Body Talk

I hold a monthly group meditation. At the beginning of each meditation, I ask the group to go within or to turn their attention to the inside and check in with their body. We might spend some time scanning or noticing different parts and how they interact with the environment. For example, I might say, “Notice the pressure of your feet on the floor.”

Always, I say, “Now say hello to your body and see if you get a response back.” Yoga

In general, we spend a lot of time in our minds, meaning we think a lot. When you check in with your body, you start to notice different, sometimes new things. Even though I have spent a lot of time, doing different techniques, to be more present with my body. I fall into this trap too.

For over a year I have had difficulty with a shoulder, which means it hurts sometimes and along with that hurt, it doesn’t move quite the way it needs to. This limitation has led to other things in my body bothering me. Now, I’m trained in injury treatment, so my mind got busy.

I did self-treatment with a ball and S-hook. I heated and iced it.  I did exploratory movement. I stretched it as much as I could. To my surprise, I started noticing how naturally I was adapting daily activities to compensate. I found myself in a frustrating wave of improvement and detriment. Overall though, it was showing some improvement in a way that was encouraging, so I kept at it.

I realized, though that I needed help. I went to other practitioners. I was pretty sure I knew what was wrong and with varying levels of success, I did get help. Things got even better but I was still frustrated because I couldn’t find someone who was able to effectively do what I knew I needed and meet the frequency that I knew I needed.

During a monthly massage with an amazing, nurturing, and skilled practitioner she asked if I wanted some work to my shoulder and I confessed that I knew I needed it, but I really came to her because her work reminded me of why I wanted to be a massage therapist. My heart was yearning for nurturing touch that spoke to my soul and told me I was okay; bum shoulder and all. But yes, please, stick your fingers in my armpit. As she did, I told her what I thought I needed and what I had done and what wasn’t working. There were tears in my eyes.

She suggested trying out a lot of different therapists to see what each would do, how they would approach the situation and as an added benefit it would give me a great referral base for clients if I needed to refer out. It’s actually a great idea for a therapist to do and it’s one I may do soon, but not while my shoulder hurts.

As I let the suggestion roll through my mind, my body started to speak. I asked it what was up, and I felt fear. I felt vulnerable.  I realized that my body didn’t want to endure a lot of different touch that it was uncertain about. It didn’t want me to gamble on this. My body needed more than anything to feel safe and nurtured. My nervous system needed support and it needed it something other than direct, ‘feel good pain’ to be whole again.

I reached out to a friend and got a referral to someone who did work like that. Someone who probably wasn’t going to stick her fingers in my armpit no matter how much I begged and wanted but someone who would hold the gentle and slow space to allow my nervous system to let go of the fear and the guarding. I made an appointment and my shoulder started to improve before I saw her as other parts of my body began to respond and thaw with some gentle, curious, exploratory movement I began to allow instead of demand. My body was starting to trust me more.

I saw this new person for the first time today and she held me softly and gently, but securely, while she moved my arm and did other things. She invited me to notice my body both with her touch and verbally. My body trusts me a bit more because I finally listened. My shoulder feels more a part of me. The whole side of my body feels integrated, elongated, and expanded.

Tonight, I was able to reach behind my back and take my bra off with both arms for the first time in months. It’s not fixed, it’s not perfect, it is so much better. I feel throughout my body some new sense of hope and connection, it’s like rebuilding a bridge between parts of myself. Another practitioner once told me that I needed to welcome back in wounded parts of myself and this was a version of that. I was supported in that welcoming, in becoming whole. I share that story a lot with my clients in hope that it will spark something in them to be kinder, more gentle, and welcoming to the disparaged parts of themselves.

My mind was wrong about what I needed. I had been turning in for so long to what my mind thought that it drowned out the sound of my body and what it truly needed.

I believe that is true for a lot of my clients as well. We live in a world that likes to solve problems and when our bodies offer up pain and dysfunction, it’s a problem, so we look for a fix, something that makes sense, something our mind says sounds logical, or right. But the truth is that can bypass the wisdom of our body and result in maintaining disconnection. It’s like putting all the blame on a child that is getting in trouble and not addressing the family dynamic that feeds into it.

Years ago, a practitioner changed my life when he said, “I think you know your body best.”

It’s taken all those years, a lot of work on my part, and some great patience and grace from a few others, for me to realize our minds don’t know, our bodies do, and most of us are listening to our minds and we must learn to attend to our bodies in a new way so that we can hear them again.

 

Making Change and Recovering

“Life is not a stable process. Our ability to recover is our greatest quality.”

~ Moshe’ Feldenkrais

I was reminded of this quote this past weekend as I made the transition to a new online booking system. Now you might wonder why I would relate a business change to physical healing but to me, relating how I do something physical to how I do something in another area of my life is common; both are processes.

When I first thought about making the booking change I was overwhelmed by options, just like many who are hurting or injured are. Where do you start? What do you need? What do you know about what you might need? Other factors also join in; what about cost, accessibility, and who else might be impacted by the decisions I make?

For me and my business, I had to consider challenges and conveniences not just for me but for my clients as well. When you are considering how you approach your own healing, you might need to consider how it could impact your family and loved ones.

