When life brings you contrast and change, it can be very hard on the emotions. It flows naturally that the body is affected by the chemical soup coursing through your veins. Friends and loved ones are full of advice and support, but ultimately it's a very lonely experience.
I'm trying to make an effort to cover all the bases of mental and physical health. That way when I come out of this experience, I'll not have neglected something that ends up holding me back from moving forward into a much better, more loving place. (And hopefully it will revitalize my sense of humor, too.) To that end I've been: trying to go for a walk every day, eating good quality foods, spending time with friends, getting out to be social, listening to more music, seeing counselors, reading great books, and dipping back into spirituality. That is to say, addressing the needs of body, mind, and spirit.
Sadly, that is not me on the table… yet!
One of my next big goals for career advancement was to get in contact with local Irish newspapers for freelance work. The world-rocking has hit me rather hard, however, and I've not yet built up the momentum I had when originally planning this. I want to do more pieces on luxury travel and take advantage of all those press trips – just need a commission! – I keep seeing in my email.
Oh, massage, saunas, and mud baths how you call to me! Not just for spa weekends, but for spa lifetimes! I may have been born into the wrong century. I need to go forward in time to the era of life-long luxuriousness!
As with many things in life, networking often trumps credentials and the "right" way to do things. A connection I'd made with another American expat blogger here in Cork led to a lovely opportunity to take part in a restaurant soiree. The Fresco Bistro, beneath the Lewis Gluckman Gallery on the UCC (University College Cork) campus, was reaching out through social media to promote the restaurant and the delicious yet affordable gourmet dishes they serve.
Gourmet noms: duck bon bon on the left, salmon and cod cake on the right. Mmm…
I grabbed a friend and headed out to sample the wares. I thought a little taste of each and a sip of champagne would be the extent of it, but the food kept coming! The chef, whose nickname is Kash, is from Malaysia. He told me that in Malaysia it's ALL about the food. When his friends and family earn a bit of money, the first thing they talk about is where to go to eat – and they eat a LOT. So he enjoys feeding people well, and feed us well he did!
With the help of that same friend, I got in contact with several local spas here in Cork, wanting to add a little more oomph to my luxury travel review resume. We received some positive responses, but some of the ups and downs of the week effectively took the wind out of my sails and I haven't yet followed up with most of them. Still, I did have an appointment with a healer who does spiritual counseling, massage, and energy work.
These places always smell amazing!
I had heard of Mary through the grapevine many months ago but hadn't had occasion to meet with her. With all the upset, pain, sadness, and rage I was feeling, a re-balancing of energies seemed like something I really needed. As much as I love, love, love massage, Mary decided that the things I needed most were a bit of counseling and a LOT of energy work. I have to agree that she was correct. (Seriously, babies were smiling at me afterward – no joke!)
In doing research on local spas earlier in the week, I discovered that Cork has a lot to offer. You can get facials and pedicures, of course, and there are Swedish, Thai, and shiatsu massage options, as well as aromatherapy, neck and shoulder massage (ooo, sign me up!), and something called "Indian head massage". Since "Indian head" usually makes me think of rock formations in the Sierras, and rubbing them doesn't make much sense, I presume it refers a technique from India to massage your noggin.
…You see why I need to beef up this luxury resume? All in the name of research, all in the name of research.
Irish Buddha contemplates the emptiness that is his lack of Guinness.
Working with Mary, who, besides knowing various touch therapies, is a shaman, means that I was getting a head massage, of sorts – but more from the inside. There was a bit of neck and shoulder manipulation, and cranial sacral work involved, but most of it was chakra-oriented. Opening up to her about the enormous amount of betrayal, hurt, and rage I've been feeling is something that fits within the spectrum of her work.
Just as a good masseuse will help transform that knotted muscle back into a relaxed and functioning part of the body, a good spiritual counselor can help you transform your pent up energy into understanding and optimism. Mary defined the rage I'm feeling – and I mean, white hot, blinding, nearly overpowering rage – as something that I will eventually see as creativity. I haven't quite connected the dots yet, but it sounds much better than remaining where I am emotionally.
While I love all the wonderful friends I have here, I am very much looking forward to having money and paperwork sorted so that I can get back on the road and do what I love. The fabulous photo opportunities and rich history of Ireland are great filler for an expat with itchy feet. However, Scotland is calling my name, so I think that's where I'll visit next, inshe'Allah.
How are you minding yourself?
Today's post was brought to you by the lovely folks of Wahanda, who can help you find cheap spa days for your mind, body, and soul when you visit the UK. Heck, I think I might find an excuse to go over JUST so I can take a spa holiday!