Looking Inside to Explore the Stillness of What Is

By Michael Koethner Wellness & Healing Consultant, Spa Transition | October 19, 2014

Time Out

Time-Out can be defined and made distinct as a voluntary or involuntary stand-still. Ideally it should be considered as a time to recuperate, heal, refocus and realign the physical, emotional and mental state. This can be applied to a single person, team, family or to a business per se. Looking at the current situation in the hospitality and wellness industry it would be very advisable and most beneficial to everyone involved, to voluntarily go into a dedicated Time-Out, an internal and external Detoxification. In the past few years the industry has been thinking and operating with the wrong fuel. It has damaged its engine. Deep scars are now surfacing.

Well, let's stop right here. Put down the knights guard. Open all the senses. Trust, read, listen and be guided. Shut down the computer in the office, put on the suit jacket and leave the desk. Take off the chef's hat and the apron, leave all your utensils on the bench and get out of the kitchen. Leave the booking and reservation software alone and block your system for the time no one will be at the front desk. Leave the laundry, the restaurant, the budget sheet, the spa treatment rooms, the cash register, the retail shop, the bar, the pool, leave it all alone, lock the doors and go, follow me now. Now switch on the part of the brain that is in charge of the imagination, the vision, the inspiration. Everyone knows where it is. It has been there all along, but it has never or rarely been used. Give the imagination a chance. Its daydream time now.

The Voluntary Time-Out

Take a clean glass and a jar of refreshing mountain mineral water, preferably lukewarm as it is better for the human body to absorb. You may want to enhance the water with a slice of fresh lemon or lime, some fresh herbs. Now go to the most comfortable lounge chair you can find, that has a high supporting back rest, preferably with an ottoman and with the most exhilarating view. Put down the glass and jar of water with the ingredients on the side table next to the lounge chair. Adjust the indirect lighting that is located just behind the lounge chair, if you need to. Switch on a candle if you like or the oil burner that is prepared with relaxing essential oils to enhance the scent in the air surrounding you in your chair. Make sure that the side table is in adequate distance to the lounge chair, for safety reasons. Have everything you need and want near you, so you don't have to get up for a while. Sit down in a supportive resting position. Support your lower back and neck, with the small pillows, if need be. Some cushions on the side next to your hip make it even more comfortable. Rest your arms and hands on the armchair. Give yourself enough room, don't sit too tight. Loosen all your muscles. Stretch your legs out and put them on the supportive ottoman of the lounge chair.

If the relaxation causes your system temperature to drop, put a nice warm blanket over the lower body and legs to make sure you feel very warm and comfortable. Lean back, head back, close your eyes, take a few minutes to totally relax from head to toe. Take a deep and slow breath, hold it for a few seconds and very slowly breathe out. Now listen to your body. Listen to your heart. Listen to your breathing. Shut off the frantic endless race and interfering nonsense of the ego. Leave it alone, don't bother, it will never give up nagging, just ignore it. Put all the attention to how it feels like sitting in this very comfortable and warm lounge chair. For the time right now this is all you need. Your imagination gets fired up just by looking out the window over the beach and ocean, or a nice green lawn with large trees, an array of luscious flowers and shrubs and a herbal garden. See how it is all aligned in peaceful, harmonious togetherness. No fighting, no negative argumentation, no screaming, no hustling and bustling, no running or rushing around. Calmness and peace.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.