But I haven't yet admitted that while we were primarily in Vancouver for the VOA production of Stick Boy, Saturday's schedule was constructed around Selfish Pampering! Not quite as much Selfish Pampering as I wanted -- I tried for the Palatial package, a Facial/Hot Stone Massage combo, but the busy-ness that led to my wanting the pampering also got in the way of booking it in time. Luckily, the lovely folks at Breathe Spa on Vancouver's Granville Street kept me on their waiting list for cancellations, and Friday afternoon I got the call that had me anticipating a lovely treat on Saturday afternoon.
Bliss, it was, from the moment I shut the heavy door against the sounds of a busy urban street and stepped down the stairs into this soothing, tranquil, waiting room, beautifully appointed with a striking floral arrangement and an inviting collection of up-to-date fashion magazines. As I peeled off my wet coat, and left my umbrella to dry, Toby brought me the perfect cup of tea, a caramel Rooibos blend served in a gold-edged white china cup. Tranquility in a Cup, just what I was looking for!
And then Victoria led me back to the Treatment Room where, for the next two hours, all I had to do was lie still and breathe deeply while my face got treated to lotions and gentle scrubs and hot-cloth wraps (I can't explain how very much I love hot-cloth wraps! But it's very much. Very. Very. Much!). When my face was being left to steep in this lotion or absorb that steam mist or sit under a delicately tightening mask, Victoria was massaging my arms, my hands, my neck, my shoulders, my feet, my calves. I'm breathing more deeply just remembering all this. Ahhhhhhhh!
And the scents. It's something like being told the most intriguing story, one that progresses from one mood to another, characters developing, distinguishing themselves from one another. Slightly sweet with a hint of muskiness is followed by spicy floral, and that piney goodness leads back into the sweet, and somewhere there's a memory of mineral-ish floral, as if rose petals had been worked into clay. . . .The complexities of fragrance seduce lazy lungs into breathing more deeply, and that oxygen, oh that's good medicine indeed.
When it was all over, I felt rather transfigured. Deep, appreciative sighs, and some grateful chat with Spa Therapist Victoria who used the term "Praising the Goddess" for what I was calling Selfishness. I must say I like her label much better than my own. And really, being Selfish is a way of being good to those around us, right? Looking after ourselves, we can then be more ready to give.
Even if it's not a trip to the spa. A simple, perfect cup of tea in a nurturing environment, a lovely bouquet to please the senses. Have you praised the goddess in yourself lately? Does the term resonate at all? Or is it too suspiciously self-serving? (and why is that automatically a bad thing, the serving of self?)
*No compensation was received for this post. I was simply very pleased with the service I received, struck by how nurturing the decor was, and happy to tell the world -- well, all of you, at least!