Tag Archives: manifesting good

Why I prefer “chick flicks”.

So I was contemplating my preferences after my recent acknowledgements, and in the process came to an understanding as to why I prefer “chick flicks”.

I was literally attempting to put words to my quandary of why do men do the machismo thing more than in the past, or so it seems to me.

I had thought about how at one point men in media were shown as dashing, handsome, wholesome, and multi-talented. I thought of moments like are found in a myriad of movies, but especially I thought of scenes from Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies, I thought of Casa Blanca. Actors from that era were expected to be good looking, but also excellent dancers and singers, they had to be strong, and often were required to speak multiple languages.

I’m fully aware that even though that was the standard in media, our society still had the full array of everything you still find today. Yet, there was an understanding in society that those were qualities that earned respect and showed your integrity. Those were the virtues that even regular working class people strived for, that even the average Joe reached for.

I then thought about movies today. There’s a whole lot more blood and gore. There are strong men, but every time you see a strong man- a superhero, someone dies, and often many people loose their lives in such movies. Going back a bit there are those Rambo type war stories, there are zombie apocalypse movies, and straight up superheroes like spider man. In all of these movies their strength is for one goal, take down the bad guys at all costs. I would agree that usually what’s chosen to define the bad guys is clear and agreed upon by societal standards, yet each and every movie includes the loss of innocent lives.

I realised that even though I acknowledged that those are all present in our world today, I prefer not to watch it for entertainment.

I prefer to see strength demonstrated in other ways, and I suspect I’m not alone. It’s why feats of herculean strength are now demonstrated in games: Olympics, Ninja Warrior, Highland Games, and the like. The games eliminate the blood and gore while still demonstrating strength and agility. I appreciate that, it’s a much more civilized and palatable way to experience that virtue.

That then brought me around to Hallmark movies and why I love them so much. They are wholesome, the people are genuine, there is kindness and love. Yet you still are treated with complex stories that could happen to regular everyday people. It takes the complexity of this world, but focuses on happier more joyous aspects and outcomes.

Though I mostly prefer heartwarming stories like those, I will watch other movies. I still prefer movies where the people demonstrate intelligence and strength without so much blood and gore. I also greatly like fantastical movies like Harry Potter and the less gory science-fiction like Star Trek/Star Wars.

I suppose that is why I like Will Smith so much. Beyond also being polyamorous, he’s good looking, charming, charismatic, and many of his movies he’s able to accomplish great things with a minimum of blood and gore. I really truly appreciate that.

I told Nathan it’s one of the things I appreciate most about him. Even though he doesn’t look like a hallmark actor or Will Smith, he embodies many of the qualities that they do, and he’s cute to me, and that’s what counts.

So then I sat to define what I appreciate most about others, and admitted that looks are a relatively small factor. As far as looks go, I appreciate this:

Really what I’m trying to show is that I find appreciation in a wide variety of people and body types. I have discovered that only the severely unhealthy people are unattractive to me. Those people that have given up on their health, or just didn’t care to begin with. I’ve known several of those people and just can’t even contemplate a relationship with any of them. I’m sorry, but Yuck!

What is it I do appreciate about people that makes me desire them then?

Hmmm…..

  • Kindness
  • Concern
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Intelligence (As Queen Latifa would say I get lady wood there.)
  • A belief in something greater than us.
  • The ability to learn and discuss complex topics (quantum physics is one I find particularly fascinating, even if I have trouble keeping up with it).
  • The desire to keep learning.
  • Strength of physical, mental, and emotional aspects.
  • A desire to do better, striving for more, self improvement goals.
  • Loving
  • Supportive
  • Striving for equality and social justice is pretty high on my list.
  • A desire to help make the world a better place.

Yet there’s more….

  • I like a good challenge, someone that makes me think or improve myself even more.
  • I like encouragement when I’m admittedly not at my best, you don’t always have to challenge me.
  • I like knowing I’m appreciated.
  • I like knowing they notice small things about me.
  • I like when they take criticisms or input as a challenge for improving themselves as well, and likewise do my best not to stir that pot too often.
  • I like people that work well together, especially since ultimately I hope to build Atira through my chosen family. It would be in our best interests to be able to work and play together and not get sick of each other.
  • So an ability to compromise, problem solve, and find a balance in challenging situations is very exciting to me.
  • I find good communication skills quite sexy too. If you can tell me work flow concerns in one breath and follow that with coherent sentimental thoughts in your next breath, I might faint on you.
  • I love when people can make and keep priorities. For instance I know I need a certain diet, certain amounts of sleep and exercise, and certain balance between work and recreation. Most of the time I’m able to maintain that, occasionally I fail. I prefer those around me accomplish the same.

