I'm taking advantage of some free time I have this morning to visit some of you lovely ladies and to catch up on my 29 Gifts adventure. I am just about halfway through this project and while I am definitely feeling challenged by it, I am also filled with hope and love at the results. Anyone who has read about the Law of Attraction or the book, The Secret understands the concept that like attracts like. That's not to say that you should give with the intent of receiving, but in essence, it's almost impossible not to receive something in return. In the two, short weeks I've participated in this project, my eyes, my ears and my heart have opened up in ways I was not prepared for. At the risk of sounding narcissitic, the act of giving - in ways big or small - have not only helped to heal ME, but have also magnified the beauty and love that is right outside our front door.
I am finding beauty and love not only in all of God's creation, but in simple pleasures and seemingly irrelevant, daily affairs. I see and feel beauty and love in the sound of the rain on our roof late at night, knowing that this occurence is nourishing the earth and providing clean water for us to drink - something we so easily take for granted. I see and feel beauty and love when my eyes lock with a stranger's and we smile briefly at one another, connected for a handful of seconds in a life of seemingly infinite time. And I see and feel beauty and love when my husband calls me on the phone and in mid-sentence, stops to tell me: "I love you, and I love the sound of your voice." How did I become so lucky?
I'm getting a little off-topic here, but just wanted to revisit the purpose behind this little project of mine; 29 Gifts is changing me in ways that I hope make me a better human being. I feel willing and able to give (and yes, receive) more love. And it's beautiful.
* * *
I struggled with yesterday's gift. In truth, I spent much of the day in bed and in pain, unable to get comfortable for the stiff-neck and lower-back pain that has taken residence in this body of mine since Friday morning. No doubt the standing and cooking and entertaining from the previous night only exacerbated my condition, but I felt useless and completely unproductive which is a horrible feeling when the skies are blue, the sun is shining and playtime beckons.
By noon yesterday, my discomfort had me near tears, so I finally relented and took Phil's advice to schedule a massage. So yes, in a twisted way, my gift for Day 14 was the gift of a Massage...for ME. I wrestled with the thought of such a luxury and the hefty price tag, but I was desperate. I contemplated booking a massage at my all-time favorite Spa (which is heavenly), but couldn't justify the expense when it would rank as the most expensive "gift" to date! So I took the more practical route and booked a massage with The Maui School of Therapeutic Massage, rationalizing that at least the appointment served two purposes: not only did it help me, but it helps the students, who still need to fulfill their hours (and did I mention that their rates are a fraction of what I would normally pay otherwise? Seriously...$30 is robbery!)
This was my first time booking through a school; I was a bit hesitant at first, fearing that I might not get the treatment I was hoping for, but I could not be more wrong. As luck would have it, I wound up getting the most senior student of the day who was an angel in disguise. At first, I felt horrible...I mean, she was this tiny, little girl who stood no taller than 4'9", and I just felt HUGE and oaf-ish and unworthy, all 5'6" of me, laying on the table, offering up an hour of hard, sweat-inducing work on her part (this self-flagellation stopped when I reminded myself that this was supposed to be a gift to myself). And this is the part where I say that size is no indication of ability, because this girl was GOOD. She completely catered to my needs, working out my kinks, my stiff and sore muscles, and leaving me feeling like jello. It was awesome.
Phil was shocked to hear that I would chalk this massage up to one of the best I've ever received, but I'm not lying. It was THAT good. I don't know if it's because I really needed it, or if it's because she's a student and therefore trying harder...but either way, I'm seeing her again.
And because I couldn't NOT make this a gift for someone other than myself, I tipped her $20...which she hesitated to take.
This morning, I'm still sore and not yet 100%, but definitely feeling better. Now I'm off to go out into the world and release Gift # 15! Have a beautiful day, friends!
* * *
Today's Gratitude List:1) Spending our day off together, just The Hubs and Me. Even if it meant laying around in bed watching TV and accomplishing nothing.
2) Being fit-in for a massage on such short notice.
3) Saving money in the process.