Tag Archives: changes

I am who I am

I am ME
I am greater
Yet
I am me
I am human

Two in one
Infinitely
Complex

One ultimately
Infinitely
Undefinable
One finitely
Labelable

Two parts
Of MY
Whole

I will never
Change
Because
I am constantly
Changing

Always being
Me
Improving

Striving
Work
Never-ending
Possibilities
Of betterment

Worked too hard
To undo
What's done

Won't
Can't
Go back
To worse
To lesser

Times
Emotions
Attitudes

Main trajectory
Upwards
Aimed for
Heaven
Goals in mind

Knowing
Inaccuracies
In My aim

Willing to settle
Heaven
Isn't necessarily
In the
Sky

Stars
Do
Fall

Dreams
May come
In disguise
Or as
Surprise

Still have to
Aim
Somewhere

Just
Aim for
Improvement
You'll always
Be right

~Treasa Cailleach



May you see yourself in new light, and see others in the best ways possible now. May you have more understanding, acceptance, and appreciation for your journey within. May you know your greatest journey and most wonderful rewards come from elements unseen, others will rarely notice. May you feel the knowing that you have worked towards improvement and bettered your life and those around you. May you know you have had an impact on this world and be at peace with how that manifested. May you know your mortality and accept the process peacefully when the time is ripe. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all you do.

Om Shanti

I figured it out

My daughter was talking about one of her best friends who goes by the name Lenny and prefers the pronoun “they”. I discovered that it made me feel uncomfortable. I have nothing against people choosing their descriptors but in the moment of the conversation it felt awkward, and I was trying to figure out why.

Finally, this morning I realized it is because of the ‘is/are‘ English rules which I learned in school. When I was taught English if you were talking about someone using he, she, their name, or saying “that person” you always used IS. Likewise, if you said they you had to use are, and most of the time ‘they are’ was a plural statement but last night my daughter was using it in the singular and it just felt off.

She had pointed out prior that they did get used in singular such as “they lost their wallet, I hope they come back to get it”. And I agreed, but my epiphany fits with this. The wallet statement is devoid of the is/are connundrum.

So, I’m going to give some examples of where I realized I was feeling the”wrongness” in the moment.

Like her wallet example, I’m used to: “They dropped their item, I hope they realize they lost it and come back for it.” And “Are they going to the show?”

But last night it was more: “They get scared easily; they are easily frightened by…; they came around the corner and screamed from being startled; they don’t really like scary things but we convinced them to do two haunted houses”

The phrases being said sounded plural, like she was talking about multiple people, but it was just the one friend. It really did feel off and somewhat confusing. I personally would have rather heard “Lenny” repeated throughout.

So after a good night’s sleep, I finally figured out the-how of my glitch with using “they” as a singular pronoun…. Now I just have to figure out how to make my brain okay with language rules learned in early elementary.

I’m certain it doesn’t help that being dyslexic. I struggled with learning language rules in a repeatable sort of way. It also doesn’t help that I learned to hate being wrong at an early age, getting things wrong meant bad grades and the wrath of my father screaming at me that I can do better. So I worked 3 times as hard to avoid that. It means once I understood something I really locked it away in a don’t-fuck-up sort-of-way. It’s extra hard to change something learned young in that manner.

Not impossible, just really really difficult.

I’ve fixed lots of things, this will eventually be another. Or maybe I’m not alone and someone is already working on an English-speaking-rules adjustment.

May you understand your hiccups with verbal speed bumps. May you see how to make things okay for yourself so they can be okay for others. May you find a way around every broken element of your psyche. May you fix your brain to fix your life. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

And today’s Abraham quote:

Every religion on the planet, and there are so many more than you are even aware of, has the potential of absolute thriving. But when you think that you must prove that you have the only one that is right—and you use your condemnation to push against the others—your condemnation separates you from your own Connection that, before your condemnation, you were finding in your own religion.

Excerpted from Boston, MA on 10/2/04

Our Love,
Esther
(and Abraham and Jerry)

Throuple or Quadouple?

The lyrics above, I took a screenshot of: Alan Walker’s “Faded”, has been a reoccurring song reminder of my SJ. I do often wonder if that exchange is my own personal Atlantis, and still hope it’s not.

Regardless of that reminder appearing in my day, I had originally set out to write today to discuss a new, but not really new to me, concept.

I was introduced to the word-invention: Throuple.

