Don’t Let Jet Lag Keep You Grounded

Posted by Maria on August 16, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Creating Wellness ebook, Energy Healing, Fitness, Gemstones & Crystals, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’ve got travel on my mind!

First, with the Summer Olympics being a big draw, the International Olympic Committee has predicted that 480,000+ tourists and sports fans will travel from all corners of the earth to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August, 2016. That’s a lot of zig-zagging across the planet!

Also, many of my friends are currently travelling for their summer vacations, getting one last trip in before school starts, to all kinds of wonderful places all over the world, and I love hearing about their adventures.

As for me, I’m in the process of planning a Transformation is Possible Cruise to Alaska in August, 2017, which will be all about coaching and wellness, which I’ll tell you more about in the coming months, because you’re invited to join me!

Anyway, with all of this talk of travel, I thought it would be nice to write a blog post on how to minimize Jet Lag so everyone can enjoy their trips more fully.

don't let jet lag keep you grounded.

I don’t want Jet Lag to keep anyone grounded.

The formal name for Jet lag is “desynchronosis” which is a fancy way of saying, “out of sync” which makes sense. It’s also called “flight fatigue.”

Jet Lag is not fun. Thank goodness it’s only temporary! This sleep disorder happens when our body’s natural circadian rhythms aren’t matching up with the local time and the delay can feel quite debilitating.

Symptoms of Jet Lag include:

  1. fatigue
  2. digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea,
  3. dehydration,
  4. anxiety,
  5. disorientation, confusion, and inability to concentrate,
  6. dizziness & grogginess,
  7. headache,
  8. irritability,
  9. sweating,
  10. general malaise,
  11. mild depression, and
  12. insomnia, disrupted sleep, and irregular sleep patterns.

Depending on whether you’re heading West or East and the time of day you’re travelling, it takes about one day for each time zone you’ve crossed to realign your body clock to your new (or regular) time zone.

Although some Jet Lag is unavoidable while traveling great distances by airplane, it’s still possible to keep disruption to a minimum and get the circadian rhythms humming again sooner rather than later.

9 Tips to Minimize Jet Lag

1. Stay hydrated:

Cabin air can be very dehydrating and being dehydrated is already uncomfortable. Symptoms from dehydration overlap with symptoms of Jet Lag and you don’t want to amplify your Jet Lag by starting off as weak and dehydrated. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least one glass of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during your flight.

2. Use ginger:

Ginger is good for nausea and headaches so if you can, bring some ginger essential oil with you (perhaps in a pump spray bottle), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, or eat some Sushi with pickled ginger before your flight at the airport.

3. Consider melatonin:

To ease your transition to the new time zone and to reset your body clock, consider taking melatonin, either as a nonprescription drug or from a food source like cherries. Please see my blog post, “Top of your day with a cherry”

4. Try Reflexology:

Speaking of melatonin, you can also use Reflexology to stimulate the production of this sleep-regulating hormone by applying pressure to the Pineal gland points on your hands, feet, or ears. To work this reflexology point on the feet, use your index finger and press in and down on the outside edge (or medial side) of your big toe, just above the midway bump at the base of the nail.

5. Get some pre-flight life coaching:

If you’re feeling anxious about flying and are a nervous traveller, book a session with a life coach like me before your trip. A coach can be very calming and reassuring. On top of that, voicing your concerns and imagining a smooth flight without any complications, including Jet Lag, ahead of time, will also work wonders.

6. Wear gemstone jewellery:

Travellers have been carrying healing crystals for their protective and healing properties on their journeys for thousands of years. Wearing gemstone and crystal jewellery is an excellent and easy way to ensure a safe and pleasant voyage. Crystal jewellery also looks nice and makes a great conversation starter. I recommend Turquoise to safeguard your possessions and to facilitate communication, Yellow Jasper to calm nausea or motion sickness, and silvery-black Hematite to help get rid of Jet Lag. Of course, there’s also the perfectly-named Jet stone which offers protection, helps clear negativity, and brings good luck.

7. Get up and stretch:

Every few hours, take about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles from head to toe. Roll your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles and twist at your waist from side to side. All the better if you practice yoga. You can stretch while seated of course, but it’s even better when you get up mid flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times to get your circulation going and stretch while standing up.

8. Go outside when you can:

Once you arrive, spend time outside in nature and then you’ll receive natural cues from the environment that will help your body reset itself to your new surroundings. Also, if you happen to catch some rays, you’ll also get some Vitamin D which will help boost your immunity. Please read my blog post, “It’s Vitamin D Day”.

9. Get a massage:

As a massage practitioner, I recommend getting a massage to minimize the amount of time it takes to recover from Jet Lag. Nowadays, you can get a chair massage at the airport or you can book a more extravagant massage at a spa at your destination. Either way, a massage will help you release tension and sleep better at night.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid Jet Lag on your next trip. And if you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing Jet Lag below. Thanks!

