Stories…

I just watched “ The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” movie, and I got to thinking;  I hold a cauldron of secrets inside me. 

People talk during their sessions with me, unraveling their own stories of their lives.  The subjects, verbal contemplations and musings weave through the room as they upload to their minds the information that their bodies have been holding from all their life transactions, making a deposit in their “Now” files.

On my table appear major stories in the books of people’s lives… that often reflect deeper transitions in my own life.

We all deserve compassion and to be heard, for the story to unravel as we tell it, hearing it for ourselves.  Forgiving ourselves for being wrong, fighting the wrong fight for the wrong or right reasons, for not having courage to go against the insurmountable tide and giving up the fight, for being too tired or scared to go on… there are so many variations.

But I see transformation when someone finally lets go of his or her story and comes to a personal consensus.  –  “The story is tired of being told.  It isn’t how we want to see ourselves anymore.  It is boring and old.  We are done.  It is no longer in our 30-second introduction speech of who we are.  We are over it.  We are moving on.”

They then step over the final threshold of fear and into the great beyond. 

The now is ready to be open to new possibilities, the change.

But what are the new options to follow?  After so much struggling, I find myself currently waiting with “one eye open” to those enticing possibilities.  I’m sure when I, or you find “IT”, you and I will know.  : – )

For now I am enjoying the space and richness of my unclaimed time and space.

Healers…

(This was written during my silent year from blogging)…

I have seen some amazing things over my short career in the energy medicine field.  

I have seen many alternative health people call themselves “Healers”, but I have never been comfortable with this or using it myself.  It sounds like I have a magic wand and can hold magical powers over someone with psychic abilities. 

It does give me joy when I can help people feel better, but I have no magic pill for curing all.  I have just tuned in and cultured my intuitive abilities.  I believe that we all have them, but not everyone chooses to focus on them or develop them.  I believe we have lots of intuitive abilities as children and un-learn them as we learn to conform to our society.

There is a very bright full moon out there in the still night sky.  It gives me spiritual pause and I think about where I have been on my healing spiritual path and of what many shiny pearls of wisdom I have picked up on my journey.  There have been many paradigm shifts along the way.

One is that healing might not always be a miraculous regaining of health, but may actually be the wisdom and courage tell the truth and to settle issues peacefully before death. 

Another one I recently discovered at a continuing education class on Cranial-Sacral methods.  The instructor mentioned that his renowned instructor had requested they work together as catalysts to shift each other’s issues. 

It got me thinking.  So many people think of healers like a medical doctor, that healers have some special abilities and powers that they can make you well or “save” you, not that that hasn’t happened.

But the idea shift is that maybe it is the “healers” who have more issues with health, relationships, money, etc., than most and need this interaction with clients to clean up their “junk pile” of life issues.  (That could be why Reiki circles have flourished.)

I have found that to have my clients make progress requires me to do a lot of my therapy work.  To “walk my talk.”  When I put off sessions for myself, I stop seeing my clients’ results for relief from pain, tension or the ability to see through their emotional issues, decline.  I have had a habit of forgetting to do my work until both my clients and I need help! 

Here’s my goal:  Stay ahead of the game! 

– Time to do my own self-care, preventatively!

YUM!!!

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Yum!  That was delicious!  : – D

I have been enjoying a healthy version on pistachio pudding!

Here’s how I figured this out:

A couple months back my husband started using Visalus protein powder supplement that is delivered to your door.  The plan was much like the old Slim-Fast routine:  a shake in the morning, a shake at lunch and reasonable supper of your own choice.  At Christmas, we received a one serve blender set, so, we were off and running!

He also found a smoothie recipe around that time that was supposed to help with sleeping that used soymilk, a banana, frozen tart cherries and peach slices and a touch of vanilla.  ( We have found that if you use enough frozen stuff it will be thick and can supplement that ice cream craving that can be hard to crack.)

I have gotten used to grabbing lots of bananas going through the grocery store to make sure he had his smoothie supplies every morning.

