Dana Delany found life lessons in an unlikely place, says Rachel Bertsche in O magazine. Twelve years ago, to celebrate her 40th birthday, the actress went with some friends to a spa. At one point, she got into a steam cabinet. “It was a large, coffin-like box that encloses your whole body except your head,” Delany recalls. “I’d had this treatment before with no trouble.” This time, though, after the attendant left her, she began to feel claustrophobic. “My heart was pounding. The panic was rising. I felt trapped.” Too embarrassed to call for help, Delany felt around for a latch. But there was none. “That made it worse. I was locked in and freaking out.” After five minutes, when the attendant returned, Delany meekly asked to be released. The attendant obliged. “She simply opened the door. There had been no latch; I could have gotten out at any time. All I had to do was push the door.” She hasn’t forgotten the lesson of that little bit of symbolism. “What a perfect 40th birthday present. We all do this—create situations in our minds that aren’t real. We think we’re trapped when, really, there’s always a way out. To this day, whenever I feel trapped in any kind of situation, I remember that steam cabinet. I remember I have options.”
Delany’s moment of insight
September 26, 2008
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