My Call to Adventure & Meeting with My Mentor

Posted by Maria on May 25, 2016 under Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Gift Ideas, Life Coaching, Photo gallery, Spirituality, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach & Author

“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.” ~ Joseph Campbell

As a coach, healer, and author, I help introverts who are hearing a call from the great beyond, a call to service and/or adventure, to feel empowered to move further along their s/hero’s journey so they can ultimately fullfill their mission, and transform their life, and share the elixir they’ve found with the rest of the world.

the Call of the Lapis Lazuli ebook.I’ve written The Call of the Lapis Lazuli, the prequel, a short, short story ebook, to inspire my readers to consider their own journey, life’s purpose, spiritual calling, and potential.

In The Call of the Lapis Lazuli, I tell the story of my own heroine’s journey, from the very beginning, before I was even born, when I first heard the call to adventure of living the human life of Maria Koropecky, when I met with my mystical and magical mentor, my Guardian Angel, Caliel.

I wrote The Call of the Lapis Lazuli because I believe guardian angels are assigned to each of us to watch over us, protect us, and guide us, throughout our lives. I also believe we’ve each answered a call and have accepted a mission that will help fill a need and make the world a better place, and our guardian angels are here to support us on our journey.

Angels are universally recognized spiritual beings and appear as messengers in most religions and cultures around the world. However, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of angels, use the word “mentor” instead in this story. :)

To me, angels are a comfort and when I was 13, an old fan caught fire in my bedroom in the middle of a humid, Ottawa night while I was sleeping, and somehow, I woke up and calmly said, “my fan’s on fire,” and then my father came in and took the burning fan outside before things had a chance to get out of hand or cause any damage. The next day, my father told me about guardian angels and how maybe a guardian angel stepped in that night and helped protect me and my family. I’ve believed in angels ever since.

One day recently, as I was researching the healing and metaphysical properties of gem stones and crystals, I came across the actual name of my guardian angel, “Caliel.” I discovered, quite unexpectedly, that my birthday and Lapis Lazuli’s share the same guardian angel. I was astounded because it never occurred to me that Guardian Angels actually have names, let alone be associated with gem stones!

Once my guardian angel had a name, suddenly things felt a little more personal, like there’s someone on my team who has my back, and I envisioned a conversation that may have taken place in spirit between me and my guardian angel, somewhere outside of space and time, before I was conceived and born, about my mission in life. This 10-page story is my call to adventure and my meeting with my mentor and this is how I imagined our conversation went.

This story is very personal to me and although this memoir is about me, my story, and my journey, it’s also about you, your story, and your journey.

Perhaps you’re at a place in life where:

  • You’re thinking about the next chapter in your life; or
  • You feel like adventure is calling or like you’re being called to service but don’t know your next steps; or
  • You’re looking for a transformational experience that will catapult you on to your hero’s or heroine’s journey.

I hope my short story, The Call of the Lapis Lazuli will encourage and inspire you to:

  • Find, discover, or answer your own calling and embark on your own hero’s/heroine’s journey;
  • Find meaning and purpose in your life and work and get clear on your own mission of why you’re here and what you came to do; and
  • Create a life you can get excited about based on your own intuition, insights, ideas, values, purpose, and vision.

If you’ve had enough of living a mediocre life and believe there’s something more out there for you, then this story might get you thinking. Life’s too short to sit on the sidelines and wonder what if I…? Here’s your chance to be the hero or heroine in your own life!

I also have some recommendations that I’m happy to share that may help you move farther along your adventure. Please contact me and let’s have a conversation.

What is your book club reading this month?

I’m also available for Author Chats!

I’d also love to come to your book club, meetup, library, school, workplace wellness program, event, church, organization, or even your dinner party and do an Author Reading and Q & A for your community.

It would be my joy to read the entire short story, The Call of the Lapis Lazuli, out loud (it only takes about 20 minutes) to your guests and then follow the reading with an interactive discussion about life purpose and hero’s journeys and angels and spirituality and anything else that might come up. I can join you in person or on Skype!

To buy my ebooks and for more information about me, here’s a link to my Author Page on Amazon.com. I’m also a Goodreads author.

To request an Author’s Chat with me for your Book Club etc., please contact me, Maria, directly by email @ homespunspa @ shaw dot ca or call 250-812-3487.

Did I hear someone say “dinner party?” :)

I’d love to meet you to talk about your experiences with angels and hear where you are on your own s/hero’s journey!

Consider Saying Yes to Yourself

Posted by Maria on February 20, 2016 under Humour, Life Coaching, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Spirituality, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

Say yes to yourself workshop.For more information about this workshop, please email Carol @ carol@appliedappreciation.ca or Maria @ homespunspa@shaw.ca. We’d love to answer any questions you may have.