Well, last week, I happened upon a batch of perfectly ripe avocados on sale, and thought voila’!  From my past knowledge of raw foods, I realized I could substitute the avocado for the banana for creaminess!

…Now I haven’t got him to try it yet… probably the green color, but then again, I am usually the more adventurous one in trying foodstuffs, but I’ve sure been enjoying it.  : – ) I am more of an experimental cook… Much to my family’s chagrin.  LOL

I experimented first with using the avocado instead of the banana in our recipe.  It was definitely a smoother texture.  Then I realized I was some cocoa powder and a little more vanilla away from chocolate pudding!!!  (Raw, The Uncook Book, by Juliano Brotman)

So I tried it.  Yep, pretty good!  It took at least a whole mounded teaspoon to cover up the avocado taste, but with PMS and stress – chocolate was good!  … I’m not normally a chocolate person, but I think I am over my need for my chocolate, caffeine rush, for now. 

– Then I realized I had some left over coconut flakes in the freezer from holiday baking, and some raw almonds we hadn’t gotten around to eating, ought to elevate the nutrition quotient!  Subtract the cocoa and add the above ingredients and Blender Pistachio Pudding!!!  YUM!!

I suggest you play with the different amounts of ingredients.  I’ve been using almond/coconut milk instead of soy.  Working on balancing the hormones…

Try it. I’ll bet you’ll like it… and get your “veggies” too! 

“Surviving Weightlessness”

 

This is how I feel right now. 

This concept I picked from up the book “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle. 

It very aptly describes the emotional vertigo and, therefore, anxiety that many of us face in transitional phases of our lives when we give up control and leap into the unknown. 

Choosing to move from a situation that wasn’t working and now moving on because, instead of staying and trying to unsuccessfully “make it work” (which I have an extensive history of), I am moving on without knowing exactly where I am going. 

This time, I am listening to my intuition… as scary and crazy as it seems, I opted for change having no vision of what to do, but knowing I’m on my right path.  It is freeing and feels “ weightless”.  I don’t know what my bearings are.  I just know “that” wasn’t “it”.

Growing up, I came from a home where the dichotomy between extreme scientific evaluation and intuitive hunches were valued and followed.  This leaves me with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde approach to figuring things out when faced with new personal territory, which I think many people can relate to. 

(It’s the whole “Should I? /Shouldn’t I?” that shows up in life ever so often.)

I find this true in people’s bodies. 

The healthy person responds to stress (change) with adaptability, being able to do things in a different way than has been normal.  The body always follows the emotions, but mentally, the mind choses to be rigid (or “ being right”) in its approach. 

We massage therapists call this “not being in one’s body”.  I feel this is one of the most important values of massage/touch therapy.  The body is holding vital information, but it is being devalued by the mind as “unsafe”. 

So war wages between the mind and body over the way to handle things.  Both the mind and body suffer because there is not communication and unison in their actions and functions. 

Bringing peace, harmony and balance to the whole is how one gets back to some sense of wholeness.  Touch therapy helps you align back up with what makes you, you and to face changes and adapt.   

I will be trying to get in a massage or some kind of personal therapy this week.  How about you?

 : – )

(By the way, check out the book.  Here’s her link:  http://lauradoyle.org/   It has some excellent tips for negotiating all kinds of relationships, whatever they may be.)

You’re driving me up the wall!!!

Put your legs up the wall for stretching and relaxation

Hi! It’s been a really, really, long time!

Here’s what I’ve been up to:  elevating my feet… up the wall!

It helps me calm down to relax, taking a little time for me.

This is easy, quick, cheap (free) and great for the lymph system (without having to get one of those hefty inversion tables). It helps counter gravity’s effects, letting fluid that can go to your lower extremities through the day move back into circulation. It also allows the pelvic muscles to relax from holding up your spine all day!

All it takes is an empty stretch of wall or the headboard of a bed! I just position one of my hips against the area where I want to roll up, and roll onto my back, and the legs just follow along, up the wall.

