"Freedom is Happiness" according to Buddhist teachings...of course surviving a breakup is life-shifting. Crying helps, watching Big Bang Theory reruns with a pizza and glass of wine, calling old friends to come visit for the weekend [thanks Patty & Greg], reading Spiritual Self-Improvement books, Guidance & Healing Tarot Cards, burning Sage in the house to release old emotional energy…You name it…I’ve tried it. So, starting in December 2012 last year, almost 4 years of being in a close live-in relationship, I decided to “Let it go” and move on, putting all my passion & energy into my new career which I have patiently waited for and achieved, and to devote my dynamic energy into attracting a better life for myself. Happiness and Peace are Possible.
Fortunately, along this path, I’ve met several influential people, and discovered many interesting new places on my journey. Here is how I have survived the last 3 months of being single. I realize that all along I have loved traveling, having a sense of adventure, meeting new people, enjoying the finer things in life, and wanting to share these experiences with someone special who also appreciates each day and the beauty surrounding us.
Since December is the beginning of the holiday season, there was so much going on, and honestly I was eager to get out into the world. I was very distracted from the breakup at the time, focusing on my career, planning trips around the holidays with the teenagers, and really not thinking about the change in my living situation. My mind was made up, I envisioned a better quality of life, new beginnings, great new experiences, traveling more often and finally live the life I intended to have.
One of my favorite rock stars, DON DOKKEN, (the ultimate rock ballad “break up music” band), was playing 2 nights in December so I immediately booked 2 nights near each of the venues – The BEACH HOUSE in Hermosa, right on the ocean, and within walking distance from the Club. What a fix! Going backstage, hanging out with Donny Dokken, warming up and singing “Alone Again” to me one-on-one. What a fantasy! That truly set the tone for the months to come. Later that week, Dokken again played at the WHISKEY A-GO-GO in Hollywood, going on at midnight. So I played the Rock Star Lifestyle, checking in to LE MONTROSE SUITE HOTEL www.lemontrose.com The intimate, chic ambience at this boutique hotel created a personalized experience for me, very unique, interesting décor, Xmas theme, and the rooms were fresh and new. Was able to meditate by the roof-top pool before the DOKKEN concert, which started at 12 midnight…He played with MARK BOALS, til 3am then everyone headed to the RAINBOW BAR & GRILL for Pizza. This was the lifestyle I lived when I first moved to LA 30 years ago, playing Gazzari’s, the Roxy and other Clubs in LA. My life has come full circle…still wearing leather, boots, chains, diamonds, big hair and feeling great!
OK…back to Reality after the Rock Star Week. Living alone starting to settle in. Getting up early, no one singing his “Folgers Song” to me…no laundry to do, no dinners to make, etc. Family starting to come to the Beach House, decorating the Christmas Tree, getting into the “holiday spirit”…planning for New Year’s Eve (would-be 4 yr. Anniversary)…
OK…booked a weekend downtown Los Angeles at the OMNI HOTEL and a spa treatment at THE RITZ CARLTON at LA Live…took myself to a 5 Star dinner at NICK & STEF’s STEAK HOUSE where I was treated like royalty! There was such a positive VIBE there..an ultra modern steakhouse with Meagan Logan, Executive Chef, my server Justin from Denver and of course the Berlin-born Sommelier Stefan Juling. I had the best Caesar salad I ever had. After the NICOLAS FEIULLATTE Brut Rose, I was treated to a French Sauterne after dinner, compliments of Stefan, served chilled, nice pairing with Roquefert cheese, nice viscosity.
EAT * STAY * PLAY – Downtown Los Angeles is the place to be!
Christmas finally came …lots of festivities around town. Tried the new LURE FISH HOUSE www.lurefishhouse.com in downtown Ventura which had a trendy atmosphere, outstanding service and quality of food, especially the Ceviche & Scallops. The wine list was impressive and the price-points were very reasonable. The Oyster Bar is something I am willing to try next time.
