Tag Archives: Lake Austin Spa Resort

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 9 – DAY 310 :: don’t quit – 55 days to go

6 Nov


There are 55 days left of The Promise 365 and I have to say I am wrestling with the idea of what it means to quit. I don’t like to quit anything. It’s the athlete in me I guess. I woke up this morning with a slight panic in my heart knowing I had made the decision to complete my promise.

I called my best friend, Amy, and she reminded me that I had only intended to do this blog for one year. Since it has been nine she gave me permission to not think of this as quitting but rather moving forward. Then she gave me 100 points because Amy knows that I speak in sports. Somehow that made me feel better about my decision, even though they are phantom points and this blog is really not a team sport. So I am going to give myself points each night through the end of the year, for this isn’t quitting, it is the grand finale, the championship, the Superbowl of blogging!

So tonight, we begin the countdown to the grand finale, 55 more days to go!

On Night 55, I reflect on why I started this blog. It came from a promise I made to myself not to shop for an entire year. I was inspired by a stay at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas where I visited with Debbie Phillips of Women on Fire for a week. While being pampered with multiple massages and facials I realized something deeply profound: I had never stayed at a spa before.

Why was this? I didn’t know until I looked at the price list for my next massage and realized it was expensive, the same price as the dress I had just bought from Boston designer Cibeline. I loved clothes! I loved shoes! But what I loved, even more, was the feeling I was having covered in lavender essential oil after a Starry, Starry Night massage. I wanted more of it. 

Little did I know that was going to be the moment that changed the next nine years. I had the same feeling then that I have now… standing on the precipice of change. Then, I was making a promise to not shop for an entire year and instead invest that money in my head, heart, body and soul (and spa treatments!). Now, I am making a decision to end that first promise that led me down a path nine years long.

Two different moments, but the same feeling is inside me. Change.

When we change we draw a line in the sand between the past and the future. We throw down the gauntlet of routine and say to the universe, “Surprise me!” Instead of clinging to the past we reach out to the future.

This is me, reaching out to the future. If I have learned anything in these past nine years it is this: don’t get stuck looking back, it is better to move forward.   

I am excited about what the future will bring. But for the next 55 days I will be sharing moments of the past, the lessons I have learned from writing this blog every night. So, keep reading (don’t quit on me now!). 

Trust me!
More tomorrow.Jamie


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Day 14: if my closet could talk

14 Jan

What would your closet say?

Mine would say gibberish about “blue jeans never worn” and “too many black shirts” and a smattering of “pink” and “odd patterns that don’t match.”

Today, I read that Pantone named Tangerine the color of the year for 2012.  They should know, since Pantone names every color.  (It was Honeysuckle for 2011 and Turquoise the previous year.)

And, I should have known it!
I had an insider tip back in October about the color orange.

My tip didn’t come from a fashion industry insider, not even from a color consultant.  It was delivered by the woman who gave me a facial at Lake Austin Spa Resort.

She told me many things during that facial.  One of which was, “You should wear orange, it will bring you prosperity.”

Problem is, I don’t really own “orange” in the clothing category.  I have one orange tank top that I have faithfully worn since my message from the spa.

So, tonight, on the heels of Pantone proclaiming Tangerine the new IT color, I vow to make a splash of orange a part of my new wardrobe.

Starting tonight with a collection of dream outfits I found from around the internet.  You can see my Orange Crush Pinterest board here.

Of course they aren’t in my closet because even though I CAN shop now, I’ve learned my lesson.  The secret to prosperity comes from something deep inside, not what you wear on the outside.

But I’ve also learned when a message keeps appearing in my life, it might be time to listen.

Maybe orange is saying it’s time to be bold?
Maybe orange is reminding me to dream big?
Maybe orange is just there to brighten things up?

Sounds like 2012 is the year to find out.

Day 298: spa rah rah! i miss the spa!

25 Oct

I miss the spa!
Maybe it’s because my head cold is getting the best of me today. Or maybe I miss the food.