And guess what! We’re having a SALE! Tickets are now $175!

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Master Improvisor Tina Fey said, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” Saying “yes” and “yes and” are mighty pillars of improv.

Starting with “yes and” is energizing and empowering. In improv, “yes ands” get you unstuck and move the scenes foward. Suddenly trust and safety show up, giving creativity a chance to blossom, while things like negativity and resistance leave the room. The same philosophy can be applied to real life, too, and a big “yes” can move you forward toward the life of your dreams.

Saying yes is exhiliarating!

Did you know that the word “yes” is the most powerful word in any language? Have you ever thought how people would respond to you if you most often said “yes” rather than the dreary “no”? Have you ever considered what it would be like to say an enthusiastic “yes” to yourself when opportunity comes knocking? Do you remember a moment when you said “yes” and what experiences unfolded from there? What would saying “yes” make available to you?

Say yes to yourself workshop.

Join us for our Say Yes to Yourself workshop on April 9, 2016 in Victoria, BC.

Saying “yes” can have a huge impact on your life and I’m delighted to announce that I’ve partnered with my friend and mentor, Carol Vickers, leadership coach and faciliator at the Rayner Institute, and we are collaborating to bring an energetic and playful workshop to Victoria called, “Say Yes to Yourself.”

Our “Say YES to Yourself” workshop is on Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 9am to 4pm at Regus Victoria – The Atrium, #300-800 Yates Street @ Blanshard, in Victoria, BC. To register, please click on our Eventbrite page.

The idea for this workshop started from my own “Yes” — although at the time, I had no idea what my original yes would lead to. Funny how life works and I’m thrilled at how things are turning out. If you’re curious to hear the story of how I first met Carol, please read my blog post, “How I found out about the Rayner Institute” but this story picks up from there.

I was humming and hawing for months about whether or not to sign up for coaching training at the Rayner Institute so Carol and I met for coffee at Habit (auspiciously located at the Atrium, the venue of our workshop) to discuss my options and Carol offered a suggestion. She described her relationship with her grandson and she says “yes” to him every chance she gets. She invited me to say “yes” to myself for the rest of the day to see how that feels. It was quite a foreign concept to me at the time but I really appreciated having a little breathing space from the excuses that were holding me back.

Looking back to that conversation with Carol a year ago, I shudder to think where I’d be now if I had said “no” instead. I’m so glad I said “yes” to the coaching training and to co-presenting this workshop with Carol!

In essence, the workshop is about finding your voice and during the day, we will be looking at your future and imagining it from a safe place where you are ready to say “YES” to all of the opportunities and possibilities in front of you.

“Being safe is the shortest distance between you and yes.” ~ Mark Rayner

When you are able to say “yes” from a place of self-acceptance, self-awareness, and knowing that you are enough, you can move mountains!

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Carol and I are inviting you to spend the day with us so you can ultimately have what you need to fully and loudly sing your song.

Because this is a workshop, we have a few hands-on and interactive activities planned for you including learning easy ways to open your Throat Chakra, (the energy center for creativity and self-expression), creating your own vision board (either collaging the old school way or online via Pinterest), sharing stories over a catered, working lunch, and games such as:

The Improv Game of “Yes and…”

The focus of the game is to learn the basics of “Yes and” because “Yes and” is the foundation for all of improvisation.

The rules are really easy. Players stand in a circle. The first player makes a simple statement. The second player then says, “Yes, and…” and adds a detail of sorts to the first statement. The game continues around the circle with each player adding to the story until it reaches a conclusion.

Our Say Yes to Yourself workshop is for anyone who is tired of feeling numb, silent, and lonely, and who has stifled their own voice and has kept quiet to not make any waves, all the while knowing that there’s got to be something more, that they have something more to offer, that they have something important to say. We have the freedom to express oursleves in this country so let’s embrace it. This workshop is a chance for you to awaken your voice, and share yourself, and make a positive difference, and feel more alive!

Our intention is to create a space and a community where participants can find their authentic voice, feel free to be who they are, feel empowered to share their talents, gifts, creativity, and ideas, and express themselves wholeheartedly in this world. We want to remind you that you really do matter and you are enough already. We also want to see big smiles across your faces and see your eyes light up!

We are excited to hold this event in the beautiful Atrium office building located in the heart of Victoria’s central business district.  No need to stop at Timmy’s along the way because we’ve included coffee and refreshments for the breaks as well as a lovely lunch.

So save the date: Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 9am to 4pm for the “Say YES to Yourself” workshop at Regus Victoria – The Atrium, #300-800 Yates Street @ Blanshard, Victoria, BC, Canada, V8W 0B6 presented by Carol and Maria.