I got very excited because the person that explained it was a woman I’m attracted to. I was psyched that she knew of polyamory topics enough to introduce a new word to my vocabulary.

So, the word itself I’d never heard before, yet the concept is one Nathan and I have discussed many times over. Essentially, based upon my new search, it’s a variation of the family of 3 concept, started by a somewhat famous/infamous triad of two men and one woman.

Once upon a time “ménage à trois” was the French phrase that many English speaking people used to describe a man with 2 women. Literally the French phrase can mean any family of three, even 2 parents and a child. However for whatever reason it often was innuendo for a triad of adults, usually 1 man and 2 women, being intimate.

Nathan and I were labeled unicorn hunters when we intended to seek that out. After many failures, we decided to redefine our acceptable arrangements and open ourselves to more options.

Fast forward a decade and I’m sitting having a conversation with a very attractive potential mate. She proceeded to describe a Throuple as really any 3 or 4 adults, but her ideal was one or two women and two men because women are more complex than many men. We connected intensely in that conversation.

I explained to her about having been labeled unicorn hunters, and that we opened ourselves up to more options. So, even though I’d never heard the word, we had discussed for many hours over many years, our preferences and okay concessions.

I agreed with this person on most everything and a few of her points made Nathan think more deeply. My current ideal is flexible in quantity, hence creating Quadouple, even quincouple (don’t want to get it confused with the babies’ quintuple). However, I do agree with women being complex enough to need more people to meet more complex needs. Plus there is always benefit to multiples in creating flexibility. The 4 or 5 concept can be subdivided multiple ways, and in varying combinations to create a seemingly unlimited way to experience each other. {A+B+C and D+E, or A+D and B+E with C being alone, and so on.} You get the idea, lots of ways to be together or separate as each individual prefers at any given moment, and it’s not restricted to intimacy, that can even been in mundane interactions.

So yes, I was very excited to have new vocabulary for existing concepts in our experience. I haven’t been able to get that conversation out of my head, and it’s been 3 days since our Valentine’s Day date. Perhaps this is a new leaf enabling more moving forward. I’m hesitant but excited.

Bonus, the date was at a Mexican restaurant that pushed literally every allergy button while getting drunk, but I took extra allergy meds, and came through the experience in relatively good condition. I did have a fair hangover with significant inflammation, but was able to manage the effects with Advil and more allergy medicine and a good amount of detox tea. I was a bit sore in joints the following day, but managed to stay out of the hole I used to fall into.

Beyond our exciting V-Day date, I had a half day off for my family to honor me with a small pleasant birthday celebration, and spent the rest of my weekend unpacking boxes that had been in storage for years. It enabled even more beautification of our new home. It was a good few days, and I look forward to more and more enjoyable days like that.

May you all find good reminders of your hopes and connections. May you find reasons to be excited moving forward. May you find exciting validation of your goals and preferences. May you find people you are attracted to, and whom are attracted to you as well- reciprocation. May you have good dates, fun holiday cerebrating, enjoyable birthdays, and good times with family. May you feel attractive, accepted, loved, and supported. May you fall in love more than out of it. May you know God is helping and guiding you. May you feel confident in everything working out for the best. May it all always be okay.

Siva Hir Su

Dig deeper.

I find I’m telling myself that sentiment in many ways today.

Today was my first day off in 2 weeks. I was exhausted. I’ve had a sinus infection for 4 days, and though I feel like it’s working on going away, I’m still draggy and congested. Bonus I’m in second trimester pregnancy: hormones swinging, blood-pressure drops, belly budge being uncomfortable, and so many more lovely side-effects. I’m generally feeling miserable more than glowing for being half way through pregnancy. It doesn’t help I’ve literally been grieving over the loss of the boy. I struggle with disbelief on that one because I never truly met him, but he affected me so much, and I felt so much connection, that I do feel I fell in love. I know I need to let go, but my heart argues with me daily on that one. I simply keep wanting the happy ending. Finally, we’re in a holding pattern still waiting to hear on the rental house that is the best match for us, so I’m still doing the sofa surfing dance, to do my best to not lose all my puzzle pieces for battling the depression monster. Meh.

Anyway, I had intended to sleep in and then do invoicing. However, when I finally got moving my emotional state took a nose dive because of a simple yet annoying chain reaction of silly stuff: things falling, finding mess in the details, and the internet malfunctioning due to bad weather and high winds this week (prempting my invoicing goal, but also preventing Ian’s TV time which left him bored-trouble-making).

