Archive for February, 2012
Here at Glen Ivy, March is a month that holds a special place in our hearts. It’s a month where we not only welcome the first days of spring, but because it’s our birthday month! Even though we’ll be celebrating our birthday all month long, we have so many other things that we are looking forward to. Here are just a few things we’re excited about for March:
- It’s Our Birthday: Are you celebrating a birthday this month? We are too! Join us in celebrating our 152nd anniversary all month long. On Monday, March 19 we will be offering historical tours of the grounds and sweet treats from Chef Bill Wavrin. We’ve even created a special package just for you! The 152nd Anniversary Special (Available March 19 – March 22, 2012) includes: Spa admission, Grotto and a 50 minute treatment of your choice for $152 (a $10 savings!).
- March MUDness Contest: One of our favorite contests is BACK! It’s time for the 4th Annual March MUDness photo contest and we couldn’t be more excited. Wondering how to participate? Starting Monday, March 5 come meet us in Club Mud from 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm every Monday-Friday this month where we’ll snap your muddy moment and you’ll have a chance to win Glen Ivy prizes!
- Renovations Underway at the Hot Springs: Some exciting renovations are well underway this month as our team works towards making improvements to enhance your spa experience. Included in the renovations is a complete redesign of our front entrance (see the progress). Our Bath House is also getting an updated look with new furniture and paint for the walls and lockers. We thank you for your patience and support during the transformation and look forward to revealing the completed project to you in mid-March!
- St. Patrick’s Day: Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is customary so why not go green AND give your skin a treat at the same time! Luckily we’ve got your covered. Covered with a green, deeply hydrating moisturizer of aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter that is. Enjoy The Grotto spa treatment with friends or alone and finish off the treatment in the cool mist chamber enjoying a cup of Glen Ivy tea and a crisp green apple.
- More Time in the Place You Love: Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 11 giving us some extra daylight to enjoy. And what’s better than enjoying more daylight? Enjoying an extra hour in your spa day! Beginning Monday, March 12, Glen Ivy Hot Springs will be open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, giving you more time to spend in paradise.
Our February Challenge for you this month is “Making Time to Build Meaningful Relationships.” In her fitness blog, Meg Root shows you how to become your best and most supportive “fitness friend.” Now, how convenient is that?
Who Goes There? Fitness Friend or Fitness Foe?
GIRL IN SEARCH OF WORKOUT PARTNER. Out of shape working mom of two young boys, average body type, below average motivation, seeking similar for regular workouts and emotional support.
It isn’t news that having a fitness buddy increases your chances of long term success when trying to make positive lifestyle changes. But connecting with just the right person can be like posting your profile on a matchmaking website and hoping to find the perfect mate. You need someone who will get you out of bed before the kids get up, but won’t be too perky at 6am in the morning. They need to enjoy similar activities, but can’t be better at them than you are. It would also help if they carried excess baggage in the same areas, so you wouldn’t feel insecure working out next to them. But most of all, your ideal fitness friend would offer support and compassion when you stumble along the way or get discouraged when results are slow to come.
What if I told you that there is a perfect match for you, and you need to look no further than your bathroom mirror? Yes. That perfect fitness friend is YOU!
Ok. Except for one small teensy thing.
That last little part about being supportive when times get tough and offering gentle encouragement after you blow through a box of Girl Scout cookies at 9:30 at night. That’s the part most of us can’t seem to get right. One little slip off the wagon and we come out with guns blazing. “What a failure! You’re such a fat, lazy, loser! You will never reach your goals!” Sounds a little harsh, huh? I’m not exaggerating.
That soft voice of support and reason you would use for a good friend in a similar situation, is nowhere to be found when it comes to talking yourself down from a Thin Mint cookie rush. Instead of being your best fitness friend, you become your biggest fitness foe.
But what if there was a better way? And what if you were the one you could go to for help? Wouldn’t that be convenient?
According to Dr. Kristin Neff, author of Self Compassion, Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, that better way is practicing self-compassion. It recognizes that life is imperfect and people are imperfect. Therefore, we need to accept struggle and challenge as inevitable, and be gentle with ourselves when we don’t measure up to some standard set by ourselves or society.
