Global Nomads Say Happy Birthday

18 01 2010

A WELL ADJUSTED “TODDLER”

Most 3 year olds don’t receive a virally launched internationally spotlighted birthday wish  from around the world. But there is one dynamic 3 year old I know, that deserves it! EXPATWOMEN.COM

ExpatWomen.com turned 3 January 16th. Founded by two travelers bonded together as friends in their expat adventures.  Andrea Martins and Jill Lengré, have 20 years of combined experience living  broad, and decided to launch ExpatWomen.com while living in Mexico City. Both are professionals, adventurers, mothers, and authors, and created a version of truth for themselves and others in the midst of the labrinyth and chaos of Mexico’s capital city.

I’ve been inspired by their vision, and have relied on the stories and the women of ExpatWomen.com many times in my own foreign escapades for commaraderie and inspiration. 

The well developed site tools provide interviews, links, resources, newsletters, clubs, real life stories, and a writers forum for ALL of us to tell our most intimate adventures and share it with women who GET IT. Just travel, create and upload.

You can also take your blogs to ExpatWomen.com, I did, along with many other talented women. BLOG AT EXPAT WOMEN. 

BLOW OUT THE CANDLES!

There are many things that define each of us in our individuality and UNIQUENESS.  Travel is one of them. Find you. Be you. And don’t look back. I always remind myself that it is better to go solo, than pretending to be something or someone else for another. We all create our moments. Past, present and future.

One thing I love about being an expat, is the diversity of it all, and a little anonymity. It’s also a little like being in a secret club. It takes a different breed to be an expat, and even more to be a serial expat.  Even better is finding websites and resources from similar women where you can find outlets for expression, creation, and getting things done.  Just like the one that Andrea and Jill have poured their hearts into.

I was also honored for my story, “Round & Round it Goes….” to be nominated by Jill and Andrea for the winning story in November 2009 on their site.  I was a little frazzled to reveal an inside look to my feelings with my story, and when I received the email of nomination over my morning coffee, I actually teared up.

Thanks EXPAT WOMEN.com, a big birthday BESO, and UNA ABRAZO FUERTE from Planet Spa! We love you and what you do.

Cheers to many, many years to come.





Mourning the Past You – Your Spiritual Spa Journey

21 11 2009

GRIEF AND SPIRITUALITY? NOT YOUR TYPICAL SPA POST

I follow many tops spa blogs, and have collaborated with the talented and motivated authors of several of them.  Which is why I was pleased to find an unexpected post and link from A Girls Gotta Spa. Not necessarily related to spas as we think of them, but transformation and mourning.  ( in a sense)While we often seek spiritual connection and more self awareness, many don’t place the connection of the real grieving process, and true mourning that goes into creating a true YOU.  Letting go of the past to discover the future.

As we go through transitions in our life, whether expected or not, whether our choice or seemingly thrown upon us, like a ton of bricks……it is important to mourn the past.  Just as you would a death, because ultimatley the same emotions will arise.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Guilt
  5. Depression
  6. Acceptance

The past year for me has been a down and dirty, true grit, in your face, life changing transformation just like that. I’ve grieved, and I’ve found some eye opening changes. I found some of my own words of late from an interview of Lady Gaga, in one of my fav beauty blogs. Famous singer/song writer Lady Gaga’s talks about becoming her

In her new album “Fame Monster” she says she “wrote about fear”, and that she is “holding onto my solitude, and wrestling with my thoughts”. Her words, pose a pretty candid look into who she was and who she is. Well said for her own experiences, it is something we should all be delving into.

She also mentions, interestingly enough, something I’ve thought much about this past year, for myself and others. “MASKS”. We all wear them, and peoples’  image control can make us believe they are something they are not, and make us believe we are the masks we wear ourselves. Only exposing what’s behind the mask, can take you deeper.

UNCOMPLICATED SIMPLICITY?

For me, I’ve recognized that the struggle against certain changes, were actually an opportunity to recognize more of myself, and pursue my true talents even more. When I finally ceased to resist, more rapid transformations came that lead to  more opportunity.

