When I started in the massage industry, an interesting thing happened: many of my friends and family members would serious-joke about getting free and in-the-moment massages while we were dining, catching up with coffee, at get togethers and parties, on vacations, and even during the holidays. Isn’t it strange how people will assume you’ll agree to work for free at a function while everyone else is eating, drinking, and having a grand ol’ time? So I began telling people, “Yes, for $50 I can massage you right now.” One of my aunts actually responded with, “But he’s your cousin.” Um, no.
This is about boundaries. This is about holding space for yourself and believing that you, your time, and what you do has value…in any situation.
Dr. Usui taught his students that there should always be a karmic exchange. If you give a service, you must receive payment in some form – food, another service, money, etc. This maintains balance between parties – nothing is owed and debt doesn’t accumulate and manifest into negative energy.
Boundaries are important so that we don’t give too much of ourselves away. The little “no” we hear in our heads is our souls trying to keep us healthy and on the right path. We, as caretakers and nurturers, feel a strong draw to helping others and often find it difficult to say “no” when called to serve. However, when you need a break, you need a break. How will you be able to serve anyone when you’re empty, including yourself?
Say “yes” when you can. Modify your “yes” when you need to. And say “no” when you want to.