It has been a good year; I think one of the absolute best for my business. I have seen increased brand awareness and partnerships becoming stronger and stronger.
I became an Affiliate of The B&B Team®. I am proud to be part of this group of esteemed hospitality experts as the spa and wellness tourism consultant. It is funny – as a group we did an exercise of calculating our 2018 travels. Holy moly…I have visited 20 states, some more than once, visited 41 spas and spent 73 overnights. NO WONDER WHY I AM TIRED.
Sounds exciting, right? It is! I am truly blessed to visit some of the most service-oriented properties in the country. I would say, if we are being candid, 95% of my experiences are unique and pleasant. Many of them extraordinary. But should I tell you about the other 5%? There was that one time when my toe nails were cut so short that they actually bled, true story. Secret shopping has its hazards. Oh, and the time I was assured that there was not garlic in my meal…I was sick all night. (Yes, I am allergic to garlic.) AND my personal favorite memory that I would like to forget, a massage that I actually paid for that left me sore, feeling sick and angry that a spa would let such a poorly trained massage therapist work on their guests.
As I said though, most of my experiences are wonderful. I meet such kind-hearted people everywhere. It truly is why I love what I do so much.
As most of you know, the SpaHive is a passion project of mine. Connecting our industry through in person masterminds, online community, collaboration and education so that we may all be stronger and successful is my mission. I hosted a great and what I would call successful SpaHiveNew England, at the Cliff House Resort and Spa in May. SpaHive seems to be growing and the spirit of the SpaHive is shared by many. Our New England event had the largest number of attendees at any event. The pop up boutique, set with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop, was quite an experience. But, don’t be fooled. If it looks easy, I am doing a great job hiding the reality. In 2018, I’ve been the sickest I’ve ever been. I believe we are given challenges so that we may grow, learn and shift. The stress going into SpaHive New England took its toll on me physically. These are the things you don’t outwardly see. I just couldn’t recover after the event. I’m normally exhausted after an event: it’s that adrenal letdown, I guess. But, after this May event, it was different. I was progressively getting weaker, more and more shaky with a rapid heart rate. I was unable to relax. I was losing weight without trying and finding myself extremely irritable. Turns out I have Graves’ Disease. It was brought on by situational stress. My exceptional Harvard Medical specialist believes the onset directly correlated will the SpaHive event. Funny thing, that thing called stress.
I took the next several months canceling events, commitments and travel. I tried not to let people down, but I took a step back and a hard look at my work load. Thing is, I can handle the work load but what I came to realize is that I cannot do it alone and that the company that I keep will either elevate me or suck the life out of me. Our tribe is so important, we were meant to be connected not isolated. With the care of my doctor, my Naturopath, my personal trainer and oh yes, my massage therapist I found myself in just a few short months going into remission, so they call it. I am still having my levels fine-tuned but I have made big life changes that seem to have paid off…only time will tell on that.
I tell you this because it was life changing. It changed the way that I think, the way that I work and the way that I conduct myself both personally and professionally. I no longer take on unfulfilling work, I try to not stress the small stuff and I have changed my focus to be in line with my mission: “To give back to an industry that has been so good to me over the years. To provide our industry professionals with a mentor, just as I have experienced from some of the best in the business. To me it’s about sharing and helping, it is my passion.”
Going into the second big SpaHive of the year, I approached it very differently. I tried to accept more help, not put so much pressure on myself and just let things flow. I have been told it was the best SpaHive event yet by many so I would consider that a success since we took on a new market in the Mid-Atlantic/DC Metro Region. We were fortunate to have 19 brands represented and some of the regions top spa directors and owners in attendance. I see areas of improvement that can be made, of course, but progress is far better than perfection.
As I head into the final days of the year, I move forward with gratitude for everything in my life. Without clouds I would not appreciate the sunshine. I am not one to make new year resolutions. For the past two years I have selected a word that I would let guide me into the new year. As a reminder my word for 2017 was Fearless and 2018 was Worthy. My word of 2019 is FLOURISH. Have you heard the quote; Fall down seven times, get up eight? I promise to get up and flourish. I also promise to help you flourish too, together WE can!
I am not entirely sure what is in store for 2019. I do know I am headed to Washington, DC to make a difference in the future of education for our industry and am chairing an initiative with the Global Wellness Institute called Peer to Peer Leadership Training. Let us not forget about The B&B Team® partnership to help create programs to drive Wellness Tourism dollars into the B&B and small inn market. Partnerships are important to me, and you will see a lot more this upcoming year, like fun things WE will be doing with Caribbean WE. All of my efforts are always focused on helping the future leaders of our industry FLOURISH.
In September 2019, we will be hosting our biggest SpaHive event to date at the Spa at Norwich Inn and our Live In the Hive chats will resume in January.
I also know that I have a few more surprises up my sleeve but isn’t that half the fun of it?! Stay tuned….