9 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

Posted by Maria on December 9, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Facials, Fashion, Gemstones & Crystals, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Homespunspa, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Seasonal, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
The holidays are just around the corner and for many of us, the winter season means extra food and drinks and finding the time for decorating, shopping, gift wrapping, office parties, travelling, and getting together with friends and family.

Although the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” getting caught up in the spirit of the holiday season can also be very stressful, especially if you add snow storms and winter driving to the list.

Many of my clients ask me, ‘is there a way to enjoy the holiday season without feeling stressed, tired, and overwhelmed?’

The answer is ‘yes.’ Yes, it is possible to maintain your health and well-being and not get stressed out during the festive holiday season.

So, if you have concerns like:

• How can I better manage my stress during this busy time of year?

• How can I stick to my eating plan when everywhere I look, I see cookies and chocolates and all kinds of delicious treats? and

• How do I get along better with my extended family and enjoy our visits?…

Read on.

Here are 9 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

1. Get some wellness coaching

With a few sessions with a wellness coach, you will reduce stress, stay on top of your to-do list, make a plan to eat well, and have better relationships with your friends, co-workers, and family members. It’s about navigating the waters rather than getting caught up in the current. Working with a wellness coach will help you glide through the holidays with finesse and start the new year off on the right foot.

2. Drink lots of water, hot lemon water, coconut water, and clear herbal tea

Staying hydrated will help you:

  • maintain your energy and not become fatigued,
  • stay warmer on those chilly days,
  • boost your immune system and reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu,
  • control your appetite,
  • avoid gaining some extra pounds,
  • and better digest those rich foods you’ll find at holiday parties.

So, instead of drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during this festive season, drink a glass of coconut water or a mug of hot lemon water or herbal tea, whenever you can.

3. Sniff away your stress with aromatherapy

My favourite scent during this time of year is Cinnamon & Clove essential oil. It’s like holiday baking without the calories and lends a homey, comforting, and warming note to any room.

4. Give yourself a Reflexology foot massage

Often, stress shows up in our neck and shoulders. One day, I realized that the words “should” and “shoulders” are related and many of us carry our shoulds on our shoulders, like painful burdens. With Reflexology, you can work your own shoulders by massaging the acupressure points on the area just under the baby toes on the soles of your feet.

5. Wear gemstone jewellery

December is a great time of year to wear your best gemstone jewellery! I love gemstones because they’re so pretty! I love having them in my energy field and for the festive season, I recommend silvery-black hematite for stress and dark red garnet for love and joy.

6. Take a moment to breathe and be grateful

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a little break from the hustle and bustle of your day, take a few deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth to ground yourself. As you’re breathing slowly, think of things you’re grateful for. This will help you switch your focus to more positive thoughts.

7. Spend some time outside

Go outside and get some fresh air. It’s invigorating and will help clear your mind.

8. Lend a helping hand

Earlier this morning, I shoveled my driveway after a big snowfall (see #7) and after I was finished, I helped my next door neighbours with theirs. It felt really good to pitch in and help someone out.

9. Call Homespunspa Mobile Spa

I know it seems counter-intuitive to book yet another appointment during this busy time of year, especially for something like a massage where you can’t multi-task. However, it’s important to continue practicing your self-care and take the time to top up your own tank so that you can keep up with the demands on your time and energy. There’s also nothing more healing than therapeutic touch. Luckily, as a mobile spa, we come to you and will give you relaxing spa services in your very own home. We offer massages, manicures, pedicures, and facials to help people relax, look better, and feel better.

To schedule an appointment for mobile spa services and wellness coaching, please call Maria @ 250-812-3487 or email: homespunspa@shaw.ca.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid stress over the holidays. If you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing stress below. Thanks!

Happy holidays!

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Camping

Posted by Maria on June 3, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Dear Homespunspa, Green Living, Hair, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Canadians love to go camping in the summertime, (although some of us would prefer “glamping” but that’s a post for another time. :) )

To kick off the camping season, I thought I’d share a dry shampoo recipe that you can take with you on your camping trips anywhere across this beautiful country of ours.

Dry shampoos are good to use in the great outdoors because:

  • dry shampoo recipe from Homespunspa.the powder is lightweight and easy to pack;
  • the natural ingredients will not harm the environment;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes don’t contain industrial chemicals like commercially-made shampoos;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes aren’t over-packaged;
  • the powder does not generate extra garbage;
  • the recipes work for men, women and kids;
  • will cleanse greasy or oily hair without stripping the hair;
  • there’s no water required.

