Sunday, December 5, 2010

To My Speeps With Love...

Barely 4 weeks to go before 2011, do you even remember what your New Year's resolution was?  2009 was quite traumatic for so many people, I'm not even sure we had the consciousness to celebrate the usual holiday traditions.  I know all of us were happy to say goodbye and were hoping with bated breath that 2010 would bring in some good news...

Finding time to play
For me personally, 2010 was initially a mixed bag of disappointments & heartache that eventually turned into triumphs and blessings in disguise.  The spa world continued to reel from the economic downturn and so many of us became 'casualties' of the 'new way of doing business' as most corporations like to put it.  Those of us who were fortunate enough to walk away and start anew, are reaping the benefits of rediscovering ourselves and in the process, reclaiming 'me-time' and rescuing our health from the long years of 'running on empty' in keeping up with the rapid growth of our industry.

Unfortunately, so many of my peers who have put in their time, experience and service as Spa Operators while assisting their corporate worlds develop their spa culture, are still entrenched in it. Why do I say unfortunate?  Because this generation of Directors who in the last decade were instrumental in keeping the spa culture alive while Corporate America was still in the learning curve, have given too much of their personal time and wellness to creating memorable experiences for guests while driving revenue and crunching numbers. So many of these same directors are the complete antithesis of what wellness means.

Hope for the new generation
The Industry's Future.
This blog is personal because at the age of 42, I already started to experience peri-menopausal symptoms.  At the time, my doctors in Tucson simply attributed it to stress since I was doing so much traveling for my company, opening spas and mentoring other directors, and commuting back and forth to my home in Palm Springs.  From the age of 44 to 45, I had trouble falling asleep and NEVER had a full 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep for a year and a half.  My staff at the time will tell you that they would never have guessed it since my adrenaline kept me going at a 100%.  Of course there was a 6 month period during that time that I would tear up about everything and I'm horrified to say it happened even at a high level executive meeting.  No wonder that by the time a more forward thinking doctor like Dr. Andrea Cole did my nutritional evaluation along with hormone panel tests last year, I was advised that at the age of 46, I was not only in menopause, but my adrenals were shot and my body was replete of almost all essential minerals and vitamins.

Happy w/new directions

Why am I sharing this?  Because like me, so many of my spa colleagues are going through the same battles.  Those still in the trenches, work weeks at a time before they can even take proper time off.  Some are refused time off even when they ask for it.  And sadly, there are those who have been physically pushed to the limit, that their health conditions have warranted medical intervention.

Speeps enjoying a well-deserved Carribean break

And all I can say is 'It's not worth it'.  We work so hard to keep ourselves at a certain position & level of income but we spend a lot of that on defensive health maintenance.  Last year alone, I spent $10k of my own money on lab tests that the insurance would not cover but I needed.  Those lab tests were my wake up call and I am still playing catch up with refueling my body with all the essentials it needs.

Rare moments 
My wise mentor

 So I am calling on all my Speeps (Spa Peeps) to walk the talk and resolve to create that balance in your life.  Because in the end, you are responsible for your health and if it fails you, no amount of accomplishments and work will save you.  My wise spa mentor once said to me, 'it doesn't matter how much revenue and profits you bring to the table, once you're gone, those accomplishments will be a distant memory'.

 Today, I live and work from my home with my 'boys' as my support, do bikram yoga at least three times a week when I'm not traveling, try to eat as organic and natural as I can, take a complete regimen of supplements tailored to meet my deficiencies, and am enjoying my new phase of womanhood - trying to 'be cool' in spite of the random 'power surges', learning how to love the changes in my body, and giving my heart and my spirit time to reflect in gratitude for small favors...

My Boys


  1. Rianna, you are an inspiration! We should remember to put our own oxygen masks on first!

  2. Rianna - Thank you for sharing such a personal story. It is a pleasure getting to know you through your beautifully written words.

    And to Jeremy regarding your comment: The oxygen mask analogy is one of my favorite sayings when pitching wellness and self-care to busy moms, caregivers, colleagues and co-workers. You took the words right out of my mouth. :)

  3. I LOVE YOU RIANNA!!!!!!! You made me smile, you made me cry, and you reminded me of why I am SO HAPPY TODAY! You are such a beautiful spirit and I am so grateful to have you in my life! LOVE THE PIC OF US TOO! We must continue to spread the word- there are many others that werent as lucky as us and they need our help! YOU ROCK!

  4. Rianna, you're fabulous! So true and Thank you for reminding us! With so much on my plate I sometimes forget that we have to walk the talk, take time to smell the roses, embrace the changes that life has in store for us...much love

  5. Rianna, perfectly said and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing with us your story and reminding us to walk our talk. We love you!

  6. Thank you Rianna--love your blog! Now if you can just get the GM's to realize they are burning out all the good spa directors!

  7. Amen Rianna! May we all gather the same wisdom that you have shared and learn to "Walk our own Talk" such as you have.

  8. Thanks for the reminder, Rianna! Totally needed as I have not touched my bike in weeks...

  9. You are beautiful. Keep shining and thank you so much for sharing. Advise that will last my lifetime.

  10. Thank you Rianna! So beautifully said and so very true! Reading your journey was like reading the last two years of my life. We give so much and then it goes up in smoke and like your Spa mentor said, once you are gone your accomplishments are only a distant memory.
    May you continue to be blessed with inspiration and thank you for your generosity in sharing!

  11. This is wonderful and love that I get to call you friend. Great reminders to live balance all day long, everyday. Thanks Rianna!