work retreat 2014



I’m starting this post with this photo that shows Mya and I were obviously and clearly working during our annual work retreat at the Boulders resort just north of Scottsdale.  We actually accomplished quite a bit mapping out our schedule for the rest of the year and setting goals for 2015.

We’ve been blessed with what I would call perfect timing.  Mya and I first met when she was living and working in Phoenix as a PT and beginning her Myofascial Release training.  She got an opportunity of a lifetime as a therapist and was offered a job at the prestigious Therapy On the Rocks in Sedona–one of two nationwide John Barnes Myofascial Release clinics.  After spending a year working and developing there, she returned to Phoenix primarily because Sedona wasn’t the best place for her family and children to thrive.


Here’s the kicker though–she moved back right about the same time that I closed the largish clinic I’d been exhausting and draining myself managing for 18.5 years.  I had recently relocated to my current, solo, darling location which turned out was just a couple of miles away from the location she’d been given special dispensation from her non-compete agreement, to restart her practice.

In typical Mya fashion, she contacted me concerned she was “intruding” on my “territory”.  Immediately I felt and said “absolutely not, but we’re going to collaborate”.  And we did.  I was alone as a therapist for the first time in almost two decades and I needed professional support and connection.



sorry so blurry but I love the energy in this photo

It’s been over two years now and Mya and I have developed a seamless working relationship.  We co treat (which means two therapists treating the same person at the same time) one day a month, at least.  We’ve also developed what we call an “Accelerated Program” where people come for 3 sessions per day–2 individual sessions with each of us and 1 co treatment.

We’ve had people sign on for that program for 1 or 2 weeks and come from out of town just for treatment with us.  We designed this program to also flow with Therapy on the Rocks Intensive program and some have used it as a way to ease in or out of that more intense therapeutic experience. With no advertising and virtually no promotion we’ve flourished.  Simply word of mouth.  We don’t even have a handout for our collaborations which is one of the goals we discussed.



So, you see, among the cranberry sparklers and spa treatments and room service, we really did use this as our focused planning time.  And bonding time.  Which is also part of our professional connection!




Not to brag, but to appreciate, if I had an opportunity to be treated by Mya and I in a co treatment, I’d sign up every month.  We have this seamless connection, have never, not once, experienced a power struggle or ego dynamic. We both respect and trust each other equally and often we hear “I felt like one person was working on me with four hands” which is entirely descriptive of what it feels like on my end. 

We often train in MFR seminars to choose a leader for the multiple therapist treatment techniques but we’ve never done that.  The leadership shifts and morphs during the treatment.  It’s like a perfect improv dance.  If one gets an idea and says “what do you think about this?” in terms of the direction to go in the treatment, the other just flows right with it “great idea”.

I think I sometimes take this connection for granted because I do think it’s exceedingly rare.



Our friendship is very similar.  We both talk and we both listen.  We spent HOURS over this weekend sharing, long stories, deep stories, tears, laughter, covering every emotion on the spectrum.  I think it’s a pretty amazing friendship/professional relationship and one that is very very unusual and special to find.  I have never, not once, had a moment of conflict with Mya–on the inside or outside.  It’s astonishing really!


On our full Saturday there, we went for yoga class, a two hour workout in the gym then spa treatments.   I booked this Ayurvedic treatment I’d been wanting to try.  We’d decided we wanted to go later in the day and lo and behold they offered a 20% discount for all treatments after 3pm.  Perfect!


Here is the description of what I got:


A cleansing, detoxifying delight for the skin, Bindi translates to
“rebirth.” An exfoliation using crushed, warm herbs uplifts the
spirit while soothing the body. A light massage, using oils selected
according to your dosha, lulls you into a blissful state of serenity and
concludes with a warm cocoon wrap and facial cleanse.
80 minutes
This harmonizing treatment begins with a soothing stream of warm
oil flowing onto your “third eye” to ease the mind and encourage a
REM state, allowing for the body to repair itself. The oil is lavishly
massaged into your hair and scalp, followed by a light facial massage
(I had the one that combines both of those)
I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever in my life felt the level of deep relaxation or time traveling or whatever I experienced during that session.  I felt such a deep rest and healing that I knew something major had just occured.
Since we both had the shirodhara treatment meaning our hair covered in oil, we decided to stay in the room and get room service for dinner.  We’d also brought a couple ok, four bottles of wine so we popped one open with our dinner and sat on our balcony with some bats flying around us and talked and talked for hours leisurely enjoying our salads and Pinot Noir.
Around 10 pm we looked at each other, wondering if we should go for one of the other bottles–ya know, to just try.  😉  Of course, as usual we were on the same page.  Mya had brought this Tres Lunas wine in honor of the recent Super Moon so we landed on that one (we still brought home full bottles believe it or not).  We took one sip and Mya said “oh this wine needs some chocolate”.
No chocolate!  Neither of us had brought any chocolate!  I’ve been not eating sugar at all really for a couple of months so wasn’t really thinking about it but  yeah, this wine needed some chocolate.
She asked if there might be a vending machine somewhere so I called the Operator Sherry Lynn to ask.
No, this really isn’t the type of resort that has vending machines she reminded me.  Duh.
Sherry Lynn then went in to problem solving this obvious emergency.  She offered that there was a Walgreens nearby (no, we weren’t going anywhere–we were in our jammies and well, would not be driving 😉 ), she offered to open the gift shop and send us a “selection” of candy bars and then she landed on the solution.
“I could send you some of my personal stash–it’s Cadbury”.
Within moments a young man showed up at our door, me answering it in my shower cap and pajamas, and handed me a Boulders gift bag cradling not one, but two Cadbury chocolate bars.  Sherry Lynn was a lifesaver!
We sat there savoring one of the chocolate bars square by square sipping our wine in to the late hours thanking Sherry Lynn over and over to each other when I realized I should have sent her something back!
By the time I came out of this chocolate ecstasy long enough to call and thank her, she’d already left her shift.  I made a plan though.  😉
The next morning I woke up to a wine glass 1/8 full next to my bed and an empty chocolate bar wrapper between us on the nightstand.  I think it took us over an hour to eat that entire candybar.  It was that kind of leisure going on.
We spent the morning hanging out in our beds and I basically told Mya my life story–there were tears and deep sighs  the profound connection weaving between us.
We milked that room right up to the moment of checkout, asked for our bags to be stored and went back to the spa for a leisurely lunch and lounge by the pool.
i like seeing what I look like when I’m totally relaxed
After 3pm we realized it was time to pack up and head home.
As we sat at the checkout desk, we realized that Sherry Lynn was back on shift so asked to meet her!  She looked exactly as I’d imagined with her little southern accent and bright red hair.  She was so happy to meet us and we all hugged and ooohed and ahhhed about her chocolate rescue.  I’d prepared a nice tip for her in a note the night before so quietly handed that to her and said we’d see her next time.
Yes, we’ve already decided we will now come to this slice of Heaven twice a year now–once for our overnight spa retreat (now extended to two nights) and one for just a day at the spa.  We are so smart to do this!  I’m shocked we didn’t figure it out earlier!
I often see these big corporations sending their employees to these amazing work retreats feeling like that’s something I’ve missed out on being self employed most of my adult life.  But no more! We can create our own version of that and we have!  😀
As we left the lobby and the bellman started pulling out our luggage/finding Mya’s keys, our chocolate delivery man appeared out of nowhere.  I really don’t know how he recognized me after the getup I was in the night before at the door in the dark.  He was tickled as well remembering that whimsical gesture he was a part of.  I’m pretty sure he’s never participated in an emergency chocolate delivery before.
And Mya and I know how to appreciate a person.  When he shared his name is Gerard I impulsively replied “oh you even have a sexy name” and he said I’d made his day.  😉  It was a win/win/win love fest all the way around.
I’ll sign off with something I shared with Mya that I read years ago but love.  I think it might have been a George Carlinism but I’m not sure and I’m not exactly sure of the precise wording but it goes something like this:
Ever notice when someone tells you ‘you just made my day!’ , at that moment they just made your day?
Yeah, that.
even though we were seated under these strange feet, we sat at that restaurant having dinner for 3 hours!
Here’s to having our days made and making other people’s days!
Happy Monday everyone!
Oh and just one post script.  I often worry on some level when I leave and unplug like that how it will impact my brother.  I called him as soon as I got home last night and he sounded good–really good.  Told me what he did over the weekend, that he’d just made dinner for himself, that he was watching TV and had done his workout on Saturday.  He’s doing so much better.  I’m so relieved.