Self-Care...and my travels through time...
Being that our society, more often than not, appears to value what we do professionally and how often we work per week, it's truly no surprise that the vast majority of us routinely neglect self care.
I am no exception. I do present with a unique reason for my neglect but it remains neglect nonetheless.
Historically speaking, my first line of defense in the category of self-care has always been Massage Therapy. My former Massage Therapist, Maggie, was very special to me as I have previously described her as a Cosmic Connection of mine. When it comes to my cosmic connections I personally find them to be irreplaceable.
June 2018, I was in the final stages of preparing my circa 1900 farmhouse for sale on the market. During this difficult time a predetermined gift to myself helped me through. I promised my being a two-hour massage with Maggie when the sale of the farmhouse was final. At the end of July 2018, I had my massage happily booked. Unfortunately, the week prior to my scheduled massage, I enjoyed an outdoor adventure, which resulted in a full body outbreak of poison ivy. You guessed it, I had to cancel with Maggie. I needed to set aside time for myself to heal and I needed to protect Maggie from also getting infected. I remember crying at the realization of having to cancel on Maggie. When I tried to reschedule Maggie was unexpectedly sick and she unfortunately never recovered. She passed away almost a year ago. December 2017, the start of winter and on a full moon, what an exit.
December 31st, 2018, I put my Personal Chef practice to rest, honestly, because it was too taxing on my body. The hours I would spend per day and per week grocery shopping, cooking, packaging and cleaning the kitchen to fill my clients orders were laden with physical demands on my being. It was evident why so many individuals desired a personal chef to completely takeover the task of feeding themselves and their families. Giving the gift of time to my clients was truly what kept me going for so long, 2013-2018.
May 2019, my mother helped open a beautiful restaurant in Newark, Ohio, The Mark on the Square! It is commonly known that staffing can be difficult in the restaurant industry. When shifts would occur in her staffing, I would see her putting in the extra time to pickup the dropped ball, often working from open to close. Knowing that our society supports over working individuals, I became increasingly concerned with her work-life balance. At some point in time, I decided I was going to step up to the plate and help her. There was a portion of my being that was concerned, as I feared the restaurant industry might have similar impacts on my being as did the personal chef industry. I moved forward with plans to confirm my fears with firsthand experience. I figured it was the least I could do; helping out my mother in her time of need. In hindsight, I was a terrible teenager and after my terrible teens subsided, when I deserved no love or respect, my mother always found a way to support my professional dreams. I sit here today, with the freedom to type to you, in part because of my mother's unconditional love.
November 9th, 2019, I woke twisting myself out of bed, which resulted in an unexpected crack in my lower back. My lower back normally cracks weekly with a comfortable release of energy. This particular time the energy did not leave but rather traveled upwards and halted right between my shoulder blades. The sensation was so strange, I don't believe I will ever forget this morning. The energy stayed immobilized until I intentionally bumped into my father to experience his art in cracking my back. Although my father is not an official chiropractor, I have always made him mine! My upper back successfully cracked, as I expected, but the energy again did not leave, traveling to my neck. Through the art of yoga, my neck cracked a couple days later and the energy continued to move again; radiating now downwards and resting underneath my scapular area, primarily on the right side of my being but a presence of energy was also on my left.
In the past, May 2017, Maggie had successfully treated two debilitating knots that had taken up residence in these same locations, underneath the scapular areas on both sides of my body.
Now I physically needed Maggie, yet again, and found myself devastated that I could not have her. Tears expressed themselves not out of any physical pain but out of a sadness; my unprocessed feelings related to my loss of Maggie. I was faced with not replacing her but attempting to find a qualified Licensed Massage Therapist for my times of need moving forward. This task felt difficult, nearly impossible; when I wanted resolution for my being STAT.
As tears ran down my face, my past flashed before my eyes and I was unexpectedly taken to a moment in time, January 17th, 2019, where I met an amazing individual who spoke so very highly of her Massage Therapist. When I returned from my daydream (my time travel) without hesitation I reached for my phone to obtain contact information. She pulled through as anticipated and I learned his name to be Andrew, owner of Leverage Massage Therapy in Dublin, Ohio!
At first meeting I found Andrew to be kind, calm, and peaceful. He was also quiet but assertive when needing to obtain necessary massage related information.
___________________________________________________________________________________________Sidebar: For me, massage is a meditative like experience. A time to relax and reflect on the sensations within my being as another moves across my skin, assisting me in shifting and releasing energy. In the past, I have experienced Massage Therapists that I define as chatty Cathy, much like I have experienced in the hair stylist industry. At the conclusion of these massages, I am left disappointed and more exhausted than at entry.
Andrew respected my personal preferences for using coconut oil only; starting the massage on my back, his application of pressure, and my need for quiet time to name a few examples. His height and physical power allows him to offer deep tissues massages when appropriate and desired.
I left Andrew, after a wonderful 90-minute massage. Finely I felt like I received the gift I intended for myself back in July 2018, when my farmhouse successfully sold. I'm 99.9% better but I know I still have more work to do. In our society, we also, more often than not, fail to evaluate the root cause of anything. It is important to look at self-care, such as Massage Therapy, not as a Band-Aid but as vehicle that gives us the freedom to dive deep into an issue that needs resolving. Now I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the recurrence of my scapular knots are directly related to my increase in hours in the restaurant industry. Long shifts, in the upright position, on tile floors, are no match for my being, even though on others levels, you would evaluate me to be as happy as a kid in a candy store when helping out at The Mark!
I've made some positive improvements already! We have a sign on the front door and back door at The Mark noting we need help, because we do. We need kind, dependable individuals who know their way around a kitchen! If you know of anyone, send them my way! An increase in staff would allow for a decrease in duration of shifts when individually desired. We have vastly increased the number of ergonomic mats within the kitchen to better support not only my being but every being that passes through our kitchen! I have also re-evaluated my work-life balance and starting this December, I will have an extra day off work per week!
This extra day off work weekly will grant me the freedom to dive deeper into my self-care. I will have extended time for...
(1) my yogic practice, asana and meditation, for examples
(2) a good detox in the form of a cardiovascular workout; I enjoy biking and hiking
(3) nature therapy, escaping to the wilderness for connectedness, grounding, and inspiration
(4) sweat detox in the form of hot yoga
(5) writing to myself and to the universe
(6) reading to experience adventures and to expand the depths of my being
(7) sleep, rest, and relaxation, which includes the experience of nothingness
(8) scheduling others assistances, such as Andrew as my new Massage Therapist. I also plan to consider experiencing Reflexology routinely again.
(9) sampling hobbies not to become proficient in anything but to experience new things, such as, pottery and mushroom foraging
I believe a little dose of self care should be infused into each and every day. I enjoy yogic flows (asanas), meditation, reading, and warm showers to assist my body in relaxing daily. A least once per month, I feel it's best to dive deeper into our self care and recruit the assistance of another, such as Andrew. Realizing we can't do everything ourselves is liberating. Working to develop a tool box with countless external resources can be nurturing to our being when utilized appropriately and routinely.
*Are you taking the very best care of your one and only temple?
*Could your being benefit from scheduling self care into your calendar daily?
*Are you in need of an amazing Licensed Massage Therapist? I bet Andrew with Leverage Massage Therapy could help you too!
To my friends, family, followers, and clients who have already decided to reach out to Andrew for scheduling, you have made the right decision!
Through a daily dedication to your self-care, may you establish endless grace and balance for your one and only temple!
Peace & Love!