El Raval, Barcelona
I have been living in Barcelona for the last 6 months and today, had I not honored a commitment to something totally out-of-character and full of super self-care, I would have been placed at the exact time and location of the most recent terror attack.
My partner and I have been living in Barcelona for the last 6 months and we visit the area of the most recent attacks daily. Last weekend, we trusted in ourselves to take a leap, and so he has been in the States helping launch Decent.bet‘s ICO. We’ve been together for the last 14 years, we’ve worked together for the last 6 and we’ve traveled the world in very cramped quarters for the last year and half. Being on my own without him in even the best of scenarios isn’t something I’m used to and not something I really knew how to do until recently.
Fleeting “I’m not worth it” thoughts slid around my mind over the last few days and suggested I cancel my commitment, but instead I decided to honor a decision I had made to treat myself to a massage. I typically avoid having any salon treatments done, manicures, pedicures, it all just makes me feel uncomfortable to spend that time and money on myself, and so having this relaxing massage was a big step in the healthy self-care direction.
Even though the mood was relaxing I was worked up at first and I spent about 10 minutes aligning my energy, and interestingly, I found myself doing the 10F Process, saying even though my past self says I should feel guilty for spending the money on myself, I still know this is exactly where I need to be. I still know this is exactly where I need to be. I still know this is exactly where I need to be…I relaxed and had a magnificent massage, leaving without any of my usual tightness in my neck and shoulders.
As I was heading for the metro afterward I noticed multiple messages coming in from my Italian kitchen WhatsApp group, messages I almost shut off and ignored since I wasn’t signed up for any course, but I trusted the feeling in my body — also new development — and saw there, in the streets I walk every morning — the street I walked THIS morning — the street I would have been on if it hadn’t been for this massage, was Europe’s most recent act of violence.
Safely I was able to wait out the attack, far away from the city center because of this act of super-self care. Looking back on today I don’t even recognize myself. Laughing and joking, keeping spirits light with terror right outside my front door — literally my neighborhood was barricaded for hours — I focused on the joy and maintained such levels of calm that writing this is even unfamiliar to myself. In the recent past I would have been so needy, so attached to my man’s energy, so clingy to him to provide me happiness and positivity that there would have been no way I could have handled this situation, especially with him asleep halfway around the world. But I just handled it. And I made a friend and spread some smiles. I kept my parents calm while watching news of their worst nightmare and we texted and I joked. I spread peace, love and happiness in a way that I believed others could do but that I never actually believed I personally was capable.
Even though they may try, a few extremists can’t take away the beauty of this city. Truly wonderful at coexisting and being multi-cultural, there’s nowhere quite like El Raval, Barcelona.
I’m so saddened and hurt by all the hate and needless lost lives, but as I opened the door to my loving and pouty pups I felt really grounded. I can’t believe this has happened, that the fugitives escaped down my street, especially when I’m holding down the fort alone for the first time. A year ago, 6 months ago, I’d have been a wreck, but instead today was about finding the good. About bringing the joy and laughter because the world doesn’t need more worry and fear. The world doesn’t need more anxiety.
So today I encourage you to be more playful than you usually are. Laugh a little more easily, a little more often. Honor the victims but don’t ruminate over this tragedy. Instead hold your posture a little straighter, your head a little higher, and your smile a little wider.
Thank you all for your love today and everyday. 🕊❤️😃