I value honesty and transparency, and I refuse to be a bodyworker who pretends to be perfect and never feel pain or discomfort, so I’m going to be upfront with you:
I’ve spent the past month dealing with pretty gnarly back spasms. They’ve jumped around from place to place, presenting in different symptoms, getting better than returning in new form. They’ve limited my mobility and been quite painful at times, and the cause of immense frustration (though at the time of writing this, I’m happy to report that after many wonderful sessions of bodywork and being diligent about self-care, things have been feeling pretty stable for over a week!).
This past month has taught and reminded me of SO MUCH! Among the many important lessons and gifts, I wanted to highlight one in particular today (if I went into all of them, this might turn into a short book : )
Strike while the iron is cold!
As much as you can, use the times when you’re not in the heat of some kind of physical/emotional/spiritual crisis to create an intimate and loving relationship with your body and whole Self, as well as strong relationships with health and healing professionals.
Never was I more grateful to have invested all the time I have (read: over a decade) in consciously getting to know my body and my Self than in this past month. I used that self-awareness to decide who to work with and when, to communicate clearly with my practitioners about what was working and not working and what I wanted to focus on, to move through challenge with more vulnerability, honesty and grace than ever before, and to practice effective self-care on my own, on the fly (which as you might know, gets much harder during periods of acute pain).
Never was I more grateful to have invested in building strong relationships with more than a few trusted bodyworkers in the Bay Area, and to even have maintained relationships with my mentors back in New York City, so that I could immediately reach out to people who I knew KNEW me and who I didn’t hesitate to trust, instead of having to make rush decisions about care in the heat of the moment while stressed and in pain (which I realize is sometimes necessary and which I’ve done before).
I’m extremely fortunate that being a bodyworker (and dancer) puts me in close touch with a wide network of awesome practitioners, but I still have to make the decision to invest in the practice of my own care and self-discovery on a regular, consistent basis. That does not come handed to you when you get your massage license and start your own practice, as it turns out ; )
One of the biggest gifts of this past month has been experiencing a deeper level of gratitude for myself, my body, my support network, my clients, my readers (aka YOU) and getting a chance to re-assess my self-care going forward, both on my own and with the support of others.
Your Gentle Nudge is to ask yourself the following, and then write down your answers and/or share with a trusted friend or practitioner:
– Is there a practitioner, program, product or practice you’ve had your eye on that you’ve wanted to try out? If yes, how might you go about testing the waters (or diving right in)?
– Which care practices in your life are feeling helpful and inspiring, or feeling stale and unhelpful? Does it feel right to invest in them more or less, or are things just right?
– Is there something going on physically or emotionally that’s been nagging you (or maybe even more than nagging you) or blocking you from feeling, doing or achieving something that you’d like to begin addressing more directly?
I think it should ALWAYS be noted that none of this is about achieving what I call “perfection stasis.” Things will always ebb and flow and we will always be called to learn and grow in some form or another, no matter how “good” we are about caring for ourselves. Instead, I have become a huge believer in self-compassion, self-honesty, self-awareness, and the power of cultivating curiosity, resilience, and feeling good just because it feels good to feel good : )
With that, I will leave you with this beautiful quote from Pema Chodron:
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem,
but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.
The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen:
room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
P.S. Did this newsletter strike a chord in you? Might it strike a chord in someone you hold dear? Do them a favor and forward them this email or share on social : )