Also tried the SIDE CAR RESTAURANT, www.thesidecarrestaurant.com a classic Ventura restaurant built in the 1910’s inside a Railroad Car. My daughter Rachael & I experienced a warm, wonderful evening the night after Christmas, enjoying their famous cuisine, personal & attentive staff and classic cuisine.
Spent New Year’s Eve at the TOWER CLUB www.towercluboxnard.com in Oxnard, a private, members-only City Club atop the Topa Financial Plaza, dazzled with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean! That evening I ventured out solo with business colleagues from work, enjoyed the last night of 2012 being wined & dined, dancing to live music, amidst new friends and acquaintances. Life at the Top! Glamorous, entertaining, accomplished…a change in lifestyle for sure.
2013 – A NEW YEAR! January served to be fun-filled with travel planning for my upcoming Birthday, February 1st…more friends and family coming to visit. Everything on the outside appears to be falling into place, career, contacts, activities & events at work. Many opportunities to keep me focused, distracted and living the Law of Attraction. Writers block definitely kicked in, hard to be creative, although very focused with new writing & PR career.
My Birthday Weekend began with a BANG with 20 of my closest friends gathering at QUINCY STREET on Silverstrand Beach for a night of wild shenanigans. Thanks Denney! Also spent the day at the Beach with quiet meditation, reading, healing and introspective work.
Saturday, I took my daughter Rachael & my friend Patty from Sonoma to the LONDON HOLLYWOOD HOTEL www.thelondonwesthollywood.com where we checked in for another Rock Star Weekend, lounging like celebrities at the rooftop pool, dining at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant, an Art-Deco style and elaborate décor in the dining room and bar and spending the night in the chic, Veranda Suite, “with interiors offering sophisticated, discreet glamour & outdoor living space.” No wonder this is the “Hotel of Choice” for ONE DIRECTION, the famous Teen Band that will be playing at the Staples Center 4 nights this August!
REALITY CHECK: February 1st Birthday Weekend…no boyfriend, starting to miss JAMES, his energy no longer at the Beach House, emptiness creeping in, the festivities winding down, withdrawals, memories, things that were said, songs playing on the radio that remind me of “us” and now there is no more “us”… Valentine’s Day coming up too. Starting to talk to people about the situation, starting to sink in, the 4 years, the trips, the cruises, the happy times, family & friends, photo albums. Processing the loss & grieving.
Now the Healing begins. How to survive a breakup? Go to SPA DESTINATIONS. Here we go!
SPA MAMA WEEKEND at the FOUR SEASONS HOTEL – Westlake Village, CA www.fourseasons.com/westlakevillage and The California Health & Longevity Institute www.chli.com
What a great way to spend the weekend with my daughters, enjoying FIVE DIAMOND accommodations and amenities, including fine dining with the Italian Buffet at Mercato Italiano, superb wine list, stunning fitness center and opulent gardens and waterfall. Somehow the F&B Manager knew that I was in need of extra pampering and asked me if the girls and I were getting spa treatments. I already had a massage scheduled on Sunday, so he said that he would “upgrade” us and gave us the SPA SUITE - ALL DAY!, complete with jacuzzi bath tub, 2 couples massage tables, outdoor patio and jacuzzi, relaxation room, vichy shower, rose petals around the spa tub, fresh fruit platter, etc. etc. WOW! My babies and I enjoyed VIP service and amenities, only a few minutes from their high school – home away from home. Truly an Abundant Gift.
The journey continues as I was put in the life of International Celebrity Stylist BILLY YAMAGUCHI, at his INNER CHI SPA SALON located in the Four Seasons, and also another location in Ventura. As a writer, I was simply going to interview him, and schedule an appearance for my Ladies who Lunch group, but somehow found myself sitting in THE CHAIR…Mr. Yamaguchi gave me a FENG SHUI BEAUTY CONSULTATION, incorporating the 5 Elements of Wellness: Emotional, Social, Mental, Spiritual & Physical. He also discussed how food & nutrition contribute to wellness as does exercise, meditation, spirituality and nurturing. I was given a questionnaire asking what words I use to describe me and what colors appeal to me and how my ENERGY is affected by my appearance. [Aquamarine & Purple] Billy and his assistant began painting my hair with beautiful colors that enhanced my skin tone, highlights and natural color. Within 2 hours, I have to admit how HOT my hair looked with several trippy colors that inspired my passion and creativity. Another blessing! For more information on Billy Yamaguchi’s upcoming personal appearance in Ventura County on Fri. April 5, please visit firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.yamaguchibeauty.com.
