Mind Body Spirit Blog

What I found today . . .

Searching for an envelope this morning, I came across a small yellow pad.  The title on the first sheet caught my eye: “List of Stressors.” I recognized it from my first visit to the Golden Door in August 2009, where I attended a session with the inspiring Annharriet Buck.


What was almost as surprising as finding these notes  was the actual content and how I feel about it now that I’m much more the “master of my own destiny.”  My three stressors were (1) high expectations (2) trying to do it all/ have it all and (3) putting pressure on myself.  Today, I am struck by a deep feeling of gratitude that I no longer feel that these are stress factors in my life.  I am equally grateful that I’ve had access to amazing places like the Golden Door where I’ve been able to examine my life and priorities to move myself to where I am now.

Another note I jotted on the yellow pad is a word: Equanimity.  I recorded the definition, and I’m glad I did because it resonates deeply for me now.  Here’s what I wrote:

  • Quality of remaining calm or undisturbed
  • Evenness of mind or temper
  • Composure

What a lovely state to be in!  #equanimity #goldendoor #ilovemyjob #innerwisdom #wellnesstravel


Written by MBSN

What does it mean to travel “well?”

sallie in Ananda    These days a lot of my time is spent planning wellness journeys and training travel professionals on how to sell “wellness travel.”  So it’s natural that I’ve given this subject a lot of thought.

While wellness travel is not one size fits all, I can tell you what works for me. Here are my top five tips for traveling well:

  1. Make sure you can find farm-fresh or local food.  Every place has good food; you just may have to search for it.  Just in case, I always travel with “healthy-ish” snacks such as Epic Bars, Skinny Buddha Peanut Bars, roasted chickpeas, and coconut milk caramels.
  2. Find a way to get some exercise.  Sign up for a class at the resort, or find a local gym. Better yet, take a walk outside – you’ll not only get the benefits of nature, but you may discover an interesting neighborhood or meet someone new.
  3. Book a spa treatment at your hotel or be an “urban spa explorer” and check out a local hot spring or reflexology place.  I have had many amazing experiences by trying signature treatments or asking the hotel where I can go for a “cheap and cheerful” treatment.  For example, I had an amazing, inexpensive 2½ hour treatment at a day spa in Bangkok that even included an extraordinary shampoo at the end.
  4. Sleep, meditate or daydream.  I always break the cardinal rule of international travel by taking a nap when I arrive.  This helps me stay on the right track when shifting through time zones.  I believe in honoring my body’s rhythm, which sometimes means I start my day at 4am and end at 7pm!
  5. Do something you’ve never done before.  One of my favorite sayings is, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”  I keep this maxim front and center when I travel.  Even when it’s something small, a new experience is always mind expanding.  Recently I sampled a Texan wine while on a trip to Texas. Or, you can create a sense of community by having a drink with other guests in the hotel lobby.

One more thing – I always aim to come home feeling as good, if not better than, when I left.  While I encourage you to indulge (and believe, me I do!), it’s important not to overindulge. Drinking too much, eating junk, not sleeping well or refraining from exercise leaves me with regret, which is not how I want to feel after a trip.

While these tips may not be in your top five, I encourage you to think about what travelling well means to you. #wellnesstravel  #wellness #mindbodyspiritnetwork

Written by MBSN

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Guatemala SF w eggs on head

The first time I heard this phrase was several years ago at a women’s retreat. I knew it would become one of my favorites.  In light of demands and fast pace of life, it’s not easy to think about doing new things for yourself. But I’ve found that keeping myself in the equation and fostering a spirit of adventure has made me a better person in many ways.

I really took this phrase to heart two years ago, when I began to create my Mind Body Spirit Network wellness journeys.  With a strong passion for wellness and travel, I wanted to find a way to combine meaningful cultural experiences, outstanding healthful food, indigenous healing ceremonies, spa treatments, and volunteering in exotic, fascinating locales.

