I had just finished the hands-on portion of an interview to do fill-in work as a massage therapist at a local spa. The manager was telling me …
“You have very good techniques and you obviously know where the muscles and attachments are. But I can’t hire you, because there’s something crucial missing — the intuition about how a massage should flow, when you can touch a body and instantly know what it needs. I suggest you set up a table in a coffee shop and work on as many bodies as you can, and it will come. It has to come from deep in your heart.”
I was shocked at first to hear her say this. I’m not inexperienced; I’ve done massage in a city clinic and a super swanky resort spa and various places in between. I’ve often been complimented on how I can touch a body and know exactly what it needs. How was this woman not picking up on that??? But by the time she came to that last bit, about it coming from deep in the heart — I was actually smiling. Because I knew what she was talking about. Although she didn’t quite get the reason, she did sense the truth: it wasn’t coming from deep in my heart, and if I was honest, I already knew that.
Of course, it was still a blow to my ego. Part of me just wanted to give her the finger. And then go home and cry. That same part wanted to say (maybe in a follow up email), “Look, lady, you’re on crack. I’ve worked at way fancier, way more reputable spas than this old joint, and everyone loved my massages and loved ME. And PS, your advertising is racist. If you didn’t feel my heart, it’s because I don’t want to work here anyway!” Etc.
But that wouldn’t be true — at least not the part about how I’m awesome and she was just too much on crack to realize it. She was totally right that I was, on some level, checked out, and it wasn’t just because of my ambivalence about this spa. I wanted the job for various reasons, mainly that it was close to my home and I need the money. But in my heart, I don’t really want to do massage as a job anymore. For a few people whom I care about, yes, but I think I am done pursuing it actively, at least at this time. Writing it publicly like this makes me go “eek!” inside, and brings up a ton of fear and shame and self doubt. But as I shared in Sam’s Phoenix Rising group in December, my heart and soul are yearning for consolidation. I don’t want to split my attention between two totally separate careers anymore. I want to teach full time. I want it with a passion.
The funny thing was that right before I walked out the door for the interview, I drew a card from the angel box and the card I got was the Angel of Miracles. I certainly had an idea about what that meant when I left the house — and a very different idea when I got back. I thought, maybe the miracle is that my soul truth made itself known in a way that saved me from a job that would have drained my energy away from following my true dream. Or maybe the miracle is that I saw it that way.
I am humbled but grateful.