Inner Beauty has been restored, outer Beauty has been nurtured, only one thing left…a MIRACLE to help process the “breaking up” part…all this lovely nurturing and pampering with family and friends, working hard, taking time for my morning Yoga Spiritual Beach Walk every day, yet the LOVESICK & HEARTACHE suddenly loomed towards me before Valentines Day. No turning back now. Deal with it. Let it go. Yeah right. Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship, for better or worse, has some sense of loss afterward. The “good memories” kicked in, questioning my motives for the break up. Why did it take so long? Could things have worked out eventually? I needed so many answers so I took the plunge of asking for him back…Whoa…setting myself up, but emotionally needed to say the words to give myself some closure. Since I was the one who said good-bye, it’s no wonder he’s moving on. In a way, these 4 years have significantly healed me by being with JAMES…Continue the story…where is the passion & fire inside of me? How can I become attracted to another guy? What DO I like? I summoned friends, scholars, spiritual Indian healers, Michael Losier of the Law of Attraction, and my coveted Healing Cards…Was I ready to go on a date? Well, I tried, according to my friends who suggested I just start going out. It made me feel WORSE!
I have a list of qualities I DO want, and my Intuition will guide me. Valentine’s Day came and I went to dinner with my business colleagues and sat at the “Single’s Table”…not too bad, nice conversation with a very interesting older gent, but I missed my Enchilada. I guess I need that “hot & heavy” type. Moving on.
Nowwhat I needed to really Drown my Sorrows was to visit one of my favorite places – THE MONTAGE RESORT & SPA in LAGUNA BEACH. www.montagelagunabeach.com Upon my arrival, Tina Vu, the Guest Relations Coordinator checked me in and personally escorted me to the Lobby amidst a panoramic balcon overlooking the scenic Pacific Ocean, rugged Cliffs, Dana Point and beyond. For February, the weather was warm, mild, bright, sunny and little wind, perfect conditions for a wedding ceremony taking place on the grass overlooking the ocean. Picture perfect!
My MIND-BODY was now focused on the amenities of the hotel, including the pool, jacuzzi, Spa Montage facility, 5 Star Restaurant, and of course my Deluxe Guest Suite overlooking the Ocean. I was treating myself to a unique gift of solitude, culinary delights, pampering, healing, meditating and meeting the accommodating staff. The PR team, Kacey Bruno & Lauren McEwen had helped me set up this Press Trip and allowed me the ultimate weekend experience to help heal my soul. They explained that each property [Montage Beverly Hills & Montage Deer Valley, Utah] were distinctive and accommodating.
In the lobby lounge, the piano player was playing top 40 hits classical style, including “Locked out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars, which truly signifies this time period in my life. Several guests were enjoying the music & ambiance of this luxury resort, drinking wine & champagne.
Part of my desire to travel is to take in the local scenery, so I walked down to the Tide Pools and had some photos taken, to inspire me and remember my sojourn to this healing place. As I looked around, observing couples in this romantic spot, I believed that the Universe has someone special who will come into my life, for the right reasons. I still couldn’t deny the emptiness of being alone without the ex-boyfriend, wishing he was here with me. I’m young, I’ll re-bound, I’m resilient.
The Montage was everything I expected from this seaside resort, impeccable grounds, pool, lounging area, illustrious architecture, 5 Star all the way. At the LOFT Restaurant, “Chef Overton is passionate about providing guests with dishes that showcase inventive seasonal ingredients prepared simply, focusing on three to four ingredients in a dish and preparing them perfectly.” Both Brandon, my server, and Margaux, my Sommelier, were extremely attentive, offering me the Black Truffle Risotto, a wine list the size of a dictionary, including the Imported section which was equally impressive. The view of the Sunset over the Ocean was spectacular. There was also a Cheese Bar with over 200 varieties of cheese to be paired with the fine wines. Victorio Gonzales, the Director of F&B, was most gracious in explaining the several menu options and choices throughout the hotel. He sent up a Rum Punch & Ginger Bread platter for me that evening.
