I Forgot My Tweezers!
I forgot my eyebrow tweezers and there isn’t a lick of make-up in sight on my face. The roots of my hair are in full view for the world to see and who cares? Certainly not me. I find the vacation spa experience liberating.
I am writing my blog from a gorgeous wellness sanctuary in Koh Samui, Thailand. It’s humid as hell here because it has rained hard off and on, in that magical sort of way rain falls in the tropics. A deluge rather than a downpour. I have never minded rain in the tropics because I love to swim in the warm rain and so I have. I’ve been swimming a lot, every day in fact, sometimes twice a day.
And for those of you who read my last blog, you know I have come here to restore my body because I’ve been suffering from adrenal fatigue. From my perspective one of the best things to do to restore one’s mind and body is to do the things that we love and leave all of the ‘should’s’ to the side. Happily in this wellness sanctuary there is nothing that I should be doing.
Day 1 began with a scrumptious breakfast buffet of all things organic and healthy. Vegetables & fruits galore with every seed that you can think of to add to the natural yogurt, oats or muesli. Flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower seeds to bee pollen, cacao nibs, pistachios…lettuces, kale, broccoli, feta cheese, olives, onions, grilled artichokes and garlic. Teas, smoothies and juices guaranteed to turn off your acidity and increase alkalinity, full of antioxidants and metabolism stimulating ingredients. Healthy proteins, butters made from nuts and seeds, amazingly healthy breads. And there is significant use of Thai healing herbs – ginger, turmeric, garlic and lemongrass with plenty of limes. Yummy!
Colourful and healthy food is in abundance; it’s delicious and all meals are designed as medicine for the body. Yet, the diet is not so strict that it’s cruel like some of the regimes I have experienced before. Here, gluten is to be found along with Australian beef and organic wine. What I love about the menu is that it offers choice. I haven’t had any beef or wine but I am certain that for those who have made that choice, have savored every flavor.
After breakfast, I met with my naturopath/wellness consultant to create my program. In addition to the usual programs for weight loss, detox and body fit, this sanctuary offer choices for burn-out (adrenal fatigue). As I had already had my adrenal and hormone testing done back at home, I know my endocrine system is shouting for renewal. I have been taking supplements for a couple of months now and carefully watching the timing and type of food I’ve been eating not to spike my cortisol levels.
I wasn’t always successful at home of course because of social obligations, and my sometimes-rebellious attitude that says, “Screw this – I’m having a glass of wine and a few squares of dark chocolate.” I find it easier to regulate my consumption patterns when I tuck myself into a retreat. One of my favorite things to do is to host a dinner party because I love to cook and entertain but with my adrenal gland crying out “HELP! this has not been the time for dinner parties.
It was suggested that I do things that bring me peace and so I’ve been deepening my knowledge of pranayama, being gentle with my body with Pilates, restorative yoga and swimming. I revisited Tai Chi for the first time in 30 years and have had my first Qi Gong session that I really enjoyed. Qi=Chee= Vital Energy. And then there are the treatments combining Chinese, Thai and Ayurveda practices. I’ve been brushed, massaged, scrubbed, pulled, and had lots of energy work with Reiki and Acupuncture sessions.
Smitha (meaning smile in Sanskrit) is my pranayama instructor. She is lovely and gentle. Pranayama is yogic breathing exercise to maximize the flow of prana (vital life force) for a calm mind, balanced emotions and it reduces stress and anxiety.
She has taught me yogic breathing techniques to clear my sinus passages, keep blood pressure in check and generally become centered and calm. Unlike TM that I practice, pranayama doesn’t require concentration as one can let go of their mantra. It’s more open and free flowing and has all sorts of positive energetic effects on the body and mind. I can feel the benefit of my sessions and so will continue the practice at home. I think it’s well suited to my constitution at the moment.
It seemed counterintuitive to entertain the infrared sauna because it was already 29 degrees Celsius outside, but it has the benefits of stimulating circulation, boosting immunity, increasing metabolism, promoting detox & body purification, deep cleansing the skin, reduces cellulite, promote skin cell generation and decreasing joint and muscular inflammation. So I gave it a go. The treatments were 30 minutes in duration at 45 degrees Celsius.
The first time I was in the sauna, I used the time to do some tapping (EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique) and tap away particular emotions that I have been aware have been lodged in my body for some time. If life has been challenging then we adapt to consistently cope, squashing down our emotions. We keep the emotion in the body and that facilitates the onslaught of adrenal fatigue. So there I was wrapped in a sarong, in a sauna hut, sweating profusely tapping on myself, letting the tears flow out of me… with tears of sweat down my back and emotional tears down rolling down my face. I was cleansed deeply inside and out and emerged from the sauna feeling amazing!
I am grateful for the magical experience of being in Thailand for Makha Bucha Day that is one of the most important Buddhist holy days and marks a point in history when 1,250 of the Lord Buddha’s followers gathered to hear his sermon. They came from widely separated areas and without previous arrangement, as if they had been notified by a simultaneous awareness.
Each of the monks were “Arhantas”, the Enlightened One, and were ordained by the Buddha himself, who gave to each of them the principles of Buddhism, ‘The Ovadhapatimokha’.
We were fortunate to be blessed by 6 local monks, one of them elderly and revered, who held a blessing ceremony for this special occasion. There they were, 6 monks wrapped in orange robes, sitting cross-legged on the stage in front of us, each holding onto a single string joined together when they began to chant in prayer. Music to the ears, it was a moving moment for me.
Here on this island in Thailand, not only is my body being fed, there is abundance for my spirit as well.
I have been observing the voice in my head that pushes me to do more. It’s become an unconscious pattern until this past year. The universe gives us what we need if we pay attention. More than one friend has made me aware of my ‘pushing’ and specifically how it’s acting to my detriment. I was swimming this morning and found myself saying – just 6 more laps…just do 6 more laps…more than you have your entire stay so far. Wow! And you know what, I stopped that thought and asked myself if I was enjoying the swim and I was, so I decided to do the laps. The difference being was it turned from being a goal to do more laps to just loving this swim and not wanting it to end.
Smitha pointed out that the ‘Pam that pushes’ is a strong person. She is needed. She is the reason why I am where I am today. However, it’s time for the softer side to grow in stature and make herself present. She’s been afraid because she has been hurt so many times in the past but now I know how to not let people hurt me. Now I know it’s their shit, not mine. Now that I am this strong and certain in myself, I think it’s time for ‘lighthearted Pam’ to come out to play.
What I know for sure if that balance is one of the keys to our joy. I need to lighten up and play more.
It’s time to end my blog, don my swimmers and sunscreen and head to the pool where I’ll gaze out over the Gulf of Thailand below and watch the butterflies and dragonflies flitter amongst the flowers and the palms for the last time.
They say a change is as good as a rest. I used to say that too without giving those words much thought. Now I disagree. Change takes a lot of energy, strength and determination. It is not a restful state.
So if you’re feeling out of sorts, ask yourself when was the last time you had a good rest? If all you have time for is a short siesta, I encourage you to lay your head down if only for 20 minutes. While the siesta is now considered a luxury, it was once thought to be a physical necessity, since it is important for people to have a quick afternoon rest to restore their energy levels. The tradition of napping dates back thousands of years. The name comes from the Latin hora sexta that means “the sixth hour”. Since the hours of the day begin at dawn, the sixth hour is noon, which is when siestas often start.
There is nothing better to recharge our weary selves than rest.
#Rejuvenate #Siesta #Self-Love