Have you ever thought about writing a letter to your younger self?  Or even a letter to your future self?

My husband and I recently attended a seminar where we sought to look at what we bring to the relationship that does not belong or does not empower.  Instead of pointing the finger and finding blame with the issues the other brings (and they do bring issues; oooooooh do they bring issues) the exercise is to look at what your role is and how you project your “wounds” on to your partner.  

I won’t go into detail because there is so much detail to cover, but I will say how freeing it was to spend an entire week worrying about ME, what moves me, what upsets me, what hurts me, what nourishes me and what lifts me up.  When I focus on me it frees me from focusing on “the other” from a place of need.  Then, when I am clear on who I am, what I am feeling and what I need, I can enlist my boundaries right along with my compassion and I can be available to others in a way I couldn’t fully be otherwise.  

As I moved through the exercises and took the time to really listen to those in the group, I felt drawn to write my daughter a letter from the ideal mother’s perspective.  The ideal mother is just what it implies, for all the lacks you experienced with anyone who had influence over you, there is an ideal way in which they relate to you, speak to you, see you; or an ideal way in which you wish they had related to you.  

So from this ideal mother place, I wrote my daughter a letter. It was easy because I have been doing my work for years now and I do strive to see her (I am by no means perfect which is why I wrote it from the ideal mother perspective).  Then once I wrote it, read it and felt complete; I crossed out her name and replaced it with my own.  That. Was. Powerful.

So often we walk with unrecognized shame, pain, fear, anger, resentment and a myriad of other emotions that put pressure on us and we can’t seem to figure out why we procrastinate or why we have a short fuse or why we isolate ourselves (among other things) and then it viciously cycles back to shame, pain fear, anger, resentment ect.

We are our greatest advocate for the evolution of our selves.  No one can grow us, no one can make us “whole” and no one can care for us in a way that truly nurtures our purest self, but us.  

Others may have “wounded” us or left us feeling a certain way, but that does not define us.  It is up to us to create a dialog with our ideal in any situation (ideal mother, father, sister, boss, lover) and then advocate for that treatment from within until it radiates outward and we settle for nothing less but that level of love and respect from our others.  

Why is a spa writing this?  Because we are huge advocates for treating yourself with love, compassion, respect, and adoration!!   As you give to yourself, you give to others.  

So for the month of October, it is my personal quest to walk hand and hand with me and to focus my attention on what I bring into a room or conversation and how I am moved or affected and how I respond.   For the month of October, I will care for my body, mind and spirit as if my life depends on it; and I will take note of how my relationships shift or don’t shift by November.  

What is your October Quest??  

 

 

September is often a tough month for many of us. I’m not sure exactly why but it seems that we are torn between the loss of summer and all the fun and energy that it brings and the emergence of a more dormant period that sparks a feeling of deep rest.

We are in the split of two seasons that to me, seems a lot like a child up way past bedtime; wired, overtired and still wanting to play but needing desperately to settle down, rest and repair.

As we move into this beautiful static state, take note of what your body is craving, what it needs.  Autumn is a natural season for letting go, detoxifying and focusing on repair.

Now is a perfect time to start that skin brightening and lightening treatment plan that targets sun damage and uneven skin tone.  As the earth moves further away from the sun, its rays are less damaging and reparative treatments are far more effective.  You could also rev up the goals and try a 21-day detox with a 3-day body wrap plan or simply gift yourself with one massage per month to flush out toxins and soothe tired muscles.

No matter the course you choose, just by treating yourself to some much-needed pampering and care you are setting a tone for the rest of the year and hopefully a greater awareness of your worth as we move into the New Year ahead.

Remember, it is never too late to start taking care of this one body you have.  “HOW DO YOU TREAT YOURSELF”?

getting yourself healthy costs money

Nature’s Spa has been enjoying a beautiful existence here in Charlotte for almost 10 years.  We started out with just three rooms, a few strong spirited and talented therapists (who are for the most part still here), and a whole lot of blind ambition.  Today we are operating 7 rooms, house a full staff of amazing people and have just begun to find our way.

From the beginning, we have treated the spa and all who visit as a home with frequent sojourners.  We have relished in the gifts that come with so many hearts and souls convening in a space we occupy and play in.  We have almost fool-heartedly embraced the expansion and growth simply because we love what we do.  I say almost fool-heartedly because a business does not thrive on pure passion alone and it will suckle at the very essence of your being to satiate its needs.  Over the last few years, we have felt the primal hunger and needs of the business in a very real way.

