Healing with Touch

If you had asked me in June of 2013 what I thought being a massage therapist meant I probably would have responded with something to do with helping people with stress and relaxation. Although this is true it barely scratches the surface of what was about to take place over the next six months.
In the beginning I was having a hard time understanding why I had this calling, I really didn’t like being touched or touching others. So what the hell was wrong with me? Touching is pretty much what I did for the next four months. If I was not massaging someone then I was being massaged. Give and take of touch was going on daily.
I was breaking down walls I had built and kept in place for thirty plus years. I was enjoying people and it seemed that they were actually enjoying me. I always feel inadequate and I’m not sure how to change that. Knowing where it comes from doesn’t always free or heal you of the trauma. At forty something years old it is a lot like teaching an old dog new tricks, some they pick up and sometimes they fall back into old behavior.
Self criticism is my all time worst habit and I find it very difficult to stop doing. I catch myself in mid lashing and back up but like any mean words, whether in your head or out of your mouth once they are there you can’t take them back. I have one weapon of mass destruction in my arsenal and it is something that requires practice.

Love, I try to practice love outside my comfort zone daily. Compassion and understanding are hard to find in this world that we have created. I personally have been called a pit bull, have borderline road rage and had my personality compared to a Bengal tiger, so trust me when I say this is definitely outside my comfort zone.

Generally I am not a people person. I don’t reach out to people unless it’s to comfort someone that may be sitting alone feeling left out. I tend to gravitate towards people that will be more accepting of me than taking on people that are already closed off to me for whatever reason. I don’t have time in my life to convince anyone they should like me. This hasn’t always been my view and because of that I can assure you that it is from experience that I have chosen to not allow other peoples opinion of me to be any of my business. I do not gauge my success based on how many friends I have, but that is about to change.

Today is the first paid day of my new career path. As I sit here waiting to go to work I find myself rather nervous. I have a need to please attitude and failing is not an option. At least that is how  I use to think. Now I’m being told to have boundaries and I can’t please everyone. I can’t even wrap my head around it…I feel like I am jumping into a lake and I don’t know how to swim.

Thankfully that is how I learned to swim, my dad pushed me in. I didn’t realize I was in the middle of the pool until I really tried to touch the bottom. Today I jumped in, feet first and landed gracefully on my toes. Somewhat of a clinic flashback, today was twice as long but virtually the same experience. The difference is the clients do not give you feedback like clients at a student clinic. I’m sure they give the receptionist feedback if they think it’s bad though.

Now I have experienced both working at a place and doing an out call at someones house. I definitely prefer going to someones house, not only is it a better atmosphere but “I” get paid for my services. So my goal is to build a clientele base of out calls until I can rent my own office…in the mean time save, save, save!!!

I enjoy massage so much that I don’t really care where I do it just that I do it. The money is a side note but as long as I can pay my bills I will be happy helping others. Finally I feel like I have found my calling, my skill, my passion. I just want to take this seed and plant it in the ground and watch it grow and flower. I feel a burst of excitement when I think about massaging each day, bringing a certain kind of joy, relaxation and love to people. Now that, I would say is healing with touch. Myself, if not the world.

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Embracing Positivity

A couple of days ago I attended a networking event through work about Social Media. Since I spend hours on Facebook and other social media sites I figured there wasn’t much for me to learn and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only was the presentation informative and had some interesting ideas but the speaker was funny and full of energy and smiles.

My learning experience although kind of about social media turned out to me more about me. When I arrived the first thing I noticed, I didn’t know anyone in the building and that made me feel awkward right off the bat. We can get right down to the point here, I am afraid of people. I am afraid of judgment and rejection, a trauma from childhood left me with scars I can’t seem to shake and it doesn’t help that there are a lot of mean people in this world to enforce this fear.

So by the end of the night I had spoken to no one, I didn’t win any raffle prizes and even the one interaction with the speaker I could have had was squelched due to lack of business cards. Who knew I would need business cards? Of course I have always avoided having them because if you have them you hand them out and then someone might contact you. That was a scary thought so I have always avoided having them. But this isn’t about cards, no this was going much deeper.

Driving home I realized not one person approached me or spoke to me either so there must have been something I did to repel all those people so well. It got me thinking about my body language and appearance. I don’t make eye contact with people which I think in itself is an invitation to chat and I kind of wandered with purpose so maybe they didn’t want to interrupt my intense deep thought. Whatever it was I didn’t like it one bit and in the end I didn’t like myself much either.

