It only matters what works for you.

Archive for November, 2012

Lessons from the spa-Part 1

Recently one of my lady friends invited a group of us to join her in one of her new self-care rituals, a day at the spa.

Normally I hear ‘spa’ and I think funny treatments with weird substances. Mud baths, cucumber slices, sheik women in large towels. But this was full spa, not a day spa, and my friend talked extensively about the naked wet area full of pools and sauna. (We’ll get to the naked in part 2.)

At first I was really intrigued. It sounded like fun, and an opportunity to do things with my new friends.

And then I spent some time building negative expectations. I didn’t mean to. I just over-thought the situation.

You see, when you are bigger than the world around you, there is a constant concern about fitting. I don’t mean that metaphorically. I mean can I fit my physical self into the space provided. Chairs, tables, stairs. In this case, I wouldn’t be able to fit in the provided clothing, a t-shirt and shorts. Would I get any flak from bringing my own? Oh, and I don’t even own any shorts, what else should I wear? What will the changing space be like?

It is a level of discomfort that I’ve rarely seen a ‘normal’ size person experience. It really only comes up with physically challenged people, whether the challenge is a wheel chair, or crutches, or a body that is twice as big as the world around it.

In the past I have really limited my experiences because of this. My concerns about dealing with the circumstances started dictating the circumstances. My discomfort in asserting my needs kept me from getting my needs met.

It can be very embarrassing to ask for an armless chair, or have people realize that you aren’t wearing the provided uniform because they don’t have one that fits you. Or to ask for directions to the elevator.

Or. You don’t have to let it embarrass you. You can let go of expectations and go with what is. It goes back to realizing that you are good enough, just exactly as you are. And if the world around you doesn’t always see it that way…well, you’re right and they are wrong and it is that simple. It isn’t arrogance. It is confidence and trust. The universe doesn’t make mistakes, and we’re exactly who we need to be at any given moment. We’re in charge of making the most of each moment. Being embarrassed doesn’t serve you. It doesn’t serve me.

So I’m learning to let it go. To embrace what is and who I am and to invite the world around me to work with me.

I find as I open my expectations, I have a lot less trouble than I was afraid of. If you are confident in what you want and reasonable with your requests, people usually respond with generosity and kindness. Or at lease a willingness to cooperate. Which is often enough.