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Paradise Found

A harried homeowner discovers a new definition of perfection in the modest environs of a Zen spa.

By Kaitlin Quistgaard

My meditations on perfection ceased as I draped myself over a recliner and let my face be pinched and scrubbed for a facial. The lotions and essential oils the aesthetician slathered on my skin smelled intensely fresh, edible, and enticing. She massaged my hands and feet and filled my ears with soothing music. By the end, I had fully entered the realm of relaxation; my mind was powerless to fret about decorating details while my body was receiving such deep nurturing.

I had scheduled a Thai massage, too, and my masseuse gracefully palmed my tired limbs, and later assisted me into a couple of exhilarating passive backbends. I felt my chest expand, my shoulders stretch, my spine lengthen. And I slipped into a full-bodied embrace of myself, my body, my life.

Padding back to the dressing room, I noticed that the hallway had pale walls and plain fir trim for baseboards and moldings. The atmosphere had none of the earmarks of a designer's drive for perfection. Yet the result was utterly perfect. And right then, I knew I'd be pleased with my watertight windows, regardless of their size.

Kaitlin Quistgaard is Editor in Chief at Yoga Journal.

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