Monday, February 23, 2009

Feng Shui-ing Pavia

Lately I've gotten on this "Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life" kick. I've moved things around my apartment, and also at Pavia. Pavia, especially, is a mixed bag when it comes to Feng Shui or Vaastu (the Indian version of placement). On the positive side, we have an entrance in the WNW that is auspicious, and we have a stream that flows south to north in the east of the spa. On the negative side, our abundance corner (the Northeast Corner), has a bathroom in it, which means we are "flushing" our money down the toilet. Well, not much I can do about the bathroom. The water lines are where they are, right?

But the front lobby, on the other hand, was something that I could change. When you walked in the front door, there was a fountain smack dab in the middle, against a wall that the previous owners put up. It's certainly beautiful, but it also creates an unnecessary energy block and cuts up our beautiful, auspicious entrance. The fountain facing the entrance, of course, means the abundance is going right back out the front door.

So, with the help of Claire and Julia, two of my wonderful staff, we moved the fountain to the northeast corner of the lobby (the abundance corner). Claire had the idea to create a "portal" with a mirror that would allow the auspicious energy from the entrance to flow "through" the energy-blocking wall and towards the whole spa. So we put up a mirror and a nice hallway table, and I think the whole thing looks lovely. Well, it can't hurt, right? We will see how it goes...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

IQ is not EQ, apparently....

I was completely fascinated by Mr. Stephen Fowler's performance on Wife Swap. I don't usually watch that reality show (America's Next Top Model, Survivor, and Amazing Race are more my speed), but I just had to find out what happened to stir up the rage and ill will of an entire nation. I went onto Youtube and searched on "Wife Swap Fowler" to find the highlights posted, and I was completely stunned. I started looking him up and reading all the blogs about him that I could find, and I even went on LinkedIn to look up his profile, sure that he must be in my network somewhere. Sure enough, I am only 3 connections away on LinkedIn from Mr. Fowler, so I know people who know people who know him. Small world indeed. I even posted on someone else's blog about him.

When I watched the videos, I thought, well, that just proves it. All the IQ in the world doesn't buy any EQ - emotional intelligence. Mr. Fowler has impressive credentials and pedigree, to be sure, but I think he is realizing this week that all of those outward accomplishments are useless if he is hated on sight. The sad part is, I think I used to be like him, valuing myself only by my education and achievements. And the truly sad part is, his display of superiority is only a reflection of how deeply he hates and despises himself. Can you imagine what it must be like to be so filled with bitterness and devoid of happiness that the only joy you can take in life is in the fact that you have an MBA from an elite school? I can imagine it. I've been there. So I'm not going to rag on Mr. Fowler. In fact, I have compassion for Mr. Fowler.

So that's why I'm not joining the chorus of those who are dying to send him back to England, see him suffer bankruptcy and loss, or wish him major misfortune and calamity. His life IS a disaster now, I am sure. He shared his extreme self-hatred with the nation, and it does not take a psychology major to see that this man is deeply damaged, fractured, and possibly even depressed. How did this happen? How did an apparently successful executive with so much going for him create such a mess for himself? I can guess: the void inside that causes him to strive for external accomplishments to fill that void, the deep-seated inferiority complex that causes him to want to lord his superiority over others who are less "accomplished" on paper, and the self-loathing that causes him to spew vitriol to anyone who will listen, even in front of his children, even to a guest in his home.

Mr. Fowler, I sincerely hope that you are able to find something more to love in yourself than your Cambridge and London Business School education. Those are monumental achievements, but they in themselves, do not a joyful life make. I hope you can pick up the pieces from this public relations nightmare and move on to a more healthy life with your wife and children. And lastly, I hope you are able to show your face safely sometime soon...the good news about us "horrible" Americans is that we forgive and forget....quickly. Good luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dr. Suzanne Hamilton - In Memoriam

When I learned recently of the death of Dr. Suzanne Hamilton, my dentist and my client, I cried all night. My poor husband, who had to bear the news all day and give it to me at night, also had to bear my initial tantrum. I shouted at him, "Stop it! What do you mean? It makes no sense! What do you mean, she 'passed away'? A woman of 39 who has given birth only 12 weeks ago does not 'pass away!'" It was truly surreal. At one moment, I could separate myself from my body and watch it going through the initial shock, then the rage, then the disbelief. My mind said, "Oh look, I'm going through a stage of grief: denial."

I had only known her a few months, but she had apparently touched me deeply. I don't think I've cried so much in a long time, nor for anyone else. She had everything to live for - a husband she deeply loved, and who deeply loved her, a newborn daughter, a thriving and successful practice, and the admiration of a whole community. She was one of those "telepathic" dentists - what I mean by that is that she seemed to know exactly what I was thinking at each moment, but could not convey because in our normal interactions, my mouth was usually wide open and she was drilling in it. And yet, all I would have to do was "think" a question at her, and she would answer it as if she had heard me.

The last time I saw her, January 14, 2009, she was putting a crown on me. It seemed to take a bit longer than I expected, and I sent a thought at her, with my mouth wide open, left side of my face numb and drooling, "Why is this taking so long?" She said, without missing a beat, "Oh, I'm sorry it's taking a while - I had to take an extra mold of your tooth to make sure the lab can make your permanent crown perfectly."

She was also the most extraordinary dentist I have ever met, someone who was constantly seeking ways to improve her patients' experience. I know this firsthand, because she came to me for Aromatherapy advice. She wanted to know if I could make her a blend for her dental patients to "relax" or "calm" them. She understood that people visiting her office had anxiety about it, and she wanted to reassure them through every sense possible, including smell. And so she bought Lavender, Chamomile, and various other soporific essential oils, as well as a blend I put together for her office, and put it on diffusers throughout the place. She even put it on my bib that last time I saw her. That was Dr. Hamilton for you - loving, caring, nurturing, and always thinking of the needs of others.

All I can really liken her to is a flower - no, a rose, the queen of flowers. Like a rose, she was generous with her own special unique fragrance, and in her case, if I could bottle it into perfume, I would call it, "Compassion."

We attended her memorial service yesterday and listened to all the stories of how she lived her life, which only further served to confirm that a bright light has truly gone out of this world. She was beloved by many, if the standing-room-only crowd was any indication. I, too, loved her, though I only knew her a few months. I will miss her sorely, and I pray fervently that God offers comfort and solace to those she leaves behind and are most wounded by her passing.