Dry shampoos are not just good for camping and of course, you can always use your dry shampoo at home anytime of year. I keep some on hand in case I need to go out and look presentable but don’t have time to take a shower and wash and dry my hair. And sometimes, if I’m planning to workout later in the day and don’t want to take two showers in a day, I’ll apply some dry shampoo in the morning to refresh my hair. Dry shampoo is a great alternative to wearing hats or pony tails.

Dry Shampoo Recipe by Maria Koropecky

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB Bentonite Clay — a natural clay that absorbs oils and is good for skin and hair.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch — this absorbant powder lends a silky feel to home spa recipes.
  • 1 tsp baking soda — soothes itchy skin and clears blemishes.
  • 1 tsp orrisroot powder — has a slight violet aroma and is used to fix other scents in the recipe.
  • 1/4 tsp myrrh gum powder — is good for dry skin and the exotic aroma warms the senses.

optional ingredients:

  • You can substitute myrrh essential oil for the myrrh gum powder or not use either.
  • If you have dark hair, you can add 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • If you have auburn hair, you can add 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  • If you have grey or white hair, you can use white China clay instead of Bentonite clay.

Method:

Measure and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and store in a sterilized jar like a salt shaker. You can also put the recipe in a plastic, ziplock, baggy while camping. The shelf life is indefinite as most, if not all of these ingredients, contain some natural preservative properties.

Manner:

This can get a little messy so it’s best to do this outside. I don’t recommend applying this clay powder over a sink because eventually it will clog your drains.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in a salt shaker, bend at the waist and simply shake some powder on your head near the roots. Let it sit for a minute and then brush it out.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in another container, scoop some out with a spoon, bend at the waist, sprinkle over your head, wait a minute or two, and then brush everything out.

Apply more dry shampoo as needed and brush your hair thoroughly. Once you notice a difference and feel your hair is clean, remove any excess powder that may have landed on your neck and shoulders during application.

Voila! Your hair is clean and you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy the myrrh and orrisroot fragrance.

Let me know what you think of this dry shampoo recipe and I’d love to hear about your camping trip, too!

Energy Alignment: Balancing Outer Action With Inner Receptivity

Posted by Maria on March 19, 2015 under Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Guest Bloggers, Life Coaching, Meditation, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | 3 Comments to Read

by Christy Whitman, Guest Blogger

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my spa days! – but not many people know exactly why, or how much I receive from the time I invest in recharging myself in this way.

For me, a spa day is not just about releasing stress, looking better and feeling good (although these are all much-appreciated benefits!).  The energy I give to myself when I take a “me” day is literally what gives me the ability to give my energy to all the relationships and activities I’m involved in, including running an international coaching academy, being a wife to my husband Frederic, a mother to two young boys, writing books, leading retreats and coaching courses, taking great vacations and generally enjoying my life.

That I am able to extract across-the-board value from an act as simple as spending a day at a spa goes back to a principle I was lucky enough to learn years ago from Jack Canfield, one of my earliest mentors.  This principle that has since been cited by numerous other metaphysical teachers and tested by quantum physicists – and I’m sharing it with you here because if you apply it, it will serve you in virtually all aspects of your life.

One hour of “inner” work (and by “inner” work, Jack was referring to the internal practice of intending, visualizing, and aligning our energy) is worth seven hours of “outer” work.

Now, doing “inner” work does not necessarily mean sitting in meditation for an hour each day. What it does mean is that before we take any outer action, we first take a moment to clarify the intention behind that action.  Said another way, we deliberately decide how we want to feel, and get into that state of being before we do anything.  If there is a “secret” to my being able to accomplish so much in so many different aspects of my life, it’s that I practice bringing my internal energy into alignment with the essence of what I want to get out of that activity or situation before I take any external action.

So, when I’m doing something that nurtures my body – like getting a massage, a facial, or visiting the acupuncturist – I begin by connecting with my intention to fill myself with whatever energy I perceive will most serve me at that moment – whether it’s vitality, stamina, sexuality, relaxation, increased immunity, or all of the above.  The end result of this practice is that I receive much more value out of the time I spend engaged in that activity, because I’ve aligned my energy with the outcome I desire and have opened myself up to receiving it.