 Essentially my brain went straight to “why doesn’t anything ever go the way I want, and why is everything always a mess”. Two horrible over generalizations, representing negative beliefs I hold, and reflecting my lack of mental stability right now.

After losing my calm and cool yet again, I went back to bed crying. Nathan spent a while doing some Reiki on me which helped some.

When I got up the second time, I ate and did my best to get back on track, telling myself to dig deep and focus on happy making. I kept telling myself things from Louise Hay and Abraham Hicks. It helped stabilize my state, but I was having a hell of a time pulling completely up.

Ian kept saying “cheer up mommy”; Buddy Cat kept plopping down on me, at one point sitting on my shoulders. I was still barely treading water. I knew I needed to dig deeper.

I went back to the bedroom to sit in front of the mirror naked to do some Louise Hay work. Through yet more tears I realized that my allergies and some other ‘problems’ I have, really link back to that belief from earlier. I’ve had so many things in life not go as planned, and end up in emotional hurts, that I’m literally creating more ways for that to manifest.

Not intentionally, it’s literally law of attraction responding to my reactions to things. Every time I say or think that sentiment I’m creating another way that it eventually re-manifests. That realization made me cry even more because I want to fix it but don’t really know how.

The basic concept is acknowledge the ‘problem’ belief, and the opposite ‘positive’ belief. Then gradually work your way from the negative to the positive. Gradually being the operative word, because if you try to make too big of a jump you won’t really believe that step and essentially have to start over. You have to genuinely believe each step to keep climbing the emotional ladder and make permanent change. Affirming positive changes that have already occurred and finding some self love can solidify this process.

 I made it as far as acknowledging the old pattern and resulting negative belief, and then acknowledging that the opposite would be believing everything is safe and I can have good happy making things in life. I did even do a basic detail of  some manifestations that could result from the positive alternative.

Then I got stuck. My brain simply couldn’t wrap around the next step. How do I inch my beliefs from one end to the other in a real tangible permanent way?

At that point I had to eat dinner and go to orchestra rehearsal. I let it drop for the time being, and cleaned myself up & got dressed again. Ate dinner, and left.

I dug deep for the energy to clear rehearsal and “people” for a bit, being a necessity with carpooling and rehearsal interactions.

Now I sit, feeling still exhausted, and wanting to go back to bed. Acknowledging tomorrow’s needs, and that I never finished what I started in the mirror. I know I should put some effort into that process, but I’m not sure if I can dig any deeper today. It may have to wait, which means I’ll have to dig deeper in other ways to get through my days. Fortunately, once I start something like that, my brain doesn’t forget. I’ll eventually work through to a solution, it might just take a while. Sometimes a really long while. I’ll get there, and I’ll survive, I always do. It’s just one more layer of the onion to peel, one more piece of myself to heal.

Ummmmm, yeah, it’s like that.

Another intense day to round out the week. It was HOT- 97*, though it felt like more. They have estimated that it might break 100* this weekend. Blah. Otherwise it was beautiful: bright, sunny, cloudless sky. Pretty flowers in full bloom everywhere. It was a work day for me, so I spent the day driving through Johnson County with perfectly manicured lawns and gardens, trees and shrubs.

The energy and messages flowed greatly. I felt very connected today. It was darn near blissful at several points. I don’t really know how to describe it fully, as I feel it through my whole body. Blissful, orgasmic, and intense seem to be the best descriptors. Regardless, everything went very well, and I even got to meditate over lunch. Even my meditation was intensely wonderful today.

On my drive into work I replayed the conversation (from yesterday) I had with the therapist relinquishing a building to me. It’s the new work to be had shortly. Basically, she confessed that I was the only therapist that she was able to come up with that was familiar with elder care. She said that she used to know 2 other ladies that did elder massage, but that they had retired. I also said that I had only known of a couple of other therapists doing a significant amount of elder care, but never actually met them, so I guessed she might have been one of them. Her concern was finding someone that actually knew the environment, how to work with the residents and what to expect and look for.  She essentially did a short phone interview with me to ensure that was the case. We talked about which buildings I go to, how I function, and what I charge. It was a good conversation.

