Moving Shop!! January 1, a truly new year.

Moving Shop!! January 1, a truly new year.

I have had an amazing Journey being on the corner of Lake and Superior street for the past 8 years. It has been a place of refuge right in the middle of Babylon, I call it the healing temple. it has felt like a temple to me always, the high ceilings and grand expansive feeling in such a quant spot. About 5 years ago, I did a remodel to the space which made it perfect for me in so many ways. My fist few years there was primarily credited to Emily Heart, an amazing acupuncturist in our North land Midst. She had a vision to share spaces with as many healers as would like to gather there. At one point we had 12 of us up there, and 4 treatment room/offices,  offering many services with great heart. Reiki, yoga, community acupuncture, private Acupuncture, massage, herbal apothecary, herbal consulting, goods and festival planning and celebrations.... I am probably forgetting something, it felt like a lot. We called ourselves Rooted Folks Community Wellness.  Semi slowly it began to dwindle back and back until at last (for the past 5 years), it has been just me up in that space. Emily had moved her practice home for quite a while... and a year and a half ago or so, she reopened Rooted Folks Center for evolution in Superior WI with her twin Sister Blaire. I am happy to see it find growth and new life, as we all continue on. 

I am feeling particularly reminiscent recently because coming very shortly, January 1, I too will be Immigrating my healing practice to another location and The original space will transform to its own new life. I have been asked to join forces with Jodie Cope Acupuncture above the snooty fox tea shop in the Chester Creek Garden building on the corner of 19th Avenue East and 8th Street (kiddy corner from chester creek cafe/saras table) . I am very much looking forward to this change. I know this space will be enjoyable to work ats Ronnie Mae, another amazing massage therapist has been putting all sorts of good energy into the space for the past 4 years. She is going on a new life adventure now.  There are so many advantages to this change for me and the recipients of my work including but not limited to:

Parking, although its not perfect, even the worst of parking is likely closer than any of the downtown options and its free. We will all be able to avoid downtown traffic! Also, The space is handicap accessible! This has been a desire for my space since, forever. And last but not least Jodi's treatment room is right next door. so, need be (and set up in advance of course) you could have the experience of one stop treatment shop.  To learn more about Jodie Cope click right on her name in this sentence. And come and see the new space!! 

 

There is nothing to fix about chaos, just find your center of Gravity.

There is nothing to fix about chaos, just find your center of Gravity.

It is an interesting and perplexing human experience we all find our selves in-- where we all seem to be searching for solid "rocks", specific destinations , or answers from someone else. when the only constant thing is change, how could we ever actually arrive somewhere, that won't also change? Or how can anyone have all the answers to guide us? Despite all hope and assertion of will, there ceases to be any protocols or blue print for any individuals to follow.

So how in these times of Great Chaos and turmoil politically, do we keep our Persistence at par with the changes without wearing ourselves out?

Our best guess lies in our own observation of self, we have to tune inward so as to gauge exactly how we feel and what we need, not ignoring any of the truths of our being. we have to find our center of gravity, within our own selves.  Granted taking the opinions of others is very helpful since all the many factors can be overwhelming. Learning to listen to our own feelings is the single most important tool we can learn to live a most fulfilling and well "guided" life, to help us in the eye of the storm. This tool can give us our actual answers, and keep us actively engaged. I read somewhere about someones experience in choir where the choir was to sing notes that were extremely long lengths of time to hold a note, They learned the tactic of staggering, as a group, taking turns breathing, so as to not loose the fullness of the intended musical vitality.   if we can only learn to trust the process and our ears, our collective center of gravity is dependent on our individual center's of gravity... so don't forget to breathe in and likewise don't forget to breathe out, and take good care of yourself and each other. . trust that others will be singing when you are breathing. 

it is this constant looking outside of our selves for the answers that keeps our center of gravity away from our center... It makes even the most strong of us weak. reflect upon the term 'Organized chaos', used in reference to a tactic that governing forces use, to keep the sheep of society in survival mode and fear, with persistent claims and attacks of morality that threaten our collective integrity.  it paired with how most of us have our center of gravity out of our own reach, makes control of us very easy. now, more than ever is a time to get hold of our selves. 

when in doubt, remember that all the answers are already here with us, this reality is often more simple than our minds want it to be, which somehow makes it hard. We are the ones in our own way, when it comes to listening and allowing the journey to unfold. so that we can always be fresh with the actual moment and the consistently changing factors. 

