Sometimes rest forces itself upon us.
Can you relate?
Our blood pressure is rising. Our weight gain is increasing. In a quest to self-comfort, we are over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending, over-indulging. We. Are. Unraveling. And our health is suffering the consequences.
Life these days … particularly for working parents … we have so many balls in the air, don’t we? In 2020 especially, we’ve thrown into the mix working from home, supporting our kids in their remote learning, and worrying about a pandemic taking out our loved ones. We’ve risen to the occasion, done what we’ve needed to do, but we begin to see the walls crumbling.
If we are to get beyond surviving, and into thriving, what are we to do?
Wellness -- true, meaningful wellness. Oh my friends, it needs to come out of our back seats and back to front and center. Yes, even a splurge on a spa day. We must rest and refresh, if we are to continue our journey.
I was weary.
My brain had become useless, it had so many irons in the fire. I came to beautiful Nashville, Tennessee for a week to unwind and clear my head. Rather than seeing rest as a weakness, I embraced it as a vital contributor to my ongoing strength. The end game: Make a battle plan for entering back into the fray of the everyday.
What was I thinking, coming to Nashville for quiet and reflection? In a bustling city that never sleeps, with so much to offer -- arguably the best music venues in the US, museums, night life, restaurants and eateries for all tastes (Nashville hot chicken, anyone?) and so much more, this seemed to be the least likely spot for a wellness retreat.
I was putting my Tranquil Travel paradigm to the test: Would I be able to keep my focus, my intention, with all that glitters beckoning me from my hotel room window? The bustle would not serve me well. Would I say no to FOMO (fear of missing out), and embrace what I lovingly call JOMO (joy of missing out)?
On day one in Nashville, my scattered brain could not settle. I knew I needed to schedule some lovely relaxation -- only then would my mind untangle enough to create battle plans for my return to daily life. With a little internet search, I scanned some of the day spas of Nashville, but many looked as bustling as the city itself. Honestly, I had a gut feeling I’d run into bachelorette parties, and I did NOT want that for my day of unwinding.
Then, like a beacon of hope on my google search page, there it was: Greenhouse Comfort Spa. Just one mile from the festive cacophony of Music Row (and in walking distance from my West End hotel), in a charming, unassuming old renovated house, I found my serene valhalla. I hoped it held the key to unlocking and unloading this weary, overwhelmed mind of mine.
A spa day to oneself.
A bit bleary-eyed on a Thursday morning, I entered Greenhouse Comfort Spa, hopeful for a miracle.
Spa Director Pam Burgess quietly met me at the door. “Welcome, Erica. We’re glad you’re here. Can I get you a mimosa?”
An unexpected offer. And I nearly wept. (Please tell me I’m not alone! I can’t be the only one who pushes herself this far, only to embarrass herself at the first sight of reprieve!)
Relieving Stress & Finding Balance: Halotherapy & Reiki
After a brief, gentle intake conversation, I followed Pam to the salt cave. Halotherapy, it’s called. Breathing in the Himalayan salts has so many wellness benefits -- respiratory support, nervous system support, stress relief -- it’s a therapy I have loved for years. But rarely have I encountered, in the US at least, a full-service spa that also offers halotherapy. Everything you need, all in one spot at Greenhouse Comfort Spa - massage, halotherapy, float tank, facial, reiki, and more. Like a present you get to unwrap bit by bit, savoring every moment.
After snoozing in the salt cave, I delighted in my first ever reiki treatment. Reiki is a treatment you can enjoy full-clothed, and involves very little touch. You may find yourself lulled to sleep!
Pam Burgess is a level 2 reiki practitioner, and her presence feels like a warm hug -- so vital in this post-covid non-touch world. As she worked, I could feel the energy channeling throughout the different regions of my body -- most particularly in my heart and throat, and I began to see a subtle green behind my sleepy eyelids.
I later asked Pam what she thought of that, and she said that green is the color she usually sees when she works on a client. Neither of us could remember what it means, so I looked it up: Green is the color of harmony and balance, perfect for tired nerves and the heart area. It encourages growth and general healing. It helps balance emotions and promotes a feeling of calm. Not only does that sum up how one feels in Pam’s presence, but it was exactly what I needed this week.
Feeling strangely both vibrant and relaxed by this point, I was led across the hallway. I was almost giddy with a mix of anticipation and trepidation -- next up was “subconscious therapy”. It’s a wellness activity I had never tried before, but it was on the spa’s website and I was intrigued. (Also called hypnotherapy, which made me a little nervous, but hey, desperate times and all that, right?)
The Subconscious Coach: Hypnotherapy of Nashville
What on earth was I to expect in a "hypnotherapy" session? Barry O’Neill disarmed me immediately with his down-to-earth personality and Edinburgh brogue, and gave me what my brain needs most often when it’s in caution mode: information. He helped me to understand that we’d be working to identify subconscious habits and mindsets that once served me well, but in new environments or new life phases, may not be benefiting me anymore. They can become so ingrained after years of practice (think Malcolm Gladwell’s ten thousand hour principle), that they are now completely subconscious habits and mindsets, which need to be uprooted to help me move forward in my goals and daily life development. By going through this process, it would get me on my way to becoming what Barry calls the “ideal me”. Simple enough! Not at all something to be feared.
The next hour and a half was an incredible journey of self-discovery. There were times I thought Barry must be seeing into my brain, he was so intuitive about who I was based on just a few answers to some basic questions such as “how confident do you feel?” and “what percentage of anxiety have you been feeling this last week?” This didn’t feel like rocket science. So why on earth did it rock my world?
