The Things You Learn While Sitting In A Cave


So… I dislocated my elbow, and I don’t even have a good story to tell. No really. I was picking up the laundry basket, and it just popped right out. “What the hell?” right?


At least now, two weeks later, it’s looking much better.

Life lately, has been INSANE. I feel like I’m constantly being pulled in a million different directions, and I am one sick day away from my entire schedule collapsing. I know that many of you can relate, so let me ask you, how do you do it?

Because this momma right here, is Worn. Out.

Last Friday night my Bestie and I were trying to make plans to go out for a girl’s night, and we were both so overwhelmed and tired that not a single thing was sounding appealing to us. Suddenly I remembered something that had heard about the week prior….

I am blue, she is yellow.

…. And a couple hours later I found myself laying in a zero gravity chair, under a twinkling stalactite ceiling, with softly glowing walls, while breathing mineral infused air, and digging my toes into two tons of Himalayan salt.

“Anti bacterial, anti viral, anti inflammatory, anti fungal, detoxifying, negative ioninzing, rejuvenating, ,…” it promised, and while I can’t personally attest to the science behind that, what I can tell you was that I think I needed that more than I even realized.

Have you guys ever been to a salt cave before? I’d honestly never even heard of it until recently, so I wasn’t really sure to expect.

First off, if you are a person who is chronically late, you may want to rethink this, because you can’t be late.

Nope, you can’t. Everyone goes in together, and you aren’t supposed to go in late.

I was late.

Thankfully they still let me in, but they had to turn the lights on and bother everyone who wasn’t late, and then all the non-late people had to watch me try to figure out how to get my chair to recline, before they turned the lights off again (I never did figure it out and finally an employee flipped me down).

I felt incredibly rude!

I had absolutely no idea the lights would even be off, or I would have just come back later. I had this vision in my head that we would all sit and chat amongst ourselves quietly, perhaps building little salt castles, and chanting, while feeling pretty new-age holistic.

Nope. Wrong again.

As they closed the door, music started to play, the ceiling began to twinkle, and I became aware that my head was resting on a blanket.

Looking around at everyone, I realized something else that I had failed to realize before.

It was naptime.

Yep. Under the twinkling lights, everyone was snuggled up under their blankets, and one guy was snoring.

I began to panic.

It was hard to take clear pictures in the dark

I don’t like quiet. Me and quiet, we don’t get along well, because in the quiet I’m forced to think about everything that I’ve been shoving out of my brain and trying not to think about. I like busy, because when you are busy you only have to think about what you choose to think about, and can easily ignore everything that you are trying to ignore; that is, until one day, you find yourself laying in a salt cave, listening to the sounds of what was music but has now faded to what I believe was supposed to be the sounds of ocean waves, and chuckling to yourself that while in an environment that looks suspiciously like another planet, the sound effect waves actually sound like comets whooshing by.

Everyone looked so peaceful, and there I was in the midst of a panic attack, breathing deeply through my suddenly now-clear sinuses, making up comet jokes that I’m sure no one else finds funny, and wondering why I’m the only one doing relaxation wrong.

Who fails at relaxing!? It’s like the easiest thing to do! Lazy people do it all the time!

*Shyly raises hand*

Me. I do.

Then, lying there in the dark with everyone around me being rejuvenated in their sleep, it occurred to me that I am very close to becoming one of those constantly anxious people that have so much anxiety that they are exhausting to be around.

I’m exhausted being around me, because I can never relax.

In the cave, being microwaved by the benefits of Himalayan salt, listening to the sounds of comets whooshing by, I started having an internal dialogue that went something like this:

“You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You work with trauma victims every day, and you know that when you constantly shove things out of your mind, that it comes back to bite you in the ass. If you have so much going on that you can’t even bear to think about it, then you have too much going on. You need to chill out before you lose it, and if that means accepting that you are in over your head, then you need to face that so you can deal with it.”

I have too much going on, and I’m in way over my head.

With the amount of time that the nonprofit demands from me, my flourishing writing career, my new marriage, managing the kid’s health, and my own chronic health condition, it’s all become too much.

As the minutes ticked on and I allowed the thoughts to come to me, the silence gave me no escape from needing to think things through. “Live Intentionally” I thought as I began to drift off to sleep, and eventually, when chimes began to softly play overhead, the lights shone a little brighter, and a voice calmly told us that our session was over, I can’t deny that I did feel pretty amazing.

I left that night feeling more relaxed and clear-headed than I had in ages. I needed that time to not only rejuvenate my body, but also to reconnect with my mind.

We only have so much time on this planet, and so many minutes in our day, and what I realized that night — when I finally allowed myself to face what I’d been too busy to process — is that I need to work on living intentionally.

And by “living intentionally,” I mean living each moment with a purpose that serves your overall goals in life; whatever they may be. 

The irony is that several years ago, that is exactly what I started out to do. I started the nonprofit because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to use my time to help others, and yet somehow, as it has grown bigger, everything has snowballed on me.

Weeks, days, and minutes, have simply become about surviving from one moment to the next, and my life has gone into autopilot trying to get everything done.



I need to stop.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be doing my best to live intentionally; using every moment for gain, even if that moment is being still so that I can recuperate for the next one. It came to my attention that night in the salt cave, that I need to reorganize and de-clutter my life a bit, and it’s brought me to a point where things need to change.

So, which that being said, stay tuned for a very big announcement in the next few weeks…

(Header photo credit: The Naperville Salt Cave)
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  • Eatabagofrichards
    March 8, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    In our society, we're raised not to be “selfish,” “greedy,” or “lazy.” Unfortunately, my experience is that this also means that we don't learn self-care. We don't learn that it's ok to say “I need a break,” or “I can't do this right now.” The reality is that if we wear ourselves out on everybody else, and don't take care of ourselves first, we eventually crash. And when we crash, it's a BIG crash, and then we can't help ANYONE. It's like putting gas in your car–better to do it when the tank is 1/4 full, than to wait until you've run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and some farmer with three teeth and crossed eyes is wanting to “give yuh sum help, ma'am.”

    • NotMyShametoBear
      March 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

      True that sista! Self care is something I am realizing I am not very good at :/

  • Carolyn De Neut
    March 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Yay you! Wonder if they have any in Michigan near me! 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      March 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

      You should totally look!

  • Anonymous
    March 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    It sounds really cool ?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      March 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

      It was super neat!!

  • Anonymous
    March 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Same anonomys from above, so nice that you alway reply =)

    • NotMyShametoBear
      March 28, 2017 at 6:21 am

      It’s the least I can do for everyone that takes the time to write to me 🙂

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