Tag Archives: feeling confident

And so it begins…

HAL has begun sending me things to reinforce my last post. One of which is the following:

How to Move On: What It Really Means to Let Go: https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-move-on-from-the-past-what-it-really-means-to-let-go/

I guess I will never understand fully because letting go and focusing on love seem to be the bigger message. I still wish I had some understanding.

Anyways, in moving on, I had a really good time today with 2 different co-workers during downtime.

I took a walk with the office manager and we had a really great conversation, with some much needed emotional release for both of us. Plus it helped me reach my step goals today. I was very appreciative of that time all around.

I also got to play a couple of games of “Magic the Gathering” with the one chiropractor. It’s a game I used to play with the brother that’s closest to me in age. It has been …. let’s see…. since early 2003 that I’ve played. That’s 16, almost 17, years. Wow!

I still have my cards from back then, but so much has changed that the new decks are much better, so he has been encouraging me to use his. I feel like I’m starting from scratch and completely relearning everything. It’s so fun though. I totally lost big time- on both games, but still enjoyed every bit of it.

I am so out of practice that the strategy feels over my head yet, but I get the concept. The layering of steps and which cards work better in what order can be very complex. I literally had a card in my hand that I’d been holding for several turns, but forgot to leave myself enough mana(land) to use it and it cost me the one game.

I enjoy learning so much though, and it is definitely a fun kind of learning, so it literally made me giddy at one point. I felt like I got silly hyper with the fun. That was a very much needed distraction from my previous focus.

As for learning: I’m still working on hindi and telegu in my spare time, but since I have no idea why God nudged me to do so (especially since I’m letting go of that person) , it’s at a very relaxed pace. I’m getting to where in hindi I can pick out letters and sound out words even though I know very few translations. Telegu I know more translations, but have fewer of the characters memorized. It’s merely a symptom of the different apps and how they teach languages. I like Duolingo and Drops, which both offer hindi, but neither offer telegu. The telegu apps are much less sophisticated, but still get the job done.

I’ve also begun the slow tedious process of becoming an approved continuing education provider for massage therapy. Essentially, the easy part is proving my qualifications to teach a handful of courses by documenting I have so many years working using said techniques, I also have a bachelor’s degree, which though they would prefer it to be related (a BS), it doesn’t hurt. Once I do that easy step, I literally have to follow rules and write my own curriculum which can be no more than 30% cited source material. Finally, once I’ve written everything, I can apply by submitting my CV and courses for approval; of course paying the appropriate exorbitant fees. They really try to dissuade people from becoming providers: can’t have too many teachers and too few students you know!

I’m not intimidated by the process in the least. Their basic calculation is 1200 words equals a credit unit. That’s a blog post for me, so I’m guessing I’ll have more trouble pairing down or figuring out how to subdivide my topics for multiple related courses. However, after having written the operations manual for my previous position, I’m certain I’m up to the task. It’s more about convincing myself to do the free work knowing that eventually I’ll recoup the benefit in paid courses with students in multiplicity.

I’m also contemplating the investment of a site where I can host web-based courses. Essentially, the text/testing coursework can be provided via web interface without practical hands on CE hours. Ultimately that helps spread the information side, but the CMT loses access to the extra CE’s for the hands on practicals. It’s a lower cost solution for both parties, but longterm it would benefit me as the provider more. It’s a huge up front investment, to also have to market like crazy, but longterm reaping significantly higher benefits. Ultimately, it will happen, but I’m not sure I’m ready for the investment side just yet. I’ll contemplate web platforms and do the math several times during my writing phase of this momentous step, and make my final decision during the application process.

Long story short, I’m having fun and learning and inching toward another significant step of improvement. All by my not-so-little own self. I feel like screaming “HA, Take That World!”… but alas I know no one would really truly care anyway. So, I’ll keep my ‘I win’ moment to myself, and relish that I know I’m the only one that gets credit for digging myself out of a decade of hardship…. me and God that is.

May you all have happy dances of overcoming obstacles. May you find kindness around you and moments of connection with others. May you find joy in continually learning and ways to share what you’ve already mastered. May you see God’s grace and support guiding you through all of life’s moments toward brighter futures.