Just say “yes” and come play with us!

For more information about this workshop, please email Carol @ carol@appliedappreciation.ca or Maria @ homespunspa@shaw.ca. We’d love to answer any questions you may have.

And guess what! We’re having a SALE! Tickets are now $175!

To register for our Say Yes to Yourself workshop, please click on our Eventbrite page. Thank you for your interest and we’re looking forward to meeting you in person and hearing the big “YESSES” in your life.

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…

Is 2016 Your Year To Quit Smoking?

Posted by Maria on December 3, 2015 under Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Fitness, Green Living, Life Coaching, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach
Wellness Coach, Maria

Wellness Coach, Maria

Is 2016 your year to quit smoking cigarettes?

While I was at the hair salon getting more pink in my hair, :)   I was flipping through a magazine and I saw an ad for organic cigarettes. First of all, I thought that advertising cigarettes had been outlawed for some time in Canada and second, I was wondering if there is such a person as a health-conscious smoker who would be interested in that product?

The next day, I decided to apply for a Life Coaching job at a wellness resort in Arizona and one of the questions on the application was, “Do you use tobacco products?” (because it is our policy not to hire anyone who does). First, I thought, is it legal to make hiring decisions based on smoking habits?

It probably is legal and if you were to challenge that premise in court as a smoker, you probably wouldn’t win but I think it also depends on the nature of the hiring organization. I don’t think an IT company would care one way or the other if they have smokers on staff but a wellness retreat is an entirely different story.

So I thought about why this wellness resort would be so strict about hiring non-smokers and this is what I came up with:

  • cigarette butts create unsightly garbage on the property that someone else needs to monitor and clean up.
  • cigarette smoke can be seen and smelled from a distance so guests of the property may notice.
  • the smell of stale cigarettes lingers on fingers, hair, and clothes which may interfere with customer service.
  • smoking cigarettes may make the smoker more prone to allergies and colds which may lead to frequent sick days.
  • smoking may mean that a person is stressed which goes against the relaxed philosophy of a wellness retreat.
  • smoking may mean that a person does not practice self-care which reflects poorly on the individual and the company they work for.
  • the wellness retreat is promoting health and wellness and it would be out of integrity to not expect those standards from staff members who are providing the healing services for their paying clientelle.

I’m sure there are many more reasons for installing a non-smoking policy for staff members at a wellness retreat and if you’re a smoker, I hope that gives you something to think about.

Also, if you have missed any opportunities like working at a wellness resort or going on a date with someone because of your smoking habit and you’re tired of those consequences showing up in your life, than maybe 2016 will be your year to finally quit the cigarette smoking habit!

If that’s true and you are considering the idea of smoking your last cigarette by choice by the end of 2016, please strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, and call or email me, Maria, to talk. As a wellness coach, I can help. I specialize in helping people manage stress (which is usually part of the smoking habit) and I can also be your accountability partner as well. Also, my coaching may help you get to your imagined future of being a non-smoker within a year from now!

I hope you give quitting smoking some thought.

In the meantime, please buy a copy of my ebook, Creating Wellness, from Amazon and thanks if you do.

I wrote this ebook because I believe high levels of stress are lurking behind the scenes of many, if not all, illnesses, and managing stress is a big piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.

Creating Wellness includes practical tips to help people manage their stress and therefore prevent chronic illnesses from showing up in the first place.

The good news is, there’s still time to make small lifestyle changes today — like quitting smoking, exercising more, fueling the body with more nutritious food, getting regular massages, establishing healthy sleep habits, and speaking your truth – that will save everyone tremendous expense and suffering later.

Many illnesses are preventable and being healthy means having the freedom to do whatever you want with your life.

Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be hard but it does require a whole-hearted decision. If you’re ready to be a non-smoker, I hope to walk beside you on your journey toward health and wellness.

75 Ways to say “Thank You”

Posted by Maria on October 9, 2015 under Energy Healing, Gift Ideas, Life Coaching, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

“Thank you” is a very powerful thing to say in any language.

thank you!As Canadian Thanksgiving approaches, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the power of saying “thank you.” No matter what language(s) you speak, expressing your thanks and gratitude is transformational for everyone.

On top of being spiritual in nature, research shows that saying “thank you” can also lower stress. According to the Institute of HeartMath, expressing genuine thanks also strengthens the heartbeat and improves the heart’s rhythm. It’s an energetic shift! When you are grateful, you veer away from the stress response and you activate the relaxation response (which I wrote about in my ebook, Creating Wellness) which promotes healing.