Either way, sniffle, sniffle.

I just spent 15 minutes on SpaFinder dreaming about other spas to visit someday, when I found this: a free pamphlet on Ayurveda practices from The Raj Spa.

With each word I read, I am brought right back to the lavender and calmness of Lake Austin Spa Resort (which I visited just last week with Debbie while we were working for Women on Fire of course!).

I suppose the teachings of Ayurveda remind me of the spa because we were up early, fed well, out in nature, exercised on water, gave our bodies lots of nourishment and self-care and then, of course, slipped into bed at a reasonable hour.

It seems like our morning hike through the Texas Hill Country (pictured below) was just yesterday, so it’s hard for me to believe it was really a week ago.

And, I suppose that’s the hardest part of returning home — figuring out exactly how to incorporate the spa lifestyle that I love into my own lifestyle, and those pesky things called day-to-day habits.

I suppose it could be as easy as starting my day with a morning walk in nature?
Or getting to bed early?

Here’s a pretty good schedule if you ask me — a sample daily routine from the Ayurveda download explaining the impact of each dosha:

2:00 AM to 6:00 AM
Vata active
Awake before 6:00 AM
Good for meditation

6:00 AM to 10:AM
Kapha active
Good for exercise
Avoid sleeping into this period

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Pitta active
Digestion is strongest
Largest meal at lunch (12:30)

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Vata active
Tendency for tiredness
Herbal tea & spices in water or milk
Rejuvenate with meditation

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Kapha active
Evening walk
To bed before 10 PM

10:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Pitta active
Metabolic housecleaning strong
Sleep for best purification

Maybe, I’ll add some of this insight to my schedule.
Well, maybe, tomorrow. I think I have an appointment with Nyquil tonight.

If you’re looking for a spa in your area, here’s a fun place to start — check out SpaFinder’s deals site at Spa Rah Rah which gives discounts on spas and wellness centers across the country.

Plus, If you want to learn more about Ayurveda, the free download from The Raj Spa is here.

I’ll be over here sniffling and spa dreaming…

Day 295: trick or treat, smell my feet

22 Oct

There are a few things I took home from the spa this week.

For one, the lovely lavender scented body lotion, shampoo and body wash samples.
For two, a life’s lesson in the soul.

And, finally, (leave it to me!) the brand new pair of shoes that comes standard with each hotel room.

Hey, they were free, and comfy, and totally packable, and beach ready, and, and…

I can make excuses all day long about why I need a new pair of shoes.
Even those that are complementary.

But, I have to say, when I wear these shoes and look down at my feet, all I see is relaxation, peaceful serenity and a small bit of bliss.  It’s like a mini transport back to the spa, with my toes poking out.

If shoes are what cushion our path, then I must admit, I am pretty satisfied wearing these rubber soles that reek of lavender on my feet.

I might just keep them around for those times when stress inevitably sets in.  What a gentle reminder to take a deep breathe, relax and be mindful.

As the saying goes…

Trick or treat.
Smell my feet.

Day 294: f*ing friday :: flower

21 Oct

Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Folgers

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:

As in, bloom.

I once heard Tom Peters speak at a conference in which the marketing guru himself said to make anything more beautiful the secret is to add flowers.

I think he’s right.

And, while spending a week in the sun at Lake Austin Spa Resort I inhaled as many of the sweet smells wafting through the warm, dry air as possible and snapped as many photos as I could of the blooms all over the grounds.

I have now left the spa but here’s the feeling that stayed with me most — it’s not just the flowers that bloom there — I did too.

And, it wasn’t just in my body and my heart that I felt the power of flowers.  It wasn’t even in my head — in fact, it overrides my head.

This sweet, sunny feeling resides in my soul.
And I open to receive the light.

In one of my many treatments this week at the spa, the beautiful woman working on smoothing out my blemishes, pores and pigment ended up smoothing out my soul.  As she rubbed serum over my face she told me things about myself that she intuitively sensed.

