Why Even Keel Still Exists - 15 Years Later
You may find this hard to believe but it was a negative comment on my company that sparked my positive desire to write this blog. I value all of our client reviews so much that I pay to request them and a brief response wasn't enough for yesterday's feedback. I really had to think hard about it because if it’s important to one of our clients then it is important to us! Appreciative clients shower us with detailed accounts of what we do right (thousands to be exact) and we get all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes they tell us where we can improve and we become very serious doing all that we can to quell their concerns. Room temperature off, got it, more soundproofing in one of the treatment rooms, got it, scheduling online requests, done…. and on and on. But yesterday’s feedback really made me think. Years ago I would stay up all night worried about what to do and I might have reacted defensively and too quickly. Now, almost 15 years later, I slow down and meditate on it. Sound weird? Maybe, but that's just who I am and that is part of who we at Even Keel proudly are. A unique little boutique spa with highly qualified employees and a strong desire to provide an outstanding service to our family of clients and remain in business. It is not easy to run a small business; in fact, it’s very hard work.
The client’s concern surrounded their "treatment" and not their actual couples massage, which they enjoyed. They felt that their "experience" was not the same as when they visited last February. My staff held their breath as they read the review because they care about their client’s experience as much as their individual performance. Last year the couple booked on Valentine's weekend and we served cookies and champagne, which they described as luxurious. I feel awful that they didn't receive the same treats this year. We only served champagne on Valentine's Day, which fell on a Wednesday this year while they came in the following Sunday. Darn, we should have been serving it all week for the holiday (note to self, won't happen again!). In addition, the flu epidemic has filled our local hospital and knocked many of our clients and staff to their knees...cookies and any unwrapped food was not entering Even Keel this year. Too many pregnant women walking around, including a staff member. BUT, we could have done something...
In the last paragraph I did what I said I wouldn't and fell into excuse mode. I apologize! When it comes to client satisfaction there are NO excuses. The reason I am so appreciative of the only review that ever drove me to write a blog about it is because it made me think about who we really are. What does Even Keel represent? We are about to expand and add a meditation and mindfulness center. Years ago I added the word "wellness" to our name and we are currently trying to learn what our clients desire that we may not be giving them. Are we on the money? In this review we were compared to another spa whose pricing structure is on par with ours and always serves goodies… not just on Hallmark Holidays. I thought "Do they pay their staff excellent earnings, do they have very little staff turnover, do they use top quality (stupid expensive) products and not charge extra for "deep tissue"? Well we do…. but who cares, as what really matters is: do our clients come back time and time again for many years? Do our clients trust us enough to bring their children, grandparents, uncles, and aunts? Do our clients allow us to touch their newly replaced hips, do they breath a deep sigh as we care for their body that is battling cancer, do they say “help me calm my troubled mind and also my body” and most importantly…do they care enough to tell us when we fail and hug us when we succeed. The answer to all of the above is a resounding…. yes. And if I have to find a way to add cookies and champagne every day, well I might… but I doubt it. There are so many spa choices in the world and we are grateful to all who choose Even Keel. May your choices fit your needs and may we serve our clients another 15 years and keep getting better at it every day.
May your day be filled with peace and a body that will last,
It really is that easy. SEED Meditation®
Plant it and watch it grow.
For over 10 years I have heard people say, I start to feel better as soon as I walk in the front door of the Keel. Is it the music, the lighting, the people, the knowledge that soon you get to lie down, the fact that we ask you to turn off your phone? Perhaps it is a combination of all of those things, but most importantly, it is the permission you have given yourself; the permission to selflessly take care of yourself, put your oxygen mask on first, be at home, if only for an hour with the most important person, you.
I have always felt that I have been blessed with the skill of massage. However over the years the number one thing I have found is that most healing starts with watching a person slowly quiet their minds, slow their breathing, go inside to a place of pure consciousness and allow their own healing to begin. This magic can be found in a daily meditation practice.
My career, starting as a CPA, then 15 years later a Massage Therapist was not a whim or an accident. It started as a very, very, anxiety ridden kid which later grew into an anxiety ridden adult. I was lucky to land in the hands of a good counselor who introduced me to the nurturing silence of massage and It was a gifted Massage Therapist who introduced me to the healing silence of meditation. For almost thirty years I have been on and off my meditation pillow, reading books and quietly wondering what the heck is this meditation practice is that leaves me feeling calm and courageous, peaceful yet powerful, loved, focused, creative and closer to my soul?
So why did it take until four years ago for me to get serious and make it a part of my daily life? Because it was a quest I took on by myself that was necessarily accelerated by the lovely thing that life throws at you called stress. You know the thing that you don’t see until perhaps your immune system tanks and your hair falls out.
I was a closet meditator who didn’t want to be labeled. I needed to understand the “why and the how” of it. I needed to learn that thoughts were normal and you can’t stop them, you don’t need to sit in lotus position on the floor and you don’t need to change your religion or even have one for that matter. I always enjoyed helping a client discover a 4:4:2 breathing technique to ease stress or perhaps experience a little guided meditation but I really wanted to learn how to teach meditation. Having an experience of meditation is great but actually learning to meditate at home is knowledge you can use forever. Experiences are nice, knowledge is powerful.
I have been studying with the McLean Meditation Institute in Sedona and after a whole lot of learning and practice, from an amazing teacher named Sarah McLean, I am now proudly certified to teach a meditation method called SEED Meditation®, “Simple, Easy, Every Day Meditation”. This is the practice I have been searching for to share with our clients for years. Again, I got lucky and found this one before thirty more years had passed.
You may not see me in the massage room as much and it is not because I don’t believe in the power of massage. It is because my path to wellness leaves me obligated to share what I know is missing in many lives. That feeling you get when you walk in the door of the Keel. A little peace that I know I can teach you to find in your hearts, every day of the year.
Coming Soon……..Even Keel Living