Siva Hir Su

A Brief Exposé

Preface:

I’m going to intention to be somewhat vague here. I’ve noticed overlapping patterns in my manifestations and resulting interactions with others. I intend for this post to apply to as many of those overlapping situations as possible.

First and foremost:

“Don’t think about all those things you fear, just be glad to be here.” ~ “Hayling” by FC Kahuna

I have come to rest for the moment in a place of acceptance of myself as I stand. I’m seeing my power and abilities and yet evaluating whether I wish to push the envelope or just allow myself to be for a bit.

I woke hurting this morning, a combination of allergic reactions from Anya’s birthday celebration, and physical fatigue from having done a dozen very-deep tissues this week. Yet I managed to push through and find genuine gratitude that at least I’m feeling it.

There are people living in this world that are unable to feel their arms and legs and would appreciate the discomfort of my aches this morning.

That acknowledgement in combination with something that crossed my path yesterday led me to a realization that I had attracted myself an onslaught of people unwilling to express their gratitude for me in any meaningful way. I literally saw how several people in my recent history (last 5 years) probably did care on some level, but convinced themselves for whatever reasons that they could not align with the action or resources which they knew would convey that most effectively. As a result I’ve parted and chosen to move on the best way I can, but lingering hurts cross my mind on occasion.

So here I sit feeling confident in my current endeavors and abilities, a new fuller knowing of myself, but slightly hesitating. Knowing that as I move forward I wish to attract people and experiences that honor myself better.

That means I must start by honoring myself better.

You see, the Law of Attraction is just that.

Like attracts like.

I could not have attracted those people and experiences if I had not held myself in that particular alignment.

Extrapolation:

“Some of them want to use you, some of them want to be used by you. Some of them want to abuse you, some of them want to be abused.” ~ “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics

I have been abused in my lifetime. Repeatedly in fact, and in multiple ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally. In turn my abused mind and body, unable to handle the hurts, reflected them back at those in my experience. I became the abuser. Not as severe as my abusers were, but abuse I delivered none-the-less. I knew in my heart I could not let that continue and prayed for help to change myself. I prayed that I might be forgiven for my indescrections. My least desire of anything in this world is to be abuser or abused.

I have been used in less abusive ways. Simply being an employee is, in a way, being used. However, because of my history with abuse, many of my being-used situations reflect a similar negative consequence. I see that my dream of Atira would in a way require that I use others. However, it is my prayer that I find a balance where I can utilize others in the best way possible, and while honoring their gifts as best as I am able. I want my having to experience the flip side to be full of as many positive consequences as possible. That means if I am to have employees I wish to compensate them properly. That means if I’m to utilize volunteers I wish to honor them fully and treat them accordingly. I want to teach people that honoring each other and ourselves is a way of honoring God.

Despite being one of my favorite songs, what “Sweet Dreams” fails to sing about is all of the other options.

I wish to love and be loved.

I wish to honor and be honored.

I wish to serve and be served in the name of God.

I wish to respect and be respected.

I wish to care and be cared for.

I wish to share and be shared with.

I wish for intellectual and emotional equals to experience this give take world with as partners and companions. Where we can all reach for better.

Full-Circle:

“I wished for you too.” ~ Practical Magic

I attracted you, with my attention to my desires and my sloppy habits stemming from hurt. My mixed bag brought you into my experience.

Yet, you must admit that you are equally responsible. You aligned in the exact same manner. You focused on your desires, but missed your sloppiness from your past.

You see we are equals, carrying the same level of blame.

I suspect you felt that you were better than I. That you could manifest things better, or that you were smarter than I, more connected, more esteemed or somehow more gifted. In your hubris you aligned yourself with idiocy and in a way became the abuser.

Your lack of humility, your inability to reach for better took us out of alignment.

You see, I seek those willing to admit we’re all equals here on this Earth stumbling through and learning how to reach for better and improve ourselves. Those willing to move mankind toward a brighter future. Those willing to take responsibility for their actions, offer apologies when necessary, and reach for honoring themselves and others better. I acknowledge that none are perfect, yet in our imperfection lies our greatest gifts.

