© 2019 by Ashley Smith & Milagro Midwestern Spa Collective

  • Ashley

Not as I do.

I snapped at Maggie last week. Three times in one day.

Maggie & Avra


If you know Maggie, you know what a monster this makes me. Maggie is nurturing massage therapist extraordinaire and the NICEST person you will ever meet. I was taught in high school English not to use the word “nice” because it is so nondescript, but NICE is exactly what Maggie is. She smiles, she laughs, she encourages, she listens. I’ve known her for almost six years and can remember one instance when she spoke negatively about someone. She said this: “that lady invades my bliss”. Yup.

I was having a day, feeling stretched too thin and although none of it had to do with Maggie, she got to be the recipient of my dysfunction. Probably (and I can’t believe I’m admitting this) because she was an easy (NICE) target. And there you have it.

Don’t you want to come to my spa so you can learn my wise ways?

I have a theory that people who are naturally very good at something make horrible teachers of said thing. Because it’s easy for them. And if it’s not easy for me, then there’s a gap. A language barrier of sorts. They can’t understand the struggle. They just don’t get why I don’t get it.

According to every marketing manual written in the last decade, businesses should establish themselves as experts in their field. But since I consider Milagro’s “field” to be helping people slow down, take stock, and feed their souls so they may give the best version of themselves to the world, I’m telling you here – I suck at it.

But I’m learning. And I get the feeling from my conversations with all of you that we’re in the same boat. We know in our heads we can’t do it all, we can’t (thank God) control it all, and no one likes a martyr. But we still try. And then we wear ourselves to the point of hanging by a thread and the sweetest and most loved in our lives get the wrath. Sorry, Smitty.

Of course I apologized to Maggie and she forgave me because that’s what friends do. I’m thankful for her and thankful for the reminder that I need to practice what I preach. I want to care for people well. I want to be kind and generous and patient and understanding and compassionate and empathetic. But I don’t get to just BE those things. I have to put effort into developing those things. It takes practice and discipline. It takes prioritizing and using my time well so that I don’t wind up empty myself. Because then, what good am I to anyone?

It also takes showing myself grace when the dude behind me in the Costco line (a very LONG line after a very LONG day) wants to talk about macadamia nuts and I just want him to be quiet so I can be grumpy in my head without interruption. Because like I said before, I can’t do it all.