If you were to ask those closest to me, they would tell you that over the past couple of weeks I have felt “discombobulated.” This is one of my favorite words in the English language. To me, it means a combination of overwhelmed, in need of inspiration, looking for meaning. Nothing terrible, just confused, or rather, thrown into confusion.

Today, I found the solution. Or at least two parts to the solution.

Part 1: a beautiful orchid delivered to the Alchimie Forever showroom, ordered by my Mom, my Dad, and my three sisters. An orchid so white, gorgeous, and peaceful that arrived with a card saying: “Forever discombobulated. We love you. Your family.”

Part 2: a beautiful afternoon and evening with fellow spa and beauty industry friends.

This afternoon, the Washington Spa Alliance held its second meeting at the National Press Club. The mission of this Alliance, of which I am a founding member, is to promote a sense of community and sharing among spa and wellness professionals in the region, to foster sharing, education, networking, and inspiration within our industry. I was inspired. I was reminded about why I love this industry; about what our greater mission is; about the importance of self-care, of wellness, of healthcare. Thank you to all who participated in this meeting. And thank you to our first two members, June Jacobs and WTS, for your confidence and support.

As if the afternoon wasn’t enough, a group of us finished the day at the house of fellow Washington Spa Alliance founder and industry pioneer Mary-Elizabeth Gifford. We were there to toast Sharilyn Abbajay, a woman I admire and look up to. She is a friend, a mentor, a role model to those of us (and many more) who came together to celebrate her new position as head of spa and retail for all Marriott International brands. Ten of us enjoyed elegant hospitality, a fabulous (and healthy!) home-cooked meal, and lively discussion about “the industry.” Old friends from Elizabeth Arden reconnected. New friends from Marriott and Ritz-Carlton connected. And leaders of the industry came together, shared stories about the “good old days,” aspirations about the future, and laughs about everything that happened along the way.

Thank you to my blood family. And thank you to my industry family. You are both a constant source of support, inspiration, motivation, and “un-discombobulation.”

With love, forever!

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