Contrast is a beautiful thing. It’s why leather and lace look so good when paired; why red lipstick against porcelain skin turns heads; why nothing tastes better at the movies than salty, buttery popcorn paired with Milk Duds. The contrast brings out the richness, highlights the unique qualities in the seeming opposites. This thought strikes me as I stare out at the beautiful copper sunset hanging over the mountains from Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson. I’m savoring the deliciousness of this quiet moment contrasted with last weekend’s wonderful, but activity-filled jaunt to the city.
Three days of relaxation with one of my best friends, Helen Newman, at a world-renowned resort has not only restored my spirit and nurtured my aching, under-slept body. It has reconnected me with a profound recollection of why I began Love Your Body in the first place. I have always loved travel, and savored nothing more than the opportunity to go to the spa. The experience has always been far more than pampering for me. The serenity of the environment, the soothing music, the lavender massage oil and eucalyptus steam room, the soft bath robe and sumptuous array of spa clothing and bath and body products—all combine to somehow awaken the deeper, spiritual side of me. I find this sense of awareness, clarity, groundedness and peace that I want to forever keep with me after I leave.
I founded Love Your Body with the intention of bringing products and an uplifting experience to our customers that would invoke the sort of experience I just described and help sustain it throughout the realities and business of our every day lives. Who doesn’t wish they could live this way, in this state of mind, forever? I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend meditating on the products and practices from the spa that each one of us can consciously incorporate into our “normal” worlds:
Simple Silence. It is astounding that the one thing that requires nothing (at least nothing material) is the most challenging and seemingly out of reach. It wasn’t really until my third day at Miraval that I found myself in a silent moment that wasn’t filled with inner chatter. In that space, I suddenly felt completely alive, conscious and fulfilled. I could smell the unique smells of the desert, hear the crickets chirping, feel the breeze across my shoulders. It was a moment of total contentedness. It hit home that every single one of us would benefit from setting even just a few minutes aside each day to enjoy the silence, inside and out. I’m not talking an hour, especially to moms out there like me who can barely find a private moment to go to the bathroom. I’m talking about starting with 5 minutes. Set the alarm clock just a tiny bit earlier. Or take five minutes after everyone is in bed, before you turn on the TV, read your book or simply collapse onto your pillow.
Clean Eating. I’m guessing there are many of us who, although well-educated on healthful eating, use the craziness of our daily lives to justify reaching for what is “easy” to put into our and our family’s mouths. It becomes a habit and the norm. We forget how flavorful and energizing wholesome food, with few added ingredients, can be. The one thing I always seem to forget and was strongly reminded of this weekend is that fresh, wholesome food does not have to be arduous or time-consuming to prepare! To that point, some of my most memorable dishes this weekend included fresh tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and balsamic vinegar; watermelon slices garnished with fresh mint; and gluten-free protein bars consisting of peanut butter, nuts and seeds. Check out some Miraval's recipes here. Every time I seem to find satisfaction, the discovery invariably points back to my favorite concept: SIMPLICITY!
Slow it Down. Something I struggle with most is taking things ONE. THING. AT. A. TIME. I regularly blame my lack of “presence” on the fact that, with three kids and a business to run, I just have so much on my plate. My epiphany this weekend: I cannot and must not go on believing that my outer life has to change in order for me to be fully present. What would happen if I literally slowed down for a day? If I walked a little bit slower? If I typed a bit more leisurely when answering my emails? If I attended to one project or question or challenge at a time? If I didn’t answer call waiting and instead phoned that person back after finishing with my current conversation? Would I get less accomplished? Would it really, actually matter? One of the great joys of the spa experience is how it draws our attention to the beauty of the moment. We can make the conscious decision to slow down and be present. When we’re not engaging in a conversation, we can help ourselves find presence by tuning into our senses and the richness of the moment, which leads me to…
Indulge Your Senses. The minute I begin reminiscing about the spa, the first thoughts that comes to mind are completely sensory. We started with “silence,” which requires nothing material. I end here with our senses which we can certainly awaken by simply stepping outside and tuning into our surroundings. That said, I’m kind of a junkie when it comes to yummy products that amplify and enliven my sense of sight, smell and touch. They can be a direct channel to my happy place. I take great care in choosing products for Love Your Body that have a positive, uplifting effect on body, mind and spirit, and can help you to savor the present moment.
As the plane approaches home, I’m making a vow to myself to practice what I preach: clean, beautiful simplicity inside and out, regardless of circumstances. Try my suggestions, and send me more! Tell me about your favorite destination spa. I’m ready to start planning my next “spiritual maintenance” trip!