Nowhere is this more true than when traveling the path of positive lifestyle change. After all, the quest to lose weight or get our body in shape (whatever “in shape” looks like), is about as imperfect as the five day weather forecast. Weight loss is never linear, and doesn’t really equate to calories in vs. calories out like all the magazines tell us. And when you finally lose that last stubborn 10 pounds through sheer effort, will, and great personal sacrifice, you look in the mirror only to discover that it came off of your chest and not your abs. Before you know it, that “mean girl” voice is berating you all over again.
Neff says, that practicing self-compassion means that you respond versus react to adversity by talking to yourself with gentle, supportive language. For example, “I can see how frustrated you are that the numbers on the scale haven’t budged this week. It sure would have felt rewarding to see some results from all your hard work.” Her research found that people who used this approach suffered less from anxiety and depression, and showed increased motivation and desire to reach their full potential. Not surprising, this is precisely the inner landscape we need to cultivate in order to make better and more consistent lifestyle choices.
But is it possible to shut down your “mean girl” voice, and turn up the volume on your “best fitness friend?” Dr. Neff’s website self-compassion.org, outlines a three pronged approach to practicing self-compassion:
Mindfulness. Tune into the emotions you feel around a particular event such as a diet slip up. As Neff points out, “You can’t heal what you can’t feel.” Be open and receptive to your thoughts and feelings without judgement or criticism. See them just as they are, no more, or no less.
Common Humanity. Recognize that you are not alone in your struggle. While it is not necessarily good news, at least 33% of our population is struggling with the same diet and exercise issues you are! This understanding of shared human experience, will help you feel less alone and more willing to support yourself.
Self kindness: Step up and be the fabulous fitness friend you’re seeking. Hold yourself accountable (no, Neff reassures, practicing self-compassion does not lead to being too easy on yourself), but be kind, caring, and supportive through every step and misstep of the process.
Self-compassion is such an important piece of the wellness puzzle, I wish I could say,
“There’s an app for that!” If only we could tap the screen on our PDA, when a bag of M&M’s seems like the answer to all our problems, and hear the gentle voice of reason encouraging us to take a better path. With a little practice, Dr. Neff says, you can become that voice. And best of all, “The great thing about self compassion is that you are always there, 24/7, to give you help when you need it the most.”
When it comes to your wellness goals, which are you–fitness friend or fitness foe? Let us know how you help yourself over the inevitable rough spots that come with making big lifestyle changes. Your story might just be what helps another reader get back on track.
Sushi Making Class
Enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by award-winning Chef Bill Wavrin while learning the art of making sushi, including how to warp a roll, preparing rice, and the best ingredients to look for to create impressive sushi meals at home.
$55 Includes Cooking Class and Lunch
Please call 888-GLEN IVY to make your reservation.
If you’ve been to Glen Ivy this week you may have been startled by what you saw as you got out of your car and approached the entrance to embark on a relaxing spa day…and if you weren’t here this week, here’s what you would have seen:
While sunny blue skies and towering palm trees are still a beautiful sight to behold, the front lawn has been deconstructed (with care, of course) — a drastic contrast to the gorgeously landscaped gardens you’re used to seeing at Glen Ivy. This week marks the start of a huge project that we are so excited to share with you – a complete redesign of the front entrance! The beautiful new area will feature refreshed native landscaping, a shaded walkway ramp and a dedicated deck for fitness classes and programs. Plans are progressing smoothly as our team works hard to bring this plan to completion. We thank you for your patience and support during the transformation and look forward to revealing the completed project to you in mid-April.
Along with other improvements we’ve been making to enhance your spa experience (see our roundup of the Best of 2011 here) the Pavilion is now open! Located adjacent to Sauna Court on the pathway leading to the Spa Salon, the Pavilion is a pleasant, sheltered area for programs, a shady place to read a book or to simply lounge in a rocking chair and take in the beautiful surroundings – whatever you choose to do here, we hope you enjoy this new space as much as we do! Be sure to stop by during your next visit and let us know what you think!
The newly completed Pavilion – see photo here.
And, lastly, our Bath House will receive some much needed sprucing as well. Stay tuned for fresh paint for walls and lockers (ladies, we know you’ll probably miss the bright pink lockers but we asked and they told us they’d like an updated look), new carpet and furniture with more room for lounging and relaxing. We’ll be sure to share before and after photos on Facebook.
