Have you ever wished for "Serenity Now!?!" (If you haven't seen that Seinfeld episode, I highly recommend it. To watch a clip on Youtube, click here.)
In case you missed it, the neurotic and eccentric Frank Costanza is advised to say "serenity now" aloud every time his blood pressure is in danger of going up. So he does… but instead of saying it calmly, he yells it as a frustrated demand.
I’m sure you can relate to that feeling of needing to slow down, but hurrying up to do it. It’s like when you are stressed and running to get to your yoga class on time... to de-stress. You’re going to love the opportunity to relax in today’s exercise.
Lie down and massage yourself.
Yes, this really is our assignment today.
Start from the top and work your way down.
Massage your scalp.
Gently tug on your hair to activate more feeling in your scalp.
Use your fingers to rub along your brow, nose, cheekbones, and jaw line.
Pull on your ears and sink your fingers into your neck.
Massage your shoulders and down your arms.
Those of you who spend a lot of time on a computer, take an extra minute on your forearms, wrists, and fingers.
Whenever you feel tension, stay there and give that spot some extra love.
Try not to miss a muscle as you work your way down, one enjoyable moment at a time.
When you get to your legs, lie on your back and work out any knots in your thighs, calves, knees, and ankles.
As you're finishing up, be sure to really work on your feet.
As you massage - and especially once you're done - notice how your heart rate is lower and you feel more balanced, clear, relaxed, and confident. A little bit of movement can go a long way. Put this self-massage technique in your toolbox as another way to feel embodied and claim your own "Serenity Now!"
One of the keys to living an embodied life is being able to receive pleasure from your own body. How else can you put attention on yourself today? Maybe take an extra long hot shower or bath today, get a pedicure, or indulge in a nap! For some, it may sound like too small a gesture or too frivolous, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. A little bit of self-care goes a long way.
Do something that is a stretch, that is a step beyond how you normally care for yourself. Take a long hot bath with rose petals and lavender oil. Seduce yourself into a hot self-pleasuring session. Book a massage during your lunch hour or get your partner to trade a massage for a massage.
For extra credit, pretend a day this week is your birthday and plan every detail around truly celebrating your special day... just because.
Do you feel a difference in your mind and body after you slowed down to do this massage exercise? What do you feel?
How easy or difficult is it for you to slow down and enjoy sensation through your body?
What are some ways you could integrate self-massage or other self-care into your day?