I know you saw my intelligence, my strength, my reserve, my determination, my extra large size, as well as my extra large energy. You saw my fortitude, my resolve, my ability to endure and persevere. You saw my gifts and talents and my inner beauty.

Yet, your sloppy habits brought to your attention my strangeness, my unique views and my very unorthodox beliefs and unconventional ways. I pushed your comfort zone and set a high bar. I challenged you in ways you obviously were unable to handle, which took us further out of alignment.

So now I can revise what I want, need, and desire.

I seek someone with equal intelligence, strength, reserve, determination, and energy. Someone with fortitude, resolve, ability to endure and persevere. Someone with gifts and talents and inner beauty. Yet someone humble enough to acknowledge that all of that exists in me and many others as well. Someone open minded enough to handle my strangeness, my unique views and my very unorthodox beliefs and unconventional ways. Someone willing to allow themselves to grow through experiencing me fully. Someone able to have constructive conversations even when beliefs diverge. Someone able to convey their preferences while still exploring the unknown or perceived contrasting experiences. I seek someone willing to love and be loved. Someone to honor and be honored. Someone willing to serve and be served in the name of God. Someone willing and able to respect everyone and in turn be respected, to care and be cared for. Someone able to share and be shared with.

I need for those someones to be able to take responsibility and share their gifts to commit to not just my family, but to building Atira. You see, I don’t just need money for Atira, I need people, hands, help, specific knowledge that I would rather utilize in others than begin to learn myself. Atira will fare far better, actually become a success, if there is a group, a poly family, willing to share the work load. I seek those people.

I have thought about each person that had previously aligned and subsequently misaligned with me. If further alignment was genuine, accompanied by equally genuine apologies, and foreseeably maintainable, then I could potentially welcome them back.

At the moment I have no evidence to the possibility of that, and suggestions, mere hearsay, to the contrary. Yet, I’m going to leave room that it might be possible. However, I’m not going to hold my breath, because I know the universe will provide what I desire regardless. It has so far, I was just sloppy about maintaining my alignment, and THAT is where I know I can and will do better.

May all of my readers take this to heart and find and maintain their alignment. May you all have those in your life that honor, respect and love you for being you. May you heal your hurts and move on successfully. May you find a way to make your dreams happen.

Victory and insights.

So the victory is my midwife is paid in full!!!! Yay! Happy dance and squeals of delight.

I even have a little bit saved for the trip to Acadia National Park in Maine the end of July. At this rate I think I’ll have enough to make the trip. It might be tight, but I can’t say no to free lodging, a beautiful experience, and visiting family I’ve not seen in nearly a decade.

That is wonderful relief.

On an entirely different topic, the insights came yesterday at a mandatory meeting our building had with the President and Vice President of our company. I have to say meeting them was far more comfortable than daily working tends to be. Everyone around me was running around stressing and I just wasn’t. I don’t know why in particular but it felt very comfortable and I even had a good albeit short conversation with the President.

He seems like a genuinely good guy, and the biggest take away from the meeting was that the owners are also good people.

It led to a long conversation with our pastor afterwards. We discussed how a company gets to where they have such genuinely good goals and set out to do good deeds, but end up having staffing and budget issues as I’ve seen. How the low people on the totem essentially still boil down to numbers. And how those ideals fail to carry through to all of the individuals in the organization.

It helped me gain some more clarity on my goals of Atira. The pastor used the phrasing that perhaps a company gets too large to fully understand all of the individual workings and really know it’s people. That the connections that express a person’s value are lost. That sentiment reinforced prior ideas I’d had that Atira should be a singular community. It could spawn franchisee opportunities or literally just help people learn how to start their own communities, but I really don’t want a company of mine to grow so large that the company itself begins to lose sight of it’s intent.

I want Atira to stay manageable so that I know for sure it is helping people both within and outside of it’s structure. I want to know that if all the individuals understand that, the better it functions and the more they can make happen in their lives and in the lives of others.