One of our favorite things to hear from guests is that their trips to Glen Ivy always surprise them with something new to do or see. We are always looking for ways to improve your Glen Ivy Experience and can’t thank you enough for your support. As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to welcoming you to Glen Ivy.
Individual ThetaHealing Sessions
A ThetaHealing® session empowers you to live a balanced life in peace, love, and harmony – a life you’ve always wanted to live but never thought possible or felt you deserved! In a safe, meditative environment, Anke will guide you through the experiences of forgiveness, acceptance, respect, and trust yourself as you let go of feelings that no longer serve you. ThetaHealing can release the root cause of physical, emotional, and mental pain and struggle. Fully breathe in the present moment and connect with your true essence of unconditional love, beauty and purity in this powerfully healing experience. Call 888-GLEN IVY to book your appointment.
By now we’ve all seen, heard and read the evidence that regular meditation practice can positively impact our health: reduced stress, lower blood pressure, increased concentration, elevated mood, and increased self-worth are just a few of the rewards. Some studies have even shown the decline of crime rates when small groups of people gathered in urban areas to meditate together on a regular basis. So with all of these remunerations, why aren’t we all meditating? Meditation costs nothing, can be performed anywhere at any time and its many benefits can be reaped while practicing as little as five or ten minutes a day. Nothing could be easier, right?
Finding time to be at peace can seem an improbable task when faced with children, spouses, work and the other pressures of life, so much so that beginning a meditation practice can cause even more of the stress that it is supposed to relieve. Even when managing to find 15 minutes away from family, cell phones, pets and other distractions, the actual process of meditating can lead to angst, as the thoughts we are supposed to leave behind while meditating are suddenly more pronounced and obvious. Even when we manage to find quiet physical surroundings, our internal dialogue seizes the opportunity to be heard:
Okay, I am meditating now.My mind is slowing down.Breathe.They say to breathe and watch yourbreath. howamIsupposedtowatchmybreath? Icantwatchmyselfbreathe! Ohthat wasathoughtI’mnotsupposed to be thinking. Ok. I’mnotthinking. Good. I’m doing good. Nowmyshoulderitchesshouldiscratchit? Nothatwouldbeathoughtandimnot supposed tobethinking diditurnthestoveoff?Iwassupposedcallthatclientandiforgot buticantdoitnowbecauseimnotthinkingimmeditating. Meditating. meditating.Ithinkimdoing thiswrong. I’mnogoodatthisnoimgoingtolearntodothisiwillsithereforthefulltwentyminutes oratleast10minutes.10minutes.yesicanstartwith10minutes.Maybe5minutes.breathe.inhale. exhale.No,10minutes. I can make it 10 minutes. Stopthinking. Not Thinking. Thedogwantstogoout.wasthatmycellphone? meditating. breathing.whycantidothis right? otherpeopledothismymindisjusttoobusy. howdotheydothiseveryday?howdothey stoptheirthoughts?I’msomessedupIcan’tevenmeditateright.notthinking.meditating.meditating.stopthinking.stopthinking.Isstopthinkingathought?Ifitisimscrewedbecauseallicanthinkisstopthinking.Is10minutesupyet?ithastobecloseto10minutes.Ifilookattheclockisthatcheating?i’lllookwithjustoneeyeandreallyfast.It’s only been two minutes?
If this sounds familiar to you, take heart. It is what every meditator experiences as they begin their practice. Buddhists call this seemingly endless internal discourse Monkey Mind because the mind seems to jump from one thought to the next just as a monkey jumps from tree branch to tree branch. For those of us in the west who have grown accustomed to a society in which we get everything we want on demand (information, food, messages, TV shows, movies and whatever else you can think of), realizing that we cannot obtain a quiet mind within our first few attempts at meditation can and often does result in anxiety, frustration, and a feeling of failure. It is the reason most people abandon attempts at creating a regular meditation practice.
The answer to this dilemma lies right before our eyes: it is a meditation practice. As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, a practice is “to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient,” or “to train by repeated exercises.” So, to embark in a meditation practice is to train the mind to momentarily glance away from its constant stream of activity. This training must be repeated again and again and again in order to be successful. It will not happen overnight, or even in a couple of weeks, but with consistent practice your mind will quiet.
