Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Gift of Massage

It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been working as a massage therapist for five years now.

My fascination with the body lies in its unique context as the vessel of the spirit. As an energy healer as well as a massage therapist, I am ever mindful that when I touch someone, I’m accessing not just the physical body, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects as well. I’m directly touching the soul of another.

By now I’ve touched literally hundreds of bodies, and therefore, hundreds of souls. What an amazing and humbling experience. I’ve learned to respect the fact that our bodies represent a magnificent intelligence ever at our disposal if we would just learn to listen and interpret. They communicate – unerringly - through sensations and symptoms. Although we may feel betrayed by our bodies, they are in truth our best friends. They never, ever lie and they never give up on us. I remember my deep tissue teacher in massage school telling us that our “issues are in the tissues” and to be prepared for the possibility of deeply held emotions and patterns to come up. I later learned that the soft tissue of the body, not the brain, is where emotional memories are stored. Enough clients have had vivid memories or emotional releases on my table to make me respect this fundamental truth.

There are many great things about massage, but what I love the most is the opportunity it affords for us to feel nurtured and soothed, literally touched by another. So much is conveyed through touch – love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance. Massage is a unique opportunity to get out of our heads and into our bodies, to become aware of where we’re holding tension or dis-ease or emotional blocks, and to begin to ask what that’s about from a bigger perspective. And, if we’re really lucky, massage is an opportunity to relax to a point of transcendence, when healing at the very deepest levels can occur. What a delicious way to get there!

As much as I love practicing massage, and recognize its significance to my personal journey, I know that - for me - it’s a bridge to deeper knowing and not a destination in itself. I may or may not continue to practice this beautiful healing art, but I will always be a fond and grateful recipient of its many pleasures and soul-satisfying benefits.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Preview of Things to Come

Now that I have finally begun this blog, I wake up in the middle of every night flooded with ideas for posts of all kinds. The overwhelming feeling I get at these moments is, “I have so much to share!” I compose madly in my head, to the constant background message that I need to figure out a way to capture all these fabulous thoughts and entries.

So today’s post is a brief preview of some of the most prevalent themes that cross my mind.

As I ponder each night, it strikes me that there are three major areas of endeavor in my life, three intersecting pools of experience and knowledge that converge here. By way of context, then, these circles include: 1) my journey with relationship, which has brought me intense lessons especially as a wife and mother, but also as sister and daughter; 2) my journey with career, with lessons about following my heart, creative fulfillment, and the meaning of abundance; and 3) my journey with soul or higher self, an ever-present spiritual seeking which has intensified and accelerated in the past few years.

From each of these areas of my life I have read and learned and absorbed so much. It is my way to delve deep into whatever issue or challenge shows up in my life, to look for what resonates as truth, and to find common themes and practical guidance. I am fascinated with so many areas of inquiry, and, as one of my many teachers pointed out, have a very broad “band width.”

So here's a quick sampling of what to expect:

Circle #1: parenting challenging children, coping with mental illness (a child’s anxiety, emotional dysregulation, and executive function deficits and my own tendency toward depression), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), equine experiential learning, relationship and communication skills

Circle #2 : the body as intelligence, hands-on healing, energy medicine and energy psychology, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other body-mind techniques, life and wellness coaching, living vibrantly, changing patterns, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and other conscious languaging - what my friends and I call “Word World."

Circle # 3: spiritual awakening, channeled guidance, raising one’s vibration and the vibration of the planet as a whole, ascension of the species, the teachings of Abraham, sacred contracts, animal communication. I envision a “Showcase of Healers” - short audio or video posts interviewing local practitioners who offer amazing services you may not even know are available or possible!

As I said, these circles overlap and weave together, but that's the general territory. I'm excited to get writing, and welcome any comments or feedback on what's of most interest.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

"You appear to be thriving!"

