What a magical day!
I woke up to a text from my darling dear Liza B. that said:
You came to me in a dream that we were in NM and you wanted to go out w a group of people you met at the lecture and you all saw some universal power together called ‘the Nod’ which was a blue glowing light.
In my borrowed Columbus Circle apartment in Manhattan, I ate pistachio Talenti gelato for breakfast, did some work for my website clients, posted about The Three Questions Game, and then went out into the world to the lower east side.
Liza and I entered the Russian baths, which we’ve done together many times before, but this was the first time we went for women’s hours. There was a particular kind of welcome, quiet intimacy absent on coed days in the space. Liza bought two huge bottles of water, grabbed a towel for me, and we descended down the white tile stairwell into the bowls of the baths.
First we entered the steam room with lemon verbena oils, and then the mild wooden dry sauna room for conversation about art, practice, spirituality, relationship, desire, healing, teachers, lineage, and communication.
Moving on, we entered the second hottest room at the baths, tiled in white, which has a shower head of freezing cold water by the door that you can turn on and off with a funny wooden lever. A woman came in, jolly and ready to chat in her thick Eastern European accent. Her name was Gabriella. I asked her what life advice she had for us today. She put both hands over her naked heart and said, “Make yourself happy first.”
Suddenly Liza gestured to a glowing blue light bulb above the cold shower head in the scorchingly hot room, and under her breath she said, “Oh my gosh, it’s the ‘The Nod’ from my dream this morning!” Non plussed by our glee, Gabriella continued:
“I have a husband and two children. I didn’t fully realize the importance of ‘make yourself happy first’ until my mother passed in March. It’s ok to have empathy and people in your life who you love, but they’re going to do what they’re going to do and you have to make yourself happy first.”
She asked our names and ages. I introduced myself and said, “We’re celebrating my birthday!” Gabriella smiled, celebrated my number, and drew a cross in the air as we stood by the door, ice water rushing down from above, unrelenting heat rising from everywhere else. I splashed a handful of cool water on my hot heart and said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for these blessings.”
On her way out she said, “Worship your inner goddesses first, girls.” And we did.