This is perhaps the second most common reason meditation practices are abandoned: it requires a long-term commitment in order to see results. This, combined with the previously established challenge of finding ten to twenty minutes of uninterrupted time in our already overburdened schedules, only to then find ourselves fighting our own mind, can make the idea of meditating seem not worth the benefits.
This is where we need to step out of the traditional paradigm of why we should meditate and how it will help us. As we’ve established, the physical and psychological health benefits of meditation are numerous, but the rewards go beyond what medical doctors and psychologists tell us. The simple fact of what makes a meditation practice worth the time and commitment is this: Meditation provides a refuge. It is your own personal safe house where you have the freedom and ability to come back to yourself and remember who you are; it is the place that holds a special kind of quietness that recharges, refreshes and renews you. Your refuge does not look like mine or anyone else’s – it is unique to you. It is your essence, and even if your life already looks blissfully good on the surface, if you are not connecting with the deepest part of yourself on a regular basis you will not and cannot experience true peace of mind. If you are able to keep practicing and sit through the unending discourses of your mind, you will begin to experience brief moments of quiet. Deep, peaceful quiet. Indescribable refuge of the soul quietness. The first time you experience this type of quiet it may actually be startling because it is at such odds with the world that surrounds us. But, as you learn to settle in to the sensation you will find that it begins creeping in to your daily life. Everything may look the same on the surface, but you will find yourself not as reactive and feeling more centered and peaceful. And each day, sitting to meditate for only ten to twenty minutes will seem less and less of a chore. You will discover your personal refuge.
If you are or have grappled with establishing an ongoing meditation practice, try these simple steps:
- Set your morning alarm for 15 minutes earlier. If 15 minutes seems too much, try ten.
- Find someplace – anyplace – where you can have ten minutes of uninterrupted quiet. Remember that you don’t have to sit in lotus or burn a candle or incense. Meditation can be done anywhere at any time. If your life is too crowded and busy for you to create a serene meditation space, do it in the bathroom, and don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t ok. Your meditation space doesn’t need to look like a Buddhist shrine; the space and peace you are seeking is not found outside of you ~ it is within you.
- Ask your partner and children to support you in having ten to twenty minutes to yourself each day at this designated time. If that seems too much, make it five minutes to start.
- On your first day, sit or stand in your designated space and take five long, slow deep breaths. Most of us don’t know how to truly take a deep breath, as we spend most of the day breathing from the upper one third of our lungs. Try rolling your shoulders back and down, then take a full breath in to your belly. This should feel good. Take 5 more deep breaths and let your mind relax a little. Repeat this process every day. Add a few seconds to your time spent consciously breathing each day until you find yourself sitting in quiet for ten minutes or longer.
- Expect interruptions to happen, because they will. Remember, the peace you seek is inside of you. The world is not going to stop being hectic and chaotic in order to support your meditation practice. Meditate despite what is going on around you.
- Continue to sit and breathe. When you find yourself thinking, just continue to sit and breathe.
As with any discipline, there are many levels and goals to aspire to. As your meditation practice deepens you will find yourself yearning for a deeper connection. When you are ready, you will discover there are many books, teachers and classes available to help guide your developing practice. When you are ready for more, you will know. Until then, I encourage you to simply sit and breathe.
Warm water wishes,
Guest Experience Program Director
Practice at home and join with others next month for a ThetaMeditation on Friday, March 16, 2012 led by Anke Banderski.
Learn the history and basics of Aromatherapy for home and personal use. Glen Ivy’s Master Herbalist and Aromatherapist, Paula Hamilton, will guide us through the basics of choosing and using the seven basic oils needed to begin your personal aromatherapy kit.
The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy & Transform Your Relationships Through Self-Discovery
Every relationship has a developmental path—a life cycle all its own. Understanding how relationships grow and thrive helps you navigate yours with more ease and grace. Julie Orlov reveals how relationships grow from beginnings to true intimacy in four phases. She will not only empower you to create the relationship you want but will demonstrate how your relationships mirror what you need to see, thereby providing the perfect conditions to heal, grow, and transform.
In this presentation you will learn to:
- Distinguish real love from fantasy, including the different ways we express and receive love
- Understand the issues and gifts inherent in each phase of your developing relationships