I was so tickled when my aunt, in her uniquely candid but loving way, made that observation of me last October. After years of being relatively out of touch, we had gotten close through phone conversations during the preceding months as she courageously journeyed through surgery, radiation, and chemo for lung cancer. As I have gotten to know my aunt at this point in life, from a very new vantage point, I have learned so much from her about living independently, about being short on expectations but long on gratitude, about having faith and facing fears, and maybe most of all, about knowing and honoring oneself. I have come to truly treasure her presence in my life.

Above all, I love Aunt Karen's keen observations of the world around her and her candor in calling 'em as she sees 'em. So when she told me I ‘appear to be thriving,’ I had to laugh. I felt joyful - victorious, even. I chuckled because I knew that, in general, my family worries about my lack of outward “success.” They know the last five years have been a turbulent and challenging time for me, with life as I knew it unraveling completely. They’ve been concerned at my commitment to follow my heart and stick to my spiritual guns, despite the financial wolves constantly nipping at my heels. In short, they shake their heads and wish I’d come to my senses.

What they perhaps don’t realize is that coming face to face with my deepest, darkest fears also precipitated intense and accelerated spiritual awakening. That while paradoxically things look bleak on the outside, my “work” and solace is always within. And while it may appear that I’m not “doing” anything, I am setting in motion a whole new life for myself – changing my future moment by moment by vigilantly monitoring my thoughts and vibration, by choosing to make conscious contact with Something More my daily practice and highest priority. By coming into alignment with the eternal All that I Am, at least more of the time and certainly more intentionally.

Which is what, I believe, Aunt Karen was responding to. That intangible sparkle of vibratory alignment with one’s purest essence. The calm center of a humble but joyful spirit. The deep peace of an awakened heart.

Of course, whether I'm acutally thriving is anybody's guess - I'm a work in progress like all of us. But I like to think I'm thriving more of the time than not, and that the snowball is rolling in the right direction. And I love Aunt Karen for planting that vision so firmly in my mind’s eye!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thanks, Coach!

It seems like almost everybody these days has a wellness goal of some kind, whether it be to lose weight, exercise more, reduce stress or manage chronic mental or physical conditions. Many people are wearying of doctors and diagnoses and seeking more empowering alternatives. Complementary and holistic options are very much in demand and more and more mainstream. We are in the midst of a wellness revolution.

We've all read a thousand articles on better nutrition, new diets, the importance of exercise, how to manage stress, how to change our thoughts, etc., etc. And yet, though we all know better, and want better, most of us seem to stay stuck. Or we try and try again, yet can't manage to sustain success.

So what makes the difference between knowing and doing? between trying and succeeding?

The answer might increasingly be the support of a life coach or wellness coach.
Personal coaching is a profession whose time has come, and coaching may be the wisest investment one can make in the long-term. Why? Because coaches bring a unique expertise in facilitating change. Coaches don't advise or consult. Rather, they offer perspective, insight, and accountability. In steadfastly empowering clients to answer their own questions and honor commitments to themselves, coaches help people navigate the difficult terrain of lasting change - resisting the pull of the old and overcoming the fear of the new. Their currency is "aha moments," future vision and forward motion. It's a powerful and energizing combination.

No wonder I love this work!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Why Vibrance?

Welcome 2008!

I've decided to write about Vibrance because I've realized that to live vibrantly is truly my passion. Vibrance seems to be at the intersection of all things near and dear to me, of all the areas of endeavor and struggle and study in my life. It seems to be my central theme.

I view Vibrance as not just health, not just wellness, but extreme well-being. Wellness and beyond. Wellness on every level. Vibrance definitely encompasses a significant spiritual component, in addition to physical, mental, and emotional aspects. Vibrance is Joy embodied. Vibrance is where it's at!!

My intention in creating this blog is to pass along to anyone interested the pearls I gather as I soak up all things related to wellness. I am drawn endlessly to books, articles, magazines, websites, blogs, etc. etc., that offer more and better wellness wisdom, and my particular gift is in crystalizing and applying the nuggets therein. This blog is my attempt to share those nuggets with the world!

So for now, I welcome the new year which I know will be one of profound and amazing transformation. More on that in future posts!