Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In the waters with Sarah Walton, body blitz shiatsu therapist, yoga instructor and doula. She talks to us about staying healthy and about healing ourselves.

1. What is your career? What do you love most about it?
I’m a Shiatsu therapist, yoga instructor and doula. I love that my work is never ever boring. Every session is a process of discovery and an opportunity to witness transformation. I don’t heal people; I help them to re-connect with their bodies and help to create a space for healing to occur. Discovering and re-connecting with their bodies creates a doorway into awareness of other aspects of their lives. People are able to make necessary connections about the relationships between the choices they make in their daily routine and what that means for how they feel.

2. How do you stay balanced with life, career, family, friends & health?
Each day, I find a way to connect to my inner core – to centre myself – through qi-gong, mantras, meditation, yoga, self-care or laughing with my daughter who always keeps it real for me.

3. If you could, what advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? 5 years ago? 20 years ago?
Ten years ago, I was in my early thirties and had a young daughter. I had a tendency to overdo things – Back then, I would have told myself to read fewer parenting books and pace myself ,"it's a long trip."
Five years ago, I went through a painful break-up, I would have given myself a pat on the back for making difficult choices that in the long run brought me to a way better place.
Wow twenty years ago! I don't know if I would have listened to anyone's advice, I was pretty headstrong. I probably would just give myself a hug and some band-aids.

4. What are the most common complaints you hear when women come for a treatment?

Mostly women don’t have enough time for themselves because of work, families and taking care of others. Many of my clients are artists who have a career and a family and don’t have enough time to themselves. I see many striving personalities who beat themselves up for not doing enough or accomplishing enough. They even try to be a perfectionist about taking care of themselves. They can be very hard on themselves.

5. What is your advice to them?

Be gentler and kinder to yourself. Acknowledge the efforts you’ve already made and count every victory no matter how small and keep going and push past all
 voices that limit your ability to enjoy all that you do!

6. As a care giver, how do you take care of yourself?

As a caregiver, I consider my body and my being my instrument, so just as a business needs to do maintenance on their equipment, I need to care for myself. It has been a cultural leap to realize that we have to live in these bodies for a lifetime and that we need to maintain them. I grew up with a lot of energy and I thought it was an unlimited resource that I didn't need to replenish. A bout with chronic fatigue taught me the value of replenishing and self care.I try to get a shiatsu massage every week and I definitely visit the waters at body blitz once a week.  Another way I take care of myself is to make conscious choices about where I am going to invest my energy - in my thoughts, in my emotions, in my family, in my friends and in my actions. I ask myself, 'does this nourish me or deplete me?' It was these questions that ultimately healed my chronic fatigue.

7. How has your health changed since using the body blitz therapeutic waters?
 I feel like the waters have a cleansing affect on my system similar to clearing off your desk before work. I feel better and more efficient in dealing with tensions and stresses that arise. I notice that my complexion is better, my monthly cycles are very smooth and I am generally more relaxed and better.

8. Proudest accomplishment?

My daughter and the amazing community and family we have created around us.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Greatest Love Story

In February, the month of love, we hosted the Greatest Love Story contest, eager to read your stories of love and devotion — to family, partners, kittens, and more (we do not judge)! You sent in such sweet, funny, charming stories; you brought tears to our eyes and gave us hope that romance will never die. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

We are so pleased to announce the winner of our Greatest Love Story contest:
Emily S., with the story below, about unexpected love.


My grandmother, a widow for over thirty years, met the gentleman who moved in across the street, when she was 85. He was 90. They started inviting one another over to share lunch, to enjoy one another's company, and much to their surprise, fell in love. For her 89th birthday, he gave her a beautiful diamond ring — with no strings attached, he said, jokingly. Love can happen in the unlikeliest places.

He died in June of 2013, at age 96, much missed by my grandmother. Before her death in October of last year, at age 92, she asked me if I would like to wear the ring he had given her. She said that she didn't want it to go to one of her children, as it wasn't from their father, but that it was a good reminder that love comes from unexpected places. She was graciously reminding me, I think, that she approved of my same-sex marriage to my partner, whom she admired very much. It's a story about a special ring, a special love, and some very special people.

Thanks for the opportunity to get this down in words! Such a good reminder for all of us. 


Below is a picture of Emily with her beloved grandmother. 
Thank you again, Emily!

Monday, February 2, 2015

In the Waters with Sofi Papamarko ...

We sat down with matchmaker, dating expert and confessed reluctant social butterfly Sofi Papamarko and asked her a few questions ...

Tell us about your work? What do you love most about it?
I'm a matchmaker, so my work involves asking people really personal questions about their (love) lives and then setting them up on dates with likeminded singles. Basically, my job rules. I love every aspect of it, but there is no more rewarding feeling than when I get an email from a client saying they had an amazing first date or that they've been exclusively dating the person I set them up with. So far, I have one wedding, two engagements, a baby and several co-habitations under my yenta belt. I've been doing Friend of a Friend for about a year and a half now and every month, there's been a new success story.

What is the biggest misconception perpetuated by dating experts?
That you're doing something wrong or that there's something wrong with you if you're single. 

What have you learned from your clients?
I'm probably going to get a little Oprah-cheesy here, but...well...the human spirit is indomitable? I have had the privilege of meeting hundreds people, and more than a few times, there have been many, many tears. The things people go through in their lives and they live to come through the other side! It's astonishing. I've talked to survivors of bullying and abuse, survivors of cancer, people who have lost family members and spouses...heartbreaking stories. A lot of people have been through some very, very tough times and then they come to me, open and ready for love. It's inspirational, really.

What is the relationship between wellness and romance?
Folk wisdom suggests you can't love someone unless you love yourself. It's important to take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally before you can give your best self to another person. Unfortunately, a lot of women neglect themselves due to work and life pressures. We need to fix that and spread the message that self-care is not selfish. It's integral.

Tell us about your first experience with body blitz?
It was pretty wonderful. I'd heard about body blitz for years and numerous friends had asked me to join them, but I'd never taken the plunge, so to speak. I really loved the water circuit, but the main event for me was the sweet ginger and milk body glow. It was crazy luxurious. It made me feel like Cleopatra and I left all soft and smooth and smelling like a creamsicle.

If you could, what advice would you give yourself 5 years ago? 10 years ago? 20 years ago?
Just keep doing what you're doing, kid. But maybe eat more spinach? Oh, and also, that boy who doesn't like you back is stupid and you definitely shouldn't waste your time thinking about him for even another second.

What book is on your nightstand?
"Consider the Lobster," David Foster Wallace. 

Proudest accomplishment?
Starting my own small business, despite knowing absolutely nothing about business.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Years tips ...

1. New Year’s resolutions are a guideline not a manifesto. If you indulge a little too much, enjoy it and know you can start again tomorrow.

2. Our bodies are trained to slow down in the winter. It’s ok to hibernate and take time for yourself. Wrap yourself in a blanket and start an epic book.

3. Take advantage of the short days of winter and sleep 8 to 9 hours a night. Your body will thank you.

4. Grab a loved one and go for an after dinner walk. You may even look up and see the moon!

5. Remember to feed yourself, figuratively and literally. Life is short.

6. Treat yourself with tenderness and kindness. You are perfect the way you are. Give yourself a hug.

Welcome to the New Year!