For instance: I know I want to give homeless people second chances by putting them to work- training and all, but I also acknowledge that minimum wage being just over $7 is highly unrealistic with the inflation we’ve had the last 20 years. I want Atira to be able to sustain realistic living wages for all of it’s staff members, and those with experience and drive do deserve to earn more.

Yet, I acknowledge that in order for there to be profits to divert for other charitable uses, there does have to be positive flow of goods and services being exchanged for properly set fees.

It is definitely a tricky balancing act, and one that though I now can see my employer aimed for, either did not reach or was unable to maintain. I want Atira to reach and maintain it.

Beyond that, yesterday’s conversations and interactions solidified that I have done very well for myself with much less effort than some. I pointed out to the President that I had only ever paid for two boxes of business cards and never did pamphlets or other costly marketing.

I left Facebook nonsense out of that conversation knowing that I had already gotten their attention over that. However, in talking to the pastor I did revisit it. Explaining that I have yet to see any benefit from Facebook, also knowing over 2 dozen people that have tried to use it for marketing. Most of those, myself included had far too negative cost-benefit imbalances in Facebook marketing. Offering up hundreds of free services or visits to get a pittance of mediocre to decent client base. It simply just never netted the good reliable clients that massage therapists, chiropractors, and other care providers survive by.

I count myself fortunate to have seen that pattern and ducked out before giving away too many hours of my life, my work, and my hands, to those that are ungratefully taking advantage of the freebie.

That is not to say I never give away services. In fact to this day I still do. However, I’m much more discerning in my free work. I give to those that truly value it, but otherwise might not be able to afford it. I also give away a fair number of massages to veterans, even those that can afford it. That is where I choose to give, and when someone shows their gratitude in the best way they know or have available, I’m more likely to give them repeat free services. I have one veteran that I bill for about every 4th massage, knowing he’s on a tight budget but that he sings my praises nearly daily. So essentially I do my best to catch him weekly and bill just one a month. That is my avenue for flowing charity for God. It is what I can do right now, so I do.

And besides, not dealing with Facebook took a huge stress off of me. No longer having to consider finding or creating good stock photography, and reducing my concerns of protecting people’s information and privacy. As a sole proprietor HIPAA is a potentially life threatening costly mistake waiting to happen, so I’m glad I stepped away from Facebook when I did.

Anyway, I’m utterly grateful for the whole lot, midwife being paid, meeting upper management, learning more about the company, and especially both the conversation with the President and our pastor.

Another thank you to the Divine for providing more clarity in my days and helping to continually redefine and become more specific with my desires and goals. I truly look forward to brighter days ahead.

Feeling confident.

“The monsters in my head are scared of love”

– Diplo; ‘Revolution’

Today was a very interesting day full of twists and turns both in real time logistics and metaphorically speaking. My lunch being a quick haircut at the closest great Great Clips.

I went in already being in a really good mood from things at work yesterday. Essentially having a greater understanding of the respect I’ve earned at work, as well as intense gratitude for the progress I’ve made over the last few years in my personal life. I’d come to a realization that things I’d asked for help from Nathan and the Divine had come to pass solidly, and now it’s my job to uphold my end of the bargain. That was a real confidence booster.

I was slightly concerned that I might not have time to fit a haircut into my short gap, but was able to slide right in.

I sat down to discover that I had gotten the new girl and she kept saying are you sure you want to go that short. I had to explain several times over I was no stranger to short hair having clipped it for the same reason after Ian’s birth. I said a quick mental request that she find her alignment to give me a decent haircut to accomplish the goal of making my new growth less noticeable.

She buzzed and clipped and snipped and then had her superior check her work. When all was said and done I walked out with what I’d set out to get- a decent haircut to make new growth blend in better.

Returning to work I got lots of compliments right away.

More feeling good.

After showing Nathan, he agreed it looked great, but kept saying it’s so short. I reminded him of after Ian and went to pull up an old picture to compare and found myself having a moment.

2 months shy of 4 years later, having been to 2 different salons on opposite sides of the metro. I had a nearly identical haircut.

After Ian when my hair started to return. February 1st, 2015:

Today:

Cue twilight zone theme song.

