By Keesha Boyd
If you’re like me, then you’re a woman juggling a successful, high visibility corporate career with challenging entrepreneurial endeavors, volunteer work, a steady social life, family obligations and a host of other equally involving activities. It’s easy to train your body to get used to the everyday hustle and accept the stress level of your schedule as status quo. That was certainly the case with me…until I arrived at the peaceful paradise known as Miraval Spa in Tucson, Arizona.
I was all set to spend some quality mother/daughter time at Miraval Spa getting facials, massages, soaking in the hot tubs and reading by the pool. The “No Cell Phones” signs were all I needed to quickly turn my work b-berry off and get settled into the surrounding. And what a surrounding it was! Miraval is a wellness spa “dedicated to providing empowering lifestyle experiences in engaging environments for people who want the most out of life”. It’s a soothing, calm environment suitable for reflecting, relaxing, recharging and reconnecting to your mind, body and spirit. The spa services were spectacular, the food was healthy and flavorful, the ambiance unbeatable and the service and accommodations were first class. But it was the time I spent awaiting the next acupuncture needle, sipping organic tea, hiking in the mountains, being silent in the morning guided meditation and zoning out in a heated outdoor pool while taking a tai-chi class that helped me to realize one thing…I was stressed! So stressed that everything around me had to stop for me to realize it.
Countless studies have shown that prolonged negative stress is linked to high blood pressure, weight gain, psychological break downs, stomach problems, insomnia, low fertility, muscle tension, skin conditions, immune system deficiencies, mood swings and a myriad of other unappealing health problems. Yet, in the face of all this research and overwhelming evidence I (and probably several of you reading this article) continue to accept inordinate amounts of stress in our lives.
My four days at Miraval Spa was the first time in my life that I felt what it feels like to be truly rested and stress-free. I remember how the lavender petals smelled because I actually stopped to smell them. I remember the sounds of the exotic birds because I closed my eyes and listened. I remember the warmth of the sun and the stillness and serenity I felt in my mind and my spirit because I basked in the quiet. I finally know what it feels like to be stress free and I refuse to turn back now.