getting naked + spring cleaning

Welcome to spring!

It’s definitely arrived here in NYC and I am thrilled. But I confess I got an early start because I went to LA to teach some spectacular SHRINK SESSION events.

I gotta’ say…the LA peeps know how to bring it! Check out the fogged-up mirrors!

  

  

I did more than soak up the sun and spend time connecting with friends. I also had a mind-shifting, memorable afternoon, with one of my gal pals at the Olympic Spa.

Talk about spring cleaning!

I learned 3 very important LESSONS and I want to share them with you. Sit tight, because I’m about to get naked.

Have you ever been to a Korean spa? Well here’s the scoop: women are allowed but clothing is not.

Yes, that means you are completely nekked as you move from the steam sauna, to the dry sauna, to the mugworts bath, to the cold plunge, to the Himalayan salt sauna and back again.

I’m usually pretty courageous, but I gotta’ admit…at first, I was totally self conscious. I was like, “Ya mean we just walk around totally naked…with each other?”

“Yes. Yes we do,” answered my friend, Emily.

And so we did. All of us – all different ages, shapes, and sizes.

Lesson #1

Letting yourself be completely exposed – completely seen – is vulnerability at it’s best. But when you make a decision to just roll with it, it turns into a completely freeing experience.

When you allow yourself to be seen in all your glory, without trying to hide or protect or pretend, you move into a truly empowered state.

You see that NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, has the perfect body like they show in magazines.  We all have flaws and imperfections of ALL kinds. 

We all ‘know’ this intellectually. But to experience it in the flesh (pun intended) is a comforting reminder that we are perfect in all of our imperfection, inside and out.  

Lesson #2

Time for the spring cleaning…

Let me tell you about one of the spa specialties, the akasuri scrub.  

Imagine a room filled with naked women soaking and sauna’ing. Now imagine plastic-covered massage tables lining the outside of the room.

By this time you’ve been walking around in your birthday suit for the last hour so it’s like so when you lay down on the table next to another woman it’s just like “Hey, enjoy your scrub.” High five.

Then an older Korean woman puts on her loofa gloves and get her scrub on. And I’m talking some serious scrubbin’.

Every inch of your body is exfoliated.

Between your toes. Check. Your backside. Check. Parts ya’ didn’t know ya’ had. Check and check.  

It sounds crazy and intense, and it’s definitely both of those things. But, you are really just another body moving along the conveyer belt of getting clean.

There is actually something primal about the experience. When was the last time you were cleaned, head-to-toe, by someone else? I know – strange question.

I’m guessing your answer is when you were a baby. Right? Mama bear doing her job to clean the cub. That’s it.

And that’s where LESSON #2 comes in:

We place so much importance on how our bodies look, feel, and act. But the akasuri scrub was basically, “Hey, it’s just a body and it needs cleaning.” Period. End of story.

Yes, our bodies are miracles and works of art. But there’s something wonderful in the simplicity of just getting clean.  Like you are going through a car wash.

(And doesn’t your car always drive better after it’s been washed?)

After the akasuri scrub, you feel like your skin is the SMOOTHEST it’s ever been. You also feel like you just got a tune-up.

When we step away from all the different meanings we give our bodies, it gives us a chance to free ourselves from the ideas and theories we have artificially constructed. Which means we make space for joy and ease. 

This leads us to Lesson #3:

After the scrub, I felt lighter and renewed. With the help of my Scrubber, I literally shed some skin. Which got me thinking – what else am I ready to shed? 

It’s the perfect question to ask – especially now, as we move into spring.

What can we let go of? What can we shed so that our wonderful, new, fresh lives can reemerge?  People?  Beliefs about ourselves? Activities we don’t want to do anymore?

My friend Sarah Jenks recently sent an email to a group of incredible women entrepreneurs. She asked them what they wanted to let go of. The responses were honest and refreshing.

I’ve shared some of theses ladies thoughts below as well as the mantras for April’s Shrink Session class.

(BTW Sarah has an AH-MAZING weight loss program that she is opening for enrollment soon! If you are looking to have more fun, create a good relationship with food, develop incredible relationships with your partner, parents and girlfriends, I highly recommend you check out some of the free goodies she is giving over on LIVE MORE, WEIGH LESS. It’s downright brills if you ask me.)

I want to know what you are ready to shed and say good-bye to.

Leave a comment sharing what you are LETTING GO OF, starting now.

It’s time to let go of the old, so the new can rise!

Love,
Erin

WHAT SOME INCREDIBLE WOMEN I KNOW are READY TO LET GO OF:

  • Always making other people’s stuff my responsibility, like it’s my problem to fix
  • Feeling like I should be somewhere further along than I am
  • The cultural imperative to be smarter, better, faster, more perfect than men (than white people) to be considered half as good. These are messages that helped my ancestors survive, but I’m dropping it.
  • My fear of rejection
  • I’ve carried around ideas of how I “should”…look, dress, speak (what does “smart” sound like?), have babies right now, giddy up and get re-married
  • Being abundant and loving your life if for “rich people” or people born with money
  • I’m letting go of the idea that I have to be perfect, act perfect and look perfect to be able to coach others on their health, wellness and living style.
  • I am trying to let go of censoring myself for fear of people not liking me. There is a deep fear of offending someone, if I say the wrong thing at the wrong time. I am letting go of stopping myself from being me.
  • The feeling of needing to fit in a box, act a certain way, sit up straight, don’t talk too much, don’t laugh too loud and above all, get an A+ on everything.  As an Indian woman in particular, I was always looked at as “the weird one” because I didn’t make sense to pretty much every other Indian I knew.
  • I’ve carried around the weight of having to do it all on my own. I could not ask for help, could not receive, had to look like I always had it all together, and wore this mask of extreme independence. It weighed on me, my relationships, and my business.
  • I carried around this idea that I was always late to the party.  I would always shamefully claim to be a late bloomer because I felt like I did everything so much later than everyone else.  Comparing myself against others, especially based on age, was a quick way for me to feel like I wasn’t doing something right and certainly not at the right time.
  • Having a successful career = being a workaholic
  • I think as a woman, there is often a need to maintain friendships and be nice to everyone even if you don’t feel connected or supported by those people. When you discover there are people in your life who don’t fully understand or support you, it can be quite painful and easy to get into the internal conversation that ‘something must be wrong with me.’

 

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