Transformation is not easy or uncomplicated. Grieving, is even less so. Your beliefs will be disrupted, relationships affected, emotions erupt, doors closed, others opened, and on and on. If you’re expecting otherwise, and not willing to do the real work, you will be sorely disappointed.

Changes may not always come in the ways we want or expect, but if we trust ourselves, and keep a keen eye out for new angles, we will be able to enhance our personal development.

These words about fear and masks, grieving and transformation, have been said by many in their own ways, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and coutless others…..but solidfying it in YOUR words is what matters.

While this post is not all about Lady Gaga, or myself, it is about an opportunity. More spas are connecting with individuals spirtuality, and creating workshops and programs that allows people to do transformational work. This is something we know well in the spa and wellness industry.

Thanks Lady Gaga, thanks Girls Gotta Spa, and thanks to you!  If you feel the new you is just not in the cards, take another look. Just when you want to give up, it will be there.

If you’d like to find more on retreats for spiritual spa journeys, you can check out;

Spiritual Spa Collection

Day Spa for the Mind

On the Joy Path





Christmas Made Easy – And Comes Early!

19 11 2009

We’re not quite in December yet, but I’m sure many of you see the signs and sounds of it on the horizon. That’s why we’ve included “Christmas Made Easy”. Make it 12 days of christmas, spa style. Enjoy!

December is such a hectic month, there are Christmas cards to write, presents to buy, parties to go to and a desperate need to catch up with or make contact with everyone in your address book.

 It’s the time of year when we spend most of our time thinking about other people. We have to schedule in time for writing copious amount of Christmas cards to people we haven’t seen for years, we ponder what we can get friends and family for Christmas and there is an urgent need to schedule dates to get together with friends you haven’t seen for ages and it all has to be done within a few already hectic weeks. Do you ever wonder why there is so much urgency, and why year after year we continue to stress ourselves out over what is essentially a church service and a roast dinner?

 Instead of running around like a headless chicken, wouldn’t the whole festive season be much more relaxing and enjoyable if we spent less time thinking about what we need to do for everyone else and think a little more about nurturing ourselves?

 You can still involve family and friends in your plans, but make your plans more about you – and believe me they will love it too!

 Here are some great tips on how to indulge yourself whilst others think you’re thinking about them:-

Tip 1

 1. Instead of organising your office Christmas party in a local restaurant or night club, book a relaxing spa day in a luxury spa venue. I can guarantee it will provide welcome stress relief to all. How much better would you feel the morning after if you went to bed after a day of relaxation and pampering? A soothing full body massage, a healthy spa lunch and just the right amount of time dipping in and out of the pool. Nothing too strenuous….. and so much better than getting drunk, having a fumble in the stationery cupboard with the boy from accounts and waking up with a very sore head!

Tip 2

 2. My second “top tip” is to avoid the shops altogether! How easy could you make Christmas shopping if it was all done on-line? No more trawling up and down the high street spending ridiculous amounts of money on “stuff” that no one really wants and will never use. Far better to buy your mum, dad, sister, brother, best friend (in fact any one on your Christmas gift list) a spa gift voucher for a luxurious spa day or spa break? In fact why not really spoil yourself and take advantage of some of the great deals on-line on spa days for two and get your loved one to take you along for a spa of pampering too?

Tip 3

 3. My third tip is to stop rushing around trying to cram everything in before Christmas and kick-start your new year, new you regime in a top spa hotel. Luxury Hotels are traditionally a bit quieter in January and February and therefore offer some superb spa deals, which if you knew about them would be very difficult to resist. So why not get together with the group of friends you really wanted to make contact with on the run up to Christmas and book yourselves a special offer spa break at a spa hotel convenient to you all.

 The best advice I can offer for a relaxing Christmas and New Year is to contact a reputable spa agent who will be able to source you the best deals and take care of all your requirements, whether you’re booking a Christmas “Sparty” (spa party) for work, buying spa gift vouchers for friends and family or getting together with friends in the new year – a good spa agent will save you money, time and give you the opportunity to indulgence yourself too. Perfect.