Anyway, upon replay I realized that essentially what this conversation means is that when she has fully relinquished the building to me, I will have a monopoly on Elder Care in the Kansas City Metro Region. That is to say, I will be the only massage therapist that solely provides elder care massage as my whole business. I’m sure that there are a handful which see one or 2 people in the environment which I work, therapists always make exceptions for their favorite people. However, most therapists do those exceptions on the side as extra income above and beyond their “stable” office environment (be it chiro, spa, or stand alone).

Now, on one hand that’s awesome. At one point I commented to someone that it would be great if I had “all” of the buildings and was as busy as I could handle making a decent living. So this is literally a somewhat delayed manifestation of that.

On the other hand, “all of the buildings”, is not really all the buildings. There are many buildings that choose not to get involved in facilitating a connection between resident and therapist. You see, massage is still not considered medicine, and is barely gaining ground as Complimentary Alternative Medicine. So, it’s not covered, at all, hardly ever. Out of the approximately 30 well established buildings in the metro, there’s only 6 that have bothered to directly facilitate introducing therapists to the residents. There are only 2 of those that will actually intervene in the billing process, and only one of them for individual full weekly sessions. It’s just not worth their time, or at least as the corporate world perceives it. Furthermore, though insurance covering massage would dictate an exorbitant amount of paperwork, it would finally cause facilities to acknowledge it’s usefulness.

So, ultimately I end up contemplating the long term ramifications of this. It’s what I do. I see a work situation where there are 2 sides and I have to decide which side I want to invest time into.

So, I could take this building, add it to my schedule and proceed as she did, essentially just adding a few hours of work to my week, and call it done.

Or, I could pursue the aforementioned problem of buildings not dealing with massage and potentially create a situation where I would need to train  others and figure out the logistics of sub-contractors (short-term) and/or employees (long-term). Depending on the building environment, if I was able to convince others to be more on board, I might even then need someone to do paperwork/invoicing/client files, or some data system to automate it.

Essentially, I would have to market to buildings again from the stand point of this is why you should facilitate massage- of which the list is great in elder care. I have plenty of reasons why it’s a good thing not just for the resident, but also for the building itself. I would be educating the buildings on things I’ve facilitated in the past, which might even open up opportunities to do Continuing Ed with the staff (I’d need to pay NCBTMB extra to be able to do that in an official capacity).

Then I would probably have to interface with all of the massage schools in the metro to see if their elder care course was up to snuff to produce valid candidates for sub-contracting/employment. PROBABLY NOT, I went to a great massage school in Iowa, and it still didn’t cover elder care massage adequately, their course was mostly about meds, diseases that typically are seen in elderly, and the 3 basics: no heat, ice, or deep pressure. That’s all good information, but I learned so many things on the job, it’s not even funny. For instance, carrying around my table lasted all of a week before I realized it was more of a liability than a benefit, and I have probably at least a hundred examples similar to that.

Though I like the ramifications of success that come with the latter scenario, there’s part of me that likes the more laid back, mellow, lower stress of the former. Either way, I’m appreciating in myself the credence, insight, awareness, and trustworthiness that I’ve gained working in the environment. Nathan too, pointed out that I am proficient at what I do, professional with everyone, and experienced, which gives people a sense of confidence in my abilities. That definitely goes a long ways.  Essentially, I have mastered my current trade. I like acknowledging that I have mastered what I do. I also like knowing that I could potentially build what I do into a larger business with several staff members.

However, I’m not so sure that even on a larger scale that it would be profitable enough to make all the work worthwhile. Unfortunately, until people recognize all the myriad of benefits of massage as being very valid in a medical setting, and additionally eliminate the association between dollar and minute, massage will not be a very profitable endeavor. The only businesses that make money off of massage are paying their therapists like crap ($10-15/hr), and I refuse to do that, which means my profits would be slimmer. So I’d have a heavy labor intensive route to make a very little money. That is very counter to how I even got into elder care in the first place. I’ve not convinced myself it’s worth it yet.

However, I’ve not shut the door on that possibility either. I would love to see massage more widely accepted and less about dollar per minute, but to do that someone has to do the dirty work that I’ve described. In an ideal world I see massage billed to insurance just like a doctor or chiropractor. Fees based upon area(s) worked. A chiropractor bills insurance (or even cash visits) based upon how many adjustments were done, the more adjustments, the more expensive. There’s no reason a massage can’t be charged the same way.

