About 16 months ago I joined eWomen Network. This is a national networking organization for both men and women with chapters in Seattle and Bellevue. I like going. The meetings are very well organized and attract some of the coolest people I've ever met. There aren't enough hours in the day to get to know these new acquaintences, so the eWomen luncheons are like bi-weekly re-unions of friends with the possibility of new business.
I say the "possibility of new business" because the road to that new business is paved with thank you notes, follow-up phone calls, and regular contact all while being my authentic self. It requires accounts on Merchant Circle, Linkedin and Biznik and blogging and writing articles. My web site content must be written and re-written with key words, phrases and links so the internet brain finds it worthy to grab and rank. In the past 10 days I attended two 3 hour luncheons that turned into 8 hour gab fests. I attended 3 half day networking seminars, an all day publicity workshop and spent two hours with my sales coach. All the while with my cell phone turned off and miles away from my computer. I returned home each night and added to my pile of business cards, brochures and receipts. Before falling into bed and another half slept night, I sorted through scores of email and phone messages some of which bore the fruit of all this labor. I barely saw my husband and when our paths did cross I confess I didn't listen to a word he said. I woke up Saturday morning and did what any self-respecting entrepreneur with her priorities in order would do...I went to the spa (no link here-this place is my secret).
This summer I joined a spa that is about relaxation and silence. Sans the clothes I spent hours alternating between the 104° jetted pool and 60° waterfall massage without saying a word. I joined a sea of bobbing heads with eyes closed and smiles that slowly turned into sleepy relaxed frowns. Amidst the occasional o-o-hs and a-a-hs a young and lithe body began bending and twisting as the water bubbled around us. She stretched to the ceiling, arched her spine and threw a leg over the tiled side of the pool. Her body was long, lean and muscular. The epitome of youth and fitness. With some hesitation I asked, "Are you a dancer?" She began to tell me that yes, she is a dancer and a contortionist and that normally she wears 4 pairs of sweatpants to heat up her body so she can do these really deep stretches. She just discovered this spa and the heated waters have improved her flexibility and performance. She works for Pure Cirkus and is preparing for a performance on Halloween. She is a really cool person and I plan on going to watch her with her clothes on.
I joined this spa on my birthday in April. I go to escape my business, familiar faces and networking and drip and melt into the steam and heat. So far no one has made the connection between my pushed up, pulled in and glammed up stage persona and the scrubbed clean freed flesh floating and bobbing around them. I prefer to keep it that way.