Over the next few days I had plenty of time to reflect being home on vacation and a couple of things came to light. I always wanted to be a massage therapist and recently I had made the decision to go after my dream but when the day came I made excuses to get out of enrolling and moving forward. In being honest with myself I realized I was making excuses and really I am afraid of people.

Once I realized I had been self sabotaging myself the changes could start. But where do I start and why. I started to think about massage school and how excited I was about it in the beginning and how the closer the date loomed the more excuses I had for not doing it this time around. That has gone on for two years now and I have changed what I thought my dream was several times to accommodate my fears instead of facing them head on.

Everyone is different in their belief system and how they choose to pray and accept guidance. I like to put out my intentions and see what the universe says about my plan and yes, I do get answers. I have an open mind and therefore I see the signs that are laid out for me in black and white unlike a lot of closed off people. I believe we are all given guidance but opening our heart and soul is the key…your eye sight is limited and often clouded.

Since changing my diet and eating clean my thinking has become more clear and with that my emotions seem more balanced. I want to learn more about myself and what I am capable of and so I am setting of on an adventure of self exploration and discovery. I know what I want to be and it’s okay to change, in fact it’s a beautiful thing. To open my heart and accept people fully for who they are and find the compassion to help and heal them. Or at the very least make them feel better, more relaxed and happy.

I have signed up for massage school which is the first step toward a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner certification and I am excited. Scared to death but excited!! I am going to be putting myself out there to be judged and criticized daily in my learning and it will be a good thing because it will help me grow and be a better masseuse. I feel the positive energy all around me, guiding me and showing me the way. I love when things just fall into place.

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Taking Control (Part 3)

Cooked food sucks!! Well that was harsh but I feel that it needed to be said. I have had cooked vegan food from our local “Comfort Food” vegan restaurant and I was not pleased with my body’s reaction. Too much oil and what is it with fake versions of meat and cheese. I do not drink alcohol but you don’t see me drinking a non-alcoholic beer. I think by substituting a fake version of something you are not really breaking the habit. You are simply manipulating your brain to think you’re eating the real deal, in essence continuing the cravings for the said food or beverage. It’s fine to do this if you are trying to transition but I think cold turkey is the only way to do anything big. The more you screw around thinking about it the less likely you are to stick with it.

I watched a documentary last night called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Great movie and everyone should watch it. The sad part about the movie is when he talks to average people in restaurants and on the street and most of them know they need to make a change but have resigned themselves to die. They think being healthy is too hard, expensive or they are only here for a short time and so they are going to eat what they want and enjoy it. This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard and reminds me of my mother and her need for cigarettes.

I have been going through some interesting feelings during my detox including tears. Learning to recognize detox brain is part of the journey. As my body breaks down fat an releases toxins my body will actually crave what made up that fat. Even though I have no desire to eat it. It’s been a long time since I gorged on hamburgers and fries as a daily staple yet that is exactly the gross greasy food I think about and then of course you have people consuming this crap all around you. Between the smells and visually tantalizing acts of others munching these things down is the hardest part and again recognizing it is the first step. It’s not as easy for something to bother you if you know it’s trying…or is that just my stubborn nature?

Ultimately I am learning so much about myself and my body and how it all works I am beyond elated. I feel great, my emotional well being although some what of a roller coaster is definitely in the positive, even when I’m crying. I feel like yesterday was a turning point for me, a decision day that made me a true raw vegan. I could have given up but I didn’t and now I feel stronger and more clear on my purpose. Bumps in the road are only there to make you slow down and think. Perhaps a good juice feast is next, get some real detox going. Oh yeah baby!!!

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Taking Control (Part 2)

Thirteen pounds down baby!!! Yes, I have lost 13 pounds of fat! I feel amazing and just want to scream it from the mountains. I can see why they say this is a life style versus a diet. This way of eating changes your life not just your waist line.

In the last three weeks I have watched so many video’s on nutrition and read multiple books on the subject and one thing I can confirm is there are a lot of opinions out there on what is the best and worst way to lose weight and get healthy. Even the raw foodies can’t agree with each other. Oh don’t get me wrong I know it is because everyone adds their opinion into fact and thus changing the facts, I don’t expect much anymore. But the videos done by DOCTORS of nutrition are amazing and eye opening.

When I started this I did it for health and well being. I love animals and no I do not agree with the way they are treated for the BIG chain grocery stores to stock their flesh daily. However as an open minded person that thinks all people should be able to think and do what they want without judgment I do not bad mouth meat eaters. I actually cook and feed meat to my family which they enjoy. As I mentioned before I didn’t go vegan because I had a problem eating meat…no I had a problem digesting meat and dairy for that matter. That is what made me start this journey and the self discovery, well I never expected it.

Yesterday I experienced something I have never done in my entire forty years on this planet. I ran 3.2 miles and there wasn’t even a cop behind me! I know I was shocked too!! It felt great!! Yes there was some walking in there too but it was by far the most consecutive running I have ever done and I was proud of myself. I can’t say for sure if it was made possible by the food I’m eating, the loss of thirteen pounds or the immense amount of energy I have now but I did it.

I do have a side note about this way of eating that I have noticed along the way. It’s an all or nothing attitude when it comes to people that eat meat and those that don’t and it feels all to much like religion or politics. There is not a box that any one person fits into. Nothing pisses me off more than someone judging me and then putting me in a box with some group. Every body is different and has it’s own unique needs and each person chooses on their own how to meet those needs. This is not something to be voted on or categorized. Where I agree on one subject with someone I might disagree on another. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. We are all special unique beings…just be.

Life is not a competition to be won, a goal or a task…it is an experience meant to be lived right now. Embrace it, dive in head first without fear and love every second of it. Breathe deeply, love unconditionally and most of all be kind. 🙂

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Taking Control

Have you ever wanted to be healthier? Of course you have, everybody wants to be healthy but to what lengths would you go to achieve such a goal? I am not a person that does anything half way and my wheels are always turning to achieve that goal. Now don’t get me wrong, I have started and stopped many hobbies and endeavors but usually because I got bored. I have a talent of learning and doing well anything I set my mind to but in the end you can only be really good at one thing and I’m just not sure what that thing is yet.

About four years ago I quit drinking and with it went smoking cigarettes. I had gained a substantial amount of weight from all the alcohol and eating fattening tasty foods way to often. The next year I watched what I ate and exercised until my hip started giving me problems and I had to stop. I had seen many friends complain of aches and pains and end up in surgery and I didn’t want that outcome so I went to my favorite chiropractor for some advice.

For a year I have gone through an awakening of my body and with it I have evolved and continue to evolve. Part of the evolution has been nutrition and the human body. One thing I have learned is there are many opinions but they are all different and you kind of have to listen to your own body to see where you fit.

When I started the most recent change it had to be subtle and planned so I wouldn’t get discouraged and quit. I had been eating pretty good for a couple of years and my body had gotten in a rut. I started eating poorly from time to time which only brought on more cravings and before I could even register what I had eaten I gained the last five pounds. That was just enough to make me notice the jiggle more and fat around the midsection. I suffered from indigestion, bloating, embarrassing gas and I just didn’t feel good overall. I had had enough, I was ready for change.

I started with a Paleo type diet the first week and that was okay but didn’t really bring on any detoxing. I wanted more I wanted something that would make me feel change happening. The next week I cut out all meat and beans since I was still experiencing gas issues. The next week I jumped straight in and went completely raw vegan however I found out half way through the week that the hummus I ate was in fact cooked. I also ate popcorn that week and it didn’t agree with me. So it’s been a week and a half now since I have gone completely raw vegan and I have finally found my awakening.

When you do something this extreme your body can’t help but notice it. I have only had one bad detox day and I’m sure that was from the caffeine kick. I’ve noticed my senses are sharper and my mood is elevated. Even when I’m tired from a long day I don’t feel worn out and beaten down like I use to after a meal. I’ve learned so much in the last three weeks about digestion and food combining that I have finally eased the gas issue and the other stomach problems are gone.

When I decided to go this far I knew it was a decision that would impact the rest of my life. I love this way of eating, it’s simple and easy. Cooked foods don’t hold the same allure and junk food looks like junk food. I can’t wait to get creative and make some of the raw recipes I have seen on the internet. Although I still have some cravings I know they last 10-15 minutes so I will grab a piece of fruit or green juice and it passes. It always passes.

change

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Best Friends…Forever is a long time.