As with anything that is birthed from you, that hunger and need evokes a call to action, it sparks an instinct to provide and care for, regardless of your experience and sometimes in spite of your knowledge or lack thereof.

On one hand, we have fought hard to be the best we can be with what we know, while still staying true to our original calling as healers. On the other hand, we have been very fortunate and blessed to have amazing people enter our lives that are great at what they do, believe in what we do and have shown up to be a part of it.  This perfect blend of deep passion, blind faith and a community of angels have laid the foundation for a new adventure for Nature’s Spa!!

Join us as we veer onto a new path that reaches out to the next 10 years.  Walk with us as we navigate this new terrain and all the fun and folly that go with it and more importantly stop in for a visit and be a part of our story! We here at Nature’s Spa look forward to sharing in the journey!

All the best to you and yours,

Corie

Corie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you get started in the business?

I firmly believe that this industry chose me for many beautiful reasons, and that I put very little thought into it at the beginning of my career. I had a difficult childhood where touch, affection and personal security were very skewed and unhealthy. I wandered for many years determined to do what I thought I should be doing, then one day I just slowed down and let my spirit guide me. It was that surrender that initially got me started in the field of healing. Quite frankly I’ve been healing myself ever since, and finding the wisdom and strength to be a support for others who are going through the same process.

What is your background, what were you doing before this business?

Shortly after high school I jointed the military and looking back realize it was a grand gesture that came with very grand attempts at finding myself; I enlisted in the U.S Army as a field medic with the 82nd Airborne Division where I also obtained my EMT certification. I followed the voice of my internal caregiver, but needed self discipline I suppose. I continued the path of my caregiver and received certification as a massage therapist and an esthetician. It’s the layering of all my experiences that created who I am today and formed such a solid background for who I continue to become.

What is a good story about your business?

A good early story about my business is how I came to be part of Natures Spa. I had just recently relocated back to Charlotte from Asheville and had many uncertainties surrounding me. It was one of those moments we all face; “what do I do now”? I woke up one morning with the same pressing question snuggled up within me and I didn’t have an answer. I went through a few motions and then made a request out loud; “Guide me to where I need to go first and give me the guidance to walk forward from there”. Within hours of that statement I walked into Natures Spa and a path as clear as the day opened before me. I shifted into solid; the watery, uncertain sensation was gone. I worked there for several years before the owner offered to sell and I agreed to buy. “Life is strange with its twist’s and turns…”

What is unusual or unique about your business, in comparison to similar businesses?

Natures Spa in my opinion is very unique. We are an appointment only spa that really focuses on the clients experience and where they are in their life at that very moment. We work very hard to stop the business energy the minute a session begins, we turn the office phone off, and we lock the doors and mentally move into a place where we may even silently ask; “Please let this treatment be what this person needs right now”. We strive for connection and personal relationships that are bounded by professionalism and empathy. We know what an honor it is to have someone trust us with special events, precious time and such personal space, not to mention the trust of touch. We take that honor very seriously and want to make it the safest, most nurturing experience possible.

Is there a customer experience you are most proud of?

There are several customer experiences that I am most proud of and all of them contain one shared element; connection! We are busy people with very busy lives and it’s a beautiful moment when we can slow down enough to truly see one another and feel safe in our vulnerability to reach out and show one another. It is the “customer experience” that moves into a “human experience” that I am most proud of, and it doesn’t always have to be smiles, laughter and happiness, it can be grief, fear and weakness that really open you up.

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

In this volatile economy paired with an often unpredictable field, purchasing Natures Spa was not just a knee jerk reaction. The desire to work, somehow, with those who have also had difficult years behind them filled with unsafe touch or gross lacks of healthy love and support is a huge part of why I chose to step forward into this particular leg of the journey. Natures Spa is a big supporter of charity work and donates to several non-profit organizations, but our goals for community involvement continue to grow and evolve into something more meaningful and personal. I would love to watch Natures Spa grow into a full Wellness Center that supports not just the body but the spirit that lives within it!

Who are some of your most notable clients?

Some of my most notable clients are those that stretch into what’s uncomfortable, those that work to release themselves from overly high demands of either work, family or self deprecation and fight for their spirit, fight for their health and well being. It’s not easy to put yourself first at times or to walk onto the battle field of societal expectations. Have you ever talked to someone who is striving to create a gluten free diet or someone whose profession requires they either sit at a desk all day or travel non-stop? Theirs stories are not uncommon but they do require a great deal of perseverance to integrate a healthy diet or body care routine into. When a person reaches the point of “I matter” it’s very notable!

