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My father didn’t curse often, but he inevitably would when the phone rang during supper. This was the 50′s and 60′s–before answering machines, voice mail or even off buttons for the ringers. He hated that anyone from the outside world could disturb our family’s peace, and we had no control of it.
Today we do have control, but oh so many more invasions into our domestic lives. My friend Linda is new to computers (I know, I know) having resisted allowing them into her life until a few months ago. She confessed to me that she finds email invading her life. “You have to choose when to respond or it can consume you.”
The rest of us are like those frogs in a pot of water where the heat is being gradually turned up. They don’t notice they’re getting killed. Linda, who jumped into the boiling cauldron immediately “got” that it’s too hot to survive. Smart lady!
I allow myself a few limited time periods to deal with email–20 minute blocks of time using a timer. Without that limitation, I’m too easily drawn into the vortex that is cyberspace and can’t get out. Anything that doesn’t get dealt with during those prescribed times gets saved until the next allotted slot.
After 7 days of being entirely unplugged while at the Golden Door, I know how sacred time is and how important it is to set our own limits and respect them. I’m interested to hear how you protect your precious time.
I spent 30 years creating intricate artwork and successfully marketing and selling it. My attention to detail was pretty intense, but I was humbled by what I witnessed during my recent stay at the Golden Door. I found their devotion to the customer’s experience unparalleled.
A few of the outstanding touches:
1. Upon arrival each guest is quickly and digitally photographed. Those images are posted in an inner sanctum where they are seen by the staff. From that moment forward, everyone from the masseuse to the bathhouse attendant addresses you by name. “Jane, would you care for a warm robe from the sauna?”
2. Participants on the early morning meditation hike are provided with a backpack containing their breakfast to be eaten at the mountain summit. An attentive kitchen staff member called me aside after dinner the evening before the hike. She’d noticed that dairy was not a part of my profile and wanted to know if soy yogurt would be an adequate substitution.
3. There were broad-brimmed straw hats poolside along with dispenser pumps of sunblock. The aqua fitness instructor asked if anyone needed a visor during the workout.
4. Every night there was a different treat on our pillows reflecting something that had happened that day–a personal note and exercise instructions from my trainer, an autographed copy of the book by the nutrition consultant who spoke at lunch, vials of lavendar and gernanium to soothe and relax us.
These were all in addition to the meticulous care in evidence throughout the week. It’s inspiring to see so much care and awareness exhibited by any business. I don’t want to imitate what they do at the Golden Door. But I’m motivated to take my business and customer care up a notch. Plus, when I do, I’ll be more easily able to afford another trip there.
I posted Monday’s entry (8/25) from the San Diego airport while waiting for my return flight to JFK. The draft, written a week or two earlier, was ready to go. Until I left for my Golden Door retreat, it accurately reflected my mid-August doldrums.
It was amusing to re-read it after my week as a goddess. I couldn’t remember a single day in my life that had ever been less than perfect. That was my sentiment after seven days of massages, facials, breakfast in my room with my favorite newspaper, poolside lunches and more one-on-one attention than I have ever received–including in my infancy!
In addition to all that pampering, beauty and fun I also gave myself the gift of completely disconnecting. My outbound voice message and an out-of-office response both announced that I was unreachable. I touched base with my husband only once and called my brother to wish him a happy birthday on the 20th. That was it.
The payoff is that today I feel as though I’ve been away for a hundred years. I’m completely refreshed and re-invigorated. I feel grounded and happy. Best of all, opportunities manifested while I was away.
Some pots need to go unstirred for successful outcomes.
By the time this gets posted I’ll have been at The Golden Door in Escondido, CA for the first of my seven day stay. I know I’ll have lots to report about it when I return, but looking forward to it is almost as satisfying.
For years extreme self-care has been a high priority in my life. As a woman and business owner I am constantly using my energy to create, relate, motivate and deliver. There’s also the life force I use to nurture my family, friends, clients, prospects and vendors. That’s a lot of good juju (as my friend L.A. Reding would say) going out. I know I need to replenish that on a regular basis.
I meditate twice daily, exercise almost daily, eat well and have an active spiritual life and community. I surround myself with positive people–loving friends and family.
My intention in spending a week at the Golden Door is Inner Focus as their Welcome Package so eloquently puts it. I want complete quiet away from my office and home, the phone, email, noise and distractions. I have no idea what will come out of this empty space. I do know that nature abhors a vacuum. I’m ready to receive new insights, ideas and inspiration from that place within that rarely has space to get heard.
Since one of my own company’s offerings is a retreat for women at a luxury spa, I’m modeling the behavior for future clients. Nice to have this “assignment” as homework.