The day I was diagnosed with Cancer my sister came to the doctor’s with me. They told me a lot of nebulous facts about the cancer. We made a plan of how to treat it and then we left. I was devastated. My sister didn’t know what to say so she put me in the car and said, “Lets go for a pedicure”. I didn’t argue. I wanted to cry but didn’t want to start because I wasn’t sure I could stop.
We drove to Downtown Crossing where we knew a tiny place with 4 chairs and the women hardly spoke English. It was about 2p.m. on a weekday and the place was empty. They put us each in a chair with heated seats, massage backs and bubbly hot water for the feet. I sat in the chair and felt my shoulders soften, my tense body started to relax, my sister put her hand over mine to hold it and I closed my eyes and started to cry. No one said anything. No one asked anything. Every one in that little shop filled with the aroma of nail polish and disinfectant knew something was up and that that something was mine. The woman massaged and exfoliated our feet and my tears and our concerns melted away. I fell asleep as they did my nails and I woke up feeling at least that I could do what I needed to do.
So now, ten years later, when I have a “day” or a big challenge or am feeling emotionally stressed, I still go for a pediicure. And it makes all the difference because it is a place where I feel safe, cared for, not judged and they are relaxing just about every nerve in my body through my feet. The women who have the compassion or need to do pedicures do not care where you have been or where you are going, even in a small town like Tulum. They want you to be happy and they want to be paid. So in that moment of taking care of myself, I am healed. It doesn’t make the thing go away, but it allows me to know that I can do whatever it takes to heal it. It is like taking that deep inhale before you lose your temper. Small acts like that help you take care of yourself, help you own your power. The thing – what ever it is that has put you over the edge – doesn’t own you. You take a moment to relax into it and you own it. You find yourself by stopping for a moment, listening to your inner voice and enjoying a luxury. So in this holiday season that can get oh so overwhelming, my advice? Take a deep breath, enjoy a luxury and go for a pedicure. It can make all the difference.