My brain is a jerk!
I received a gift certificate to a local spa and in the spirit of trying something new I booked a new service-something called a Korean Scrub with Steam. I didn’t research it much and when I arrived I was excited and ready to check out and give in. I was succeeding in this while enjoying some solo steam time at first. Everything was going normally, and then my spa master (that’s what they are called, apparently) escorted me into the scrub room. If you never experienced this service – after 20 minutes of steam room time you go into this special room where they scrub & exfoliate your skin and dump warm water on you in a very relaxing way. All was well until the halfway point of my scrub when I was instructed to turn over fully exposed-naked with no ability to cover up.
Sure, I’ve been to massages many times before, but this one, being naked was unexpected. And in turn, my brain was being such a jerk, sending me into a thought loop of worry. Worried that this seemingly lovely spa master was judging me, my body, my imperfections. I was so preoccupied with what negative thoughts she might be having about my body. I had no evidence to support this assumption as this woman was so kind. I thought about stopping the session but really wanted to challenge myself to do thought work to flip this – to lower the volume on my default crappy thinking around my insecurities and to actually enjoy myself and the present moment.
I thought about using the experience and how it might make for an interesting blog topic. While still exposed, I attempted to create some distance between myself and my thoughts. I tried hard to find the thoughts that were separating me from pleasure. I realized that these thoughts we taking me out of the present moment and preventing me from enjoying some down time. The thoughts were centered about worrying that she was judging my body for not being perfect.
In these moments I reminded myself that these thoughts were optional. I could continue to fret about what my spa master was thinking. This, in in truth, is really none of my business. I could also continue to be stressed out. Or I could let go and enjoy myself. Of course, the last choice was preferable
First, I had to return to calm. I had to bring myself back to center. I told myself to come back home. To come back from the land of worry, to the land of pleasure and self-care. When doing thought work it is essential to be calm before trying to be aware and shift thinking. I brought myself back to the smells and sounds in the room and the treatment that was occurring. I also reminded myself that when I am not in the moment, I am not connecting with myself or anyone else. The whole purpose of this experience was to take care of myself and worrying about someone else’s opinion is the opposite of self-care.
Lastly, I gave myself permission to enjoy the experience, and you have to stay present to enjoy pleasure. Ask yourself “What thought is coming between that?” Also, try to assume that the person is thinking something amazing about your body. Even if they are not, it doesn’t matter. Your body is neutral. It is just a human body- nothing more, nothing less. I see no upside in being critical about it or worrying that someone else may be judging it. All that matters is what you think about your body and that this is a choice. Choose to love your body at any size, or at the very least sitting with the neutrality of your body. Just simply say “I have a human body” the next time your brain decides to be a jerk. Enjoy the skin you are in, and I promise you it serves you so much better.
If you struggle with body confidence, please don’t hesitate to reach out for some coaching. Also, I know many of you spend a lot at the spa, which is amazing, consider giving your brain a massage too. Your brain is the most important tool you possess, you would not sell it for any amount of money, so caring for it can make the difference from where you are to where you want to be. mindurstrength.com/minisession