So many women I’ve worked with and coached have fallen into what I call the “dark side” of multi-tasking.  Sometimes we can be so focused on other things that we take ourselves out of the present moment – even when that moment offers the deep relaxation and nurturing we’re craving!

So to you fellow spa-goers, I pass along the same advice that Jack gave to me: Take a few minutes to align your energy with whatever outcome you want to create before you engage in the activity.   If it’s a spa day you’re creating – whether a full day at home or just a quick one-hour massage, prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you’re in a state to receive the full benefits that the experience makes available.

Aligning your energy with the activity at hand makes all the difference in the world – kind of like using an electronic device that is running on battery power versus one that is plugged in and being fully charged by a live electrical current.  Action that is infused with energy and intention produces results that are astonishing compared to what can be accomplished with action alone.  Try it for yourself and see!

Christy Whitman is a New York Times bestselling author, transformational leader, and author of the forthcoming book The Art of Having It All. She has appeared on The Today Show and The Morning Show, and her work has been featured in People Magazine, Seventeen, Woman’s Day, Hollywood Life, and Teen Vogue, among others. As the CEO and founder of the Quantum Success Coaching Academy, a 12-month Law of Attraction coaching certification program. Christy has helped thousands of people worldwide to achieve their goals through her empowerment seminars, speeches, and coaching sessions and products. Christy’s life-changing message reaches over 125,000 people a month, and her work has been promoted by and featured with esteemed authors and luminaries such as Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marci Shimoff, Brian Tracy, Neale Donald Walsch, Abraham-Hicks, and Louise Hay. She currently lives in Montreal with her husband, Frederic, and their two boys, Alexander and Maxim.

Meet her at www.ChristyWhitman.com and www.TheArtofHavingItAll.com

RIP, Merle Barwis, Supercentarian

Posted by Maria on December 2, 2014 under Fitness, Green Living, Life Coaching, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

When I heard the news that Merle Barwis, Canada’s oldest person, died on November 22, 2014, at the age of 113, yes 113!, I marvelled at her longevity. Her 80’s were 30 years ago!

Merle was born on December 23, 1900 in Iowa. She is a “supercentarian” because she lived past the age of 110 years. At that age, they start counting the days after each birthday, on top of the years, so more precisely, she lived 113 years and 334 days. I bet if all of us took the time to count our days of life, we’d appreciate them more. On that note, I’ve just figured out that I’ve lived more that 16,000 days so far!

I was also struck by the fact that Merle lived in a care home in the Greater Victoria area — in Langford for goodness’ sake — and I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to meet her through my work as a mobile esthetician. I have a number of clients in their 90’s and I’m learning a lot from that generation and it would have been neat to spend time with someone in their 100’s, too.

I sometimes wonder if centarians have “reach 100 years” as a life goal like George Burns did and if they had longevity in mind throughout their life or not. I’ve been asking people if they have aspirations to reach 100 and they sort of twinkle at the idea for a second but don’t take it too seriously.

“Is it possible for me?” they might be thinking. Or maybe they’re asking themselves if they would even want to be 100 years old in the first place.

Personally, I’d like to reach my 101th birthday but only under the following conditions:

  1. I have my memory and mental health;
  2. I have physical mobility and physical health;
  3. I have joyful relationships with upbeat people;
  4. I have more than enough money for the cost of living and have a roof over my head and good food to eat;
  5. Our infrastructure is in tact (like roads, banks, peace treaties, etc.);
  6. Nature is still beautiful and the environment is still hospitable.
  7. I’m not bored out of my tree.

We’ll see what happens — I’m not even halfway there yet — but I certainly don’t have any plans to take myself out of the game pre-maturely. I’m just too curious to see what will happen next. In 50+ years, in the 2060’s and 2070’s, what will the fashion look like, what will the music sound like, will I still be able to read this blog post on the internet?

Does that interest you, too?

Do you have aspirations to be a centarian?

From what I gather, these will help increase your chances to live to be 100 and beyond:

  1. Good genes;
  2. Joie de vivre;
  3. A moderately healthy lifestyle.

I’ve also noticed that spry seniors are often lifelong dancers and avid walkers and tend to be very likeable extroverts.

Then again, life’s a crap shoot. There have been curmudgeons who have lived past 99 (but I certainly wouldn’t recommend a poor attitude as a way to go because 100 years of misery misses the point). There have also been people in history who have survived terrible advercities and still manage to live a long life. And there have been people who have been heavy smokers and drinkers who somehow manage to beat the odds and live well beyond life expectancy.

