From Shock, to disbelief, to Acceptance, to horror ~ All at the Spa

I like to think I discern more than I judge, but my day at the spa taught me more about  compassion , judgement and discernment than any one experience I can call to mind. I have always known, seen and accepted how grief , loss and death are processed differently by everyone. Knowing that did not save me from sheer horror , confusion and disbelief as I  spent the day splurging on myself for a massage.

I sat in horror hearing the telling of one woman's horrific experience just three days earlier.In fact instead of getting married on Saturday,...well, let me lead into that, shall I?

The day started as I intended, I began my day with the paper and coffee, easing into my 9am appointment with my client. I ran my radio show, and had scheduled an appointment for a massage at one of our most gorgeous beachside spas. As this is my first time here, I am given the full tour of the place.It has a beautiful , clean, open and helpful feel about it. It does not come off pretentious, or unorganized, in fact, it was well run and beautiful. The friendly assistant showed me into the changing area , where my locker ,robe and sandles were given to me. I was shown the sauna , and although lovely, I choose not to use it Instead I changed, put everything in my locker and went into the waiting area where other women who are either awaiting to be pampered or have just been pampered, are sitting sipping wine and snacking on nuts.

It's one of those times as a woman where you either engage and are friendly, or you don't, and the discomfort can be felt like a knife cutting through the air.It is a real test of being comfortable in your own skin.  I chose to embrace it. As I  briefly scanned the place, I saw My Mother reincarnate but with a little more cynism in those eyes, her very appreciative friend, and a meek but sweet woman sipping tea.

I felt at home, but a less seasoned female, of being eyed by other females, may have felt very self conscious by the first stares that could have been interpreted as glares... I chose inquiry in those eyes, and so, I engaged.I was there to be pampered and have a good time. I didn't know these people, but I was open to engaging and being a friendly stranger.

They turned out to be very lovely women, and in fact I was a little sad to have to go when my masseuse, came in and ushered me to my room. I prefer to bring out the ease in a room, I really feel my skin crawl when people are trying to be something they are not. I however, was very happy I had put enough effort into a pedicure before I went, because my feet looked fab!!And, as I  chuckled quietly to myself,  I found myself gazing at the unpainted toes , and again, chuckling,  I felt at home. Judgement or discernment.Hmmm observation I justify, and go for my massage.

The massage was overdue.I realize how overdue today.As I inhaled and exhaled my breath through the massage, releasing all tension from my body, mind and thoughts, I felt the layers of stress start to be penetrated.In it's depth, I felt it's release, I felt the emotional pain of my daughter's anger come bubbling to the surface, and I felt the stress of family concerns begin to be released. I felt my own career transition in development float from my cares and mind with ease.I had not felt so great since vacation in July. I realize for three months, it has been one stressor after the other. For now, I can release and let it all go...

It is then over way too soon. I am then taken back to the same waiting area I was in before the massage, but now I am a puddle of calm. I await my courtesy glass of wine. Another woman comes in and sits with me. I make a smile and say hello and can see she is not going to be easy to have open up, so I just ease into the couch and relax waiting for my glass of wine. I hardly ever drink alcohol, but a glass of wine sounded really nice after sucha great massage, and so I waited some more. Than awkward feeling begins to settle into the waiting area as a third woman sits down next to me. So now, there are three of us in this waiting area and nobody is talking. I have to break the ice, dear God it was painful, so I asked the one woman if she had ever been here before? That did in fact begin to at least start the flow of energy to move..thank God. When out of the blue this woman, this blond woman, who has never met either of us asks us; " do you want to hear a whacky real life story?" Ok,  I have been around the block a few times to know, that when a woman calmly asks you that question, and she doean't know you from Adam, that THIS is going to be one hell of a story!! At this point, I have already evaluated the woman sitting across from me as a bit more aware than your average spa attendee, and so I look at her, she looks at me and raises her eyebrows. Yup indeed, we are about to be schooled. Where is THAT glass of wine?

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