A few days ago I went to a local nail salon to treat myself to a mani & pedi. It was a soggy day (the first day of spring!), and I hadn’t treated myself to something like this in a very long time–I was way over due, like I’m sure many of you are as well. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I had a pleasant experience. I finished the book I was reading, Nonviolent Communication (1st note of irony in this tale) and tried to make small talk with the gal who was serving me (English is her second language so it wasn’t a deep conversation).
I noticed that she had filed my toenails quite short and my toes were tender later that evening, but mostly I felt happy that my feet looked pretty and my fingernails were painted boldly, which I have never done before (I was expressing myself in a new way-2nd note of irony). The next morning, my left big toe was very tender and red. I still thought it was just because she had cut the nail too short and pretty much ignored it until I got home late that night and took off my boots. Long story short, my toe was red, hot and likely infected. It burned all night and was swollen in the morning when I woke up–so much so I was limping and wincing with each step.
I decided to Google “infection after pedicure”, I couldn’t believe how many sites and posts were listed talking about this and what a problem it is. I knew that it was important to have the equipment sterilized, but I just assumed that the places did so–or else they’d be out of business. So, when I sat down I looked around, everything appeared clean (like I could see a germ anyway!). She used fresh toe spacers and though I didn’t see where she got her tools from, I assumed they were also clean and sterilized. I came to relax and get a service, not micromanage–right?
Why is all of this important? Why am I sharing this? Because this morning I will be going to urgent care to get my toe checked out. It is potentially quite serious, based on what I read and talking to my mom who is a nurse. And I wanted to alert you gals out there to the potential risks and make sure you know what to look for when going to a nail salon. (Google it–there are plenty of resources out there).
It’s also important because I actually considered NOT going to the place where I got the pedicure and telling them about it or asking for my money back, or even reporting it to the health department. WHY???? You may be screaming in your head or to the computer screen right now.
Fear. Fear of speaking out, of telling my truth.
Earlier that day before said mani/pedi, I had a call with my coach and I got really present to WHY I do what I do. Why I am all about speaking confidently and freely. Why I am about speaking from the heart and healing communication. Because growing up I wasn’t allowed to speak my truth. I wasn’t allowed to share my opinions–they were shut down and I was punished for expressing myself. I know most of you can relate. (are you catching the huge irony here??)
I don’t blame my parents–at least not any more. They were doing the best they could with the skills they had at the time and their viewpoint of the world. Hell, who am I to judge or blame? I have kids myself, I know how easy it is to shut down a conversation with them and not even realize it–even when I have the highest intentions to listen and be present with them.
I woke up at 3:00am this morning. I couldn’t sleep because I realized that all the BS in my head about going to the salon and asking for my money back, and all the fears I have about doing so are the things that stop you too. Here’s one that is particularly insidious, and as soon as I realized it (and cleared it), I knew I had to share it:
Law of Attraction and Karma. What do I mean? Here’s how it went in my head: If I go ask for my money back, what will people think of me? Will they think I attracted it, and therefore I need to deal with the consequences of it? What will the owners of the salon think? Will they think I just made it up and am causing trouble? Will they get angry with me and somehow figure out who I am and get back at me? Will it be worse than that? If I report them to the health department, will I attract the same into my business?
The desire for self-preservation and to avoid potential punishment (as f’d up as it is in my head) is what has affected my communication and my ability to act in the world effectively in many areas. Sound familiar?
It’s got to stop. The misconstrued beliefs about the Law of Attraction and Karma, the fear of punishment, loss, rejection or worse if we speak up, if we ask for what we need and want. The fear of being tossed out of the tribe, left behind, or even judged for expressing our vulnerability and truth of where we are, and who were are, on our journey in this lifetime.
It’s got to stop.
So, today after going to urgent care I will be going to the salon to ask for my money back, to let them know what happened. I will contact the health department to get out there and check the place out–to do their job, and make sure the salon is doing their job too.
What is the biggest lesson I learned in this? It’s not about me. If I keep quiet and don’t honor myself by speaking up for myself and sharing my truth, no one benefits. The salon doesn’t get to make a course correction, the other customers don’t get a safe experience, and I don’t get the self-worth that comes from honoring my needs and experience–no matter the outcome.
Where in your life are you holding back because of fear?
Where are you avoiding the tough conversations because of some crazy idea about Law of Attraction and being responsible for all of it?
Where are you afraid to speak up or honor yourself because you think if you do someone else will get hurt (even if what they did or are doing is hurtful and dangerous) and yet it’s still your fault somehow?
Where are you keeping quiet because you’re afraid you can’t have what you really want, so you’ll convince yourself what you know is not true, and it’s not only stressing you out, but making you sick as well?
Where do you judge others for not speaking up for themselves, and then avoid doing it in your own life?
What is it costing you to keep quiet?
Go do something radical today and change the world: speak up for yourself. I will.
Let me know what you think below, and please share with your peeps…who knows what kind of change we can create with our voices!
From My Heart To Yours,