Barry, after a short time of getting to know me, brought me into a state called the beta bridge -- it’s that magical place between wakefulness and sleep, that half-world where waking dreams take place. The subconscious, Barry explained to me, is most open to being influenced during this time. And during that time, it wasn’t Barry who brought forth the “ideal me”, it was me. My own mind exploded with the vision of who I could become, bringing new hope, new energy, new excitement for the future.
A little dazed, and a lot energized, by what just happened, I said “goodbye for now” to Barry (you better believe I’m booking another session soon!).
“Oh, I didn’t realize you were waiting for us -- I went long.” A bit chagrined, he passed me on to aesthetician Lori Hendrickson. “I apologize, so sorry.”
Lori didn’t seem fazed. She was in no rush, and didn't seem the least surprised that her colleague wasn't either. She, like the rest of the team here, seemed more intent on serving me than pushing me through.
Rare Generosity (I'm Sensing a Theme.)
“Pam prepared a salt soak for you, on us,” Lori explained as she led me into a room with a delightful, happily bubbling jacuzzi tub. Unexpected generosity. Again. After a relaxing salt water soak with lavender and chamomile essential oils, I moved on to yet another treatment room to enjoy my decadent, anti-aging facial with Lori.
Lori has a sweet, gentle manner, and an inner calm that you can’t help but feel. As she began to apply serum to my newly-washed face, an intriguing floral scent enveloped me.
“What is that amazing aroma?” I inquired in half-conscious wonder.
“Stone crop. It’s a plant from Hungary.”
Oh, this stone crop. A succulent from the gods. A key ingredient to many of the Eminence products stocked by Greenhouse Comfort Spa. It rehydrates, revitalizes, and nourishes your skin. Mine felt soft and supple the next morning. I may need to go back for product before I leave Nashville!
“Do you go into almost a meditative state as you work?” I asked, as the soothing strokes of her facial brushes soothed me into a jelly-like, mindless state.
“Yes,” she said with a soft, knowing smile.
She shared with me that her past careers were fast-paced, like her years as a corporate banker during the economic crisis of the early 2000’s, but that this job brings her the most joy and calm. She loves helping people find their place of tranquility in her treatment room, as she slowly, gently works her magic on their skin.
“Your skin needs a little extra help here, let me do a little add-on. My treat.”
By the time that fourth generous offer of the morning was given, I had come to realize: this is not your typical city spa. No stick-to-the-50-minute-treatments-and-get-the-next-one-in here. When I walked in, I wasn’t seen as a dollar sign. I was seen as a strong yet weary person in need of care and comfort. And it was clearly Greenhouse Comfort Spa’s passion to give exactly that. I came in a stranger, and left a friend.
Time for a self-check, friends.
Is your blood pressure rising? Are you over-indulging? Seeing weight gain? Feeling out of control? A spa day seems too simple a solution, doesn’t it? But sometimes we need to get back to simple.
To many of us, spa days feel too self-indulgent. Think about that for a moment. Why do we hesitate to treat ourselves to good quality comfort and care, while we over-indulge and self-sabotage in mindless eating or fleeting entertainment? Choose self-care that builds you up. Self-care with lasting value. Self care that moves you forward.
No guilt here -- I mean it. Good quality, healing self-care is also good quality them-care. We cannot serve from an empty cup.
Prepare for transformation.
Our family’s new battle plan has been put into place. My mind has found balance once again, and my family, my self, and my business are getting better attention and care.
My husband Mike and I have begun a new ritual -- starting our mornings while it’s still dark, enjoying conversation and coffee together before the house begins to wake. Seeing one another. Hearing one another. Praying together. We are giving each other our best moment of the day.
Every morning during the homeschool hours, the kids have a mom who is fully present -- oh, so much more patient. Mom is once again giving from a full cup. My business, now relegated to afternoons and Saturdays, is getting 100% of my attention. And, miracle of miracles, it is being left at the desk when I walk away.
Mindfully being present, each moment of my day. No more multitasking. This is my homework from The Subconscious Coach, and it’s hard. But thanks to my spa day and my intentional week away, it’s coming from a place of better balance and rest.
A visit to Greenhouse Comfort Spa is not your typical spa day. Not only does the weary visitor receive personalized comfort and care, but with the well-planned visit, can also be infused with strength, balance, and new vision for the days ahead.
It’s time for a little you-care, friend!
"We want to comfort you, give you our time, so you can get the full benefit," spa director Pam Burgess said to me when I marveled aloud at the generous treatments I had received, the lack of bondage to the clock as each practitioner worked with me.
These are the gifts you will receive.
Are you weary? Are you stuck? Are you overwhelmed? Whether you’re a Nashville native or a Tranquil Traveler seeking solace or growth, consider a trip to Greenhouse Comfort Spa. All these services, all this care, under one roof. Go. Find rest, friend.
Are you undergoing cancer treatment?
Greenhouse Comfort Spa offers certified oncology massage. If you’ve got an appointment at any of the West End hospitals, transform a dreaded visit by following it up with some care at Greenhouse Comfort Spa -- it's just around the corner.
For more info, contact Greenhouse Comfort Spa here.
Advertising disclosure: While We 5 Thrive was compensated to review this business, the staff of Greenhouse Comfort Spa was unaware of this agreement upon my visit, and We 5 Thrive does not promise positive reviews. I have the highest expectation that the generosity I received is extended to all visitors. Greenhouse Comfort Spa is a rare jewel, indeed.