I Don’t Even Know Who I Am
It's not me to do something like this. I move at a 90 mph pace and actually like stress (the good kind that keeps me on task). I do my best when I'm insanely busy and, in looking at my patterns, I like making other people happy over myself. Even though I feel like this is the type of person I am, I was challenged. I accepted. This is what happened.
"When you arrive, leave your problems at the door. You will be taken care of and made to feel amazing. Your problems will still be there when you're done, but they will look different." - Isabella, Massage Therapist at Exhale Salon and Med Spa.
I started with a pedicure one week. It seemed easy enough and I've had a pedicure before so no big deal. Turns out, I was so wrong. Here's how that all went down.
Things changed after that day. I made another appointment, but for an aromatherapy massage. Like every other service, it's not what it seems. In addition to getting a massage, you are offered the "Taking of the Waters" wellness ritual and OH MY GOSH, it's a life-changer.
Please allow me to walk you through my experience. I was going to pay close attention to what I was doing so I could share but I had to take pictures. I seriously couldn't help it. I'm learning to do things for me and now I'm challenging you to do things for you. This world would be a happier place, no doubt. I mean, all of us feeling a moment of serenity and lowered stress levels...it's pretty much the best idea anyone has ever had.
I walked in with just my swimsuit and what happened after that took me to a whole new place.
I was taken back to a dressing area complete with lockers that are all stocked with a perfectly folded fresh white robe, slippers and a fluffy towel. Before I even got started, I was offered a lock and key for my locker so I could "feel safe". I didn't even have to ask.
I'm in my cozy robe and ready to go into the next room. Just a note: Everyone is treated this way at Exhale Salon and Med Spa. It wasn't some special day where I was offered all of these amenities.
I was all set to walk out (after snapping this selfie) and realized that having my hair down in a steamy/water area would be a hot mess. I didn't have a rubberband...
I couldn't claim that fact for long. There's a full salon right down the hall where, magically, this rubberband appeared. I didn't move a muscle and there it was.
This time I really was ready.
I walk in to start my "Taking of the Waters" and instantly, I smell eucalyptus and am all snuggly. There's a card inside the room that guides me (you) through the steps. It's about contrast therapy of hot and cold. Starting with the eucalyptus steam room, I sit in the cozy room and take deep breaths feeling my body relax. I'm a claustrophobic person so I was a wee bit nervous about the whole sauna situation. Just a few deep breaths and I was in heaven.
After about 5-10 minutes, I made my way to the shower and stood under a cool water spray. It was amazing. Next step: Dry sauna.
With just a scoop of water on the hot rocks, I was feeling like I was on vacation. I mean, sure, I had to close my eyes and act as if the sun was shining down on me. The fact that I opened my eyes and was still in a sauna looking out at this...
It pretty much made my day. I wasn't mad about it at all.
I feel all fancy at Exhale Salon and Med Spa. As much as I'd like to say the opposite, I don't have disposable income like I envision people who get spa treatments do. That's why I'm loving this so much. I can actually afford it. Go figure.
Okay, next step. Less than 10 minutes later, I left the dry sauna and headed straight for the cold shower and into the water. Not before I grabbed myself a glass of cucumber water. Yes, cucumber water.
Right when I got in the water, I acted completely immature and made my way around testing out all the seating. I went from the steps to sitting deep in the water, perching myself on a higher surface and relaxing in the corners. Once I found my perfect place, I just sat and did nothing. It was the most awesome nothing. It's also probably the only time I've done that in years.
The water is warm and I could almost hear my pores having a conversation with each other trying to decide if they should all clear out at the same time or take turns. Based on the way I looked, I'm thinking my pores agreed on going at the same time.
What's a girl to do? Grab an icy towel sitting right on the side of the pool. I mean, what?! How do they know all this? Yep, I grabbed one.
After trying out all the seating and cooling myself down with the icy towel (and finishing my cucumber water - I'm so fancy), I snuggled back into my robe and slippers and padded my way back to the changing area to get ready for my massage. The fact that I had gone through all this and my actual service hadn't yet started kind of blows my mind.
I can't get a massage in a wet swimsuit so I had planned on wrapping it in a towel and putting it into my locker. Nope. There are actually bags for wet swimsuits - right there between the sinks. I tell you what, they've thought of everything.
Next step is the relaxing room
where my job was to just relax. It is a job for me right now until I can truly grasp the fact that this is a good thing to do for myself.
I sat in this room looking around at the fireplace, grabbing more cucumber water (don't judge - it's so good) and putting my feet up. This is the life, my friends.
My massage therapist, Isabella, came in and got me and walked me back to a massage room.
I didn't take a picture in there because it was truly serene. I'll have you see it for yourself. My massage was an aromatherapy massage where I got to choose my aromatherapy scents. There was one I didn't care for so we didn't use it. Everything around me and on my body was what I chose and I was like a noodle of relaxation.
That's me. I'm post relaxing waters, post massage and in a mental state where, if you asked me my name, I can't guarantee I would have answered you correctly. I didn't care about a thing (clearly, based on the fact that I actually took a picture of myself like this) and I'd do it all over again about a million times.
Oh. My. Gosh. Heaven.
When I left Exhale Salon and Med Spa, my problems were still waiting for me but, like they said, my problems looked a whole lot different than when I walked in.
Making yourself a priority is not selfish. I'm slowly learning this. With each service, I become more and more comfortable with actually doing something for me. Would you be willing to give it a try (there's cucumber water involved)?