One of life’s pleasures is to get a professional massage. I adore getting a massage and always think, “Why don’t I get these more regularly?” but due to time and fiscal restraints, they are more of a “special occasion” pursuit than an up keeping exercise.
Brushing your teeth is an up keeping exercise. Using deodorant is an up keeping exercise. Having a shower is an up keeping exercise. Laying butt naked in a dimly lit room with the artificial sounds of rainforest drifting from a sound system while someone pummels your back with scented oil is a special occasion pursuit.
Oh, but I wish it wasn’t!
I once had a special massage, a superior one. A hot rock massage in fact, which left me as limp as a noodle and my mind on high alert after the masseuse suggested I needed to “Honor my Womanhood”.
This particular masseuse, I suspect, was a distant relation of The Dalai Lama. He was dressed in a loose white top and loose white pants and surprisingly, a pair of bright yellow crocs. I know this as my head was stuck in the massage table hole, so I got to look at his shoes a lot. He worked silently and, according to him, instinctively. I slipped into my usual massage coma, which was to allow a small rivulet of drool to escape the corner of my mouth and to emit small moans.
As the massage drew to an end, I started to panic a bit. I did not want it to stop! I tried to fully appreciate every stroke of his large, soft hands and almost wept when he declared that the treatment had been completed, and would I like a cup of fancy spa tea. (The type that smells like the water you empty into the sink from a vase after you throw the dead flowers out).
I declined, and instead asked him what his instincts told him when it came to my good self.
The masseuse sat down on a chair as I lay there in my post-treatment bliss, and looked me in the eye. He spoke of how my body was abuzz with nervous energy and that I had to commit to being still and present. He said that this state was very common for women, who take on too much mentally and do not know how to prioritize their well being over the needs of others.
Well hello! Tell me something I don’t know…
And he did.
He said I needed to “Honor My Womanhood.”
“What, like masturbation?” forgetting that I should choose my words more carefully.
“No” he said without missing a beat “It is doing what you are doing right now. Being still. Being present. Being whole.” He stood up. “Take your time, and I will see you in the foyer.”
And then he left me there, in the dark.
I had no idea what he was talking about, so I lay there, searching my soul trying to be hit by an epiphany, which would slap me across the face and declare, “THERE IS YOUR WOMANHOOD! HONOUR IT ALREADY!”
I must have been there for ages, as there was a gentle tap on the door and a sweet voice calling out if I was ok. I took this as my cue to get up.
Since that day, whenever I have had a spare moment, my mind drifts back to that sentence. Honor My Womanhood. I was so puzzled as to what it actually meant. So naturally I Googled it, hoping to find a handy website with a button CLICK HERE TO START, which would explain to me what it was that I was meant to honor. But all I found were some alarming looking sex toys.
Today is International Women’s Day, and the theme of the campaign is #BeBoldForChange and the aim is to promote a more gender inclusive world. Although we have come so far, there is much work to do. And so I am going to ask you to have a little think and share with me…
How do your honour your womanhood?
Are you good at being still and present?
and you there…. stop rolling your eyes. I can see you…..