Yesterday I went to a day spa to use the gift certificate I got for my birthday from my partner’s wonderful sister (I guess I can’t say sister-in-law, even though that’s how I think of her, because “in-law” is exactly the one way we AREN’T related!) two months ago. And man was I ready for it — I work in a spa so I see the fancy ladies come in for their multiple services and float out the door five hours later looking absolutely blissed out. A month into the semester I was ready to be blissed out too.
But sometimes when I do things like that, i.e., go to the spa by myself, I DON’T leave floating on a cloud; instead I feel like the cloud is inside my head. And it is: my negative thoughts, my undeserving thoughts, my recurrent thought that I am doing everything (even relaxing) all wrong. I had really been looking forward to this day and I really didn’t want to sink myself with self-criticism. So while I sat in the waiting room I tried to think of a mantra for the day — something I could direct my mind to whenever it started to go off on an unhelpful track; something my brain could hold onto like the hand can hold a pebble, to ground it when it starts to worry. The mantra I chose was simply “I love you,” repeated on the in breath and the out breath both. Later, when I was, indeed, so relaxed that my posture resembled that of a cooked noodle, this writing came out:
I love you I love you I love you I say — to myself, I love you as I breathe in, drawing this truth up from the ground beneath the floor beneath my slippers beneath my feet — finding the love in the energy that radiates from the earth — the Earth is the “I,” the mother Gaia. I love you I breathe out, filling the bubble of my aura with this phrase — now I am the “I” and the “you” is me too. I just want to fill my own field with the pink glow of loving but I know that as it fills with light it will shine those waves out and have an influence on the air, the crowd, the trees, and the earth all around me — so really I am breathing out “I love you” to the whole world.