 Most of us come from a school system that works on strengthening the mind and doesn't look at the whole being as one unit, it is simpler to provide care for part of the needs of the people and not all of the needs.  time is not allotted for discovering the self, feelings, pain, grief, and especially chaos. chaos is so natural, it has to happen. there is nothing to fix about chaos. it has to run its course. If we were taught to have a healthy relationship with our chaos, rather than taught to suppress it, we could learn tools to give it space and not let it over power our whole life. Allowing for the incorporation of it in our existence, as its not a matter of 'IF", it's a matter of when for all of us. We shall all have our turn in experiencing chaos and intense feelings. It is the suppression of these feelings and the lack of expressing chaos, is what is at the heart of all diseases.  

how do we incorporate a safe space to express and experience our selves,  so that we don't have to unlearn so much of what we are taught? so that we don't have to learn by our selves how to love our selves. How can we have this be an encouraged way of being (listening, allowing chaos, and emotional responses), instilling it like any good virtue? Teaching about change being constant and all of us being capable of achieving an incredible center of gravity. These are big questions. We simply need to start with our selves.  By embracing these parts of our selves, we might have enough compassion and courage to make a new standard of being. 

who is threatened by people that are empowered and listening and acting with thoughtfulness vrs merely reacting and eating what they are being spoon fed? What kind of industry thrives on people not thinking for themselves? Many industries thrive on this way of being. 

acquiring and spending money is a way of voting for what you want to support in the world, and sometimes we don't know how to pay attention to something unless we know how much it costs. Take a look at the words "Pay Attention" ---  Our attention is also a currency that we can use to pay for what we support. So. keep in mind if you start to feel like a deer in head lights and feel real frustrated. allow yourself some breathing room to stager yourself, so that you can find your way back to paying attention as soon as you are able. We can rest assure that our attention is worth more than money... So. don't forget to find your center of gravity,  let that little light of yours shine. Don't try to fix the chaos, allow it to run its course. Express your pain, grief, sadness, joy, excitement and chaos in as safe of a way as you can. listen deep, find the source of the pain and listen.  shine shine shine. on. 

 

 

Love trumps fear. Feeling is healing, be fearless now.

Love trumps fear. Feeling is healing, be fearless now.

This has been nothing but a moving month on our Planet. The election has people feeling so many different ways. Its rather chaotic, with opposing points of view. I fully believe that we are all moving toward a greater understanding of how things actually are, as things get exposed into the light more and  more. It reminds me of the concept of the healing crisis, that sometimes occurs when things (in our body or otherwise) start to move and rearrange-- causing different order. this change can sometimes feel worse before it feels better. The key is to keep feeling in these challenging times, and to trust that you are going to know, in every given moment which way to go. 

I was happy to be studying with John Barnes for six days starting on election day. I did two of his Myofascial Release Seminars. Rebounding and the Cervical thoracic. It was profound for me, although not intentional for them, to have the rebounding class start on election day, of such a tumultuous election year. Being that the classes were being held out of state i had to vote early, Which was liberating in its own way, to have it already done. Furthermore, as I found myself in  a class that so intently had me diving deep into my subconscious holding patterns and letting go deeper and deeper into all the feelings that are holding me back... I was able to release the pulsating, different, varying degrees of emotions as soon as they came up. Ebbing and flowing with them, before they ever really got to solidify in my body. 

The Cervical Thoracic class was a little more understandable to my linear brain to comprehend in its validity, as it merely took on a specific part of the body in focus. The Rebounding component is more  subtle, yet a deeply rich component and I could not have imagined how important it is, without experiencing it. The work speaks for itself. And as John said " no matter how beautiful the music is, if the audience is deaf, they are not going to hear it... so you just keep doing your work, because it speaks for itself". Myofascial Rebounding utilizes the fluid/energy dynamics to greatly enhance your Myofascial Release effectiveness in reducing pain, increasing function, and awareness. Helping to bring the sub conscious, into the conscious.

In this class I found myself exploring the subtle difference between trusting my intuition and listening to all the hinting nuances that block it from being confidently present all the time. What I have discovered is that my fear or lack of trust that wafts through me like a passing breeze or scent-- at times, is the very thing that keeps me from being on point. The most powerful thing we can do for anyone we love in this life is to be with them exactly as they are. And furthermore empower their intuition, as we all learn to listen to our own inner heart voice. We all have it. If we don't trust that, we will continue to hold it at bay, and lack the Ally that we could potentially have in ourselves. 

