Unless I’m in a medically induced coma, turning off my mind so I can relax is next to impossible. My mind is constantly on the go, the ultimate multi-tasker, running rampant as it hops from one thought to the next. I’m envious of Hubby who seems to have no problem putting his mind to rest. Simply turn on the TV and viola! Instant relaxation. Must be a guy-thing.
As a result, getting away from our daily grind of home, consulting and thinking about new opportunities is very important to me. Visiting our favorite resort provides me with some relaxation as we spend the majority of our time in a poolside cabana. This year Hubby suggested that we indulge in a couples massage. “Come on,” he pleaded. “It will be so relaxing.” I looked at him like he had sprouted a second head, asking “Uh, have you met me? You know I can’t keep my mind still for five minutes much less an hour”. Persistence paid off for Hubby as I reluctantly agreed to the extravagance.
I’ve got to give the resort spa credit – I felt a bit like royalty as I indulged in a pre-massage sauna and shower, slipped into a luxurious bathrobe and slippers, then sipped herbal tea in the pre-treatment “relaxation room” while waiting for my massage “therapist”.
My therapist was very calm, with the softest voice as she escorted me to the massage parlor – I mean “room”. Thank goodness Hubby was already there; it would have been humiliating if they had mistakenly paired me with someone else. “What kind of oil would you enjoy?” asked my therapist. “This one promotes balance, this one energy, this one peace…” and the list went on. I chose “balance” simply because I gagged at the other scents.
“Relax,” whispered the therapist. Oh yeah, I thought. Like it’s totally normal to have a stranger rub smelly oil that’s supposed to promote “balance” all over my naked body. Yes, technically I’m not naked all at one time, but the whole idea of being in a dimly lit room, naked, with candles and incense and other smells, naked, with a stranger rubbing oil on me is just not normal. Did I mention the part about being naked? Sure, there’s a sheet, but honestly that little piece of see-through muslin isn’t fooling anyone.
Trying to find my mental “happy place”, I took a deep breath, telling my mind to quiet down and enjoy the moment. Yet my mind resisted. How could I quiet my mind with a stranger kneading my butt, which by then was classified as an oil slick by OPEC? There was so much oil I was afraid I’d have to pay an environmental fine.
Side one finished and my mind was still in high-action mode as I awkwardly tried to flip to my other side without falling off the narrow table. Attempting to calm my mind and be peaceful, I tried again to go to my “happy place”. I actually heard Hubby snoring as his therapist kneaded his butt. Honestly, how can you sleep through this, I thought? I told my mind to listen to the peaceful, soothing music. It was slow and soft, mainly a flute and some other instruments I couldn’t identify. Instead of relaxing to the peaceful unidentifiable music, my mind’s thinking, “Who writes this stuff?” I can’t imagine listening to it on the car radio; highway traffic would come to a standstill since we’d all fall asleep or go insane with the constant chiming and chanting.
Still attempting to find peace during this experience, I tried breathing slowly and deeply, counting sheep, counting backwards from 100, saying “ohm” – anything to calm my busy mind. This is why I don’t meditate. My mind is unable to be still for even a nanosecond.
Finally, peace came. I was so relaxed, the smell of the oil had become a pleasant aroma rather than an offensive odor, my muscles were enjoying being rubbed and massaged and I was ready to enjoy the rest of my time in the treatment room.
“Thank you for coming,” the therapist said. “We’ve left you some water and a treat, and will be waiting for you outside the door.” What??? Wait, my mind is finally quieted and you’re leaving me? Come back, rub some more oil on me – I promise I won’t wince at the smell!
Sigh. And just like that my mind woke up again. I would like to think that my busy mind is brilliant, but I know better. It’s just busy. At least it’s not naked.
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