The other Sunday I had a lovely massage. As I sat in the waiting area with a warm neck wrap and a cup of mint chamomile tea, I started to unwind and wondered why it had taken me so long to make this appointment.
This massage was a gift, and I had been delighted when the gift certificate arrived in the mail. All I had to do was schedule an appointment and then show up. Yet, here it was months later, and I was finally about to enjoy the present.
I am no stranger to massages. There was a period in my life when I received regular massages so I know how wonderful and beneficial they can be. So why did it take me so long to schedule this one?
I realized that it was a matter of making the time for the massage. I needed to set aside almost two hours — one hour for the massage, 40 minutes for travel. But I’ve easily spent more than two hours on many other activities, so it wasn’t just a matter of the time.
The truth is I struggled to make the time because this massage felt like a luxury, rather than a necessity. Sure, my shoulders were tight and my neck a bit sore, but I found those uncomfortable and annoying rather than painful. Since I wasn’t in great pain, I didn’t really “need” the massage.
Immediately, I thought about all the people who say my towels are too beautiful to use and I got a deeper understanding of how beauty can feel like a luxury. Given that a kitchen towel, by its very nature, is likely to get dirty, possibly even stained, buying and using a handwoven one can feel indulgent.
I know from the people who use my towels that they experience joy and delight when they use one, so much so that they stop using their other kitchen towels. Part of that joy and delight is the tactile quality of the towel. Part of it is that they’d said yes to using something beautiful in an everyday way and the benefits of that are greater than they realize.
It’s so easy to underestimate the value of the things we consider luxuries.
I left the spa feeling relaxed, rejuvenated. Part of that was the massage itself and I’m certain that the physical benefits are greater than I know. Part of it was that I’d made the time and said yes to this treat. As a result something shifted inside me, something that will make it easier to schedule the next massage and easier to be open to other luxuries.
My invitation to you: Is there something you’ve been wanting to do or buy for yourself, but haven’t because you think it’s a luxury? What would it feel like to allow yourself that luxury? I’d love to hear about it.