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.