More than ever before, I’ve recently found myself being ‘too busy’ for my real life. There were times before when I was so proud of a rest/work balance that seemed to be my guiding force in the happiness that enabled me to count my blessings. But since becoming a self-employed contractor, I’ve found my balance shot out the window. I tried to maintain it, reminding myself perpetually that the reason I was doing this was to have flexibility and more me-time, more time for…my real life! But what seems to have happened was an inability to say ‘no’ to any kind of work for fear of not having work at all! Which mean, I was working far more than when it was Monday to Friday, “9 to 5”. As this was happening, my social media feeds filled up with countless posts of articles about the ‘Busy Trap’, guides to becoming ‘Un-Busy’, general posts calling out the people who were always ‘too busy’. My eyes averted them, I quickly scrolled by, knowing I’d find myself described within. Ugh. I’d become one of THOSE! Where was the intention I started out with?
Last month, Leigh and I found ourselves in the bi-annual flurry of conference madness. While we implemented the learning’s of conferences past to help alleviate the load, and surrounded ourselves with great help, it was still simply a lot of work and a revved up, busy, busy, busy pace. Hard work is hard! It is also fulfilling, exhilarating, rewarding! But it is hard too. And taxing. And physically tiring.
While we worked 18 hour days to try relentlessly to ensure we’d crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s, we mentally drooled in anticipation for the spa treat waiting on the other side, for the day of rest we learned from experience was mandatory after the marathon that was required to put on a big event like a conference. This was one of those learning’s! One just as important as proper staffing and streamlining systems. But little did we know just how much of a treat we were in for.
In advance of the conference, Leigh connected with #Vancouver based Vida Spas President Allison Hegedus and discussed how important self-care was for her and her WIBN members. Allison agreed! And just like that, a partnership was born and Vida Spas became a WIBN sponsor. More on that below. Allison then made arrangements for her staff to propose a ½ day of blissful relaxation programming and we quickly signed up…yes!
Here is what a day of finding balance looks like at Vida Spas (Westin Bayshore location):
9:00 am – Arrive with tired eyes, limbs and heads. Be greeted by a calming and informative reception staff who tours us around a stunning
facility. Instant understanding we’d done the right thing.
9:10 – Sit in the cushy, pillowed couches surrounded by fireplace, tea, lemon water, fruit & nuts and pure serenity. Honestly, we could have just stayed there. While waiting, we answered important questions about who we were that would lend to a personalized treatment experience based on our Doshas. Our eating, sleeping, thinking, feeling, spending patterns and emotional health are all part of what make up our days and fuel/burn our energies; I love that Vida’s treatments consider these things in finding the best way to be pampered!
9:15 – Ayurvedic Massage begins. Leigh and I are led to a beautiful couple’s room to have a true spa sisters experience! Now, I’ve had a lot of massages in my day. Seriously, A LOT. I learned early on in life that this was money well spent for my overall wellness. But never have I had a massage experience this glorious. The oils were a specifically curated blend of natural herbs, and used generously to create a bodily relaxation that was dreamlike. Our therapists delivered top-notch service to our aches and knots, which was followed by a visit to the Swedana, a cedar steam cabinet where were each cocooned for further relaxation but more importantly, detoxification. I honestly can say this was the best massage of my life! It was there my mind was able to stop incessantly filing every last detail of every single task that was ahead of me. I remembered I was well-loved. Greatly blessed with a good life. And, deserving of a break.
10:45 – Pedis! Clad in luxurious robes, Leigh and I sat side by each smiled as cheerful estheticians chipped away at the wear and tear resultant of days and days of running around the conference venue. Again, I’ve had my cracked heels treated many times over the years. I enjoy a pedicure, what can I say? And I know I could never do this job, based solely on my own feet which see great neglect the rest of the time, and the abrasion that comes from a life spent barefoot as much as possible. So I appreciate the people who offer this service. My pedicurist seriously set to work on the best pedicure I’ve ever had! This is not hyperbolic. My feet are STILL smooth weeks later. This has never happened. Ever. Anyway. Enough about feet. The point is that, Leigh and I sat next to each other and were able to chat about life that had nothing to do with work. Sublime.
11:45 – Facials! Will you believe me if I say again, best ever? I realize how this sounds. But I’ve honestly found my new place for this too. My friend Alli always says, ‘Don’t feel guilty about spending this money – your face is the first thing you put forward in the world’ – and I agree, it should be free of sludge and toxins. Your face is special. It’s where your smiles happen! And what is it they say, that’s your window to your soul or something? Well, my window frame sure did get professionally treated that day. Super knowledgeable, thorough and such a treat. You know you’re going to the right place when your facialist tells you her age, and you gasp “WHAT?!”. Leigh learned for the first time in her adult life that she should be exfoliating once a week and has taken away some serious skin care know-how. We both glowed when we reconvened, fire-side. Blissful!
1:00 pm – Reluctantly, time to go. Our schedules sadly didn’t allow us to enjoy the other facility perks of having a Vida Spas treatment (HELLO, infrared sauna!). But we left one thousand metaphoric pounds lighter. Looser. Happy.
What’s the point of working hard if you don’t honor and care for the vessel that moves you through all of that hard work? It’s not to become aged and sunken and hunched and full of regrets like of not having done it ‘while you could’. It’s just not. No one is ‘too busy’ to remember this.
It clicked: we NEED to take time to create the spaces that make room for these perspective shifts. A walk in the woods. A quiet afternoon with a good book. A yoga or meditation class. The shift that reminds you of your life/work intentions, and strengthens the muscles you need to say ‘no’ to things that do not serve you and ‘yes’ to finding time for yourself in the midst of that four letter ‘B’ word.
And maybe sometimes that comes from something luxurious like a spa day!
Whatever it may look like, there’s always a way. Take the time.
Our newest #WIBN sponsor Vida Spas is making that way even easier!: