicure/pedicure using honey and home-grown herbs like rosemary from their garden. They also recently unveiled skincare services featuring pure royal bee jelly.
Continuing on to the Finger Lakes is the award-winning Mirbeau Spa. Their treatments pay homage to the region’s wineries and local products. The Honey & Wine Wrap includes a warm blend of wine and honey providing intensive moisture to the skin, protecting against dehydration. Another not to miss service is the Crushed Cabernet Scrub, which uses a blend of grape seed, honey and brown sugar to create a scrub that invigorates and refines, to stimulate microcirculation and drainage of excess toxins.
Also in the Finger Lakes is the elegant Park West Spa nestled on the shore of Canandaigua Lake. Their Wine Wrap brings out the best in the Finger Lakes farm-to-table movement. The tantalizing body wrap treatment utilizes the powerful antioxidant and exfoliating properties of local grapes. The wine wrap is the perfect treatment for sun damaged, dry and aging skin. It removes dead skin cells, deeply hydrating and fades age spots due to over exposure to the sun.
Recently renovated, the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, exudes a sense of casual coastal elegance and highlights the region’s characteristics. The resort’s Heavenly Spa uses Lowcountry inspirations for body treatments such as tropical (and oh so good) pineapple, coconut and melon infused exfoliations followed by a kaolin clay mask to purify the skin. exfoliations with white tea, seaweed masks followed by kamani oil. Continue to celebrate Earth Day and enjoy the natural island surroundings of Hilton Head where you can kayak in the marshes, paddle board in the bay along oyster marshes and more.
Rome Cavalieri’s Cavalieri Grand Spa Club is offering a Tribal Hammam Treatment by La Cremerie. The treatment uses precious Argan oil, known for thousands of years as “liquid gold,” and is inspired by ancient beauty rituals with a tribal massage performed with brushes. The treatment is particularly suitable for stimulating cell renewal and is ideal for tired, dull and dehydrated skin.
The Ohtli Spa at CasaMagna Marriot Puerto Vallarta Resort is one of the very few resorts in the world that grows its own agave azul on property and produces its own proprietary brand of tequila. Maintaining a farm-to-spa table approach, the harvested agave is also used in spa treatments such as the Agave Syrup, Cornmeal & Sea Salt Scrub, a gentle exfoliation consists of some of nature’s most plentiful and powerful resources. Light grains of cornmeal and coarse sea salt remove dead skin cells while the agave syrup in a light coconut oil base seals in moisture and soothes the skin.
Intimately located on a 30 acre coffee plantation, Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose’s Kuö Spa incorporates beans directly from the property’s plantation into their “Costa Rican Coffee Scrub,” designed with a mixture antioxidant rich coffee beans in order to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite. Kuö Spa is designed after indigenous coffee plantations and local volcanoes, providing a unique experience while staying at the elegant 16th century colonial hacienda.
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino’s Zen Spa boasts an earthly coffee-infused treatment for travelers called “The Executive Man.” Designed to relieve stress from head to toe, the treatment includes a “Cappuccino Buff” that uses a ground coffee exfoliating scrub, an aromatherapy deep tissue massage, a deep-cleansing facial, the signature gentleman’s manicure, a callus-reducing pedicure as well as a sauna and steam treatment.
W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island’s signature AWAY Spa features a variety of seasonal and freshly prepared treatments for guests to indulge in local culture while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. One noteworthy treatment is the new “Papaya Pineapple Scrub,” a freshly prepared combination of papaya sourced directly from the island along with pineapple and finely crushed grape seed in order to improve elasticity for a naturally radiant glow.
British Virgin Islands
Biras Creek is surrounded by some of the most stunning natural scenery in the Caribbean. And serenity awaits guests at Biras Spa with treatments including organic warm algae wraps and scrubs using natural salt from Salt Island. The spa’s rehydration treatments utilize freshly picked aloe from the gardens on property.
Whether you’re traveling to an exotic island or close to home, seek out spas offering natural and local ingredients and celebrate nature any time of year.
To your wellness!
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 | Beauty, Energy Work, Healing, Healing Music, Michigan spas, Relaxation, Skincare, facials, healthy living, massage, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments
You’ve been hunched over your desk reviewing your financial records and preparing to file your taxes. You’re in the homestretch, however you have more to review and your mind and body could use some relief. Or, perhaps you’re an accountant and you haven’t seen daylight in weeks due to filing returns for your clients. None of us are alone in how we’re feeling during this time of year.
Stress, whether it’s during tax season or any other time of year, takes a toll on our physical and mental well-being. Disconnecting, even for an hour, can spell relief.
And the research is no surprise. According to the 17th Annual Consumer Study by the American Massage Therapy Association, 75% of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past twelve months was medical (43%) and stress (32%) related. 88% view massage as beneficial to overall health and wellness.
According to the International Spa Association 2013 U.S. Spa Industry Study, there are over 343,000 employed in the spa industry and over 19,000 spas. These numbers reflect a positive growth in the industry and an opportunity to support many of us looking to reduce stress and increase overall wellness. “The number one reason both men and women visit a spa worldwide is to learn how to manage their stress. Men and women may deal with stress in different ways, but they both find spas as a management tool,” says ISPA President Lynne McNees. “As a global society, we are experiencing more stress than ever before and seeking alternative ways to cope. Receiving a massage or facial, taking time to meditate, or visiting a spa; these activities give you permission to pause.”
While there are several ways to relieve stress, a massage is one of the most effective in relaxing and rejuvenating your mind and body. And I’m of the belief that consistent massage sessions are key to reducing stress and beneficial for overall wellness. As someone involved in the spa industry, getting a massage is important to me and I’ve always been aware of the membership type programs, however it wasn’t until recently that I looked into them a little further. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most affordable ways to incorporate massage into your lifestyle, and not just during tax season, is to consider a membership program like the one offered at Massage Envy.
