Spa director followed that voice to Salish
Before there was Westlake, before Frederick's became Nordie's, Joan Southon ran a bridal shop for 12 years in downtown Seattle. Then, she gave that...
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Before there was Westlake, before Frederick's became Nordie's, Joan Southon ran a bridal shop for 12 years in downtown Seattle.
Then, she gave that up and worked Christmas at Nordstrom for several more years.
And then, she had a mud bath in the Napa Valley, and it was the beginning of the relaxed life for the eventual retail and spa director at Salish Lodge & Spa. That's also when she began to hear the voices that would lead her to the Snoqualmie resort.
" 'Missy,' " Southon starts to laugh as she recounts the first visit from the voice after her earthy experience, " 'you just pick a place and go.' "
The voice said go to massage school. She went. The voice said go to Salish's newly opened spa in 1996, and she did.
She got a job as a masseuse. And then, three days later, the lodge's first spa director quit and recommended Southon for the job. She got it, and she's been there ever since.
Relaxed — and laughing a lot.
Who wouldn't? She lives on six-plus acres and 1,600 feet of creekfront in North Bend. And she hangs out in peace and silence every day.
"What I think attracts so many people is the serenity of the spa. You know, there are spas that are 40,000 square feet (Salish is about 4,000), but they don't have the sense of intimacy we do here. People come to find themselves."
They come during the week, but they pour in on the weekends — 60 percent of them lodge guests, the rest area day visitors.
"Here, we talk about 'holding the space ... ' for renewal, for healing (that comes on all levels) — even a minor shift in where people are can have a major impact."
How does Southon accomplish her own shifts these days?
"First, an exfoliation, then an earth cocoon in the rain room and then a heated stone massage. Preferably in that order.
"It would then be difficult to continue with the day."
— Terry Tazioli
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.