The trick is to find a balance between taking huge, unecessary risks and not playing it too safe either.

We don’t know when our number will come up but I think you can stack the deck in your favour to live a long and healthy life if you have a positive attitude and if you take care of yourself along the way. I figure, if you respect your health now, in your younger years, you’ll have any easier time later. After all, old age isn’t for sissies, wimps, or wusses and you’ve got to buckle up for the ride!

Taking care of yourself and having fun is what Homespunspa is all about and I like helping people improve the quality of their life.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you’re interested in becoming a centarian yourself and if you’d like some health and wellness coaching to get you on track. I’d be happy to chat with you about becoming an centarian because it’s one of my favourite topics and because I’d love to meet you again when we get there. No matter how long your journey is, I hope it’s a good one.

Once again, RIP, Merle Barwis, Supercentarian; you have inspired me.

Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?

Posted by Maria on February 20, 2014 under Books, Magazines, Music, Fitness, Guest Bloggers, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Seasonal, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

We’re now seven weeks into the new year and I’m just wondering how your New Year’s resolutions are coming along. Do you remember your New Year’s resolutions? Are you still actively working towards your goals? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions at all?

By mid-February, most of us barely remember the New Year’s resolutions we made on January 1st. It’s hard to stay the course and remain committed to making new lifestyle choices, especially when life gets in the way.

I made two New Year’s resolution this year. My first has to do with finally taking action on my dream of becoming a professional speaker and I’m happy to say that I’m making great progress on that front. I’ve even been the moderator of a live Christmas concert in my church.

The second is about fitness. As many of you know, I’m a Jazzerciser. Each year, my instructor Donna counts how many classes her students attend over the course of the year and if we show up for 150 classes from January to December, we get a free t-shirt! Although I have earned the coveted t-shirt once before, I haven’t in the last couple of years. In December, I was really inspired by some of my classmates who danced their way through at least 150 classes and how fabulous they looked and that’s when I decided to go for it again. I’m pleased to say that so far, I’ve attended three Jazzercise classes a week and am still on track for the t-shirt.

I’m happy that I’m sticking to my plans and I just want to let you know that even if your New Year’s resolutions are starting to fade or if you’ve abandoned them all together, it’s never too late to pick them up where you left off and persevere. Remember why you made your New Year’s resolutions in the first place and how you’ll feel when you’ve finally conquered your short-comings.

I’ve learned over the years that finding an accountability partner is one of the best ways to achieve my goals. For example, telling Donna about my goal of participating in 150 classes this year and having her keep track of my Jazzercise attendance is really helping me stay motivated.

If you’d like to have your own accountability partner to help you with your wellness-related goals like say, getting more fit or quitting smoking for example, please contact me. I may be able to help.

In the meantime, have a look at this really cool infographic, “How to Rock Your Resolutions” that was sent to me by the good folks at Jazzercise. I hope it helps you revisit your New Year’s resolutions and take fresh action steps toward your goals. By December, I want to hear about your successes.

As we say in Jazzercise, Happy New Rear!

How to Rock Your Resolutions [Infographic]

School’s No-Touch Policy is Cold

Posted by Maria on November 6, 2013 under Fitness, Massages, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Yesterday, I heard that an elementary school in nearby Aldergrove, B.C. introduced a no-touch policy for its students and I’d like to add my two cents to this conversation.

According to my research, the kindergarten kids at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School are no longer allowed to do things like play tag or hold hands because there has been some rough-housing lately and it’s getting “out of hand.” Parents of these children got a letter saying, “We have unfortunately had to ban all forms of hands-on play for the immediate future…we will have a zero-tolerance policy.” If the kids do break the rules and make some sort of physical contact with another student, they will be grounded during play time and/or sent to the office.

As an esthetician, therapeutic touch is my business and I feel this policy is downright awful on so many levels. Where do I start?

First of all, touch is a fundamental need. Touch at its best is healing, calming, nourishing, soothing, comforting. It creates bonds between people. It feels good.

If people don’t receive loving touch during their first few weeks, months and years of life and are not held as infants, they are not likely to survive. And if the children who are deprived of human contact happen to live, their emotional and physical growth is stunted and they don’t develop a sense of empathy or compassion for others. It’s really sad.