What are some of your greatest challenges in your business?

Some of the greatest challenges in this business come from the ever pressing need for balance. I walk everyday with the desire to heal, connect and be a care giver to those who are in a place to receive it and at the same time have to return calls, schedule meetings, put out fires, re-visit procedures and tackle tasks that sometimes create a disconnect from the softer side of yourself. The growing edge is to try and blend and welcome all parts.

What would you most like the reader to know about your journey in the business?

If there was one thing I would like the reader to know about my journey in the business is that I have not walked it alone, I have walked with fear, anxiety, grief, excitement, awe and gratitude. A great friend gifted me with a plaque one day that read “Your story matters…tell it”! Every time I schedule a client or think of a new treatment to offer, in some small way I tell my story and when I place my hands on someone, either for a facial, body wrap, massage or any other treatment another story unfolds.

We all have a story, it flows through us everyday and I can only hope that when a person enters Natures Spa they at least get the sense that their story matters too.

The hustle and bustle of back to school had most of us scrambling about, children or not. The stores were packed, the streets full of life and the typical summer hot spots were picked clean of every last morsel of fun. The energy in this city was intense.

Labor Day seemed to bring a collective sigh and a surrendering to a new phase of schedules and anticipated containment. Clothes put out for the next morning, back packs and school planners accounted for, weekly menu planners full of family dinner ideas and calendar stickers for every appointment, practice, game and activity ready to be placed.

I love this time of year.

I love the quieting of one season and the emergence of a new one.

I especially love the chance to try again.

In the beginning of the year I had this grandiose idea that I would eat super healthy everyday. I was sure I would incorporate fresh juice from my juicer into each morning, a workout each day, a massage once a week, and low carb-low sugar meals would be the norm.

Oh yeah….and I was going to journal right after my morning meditation.

I did all these things.

Just not everyday, or every week for that matter. I peppered my attempts in amongst the other choices I made. I ran, sometimes. I juiced, every now and then and I meditated in my own special way.

Yet, here we are. A new and brilliant season in upon us. Autumn! What a perfect time for shedding the guilt or disappointment of “perceived failures” and embracing a new vision. I say “perceived failures” because really…they are not failures but the beginning steps of change along an endless path of stairs.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

I have the perfect new work out plan I found on Pinterest and a new stack of meal ideas ready to be tested, I have tons of ideas and tons of time to give them a try.

I love this time of year and all the wonderful changes and adventures that it brings. I love the prospect of seeing long time clients during the fall months for our new seasonal treatments and meeting some new ones as well.

Thank you for visiting Nature’s Spa and be on the look out for massage, facial and body treatment specials….and if you have any stories to share or ideas to pass along we are always willing recipients!! :)

Corie

Thank you to Oliver and Lauren for the wonderful trigger point roller ball training!!! So often during a treatment we come across tight, blood deficient areas of the body that need more than just an occasional massage to not just loosen but be made healthy. At home care for both the body and the skin is essential! You certainly wouldn’t forego brushing your teeth until the next time you met with your dentist and your skin and muscle tissue need the same attention.

Frequent stretching, releasing tight muscles through at home massage and rolling and a healthy diet are all powerful tools against aging, injury and illness.

A good at home skin care plan using organic products that FEED the skin along with routine professional facials will keep the youthful glow and healthy vibrancy we all strive for.

Taking this class was inspiring and motivating!! In fact I gave myself a mini facial and worked with my foam roller once the kids went to bed and I felt very taken care of!

I have a lot in my head. I’m one of those “thinkers” that is often asked as a hand is waved gently in front of my face “You O.K, what were you just thinking about”?

Often times I snap out of it, smile and simply say ; “nothing, sorry” then turn on the hyper speed and move about as normal.  The truth is, I am always thinking, about something I read, something I heard, something I wonder or something I cant fully grasp yet.

This blog has plagued me!  I keep thinking I need to have a plan or that I need to write in a way that is followable, like a book.  I back down from writing when it seems too “personal” or doesn’t support Natures Spa-when it doesn’t speak about the benefits of massage or why exfoliation is so important to the skin.

Ha!  I will never do that.  I cannot sit and write as if I am constructing a brochure.