After 30 years of corporate life, starting my own business was a big “first time” experience for me.  I recalled some of the things I’d learned from amazing women I’ve met along this path, one of whom was Joan Lunden.  Through my former role as Chief Operating Officer at SpaFinder, I had worked with Joan a few times on Camp Reveille (a career highlight!).  Reveille truly was a wake- up call for me. I put the motivation and inspiration I felt at Reveille into creating Mind Body Spirit wellness journeys.

So, if you ask yourself when was the last time you did something for the first time? If you’ve never:

  1. Been to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a truly charming place to discover
  2. Experienced the “Day of the Dead” celebration of life
  3. Had an authentic temazcal
  4. Taken a cooking class on the rooftop of the Rosewood Hotel with Executive Chef Victor Flora
  5. Hiked the Pre-Aztec pyramids of Teotihuican
  6. Visited the picturesque UNESCO world heritage colonial city, Guanajuato
  7. Volunteered at the local non-profit Casa de Los Angeles that helps single Mexican women by providing free day care and food to deserving children

. . . then please consider joining us this October 30th for our “Day of the Dead – A Feast for the Senses” Wellness Journey.  We would love to share this journey with you.

For more information, please contact Sallie Fraenkel, sallie@mindbodyspiritnet.com

Oct 30 – Nov 5, 2016

Written by MBSN

It’s Not the Hand You’re Dealt, It’s How You Play It

hand of cards

“I want to be the head of Marketing for Canyon Ranch” became my mantra that summer of 2004.  We already know what a profound impact that destination spa visit had on me, and now I wanted to live and breathe it every day.  Just one issue . . . that position is based in Tucson, AZ, but we lived in the New York suburbs where my husband’s career was based and our children were happily growing up.

Then opportunity dropped in my lap in the form of lunch with a very special person.  Like others (all of whom I am grateful to), she saw something in me that I had not seen . . . that my background in the TV/Film industry actually would be a perfect fit for the needs of a company called Spafinder.  Well, just hearing the word “spa” in a sentence with “work” thrilled me to no end.

I knew Spafinder of course.  As a “spa junkie,” I had used them to book a visit to Miraval for me, my dad and my sister after my mom died.  I looked forward to the magazine arriving quarterly so I could fantasize about the places I wanted to go.  My husband, always a forward-thinker, even offered to take me to Lake Austin spa 18 years ago, but since I had not heard of it (silly me!) I opted for a more vacation destination I was familiar with (which of course I can no longer remember!).

So, in spite of my fear and concerns, I played the hand I was dealt.  I convinced myself and those at Spafinder that I could do what they needed.  And I did.   If I ever take up bridge or poker, I hope I can take this lesson to the table

Written by MBSN

Welcome to the Mind Body Spirit Blog!

canyonranch      WHERE IT BEGAN

When my mom brought me to Canyon Ranch in the spring of 1992, I had no idea what an impact that trip would have on my life.   As I sit here 14 ½ years later composing my very first Mind Body Spirit Network blog post, I am filled with gratitude for my mom who helped me find the path that I am now on.

To catch you up a bit, that first visit to a destination spa came at a time of very high stress in my life.  I had two young children, a fairly demanding career, a husband, family, friends and big world that all deserved my attention.  It was during those four days that I came to a conscious realization of the life balance I so needed.  As a self-proclaimed perfectionist and people-pleaser, so much of my energy was focused on pursuing the unobtainable and, frankly, undesirable need to “be the best.”  That first visit to Canyon Ranch helped me begin to see that being perfect and pleasing everyone were not the be all and end all.

That began a nine-year tradition of visits to Lenox with mom until she passed away much too young in March 2000.  I still consider “balance” to be a critical part of my life.  Ask my kids what my tattoo (should I go crazy and decide to get one!) will be . . . they all know it is the Sanskrit word for balance. Happily I’ve also let go a little bit of the “P words!”

And through the Mind Body Spirit Network I hope to help others explore, grow and relax through events and wellness travel experiences designed to focus on what really matters – expanding the wellness of mind, body, spirit and community.  Thanks for joining me on this journey.


Written by MBSN

Welcome to my new site!

I’m delighted to launch the new site for Mind Body Spirit Network. Stay tuned for lots of good content to come.

Written by MBSN