Saturday, July 23, 2011

Self Care Girl Goes To The Day Spa

As a reward for losing almost 60lbs, I opted to celebrate by getting a hot stone massage and spa mani-pedi last weekend at Body Freedom Urban Spa Retreat

The spa is located in South Melbourne, just a few short tram rides from my apartment in the Docklands.  The spa has a very warm, peaceful and welcoming feel to it when you walk in.

Body Freedom is product conscious- they use and retail product lines that are free of harmful chemicals.      For me this is an essential ingredient of a good spa.   The aim of going to any spa is to take good care of yourself, so the products need to be good for you too.

The Body Freedom philosophy:

Hmmm....sounds a lot like the Self Care Girl philosophy....I like it!

I arrived a bit early for my appointment.  I was greeted by Fiona at the counter and after taking a few pictures and browsing a bit in the shop, I was welcomed to a cozy little room to wait for my appointment. The waiting area was soothing.  It is wintertime in Melbourne and a nice fire was burning in the fireplace and a pot of herbal tea was brewing.   It was a great way to transition into "spa mode".

Julie Ann greeted me when my appointment time arrived.   She escorted me upstairs to a lovely treatment room which also boasted a fireplace.   The spa aims to create a completely relaxing experience, so a conversation at the start of your appointment takes place to ensure the practitioner is up to speed on any concerns, issues or needs that you may have and then conversations are kept at a minimum during the course of the actual treatment.   I really liked this approach.    It kept the focus on the luxurious experience at hand and allowed me to get absolutely relaxed.

A few pictures of the cozy spa room:

Really loved the decor...especially the fabric used on the bedspread below and the pillow above

After the massage, I was brought to another room with a fireplace where two other women were getting pedicures and manicures.   This was also a pleasant experience.   A bit more social but also luxurious.

I had a nice conversation with Julie Ann about her self care philosophy.   She is a vegetarian and passionate about yoga, health and learning.   She is very knowledgeable about self care. 

One self care tip she shared:  Mornings should be peaceful times.   She is concerned that many people get up, turn on the television or radio and rush about completely oblivious to the positive energy that exists at this time of day.   Practicing yoga and meditation are just some of her suggestions for harnessing that morning energy and getting your day started off on the right footing.

Overall, I believe this was one of the best spa experiences that I have.   I enjoyed it so much I scheduled a couple's massage and will be back at the spa for more pampering (with Mr SC) later this week. 

If you are ever in Melbourne, I encourage you to check it out!

Take Good Care!
Self Care Girl

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 Important Ingredients for Success

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  -Unknown

I am currently working on a pretty complex project in Australia.   The project really interests and excites me- it is all about taking an old way of doing things and transforming it into a new and better way.    Being able to collaborate with the people who do this work and help to improve the quality of their work life makes this project even more appealing to me.   I am all about building teams and improving morale.

My confidence level does not necessarily match my enthusiasm.   I am effectively feeling my way around in the dark here- having to rely heavily upon the experts to understand work flow and a lot of high tech processes- like fabricating composite parts etc etc etc...and the project isn’t just one little section of this factory, but includes the entire factory and quality department.  

I have found over the years that three things are important when expanding into new, uncharted territory:   Be gentle with yourself, Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and take baby steps.

1) Be gentle with yourself.   Allow yourself some flexibility, including permission to fail.  When you are doing something new, you cannot always expect to be perfect the first time around.   You need to learn, and this is often best achieved by finding all the wrong ways first!   Permit and accept the possibility of failing up front and it makes the task seem not so daunting.   Ask questions, take in the ideas and feedback that others offer, and be sure to listen to your gut.     

2) Surround yourself with positive supportive people.  I cannot advocate this enough.   I have a great management team that I am reporting to here.   Today, I expressed my approach to this project and was told, “Great- that sounds like the right thing to do.”  My confidence was raised ten-fold.  

This is also a good reminder to be that positive, supportive person to others.  If you have knowledge, share it where it is needed.   Don’t shoot down ideas that may be different from your own.  Be mindful that there is always more than one better way.  New ideas deserve consideration and support. 

3) Baby Steps…Sometimes thinking of the whole picture can be debilitating.  Focus instead on the little steps to get to the end of your goal.   I was asked today by the same manager above if I was comfortable with the project- it is a big one!   I told him that right now I felt I was moving in the right direction.   If a few steps down the road I don’t know what to do, I will ask for help.   You only have to worry about one moment at a time.   Make the best choice you can when each moment presents itself and you will do marvelous!

 Take Good Care!