…And even allowing myself to be indulged.
We love to indulge the people we love. An extra bit of butter on the toast of a child who is on the way to a particularly difficult exam. Swapping dishwashing night with a spouse who has had a tough day at work. Buying an overworked and troubled friend a spa day. We think that they all deserve these things. We believe that these indulgences are important in order to have a full life.
Yet, when we it comes to ourselves, and that butter melting on warm toast smells so inviting, we deny ourselves the right to that minor indulgence. We tell ourselves that, that (oftentimes unnecessary) vow to lose that last kilo is far more important than the momentary pleasure of a buttered toast. We drag ourselves to the sink martyring ourselves on the altar of dishwasher duty because we are too strong to ask for help on minor occasions. And gifting ourselves a spa day? Oh, dear me, no! Never! That would be just too sinful, in this climate of economic strife that has seeped in to every household.
This morning during Yoga, as I folded forward in Uttanasana, reveling in the winter sunlight streaming through the window, and in the fact that I can now place my palms on the floor, (well, almost), I noticed that my nails needed a manicure. Of course I could do it myself, but I know that it would be weeks or even months before I would. So much better to go to a salon, and get them attended to. As I sailed through my Sun Salutes and more, the train of thought never quite subsided. Even as I paid attention to my teacher’s admonishments to engage the shoulder blades, or pull the inner thigh in or tuck in the tail bone through the various poses, my mind swayed in an all too familiar dilemma. To mani-pedi or not to.
The Hedonist Archetype has always been strong in me, and it is only in the recent years that I have come to accept her presence with love. If not entirely so, at least to accept that she deserves as much love as any other Archetype that I have within me. This often means giving in too easily to the temptations of buying “beauty” items, that I don’t really need, or getting a beauty treatment with funds that could have been more sensibly used.
And so, during my yoga training today, in between postures that did not allow any wandering of the mind to other things, I caught myself coming back to the thought, “Don’t do it, all that will happen is, that you will feel guilty.” “The nail polish only lasts a short time, and then you will be back to wanting to go again, what’s the use?” Was it a dialogue I was having with my Higher Self? Does the Higher Self of me disdain a perfectly groomed and coifed me? Or was it my sense that right now, I need to keep my funds growing for other things that I need in my life? Things of less moral dubiousness.
But I have accepted a Challenge: “40 days of self love”. It is day 6 today. My intention was to express my self love through writing and reading everyday, but I don’t really need to keep myself confined to that, do I ?
As I slipped into savasana, a light popped into my head. My teacher is holding a “Handstand Workshop” a posture that I am needing to conquer at the moment. Conquer? Let that pass. Miraculously, that Handstand workshop is the same price as the mani pedi I would be getting.
The decision was made. As I slipped back into normal ness, and went through the post savasana routine, I felt calm. As I opened my eyes after the final “namastey” I noticed that my teacher was looking straight at me.
“You look enlightened”, she said quietly, as everyone began to roll up their mats.
“Do I? I feel good …. May I enroll in your Handstand Workshop?”
I came home feeling loved, and hopeful, that maybe I will also get a chance to get a mani-pedi. Both my Higher Self, and my Hedonist can be happy. It is an abundant Universe, after all.