If your Thanksgiving weekend with your family starts to get stressful and you’d like to create a better connection with them, make a point of telling each person present, “thank you,” or I’m grateful to you for “_________”, or I appreciate this about you: “_________”, and see how that goes. You’ll start to notice the good in people more than what annoys you. Also, it just might cut the tension and boost everyone’s mood and make this the best Thanksgiving yet!

Knowing how to say “thank you” in several languages is a handy communication tool and I bet it’s one of the top five words or expressions you’ll learn when you travel to a foreign country and that’s why I’ve compiled this list of how to say thank you in 75 languages.

How to say Thank You in 75 languages:

1. AFRIKAANS (South Africa) – dankie – dahn-kee

2. ALBANIAN (Albania) – faleminderit

3. AMERICAN SLANG (USA) – cheers, kthx, kthxbye, much grass, pat on the back, shout-out, thx, TY.

4. ARABIC (Middle East, North Africa) – shukran – shoe-krahn

5. ARMENIAN (Armenia)– Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun – Shnorhakalut’yun

6. AUSTRALIAN ENGLISH (Australia) – ta (informal)

7. BELARUSIAN (Belarus) – dziakuju

8. BENGALI (India, Bangledesh) – Dhannyabad

9. BOSNIAN (Bosnia, Herzegovina) – hvala – HVAH-lah

10. BULGARIAN (Bulgaria) – благодаря – blagodaria

11. CANTONESE (China) – Mh’gōi – m-ghoh-ee

12. CANTONESE (China) – do jeh – daw-dyeh or tou yeh

13. CATALAN (Andorra, Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Valencia) – gràcies – GRAH-syuhs

14. CROATIAN (Croatia) – hvala – HVAH-lah

15. CZECH (Czech Republic) – děkuji – deh-ku-yih

16. DANISH (Denmark) – tak – tahg

17. DUTCH (Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname) – dank u

18. ENGLISH (Canada, UK, USA, etc.,) – thank you, thanks (informal)

19. ESPERANTO – Dankon

20. ESTONIAN (Estonia) – tänan – TA-nahn

21. FIJIAN (Fiji) – Vinaka

22. FINNISH (Finland) – kiitos – kee-toas

23. FRENCH (France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg) – merci – mehr-see

24. GERMAN (Germany, Austria. Switzerland) – danke – dahn-kah, danke schoen (literally: nicely thank you)

25. GREEK (Greece) – ευχαριστώ – efharisto – ef-har-rih-stowe

26. HAWAIIAN (Hawaii) – mahalo – ma-HA-lo

27. HEBREW – .תודה / toda – toh-dah

28. HINDI (India) – dhanyavād

29. HINDI, HINDUSTANI (India) – sukria – shoo-kree-a

30. HUNGARIAN (Hungary) – köszönöm – KØ-sø-nøm

31. ICELANDIC (Iceland) – takk – tahk

32. INDONESIAN (Indonesia) – terima kasih – t’ree-ma kas-she

33. IRISH (Ireland) – Go raibh mile maith agat – Go-Rev-Meela-Mah-Agut (literally, may you have a thousand good things)

34. ITALIAN (Italy, Malta, San Marino, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia) – grazie – GRAHT-tsyeh

35. JAPANESE (Japan) – arigato – ahree-gah-tow

36. KINYARWANDA (Rwanda) – murakoze

37. KOREAN (Korea) – 감사합니다 – kamsa hamnida – kahm-sah-ham-nee-da

38. KURDISH (Kurdistan) – supas (thank you); zor supas (thank you very much)

39. KURDISH (Turkey, Iraq, Iran & Syria) – spas – *this one’s my favourite! :)

40. LAO (Laos) – khob chai

41. LATVIAN (Latvia) – paldies – PUHL-dyehs

42. LEBANESE (Labanon) – choukrane

43. LITHUANIAN (Lithuania)– ačiū – AH-choo

44. MACEDONIAN (FYROM, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) – Благодарам / blagodaram – blah-GOH-dah-rahm

45. MALAY (Malaysia) – terima kasih – TREE-muh KAH-seh

46. MANDARIN (China, Hong Kong) – xie-xie – syeh-syeh or shieh shieh

46. MICMAC, ALGONQUIAN (Canada & United States) – welalin

48. MONGOLIAN (Mongolia)– Баярлалаа – bayarlalaa

49. MYANMAR (Burma) – Jae Zu Din Pa De

50. NEPALI (Nepal) dhanyabad – Dhan-ya-vaad

51. NORWEGIAN (Norway)– takk – tahk

52. PERSIAN/FARSI (Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) – Mam’noon or Mo’teshake’ram

53. POLISH (Poland) – dziękuję – dsyen-koo-yeh

54. PORTUGUESE (Portugal) – obrigado [masculine] – oh-bree-GAH-doh and obrigada [feminine] – oh-bree-GAH-dah

55. RUSSIAN (Russia) – спасибо – spasibo – spah-see-boh

56. SIGN LANGUAGE – Flat hand starts with fingertips on chin (palm facing in) then hand moves down and away from the signer.