I never really put much weight into my friendships with people. I moved around a lot so my friend pool changed often. I had a couple of pools but only one pool produced any people that I can sit down and talk about old times with. Not all our old times are so memorable but there were some good ones in between that stand out.

Growing up in a small town made it difficult to find and keep friends. My best friends were girls that moved to town not rooted  there like most. Really by that age it’s difficult to create those BFF bonds and sooner or later they get lost in the haze. Not having a large group of friends never bothered me and being a “loner” was okay too. I had learned to live in my own world and I was quite comfortable there, until I got jumped.

That chain of events planted a seed deep within my heart. Each day’s torment fed and nourished it’s growth until it was so well embedded it penetrated my very soul. When I crawled out of that ditch everything moving in slow motion, my ears throbbing from the blows to the head, through the blur of tears all I could see were my “friends”. Perhaps acquaintances is a better term, familiar faces, some very familiar. My life passed before my eyes, history with all of these people, even the people trying to hurt me. We were friends and grew up together, where did all of this anger and hatred come from?

No matter, time will heal or make you forget, for the time being at least. When I emerged from the hospital new attempts were made to be someone else and again, I was failed. The darkness grew deeper with new layers of armor to dull the pain of abnormal. Why couldn’t I just fit in?

So here I am 25 to 30 years later watching my fifteen year old struggle with relationships. Very similar issues to what I faced in my day. Kids today are meaner though, this I have witnessed first hand. On top of their meanness they have no fear of parental figures or any adult for that matter. The same kids that declared themselves my kids best friends would the very next day be the bullies. I didn’t know what to expect from day to day, week to week.

Now with the internet and cyber bullying there is no protection against it. They hunt these poor kids down likes wolves searching for that lost lamb in the woods. Once they have them cornered they make them bend to their will and then dump them again the next day. It was emotionally exhausting for me, I couldn’t imagine what my kid was going through. Facebook has only added to the problem by being the means to advertise ones business and cause drama.

Again I see BFF’s one day turning seriously nasty the next. Where is our morale foundation to community, friendship, brotherhood? Outside of religion why can’t we all just get along? Accept each other for our differences and come together as real friends that would fight for each other, trust each other, and make sacrifices for one another.

My kids whole life all I ever wanted to give her was a stable home in a place she could grow roots and make life long friends. I know I have failed her since I can count at least twelve moves so far. In failing her did I not teach her a lesson of how to make and keep a best friend. I don’t think so because when it comes to BFF’s I have the best, and through all of my ups, downs and full on earthquakes she has always been there…even if it was from a distance.

So is it possible to make a true friend in this day of easy come easy go? For my kids sake I hope so every day. Can we reach out with our hearts and know that what we pull back is real and not without negative consequences. Finding friends, keeping them and nurturing relationships to their highest potential…well that is the journey.  When I’m old and gray I pray that I will be able to look around and find myself surrounded by familiar smiling faces, my best friends.

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Treasure Hunt

It’s a treasure hunt, searching for that hidden chest of gold someplace inside yourself. Approaching the big 40 and every day that you get a little closer to that milestone you find that you need more. After tip toeing around a couple of new career ideas you realized it isn’t always a new job that you crave but a new lease on life, a passion that gives you something to salivate over. Since you’re thinking inside the box a new career to replace the old was all you could think of changing, until…

Waking up one morning it all seemed clear. It always does when presented with a Pandora’s Box. What you unleash could make or break you depending on where you are in your life. Being on shaky ground and needing help…physically, mentally and emotionally, basically a beaten woman. Spending many years tearing your body up with drugs and alcohol, it was time to pay the piper. 

It has taken a year of discovery, pain and soul searching to get to this place in your life and to finally say you’re happy and comfortable in your skin is to blaze a trail, you do something good for yourself and you forgive a little more every day. Finding peace drove you and made you think it was the goal when in reality the goal is much bigger and better…peace is just the foundation of the path you have chosen to walk. 

The treasure is inside and the chest has been found. Pandora’s box sits silently waiting for the day you have the time to pick the lock. The key had been lost many moons ago, the contents unknown. However the loss, it calls, it begs and cries to be opened to be heard. The desire builds but brings with it fear of the unknown. 

Will you step outside your comfort zone and open Pandora’s box?

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