Sunday, June 27, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
It’s been a while since i’ve done a proper blog post, and actually i don’t think this qualifies as it’s not going to be all my words.
Over the last year i’ve been going to school in Texas to get my Massage License. Some whom are reading this already know that in North Carolina i’ve had my own practice and have actually been practicing “BodyWork” for ~ 15 years now, give or take a few, as i’m also a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant for more years than i really want to count at present.
Coming to Austin has been quite challenging on many levels; i truly didn’t believe in purgatory until last summer with temps in the 100’s during the day and IF we got lucky it perhaps dipped down into the 90’s at night. I was soooo NOT amused! However, the other challenging part was that my Massage License in NC did not transfer to TX. How that happened was that i was under a “grandfather clause” in NC as i had a gagillion hours of manual therapy training and already working from a manual approach in a pain management center in NC as well as my own private practice.
According to the rules and “regs” of TX, they wanted to know “where i went to massage school to gain my training”.... well, my training was actually based in Physical Therapy with advanced training in manual techniques. You would think that would also apply here in Texas ..... NOT!
So after about a year of kvetching, lamenting, praying and basically bitching about it (ask my friends); I decided to go to Massage School here in Austin.
That way i could continue to work in Physical Therapy and LEGALLY work as a Massage Therapist. I’m still in school till October and it’s had it’s days of frustration. I’m not the best at the systems oriented way of things, i much prefer the more fluid, intuitive and kinetic version. So going back to school has been “killing me” on some levels. (God’s got a way of doing that i think, just to keep us humble and learning!)
HOWEVER, and this is a big HOWEVER......
The school i felt led to attend is one that is internationally known and has a amazing reputation for ethics, integrity and skill.
One of the Director’s of the school (and teacher no less- he really likes to keep his hands in things, ok, ok, that was also a massage pun, but couldn’t help myself there) is DAVID LAUTERSTEIN. A truly gentle soul who is also a writer, speaker, teacher and musician. (yes, there are a few of you that ARE chuckling now at that.. God does have a sense of humor!)
So i was studying for ANOTHER TEST today and came across one of his articles that he wrote for “Massage Therapy Journal” - Winter 1998-Vol. 36, No 4 on...
“The Role of the Heart in Massage” and i wanted to share a bit from it, because it did remind me why i do this stuff and that it takes some serious Bravery to even attempt work like this. - and i like it’s honesty on owning our own stuff in it.... so here’s a word from David Lauterstein...
At first sight it would seem to take little bravery to be a massage therapist. Bravery is not a word one would ordinarily associate with massage. But underneath the surface of our work, bravery lives as much as does compassion. There are two kinds of compassion. The first, the most common is niceness. Being nice involves identifying with our sweeter impulses and excluding all others. Bodywork, as do so many helping professions, suffers from an abundance of niceness.
Since “being nice” involves the repression of all other impulses and feelings, it can be viewed as being somewhat violent. There’s even something a little sneaky about it in that niceness aims to disarm the outside world, while allowing all the sourer sides of ourselves to remain hidden.
Bodywork can be extremely frustrating at times. Let it be said: Sometimes the resistance of clients to change drives me crazy. Sometimes i’m frustrated by events not emerging from the therapy, such as car trouble, time crunches, my fluctuation self-esteem and dietary indiscretions.
We need to allow enough space for all our feelings, as well as the infinite potentially appropriate movements, thoughts and spiritual attitudes. To do this is to adopt as a therapeutic stance of radical compassion-- radical because inherent in this is the commitment to receive all our experiences with kindness. “Kindness” here is meant literally in its relationship to kind. All our feelings- hatred, indifference, fear, love, lust, humor-- are kind, are equally deserving and relevant parts of us.
And now comes bravery. To walk through this field, in which we commit to accepting all of ourselves and all of our clients, takes bravery, not just the sense of courage, but also in the sense of emerging from the very origin of the word. “Brave” comes from the same root as barbarian, meaning “wild”. Wildness is necessary in order to be a therapist. It is bravery which then turns out to be the second, radical kind of compassion. It is fully wild to enter into and compassionately accept “ALL OF WHAT IS REAL” (emphasis mine) This is the other side of the universe from niceness. Committing to radical kindness, accepting that we have to work with hearts wide open to everything there is, just as God doesn’t abandon any piece of creation, is perhaps the bravest, the wildest thing we can do.
Friday, June 04, 2010
I've been threatened by the enemy before, actually it's not really what you want to hear... to have your life threatened or the lives of those you love........ So this really is a comfort to me on so many levels. Kinda rocks what happens in the end there......... LOVE IT!