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Seeking Sanctuary in a Temple of Beauty

Following My Muse
Robert T. Nanninga
Surf City Times
March 17, 2004


If one were dialed into Greek Mythology they would totally understand the nuance defining Adonis and Aphrodite. Olympians, both were deities of beauty and its expression in the mortal realm. Some say they were consorts. Which kind of make sense; considering they were both gods and standards needed to be kept. Adonis is also associated with vegetation, fertility, and rebirth. So, I assume it is Adonis who pointed me towards sanctuary.

Granted I have been keeping a frantic pace and something had to be done to keep me looking my age. Sure I could drink less coffee, get more sleep, and eat better. There is also exterior maintenance to consider. Keeping up appearances is more than a luxury; it is a cultural imperative, long ago imposed on the people of Southern California.

Vanity, although required, is not pretty. Since looking good is never easy, sometimes a guy needs help. Or a muse.

Every now and then providence comes in the form of a friend with news of a new job. Such was the case when I was introduced to Autumn's Sanctuary, a holistic spa and wellness center in Oceanside. Situated on the Coast Highway between a coffee house and a used car dealership, Autumn's Sanctuary is tucked away off a landscaped courtyard, which adds a sense of seclusion to this soothing experience.

The place was spartan in its layout, with an antiseptic ambiance that I found very reassuring. The best part was the calming quiet.

Monica greeted me with a knowing smile. I trust Monica. She was the reason I was there, having raved about Autumn's Sanctuary a week earlier. Adonis was at work here. Skin care is serious business, so I was pleased to learn Beverly, the creator of the day spa, would be my caregiver. On order was a five- step deep cleansing facial, also known as the Serenity treatment. The point of my visit was to moisturize, revitalize and rejuvenate the visage of one tired monkey.

Beverly worked magic. So much so I scheduled another appointment after emerging from the facial room, groggy and completely relaxed from an hour of pampering from a professional. I think the soft Native American flute had something to do with it as well. My skin felt so much better, I knew I had found a new way to age gracefully. Sure it cost a day's pay, but it was worth it, and a lot cheaper than a trip to the dermatologist.

It is understood external makeovers are only successful when done in tandem with internal health, and wise dietary decisions. These too can be facilitated at Autumn's Sanctuary, as there is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist on staff. I met the guy. He's cool, very calm. The whole place is calming.

So there I was hanging out with Adonis in Oceanside again. A ritual established. As far as Thursday mornings go this was a good one. Marla's gentle touch applying nutrients to my face, enjoying the luxury time, not having to be anywhere but there, and then an epiphany, I had an epiphany.

Time is the luxury.

I'm not sure if Adonis had meant to be a muse, being a god and everything, yet there I was gladly paying for a personal time-out. In this crazy mixed up world, I had found a sanctuary. Relaxation is vital to well-being. If you are tired so too is your skin. And regardless of what others say beauty is deeper than skin, it's a whole body experience.

Thankfully, Autumn's Sanctuary allows for such considerations.

Need pampering? Seek sanctuary.

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