57. SAMOAN (Samoa) – Fa’afetai – fah-ah-feh-ta-e

58. SCOTTISH GAELIC (Scotland) – Tapadh Leat – tah-puh let (Informal)

59. SINHAK (Sri Lanka) – istutiy – isst-too-tee

60. SLOVAK (Slovakia) – Ďakujem – JAH-koo-yehm

61. SPANISH (Spain, Mexico, Latin America, South America) – gracias – gra-see-us

62. SWAHILI (Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) – asante – ah-sahn-the

63. SWEDISH (Sweden) – tack – tahkk

64. TAGALOG (Philippines) – salamat – sah-lah-maht

65. TAHITIAN (Tahiti) – Maururu

66. TAJIK (Tajikistan & Uzbekistan); TATAR (Russia, Central Asia, Ukraine, Poland, China, Finland & Turkey); UYGHUR (Xinjiang Uyghur, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan); UZBEK (Uzbekistan) – rahmat

67. TAMIL (India , Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia) – nandri – nun-dry

68. THAI (Thailand) – kop khun

69. TURKISH (Turkey) – teşekkür ederim – teh shek uer eh der eem

70. UKRAINIAN (*my mother tongue) (Ukraine) – Дякую – DYAH-koo-yoo

71. VIETNAMESE (Vietnam) – Kam ouen

72. WELSH (Wales/Cymru) – diolch – DEE-ol’ch

73. WEST INDIAN CREOLE (Carribean) – mèsi

74. YIDDISH (Israel, Germany, Eastern Europe) – a dank

75. ZULU (South Africa) – ngiyabonga

I hope you have a chance to practice many of these thank-you’s around your family’s Thanksgiving table this year! Thank you for your interest.

How I found out about the Rayner Institute

Posted by Maria on September 19, 2015 under Esthetics School, Life Coaching, Manicures, Mobile Spa, Photo gallery, Travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Secretly, I’ve wanted to be a life coach for at least a decade but it didn’t seem like it was possible for me. I would not have known where to go to get coaching training even if I had given the thought any serious consideration.

I hired a business coach back in 2005 and I loved our conversations about the spiritual laws of the universe but this particular coach made things more about her than they were about me and after a few months, she pushed me away and that was that. We’ve not spoken since and that experience left a bad taste in my mouth about coaches in general.

Meanwhile, a lot has changed in the coaching profession especially in the past few years and coaches are being recognized for doing some wonderful work for the people of this planet.

I wish I had had the sense to become a coach sooner but the timing wasn’t right for me. I still had a lot of living to do first before I could embark on this career. Like for example, I had to go to esthetics school five years ago so I could awaken my healing and nurturing side and learn how to work with people hands on.

Had I just jumped ahead and gone to coaching school at that time instead, (which would have worked for other people), I personally would have been missing some key ingredients for my recipe and my coaching practice would not have flourished. I also would not have opened my mobile spa.

Anyway, fast forward to the summer of 2014. It was a challenging summer for me personally. My finances were not in good shape and on top of that, my Uncle who was also my Godfather died and then my friend from high school had committed suicide. In the bigger picture, you may also recall that in August of that year, Robin Williams committed suicide and Joan Rivers died as well. The world had taken on a serious tone.

Meanwhile, I got a call from a woman who was looking to hire someone to come and give her 90-year-old mother a manicure. So, I went to the seniors’ care home and that was the day I met Carol and her husband, Peter, and June, Carol’s mother. I had no idea how pivotal that day, where I was just going about my business, was for me.

The manicure appointment went well enough that they called me again for another appointment and I started visiting June every five weeks or so.

In November, Carol mentioned something to her mother about going away for a week to upgrade her coaching training and my ear’s perked up.

“Did you say coaching?”

As it turned out, Carol is a coach and a facilitator at the Rayner Institute and she said there was a course starting in February, if I was interested. So I took her card and thought about it long and hard.

Eventually, in April of 2015, I took the plunge and enrolled in the Self-Actualized Coaching and Mentoring Program at the Rayner Institute and I have since passed my exams and graduated.

Currently, I’m going through the program again but this time as a Ride-Along where I get to hold a healing space for the new students and support them on their journey as they enter the coaching profession and become certified coaches themselves.

And last night during class, I had my own personal insight that made a big difference in how I see my life. Mark Rayner, the founder of the Rayner Institute, was coaching Carol to show the students the beauty of a transformational and transcendent coaching conversation.

(Normally, I wouldn’t share what goes on in a confidential coaching class but I will have asked for permission from Carol and Mark before publishing this post).

