Weekly podcast from livesensible.comIf you ‘re in a rush for last minute holiday shopping or have high expectations on what gifts you  may give this year. Here’s a thought,  sometimes a meaningful gesture is worth more than a purchased gift.  Consider offering assistance to your loved ones and friends that are simple and practical, but are highly appreciated.  Your time and consideration are worth a great deal, and will be valued and remembered for a long time.  If you are strapped for cash like many people this year, this  is a less stressful way to celebrate that can deepen bonds between family members instead of always having a monetary attachment to your values!

So instead of rushing to the mall and dipping into your savings to buy the perfect gift, here are some sensible holiday gift ideas that are cost effective and helpful…[…]

Grief and the loss of a loved oneGrief is a very personal and painful experience.  Whatever means we use to find solace in our time of grief is significant and should be valued.  I lost my mother to breast cancer at the age of sixteen.  It was, as one could imagine a great shock to us all.  A friend said to me in a strange consolation “I don’t know how I (meaning herself) would ever get through that kind of grief.”  I said in a very stoic way I’m sure, “You just do.”  She then repeated my words which evidently struck her…”You just do.”
As we drove away from the hospital after my mom passed away in my shock and grief, my greatest fear was that I would forget her:  her face, her hands, her voice and eyes.  I thought “well, now it’s been an hour since I’ve seen her.  Someday it’ll be a year then five years, then ten!”  Now, here it is twenty years this past August since I’ve seen her beautiful eyes in person.  But here is the great, great thing about feelings, dreams, and yes, even grief.  She is with me and I feel her – it may sound cliche or like my own fantasy hope but seriously,  there have been several times where I had a dream of her and I woke up and I felt her presence-viscerally.  This website is about listening to and honoring your senses and using your intellect to help sort through and deal with challenges we all face.  Grief over a loved one is one of the biggest heartaches in our collective human experience.
I have tried to remove myself, to comprehend, even to get over this event but I know now that it is impossible.  I’ve surrendered to that because it shapes every moment of your life after something like that happens.  You no longer see people and the world in the same way.  I really understand how fragile and impermanent this all is because I witnessed it first hand.  My perception of time changed too.  Most teenagers have an invincibility attached to their behavior-that was never a part of my viewpoint of the world.

Soho SanctuaryIn the heart of SoHo is nestled a fabulous retreat for ladies only, especially those who can afford it.  SoHo Sanctuary is nothing short of amazing.  For many of us unfortunately it is a special occasion kind of a treat as it is on the least affordable side of Spa menu prices.  That said, it is well worth it and is a true treat when in need.  The “ladies Only” aspect adds an element of ease to the modest type or for woman who simply want to have a cloistered experience.  There is a steam room appropriately “egg-shaped” which is infused with lavender and which the use is included in the price of the massages and body treatments.

Cost: Signature massage $125 / $185     60 minutes / 90 minutes with an additional $15.00 more for aromatherapy

Ambiance:  Tastefully and comfortingly designed with natural wood floors and soothing accents.  This has a traditional earthy spa atmosphere.  Combined with bright marble in the bathrooms for a very classic style that is at once comforting and uplifting.

Customer Service at the front desk:  Very kind and accommodating.

Hygiene:  Excellent

Quality of Service:  SoHo Sanctuary prides itself on having a massage staff that is consistently being trained in the latest techniques and continuing the professional development of its staff’s training.  This is significant in that it raises the interest and commitment level of the therapists, thus creating a better session for the client.  I have personally received about four massage therapy sessions there over the last ten years and have always had an excellent experience.

Products:  SoHo sanctuary uses the Young Living brand of essential oils for its sessions.  This is a top of the line company known for its purity and high end price.  For facials, the Dr. Haushka line is used.  Many people love this line again for its purity, but I have always found it a bit heavy.

Overall Impression:  This is a professional and full service place.  SoHo Sanctuary also offers  fitness and manicures and pedicures.  For quality and ambiance it is wonderful but as mentioned one feels it when you are leaving to pay.  It is not a place many can frequent but for a treat it is worth it.  For women who really prefer to de-compress in a female only atmosphere, this spa has my highest recommendation.

http://www.sohosanctuary.com

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