I’m definitely feeling more confident, and very good about myself in general, but I’m also seeing that my higher self is pulling strings for me when I let it. For that I’m eternally grateful. I’m very aware of my connection these days, and loving every moment of it.

May you all find your feel good synchronicities that let you know the Divine is on your side.

Om namah Shivaya… Siva hir su.

Already on the bus.

So I’ve finished reading “The Energy Bus” and realize now that I’ve already gotten my bus going. It’s been a slow start, bumpy ride, with a few breakdowns already, but my bus is generally pointed the right direction and moving.

Really I’ve been driving my bus for a while, but just need more focus and helpful passengers

I have my committed passengers, in for the full ride- my family by marriage and by giving birth.

I have my semi-committed or part time riders, people in my daily and work life that are generally as helpful as they can be, but can’t necessarily stay for the whole ride. Sometimes they’re on and sometimes they’re busy on their own bus.

I have at least one passenger, maybe 2 or 3 that I’m hoping are like the character Michael. Where they removed themselves, but ultimately come around, and end up finding themselves wanting to make positive changes too, and join my bus again. That would be nice, not just for my bus, but for them- their state of being- and because it will validate messages I got what seems like forever ago. May we all master only feeding the good dog.

So far I’ve already ejected a few of what was termed “Energy Vampires” from my bus, and there’s one big one that needs to go yet. Fortunately, those from my biological family have mostly removed themselves from my life, so that’s one less hurdle.

With all that being said, this book leaves me acknowledging I have steps to go yet.

I have used this blog to write about Atira many times, but it’s scattered through multiple posts and partial posts, and I’m not sure I’ve ever reinforced the entirety of the complexity of that to those on board my bus, even if part time. I think it would help to get more concise with my desires, vision, and focus so that there is one document I can reference. Maybe even to give them copies.

I still have a ways to go to ensure I’m only feeding the good dog, and fueling my bus with positive energy. I have the basic idea, but have some practicing to do to maintain it, because I do let fear and stress get the better of me frequently.

Also, I totally spend too much time worrying about people that don’t get on my bus. I will get better at acknowledging maybe it’s too soon for them or they have other reasons for not joining my route. It’s not personal to me, it’s personal for them and their journey.

Additionally, I still have a ways to go on demonstrating my own enthusiasm and love. I already do both, but often allow myself to be easily deflated, especially when my efforts go unnoticed, unacknowledged, or unresponded to. Then once I’ve been deflated, I definitely still struggle to get back up and give another go.

I also need to find my purpose in everything better. It’s easy for me when what I’m doing is part of my vision for Atira, but much much harder when my task-at-hand is seemingly unrelated. That is evidence of not fully knowing that “everything happens for a reason”. I must trust more and find how everything relates. How does what I’m doing fit with my journey and fuel my bus.

Lastly, a huge must: start having more fun and enjoying the ride more. It’s not that I don’t at all, but I really succumb to stress easily. I’m latching onto the books’ phrase “you can’t feel stressed when you feel blessed”. That is my biggest new goal. To be “too blessed to be stressed”.

With that I wanted to share the list of rules the book went over:

And finally, I wanted to share an Abraham Lincoln quote (below) from the book that really resonated with me. My life journey fine-tuned to that direction after the online stranger woke my dreams up in me. I realized I may fail, I may never actually get there, but giving up all together- ignoring who I’ve become- is far worse than failing. I must remain true to who I am and where I’d like to go, if I’m to ever find consistent happiness and have any chance at all of possibly making it there. I want my light to shine bright from here until my dieing days.

Again, thank you for hanging in with me and joining at least the written part of my ride. I sincerely hope you benefit from my words in one way or another.

Bhagavad Gita meets Abraham

So, if you’ve read my blog, you may be aware I’ve come in contact with many things that most Midwestern American young white women would have no clue of their existence.

Partly this was due to my own inner knowing early on, that my parents religious path left much to be desired for me personally. Also it was partly due to a very unique set of individuals I met growing up.

