Self love. You can look it up in a dozen different women’s publications, and all the answers will be the same. You can’t love someone else until you love yourself.
We know what that means, but how is it possible to truly accomplish that?
The only thing I could think to do was hop on a plane to Maui, about as far away from the reminder of my day to day encounters as I could possibly imagine.
Lumeria is a secret to most people — the way your most sultry lingerie is a secret beneath your clothes. Most of the world doesn’t know it’s there unless you give them a personal invitation.
It was time to see what was beneath the surface of this luxury retreat center hidden by greenery and tall wooden fences, tucked into the windswept pastures of upcountry Maui, halfway between the ocean town of Pa’ia and cattle country, Makawao.
When I stepped into my spacious room, I was delighted to find a giant four-poster bed and rainfall shower with a real stone floor. The first thing I did was cool off from the humid drive, and give myself a proper tropical baptism in my shower. The water fell like warm rain on my skin, and I laid out a coconut-colored corset I could wear underneath my sundress when I was at dinner.
The wine flowed, and the male guests at my table almost seemed to know about the sweet little secret hiding beneath my sundress. One of the men, who looked like a young George Clooney, asked if he could share a bit of my passion fruit and avocado mousse. I told him maybe next time but this one was all mine!
The next morning, I woke up early and took a skinny dip in the saltwater pool, which is surrounded by palm trees that move with the breeze, as if they are dancing to their own song. I got a massage in one of the massage huts, which sit perched on a cliff overlooking the sea below, and delighted in the feel of the warm oil on my skin.
Suddenly, I realized what self love is all about. It’s about taking care of your soul. It’s about nourishing your body with good food and gentle touch. It’s about going far away so you can get close with yourself. It’s about reveling in your body — every curve, every scar and every nerve ending. Loving yourself is about recognizing your pain, but also the parts of you that come alive in the darkness. Like the feel of the bottom of your feet as they stand on pieces of stone in a rain shower. The feel of the soft cotton sheets against your bare body. The sound of the wind as it hits your window. The taste of fresh fruit, which await you at the breakfast buffet in the morning.
It’s about feeling sexy in your skin, even when no one is watching — except maybe the cool breeze in upcountry Maui.