(originally published in Whole Foods Magazine)
I’ve been promoting Spa-culture for decades and quite a pro at it, but a recent trip to Hawaii made me realize that today’s spas have to do more than “treatments.” Spas are where modern people turn for rejuvenation and healing. They come there hemorrhaging from stress, overwork and fear of aging and the spa’s response is facials, scrubs and massages.
Admittedly, by the time I landed in Maui from my pressure cooker existence in New York City, I was as fried as a falafel ball and looking forward to being pummeled and rubbed into bliss. But, Janet Baldwin, founder of Maui Healing Retreat had something different in mind. After describing what I thought I needed, she knew that no matter how luxurious, spa treatments were not going to cut it if I wanted deep-seated rejuvenation. Instead of sending me to a Holistic Esthetician, she wrote me a soul healing prescription. This is her brilliance. She puts clients on 3-Day Health and Wellness, 5-Day Relationship, 7-Day Spiritual Awakening Packages and more.
My adventure to set me on the right path started with Eve Hogan, Executive Director and Heart Path Journeys and co-creator of The Sacred Garden of Maliko. This magnificent, naturely perfumed garden, with a few individually decorated villas of different sizes, was home to Jimi Hendrix when he did the Rainbow Bridge. I loved walking the beautiful grounds and watching the sunrises over the exotic flora and listening to the cacophony of nature.
While Eve’s is known for her labyrinths and she has two in her amazing retreat space, she gave me a lesson I will never forget. It’s called The EROS Equation approach. Basically, know who you are, what you want, observe yourself, let go of what won’t work and do what will bring you closer to your goal. Forget tantrums, acting unconsciously and doing something you will regret. Her system changed the way I interact with the world. You should not go to Maui without spending time with Eve. In addition, she choreographed a program of amazing healers.
Anne Bertolet Rice, founder of the School for the Deep Heart worked on healing my inner child during a conversation I don’t think I will forget. She recalibrated my life through her work as an energy healer. All the work, for me at least, was cerebral as well as spiritual. Eyes closed sitting upright with my hands on my lap, I felt the work stress drain from me as her hands moving at a distance seemed like they were brushing away bad energy. All of the sudden I was back as an eight-year-old dealing with limitations. She did more than any psychotherapist did in years of work to clear my heart…in less than 90 minutes. Anne’s work has left me more peaceful than I can ever remember and I can’t wait to see her again.
Life coach Alison Miller helped me formulate an action plan for the second half of my time on the earth. I’m insanely busy and a highly productive person and while I might have been planning to have the knots of my back worked on, it was much more practical to work on the knots of my life and make plans based on my mission, priorities and strengths. I can’t wait to continue my work with her (http://www.alisonimiller.com).
I’m a yoga princess in life, but being with Chrissy Kapoor, an Anusara yoga teacher, was an inspiration (www.earthlovesky.com). She taught me how to root down with your thighs to truly stand up. She did beautiful yoga classes during the day and night at Lumeria, a retreat in Maui that has what is now my favorite pool. Being in it with a full moon is an experience only nature can capture.
As I waited to board my plane back home, a frantic woman pushed ahead of me on line at Starbucks. The poor thing was practically having a heart attack, but she was there for coffee.
Before my Maui experience, I used to be that woman. I, like others, believed a moisturizing massage, a treatment with soothing music, a deep facial detox, whatever, would not only make my skin glow, but also would cure what was really ailing me. I used to think that all a spa needed to do was pamper but I would have been a fool to not realize that when I left Maui, my body was healthier than it had been and my skin younger looking.
Months home already. I’m sleeping better than I had in years, meditating daily and the experience made me seriously reconsider the traditional Spa. You have to refine the spirit and mind to be and look your best!
Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm. Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at [email protected]. You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.