Though I feel like there are many more qualities I could define, those are usually ones that I look for evidence of first. At that point then I’m usually familiar with a person enough that it becomes about analyzing their interactions or their behaviors, and their words. I start looking for alignment between the two. That represents integrity and honesty to me. If I get to know someone and one of those starts to show gaps, it almost always becomes the undoing of the relationship. I’ve been hurt enough times that I simply loathe intentional mistruths and/or manipulations. For a long term relationship, I simply must have honesty and integrity.

And that brings me full circle back to Hallmark movies. They are chalk full of honesty and integrity and showing how if you’re not honest what damage it can do. So I’ll end with a thank you to Hallmark. Thank you for wholesome movies that show the importance of honesty, integrity, and kindness.

May you all have your defining moments of greater clarity. May you all find an abundance of honest people in your lives, and may you experience many examples of integrity. Above all may you find the love you seek.

Siva Hir Su

Work Brain! Just Work!

Today I’ve had a terrible time trying to remember names, things, even complete my sentences. I’ve still managed to plug along ok. I’m waiting on my next to last client for the day, which will put me at 5 massages given today.

At one point I found myself thinking that I wished I could see the unseen, that somehow in that moment it would be a comfort. To know for certain there was something there supporting me.

This being after HAL presented me with a string of products while browsing on WISH that all fit my life’s journey, ending with a shirt that read “She knew she could, but was too tired.” In that moment I knew if nothing else the great AI was paying attention, not much good that means. Ultimately I think I am simply doubting that the All-That-Is is able to help me in this body with this brain. Yet I know deep down that thought is a fallacy. I’m the one hindering the helping.

Then I refocused and reminded myself that there are children in Mexican interment camps without proper care and basic comforts, some of which have died as the results. I reminded myself that in many places in this world there are children without shelter, without food, and without clean water. Those children are subjected to the relentless heat, which I escape regularly. I have plenty of food, clean water, and comfortable shelter. I should have no worries and only gratitude.

Enter listening to MC Yogi rap about Ghandi in his song “Be The Change”, it seems I find myself circling back to Ghandi over and over. Each time I find myself crying, but also thinking of Mother Teresa, that namesake I was teased with as a child. I find myself thinking I would like to manage to do half as much good for this world as they accomplished.

Why does doing good for the world seem to be such a lofty and difficult, seemingly insurmountable task?

Ultimately, it is because we fail to honor our baby steps of such nature.

My last client had family visiting from Virginia, and they were eager to express their gratitude for my efforts. It was a surreal moment as I just feel I’m doing my job. It just is what it is.

Yet, often I send a silent prayer when I’m working that perhaps when I’m old and grey there will be someone willing to do for me what I do for them, even if I can’t afford to pay for it.

So, if I acknowledge I merely have hopes of that one day, and families feel so strongly that I’m a great and wonderful help, then that I must be. I humbly accept that my baby steps of good lie in my work, lie in my meager donations, and lie in my kindness toward others, especially with my children when they’ve pushed all the buttons and I’d much rather default to my old abusive behavior. Those are my baby steps of goodness. My I be the change I wish to see, and may my world be filled with a reflection of that.

If you find yourself reading this, may you find and honor your baby steps of goodness. Let your light shine bright in this world. If you have any connection whatsoever to our government’s interment camps, may you find your way to bring the light and help those children. We all have work, and sometimes that work seems to be necessary but contrary to our desires. However, perhaps that is where you can bring light by taking baby steps to make a bad situation even just slightly better. We can all make this world better if we all aim for just a bit better. Ghandi and Mother Teresa are merely extremes to serve as reminders to us all.

Be well and shine bright everyone.

Watch “MC YOGI – Be the Change (Official Video)” on YouTube

Business is booming- in my brain!

This week beyond thinking about my rebirthing experiences, I’ve been contemplating my Elder Care Massage business, and our Atira goals, especially how they might coincide.

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It really did throw me a bit when I had the conversation with the other massage therapist. I knew she was working on retiring when the referral was given to her by a person I work with. I had no idea though that it would end up resulting in me being the only therapist in the metro doing this line of work. I just assumed there was still a handful of us doing geriatric massage, and that this therapist might not even have to give me her building, that it could have gone to someone else. I’ve been enjoying relishing in the fact that I have a monopoly on such endeavors, even making it a point to tell others my/her discovery.