Here is what I can do.  I can tell you that I read a wonderful article in the Well Being Journal May/June titled “The Lipid Hypothesis: The Big Fat Lie, by Pauli Halstead.

As long as I can remember I have had intense aversions to “fat free” products.  There once was a “Snack Good” cookie that came out and professed great taste with no fat.  Curious and just embarking on my passion for nutrition, I tried it.  Once was all it took.  My body reacted exactly how it should have, it rejected it and I listened.  Since then I have continued to shy away from eating that which does not make sense.

Nature’s Spa is a big supporter of detox programs, we carry one that I have grown to enjoy over all the others we have tried.  Its pretty cut and dry and the truth is the hard part isn’t really in the detox supplements themselves; its in the modifications of what you ingest that gifts you with the struggle :)

When people ask me what they can eat during their prep week and I tell them: lean cuts of meat, chicken, fish, sauteed vegetables to just under crisp, small slices of hard cheese, avocados, nuts and coconut water just to name a few things, I often get a response similar to “really, isn’t there a lot of fat in some of those things”?

The answer is yes, there is a good amount of fat in most of the food  ideas I’ve mentioned and that’s O.K.

Back to the “Big Fat Lie”, the  reason I loved this article is that it gives some good statistics about fat.  Read up a bit on the Lipid Hypothesis which states that ingested fat causes heart disease.

Then research the Framingham Heart Study which revealed, among other things, that the more saturated fat a person ate, the lower their serum cholesterol became and that declining cholesterol levels in people over fifty were associated with an increase in overall mortality and death from cardiovascular disease.

Studies conducted within modern indigenous tribes who still consume their original diet of up to 400 grams of animal fat per day found that, unlike Americans, suffer no rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, cancer, chronic and degenerative diseases or high blood pressure.

“The Okinawan Japanese people are the longest living people on Earth.  Of those Japanese groups studied, those who ate the most eggs, butter, whole milk and cheese and fish had a 28{09567f47b7ea9b6de6144197c431bfcd21c27514908de8047263d79e9e39addc} lower risk of stroke than those who ate the least”.

In Primal Body, Primal Mind, Nora Gedgaudas speaks on the value of cholesterol that I found most interesting:

Despite the body’s ability to manufacture its own cholesterol it is very critical to supplement cholesterol in the diet.  Historically the human diet has always contained significant amounts of cholesterol.  Restricting or eliminating its intake indicates a crisis or famine in the body.  The result is the production of a liver enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which, in effect, then overproduces cholesterol from carbohydrates in the diet.  Consuming carbohydrates in the diet, while decreasing cholesterol intake, guarantees a steady, overproduction of cholesterol in the body.  The only way to switch this overproduction off is to consume an adequate amount of dietary cholesterol and back off the carbs. 

Now this is not to say that we should go out and ingest any type of fat out there.  NO, we need to look at “good fats”.  Look for grass fed beef if you eat meat, look for butter made exclusively from grass fed cows, opt for good oils that will boost your omega 3 and 6 such as coconut oil, olive, sesame or palm (RED PALM OIL) and know that when you eat a combinations of good fats throughout the day it helps with weight loss by curbing those cravings for carbohydrates, thereby keeping your blood sugar stable.

Another point I found interesting was that our body cannot easily break down cooked oil and may cause weight gain.  So avoid the fried foods, instead, drizzle a little  flax seed oil and vinegar on that blackened salmon salad with toasted pine nuts, avocado and grass fed goat cheese and enjoy. But please don’t feel that you cant enjoy a good, not so healthy dose of fat every now and then…its OK.

All the best,

imag0442

Corie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the end of the year approaches I start to feel that twinge of undefined anxiety, that deep rooted need for the yearly “Do Over”.  I begin to mentally catalog all the things I will do better next year, which ultimately brings a focus to all the things I may have done poorly this year.  I arm myself with the obvious and righteous reasons why things went the way they did and how things will surely go different when I get my annual do over.  It seems as if I am always chasing that notion that at some point in my life, things will go exactly how I planned them to go as I make up my new years resolution “list”.

Oh the pressure!!

Healthy expectations are good, healthy aspirations serve a beautiful purpose and  yet a balance to all things is vital!!

And so starts my quest to wrap up the year with a gentle purpose, to not be firmly held to drastic changes, but to feel the nurturing guidance of slow and steady self growth.

This year I am trying something new….again.  What if  I approach things from a quarterly perspective?  A self loving, healthy guided, quarterly perspective :)  Hmmm.  I think that may work.