 





Industry News – Brand Development

1 11 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2009 – Spa development with key brands continues to grow even in economical challenges, and they look for key people to help in that growth. Lotus Effects Spa Advisory founder, Liz Galloway joins  with wellbeing group, Fuenso, for the growing Spanish Spa brand, Bodyna Natural Care, in brand awareness and international sales development.

The Bodyna spa portfolio includes 10 properties filled with mystique throughout Spain and the Baleric Islands of the Mediterranean.  Cocconed in structures filled with history, the 5 star intimate settings, give you the close boutique feeling but with much more. Ten very good reasons to visit Spain.

With over 10 years of spa development experience, Galloway brings a creative passion to the complete wellbeing group, and a strong focus on additional avenues of the brand  concept diversification.  New projects include specialty seminars, Bodyna spa product distribution with key partners, advantages in the virtual world, emotional branded partner events, training developments and more.

“I come with my love of movement, health, wellness, and public relations, ready to go full speed ahead.” Says Galloway of living in Barcelona and diversifying the brand.  “If a brand utilizes its flexibility,  adaptability, and trend –watching, it can continue to grow in innovative ways. That’s exciting.”

She brings experience from projects in the U.S., Costa Rica, India, and training worldwide to the group. As a freelance writer for several industry publications, an experienced expo speaker, and creative thinker, she joins a wonderful team of professionals at Bodyna Natural Care.

The Bodyna spa concept looks to customize it’s treatments within locations worldwide. A full replicable layout and support team can manage your hotel or resort property wellness areas. Clients are able to enjoy Bodyna branded spas, and it’s Pure Sleep, Pure Energy concept, while hospitality brands continue to look for key management companies like this one to take on new wellness projects. The brands growth plan includes large wellness investments entering Beirut and Syria, with eyes on other Middle East locations, Europe and the U.S.. Market analysis and collaboration with key partners continues to make this brand one to keep your eyes on.

Liz Galloway comments “Creating influential experiences that uphold healthy lifestyles and a philanthropic brand, while getting our message to the right people, is my focus”

Bodyna Natural Care. www.bodyna.com  Liz Galloway is an internationally known trainer, and spa and leisure consultant for Lotus Effects Advisory and works in Marketing  for Bodyna luxury spa brand in the Mediterranean. Over 10 years in the industry, and living internationally, she currently lives in Barcelona, continues to work with international clients, and write for several industry publications. Find out more at www.SpaImageConsultant.com or contact her direct at liz@thelotuseffects.com 

 

 





Do You Need to Hire a Traffic Planner for Your Spa?

26 09 2009

 

STOP, BACK UP, TO THE LEFT, A LITTLE MORE, FOLLOW THAT CORRIDOR…..NOW YOU’RE READY FOR YOUR RELAXING MASSAGE

When assembling your team of experts and consultants for a new spa related direct your spa trafficproject, you don’t typically think of adding a state or city traffic planner to your team.  But should you?

The impact of avoiding congestion, underestimated space, and calculating flow and function is why many large scale spa brands are seeking the counsel of city traffic planners. With 18,000 – 80,000 square feet to be considered at some of these destination and mixed use spas, it’s no wonder they seek counsel.

There is one thing about spa planning and layout, just as with any other project management. Do it right the first time! I’ve seen too many spa projects: Start up’s and renovations get a VERY expensive education on what to do and not do in spa planning. Pay for your MBA at University, not on the job training with your project.

So why city traffic planners? Because they focus on things like bottlenecks, connectivity, and flow. Because your infrastructure and function push your traffic (clients) where you want them to be, at the time you want them to be there, while still maintaining a high traffic flow and the illusion of tranquility and space. 

Do you want your high paying luxury destination guests annoyed there are too many people in the hammam at peak hours, or that the siesta room is not siesta-worthy, or the organic juice bar does not meet their needs because of underestimated planning? I doubt it, unless you want your budgets not to be met, and unsettled investors on your back.

Let’s create an example of a large mixed use spa being built in Egypt or Beirut.  This will take a bit of knowledge about architecture, landscape architecture, civil & structural engineering, historical preservation, sociology, cultural history,  local talent access, local healing traditions, customs and labor laws, and possibly even immigration.  Not to mention consultants experienced in spa concepts, marketing, training and launch. Guess what, an urban planner or traffic engineer is very likely among this mix too.