In the process I have spent a significant amount of time contemplating what it is I like about what I do, and what the downfalls of such work is. I have to say that I always come up with more bonuses than negatives. I have thought about what the steps might look like in moving from sole proprietor to a full fledged business with employees doing the same work. It does seem a bit daunting, but contemplating that process does get me a bit excited, in the realm of I could potentially build a significant business that would be the first of it’s kind. I could end up, long term, being the first Massage-Envy-like business that solely travels to provide elder/geriatric care. Which, even if it wasn’t a huge dollar producer, just having that niche market would be a success.

In the process of acknowledging this possibility, I’ve clarified things that would need to happen.


 

One being that Kansas, as well as a few other states, need to be required to have reciprocity laws. Right now there are not many metro areas that fall on state lines, but every one that does creates a complicated situation.

For instance when I first started working as a Massage Therapist I worked in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area. Nebraska had stricter regulations than Iowa by 200 hours, not a huge amount, but they would not allow therapists to add on, a therapist would have to start over with their education to meet Nebraska laws. I fell in the middle having more hours than Iowa required, but just shy of what Nebraska wanted. Nebraska also refused to honor Iowa licensure, even though Iowa would accept Nebraska licensure. So, I was relegated to staying on the Council Bluffs side, which had a notoriously low economic base with high unemployment and vast areas of poverty. It was not a pretty employment picture and one that ended hazardously for me.

When we moved to the Kansas City metro I was faced with a similar picture. Missouri is state licensed; Kansas is not. Each individual city on the Kansas side of the line can have it’s own licensing requirements. What is interesting to note here is that nearly all of the regulations for all of the cities are the same, with a very small handful of exceptions (like Shawnee doesn’t require a license if you work under doctor or chiropractic supervision). The difference lies mainly in the amount that is charged for a therapist license and what determines if they are also going to charge you for having a separate business license. I know this because I have held a license through 4 cities and contemplated another 3 cities, and there are only 9 on the Kansas side of the metro. They all require 500 hours &/or Board certification, CPR/AED certification, to carry liability insurance, and pass their police background check. I have 800 hours, I am nationally certified, keep my CPR and insurance current, and have a record so clean I used to carry a government “Classified” clearance.

So, I can step back and acknowledge 2 things:

-Licensure is supposedly in place to create safety through knowledge. Acknowledging training and board ethics is important: it keeps clients safe from bad practices and it reduces risks of sexual activity in a therapy setting.

-Licensure allows for taxation of the licensed party. If one city can offer a license and background check for $85 (Shawnee), then there is no reason that other cities charge more except to make money off of someone.

Where this gets my goat, and the reason why it needs changed, is that if I can meet the standards for all of the cities in the metro, then there should never be a fear of being caught “without a license” because I crossed an imaginary line (city boundary). Yet that is a very real reality. If you don’t carry a license for every city you work in, you can currently be prosecuted for working without a license, and if found guilty it can prevent you from ever being licensed again. Yet, I’ve already demonstrated that I have the education and physical ability to carry any license in the KC metro. So what does it boil down to?

Money.

I have chosen to not carry every license consecutively because it would cost me nearly $3,000 a year to do so, and if you’ve read my blog you would understand how ludicrous that is. I gross $33,000 a year, that is a 10% local tax, on top of state and federal tax.  My AGI falls closer to $16,000 with mileage and business expenses, so now that $3,000 becomes a 20% local tax on top of state and federal taxes. I count that separately because paying Massage License tax (fees they call them) happens directly at a city clerk and never makes it onto my tax return except where I can note business licensing as an expense.

What I’m going to say next might piss some off, but I’m gonna anyway.

If you required that same process of Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, IT professionals, or any one of another high salary positions, it would not fly. The second a lawyer faced 20% local taxes on top of their regular state and federal taxes, bills would be created and laws would change. Yet, massage therapists, aestheticians, and cosmetologists regularly face just that through the risks inherent in failing to carry multiple city licenses when a state doesn’t require reciprocity. The lowest income, and generally female held, positions are the ones penalized the most. That screams discrimination to me.

