When you hear the word ‘diet’ what comes to mind?
Like a Lotus Blossom, muck and mud in life can bring beauty and joy…
This morning I took my coffee outside to sit on a bench by the pond. Like a montage set on a loop, my whole life began to roll thru me. This is what happens when you set time aside to be still.
The Soul knows what needs to rise up and be seen! A private moment where I could allow every blue and pink and red memory to spin inside of my chest like some watercolor masterpiece. A quiet moment where I could allow myself to feel it all.
Then, I noticed an almost imperceptible movement. A Lotus blossom just beginning to open in the morning sun. I sat and watched as she slowly opened petal after petal and offered her nectar to the bees who gently landed on her before she was even finished. The Lotus behind her, still beautiful, but already spent. She will drop her petals soon.
With memory and surrender still rolling inside of my chest…it all began to connect and blend. The energy of this moment…the offering in this moment…this time of life.
I am aware that I was the only person on the planet who was watching this display. A private show. I am also aware that the Lotus blooms in the muck and the mud. She is not like the other flowers that need just the right kind of soil and amount of sunlight.
If I were to drain that pond, it would smell like a sewer.
Nothing is wasted in Creations economy.
Sometimes the most beautiful things rise up out of the rot! So, make peace with your past.
Consider even the most difficult seasons of your life a type of joy…for without them, you would not be who you are today…a Lotus blossom rising out of the mud!
Indiana Jones, Goonies, and National Treasure are just a few of the movies I grew up with! What kid, or adult, doesn’t love the idea of hunting for a treasure, trying not to get caught, and hopefully finding the treasure? Sure, nowadays kids use Pokémon Go, but if you want to get your kids interacting with the real world, check out the Geocaching app.
Let’s face it, it gets them outside, kills some time, and teaches them about maps and how to use them. What more could you ask for? You would be amazed at the random spots you can find “Caches”. We have been visiting friends west of Topeka, staying with family in Washington, or just trying to plan a new running/biking route based on the locations close to me and have still been able to find a nearby Cache. At the very least, it is easy entertainment at an affordable price. Just remember, don’t get caught by the muggles. (A term cleverly used from the Harry Potter Movies to describe someone who does not know about Geocaching)
Which massage should you choose? There are many types of people in the world and with that, many opinions and preferences for…everything! Massage therapy is not immune to the preference of the individual. That is one of the things that makes it such a beautiful experience.
Massage is like pizza! There are lots of kinds and some are very simple, some are cheap; others are expensive or have many ingredients…but it all tastes good. Variety is the spice of life…but options, without firsthand experience, can be confusing. So, here is a little run down on the three most popular types of massage that I use.
This is the most well known massage modality for a reason! It is a massage that anyone can enjoy. It is made up of long flowing strokes with some light kneading and sometimes tapping (there are specific massage terms for these things, but for the sake of the reader I will avoid using them). This massage can lower your heart rate and cortisol levels, reducing feelings of stress. Because it is not deep muscle work, it can be used on pretty much everyone: from young children to athletes, and even some cancer patients. It is a very calming and relaxing massage.
Deep Tissue Massage
This modality is commonly misunderstood…even among MT’s. Many therapists were not thoroughly trained on this modality, or it is difficult for them. It takes true knowledge of skeletal and muscular anatomy, as well as, perceptive touch and experience to apply deep tissue in the correct way. You should never have bruising or extended soreness (longer than a couple of days) after a deep tissue massage.
When performed correctly, this is one of the most effective treatments for muscular tightness and soreness. I have found it to have longer lasting effects and bring more self-body awareness for postural correction than lighter pressured massage. It uses slow and methodical strokes that work to “loosen” muscle fibers by going along the length of a muscle or working across the muscle.
Deep tissue, when performed correctly, will vary in pressure used from person to person; as each individual has varying muscle tone, tension, faschia, lymph and fat storage.
Trigger Point Release
Some people call this Sports Massage or Medical Massage, but both of those are separate modalities that often incorporate TPR. This modality is fantastic for people who have all the “knots” and want them gone! It is very focused work. The therapist holds direct pressure, (the amount of pressure used is dependent on the individual) on the top of, or at an angle to, the muscle adhesions in the area that is bothering the client. It can be very intense, but focusing on breathing deeply can really help you to relax until the tension in the adhesion melts away.
These are the top three massage modalities that I use in my practice. If my massage was a pizza, it would be supreme!
I like to use a little bit of everything. I don’t like working within a box too much unless a client is very specific with their wants. I typically use all of these modalities (and others) in each massage that I do.
A deeper knowledge of various massage modalities allows you to choose with more confidence. Enjoy!
Permission to Play for Work! Work/play balance…I can already hear you rolling your eyes.
I get it! I, too, must put in crazy hours at the studio. And, when I get home, I’m really NOT home. There are sequences to write, themes to work on and it just never ends. And, I no longer have kids. Throw that in them mix…WOW!
Living is expensive, so we must work — trade our time for money.
But, I have found that it is my attitude about work that helps me bring the work/play into balance.
I ACTUALLY GIVE myself permission to play at work!
If I start my day off grumbling because “it’s Monday and I have to go back to work…” I begin the spiral into fatigue before I even have made it to Tuesday.
Instead, I truly feel that I’m blessed. I love my job! (I do know not everyone is lucky enough to be able to say that.) But, if I have to work so many hours to make ends meet, that I have to find a way to make it worth doing.
Even when doing exactly what I want to be doing for work – because I actually do LOVE being a YOGA TEACHER — I must be intentional in choosing my thoughts. It is a rigorous, exhausting, bring your full game everyday, kind of job!!!
Here’s how I do it…”I am so lucky to have a good job”, ”another opportunity to make some money and provide for myself”, or “how incredible that I’ve been offered this challenge…”
Simply working on changing my outlook, my approach to work and giving myself permission to be ‘playful’ in my heart, brings actual play into my work.
Here’s the thing, too! Play brings positive interaction with my co-workers and my boss and work…and, soon work becomes a place we either want to be…or maybe not so bad after all.