When I look back on my kindergarten days, I remember learning how to do a cartwheel which was really thrilling. During recess, I liked the swing sets, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, throwing a ball against the wall, digging in the sandbox and singing patty-cake songs, like “Say, say, my playmate, come on an play with me” while clapping my hands with a partner. Although I wasn’t fond of playing tag (because it involved running), I still played the game often enough with the neighbourhood kids and my school mates. It was part of the package deal of being a kid. I couldn’t imagine someone saying. “You can’t do that anymore.”

Of course, not all physical contact is good either. Sometimes touch can be uncomfortable, inappropriate, mean-spirited, violent and/or damaging. Kids should be able to tell the difference and that comes with context and experience. One size does not fit all and placing a ban on all forms of hands-on play, robs these kids of developing that knowledge.

The school administrators said they want to keep things “safe” for everybody. I read a bumper sticker awhile ago that said something like, “I’m not going to tip-toe through life just so I can get to death safely” and I wish I had taken a photo of it. In any case, staying safe all of the time is not living life. How else would I have learned how to do a cartwheel among many other successes? Occasionally, kids will prove the law of gravity and will fall off their bikes or the jungle gym and will skin their knees and chins but that shouldn’t keep them from riding their bikes or climbing at all.

With this kind of no-touch policy in place during their formative years, what are these kids supposed to think as they navigate through the rest of their lives? What conclusions are they supposed to draw? Will they be traumatized by this policy and carry a fear of touching others around with them in the back of their mind for life? Will they be able to stand up for themselves if they are being bullied? Will they lose their job because a co-worker has rubbed them the wrong way? Will they freak out on the bus because someone sat too close to them? Will they wake up one day and wonder why they can’t have more loving, healthy and intimate relationships with others? Depriving kids of human touch, especially during play with their peers, (in spite of good intentions), is not a trivial matter. It can have lasting effects that we can’t foresee at this stage.

This no-touch policy, which by the way is not unique to this school and has been implemented in a school in Connecticut and in Australia, is somewhat related to another troubling trend I see in our culture. Nowadays, people are all about their handheld devices. They keep checking their contraptions every chance they get. If a group of people is sitting around a table for some odd reason, chances are, most of them are texting someone who is elsewhere rather than chatting with the person next to them. Somehow, the person far away has become more important than the person close by. Some people fear everyone’s social skills are suffering as a result of our lack of real, face-to-face time and our dependence on computers. In my opinion, this no-touch policy just reinforces that trend.

Well, I’m not going to hide behind a prop every minute of every day and I’m not going to keep my hands to myself. As much as I like my iPhone and my laptop, I’m going to go out into the world and meet people face to face and keep on doing my esthetics and giving relaxing massages every chance I get.

I’m hoping this whole “no-touch” thing blows over before it gets too entrenched. Life is a contact sport. You can’t legislate touching — especially among 5-year-olds.

In my opinion, a no-touch policy is cold and impersonal and is not the solution. What happend to just having a “no fighting policy?”

Sign up for my Energy Healing Workshop

Posted by Maria on March 12, 2013 under Books, Magazines, Music, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’ve recently returned home from my whirlwind Wellness Tour. I spent three and a half months immersing myself in the field of wellness at Dr. Oksana Sawiak’s Integrative Wellness & Detox Centre in Norval, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, in the middle of a crazy Canadian winter and now am feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take my Homespunspa Mobile Spa business to the next level of success. Although I often felt like a fish out of water and completely out of my comfort zone, I know deep down in my heart that this whole experience was well worth the time I spent there.

When I left Victoria, I was feeling stuck, frustrated and burned out. I knew I had to do something different from my regular routine if I wanted things to change and improve. I know most people don’t have the luxury of leaving their life for a few months to explore different options and I’m grateful that I was able to take Dr. Oksana up on her invitation.

I started feeling better soon after I arrived in mid-November. I’m passionate about health and wellness and was learning something new every day. Even though I didn’t know what to expect from my internship, I was open to learning whatever I could and when Dr. Oksana suggested I sign up for a Higher Transformational Healing Workshop with Fred Vokey to learn about healing, I was game. Both Dr. Oksana and I participated in the full-day workshop and the experience for me was inspiring, enlightening and profound.

I’m aware that the topic of energy healing may sound a little “out there” or “woo, woo” to some people — that’s up to everyone to decide for themselves. I personally think it’s pretty cool. There’s a long tradition of healing in history across most, if not all religions and cultures and it’s just a matter of remembering, re-learning and re-activitating that wisdom and knowledge in today’s day and age.

