As we approach St. Valentine’s day, thoughts about love fill my mind. It is a season of ushering in spring, a time when lovers express their feelings for each other through gifts, flowers and cards. Couples plan elaborate romantic dates for dinners or outings. Florists will be busy preparing bouquets that will convey the expression of love to another. And let’s talk chocolate. Aphrodisiac properties aside, chocolate indescribably soothes the soul. In the 1800s, doctors prescribed chocolate to patients who were anxious from heartbreak after a breakup or lovesick over unrequited love. Who doesn’t love receiving a box of chocolates? Life is like a box of chocolates, according to Gump. But even with this holiday fast approaching, how much thought is going toward the love of self?
In the bible, Jesus said that there were only two commandments in which to live. Love God with all your heart and love thy neighbor as thyself … and that’s the slant I’m going to take with this column. How can we love our neighbor if we are having trouble even loving ourselves?
Self-care is a necessary human function to preserve or care for one’s health. But what about self-compassion? I read there is an effort to rebrand self-care into self-compassion. Self-kindness. Mindfully putting a stop to self-judgment. Being more tender with ourselves, with our self-talk, and being gentler with dealing with old patterns and starting a new dialog within that can bring about inner peace. We must be in a constant practice of self-forgiveness. For so long, compassion was thought only to be given to others. What about showing some compassion to yourself on the daily? I find this work to be paramount in my progress toward spiritual enlightenment. How can I show you compassion when I speak to myself harshly and treat myself without love and the same caring I would go out of my way to show someone else?
Out wandering the North County for clues as to where the next stop for Soul on Fire would be, I was avoiding traffic on the coast and Encinitas Boulevard and took Vulcan. That was backed up, too, but it caused me to look around. I saw something intriguing. A little pocket of goodness in a sweet small enclave of buildings that encircle a tropical garden courtyard area. I pulled in and found even more enchantment. The sign said Four Moons Spa. There was a distinct energy that came up from the ground in this obscure locale. From the moment I arrived onto the property through a pyramid portal no less, I felt a connection to my spirit that enveloped the entire property and wrapped me up in a feeling that transcended time and space. Something special is going on here.
At the time I came by, there was what they call a Moon Market going on. It was a bevy of activity. Local merchants, a maker’s market if you will, were displaying their mostly sustainable wares and unique services in a casual, but posh sort of way. There was a food truck that was playing vinyl records that the customers can pick out. Loved that. The food was amazing and fresh. A boutique is on-site offering thoughtfully curated, distinctive, one of a kind trinkets, gifts, clothing, and organic skin and hair care products. I was offered tea or mimosa, just for being there. Friendly. My tail started to wag. I’m loving this place. My soul is beginning to ignite. They do this three times a year, I’m told.
Cafe lights twinkled as the sun set. There were lots of places to cozy up. I chose the traditional Balinese bale situated over a tranquil koi pond and waterfall. There are lavish outdoor daybeds where people can wait for treatment services or just hang out. The space is magical and has been designed to be in harmony with the natural environment. Details inspired by the owner’s world travels take elements from abroad to create another worldly experience. I’m coming back, I think to myself.
In the meantime, I don’t go back. I am in service to others and once again put my needs and self-care on the back burner. I work myself into exhaustion and still try to push myself even harder. Sound familiar to anyone? That was what I wrote about before my Momma Yurt experience. Here’s the funny thing about spirit; it reminds you from time to time, who you truly are, and puts you into a synchronicity when you intentionally align to the divine once you do give yourself space and quiet to listen to your inner voice. Because guess who I ran into at that workshop? The owner of Four Moons, Courtney Mars. She insisted that I come in for treatments, and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Self-care is what Four Moons is all about. They offer traditional spa services, distinctive healing experiences, yoga, movement classes, workshops. I let Courtney decide for me, and she did not disappoint.
I arrived at my appointed time with a full menu of an entire spa day at my disposal. The first stop was a Sweet Cheeks facial. Strawberry essences and chocolate are what sets this experience apart from any other I’d experienced before. Now, this would be a fabulous Valentine’s gift for yourself or as a couple. The esthetician was talented, and the process was explained in detail. This girl loves what she does and gushes about working here. It shows in the service. They use only the most amazingly pure, organic and biodynamic products imported from a company that’s been around since the 1950s in Hungary. Loving your skin is radical self-care. I’m feeling proud of the self-care I am inflicting on myself. I wrap the snuggly robe around myself and surrender to the day’s experiences.
Next was a 60-minute full-body massage. Padded my way on the magical steps that led to another enchanted outbuilding, still another enthusiastic employee of the spa greets me. It’s important to note that nobody knew I was there to write a column on the place. This is their standard practice. They treat you like royalty, and healing is the modality with nurturing, restorative healing support as the vision for the spa. I come to find out that the owners have been intentionally shepherding this property since they took over. Bringing in space clearers and land healers, clearing the energies, planting crystals, and repairing the grids and way lines. The result is a divinely guided container that the proprietors, Courtney and Letha, have created here. It’s actually a wholeness center — more than a spa. The massage is delightful and much needed. I always cry when I get massaged. I feel vulnerable. I try not to judge myself for lagging in my own self-care. I sometimes forget to take care of my vessel. And when I do, I remember. I feel loved and cared for by having this experience.
All of the healers in this community are vetted and endorsed by the owners before they are hired. It shows. They are all divinely led and guided to come work here. That is the energy of the Four Moons. Check out www.fourmoonsspa.com to find out so much more.
My last stop, in my noodle-like state after the facial and massage, was with one such healer. I went in with no expectations and was wide open to the experience. I tear up when I write this because it was so transformative. The inner child that I had coaxed out at the yurt was now ready to lead me to release all the shame, guilt, self-judgment and negative self-talk that all my ancestors had planted into me and unload I did. This one I have trouble articulating because the experience was so profound. Let me just say my inner child was healed this day, and compassion is my word to bring into 2020.
This holistic collective has been called into Four Moons by Divine Spirit, and this community is asking you to do something for yourself and step into this vibration of love. Self-love. Self-compassion. Unconditional love for yourself that fosters love and compassion for the world in which we live. But it starts here. Within ourselves. It must begin here if we are to have a Soul on Fire and really understand what love is. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Susan “Sully” SullIvan is a spiritually conscious Realtor with Windermere Homes & Estates and is currently enrolled in several Science of Mind mysticism classes. She is a Practitioner in training at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living with an eye on Ministerial school. She has been on a quest for enlightenment since studying to be a Catholic nun as a child.