I had a last minute client the other day. She called first thing in the morning, and the only time I could squeeze her in was soon after the call. She said she’d hang up and be right there. When I asked what she wanted to work on during our time together, she said that she was in need of some nurturing and that, among other things, she needed a massage “so she wouldn’t murder someone.”
She was joking, of course. But surely we’ve all felt it sometimes, the slightly choked feeling of being pulled in many directions, moving rapidly from thing to thing. When we don’t have time to breathe through the minor aggravations of daily living, they stay with us. Our fuses get shorter, and we become a little less nice, and some of us make jokes about feeling murderous.
After her massage, my client emerged from the room radiant. Her eyes were soft. She emanated kindness and compassion. I was amazed by the shift in her energy.
It is not news, of course, that taking care of yourself enhances your ability to walk through life with kindness. It is not news that being out of whack can make you a little more edgy, rage closer to the surface. Of course I believe in nurturing, self-care, taking care of ourselves so that we can be the very best versions of ourselves. I believe in these things every single day. But it was still striking and special to witness the transformation that took place when my client chose to devote her morning to caring for herself and reaching out to ask someone to assist with the nurturing.
Maybe for you it is getting a massage. Maybe it is dancing, yoga, therapy, a hot bath, a quiet walk. Whatever it is that you do to make yourself feel good, do it. If not now, then very, very soon. I’ve seen plenty of good people fall into the trap of equating self-care with self-indulgence, putting themselves on the back burner long enough that they get scorched. It’s not super selfish to put yourself first if you’re getting a little cooked around the edges. I am here to give you permission to relax and indulge. If you can’t do it for you, just remember that taking care of yourself is quite likely to make you kinder, softer, brighter, and just plain better for this world.
So get that massage, go to that yoga class, take that bath. If you don’t feel ready to put yourself front and center, go ahead and do it for kindness.