I truly believe that the healing I experienced while I was away had a lot to do with the Higher Transformational Healing workshops I attended and now I’m a certified instructor and can teach you how to turbo charge the healing energy around you so you can heal yourself and others.

I’m super excited to be offering an Energy Healing Workshop (Level 1) in Victoria, BC on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the 24 Carrot Centre, 714 Discovery Street, 2nd floor, Victoria, BC, V8T 1H2. Tickets are $220 early bird.

More information about Higher Transformational Healing is also available on the “Healing” page of my website, www.homespunspa.com. Please contact me, Maria, by email or phone to sign up for the Energy Healing Workshop and to make payment arrangements. I’m really looking forward to this and I hope you sign up.

Higher Transformational Healing Workshops

Anyone can learn how to heal with energy — including YOU. We are all born with the ability to heal ourselves and others and we just need to refresh our memory.

If you feel attracted to the idea of healing yourself and others, it may be worthwhile to explore Higher Transformational Healing.

During the workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Awaken the Healer within;
  • Channel Life Force Energy;
  • Use Breathing Techniques for Channeling;
  • Place your hands on or near the body for healing;
  • Do Absent Healing;
  • Do Self-Healing;
  • Do “The Anywhere Healing;”
  • Balance the Chakras;
  • Move Bones with a Light Touch;
  • Align the Body; and
  • Connect with the Council of Healing Masters.

The Higher Transformational Energy Healing Level 1 workshop will especially appeal to the caregivers among us who know people who are suffering from an illness like MS or cancer or depression and would like to do what they can to help others feel better sooner.

Please join me for level 1 training on Saturday, April 6, 2013. You’ll get lots of hands on practice and by the end of the workshop, you’ll l become a certified practitioner of Higher Transformational Healing.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could boost someone’s spirits with your healing services?

When:           Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time:             9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Price:      $220 (pay in advance, in person or online) or $250 (last minute)

Healing Workshop

Where:           24 Carrot Centre, 714 Discovery Street, 2nd floor, Victoria, BC, V8T 1H2

Presenter & Contact:     Maria Koropecky

Websites:      www.homespunspa.com or www.highertouch.org

I hope to see you there!

The Story of My Mole on My Cheek

Posted by Maria on December 11, 2012 under Books, Magazines, Music, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Wellness | 5 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I’ve had this brown mole on my face all of my life. It has been sitting just below my eye on my right cheek ever since I can remember. I was pretty used to it and the only time it bothered me was when someone else pointed it out or mentioned it or if I looked at it directly, which was very rare. It was just a blurry part of who I saw when I looked in the mirror.

My first official memory of my mole dates back to somewhere around 1978 when I was in elementary school. I went on a sleep over to my friend Janet’s house and she grabbed a chocolate chip out of our munchie bowl, stuck it to her face and said, “there, now I have one, too.”

Fast forward 20 years. I was lying on the couch, watching tv and all of a sudden, all I could see in my peripheral vision was my mole and not the show I was watching. The mole might as well have been the size of Mt. Everest. That’s all I could focus on — this big, fat mole, towering in front of me, casting long and wide shadows, obstructing my view. It just about drove me crazy. I thought to myself, that’s it, I’m getting rid of this mole once and for all.

Somehow, I managed to make an appointment with some doctor and took a noisy, cross-town bus to Scarborough one winter day. The doctor took a look and said, “Well, the mole doesn’t look dangerous at this point, but we could surgically remove it, if you want. Also, it will likely leave a big scar and you probably wouldn’t want that on your face.” On top of that, it would have been considered cosmetic surgery and would not have been covered by my health plan which meant big dollars that I didn’t have.

Removing moles was harder than I thought. I didn’t realize that removing a mole would leave such a big scar until many years later when another doctor took a mole off the back of my neck and he did such a hack job that I’m so glad I didn’t risk that on my face. He even said after he saw the scar, “Did I do that?” Yes, yes, yes you did.

