Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can and have the wisdom to know the difference.
When I was young, my goal in life was to grow to be at least five feet tall. I figured if I just grew a few more inches the extra protective layer around my belly would magically melt away and be distributed vertically, making me taller, slimmer and no longer the shortest person in every social circle. I ate my vegetables, hung upside down on the monkey bars hoping to stretch my spine, wished, prayed and by all accounts, failed. 4’11 would be my tallest, unless I was wearing high heels which is about as likely as me singing Karaoke sober.
I remember while traveling in Vietnam, on multiple occasions Vietnamese people would come up to me, make a height gesture by raising a hand over our heads and say, “you same same as Vietnamese.” Resolved to the fact that I would never be tall, I accepted my physical stature and even began to embrace being vertically challenged. On the bright side, I always have enough leg room, I do not bump my head on low beams, I do not see the dust on things that are higher than my eyes, I connect well with kids and teens as they not physically intimidated by me and I can still go trick or treating if I have a really good costume. Now, I am not even offended when Shad sings, Short People Got No Reason to Live, as my height is something that has grown on me over the years.
Feeling confident, worthy and lovable on the inside has been, and continues to be, a journey of self-acceptance, compassion and appreciation. I have good days and bad days, fat days, thinner days (intestinal parasites often help) and some days I forget to pay attention to how I feel at all, because I am just busy getting on with life. There is some consolation in knowing that I am not the only one who could use more nurturing. After years of giving massages, classes, learning from, and listening to people who come for holistic therapies, there seems to be a common theme: We only pay attention to our bodies when something is “wrong.” Here are some of the more common reasons why we justify not taking more time for ourselves and giving back to our bodies that continually do so much.
I Don’t Deserve It
Why do we wait until we feel like we “deserve it,” before having holistic massages and therapies?
Honestly, working an excessive amount of hours, pushing your body to its physical limits, throwing your adrenals into overdrive and then “treating yourself” to a well-earned massage, is doing things backwards. Destroying your body is easy; bringing it back into balance takes more concentrated effort. You do not have to feel like you have been run over by a truck to receive. In fact, your work progress, physical limits and adrenals will be much more productive if you STAY BALANCED. This is the biggest difference between Eastern and Western philosophy for me. A Chinese Medicine doctor’s job was to keep their patients healthy. If their patients got sick they were not doing their jobs. In Western medicine however, if you are healthy, there is no money to be made, no medicine to administer, no need for doctors, it is not a “health care” system at all, but a sick care system.
Capitalistic semantics aside, you do not need a doctor or a Guru for that matter, to tell you what you need. The only person who can do that for you, is you. Appreciating your body and listening to it is the path to health. If you need five minutes to yourself, a weekend away, to quit your job, to go traveling, to have a massage then just do it. You deserve to feel happy, whole, connected and at peace. If you see and treat yourself as being worthy, others will reflect that back to you. So, get over yourself already and step into your worthy, lovable, fantastic self today!
I Can’t Afford It
Often you can’t afford not to. Did you know that the number one cause of death in America is Heart Disease? Heart attacks account for 1 in every 4 deaths. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention someone dies of a heart attack every 42 seconds. Metaphorically, to me, attack of the heart, suggests the world is in need of much more love. Love for ourselves and for each other. If we lived more from a heart space instead of a head space, I am sure these statistics would be much different.
Take care of yourself properly and you extend your life. All the money you are spending on a night out eating fatty, hormone induced, processed foods and beverages, you could spend on a treatment a month instead. (Trust me you will feel so much better after a massage than after a night of excess drinking.) Better yet, move to a third world country like Guatemala where massages are affordable and diet consists mostly of fresh fruit and vegetables. Medical “treatment” is after the fact, massage and holistic therapies are preventative medicine and are much more cost effective. As death is often the result of the first heart attack, you may not get a second chance of invest in your health, so do it now!
I Don’t Have Time
This is a common excuse. “Excuse” being the operative word. Life is busy, it’s true. However, not having the time and not making the time are two very different things. If you value yourself, your body and your sanity, you will make the time. An hour or preferably an hour and a half, is possible within a month. Make yourself a priority. Schedule yourself in and stick to it. First Monday of the month at 4pm for example, everything and everyone else can plan around YOU for a change. Stop living your life for other people already. You will be much more apt to take care of others if you are feeling great. Work from the inside out to make a real difference.
I Don’t Need It
Oh yes, you do! I always smile to myself when people tell me they do not have any places of tension in their body before a massage. The reality is that you have not been touched for so long; you didn’t know those knots were there. Even if you are feeling great, a little extra loving care does wonders. Has anyone ever suffered from feeling wonderful, relaxed and balanced? No.
Cause of death by feeling AMAZING: 0
I’m Not Comfortable Being Naked
No worries. Reiki and energy work are done with your clothes on. Indian Head Massage is done while sitting in a chair. This massage focuses on the upper back, head, neck and face, where a lot of tension is carried. All massages are done with a professional standard of draping (folding of sheets and towels)
My first massage went something like this:
When my Reiki Master suggested I should have some bodywork done I member asking her, “Do I have to take my clothes off for that?” “Yes,” she said, “but, don’t worry as she is a Tibetan doctor.” So I went and signed up for my first massage down the street in Dhāramasala, India.
I waited nervously as the doctor showed me into her office. In her broken English and my non-existent Tibetan she managed to communicate it was time for me to get undressed and on the table. So I began taking off my clothes. She helped me unhook my bra at the back which was a bit weird but I figured as we were both women it was not a big deal. Naked, I laid face down on the table. She began oiling up her hands and massaging my back. Ah, not so bad I thought, I can do this…
She then began finishing the strokes by spreading my butt cheeks apart. With no top sheet to keep me covered, I was more than a little uncomfortable. Every time she would finish the stroke I could feel the muscles in my buttocks tightening, doing everything in my physical power to keep the inside of my butt crack from being exposed. Seriously, I probably left that massage with tighter muscles than I had walked in with. But, (no pun intended), I learned two very important lessons. The first, isometric buttock exercises are quite effective and second, the client’s comfort level is of the utmost importance! You can always keep your underwear on if you feel more comfortable although, as the towels are always covering you, you can fully relax knowing you are safe and covered appropriately.
So, now that all you excuses for not treating yourself have been debunked, it is time for you to come down to the San Marcos Holistic Cottage and sign up for your massage or treatment today. Can’t be bothered to walk down to sign up? No worries just contact me and we can arrange your appointment.
Take advantage of your time at the lake by treating your body with the love, respect and gratitude it deserves.