With a Massage Envy membership program you have access to all of their locations across the country (over 960) so membership has no borders and I also liked the other benefit of preferred booking times and member-only specials. One of the best benefits is their customized approach to massage therapy as the client and therapist work together to create the massage session that best fits what the client needs and as a recent first time guest I found the pre-arrival call to be most helpful. It offered the opportunity to share my goals before I arrived so that we could spend more time focused on the massage and my own stress reduction.
“In addition to stress reduction, massage can also help with increased range of motion, decreased inflammation in the joints, decreased blood pressure, improved posture and better sleep,” says Kerry LaCroix, Massage Envy Regional Trainer, Michigan and Northern Ohio. To further customize the experience aromatherapy can be added for a nominal fee and guests can select the natural blend that’s best for them. “The blend is mixed at the front desk and then the therapist uses the infused lotion throughout the session and you receive the benefit through both inhalation and skin absorption,” says LaCroix. And you get to take the remainder of your blend home with you to extend the experience. For tax season stress, I’d consider the Anxiety Release blend.
So with the tax filing deadline quickly approaching on April 15 and Stress Awareness Day on April 16, perhaps it is the best time to go for a massage and get on the road to reduce stress and enjoy your own feeling of Ahh!
The therapists are standing by!
Top left photo credit: ©2014 Massage Envy Franchising, LLC.
Lower left photo credit: ©2014 Mindful Adventures LLC.
Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 | Adventure, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Healing Music, Peace, gratitude, joy, love, mindfulness, well-being | No Comments
Embracing Hope and Finding Faith – Part 2
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
- Robert Fulghum
It’s best to continue reading this post if you’ve already read Part 1.
(Still) Embracing Hope
At the end of Part 1 I was pondering the idea of ‘what’ else could I do with this (donor) experience. Surely it would come to me if I continued to embrace hope and hold on to faith. As my journey continued after donation day, I returned home first, as expected. Even though I knew he was in good hands I felt that I needed to be there with him at the hospital as his advocate. It was the only way I could feel some sense of control, yet my job at that moment was to recover. I understood that the donor is typically in more pain and challenged with a longer recovery, however I was most anxious for him to return home, recover and then begin to enjoy the rest of our lives together.
I expected that to be the case.
A few days later he returned home in great spirits. My sister and his brother along with some friends enjoyed that day and a sense of ‘normal’ had returned to our home. He continued to recover over the next few days and I decided to ease back into work. By the end of the week (about 10-days after the transplant surgery), his oldest brother and my sister went home and his other brother came over to stay with us for the weekend. They both had a great Saturday afternoon together and everything seemed perfect, especially as we discussed what time to leave for church the next morning. As the light turned into darkness he looked over to me and without a sound gestured I love you.
As the sun light began to show through our window that morning, he got up and walked out of our bedroom and that would be the last time. No more I love you’s, no more travel plans, no more songs or guitar playing.
The 14th to the 26th.
Consumed in sorrow I couldn’t help but wonder how I would find peace let alone faith.
Faith was such a part of me. What was I supposed to do?
On that day hope was gone and faith was nowhere to be found.
Mathew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
And I was. My family. My friends. And time.
In Part 1 I discussed asking ‘What’ instead of ‘Why’ as a more empowering question. ‘What’ can I do with this experience is what we reviewed, however for Part 2 the big question is why. Why was I donor if he wouldn’t survive? Surely survival was God’s plan. ‘Choose’ me as the donor and he survives and thrives. The questions were there and there would be no answers. No more asking why. Healing would take time and maybe someday the ‘why’ would be revealed. So the question became ‘what’ am I to do with this?
I couldn’t and I still cannot forget this as there must be a lesson and a reason to share this with others.
Finding Faith wasn’t easy. Disappointment and sorrow surrounded me and yet I continued to pray. I prayed for strength, courage and peace. As broken as I felt and as broken as I was, I prayed that I could be enough. I came to realize that perhaps my faith was never truly lost and that it was more about trust. I had to trust God about that which I didn’t understand and I didn’t know how I would do that.
The Five Questions
Who? The biggest of these – ‘who am I’ without him? Who am I in this new journey and will I transcend, accept and embrace this new ‘normal’ for my life? Who am I living for?
What? ‘What’ impact will I have on others? What will I do next? What is my new life going to be like? ‘What’ am I living for?
When? ‘When’ will things come together? And I had to fall apart numerous times to come back together in a new and unexpected way. It’s truly about staying in the present moment and that took time. I learned that the only thing I could be certain of was uncertainty and that would be okay.
Why? I don’t ask why any longer, however at first it had to do with why was I a match if it wasn’t going to be forever? The question became more about ‘what’ will I do with this experience to help others. That was one answer right there as my natural tendency is to help so the journey would continue with that in mind.
Where? Where will I live? Where will this road lead?
An Unwritten and Unfinished Life
I use looking back as a way to move forward.
How will I grow from this and what lessons will be revealed?
When I decided to write ‘Embracing Hope and Finding Faith’ my intention was to do it in two parts, however there will be a Part 3 coming out close to Easter, a time for new beginnings. I’ll review more of the journey including some vital lessons as my hope is to help others on their own journey.
Shortly after Tom passed away the song My Wish, by Rascal Flatts would come on all the time and I knew it was him. I knew then and know now that his wish was for me to live with love, joy, passion and peace.
He inspired me in many ways and still does due to the memory of a life lived with passion. As Wayne Dyer said, “don’t die with the music still in you,” and he didn’t. He shared his gifts with many and today, on the eighth anniversary of his passing I remember him with great love, respect and appreciation for a life well lived. .
The Journey Continues.
Photos by: Donna Adinolfi (c)
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