Carol spoke about her mother. She wanted to enjoy the time she spends with her even if it’s just flipping through a catalogue together. She said that 18 months ago, her mother became very ill and she was in hospital in Calgary for a month, and they didn’t give her much time to live. Somehow during that difficult time, they sold her mother’s house and moved her to Victoria.

As I listened to Carol describe the process of moving her mother to the Island where she would be closer to the whole family including her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, I marvelled at how those events and decisions also affected me, someone they didn’t even know existed yet. It struck me that an act as personal as caring for an elderly parent could also have so much influence over other people’s lives, known and unknown, as well.

To me, if June hadn’t moved to Victoria and if Carol hadn’t gone looking for a manicurist for her mother and if Carol hadn’t mentioned coaching, then I would not have found the Rayner Institute and I would have probably postponed my dream of becoming a life coach indefinitely.

Suddenly, the timing was right. A lot of things had to happen behind the scenes in order for me to get to this place in my life and my point is, you can’t write this stuff, you can’t script it, and you can’t force it. You just have to follow your heart wherever it wants to go.

Also, and this was my insight last night, you have no idea whose lives you touch even if you never, ever meet them directly.

That’s the beauty of coaching. You get to touch the lives of people and help them get to where they want to go just by being you and doing what you do. And in turn, the people who are getting coached are also spreading love and kindness and healing energy to the people in their lives and day by day, the world becomes a better place for all of us.

I’m truly grateful for June and Carol for leading me here and for my extraordinary coaching training at the Rayner Institute and now I can pay it forward as a coach and as myself to my friends and clients.

If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, I’d be happy to talk to you about the Rayner Institute. Also, if you’re thinking about hiring a coach, then, feel free to call me to make an appointment.

We’re all connected and don’t think that what you’re doing isn’t affecting someone else’s life. The ripples in a pond are endless.

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!

Find Peace of Mind As You Walk A Labyrinth

Posted by Maria on August 14, 2014 under Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Green Living, Meditation, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner

“To travel a circle is to journey over the same ground time and time again. To travel a circle wisely is to journey over the same ground for the first time. In this way, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the circle, a path to where you wish to be. And when you notice at last that the path has circled back into itself, you realize that where you wish to be is where you have already been … and always were.” ~ Neal Donald Walsch

If you’re looking to solve a problem using your intuition, or expand your spiritual horizons, and/or find peace of mind, try walking a Labyrinth.

Walking a Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice that can work wonders for your soul.

Recently, I literally stumbled upon a Labyrinth that I previously didn’t know about. I was attending a friend’s funeral at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, BC, a lovely historic church that was consecrated in 1885, and I just happened to notice the markings of a Labyrinth in the church parking lot. I made a mental note to come back at a later date.

I first heard of Labyrinth walking after reading Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” several years ago and have kept my eye out for them ever since. I didn’t think Labyrinths could possibly exist in Victoria but as it turns out, there’s more than one. There’s also one in a park in James Bay behind the Legislature, too.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Labyrinths are not mazes. A maze is a complicated and confusing network of paths with many forks and options. Maybe you have walked through a life-sized maze with high hedges in a garden park before and had a difficult time finding your way out.

Labyrinths, on the other hand, are not designed to bewilder or puzzle. Labyrinths are not difficult to navigate and have a single path that leads to the center. There’s only one way in and one way out and all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and follow the yellow-brick road, so to speak.

It didn’t take long for me to make my way back to my newly discovered Labyrinth. I dusted off my copy of “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and decided that the Labyrinth would be my first “Artist Date.” I picked a sunny and hot Saturday afternoon and headed off to North Saanich near the airport. When I got there, I made a point to visit my friend’s grave in the Church’s cemetary first.

The classical Labyrinth pattern of seven inter-linking circuits has appeared on Cretan coins since 430 BC and Labyrinth symbols can be found in many cultures.

I made an effort to walk the Labyrinth because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I’m trying to quiet my mind and tap into my intuition. To me, walking the Labyrinth is a kind of mini pilgrimage to a sacred place. To me, just following the meandering path helps me lose track of the outside world and get into a contemplative and meditative state and from there I get ideas and end up feeling better.

I decided to go through the Labyrinth twice that day. When I got back into my car, I decided to take the scenic road home. Out of the corner of my eye, across the street from the church, I noticed a beach. I quickly parked the car again and thought I’d explore a little further. I walked down the stone steps to sea level. The beach was covered with an abundance stones and rocks and pebbles and seashells. I thought to myself, “She sells seashells by the seashore” and then I thought “Sand Dollar.” I hopped from rock to rock, trying not to step on any seashells but that was not easy. There were just so many of them.

