The annual International Spa Association’s Conference & Expo provides opportunities for spa professional to learn from and network with respected business professionals and spa industry leaders. This year’s event will be held September 24 through 26 in Phoenix, Arizona. “This isn’t your typical spa event,” organizers say. “It’s an inspiring experience developed for today’s spa professionals by spa professionals.”
One of the highlights of last year’s event was an appearance by acclaimed poet Richard Blanco, who wrote “Ignite the Self Who Loves You Most” specifically for the occasion. Blanco is one of the most beloved and influential poets and storytellers writing today. You may remember when President Barack Obama tapped him to serve as his presidential inaugural poet (only the fifth poet so honored). In addition to his poetry, Blanco keeps busy today as a public speaker, teacher and memoirist. And, as his website says, “He continues to travel the world, inviting audiences to reconnect to the heart of the human experience and all of its beautiful diversity.”
It may be time to start thinking about this year’s conference, but it’s always a good time to take a few minutes to revisit Blanco’s poem. You can read the poem below or click over to YouTube to hear him speak at last year’s conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1oF5davKWU
In the poem, Blanco talks about the self “you ignore too often, but who’s always there in the murmur of your every breath, even when you’re not listening.” Here at ISM SPA consulting, we’d like to think that our spa management company was born because we were listening.
Our company culture celebrates service, welcomes innovation, rewards smart solutions, fosters wellness and reflects the passion that inspired founding partners ILANA CRAIG ALBERICO and CHRISTINA STRATTON. ISM SPA specializes in day spa management and hotel spa management as well as providing a range of spa management services. The spa management company’s approach is grounded in creating positive lasting relationships with clients by building branded spas that offer unsurpassed service, impressive results, attention to detail, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
Ignite the Self Who Loves You Most
By Richard Blanco
Like far too many mornings, you probably woke up today with a stranger who is you, the self you haven’t loved enough, but who’s always loved you, more than enough. The one you ignore too often, but who’s always there in the murmur of your every breath, even when you’re not listening. The invisible arms of the one who holds your soul, no matter how much you resist that embrace. The self who remembers the dreams you’ve given up to the darkness, who’d redeem them for you in full-color, if you’d trust yourself. The one who draws in dawn’s light so you can soothe the worry in your bones and burdened blood you keep living with, though you have a choice.
The self who calls you to rise like a songbird— sing your truth, though too often you remain mute with fear. The face of the one you hide behind your own face, not daring to stare into the mirror, see straight into the self who does dare to believe in you, wanting you to erase all doubt in your eyes as you brush your hair for the day. The self who invites you to sit for coffee at your kitchen table, and chat like a best friend who knows just what to say to you. The one you don’t talk to enough, whose hand you don’t hold enough, or cry with enough— to let you step at ease into the raging world.
The self on your way to work who tempts you to turn the radio off, tune your noisy thoughts into a melody. But also longs for you to sing out loud to a favorite song like a prayer. The one who sees poetry in the clouds like a symphony in the distance, sees the pines like giant angels pointing toward heaven—who sees your life like the road before you—one mile at a time.
The self who makes you stop for strangers to let them cross the street, reminding you of your path. The one you don’t thank enough for teaching you how to give, as rain gives to a river, as mountains give way to dust, as waves give to the shore. The one you forget to give to as much as you give to others. The self you need as much as a bird needs a branch to rest, and a cloud needs wind to carry it, and the moon needs the sun’s touch to let its face shine.
Enough. Tonight, come home with the self who’s always lived within you. Greet yourself at your door, let yourself in. Pour wine. Break bread. Write in your journal. Forgive yourself, as you have forgiven others. Dance again with the one who’s always been your perfect partner. Pour through old photos and remember the self who’s known all your joys and sorrows since you were a child. The one who can heal all you must heal, who praises all you must praise. Then, carry yourself off to bed in the arms of the one who’s your most loving self. Listen to that pure voice who’s always been your guide, your counsel, your lullaby. Fall asleep as one with the one who’s always burned within you as bright and true as the starlight in your eyes.