 

As I sit here and write I am on the last 6 ounces of my 20 oz morning “gulp”, day 5!!!  Nothing drastic… I’m not starving myself for the next 21 day because I am not there yet, fasting can be beneficial to some people, at some point in their lives.  For now I am content with a mild form of detox. I will keep ya posted.

I have a 12:30 appointment with a my new personal trainer (although they are expensive, I needed a fresh twist to get me motivated and keep me engaged for right now).  I purchased 6 session…well my oh so amazing husband bought them for me (my sanity is his salvation :)  SOOOO WORTH IT!!  I personally plan to use just one per week to spread out the support and learn some new techniques.  Will I be ready for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot…no, but I will be one step closer to stronger bones, better cardiovascular health and a surge of feel good hormones that are like those nuts you see squirrels harvesting all over the place, they will keep me healthy and alive through the dreary winter months.

I bought my winter cook book, Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson which is packed with healthy recipes that are sure to nourish my body!  Will I cook only from this book and  eat only super uber healthy meals, no, but I will try to do something a little different for the next 3 months.  Remember this is a quarterly shift so if I veer off a bit I can always right the ship in just a little while.

Finally, I have made a pact with some of those nearest and dearest to me that during the week I will do my best to speak positively.  Now that is not to say that things wont bother me or that I should keep things bottled up inside, or that I should not address concerns.  It is a shift in perspective!  If I absolutely HAVE to speak outside of the positive I plan to write down my concern, decide if it needs to be addressed immediately or if it can wait until a day I designate “check in day” and move on.  When check in day arrives, my concerns may be genuine needs that need to be heard or they may turn out to be personal “triggers” that require a little self exploration.

There you go…my plan for some year end awesomeness by way of a simple detox cleanse, some support for my physical enrichment, a bit of healthy meal experimentation and a gamble that what I say can really change how I feel.  The best part?  I am not loading on the pressure to completely revamp all of 2013, in fact I’m not even waiting until the usual January first overhaul.  This mind, body, spirit work out plan will take me through the holidays and well past D day!

Share your thoughts.  Share your ideas. Share your support….and share the love!!

Corie

 

 

Hello out there!  For many months now we here at Nature’s Spa, well more specifically me..have been planning the very first blog entry and it has been a bit of an ordeal I must say!  For no other reason than the pressure to post something with the bling, bang, pop and WOW that one feels pressured to write!  Then it hit me, I am creating the very stress that I encourage my clients to work to avoid…unnecessary stress that eats away the minutes of our day, raises our anxiety level and spins us towards whatever vices we turn too!  I feel myself slathering a negative salve over my spirit, looking at the computer with shame and defeat while I lament over the exact words that will elevate Nature’s Spa into this iconic local hot spot.

I don’t have those words, in fact some days I don’t have any words.

What I do have is a wonderful husband who encourages me to “just write something”, 3 beautiful kids who provide me with an endless supply of comedic ranting material,  a business that bites at my heels and threatens to consume me (all the while feeding my spirit in wondrous ways) and a tangy zest for the profession I absolutely LOVE!!

I have the most amazing clients that visit me, allowing me to do what I enjoy…everyday!!  When asked what I “do” I can simply reply “I am a massage therapist and an esthetician (skin care)” but those are just the general titles and not what I do on a daily basis.  By nature  I am a caregiver and that characteristic is more what defines me than the simple general term provided by the profession.

Through this blog I hope to convey that! I hope to have an outlet for the things I care passionately about such as stress reduction, self acceptance, SELF CARE, healthy eating, healthy living, spiritual growth and enrichment and healthy bonding with friends and family.  I also hope to gain a better perspective and absorb support for the things I struggle with such as being consistent, running a business effectively and compassionately- while still making time for myself, finding the motivation to work out, PATIENCE, boundaries and how to really stick to a clean diet (most of the time).  That is just a few that I can name off the top of my head :)

I hope you enjoy the blog, I hope I don’t disappoint, but I am OK if I do, I am human and this is my “being human” blog!

This is also my first entry….congratulations to me!  As I wrap up this first post I feel good, I feel like I did ONE little thing off my never ending list and I am fine to stop and celebrate the bigness that can be found in this one small thing!

What is the one small thing you can do today that gives you permission to CELEBRATE!!   You would be sooo surprised the shift that occurs in your day if you take time to celebrate the seemingly small things!

Woo Hoo to you!!

Corie