And then, there it was. Just sitting there plain as day. A Sand Dollar. The first one I’ve found in my life — ever. It made me smile and I thought, maybe this gift was something to do with the Labyrinth path I’d just walked minutes before. I like to think it is and although I can’t guarantee that you’ll find some kind of treasure after walking a Labyrinth, I invite you to try and to at least keep your eyes and ears open. Who knows what you’ll discover!

If you’d like to find a Labyrinth in your own city or in a city you’re planning to visit anywhere in the world, check out the Labyrinth’s Society’s web page. They have a world-wide Labyrinth locater tool that just may point you in the right direction.

Splash Some Spa Time into Your Staycation this Summer

Posted by Maria on July 7, 2014 under Gift Ideas, Green Living, Home spa, Homespunspa, Humour, Mobile Spa, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Now that summer is officially in full swing — yay! — you might be looking for fun things to do. Have you considered planning a staycation?

Victoria, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places on earth and as locals, we should enjoy and appreciate our city more. We live on an island in the Pacific Ocean for goodness’ sakes! Our city has so much to offer and sometimes it can be fun to stay home and explore the local scene with the fresh eyes of a tourist.

Staycation

Sprinkler in Beacon Hill Park.

Sprinkler in Beacon Hill Park.

“Staycation” is a newly-coined term (as of 2005) by Canadian comedian, Brent Butt, from the tv show “Corner Gas.” The term refers to taking time off from work by choosing to stay home rather than going away, somewhere else, on vacation. Common activities of a staycation include pitching a tent and camping outside within a stone’s throw from your backdoor and swimming in the backyard pool.

Tips for a Successful Staycation

1. Make it official: Treat your staycation as a regular vacation. Pick your dates, whether it’s a day, a weekend, a long-weekend, a whole week, or longer :) and stick to them — no excuses — as if you’ve paid your deposit on a hotel room and have already booked your flights. Also, tell your friends so they know what you’re up to.

2. Take care of housekeeping: On the day before your staycation begins, clean your house from top to bottom. Make it as “hotel chic” as you can. As a treat, hire a professional service to do it for you! You might also consider turning off your newspaper subscription and holding your mail to not remind yourself of your regular daily routine. Don’t forget to display mini toiletries in your bathroom!

3. Plan your itinerary: Staycations give people a chance to act like a tourist in their own town and visit local restaurants, parks, beaches, museums, festivals and events. Have an idea of what you’d like to see and do around town ahead of time. If there’s a restaurant you’d like to try, make a reservation. If there’s an outdoor festival in your community, buy your tickets in advance. Or maybe you’d like to go on a winery tour or catch a ferry to a nearby island. Think of all of the things you wish you had time to do but never get around to and then do them!

4. Pack your suitcase: It’s time to get your suitcase out. This may confuse your pets but that’s OK. :) Make sure to pack clothes that you’d wear on your vacation if you were leaving town. Then on your first day of your staycation, grab your suitcase, leave your house, go around the block, and then re-enter your house as if you’re checking into a hotel. If you skip this step, you may be tempted to not go ahead with your staycation plans and on top of that, it really ups the fun quotient.

5. Hire a mobile spa: Splashing some spa time into your staycation will really kick things up a notch. And you don’t have to go out to a chi chi day spa if you don’t want to. You can invite a mobile spa, like Homespunspa, to come to you. All of a sudden, your home will be transformed into a spa resort and you will reap the benefits of the relaxing spa treatments exponentially. There’s no added stress with mobile spa appointments because getting spa services in your home means you don’t have to worry about driving in traffic, finding a parking spot, running into other spa guests, and messing up your nail polish.  Homespunspa Mobile Spa offers a wide range of spa services including massages, manicures, pedicures and facials. If you’d like to make the most of your staycation, we can easily bring the spa to you! Please call or email to make your appointment.

6. Schedule a VIP spa day: VIP spa days take the spa experience to a whole new level because now you’re on a retreat. At Homespunspa, we’ve just introduced a Stress Relief VIP Spa Day to our mobile spa menu and it’s so wonderful and awesome! Our Face-to-Face Stress Relief VIP Spa Day is a full day, intensive, one-to-one spa appointment. I’ll bring the spa experience to you in 5 different sessions over the course of one day. The Face-to-Face Stress Relief VIP Spa Day includes a guided meditation, a 30-minute energy healing massage, a 60-minute skin balancing facial with eye zone treatment, paraffin hand and foot treatments, a hike in a nearby park and a healthy lunch at an upscale restaurant. It’s perfect for a staycation! If you’re interested, please contact me by email or phone.

Staycations are a great idea and you can get really creative with your time off. Staycations do not have the stress associated with travelling, such as making your connecting flights or buying travellor’s cheques from the bank, and are a good way to save money.

If you’d like help planning your staycation this summer, please contact me, Maria. I have tons of ideas and I’d love to hear from you. Cheers to summer!

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