One was that my stomach was upset from eating cheese. She directly told me I am lactose intolerant (She was right! I had just reluctantly eaten a round ball of goat cheese at dinner that was in my salad and my stomach was turning icky).

She turned my palm over and rubbed the side of it, pointing out the inflammation in my gut.  “This is your stomach,” she said as she rubbed over a tender spot on my palm. “Does that hurt?”

It did.

She also told me my throat was sore (Right again. My throat had just started to get scratchy that afternoon, only slightly noticeable to me and undetectable to anyone else).

She reminded me to drink mint tea to soothe my throat.

I excitedly reported that I had just poured myself a cup of mint tea at dinner, instead of my usual green tea. She just nodded and said, “Of course you did,” your body knows what it needs.

Then, as she worked through my treatment she began asking about my mother.  She wanted to know how old Mama Sling was when she died. I answered 51 or 52, I couldn’t remember as I sat there on the table.

She then stopped rubbing my face and said, “I want to tell you something but don’t want to freak you out.” I encouraged her to share, and promised I wouldn’t jet for the door and run out of the room naked without my robe.

She told me another woman approached her that very morning and said somebody was at the spa, not attached to the spa but attached to one of the guests and she was in her fifties.

I excitedly said, “Of course!” I am here with a woman in her fifties.

The esthetician looked down at me and gently said, “No, honey, this is a spirit. I think it’s your mother.”

And, in that moment, I knew she was right. It confirms what I have always known. My mother is with me in spirit, wherever I go, no matter if I can see her or not.  Maybe others can see her, special others, those with gifts far beyond my sense of space and time. But in my heart and soul, I knew, she was right.

I suppose you have to lose someone to truly understand these words. Through my own course of loss, I have learned what I have always known, deep down inside — you never lose someone.

Our souls stick together like glue.

I suppose it’s no surprise this promise started with my body — diving into food and exercise first.  And, then through a few magical moments this promise began to deeply touch my heart. But, now, this promise is showing me the light and starting to creep into my soul.

Scratch that — it is starting to open up my soul.
Just like a flower preparing to bloom.

And, I wonder if this is what it feels like for a tiny bud beginning it’s journey. First there must be warmth all around, then a few rays of light poke through, until finally, through some source of power other than it’s own, the bud bursts open, full of color, letting all the sun shine in.

I may not understand it all, but I know one thing:
Flowers do make everything more beautiful.

Even my soul.

Day 293: saying goodbye is the hardest part

20 Oct

It’s always hard for me to say goodbye—to friends, to family, to new acquaintances, doesn’t matter, I feel the same.

I always find myself in between that we-just-hugged-three-times-but-I’m-not-ready-to-turn-around-and-go yet.

Leaving is the hardest part — and so it was today leaving a peaceful and serene spa resort.

It’s hard to believe a year ago I sat out on that dock and made my promise not to shop for shoes or clothes for an entire year.  I have learned so much, tried so many new things and most important I have realized that I already have what I need.

So, in saying goodbye today, I remembered what I have always known deep in my heart: goodbyes are just the first step to something else.

We are now officially in the homestretch.
72 more days to go.

Day 292: how to make your dreams come true

19 Oct

“Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Fresh off of a Radiant Results Fabulous Facial, I have to report another amazing day on our spawesome adventure.  It’s actually hard to believe tonight is our last night on these comfy beds at Lake Austin Spa Resort.

And, so it most fitting, on our very last night at this very special spa, we learned how to make dream pillows.

Not just any dream pillows, but herbal dream pillows.

Did you know that dream pillows can provide more resting sleep or bring more creative and vivid dreams?  I didn’t, but I am about to find out.

Today I mixed together a blend of fresh dried herbs at the instruction of the spa’s resident gardener and herb expert, Trisha Shirley.

