Everything is connected. It really is. Today I found a direct relationship between spa treatments and creating a sound financial plan for my future.
I had a massage this morning. It was wonderful. I made this particular appointment because my shoulders and neck have been bothering me lately. I had a stressful week at work, which meant a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, frustrated that I couldn’t find the simple solution to a web-coding problem. My computer is a laptop that moves around a bit, but spends a great deal of time on my dining room table, and let’s just say that our dining room chairs are not exactly ergonomically designed to prevent shoulder and back pain. One of these days I will invest in a good office chair. And a desk to put it next to. But for today, I put my money toward the massage instead.
As I lay on the table in my happy place, I meditated on being at peace with the world and yet living in a world that is often not peaceful. I got to that quiet place in my mind where everything feels Divine, sort of in and out of consciousness, breathing in each sensation that occurred in my body as the massage was happening. Have I mentioned that my friend Nancy is the best massage therapist on the planet?
As Nancy started working on my extremely tight shoulders, my first thought was, “Aaaaah…Thank you,” but my second, third and fourth thoughts were “How am I going to reassign email addresses to that domain? I must be missing a password,” and “I wish I could find a regular publication to contract so that I can start putting money away regularly for the kids to go to college,” and finally, “STOP!! You are supposed to be in your happy place – WHY are you suddenly thinking about WORK and MONEY and things that are NOT PEACEFUL??”
And then … I had one of those little magical moments where it became so obvious to me that our minds, bodies and spirits are indeed very connected. Nancy was pounding the stress out of my shoulders, which happen to be the part of my body that gets tense when I work. And I work because I am trying to earn money – so that my kids can go to college someday, and so that I can afford things like massages periodically. And maybe, someday, an ergonomic desk chair.
It was at this moment that I realized the massage was essential in allowing me to quiet my mind, look inward and listen to what my aching neck and shoulders had been trying to tell me. They were telling me to let go of the worries. They were telling me that stress and pain are not conducive to clear thinking. So as Nancy worked out the knots, being the good girl that I usually am, I listened to my talking shoulders. I started letting go of my worries one by one, and with each breath, I could feel the tension leave my body. I remembered that agonizing over things like money and the minutiae of a work week are not things that should govern my existence, because when all is said and done, my dying wishes are not likely to be that I wish I worked more or that I made more money. In the big scheme of things, as long as I continue to work on projects that I believe are doing good in the world, and as long as I take things one day at a time with my family’s best interests at heart, everything will be ok. The kids will go to college someday, we will retire someday. If we act on our good intentions in each moment, we will be OK. We will be better than OK. We will be truly happy.
For now, there is nothing to worry about because there is only this moment. Breathe in, breathe out. What a beautiful moment. Thanks, shoulders, for reminding me to let go; for reminding me that when I nurture my body, I also nurture my spirit, and I rest my mind so that it can tackle projects like funding college educations one moment at a time, with peace and calm resolve.
And this is why, friends, when you are doing your financial planning, it is imperative to have a line item for spa treatments.