- Dora Nudelman
Rituals to Renew Our Spirit
I recently took the time to go to one of my favorite spas for the afternoon. While I was there it got me thinking. There are so many people, women especially, who feel like pampering themselves is a guilty pleasure; an indulgence that is more luxury than necessity. But why is that? Why do women so often feel guilty for nurturing themselves?
I guess society breeds the belief that indulgence is bad and that only hard work and self-sacrifice are good. But how much whip-cracking must we endure before we feel we can deserve to enjoy ourselves? How much self-criticism and martyrdom must we enact in order to earn our right to relax?
Personally I consider myself a perfectionist and, in many respects, a workaholic too. So I know from personal experience that while my work leaves me feeling uplifted and inspired, I also know that when I don't take the necessary time to take a break and regroup it can cause me to feel tired and depleted. But I do not believe that I deserve to relax only because I am so diligent about working. Instead, I believe I deserve to relax because it makes me a more fulfilled person (which I believe is everyone's birthright), who then has so much more energy to share.
I think it is important to note here that when we do give ourselves permission to indulge, in whatever ways we like and enjoy, we must remember to be present while we are doing it. There is so much temptation to allow our minds to wander to our fears, concerns, worries, and responsibilities that if we are not careful we might miss out on the very experience we are wanting to have. And so, whenever we decide to give ourselves permission to do what we love, we must also make the decision to savor it in the moment because that is when we will be more open to inspiration, solutions, and true spiritual, physical, mental, and energetic renewal.
So whether your "vice" is going to the spa, treating yourself to your favorite dessert, taking a trip to a place that you love, taking a bath, or just taking some time for yourself to read a good book, know that you not only deserve to do it, you need to do it for yourself and for the good of all concerned. Indulging is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Self-care is a requirement for productivity, not a result of it. Now, I am not saying that we need to become lazy and entitled. Not at all. Rather, what I am saying is that we need to be more appreciative of ourselves so that we can realize that we are so much more useful when we feel whole and complete than when we feel exhausted and resentful.
*Spa My Blend, Ritz Carlton, Toronto