This week I have embarked in another spectrum of my healing journey -- holding a "group" with some of our local youth 18-24 years old, that find refuge in Life House as a resource to get their life moving where they want. I was called upon to assist in holding a group, as more and more youth are looking for an outlet for their spiritual journey without discrimination or expectation. Together I hope to find some way to bring us all, as a group there, on a journey within. using music, meditation, holding hands, and any sharing they want to bring to our woven basket to better support this experience of life, together. With some trust in the moment, and sincere commitment to the journey we will find some solace in knowing that we have many tools within our selves that are always there for us. 

Trust yourself, you know the way. There is no way around, only through every obstacle of our life. 

blessings to you all. 

touching in with our grief

touching in with our grief

 Learning how to embrace our Grief is one thing I believe our society is in great need of to heal as a whole. We are good at sweeping things under the rug, round here. Especially the things we fear, or that we don't want to look at. Meanwhile, subconsciously these things are steering the ship more than we know. And when it comes to the actuality of the inevitable end that many fear, we often get sucked into the industry of death without knowing how we feel about it, or what our options are.  

Also, often times we are expected to just 'get over it', when someone or something we know and love leaves us. The truth is that when these huge shifts take place we are forever changed and it is a gradual learning process of how to relate to the world as this forever changed person. The experience brings us out of our bodies and makes us often out of balance on the physical plane. We have to be kind to ourselves, and it helps if we are willing to look this grief in the face, so that we don't become numb. Just because we are numb, doesn't mean we are over it. And it can start to bubble out in interesting mysterious ways. 

 "it's easy to be grateful for what you have, but it takes courage to be grateful for what you have lost" (cloud cult ) nurturing what we have lost helps us learn about all the abundant beauty. it doesn't stop. 

when I was first going to school for massage in Maui, I moved to this commune,  in the middle of somewhere next to nothing... fearless, without much money,  a baby on my hip and a whole lot of trust in the world. I would hitch hike to school, 45 min one way. hitchhiking is legal there, so it felt rather safe. But sometimes I would end up in the back of pick up trucks, also legal. Traveling on the very curvy mountain pass that wrapped around the island from my home to school, in Makawao, at Maui School of Therapeutic Massage.  My mantra in those moments where i was handing over my control to the person behind the wheel and the will of the God's was " you gotta learn how to die, before you can live", it was a thrilling and beautiful way to experience life. It feels really bold to me these days! And I can hardly imagine doing it that way now. exactly that way anyhow.  But I do believe that to be a powerful mantra worth living by. only by embracing our death, will we really become able to embody our lives full heartedly..

While going to school there, I studied at length with a wonderful man named Jim Hacket. He had started a school many years before in Chicago. His main focus was Neuromuscular Therapy, a trigger point method that focuses on the origins and insertions of all the muscles. He was a master at his craft... full of strength, presence, grace and a wealth of knowledge. I can still remember the way his thumbs looked, and the way he would pace slowly by and watch us work on people, correcting our pressure and body mechanics. He also taught us Anatomy and a few other courses. He eventually took over the Maui School of Therapeutic Massage, and taught many students over the next decade or more, since I graduated in 2004. Recently I learned of his transition out of this world... somehow I had missed it when it actually happened, I learned about it on the one year anniversary of his departure.  I was just about to walk in with a client when I heard the news. My whole session was washed with visions of what he had taught me, and just how much I use that information all the time. I feel very blessed to have learned from him. And it got me thinking 'am I really living right now, to the fullest potential of my being? If I died today what would I miss the most? ' and all of sudden life felt so short. 

"you start dyeing slowly if you do not travel, if you do not read, if you do not listen to the sounds of life, if you do not appreciate yourself. 

you start dying slowly when you kill your self-esteem, when you do not let others help you. You start dying slowly if you become a slave to your habits, walking everyday on the same paths... if you do not change your routine, if you do not wear different colors or you do not speak to those you don't know.

you start dying slowly if you avoid to feel passion & it's turbulent emotions, those that make your eyes glisten &your heart beat fast. You start dying slowly if you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love, or with your surroundings. If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain, if you do not go after a dream, if you do not allow yourself, at least once in your lifetime to run away from sensible advice. " Paplo Neruda 

We are all in a death cycle of one kind or another in our lives, if not many simultaneously. Staying open hearted is key, even during time of trial. Embracing our grief without fear so that we might truly live. one of my hopes in this life, before I leave, is to see my community embrace death on a whole new level. So that we can really show up for each other. What does this look like? How do we want to be nurtured when we are dying? This is a big conversation. I think we start by taking the rug off, and holding death sweetly in the palm of our hand. 

