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How to Live an Engaged Life.

And take time to enjoy every step along the journey with your partner.

On December 30th, my partner Beth slipped a sparkly ring on my finger in front of the white Christmas tree at Tavern on the Green and my heart soared!  Alongside the excitement, I felt so incredibly peaceful and at ease. Engagement was going to be bliss. We couldn’t wait. It reminded me of the line when Harry says to Sally “when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible.” But what really begins at sunrise the next morning is the nonstop popping of the question- “soooo, when’s the wedding!?”

The period between engagement and marriage is a mad flurry to meet the final finish line-The Wedding. This once in a lifetime stretch could be a time for actually engaging and connecting with one another. The engagement period is ideally a time to bask in the dream that “anything is possible” but we tend to spend our time focused on that end product. When we realized that “anything is possible” is a really terrific space in which to hang out, we put the brakes on the high speed wedding planning and opted to spend the next year engaging with one another in a deeper way. We committed to travelling, opening our hearts and minds, and revving our souls. We want our spirits and our bodies to be as well and whole as possible in that beautiful moment next summer.

A few weekends ago, we set out to spin a little sunshine in NYC. We started our journey of engaged travel at The Mark Hotel, where Jacques Grange design reigns supreme and the staff speaks in lilting delighted tones. They gave us the feeling that we had made their day just by arriving.  “Jurassic Flower” the ambrosial scent created specially for the hotel by Frederic Malle is unmistakable and delicious. It enveloped us as the elevator doors opened. 

Our room was a plush, creamy oasis with a downtown view. We walked in and everything in my mind seemed to relax.  We felt inspired to park our phones in the chargers at the bedside and leave them there. We borrowed one of their sleds to take a spin in (the still!) snowy Central Park and came back to a frothy,  Matcha Tumeric Latte, (created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in honor of Fashion Week.) I was ready to settle into some seriously engaged relaxation.

We paraded around our room in slippers and robes while piping relaxing music through all the speakers. The black, white and green bathroom was a veritable private spa retreat. Fresh Tuna Tatake and avocado-lime gluten free pizza capped off the evening.   I fell asleep enjoying a literary selection from the nearby Assouline bookshop.

The next morning after an amazing chia berry bowl, I set out to visit Carson Skin Rejuvenation to kick off my body detox. Jamie, the owner-esthetician educated me on the importance of getting good and generous sleep as she hydrated my face with a cool oxygen infusion spray. Atop many yummy layers of purification, she slathered my skin with syrupy manuka honey–the weight of its heavy sweetness resting on my cheeks. The finale of the treatment was a healing using heart opening rose quartz stones– such an incredible treat!  The whole experience was cleansing and pure.  She assured me that I would have glowing skin for the wedding.  As I walked out onto Second Avenue, I could feel the breeze actually permeating my fresh, clean face. 

As Beth checked us out of the hotel, I perched briefly on a velvet bench in the lobby beside a couple likely in their 90’s. They were savoring the moment as they plotted museum plans for the day and a stop to see fashion icon Iris Apfel’s pop-up shop in Bergdorf Goodman. They rose slowly and each leaned into the well-worn crevice in the others’ arm as they strolled toward the hotel’s pedicab awaiting them. His polka dot socks making a circus alongside the marble striped floor of the lobby. They turned slowly in unison to admire the first neon yellow forsythia branches on the table behind them and then smiled at me.  I was engaged.

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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