You have so much to do that taking care of yourself might not be your top priority. How do you take care of the whole person, body AND soul?
By Janie Seltzer, Contributing Writer
Does your soul need a spa in the new year?
For most women, just the thought of an hour long body massage, a cleansing facial, a pedicure, or an exotic citrus body scrub sends us into a state of relaxation and longing. Most of us are stretched and pulled to the limit and our bodies benefit tremendously when we receive some pampering.
The challenge, however, is finding the time and/or the money to do what we need to do to live life at our best.
So the question is, how do we take care of ourselves? Even more importantly—how do we care for the whole person—body and soul—in today’s hectic world? The body can be pampered and soothed but if the soul is not at peace the benefits of the hour-long massage soon evaporate.
Within a stone’s throw of my home is the world-renowned La Costa Resort and Spa. People travel from all over the globe to enjoy the lush grounds abundant with giant palms, colorful flower beds and the quiet simplicity of the whitewashed Spanish architecture accented with red tile roofs and black decorative ironwork. The pleasant sound of water rippling over multiple tiers of a majestic terra cotta fountains decorated with classic blue and white Mexican tiles sets the stage for an incredibly relaxing spa experience.
A few years ago several friends went in together to give me a gift certificate for the La Costa Spa. What a great gift! I had enjoyed the spa once before and relished the opportunity to go again. This time my plan was to spend the whole day benefiting from all of the amenities available within the enclave of the restful environment.
What I wanted—even more than the whirlpool, the cedar sauna, the steam room, the thundering Roman Falls—was the quiet and tranquility of the ladies lounge. I wanted to read, to think, to pray.
I arrived on my day and eagerly approached the desk to check in, only to find out that the spa was full due to a business conference crowd.
“Please don’t do this to me,” I said quietly to the lady at the desk.
“I am so sorry but I cannot let you go in. There aren’t any lockers available,” she said.
“I don’t need a locker,” I persisted. “Could I please just go in and enjoy reading and writing in a quiet corner?”
“There are no quiet corners,” she replied.
“Please don’t do this to me. Tomorrow is my birthday.”
She paused for a moment then motioned to the girl beside her. “Let her in.”
I reached for my gift certificate and handed it to the lady behind the register.
“No,” she said, shaking her head. “No charge.”
I was astonished and overjoyed as I entered the spa. The ladies’ lounge was almost empty (go figure!) and I happily settled happily into a comfortable stuffed chair with a perfect view of the fireplace.
While I read and relaxed, I watched women flow in and out of the lounge from nearby rooms pampered with massages, facials, and body scrubs. I watched them sink into cozy, pillow soft sofas around the fireplace, idly thumb through magazines or talk quietly among themselves.
Suddenly I was riveted by the thought that the spa experience is a perfect parallel to the care of the spirit and the Soul—and oh, how much more important!
Years ago I learned the secret of the inner spa experience. During a difficult stretch of intense challenges, loss and deep sorrow, I learned to attend to my soul and listen to the Spirit of God as never before. I was comforted, instructed, strengthened, and nourished by the living God. I received more than what I had before.
I found a rich, inner spa of life—a constant source that continues to this day. In short, I found astonishing life, hidden life.
It is my hope and prayer that you will be inspired to move in deeper, nearer to the heart of God—finding the spa of life that is always available and affordable.
If you go there with the same determination that I did to spend a day at the spa for my birthday—you will never fail to find refreshment, hope and encouragement—and all free for the taking!
How do you care for your soul? When might you carve time for some “soul care” soon?
A note from Ann
Please comment and say ‘hello’ to our friend and newest contributing writer. You may remember her book Spa Treatments for your Body and Soul in our Destress and Refresh giveaway.
Janie Seltzer is a spiritual director with an M.A. in Pastoral Theology. Her passion is helping others to understand how God moves in their soul. Please click here to read her full bio.
At Keeper of the Home, we believe that wellness consists of a healthy mind, body, and soul. Many of you have commented on how much you appreciate the faith aspect of our blog and we are happy to share that Janie will be writing with us regularly!