Tips:

It’s good to use some padding, under the hips or wherever would make it more comfortable for you (i.e. the neck or low back). This is about relaxing!

If your hamstrings are tight and inflexible, allow some space between your butt and the wall, letting you legs rest at an angle, not straight up. On a bed I sometimes use a slanted pile of pillows to rest my legs on for support under my knees.

For a good adductor stretch you can slide your feet apart as far as you can go, or pull your knees into your chest to stretch your low back.

It’s good to change your orientation and perspective once in a while.

Try it you may like it!

Mandy

Let it be…

… Sorry, guys. I have been loafing on the writing, but I’m not really apologizing.

It’s spring. I have been working too hard. There are lots of activities this time of year. Without sufficient air conditioning, I wasn’t been sleeping. And maybe it was the powerful full moon… but last week it all hit critical shutdown. Lights out. Done!

I spent most of last week either staring blankly or pushing myself through what had to be done. I had been running on fumes.

… As a massage therapist, I went to a continuing education class called medical massage. And even though the teacher was nationally known, they rambled and were unorganized, and I wasn’t getting a lot out of the class.

(I have learned that there are content/skill classes, and then there are those I come home with an overall thought that grows and gives my practice a whole new light on things.)

That weekend the thought I came away with was that the primary focus for massage should be so the client can rest, because sleep is where the body heals itself.

All the critical catching up in the body happens while we are not pouring all our energy into “being brilliant” as one of my Theatre professors used to say, going at “Mach 1”.

The downshifting of gears allows for the body to clean up the crazy mess left from going all day. There are metabolic waste garbage routes that need to be cleared, nerves need to reboot, and the blood “train” moves things around, bringing supplies where they need to be for the next day.

I have heard a well-known fitness trainer say that the most ignored part of physical fitness is insufficient recovery time.

When the body is facing a health crisis, it is even more imperative for this slower speed, and better nutrition. But many people reach for things to keep them going when they think they can’t stop, and sometimes life does demand this of us. … You probably aren’t going to ignore the 2 a.m. babies cries, even though you have to go to work in the morning. But 2 years of this will be a problem! – And you will be a wreck…

I think that life should have ebbs and flows, even though I am still working on it!

Take a moment to chill just to enjoy the sun and not going. You might feel even better when you get back into the thick of things. : – )

Breathing…

Breathing… Even though it keeps you alive for 5 more minutes there is so much more to it! 

As a massage therapist, I was trained to scan a clients’ torso to see if they are breathing (or not) for a couple of reasons. 

One is, that if the pressure is too hard, they are flinching, which is counter-productive to easing muscle tension.  Two, the act of breathing (or not) is a reflection of whether the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system is still on high alert with stressors, or whether they are starting to relax and gear down. 

If I notice that someone is not breathing, I ask about the pressure.  And if the answer is “fine”, I might move into a little guided imagery for body awareness.  One that I suggest is relaxing in a certain area, like the front of the throat, the “belly”, the lap, the armpits, the face, the feet. Sometimes we slowly walk awareness through the body together from feet to head, “turning out the lights”. 

Then I will move on to asking them to breathe in spots that seem constricted, even if they are not directly related to the diaphragm.  You can breathe in your face, lap or feet, didn’t you know?

I like to give the analogy of breathing from the lap to the chin.  Think about your torso as an air mattress.  Before you start to fill an air mattress, it is flat and folded.  As air is pumped in, it starts to expand, filling out the shape of the rectangle and push out the corners.  By the time it is filled up, the air pressure has made the mattress firm.

Our hips and shoulders are “the corners” of this internal air mattress of our lungs.  Without sufficient pressure the whole torso is weak, just like an air mattress that goes flat by the morning.  No wonder our shoulders and legs bother us!  We don’t have sufficient air pressure to keep us afloat! 

Breathe!  –  Because you get to!”  (You are still living, right?)

Fill up your air mattress!

The Five Principles of Reiki

Just for today, I will live the attitude of gratitude.

Just for today, I will not worry.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will show love and respect for every living thing.