In middle school I had friends of several different Christian faiths that allowed me to visit their churches. What I discovered was that I didn’t really mesh with any of the churches completely.

By highschool, I had read books on Zen Buddhism, Taoism, other eastern paths, and had learned quite a bit about my ancient ancestors which were most likely druids.

I had one friend that moved into the same small school I did, within months of my moving in. That friend introduced me to Wicca and reading her books, I knew it was headed the right direction. Another friend lived there her whole life, but her parents’ home was the regional Buddhist temple and I was fortunate to meet the Lama on one of his visits to Iowa. It was a very special afternoon, one I still remember vividly because I felt very clearly when something said resonated and when it didn’t.

Then by sophomore year I’d read “Siddhartha” and “Iliad and Oddessy” as part of my academic endeavors. I&O for a lit class and Siddhartha for academic decathlon. Both instructors guiding the readings commented that I seemed to get much more out of either story than most ‘kids my age’. They were right, much of both stories resonated deeply, but there were still gaps in what I was searching for.

We lived near Maharishi University, and many people in the Iowa city area followed their teachings, so my next stop was to see what I might glean from their teachings. I discovered meditation and had learned basics of many Hindu concepts. That seemed to fill many of the gaps I felt. In an effort to know more, I read more. That was my first reading of the Bhagavad Gita.

I’ve begun rereading the BG because it didn’t stick as well back then. However, in reading it for a second time, I’m now almost tempted to reread the others (time being the only hindrance).

What I’m discovering is that language barriers in translations probably hindered my understanding somewhat in the first reading. This time I’m understanding much more of what is being said and I’m amazed at how much of it overlaps with Abraham Hicks teachings. It makes me wonder if the same thing happened with “Siddhartha” and “Iliad & Oddessy” in particular.

I know both books’ translations were well respected versions, and I remember clearly some scenes being so enthralling for me that it was as if my brain turned them into movies .

For instance in “Siddhartha” there is an excerpt where the main character meditates by a stream and sees all the faces of his life experience, in the stream. It led him to the understanding of how we are all part of one greater energy stream. When I read that part of the story, it was as if I was sitting by the stream having that experience. It was vivid and real, and I fully and completely understood exactly what was being conveyed.

I was roughly 14 when I read that.

I was only a year or so older the first time I picked up the Bhagavad Gita. So if my new reading is so eye opening, with this text, I can’t imagine the response I’d have with another pass on Siddhartha.

For instance:

In the BG’s 4th chapter/book titled “The Way of Renunciation of Action in Knowledge” the 18th verse/line reads: “He who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction is intelligent among men, he is a yogi and a doer of all action.”

To me I hear a direct echo of Abraham talking about how uninspired physical action is useless and unproductive, but if one meditates and finds inspiration in meditation, then any action based upon that inspiration is bound to be successful. Abraham has said it many ways, but regardless of the words the meaning is the same. Inactive meditation followed by inspired action is the best and most effective, wisest use of our lives.

Who knew that there was so much overlap?!

Abraham probably did!

Heck somewhere in my mind it had to have registered. Yet, another thing Abraham is right about. If you’re not ready to receive the information, then no amount of exposure will line you up with it.

Just because I read the text years ago didn’t mean it registered, that’s why I even acknowledged a reread couldn’t hurt. I knew I’d missed things, and it just didn’t stick over time.

Now that I’ve heard the information from a western perspective, and accepted it’s applications in my life, it’s starting to sink in. That has led to seeing the missed variations that I’d already read years before.

For me this is merely validation that I’m on the right track. I’d already read it years ago, but over time I’ve been exposed to variations from throughout history, and it’s finally making sense. I’m finally understanding and seeing it working, and rereading one of the early examples causing a ‘seeing it for what it is’ realization.

It’s like hiking a path to the top of a crest and looking down the crest one way, and looking back down the path and connecting just how far you’ve come.

It feels good.

I think I’ll finish the Bhagavad Gita just to solidify for myself that I’ve gotten what I can out of it.

May you all have your AhHa moments this week and have that sense of accomplishment. It is good to feel that sense of ‘coming so far’ to know where you’ve been.

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.