In other cultures I have been they are so close with death. It is much more in their faces and I believe they are better for it. In Varanasi India, today, you can go there and if you happen to find yourself in a boat in Ganges, you might be surprised to find a beloved deceased human friend floating in those sacred waters. It is a place of pilgrimage for the dying. A very sacred way to go, if you are so lucky. I wonder what that looks like for us in our culture? making death sacred. Or at least attempt to normalize the only sure thing in life? My Sufi teacher Leilah Be's husband Bodhi Be , in Maui have gone to great lengths in their community there in this arena. with Green burials, death doula's, a death store and all kinds of consciousness around our grand departure into the Great Mystery. they have regular radio shows and workshops year round exploring this, its fascinating and cutting edge. you can find out more on the doorway into the light website.  

Massage is also an amazing tool to use during these extreme times to help us remember where our bodies are in space. To return to the source of our center of gravity is a key component to moving safely in the world. Not to mention the layers of tension that can shed and how that alone can make a person think clearer. There is no way around but only through these obstacles in life that we start to fully embrace the newness of our collective growth. grief is mostly seen as something that is experienced by the people left behind by a loved one... but it also is an experience to be had when our lives change dramatically in other ways, never to be the same again. or when a piece of our own personality dies... or when we ourselves consciously learn that we are going to die and are grieving the life we are to leave behind. taking time with the home of which houses you here and now, can truly help you experience the moment more fully so that you can truly walk through the center of what is happening, and not getting to magnetized to the avoidance of your self. 

Embrace this wildly real reality ever more gently ! 

 

connecting the Dots. Reflexology, The Auto Immune epidemic, Hanuman and the Chinese New year

connecting the Dots. Reflexology, The Auto Immune epidemic, Hanuman and the Chinese New year

We are just a week or so into the Chinese New Year, The Year of the Monkey. I love to pay attention to things, notice how they fit together. Its like painting pictures, where to some degree you get to decide the relevance of how each brush stroke will suite the whole picture, and yet the mystery keeps its grip so that we will not know what the painting looks like til it is "finished". In my years of paying attention to Astrology traditions, body work methods,  world religion studies and through worldly travels, I have enjoyed the diversity of brush strokes I witness, and the painting grows in depth all the time. 

 Recently, I taught a few Reflexology class's at the Duluth public Library.  The first one was a request of a library personnel. The second one was a request of the Lupus foundation of Minnesota  who felt like it would be a useful tool for people living with lupus, an Autoimmune disease, to manage their pain. Its a true epidemic,  Autoimmune disease in our day and age. It is potentially at the root of many if not all of the biggest illnesses we experience.  Where The immune system gets periodically stuck in overdrive. When these flareups happen the Immune system  starts to attack a  persons healthy tissue. other illnesses can result from the stagnation that happens within inflammation.  The  acute inflammation is painful, and continues to send the Immune system into overdrive, which is stressful, this stress releases a stress hormone. The stress hormone turns the immune system engine on, which is further frustrating when  the Immune system being on is what is causing the pain in the first place. so. the cycle continues.  Finding creative ways to relax, without causing more inflammation, could soften the flair ups in autoimmune situations. From what I read though, food can be a huge if not the biggest contributing factor in successful treatment. I read a very inspiring book called 'The autoimmune Solution' by Amy Meyers M.D, which had a whole easy to follow diet plan, that seemed good and nice to have a thorough road map to look at while exploring Inflammatory and non inflammatory foods.   Pain management is something we are all dealing with, some more than others. When the Doctors don't have easy answers we are left to learn, search and find out for ourselves. This takes a certain amount of will power and strength, as well as attention.

Reflexology is an age old Therapy that has roots back to ancient Egypt, although its relatively well known presence in our world today, is really only in the past 100 years or so.  It is a Theory that by applying pressure to points on the feet, hands and ears the whole body is able to relax. The whole body. One idea is that the nerves on the Peripheral nervous system (PNS) pass through the whole body, sending messages back and forth , on their little branch like roots, to the brain- or rather the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is the dispatch team, in the body, that processes all sensory input into the body and tells the body where it is time and space, and also holds the keys to the reigns of what we hold onto and what we let go of, energetically. The pressure on these points sends an abundance of messages to the CNS, which in turn acts like a computer when it has too much information, and just shuts off in that spot. Tension can release all along the pathway of the nerve, as it passes through every major system in the body.  