Much of the above applies to nationally built spas as well as foreign built spas, however the issues of navigating foreign lands and laws increases the need for these. And since many of the large spas brands (BuddhaAttitude, Rosewood, Six Senses, ESPA) are launching in more remote, and more foreign wide open spaces, (Jordan, Damascus, Qatar, Maldives) the assembly of the project management team with the skill set above  is  first and foremost.

Here are some of the similarities amongst spa planning and traffic planning:

  • 1. Preserving useful and open spaces
  • 2. Be forward thinking for future growth and increased use/traffic
  • 3. Creative construction and solutions around existing or difficult areas
  • 4. Smart management and direction through the areas once they are built
  • 5. Reduction or elimination (in spas) of congestion that keeps flow and funtion going
  • 6. Managing the investment and getting the best market pricing

There is a high cost to congestion, even in spas. Planners of all types are there to help you solve your traffic flow problems and ensure your guests will float away in bliss, leaving a long trail of positive testimonials with everyone they meet, resulting in increased branding and traffic for you.  A traffic 2public relations dream.

In the meantime, keep the traffic jams to a minimum.





As Seen on More.Com – Beauty Picks

24 09 2009

40 is the New 20 – Take a Look at Some Great Products for Women.

Murad Face Serum

This first thing that I need in the morning is a pick me up face product. One that works great for women of mid age, and myself as I’m coming into the age of ’40’ is the new ’20’, is a dual face serum and silky make up primer.

Thats why I love Murad’s Perfecting Serum.  Don’t let the “Age Reform” trademark throw you.  Beautiful, confident and strong women don’t need reforming, but the product does what it says in perfecting and priming the skin for your day.

More Magazine  recently listed its 12 top fall picks for your beauty bag. I also use several of these products, so I thought I’d share them with you. New York Beauty Editor, Nikki Ostasiewski, reviewed the products listed and gives you her comments on More.com . I suggest keeping up with this self proclaimed “lipstick wrangler”.  A soul twin, as the one thing I don’t leave the house without is a good, bold lipstick.

As many of you know with over 11 years in the spa, wellness and beauty industry, I receive tons of products for review, do secret shopping checks, help others formulate their own products and follow product trends to use as sponsors of many events.  Murad is a line I’ve come to appreciate, and it works for my skin. Do more shopping with them now. Murad.com, focused on anti-aging and acne.

I’ve known several spas that have used this line in their retail mix, and added some to its professional mix. Including, International Day Spa & Healing Center, and Essential Day Spa, with other famous spas in Las Vegas on board as well.

Howard Murad, the skin science expert, has been involved in the spa industry for some time.  Much of their more recent focus has been an increased use and sales of their line to spas, salons and medical spa centers. With an expansion into its own Murad Inclusive Health Centers, it looks like it will continue to lead in anti aging and cellular repair. They have my vote.

Another tasty product highlighted by the “lipstick wrangler” is Kiehls Body Balm.  I just ordered my own supply of this one, since I couldn’t locate here in the Mediterranean.  A friend is bringing a whole supply of products in my goody bag when we meet up in Paris next month.  (I just love birthdays)

You can purchase their products and review more by creating your own mini home spa. Kiehls.com  This is a deliciously scented hydrating balm, perfect for keeping skin supple, and youthful. I find myself needed more and more hydrating, even with all the wonderful access to traditional Mediterranean thalossotherapy.kiehls body balm

 

Keep following as we will be bringing in more highlights of products, especially as I do a new review of the wellness factors in the Mediterranean for the next Health Tourism Magazine issue. As always if you have more suggestions, a product to review, or are looking for a lab to help you formulate your own scents and ingredients, let us know.

We source many producers in the U.S., Europe and Thailand. In the meantime follow More Magazine, a new favorite of mine for reinventing yourself, inspiration, lifestyle and beauty.

Have a beauty day! Ciao.





Refresh Your Sleep. Increase Your Sales.