There are residents I work with that I could do everything 10 times over and still not make an hours time because they are simply so frail and fragile that I can’t focus that intensely on their muscle tone. Those residents still get a full head to toe massage, they still get a full head to toe Reiki treatment, but I would be hard pressed to meet an hour. Additionally, they still benefit, their mood still shows improvement, their blood pressures stay lower, edema swelling is kept at bay, and they get enough movement to help stave off skin tears and bed sores. My job has been done, and done well, regardless if I’ve spent exactly 60 minutes rubbing them.

One the other hand I have had residents that an hour is simply not enough. Be it their particular health situation, perhaps their physical size, their mobility limitations necessitating extra help, and even situations involving anxiety or other mood disturbances. I once had a resident that I invested two and a half hours attempting to just get a fairly decent head to toe massage. At the end of that time I gave up with about 3/4 having been done, knowing that I would still only get paid for one hour.

For you see: massage is, even with elderly, defined as hands-on time only is paid by the hour. Whatever your rate is by the hour, is paid only based upon the time your had hands on the client. I have fought that very issue the whole 4+ years I’ve been in elder care. I don’t get paid for wandering a building trying to track people down. I don’t get paid waiting for Nurses’ Aids to accommodate someone’s mobility or restroom needs. I don’t get paid for redirecting their Dad’s/Grandpa’s verbal lapses and questionable activities. I don’t get paid for keeping loved ones from falling out of chairs or beds, or answering anxious cries for help. I don’t get paid for waiting for housekeeping, or the salon, or any one of several other therapy sessions to wrap up so that I can get my session in (being lowest on the totem pole), and I sure as heck don’t get paid for my drive time or expenses. Yet families still complain about my $40 whole visit or $20 half visit charge as being too vague because: grandma said she didn’t get all of her hour, or mom doesn’t even remember you coming, or that seems awfully pricey for such a short massage. Never mind, I travel to them, they never have to worry about expensive or inconvenient transportation scheduling.  I schedule around ALL of their other needs, even playing bridge with the girls. I bend over backwards to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible, and I limit needing to adjust or re-position them as much as possible, which often means fetching blankets and pillows and navigating any one of a number of different automatic beds or recliners. I’ve combed hair, cleaned faces and hands, I’ve helped Aids do their jobs, and I have fetched things for residents thousands of times, including drinks and food.

Now, I don’t say this to just complain about those aspects. I say this to point out the elephant in the room. That massage is billed at the “expensive” rates that it is because there are always behind the scenes things that would otherwise be “working for free”. Or, overhead would be uncovered, and businesses would fail repeatedly. I actually have the lowest fees of anyone in the metro. Perhaps that is how I slowly gained the monopoly. And I did it by eliminating as much as possible, cutting corners on my side where I could, and otherwise just eating the bullet knowing that I put in 36 to 48 hours a week and usually actually see pay for roughly half that. If it weren’t for the trade I do for my tax accountant, I probably would have failed years ago. Her skills with my tax return have ensured that I always remain afloat, just to make sure that other peoples’ dear ones are well cared for. That is my mission in life.

I have said millions of times over, my goal is always that the person I’m working with feels better when I leave than when I walked in and I always do my best to make that happen. Sometimes it is futility in action, sometimes it is an ever so short span of relief, but if I can even provide a little relief from the discomforts of aging, then I have done my job well. Now, I can say that I know this to have been true for the last 4 years, because I am the only therapist left standing. I’m the only one that had the fortitude, the knowledge, the strength (mentally and emotionally), and the stamina to keep going and keep helping when the odds were stacked against me. I managed to keep my costs down to encourage as many people to get massage as possible. I managed to learn quickly, stay focused, and help educate families and staff on the importance of massage. I’ve given talks, I’ve done free events, I’ve shaken thousands of hands, and I’ve given helpful advice when and where I could. All of that work has finally paid off, if not financially, at least metaphorically. I am the standard of care in Elder Care massage for the Kansas City Metro area. I am the only one left to turn to for advice, counsel, or appointments. So, I have to decide if it will end with me when I retire from massage, or if I will attempt to grow a business that will potentially not only keep Elder Massage going, but possibly gain better footing for the field and create expansion.

And all when I thought I was going to have some miracle allow me to move to Colorado and build Atira. Could life get any more confusing? Don’t answer that Universe! Maybe there’s a both answer lying in there for me somewhere…. I always have liked BOTH answers.