As I went for my night walk throughout the grounds, my new friend Tina Vu asked me how everything was going, and I proceeded to tell her all about my fabulous weekend. I did decide to share my story about the breakup, which is why I was at the Montage enjoying this wonderful weekend. She shared a similar story with me, gave me her card and I felt like I met a new friend. When I went back to my room, she sent a lovely card to my room and a basket of spa amenities. Wow! I was impressed. That evening I spent my solitude and quiet time reading in the luxurious suite, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore, and realizing the Gratitude I have for this life.
SPA MONTAGE was “over the top” for spa services, amenities, staff attentiveness and the eclectic selection of Yoga clothing, healing books which spoke to me: “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” and “YOU ARE HERE, Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment” Cultivating True Love…In the Springtime, thousands of different kinds of flowers bloom. Your heart can also bloom. You can let your heart open up to the world. Love is possible…and if in the past you have suffered because of love, you can learn how to love again….
I must admit that although my experience was exactly what I wanted and expected, the breakup loneliness was still seething in me. I’m a positive, spiritual person and I wanted to GET OVER IT ALREADY! Sunday morning, I went to the YOGA Studio at 8am and met the most wonderful, gifted and visionary Wellness Supervisor, Barbara Fox. She and discussed for approximately an hour, the journey that we, as women, must endure to live a full and prosperous life. MIND & BODY must come together. Sure, hearts get broken, men come and go, but our Bodies will always take care of us. Barbara teaches a variety of Yoga Classes, including the Thalassic Beach Walk, an “energizing stretch down at the ocean’s edge while breathing in the fresh ocean air. Briskly walk barefoot in the soft sand and into the surf to take in the many benefits of the ocean. Be prepared to get wet.”www.spamontage.com Now that’s my kind of day! Living at the Beach certainly has it’s healing properties. Thank you Barbara...for everything! (Especially the Chocolate Covered Strawberries you sent to my room with the Lovely Card)...
My SPA MONTAGE Experience had begun…I was escorted to the Ladies Spa, given my comfy robe & spa slippers, plunged into the outdoor Jacuzzi, sipped herbal tea, and waited for my massage therapist to call me. Surely, if I was to commiserate my broken heart and heal, Spa Montage was the place to be pampered. Thank you Todd Orlich, GM for also making this one of the most memorable experiences at a resort Destination that I have ever experienced.
The healing had begun and the MIRACLE occurred: I met the most amazing massage therapist, Suzanne DeFranco, L.M.T and a Master of Chinese Medicine. She blended some aromatherapy for me after my massage, which tremendously helped me clear my mind. She continued to guide me through my “cleansing” and brought my attention to the Couples Connection Massage Class that she was soon to be teaching. Her handout was significant in allowing me the opportunity to focus on my past experiences with James in the Couples Massage in the Cave in Napa Valley; one of the best memories in my life. All the information lead me to believe that Couples Massage, WITH THE RIGHT PERSON, is intoxicating and truly necessary for a long-lasting relationship. Suzanne suggested I read Pema Chodon “When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times.” Also included in Suzanne’s Handout was a List of Romantic Words, beautiful quotes, Essential steps to Success, suggested readings and the Languages of Love. www.Suzannedefranco.blogspot.com
So ends my journey of self-healing, meeting these amazing people who have come into my life for a reason, going beyond their duty in the hospitality industry, and showing a genuine kindness and compassion towards their hotel guests. Truly a positive light is surrounding my lifestyle now.
Breaking up is hard to do? Oh yea…Love yourself first, take time to please yourself and care for your soul. Traveling creates an awareness of self-care, what is important to you, how to luxuriate the senses and come to terms with what is meaningful to live a fulfilling life! Bon Voyage…..!
Massive tornadoes hit Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people.How you can help