I have started to commit myself to very intentional self-care practices and one of those practices are trips to the spa. The spa allows me the space to fully soak, helps me process my emotions, release any stored energy that I have gathered, fully surrender to honoring my body, and of course, spend some much-needed alone time where I can just be and focus on Nicole. This kind of commitment is a huge stretch for me because I have never loved myself in this type of way let alone sit in a pool fully naked, in public, and be still.
On the wet side of the spa, there are soaking pools: warm and cold, a steam room, and an area where they perform body scrubs. I typically begin by getting in the warm pool, followed by the cold pool, and then I hit the steam room. Since I have a goal of being at the spa for at least five hours, there are no feelings of rushing or pressure to move through any activity I decide to do. I genuinely have the ability to be in a state of ease and flow. On this particular day, I was reflecting on my spiritual path and my gratefulness to have guidance from God, my Ori, and my Ancestors. I was accepting that this path that I have chosen comes with self-accountability and discipline. I was encouraging myself to stay in alignment with the practices that truly help me have peace and well-being, and are helping me become the woman that I want to be because I was losing focus and stumbling off my path. When that happens I have to recommit. Losing focus becomes painful for me and mentally draining at this point. I still have a lot of growth to do in this area and I give thanks to God for the progress that I am seeing when I commit to engage with myself and not distract myself from my reality or avoid my emotions.
On this particular spa day, I treated myself to a 30 min foot massage. I have heard so many great things about the foot massage that I was excited to finally be able to experience it for myself. However, this massage was nothing like what I had as a part of a pedicure at the nail salon. This massage was very different; it was reflexology. I have heard of reflexology but never paid attention to what the intention behind it was and as the man went to work on my feet and lower legs, I quickly had a newfound respect for the practice. The intention of reflexology is to move the blockages from your body so that your energy can flow. I must’ve had a lot of blockages because the massage felt like torture. There was a balance of joy and pain... but mostly pain. There were areas that my therapist pressed on that made me want to get up out of the chair and then there were areas that felt so good I wanted him to just rub on them for the remainder of the time and leave those other areas alone.
As I sat in that chair feeling joy, pain, and everything in between, I thought to myself “This is what healing feels like." There will be times when healing is indeed painful as I destroy negative self-limiting beliefs, destroy narratives that I have created that no longer serve me, destroy attributes of my character that are problematic and learn healthy ways to communicate and relate with others, and destroy habits that are not in alignment with my best and highest good. There is no way to heal without a level of pain and I have had my share of pain. On the other side of it, I am experiencing a level of peace, resilience, gratitude, self-love, self-worth, respect for others, and appreciation for balance and ease. When my 30 mins were up, there was a sense of relief from the therapist doing his work and the experience was over. My legs felt lighter, and they were buzzing as the blockages were removed and my energy was flowing in a way that it should. At the time, though, I still did not appreciate it.
Although this experience was tough, I will be getting a foot massage more often because now I am curious. What thoughts will come up? Will I be sore in the same areas again? What emotions will I feel? There are so many possibilities in which my body can communicate what is being released and I want to pay attention so that I can continue to give myself what I need to heal and take the best possible care of myself.