I learned that Marjoram adds a sense of warmth, safety and comfort and Rosemary insures sleep and keeps away bad dreams  (but you must use Rosemary sparingly).

Mullein guards against nightmares and Lemon Balm is a valuable antidepressant useful for anxiety and insomnia.

You can learn more about dream pillows and the different types of herbs on Trisha’s resource page here and there’s even a book you can buy called Making Herbal Dream Pillows!

I am going to sleep with my dream pillow inside my pillow tonight and hope for some sweet, sweet dreams to remember in the morning.

Even so, I am reminded that dreams can happen during the daytime too, it just takes a little vision, hope and discipline and a garden full of passion.

Yesterday as Debbie shared strategies on How To Live the Life of a Woman on Fire, it occurred to me — we really do have the power to make our dreams come true.

In fact, if I really think about it, I believe I am living one of my dreams right now, as I lay my head down on this pillow and fall asleep knowing I have returned to the place where this promise began — where I took that very first step to changing an entire year in my own life.

The good news is, I know you can do it too.
It just takes one tiny, itty-bitty, first step in the right direction.

One step turns into two, two turn into to ten, until one day you look up and say, Oh. My. Gosh. Somebody pinch me.

Sweet dreams.

Day 291: life is sweet and sweaty

18 Oct

Today I gave a talk about how to live a sweet life and shared 6 Strategies to Beat the Sugar Blues.

But, this afternoon, I came to the conclusion that I deserve to sweat.

It’s been such a fundamental discovery over this year, for my body.  As an ex-athlete I love to sweat.

My body loves to sweat. 
But, sadly, I don’t sweat the way I used to.

My resting body temperature is in an arctic zone, cold enough to suppress my natural cooling mechanism. Unfortunately, it also suppresses my natural detoxing mechanism too.

So, that’s why I absolutely loved what I did this afternoon.
Sweat, sweet, sweat.

And, it didn’t take much time, about 5 – 10 minutes in the steamy sauna and I was in a full-on dripping waterfall of sweat.  It was as if each bead ball of sweat that appeared on my skin released it’s own unique toxin as it slid down my arms and legs and landed on my white fluffy towel.

It wasn’t a thai massage or bamboo bliss or hot rock massage or rosebud body scrub —  or any of the other incredibly invigorating options at this luxury spa.

Today, it was the good, old-fashioned sauna. And after that a nap in a sunny corner of the beautiful blue room wrapped in a blanket.

It reminds me that I don’t have to go to the spa to make time to sweat or rest. Life can still be this sweet and sweaty when I get back home through a few simple choices.

Just as my turn-down card reminds me tonight — I deserve the best — and you do too.

I hope you find time to sweat and rest this week.
Sweet dreams.

Day 289: a texas starry starry night

16 Oct

We made it to Lake Austin Spa Resort.
Reunion Week has officially begun for Debbie and I, and this here promise.  From the first whiff of lavender scent in the air to the beautiful flower gardens and aqua river flowing along the walkway, all my senses knew we were here.

There have been so many fun “I remember that!” remarks as we walked up to the Spa tonight for our very first treatment: the Texas Starry Starry Night (a head to toe massage with gentle lavender oil, body wrap and an herbal heat pack all before you tuck yourself into bed!).

And, I totally forgot about one of the best *surprises* that happens each night at Lake Austin Spa Resort ~ the bedtime turn-down card.

As you return to your room after dinner you never know what message you will receive. Tonight, I found this lying on my big fluffy pillow.

And on the back it reads:


It’s hard to believe it was a year ago when I received my aha moment.  It was one year ago when I started forming this crazy idea to spend an entire year investing in my head, heart, body and soul—instead of my wardrobe.

Being back here at the spa, the place where it all began, I can truly say that my year has unfolded in fulfilling ways for my health, happiness, prosperity and peace of mind.  And, it’s not over yet!

As I tuck my lavender scented body into bed, I for one, am very, very grateful.
Especially on this Texas Starry Starry Night.

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