That's the question author, licensed massage therapist and certified integral yoga instructor Stacey Joiner poses to her readers in her wonderfully serendipitous and eminently practical book, You Deserve The Royal Treatment.
New York native Joiner, formerly a successful corporate powerhouse, traded in her conservative suits and high-heeled pumps in the mid-90s to launch a massage therapy practice after reluctantly treating herself to one while on a business trip, at the urging of a good friend.
Notes Joiner, "I felt so good after the massage, as if I was walking on a cloud. The massage therapist told me that's how we're meant to feel. It was such a novel concept, having become accustomed to carrying stress in my body. At the time I was working as an Account Executive in the Manhattan garment industry -- a frantic, fast-paced and demanding job. Like most women, I used to think it was normal to feel tense and sore all the time."
And though that breakthrough inspired her to take a leap of faith to begin an entirely new career, not everyone shared her enthusiasm.
"I remember my mother saying, 'A massage therapist? You mean you're going to touch strange people -- strange men'?" Joiner lets out a melodious laugh as she recalls the memory.
But she determinedly pursued her passion, eventually building a successful practice and becoming a certified integral yoga instructor in Manhattan. And as fate would have it, expanding her repertoire to include the ancient art also led her to make the acquaintance of Edwin Joiner, the soft-spoken Southern Gentleman who would later become her husband. The two met on a yoga retreat in Mexico and have been happily married for several years.
Then, another life-altering experience led to a dramatic change. Stacey had been conducting her weekly business networking breakfast for professionals when the first plane slammed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Simultaneously jarred by the horrendous event and awed by the outpouring of love and support she'd received in its aftermath, she decided it was finally time to realize her dream of living in South Florida, where she could "walk around barefoot all year long."
Stacey and Edwin settled into beautiful Boca Raton, where they continued teaching yoga, and in Stacey's case, re-building her massage practice (though Edwin recently received his massage therapy license in FL).
In 2007, Joiner set to work on her book, You Deserve The Royal Treatment (employing the editing services of yours truly), to inspire, empower and educate women on the importance of self-love and nurturing. Designed for today's harried lifestyle, each chapter ends with a section entitled Your Royal Duties, practical suggestions for better living, including breathing exercises, simple yoga stretches and journaling.
Along the way, Joiner shares touching, anecdotal stories about her real-life journey to treating herself royally. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll learn and you'll go back again and again, moved by her refreshing honesty and genuine desire to help others.
Ever the savvy businesswoman, Stacey Joiner created a complementary line of products as part of the Royal Treatment brand, including aromatherapy candles and massage oils -- all specially formulated with high-quality, natural ingredients. Find them all at her site, where you can also sign up for a complimentary guided meditation.
"It's my life's purpose to help other women learn to honor their own needs, instead of always putting everyone else at the top of their list. After all, when you take the time to love and nurture yourself, you have so much more to give to others in your life".
For more information, contact Stacey here. Don't you deserve the royal treatment?