So I kept the mole on my face and went on with my life. I always took notice of other people who have moles on their cheeks as if we’re in some sort of special club. Maybe you’ve noticed a cheek mole on Jim Morrison from the Doors and Marilyn Monroe and the former mole on Jann Arden’s face? Tortured artists? Maybe we have something in common. :)

Fast forward another 15 years. As you may or may not know, I’m currently doing an internship at the Integrative Wellness Centre with Dr. Oksana Sawiak. Not only am I learning about wellness from an expert, I’m also learning new things about myself and this is turning out to be quite an interesting trip. I feel like I’m reinventing myself and am changing my ways for the better. I was hoping to make some drastic changes and heal some wounds but I wasn’t expecting to do anything that involved my appearance.

Then last Wednesday, Dr. Oksana asked me how I felt about my mole. She strongly suggested I get rid of it because she could see granulomas :( and she could do it, starting right now, with this special, natural medicine from Ukraine. I had had a couple of glasses of wine in me, so I didn’t protest too much and gave her the green light. So she went to her medicine cabinet and came back with a vile of something affectionately known in Ukrainian pharmacies as “Chyste Tilo” or  “Ukrain” in English.

Ukrain is an alternative medicine created by Ukrainian chemist Vasyl Novytskyi in 1978 — coincidentally, the same year as my “chocolate chip” memory. The formulation is based on the herb, chelidonium, and is promoted to treat all cancers, radiation-induced diseases and AIDS. The tincture is named in honor of Ukraine and its common name in Ukrainian is “Chyste Tilo” which means “clean body.”

Dr. Oksana said the first treatment would hurt a lot, the second treatment would hurt even more and the third treatment would be even more painful but after that the mole should be gone and that would be that.

I took another sip of wine and Dr. Oksana opened the vile and dabbed on some Ukrain on my mole. It burned like a disco inferno but only briefly. There was no turning back. I went to bed and the next morning the mole looked a little different. We applied some more tincture the next evening but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as it did the night before. By this time the mole had turned black. I couldn’t look at it for more than a split second so I can’t be more descriptive.

The next morning it was the most repulsive thing I had ever seen on my face. Do you remember the line that Kramer says on Seinfeld, “Look away, I’m hideous.” (It’s worth Youtubing). That’s how I felt. And I had to go out in public that day, so I covered it up with a bandaid. I felt like I would scare children otherwise.

After the fourth night, I stopped putting the treatments on and am now playing the waiting game. It’s now Tuesday and the mole is still black. If I touch it, it wobbles like a loose tooth. Gross, I know! It’s just hanging by a thread and is supposed to just fall off at some point. I can still feel the mole and my eye feels a bit funny and I have a feeling the Ukrain is still hard at work. I don’t know how long this stage will last. I hope it’s not weeks and weeks. But there’s nothing I can do about it now. It is what it is.

I will let you know what happens.

In the meantime, for another story about moles, please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills” from February, 2011. And leave a comment if you’re a member of the mole on the cheek club. I’d love to hear from you.

Please take a minute to fill out my survey

Posted by Maria on September 28, 2012 under Homespunspa, Mobile Spa, Pop-Psychology, Uncategorized | 5 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Dear friends of Homespunspa:

These days I’m busy writing a new business plan for Homespunspa Mobile Spa and I need your help. I’d really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to fill out this market research survey — it’s only 10 questions — so I can re-design Homespunspa and take it to the next level of success. I want to extend my reach and design a business that better serves my customers and gives people more of what they want and need. Here’s your chance to have an influence on the direction I take with my business.

It’s hard to believe Homespunspa has been online since 2001. This business has come a long way and I can’t wait to see it grow more and more. Helping people relax, manage stress and get a good night’s sleep using the gifts from nature have always been the key elements of Homespunspa and they won’t change. The changes I make will only enhance the services we already provide.

Please take a minute to fill out my survey. Here’s the link: Click here to take survey. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Homespunspa Mobile Spa, we bring the spa home to you.

And thank you to those who have already completed this market research survey. :) I’m truly grateful for your feedback.

All answers are confidential and I have no way of knowing which answers anyone has provided which means you are free to be honest with your responses.

If you think you know someone who would be interested in filling out this survey, by all means, please forward this survey to them. The more people who participate, the better. And it doesn’t matter to me whether you live in Victoria, BC or not. Your input still has value to me.

And let me know by email or with a comment on this blog that you have completed this survey because as an incentive, I’m offering a 10% discount on all spa services (excluding services from the mini spa menu) if you take this survey and make your appointment with Homespunspa Mobile Spa before Thanksgiving Day (Monday, October 8, 2012).

Here’s the link once again: Click here to take survey.

I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Maria

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