Wellness for Real
Updated: Aug 20
With Robert Seibel, Spa Director Omni Las Palmas
I have been working with Resorts/ Boutique Hotels for over 15 years, and there is more and more talk about "wellness" than ever before. What is "wellness" really? For me, it is feeling vibrant; full of energy; passion for my life and my work; thriving in my environment; having healthy, nurturing, and authentic relationships; as well as being unconditionally loved for who I am. Yes, there are benefits for many who choose to do yoga, follow a Keto diet, follow an Atkins diets, follow a Paleo diet; as well as for those who meditate. Obviously there are benefits to eating healthy, exercising, as well as mediation. But, there is so much more to wellness at the core...
This is the first interview in my "Wellness for Real" series, where I am interviewing some amazing people within the Spa/ Wellness industry, as well as some others who offer some great perspectives worth thinking about and sharing, on the topics of wellness, oral health, connection, providing safe environments for others to authentically be themselves, and much more!! Hope you enjoy!
Me: So, Robert, I have known you for many years, and you are one of the people I wanted to interview for this series, since you have a very holistic approach to wellness. Within your Spa, you place a focus on the areas of mindfulness, intention, the" experience" of a Spa Treatment, as well as understanding emotional health. How are you so good at looking at your guests as individuals – understanding that each guest is looking for something unique for where they are in their own lives?
Robert: So yes, while exercise is indeed good at releasing tension in the body, we want each of our guest's Spa Experience, when they come to our spa, to be geared towards what this client may desire at the time they come in. What treatment will help create more wholeness and what type of self help work can our guests then do at home? We want our Spa Experience to really be a "healing" experience, where a guest can then go home, and take something "with them."
Me: You and I talk a lot about intentions, as well as thoughts and words. I believe words are either uplifting and supportive, or harmful and detrimental. I also think the thoughts we think about ourselves can be encouraging and nurturing, or destructive and toxic. Those who are brought up in environments with a lot of emotional abuse, bullying, constant criticism; have to be quite "intentional" on breaking these type of "programming." Thoughts on this?
Robert: Thoughts are words. And words are powerful. Also, energetically, thoughts and words can indeed be detrimental to one's health and wellness. In general, what one is thinking, is what one is projecting. If one is not conscious as to what they are thinking, and saying, this can be something for them to ponder and reflect more deeply upon. I try and instill in others that words can indeed help to guide others, and for our staff of therapists, they can also guide guests towards increased wellbeing in this manner. Sometimes a guest has to release a lot of pent up emotions, anxiety, etc... and it is quite powerful when our therapists are truly listening to clients. At the end of a treatment, the question will always be "did we actually help our guests who need some direction and support?"
Me: Your team of therapists really look to you for guidance. You have mentioned to me, how they also at times need to be reminded of their "why." Why they became a therapist in the first place. I think this is powerful for all of us, to reflect upon our whys regularly. Can you speak more to this?
Robert: Sure, sometimes I think we all forget why we are here, and why we chose the professions we have. I make it a point for my staff to be more aware of their own wellness. To ground, balance, and protect and nurture their own energy.
Me: It seems like there has been a widespread occurrence of "adrenal fatigue" with a lot of the population. This term was first mentioned in 1998 by a naturopath, James Wilson. In my opinion, I think the reason people are getting burnt out is the 24/7 availability of "constant connection". I am very good at shutting my phone off, and also good at turning my computer off at the end of my work day. We are not all emergency room doctors that need to be "on call" 24/ 7. Living this way, causes illness for many- always "on call" and at the affect of other's needs, wants and demands. What are your thoughts on this?
Robert: I think it is extremely important to have time off from work and cell phones. I also think it is beneficial to be able to get good sleep, relax, and calm the mind, as well as get out in the sun. Many of our guests are looking for guidance, and look to people to assist them. We want to be that for them. Helping others to relax, calm the mind, and maybe try to get them to understand what truly causes someone to not sleep? What is the root cause? We want our guests to experience a "recharge" with us.
Me: You and I have spoken a lot about some of your Spa Offerings. many of them, have much thought and intention behind them. Can you share a bit more about the importance of the entire "Spa Experience" at your Spa?
Robert: Sure, we want our guests to feel that something was given to them, and that they also receive something additional. It is not just about a "massage." Also it is not just about the hands. There are other techniques that can be used. There are also tools within a treatment (i.e stones, wands, etc..) We strive to provide our therapists with quality products for them to offer guests amazing treatments.
Me: Finally, let's chat a little bit about the sun. One of my favorite topics, since so many tell us to avoid the sun. You and I are similar in our perspectives on vitamin D, and the sun. Want to share some of your thoughts?
Robert: Sure. The sun is beneficial in helping to replenish the body, as well as helping to replenish the mind. Fifteen minutes a day in the sun, is great to relax, and not ponder "on problems."
As many know, I usually do a "My Take Away" Section," after each of my interview questions, as an added perspective, with important points gained from all the amazing dialogues I have with interviewees. For this series, I am just doing one at the end to keep things "short and sweet". Instead of "bullet points" we can call them "touch points." First, I want to thank Robert for all this time and sharing his perspectives. For anyone who is blessed to know Robert, he is a fantastic individual with lots of real life experience, and deep wisdom.
- These days, people all want to feel like they are valued and treated as a unique individual . Most are dealing with "something," and many are searching and seeking for those who can help them guide and navigate their own journey to total wholeness and towards a higher level of awareness. I talk a lot about 'Energy ROI", and if one is taking the time to go to a Spa and "invest" in their own wellness and healing; it is great that Robert is providing a place where guests can go to have a healing "experience" of a Spa Treatment, as well as understanding emotional health. We live in a culture, where more and more are being pushed to be "robot-like," so having a place to go, where one can feel like a genuine person, is hopefully where we are headed in terms of wellness.
- Very few are getting on board with the idea that we need to take time away from the phone, internet, computers, and take time to recharge, get some sun, breathe... While some only talk about it, we need to be true examples for others, that this is good and beneficial. Robert reflects someone who indeed walks his own talk.
- It is always beneficial to regularly ask ourselves what is our why? True leaders like Robert, assist others in getting to the core and essence of why they are in their chosen professions, and why they do what they do.
- Thoughts are indeed words, and words are indeed powerful. For those who were "programmed" at an early age, that their gifts don't matter; that their ideas and passions do not matter; that they are not "good enough;" that they are not "valued" for who they are; please be gentle with yourself. It takes a while to "unlearn" deeply instilled patterns . Whether from society, teachers, parents, relatives, etc... it does not matter where these "programs" came from. It is each and every person's responsibility to relearn new supportive and life giving patterns, unlearn old destructive and toxic patterns. Finding others who can support us in this, can be extremely beneficial. No man/ woman is an island. We do "need" others who can support us in our own wellness journey, and others "need " us as well, for support in theirs.
Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa is located at:
41000 Bob Hope Dr., Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
For more information on their location, please visit: