Spa Day

Jim:    Woah.  What’s that smell?  Well, if you want to find out, you’ll have to listen on.  Welcome aboard.  You’ve reached the land of Fishing Without Bait, where we help people make choices in their lives, avoid time traveling.  To create a life rather than find one.  To look for rabbit holes and actually have the courage to go down them.  So, buckle your seatbelts.  Welcome aboard.  And jump on the train.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer to this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, tell me what you know about perfume.

Mike:    Just what I know from the magazine ads.

Jim:    From the magazine ads, those scratch and sniff things?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Could you help me understand your perception on the reason people use fragrances.

Mike:    Sometimes it’s a little bit of a cover-up.  Sometimes it’s just for added attraction.

Jim:    Indeed.  Sometimes they use it to cover up themselves when they perhaps aren’t comfortable with the way they are.  And, also they use it to attract other people.  And, there’s often a lot of talk about people making a signature fragrance for themselves.  Is there not?  Is there a special type of cologne that you use?

Mike:    No.  Not particularly, actually.  I’m au naturel.

Jim:    Okay.  Neat.  Neat. Neat.  So, I’m sure that you – and particularly females, seem to be involved with a signature fragrance.  And, also, we can talk about essential oils involved in wellness.  Also, however, that’s a complete topic for another day.  Let me run another question since I’m being so inquisitive today.  When you have a scent, do you smell it yourself?

Mike:    No.  There’s a little bit of a noseblindness, I think they call it.

Jim:    Noseblindness.  Isn’t that interesting?  Actually, that was a term that Pamela Dalton – she’s a cognitive psychologist, brought up.  When a person wants to clear their nose.  Are you aware of what one of the best things to do to clear one’s nose of scents is?  Coffee beans takes the aroma out.  So, perhaps somebody’s walked into your house and they’ve – everybody’s home, or everybody seems to have a particular scent do they not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    Everybody’s home.  However, you never smell it yourself.  You’re not aware of it.  And, quite often when we look at other people and we wonder why they’re looking at us so strangely, perhaps it’s because of our signature scent.  However, again, what does that have to do with Fishing Without Bait and full-impact mindfulness?  Rather than add scents to our life – and in another sense, we’re always talking about lifestyle enhancements and lifestyle changes, are we not?  When we’re talking about creating ourselves, in a past episode – I believe it was Number 18, if I’m correct – we talked about hitting that reset button.  We talked about the reset button and we gave instructions.  Remember, this is a podcast about not just throwing things up in the air and hoping that they land.  We try to give people definitive instructions and guideposts on how to improve their lives.  We’re going to talk a little bit today, again, about hitting the reset button.  And, actually about having a spa day for yourself.  Mike, could you tell me what your conception of a spa is?

Mike:    It’s going to the spa.  It’s going to get the massage.  It’s going to get – I don’t know, a manicure or something like that.

Jim:    And, that is called being good to yourself.  As most terms in English come from, that comes from terms in Latin however.  Actually, the word spather is a spa – a town in Belgium called Spa.  And years, and years, and years ago, they had hot springs where they would go into water.  Hot and cold.  It was iron-rich water.  And, people who were suffering from iron deficiency and sometime some anemias would get some benefit by drinking these waters.  So, the idea is is how can we reset?  And, how can we refresh yourself?  So, the topic for today is to having a spa day for yourself and learn how to renew and create what you already have.  If you listen to a lot of these previous podcasts, we’ve talked about connecting the dots.  We’ve talked about naming the bully.  We’ve talked about the importance of labeling and describing.  We’ve thought about developing that inner-self of you and making friends with yourself.  So, the idea is that if we go back through and we’ve developed – we’ve created ourselves – how can we renew it?  How can we keep that fresh?  How can we keep it going?  It’s just like in relationships, Mike.  Do they often get stale sometimes?

Mike:    Sometimes.  There’s a little bit of rekindling the magic sometimes.

Jim:    So, say more about that.  

Mike:    Oh, just something to make things feel new again.  To kind of refresh things.

Jim:    And, in the past we’ve often talked about podcasts on developing the difference and awareness between being a human doing – which is same stuff different day, and being a human being – and, that’s actually participating in your life.  So, the idea here is when we’ve talked about being mindful – paying attention on purpose, and recognizing that when we’re getting stale and going to our own spa.  What renews you, Mike?

Mike:    Sometimes, I’m not sure anymore.  Because a lot of what I do – would do to refresh myself is what I do around my work.  So, I need to find again, what is that thing that separates and lets me renew?

Jim:    So, you’re talking about finding your passion.  And, when you talk about finding your passion, you’re talking about making choices, are you not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    So, to bring joy in your life – and if you remember our good friend, Thomas Merton, in a previous podcast – long ago, what he talked about was we are made for joy and not for pleasure.  And, if you don’t know the difference then you have yet to begin to live.  We want to help people to step back.  To be able to label and describe.  Stand back and become that observer behind that thinker.  And, what would you say the difference between pleasure and joy is, Mike?

