How many ways can we summarize our path and where we feel we are going in life? To me these three titles summarize my reason for living and my purpose in life: to achieve freedom from suffering through enlightenment of my soul, to find and develop ways of being well, and finally to enrichment my spirit with people and activities which are just that: enriching.
How to define enrichment: To discover wealth and prosperity and abundance in self, soul, and friends, and those ‘others’ who come into our lives, for whatever reasons, and who amaze us with their honesty, generosity, brilliance, simplicity, boldness, courage, and whatever other quality or virtue may attract us to them. (and which are a mirror of what we admire in ourselves). And learning to accept those who repulse us, for whom we feel revulsion: the task is to learn to embrace them also, in their values and beliefs which are opposite or different to ours, whose behaviour rubs us the wrong way like fingernails on a chalkboard, like acid in water creates from us an explosion of response which betrays who we think we are. Enrichment is the ability to develop inner serenity and equanimity when faced with crisis, chaos, confusion, and the unexpected.
The other day I started working at a new massage spa location and was confronted with ‘not having control’ of the situation, needing to wait for another therapist to finish with their client in a private massage room, to have access to the room for my first client. This particular therapist wasn’t watching time and went over on the ‘prescribed’ time which was to be used for that client and that room. So I attempted to remain calm and whenever other therapists passed me I would ask them for their counsel: what should I do? Should I look to see if another room is available? The ability to think fast in the middle of confusion and apparent chaos was not apparent but I was receptive to welcoming other solutions other than just being ‘pissed’ at the therapist who I perceived was the source of my impatience and frustration. My concern was for my client who would have to wait to receive their treatment from me and to whom I may have to apologize for the delay.
My fear was unfounded as there are no clocks in the waiting lounge where my client was slowly de-stressing from anxiety, time, and other stressors. The source of my impatience was my own inflexibility in the face of unexpected frustration.
I took a deep breath, and realized that, through the interest and concern of other therapists at my plight, everything would work itself out, the room would become available, the therapists would all work together to get the room ready, and that I would be able to serve my client with only thirteen minutes having gone by on the clock, but an eternity in my head.
The client was escorted to the room, which was spotless and clinically white in all its pristine marble, and white spa sheets, scented hot towels, and the treatment went on with rhythm, timing, and absence of focus on time. I made the client my focus, presented myself to the moment, worked the muscles gently yet firmly, asked for the client’s feedback, all ok. And so it went. Success, new journey commenced, with a little friction, lots of support, and a serene conclusion. All is well.