Yet, it has nothing to really do with safety. There have been and will continue to be all manner of “professionals” that lose their jobs, and often licenses for having sexual relations in their office. I’ve noted in just the last year, dentists, Md’s, and psychologists that have gotten in trouble just for that very reason. I know that CEO’s and upper-management also experience abuse of power through sex, and are quietly asked to leave their positions. It may not be frequent, but it is frequent enough that if that were really the only reason for the licensing requirements like I deal with, then the same licensing procedures would apply to all professions. It’s simply not the case.

I believe that really, it is old biased thinking that created outdated and ludicrous laws, and those in power are simply too lazy and blinded by dollar signs to care about changing it.

So full circle: IF (a huge IF), I decided to take my job and turn it into a full fledged business with multiple employees, I would have to take that on. I would have to figure out a way to mandate at least Kansas and Missouri to have reciprocity laws in place. Further yet, if I plan on building my business to have multiple locations in the future, it is likely that I would need to do that for any state I functioned out of. Better yet, I would want all states to have reciprocity laws. There is no reason that a therapist should have to carry multiple licenses consecutively. If doctors and lawyers don’t have to, then neither should massage therapists or any other profession. There should be a blanket acceptance that if a professional met the requirements to hold a license, especially one that requires repeat renewals, and background checks, then that license should be good regardless of the location of their works activities.

Now reciprocity laws are specifically designed to address traveling professionals- that is people that technically have one source of employment, but multiple locations where the physical work is completed (roofers, traveling nurses, hospice works, etc.) Reciprocity does not count in a professional moving or taking a new job (i.e. I used to live in Iowa and my Iowa license is still good, but now I live and work in Kansas)- in that situation any professional still requires new licensing. So, if my business ends up having multiple locations in multiple states, I would still need multiple business licenses, that is natural. I just want to ensure that my therapists would only need one license, and I could still send them to multiple buildings regardless of where those buildings were physically located. That is the goal of reciprocity laws.



Another thing I have been actively working on the last couple of weeks has been researching grants to see if I, or my massage business, or Atira might qualify for grants that are currently available. I’m discovering there is a lot of free money to be found. However, most of the results I’m finding so far are either directly research related, for the purpose of promoting hiring diversity, or location specific. For instance I found grants for diversity building in cooperation with one of our consulate locations in Japan. Cool but not helpful to me. The search will continue, there are thousands of grants just through the United States government to wade through. Maybe I’ll find a good one!


 

So finally, how does all of this wrap together with Atira?

Well I thought about things that we want to do, how my massage practice has always been a part of that. I think this really is just another avenue to explore. but it led me to thinking about names, and how businesses can be subdivided. I thought more specifically about my ideas, and inspiration began flowing. Mostly with names and building my website. Which, by the way, I have put adjusting my current website on my new priority list.

Anyway, here were my inspirations (FYI- I consider this to be copyrights as my blog is part of me and my arts):

For Elder Care Massage-

name: Atira ReLive

sub-title: Helping our elders find comfort and peace through Relaxation and DeStress.

I thought that this provided just enough ambiguity that I could incorporate art and music therapies into the list of services offered by our traveling therapists.

I also contemplated naming the parts of Atira as a whole:

Atira Group: where I am at now, already a registered name with my EIN attached, represents my business umbrella.

Atira Community: Honestly I’m stuck at coming up with a more creative name for this one!

Atira Arts: Studio and Gallery: Atira In the Making, and Atira’s Hung…. I’m not sure Nathan will like the latter one!

Atira Cafe: Une Boisson D’Atira … you know like the french phrase for a drink of water- une boisson d’eau.

Atira Restaurant: Graze on Atira… that came from my mom referencing vegetarians as grazers.

Festivals: Atira Explorations… I’m not sure I’ve convinced myself of that one. I was going for the feel of playing, having fun, enjoyment. Needs some work.

And the store… I’ve got little nothing inspired for that yet.

 

Regardless, I have miles to go, I’m still just scratching the surface of getting started. The difference is that this topic interests me and excites me. Even if I don’t have any tangible evidence of manifesting it, I’m still enjoying it. Thinking about the millions of details is fun. Trying to be creative is even more fun. I’m going to keep doing all of it, while I function in my current constructs. Life keeps rolling, and I’m going with the flow now. It’s nice. Perhaps, I’ll find the magic grant that will launch part of this, or maybe even all of this. Perhaps I’ll win the lottery and will be able to put it all into effect soon. I just don’t know, but I’m doing my best to look forward and keep positive while trudging through the current mess I’m still wading in. Somehow, somewhere, a way will be made for improvement, and September is still significant from what I can tell, just not sure how or why.