We temporarily pondered on the Solar Plexus (a nerve center that lives right below the diaphram/sternum, also associated with will power and self worth)  while working on our feet.  The Reflexology solar plexus point is right in the center of the foot, there is also one in the center of the palm of the hand, as well as the ears . The Sanskrit name for the Solar Plexus is 'Ram'. Ram is also a well known Hindu God, a Sun God, Divine Masculine flavor of the universe, if you will. Hanuman, Another Hindu God,  has the body of a  Monkey.   Hanuman is a humble servant of Lord Ram and his beloved Sita ( the divine feminine, Goddess).  When I think of Hanuman (even though I am not Hindu) , I think of humility, i think of service, unconditional love and complete devotion towards the highest good and balance of the feminine and masculine forces on the planet. A string of thoughts, connecting dots in my mind, when rubbing my solar plexus (Ram)  point, happened. Now with the chinese new year, a totally different lineage, with different theories than Hinduism found refuge in connection in my mind, to one another. some sort of estranged brotherhood.   A light bulb went off, when I saw our solar plexus lighting up with softness, and becoming bright. This inner willful sunshine, showed me that we all have the ability within us to shine brightly. And that this shining bright is no longer a desire, its a necessity for our well beings and our health. We need to be more like Hanuman. Selfless little servants to Ram, or rather, to our individual suns at the core of our being. Maybe, this year of the monkey, we will all rekindle our self worth. No matter what our God path is. May this reflection be a mirror of your highest self and well being. I believe in you.  Happy Chinese New Year to you! 

Be your own best Valentine!

Be your own best Valentine!

Valentines day is coined as a 'Hallmark' Holiday. But anytime I see the masses acknowledging love as a primary focus, without attaching it to anything specific, I applaud with great enthusiasm!

I fully believe though that you can not love anyone any more than you love yourself. So it is my simple practice, that anytime I hit a wall in my personal relationship or with my loved ones nearest to my personal heart sphere, that I do something to honor and love myself. To walk through and not around the obstacles in life, is of the highest value of which money can not buy, and to do so with utmost compassion and kindness to the process. 

sometimes when we hit these walls we need to call upon others to help us feel where we are in time and space again. Massage has been a great tool for me in my most emotionally challenging times. helping me to find my center again. it almost feels as though the safe hands that i let work on me are showing me where my body is in time and space and that I  am able to more clearly find my internal pathway to opening up my heart again. It brings more joy and depth to my interpersonal relationships, because I am able to bring more of my clarity and fullness of heart to the table, as we break bread together. 

"the body is thy temple"

quite literally by becoming my own best valentine, I become a truly heart shining valentine for the ones i hold near and dear. 

Love Big or go home. 

check out my valentines day special running through February 14th. $10 off an hour long gift certificate  through the online scheduler. 

Reflexology: Sole Care, for people living with Lupus and other chronic conditions

Reflexology: Sole Care, for people living with Lupus and other chronic conditions

When Living with chronic pain one can get caught  within themselves not knowing where to turn for help.

I believe that we are often times stubborn creatures, creatures of habit. And when we are presented with the challenge to manage pain, it can be hard to find the motivation to help ourselves. Especially when we are caught in a mystery illness or pain cycle that not even our respected doctors understand, and so we don't know where to go for answers. Either we choose to shut down, or we have to become our own best advocates and find the answers for ourselves. 

Now. Even two people with the same labeled illness can have different symptoms and therefore different needs. So this is an awesome opportunity (where it seems as thought the universe is forcing you) to go within to find your own needs. 

chronic pain is often times caused by some sort of inflammatory response, and the vicious cycle is perpetuated by the stress hormone. it becomes apparent that we need to, then, learn methods of relaxation to decrease the stress response in the body, without stimulating the inflammatory response.

reflexology is an age old method that uses pressure points in the feet, hands and ears of which relax the whole body and nervous systems. it can be a very effective pain management method for those living with chronic pain. 

on february 11th from 6:00 - 7:30 I will be giving a free lecture on this at the Duluth Public Lybrary. all curious eyes, ears and minds should come join in the conversation and we can explore this together. 

Catching a Muse

Catching a Muse

WELCOME to my blog, and my new website!! I am excited to bring the lessons I learn in my practice to the table (via this blog) that people can continually learn from.

Catching the blogging muse is an interesting skill I am learning right now. I see things that inspire me everyday when experiencing peoples healing process. ideas and helpful connections of understanding come through that I believe would help us all see life more clearly. The trick is learning how to catch these muses as they pass by... because they don't hang around long... I have now got ample pen supply and feel ready to share with the world what they show me!!

I hope you enjoy. And I hope my muse bait works well.

Oh, AND with this new site comes the new feature of online scheduling!! This should be easier for all of us:) Thanks for tuning in!