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Be Open

29 Jan 2021
Be Open

Guest Post By Camille Malcolm, Spa on the Plaza

Be open for something wonderful to happen. Be open to the possibilities. Somehow this simple phrase became my mantra during COVID. There is has been plenty to worry about during these difficult times, and we are each experiencing our own unique problems. Some days seemed very dark and scary, but as my mother used to say, misery is an easy slippery slope. Resilience, on the other hand, takes discipline and practice. My optimistic mantra allowed me to shift my perspective from what was terrible to what is wonderful. Be open for something wonderful to happen, be open to the possibilities. This simple phrase, borrowed from a simple song changed my life.


Escape & decompress by the ocean

One of the happy surprises from COVID is the sense of yawning time. After years of to-do lists, my days took on a spaciousness I used to only dream about. There was deep fatigue from the decades of "get up and go." How nourishing it is to bake in the kitchen or sit in the sunshine in my garden and watch the flowers grow. I especially loved getting to know the birds, the squirrels, and the new hawk in the neighborhood. Oh yes, and the dear deer family that often grazes on the flowers in my front yard. In the daily bustle of work to be done, I was oblivious to all these wonders.

One of my favorite activities is community dance. When COVID hit, and all the dance halls shut down, it was a huge loss for me. Some of us decided to move the dance to a nearby park and limit the group to six, practiced social distancing, and wore masks. I was surprised by the dizzying array of new sensations and unexpected delights. Because the dance was moved earlier, we danced during the sunset, which was always spectacular. Nature became part of the dance. It included the breeze on my face and the feel of the grass under my feet.


camile 3 dance 1

Camille & friends enjoying the afternoon with dance

Afterward, we spread out blankets and gathered for an outdoor picnic and a glass of wine. Often we talked late into the night. There was a deep intimacy and satisfaction when I reflect on these times. Our relationships became stronger and deeper, and we rediscovered the joy of picnicking with friends in the park. COVID changed dance, but because we were open to new possibilities, there were many happy surprises.



For more about Camille and Spa on the Plaza, visit

Portola Hotel & Spa

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