Mike:    Pleasure is kind of the immediate – tactile kind of enjoyment.  And, then joy is kind of a deeper happiness.  

Jim:    A deeper happiness.  That’s great.  I find that very enlightening and very insightful.  Pleasure is something that has immediate gratification.  Okay?  And, also is just temporary.  Pleasure is temporary, is it not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    Joy is lasting.  However, in order to keep that joy going, what we want to do is keep renewing ourselves – to take ourselves to our own spa.  So, my suggestion is to everyone to develop their own type of spa plan.  So, if we’re developing a spa plan, we want to do things that we like to do that are beneficial for us.  Too often, Mike, what we do is we take the advice of others – do we not?  If Sam or Mary Jo do this, and it’s beneficial for them, well we may have some interest in that.  Okay?  However, we want to find our own way.  So, remember – are we like flowers?  We’re often talking about planting seeds, are we not?  And, taking that soil and enriching it.  And, watering it.  Giving it sunshine.  And, giving it love.  So, a flower does not compete with the flower standing next to it, does it?

Mike:    No.  They’re just there and doing what they need to do for themselves.

Jim:    And, what does a flower do?  It?

Mike:    Blooms.

Jim:    It blooms.  And, that’s what we’re talking about.  With full-impact mindfulness, we’re talking about blooming.  We’re talking about being a flower and blooming.  So, in order to bloom we have to take care of ourselves, do we not?  That provides both mind, body, and spirit.  That means proper nutrition.  That means sleep hygiene.  That means doing nice things for yourself.  Quite often in the past, one of the things that we’ve discussed over and over again is when you get on an airplane and a flight attendant comes out and they give you the oxygen mask instructions.  Who do they tell you to put it on first, Mike?

Mike:    You put it on yourself and not your children.

Jim:    You put it on yourself and not your children. And, doesn’t that go against – particularly, a mother’s instincts?

Mike:    Certainly.  That’s why they’re telling everybody every time you get on.

Jim:    Correct.  So, the idea here is that when we create our own spa, when we renew and rejuvenate ourselves, we’re that much more capable of sharing with others.  We can bloom.  What’s your favorite type of flower?

Mike:    Purple tulips.

Jim:    Tulips.  Tulips are from Holland.  Holland has spent centuries and centuries developing different types of bulbs and different types of colors and shades.  In fact, some of them are incredibly expensive – and in fact in the past they used to use that as a means of currency – tulip bulbs.  Remember, what is currency is something that has a value and meaning to you.  And, quite often what we do is – again, we talk about currency on this show.  And, one of the most valuable currencies that people have is their?

Mike:    Time.

Jim:    Their time.  So, my suggestion is that rather than go to a spa – a place where people are going to pamper you, my suggestion is to use that valuable currency that is only yours and invest it in yourself.  That’s the first thing.  Make a choice.  Take that valuable currency to invest in yourself.  The next question is, well – what do I spend it on?  What do I spend this valuable currency on?  So, the next thing is that I’m asking everyone out there to do – as we’ve discussed in previous podcasts is, what’s important to you?  What is important in your life?  Remember, Mike, when we talked about how to catch monkeys?  You have a cage, a trap, with a hole only large enough for the monkey to stick his hand in.  You put some shiny object in there that the monkey grabs hold of, and he won’t let go.  So, one of the things about full-impact mindfulness, Fishing Without Bait – remember, is not to set definitive expectations on yourself or allow others to do the same for you.  So, when we do that we understand what’s holding us back – the tentacles of life, the octopuses of life that are grabbing us and holding us.  As soon as we can let that go, we can truly begin to renew and rejuvenate ourselves.  We add that sunshine – which is our love for ourselves, a relationship with ourselves.  We add the water, which is the nutrition that we take into our bodies.  We add that fertilizer, and the soil in which we are in.  And, that’s the environment that we choose to be in, Mike – the people we associate with.  Who’s real important to you?  And, one of the most important things to do – and what we talked about in a previous podcast, Mike, was addition by subtraction.  So, we plant flowers and we pull weeds.  We attempt to remove negative influences from our lives, whatever that may be.  And, sometimes, that involves making difficult decisions.  And, again, when we’re doing that we’re creating our own spa world for ourselves.  And, we’re going to continue this topic in our next conversation.  And, to be good to ourselves, to think more about creating that spa day for ourselves, that spa moment.  And, how to create and hit that reset button for ourselves. Until then, I challenge you – I challenge you to go back through some of these podcasts and listen to some of the ones that we’ve mentioned.  To get a little bit of reeducation.  Go back to the classroom and learn those lessons again.  So, remember – this is merely a classroom.  The practice field is out there.  The game is out there.  It’s not going to happen here.  All we can do is the x’s and o’s here.  The game is played on the field.  Get some good teammates and play with them.  Until then, do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Remember, until all are free – none are free.  Namaste.