Spa Strong

Throughout life, we continually go through changes. We move to new cities, begin and end relationships, switch jobs, look at new options, get derailed, and more. Sometimes our beliefs, passions, and priorities shift, but some things stay constant no matter what. Those “constants” are the reason we have started this blog.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt strongly about justice, equality, empowerment, and courage.

These qualities have guided my life in so many ways- whether that has been to win when I’ve utilized them, or to learn when I haven’t known how. I wish I could say that I’ve been masterful in utilizing them all, but I’ve found myself in tough situations that have made me feel small. Many of these situations occurred while working as an esthetician. The spa industry is one of healing, relaxation, and nurturing. People leave their busy, hectic, and stressful lives to find peace and calm for a few minutes while enjoying physical contact from someone kind. I have had so many warm, beautiful moments while caring for my clients and watching their emotions overflow through vulnerability, trust, and comfort. Those moments are a huge reason why I love the spa industry— I felt like I wasn’t just healing the body; I was helping to heal heart, mind, and soul, as well. Unfortunately, those vulnerable, nurturing treatments don’t always bring about safe, positive interactions. Because of the nature of the experience in a spa, there are clients who try to cross lines and manipulate the feelings that are present. Whether it is an inappropriate comment, a touch, an exposure, an unsolicited invitation, or worse, these negative interactions can be scary, embarrassing, shaming, and damaging on many levels.

When I was working in spa settings, I didn’t have the tools necessary to handle those types of encounters. It wasn’t something that was discussed in esthetics school. It wasn’t talked about by my managers. It wasn’t brought up in forums or amongst my peers. This is so alarming to me because I KNOW it happens more often than we imagine. It leads me to wonder how often it happens, what we can do to prevent it, and how to best neutralize the situation when it can’t be stopped. After several years in the spa scene, I decided to focus on my passions— justice, equality, empowerment, and courage. I had dreamt of being a police officer since I was a teenager, and last year I finally went for it.

I gained so much while in the LAPD Academy— I learned that I was capable, that I was strong, that as I utilized the tools I was given (both mental and physical), I could dramatically increase my chances of remaining safe.

Two months before graduation, I was injured and forced to resign. As I have been recovering, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ve learned. I recognize that those empowering feelings and capabilities are necessary for survival in an unpredictable world. I wish that I had the knowledge I do now when I was in the spa, and because of that, I want to share it with you. As my husband (a police officer, as well) and I write these posts, we do so with love, encouragement, empowerment, and understanding. I have been there in the moment, dealing with those uncomfortable and fearful situations, and he has been there as other women have dealt with the aftermath. We will do our best to provide positive and useful information, tools, resources, and ideas to help you maintain control and feel at peace while you serve your clients each day. We want you to always remember that you are worthy, capable, and strong... Spa Strong.

xo M'Lisa


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