The perspective shift that allowed for therapeutic massage
This #thankyouthursday, I am grateful for the perspective shift that allowed for therapeutic massage.
For my birthday, nearly two months ago, my mother-in-law gifted me a massage. We were on vacation at the time, and I believe her intention was for me to book a massage at the spa where we were staying. But I couldn’t do that, and I told her so, promising instead to get a massage once we returned home.
I couldn’t do that either, though—not that I didn’t think about it. I just wasn’t able to justify the time and expense; even with gifted money, I would still have to pay a babysitter.
Plus I would also have to somehow find a massage therapist I could trust, because I’ve learned that unless I fully respect and trust the person touching my body, the experience is more stressful than relaxing. And how can you trust a stranger, anyway?
So. I was not getting anywhere close to actually booking a massage, even though my time/expense obstacle was removed when my son started summer camp a few weeks ago. But the other day I had a perspective shift, courtesy of a book.
I am currently re-reading The Queen’s Code, by Alison Armstrong. (If you have read it, I’d love to know—and if you haven’t, don’t judge until you have.)
One of the many lessons in that book is the idea that women tend to put off their needs till the last possible moment, while men treat needs as urgent and critical. It’s hard for women to prioritize themselves because they are always thinking about the world around them and what others need. But. If I consider what addressing my needs will then allow me to do for others, suddenly it feels easier to prioritize myself.
The day after I read that lesson, I booked a massage at the community center where my kid goes to summer camp. There “just so happened” to be a cancellation for the following day, right after dropoff. And although I still had concerns about trusting a stranger to touch my body, I decided to trust myself and take things from there.
Well. Yesterday I received the best massage of my life. I already scheduled three more. It was therapy, no doubt, and there’s no doubt I needed it. Considering a massage as a “need” is definitely new for me, but it’s clear the experience benefitted me—and is consequently benefitting everyone in my orbit.
I’m more able to show up for my people and my work when my own tank is filled, and while I’ve long understood that in my head, now I feel it in my entire body, which means I am more likely to take positive actions toward self-care.
What a welcome perspective shift. I am so grateful.
Love > fear,