But what really stood out was that moment after I had made the decision and I started taking steps along the journey. No matter what, or how, you prepare ahead of time, until you start taking action towards your desired outcome, you don’t really know what questions might arise, how the journey may shift, and how you may be shaped by the outcome. It’s a constant course of taking a step, accessing where you are, and making a decision in regards to the next step before actually taking action again.

Both situations are about making change and involve monitoring and making adjustments. There’s also an element of choice: do you continue on the same path, or take an entirely different approach? Knowing all of that ahead of time is what becomes overwhelming, so you have to take it one step, or one piece at a time until it all falls into place.

So what is health then? Health isn’t the absence of disease or discomfort. It’s the measure of how quickly you can recover when disease or discomfort hits. In the process of changing my business system I discovered it didn’t function quite the same way I thought it would, so I’ve had to find work arounds and I will have to change my habits in how I use my booking system. My path wasn’t a straight line, I hit road bumps and I had to recover. As I get to know the system better, those recovery times will be shorter and shorter.

It’s the same with the healing process or any behavior change. It’s very seldom a straight line. You get better and you can have relapses as you make your way. So measuring your process by your desired end result isn’t always the best when you consider that there can be relapse. Not everyone who seeks help with a physical symptom is aware of how involved they need to be in the process along the way, how many decisions there may be or how many habits that may need to shift or change.

Another way to measure progress then is by noticing how quickly you recover when you encounter a bump. For example if you have a dysfunction and your goal is to be without that dysfunction, you would do best to notice the increased gain in function over time. Then when you hit a bump, you can notice if it takes less time to recover and then you can measure how you are moving towards your desired outcome from a different perspective.

Today I had to reach out for advice and information from other practitioners that use the same system as well as reaching out to technical support. By the end of the evening, even though there were bumps along the way that I’ve had to adjust for, clients are now booking in the new, healthy, system and I continue to move forward. There will be further steps that I will need to take as I make further shifts in how I use the system to support my practice. I don’t have to do it all at once. It can be the same for you; slowly adding in functional activities you may have ceased when you started hurting.

So, where are you in your process? Is there something in your life; either with your physical body or perhaps in your habits that could use a little support while you explore the path to recovery?

If so, I may be able to help. Or perhaps you’re just curious about that new system I’m writing about. You can take a look at the system and book online by clicking on the Book Now button over on the right upper part of the page.

What Does Psychic Mean?

One of the questions I have been asked recently is what does Psychic mean? 
It’s a fair question. I spent last year in deep study in a mentorship course called the Psychic Mastery Program and that certificate in my office sure gets a lot of attention.

When you see the word psychic, what do you think? Do you conjure up images of a veiled woman peering into a crystal ball and mysteriously telling you the initials of the person you are supposed to marry? Well, maybe. But that isn’t me.

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Psychic actually means ‘of the soul.’ We each have the ability to know and communicate with our own soul. We access information from our souls through our intuition. Someone who is psychic simply has a good relationship with his or her own intuitive ability.

The thing about intuition though is you may or may not know how you get your intuitive information. You may see pictures or colors in your head, hear words or sounds, smell things that others don’t, or you might be able to get a sense of what someone else is feeling, or what a room ‘feels’ like. You may just even know something. Ever had that experience? You don’t know how you know, you just do? Maybe you think of someone right before they call, or before you run into them at the grocery store?

The best way to get to know your own style and to enhance your intuitive, or psychic, abilities is to learn to meditate using a format that allows space for you to get information. And you need to start paying attention to how it comes and even how you speak about it because the words you use to describe your intuition can tell you a lot.

If you are interested in learning how, or want to know more about:

  • Your own intuitive style
  • Your energetic anatomy
  • Grounding, earth and cosmic energies and how to use them
  • Consciously connecting to your energy to improve your ability with establishing and maintaining boundaries with others

You might want to check out my class on Meditation with Visualization.

We meet for four weeks for an hour each Wednesday evening at 6:00 to learn and practice. Plus, you receive a booklet outlining all we learn, examples of meditations, and it gives you an easy plan to establish your own meditation practice. Check out my Classes and Workshops page to see when the next one is scheduled.

New Services

It’s just a few days into the beginning of 2016 and I am excited to be sharing my new website and the new services that I am offering! My website is always a bit of a work in progress and I will be adding pictures this next month and fleshing out some of the information, so check back often if you are curious to see changes.

In addition to my massage sessions, you can now book Movement/Feldenkrais sessions online, and after spending the last year in a mentoring program, I am bringing energy work and intuitive consultations to my clients as well. To book online follow the Book Now button on the right side of the page or go to www.southshore-massage.com.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be doing more writing, so I am planning to have some articles and blog posts coming out this year about many different things I have studied and practiced over the years so I am planning that this space will be a dynamic one to reflect all that I am gathering, learning, and putting into practice.

Another thing I am dedicated to this year is to be teaching again. I’m starting out by offering a meditation class where I will be sharing some of the techniques I use to keep my energetic boundaries strong. If you are interested, you can sign up online (through my site here) or give me a call. Space is limited, so class size will be small. It starts on the 20th and runs for four weeks. Each class is an hour. I’m having a lot of fun getting it all planned and prepped!

I have an amazing year planned, I hope you do too!