18 08 2009

sleepDid you sleep well last night?  You may be one of those who can fall asleep anywhere (parks,class, movies, weddings, while driving….) and partakes of the famed “siesta.”  A very serious subject in the Mediterranean. Try to do your errands or get some shopping done during siesta” time. (2-4 p.m.) Fuget’  da ’bout it!

While I’ve been fascinated by sleep and dreaming since primary school days, I’m not one of the lucky ones who has ease with the mistress of sleep.  Besides I’ve often thought it was a waste of time. Just think how much you could get done if you didn’t require the need for sleep.  However, until I’m part bionic, I still require, sleep, food, and water. Ahhhh….

LA CAIXA 16Babies sleep when it calls, then we pass through the sleepless days of adolescense and return to the need for more sleep in our maturing years. (sometimes not voluntary) What ever your sleep “patterns”‘ are they determine your efficacy during the day, your weight, and the quality of your life, among other things.

It’s been medically proven that sleep affects every aspect in our lives.  There are severe sleep disturbances  such as sleep apnea, or more superficial disturbances such as reapeated waking through out the night.  All of them can be measured with a simple sleep study.  Sleep studies monitor if you  reach REM sleep, where your concious being is allowed to rest or if you  sleep on a more superficial level, leading to a night’s rest that leaves you feeling….well…..sleepy!

I decided to give my sleep the test. I had nothing to lose, and every edge to gain. I volunteered for a new sleep program launched on the island of Mallorca.  If nothing else worked, I would have at least enjoyed breathtaking surroundings, and gotten out of my daily routine. That alone was worth the asking price of the all inclusive program at 3,500 euros. (approx. $4,760)

It came at a great time too, since I’ve been researching corporate health, competitive edge, and the success patterns of high level CEO’s to include in a new book. The title CEO demands creativity and the ability to carve out your own path. It also has given way to some little secrets of the successful, and uber rich. High level executives seek out healthy programs that can offer an edge. Since not a single one of us, is completly balanced ALL of the time, even execs, presidents, and  famous althetes seek out coaching, training, and exclusive programs to help them stay on top. Sleep programs are a trend in the area of “edge”.

The reason? IT WORKS. People who are required to stay fresh and lithe mentally, need an edge, and time to download all of the gathered info.

Many employers, corporate health supporters and fortune 100 CEO’s are finding that paying attention to each of their own unique sleep-wake cycles can improve their competitive edge. Clear mind, inceased creativity, and an effective focus.

 View my candid sleep journal and night “cam” during my own medically supervised sleep study while visiting a 5 star spa in the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca. As I lay down at 11.15 p.m., I record some of my thoughts on what the expectations are.  (Be warned I look like I’m recovering from a hospital stay)  Tomorrow at 8.00 a.m. the doctor and sleep guide are scheduled to be in my room (swanky private hotel suite) to wake me, remove the electrodes, and ensure I do the first step of my 10 step program for the day. Stretching!

Click here:   Spa Sleep Program, Mallorca Spain

 My medical consultation and polysomnography results showed I didn’t sleep so bad afterall, but my oxygen levels where down, I had several unnecessary “arousals” throughout the night. Plain language, waking up for minutes at a time, pulling me out of REM, and lessening my deep sleep. My sleep hygiene needed to be altered to increase my productivity.

  • NO more computer in bed
  • NO more eating in bed. (yes on occasion and don’t say you don’t do it too)
  • NO more late night TV watching
  • NO more doubling the bedroom for an office, daycare, visiting room, or anything else.

In short, among others, I had to develop a habitual sleep routine.

There are many spa sleep programs and the buzz is growing.  Find out more under sleep hygiene or our links in this blog., or by joing the “Learn To Sleep” program in Mallorca.

Sleep may seem like a huge waste, but there must be a reason that 1/3 of our lives is spent asleep.  So retreat to your man cave, your boudior, sun patch, beach hammock, or massage table, and sleep, sleep , sleep away.

It wouldn’t hurt to get your sleep study results and change patterns in your life either. I helped me.

In the end, refreshed sleep will increase your sales, and leaves you more efficient throughout the day.

References:

Robert DeStefano Sleep Seminars

Learn to Sleep Mallorca








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