Tag Archives: self-love

Reaching for God’s View of Me

Theme song for this post 😆: https://youtu.be/x-EVWQAsZNA

That’s me at a Crows coffee, and that’s my post-work decalf almond milk mocha. I took a sip before realizing the barista had made a heart in the foam, and then wanted to capture it despite the deformity… first world problems right.

A new friend told me I needed to work on myself without being too hard on myself. I asked him to define that, and he fed me some of my own past advice: meditate and do things I enjoy. That was inspiration for the coloring and whatnot this week. It was very needed and I’m very appreciative of the reminder.

It stirred in me today many thoughts. I have to say after a segue into fantasy world which I got an interesting energetic kick back, I realized I needed a moment of how do others see me. Nay, I needed a moment of how does God see me. (By the way “your own personal Jesus” just started playing on the loud speakers at Crows. Te he ☺️.)

To that end; a long time ago I read a post from another blogger that was a mirror writing exercise. I thought I had already done such an exercise, but can’t find my old post to link to, so I’m going to start over with the selfie above as my mirror.

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This woman in front of me, young, but with slight sprinkling of white hair implies having really lived in few years. It also denotes an acceptance of her own tawny hair, which the sun seems to bring out slight rosy highlights within the strands. I see vibrant soft skin with round plump rosy cheeks, a warmth that comes from within. Rich earthy eyes glazed with a slight moisture is creating an appearance of fatigue being held at bay by that inner fire. I see the determination to keep going. The gentle smile on her lips seems to give off gentle happiness or perhaps some reserved emotions mixed with joy. Head held high, carrying an air of confidence. Though no makeup covers any portion of this face sprinkled with slight blemishes, there is still beauty, and despite being late in the day her appearance is still tidy. This is natural raw beauty, unadulterated, just as God created. Additionally, she wears colorful beads and a Halloween scrub top. Seemingly contrasting, yet fun and whimsical. I know they are outward expressions of elements of her personality. The willingness to show her rawest self, with care, is a quality of strength. Strength of independence, strength of acceptance of her own very unique self. That kind of strength comes from a sense of self, an inner knowing, likely from facing demons many times over.

It takes guts to be completely yourself in a society bent on conformity and homogenized blandness. A society aimed at convincing the masses that a very small fragment of slim, large breasted, tanned, makeup covered, body-hairless women are beautiful. This woman is anything but that, yet still secure and confident in what she really is.

…. [I ask God to help me word non-physical views of me]….

This womans’ strength and confidence have grown so much that she now carries an air of compassion for others still fighting their more plentiful demons. Everyday she fights battles to help people to relax back into their own God given bodies.

She has a kind and gentle heart and she does her best to share it with those that will let her, even often sharing it with those that refuse her. Despite many hurts over her lifetime, she continues to fight her demons to push anger, fear, and hatred as far out of her being as possible. Her fight is to reach the light of God, to feel God’s grace. Her goal to show others how possible it is. She wants to heal herself completely to be an example of how even the most difficult battles can be won.

Her body still shows the journey, as losing nearly 100 pounds doesn’t disappear instantly. Though fatigue sometimes rips at her convictions, she inherently knows she is proud of her saggy skin and stretch-marks, as they are proof of her victories. Besides, there is still more journey left to do, and surgery might make that shorter, but then the victor is somehow less noticeable from her perspective. The slower route leaves much more evidence of her “I did it my way” & “HA, I win”.

Her strong hands heal others daily, and despite wishing for all of those caresses to be on her own skin, she knows it’s her path.

She gives of herself constantly, striving to help God make this world better each day. Wanting to teach by example, that we can all change for the better. She gives time, she gives intellectually, she gives physically through labor, she gives emotionally and energetically, she gives monetarily when she can. Though she often feels like she has little to offer, she really offers far greater each and every day than anyone ever acknowledges, because no one person sees all of her gifts. She gives everything of herself, especially when she sees commitment in return. When those around her step up, she gives doubly, even at risk to her own well being. She hopes one day to experience some sort of validating ripple effect of her efforts, or even see the good results once across the rainbow bridge.

She remains committed to her husband and children, and wants nothing more than to have others join her family. She sacrifices in many ways great and small, just to keep her family well cared for.

She strives to be a great ally to anyone needing one, and does her level best to respect and honor those that helped her from the past.

All of this, and she still aims to care for herself. She still wants to have fun and play. She still enjoys letting her inner geek or musician or artist fly. She still dreams big and fends off becoming jaded. She still holds out hope for her home country and her world to reach for better, for equality and acceptance, and to protect people’s rights. She knows we can do it together if we just practice simple concepts and support each other.

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This strong, loving, emotional, supportive, healer is very appreciative that you read my moment of reaching for a broader view of myself and my efforts.

I wish for you to have a similar moment. It helps to step back and reword things from the perspective of what God might tell someone about you. Even if we’re not entirely accurate or forget things, it still helps to take a break from being too overly critical of yourself.

May you see your beauty. May you see your strengths. May you see your effect on this world. May you appreciate yourself a little more. May you always understand and appreciate that God loves you just the way you are.

We are all accumulated experiences of a human body, powered by God force, and sustained by God’s grace. Know you are doing your best and that is good enough.

Siva Hir Su

If I ask you to fix it, then at least make an attempt!

So, I’m a practicing massage therapist. Unless I’m working on someone over the age of 80, I fully intend to fix whatever is in front of me. If I can’t completely fix something, I get as close as humanly possible with the time allotted.

I have traded for 6 years with a therapist of the same caliber. When she retired she asked me to replace her. We traded once after her retirement and we’ve had trouble linking up our schedules to do a second trade.

I tried to schedule a trade with a few other occasional trade partners and the one therapist at the clinic. It seems my current schedule just is not conducive to trading right now.

Yesterday I cried uncle, and resorted to paid massages until I can figure out another trade. I knew that even an hour of regular deep tissue wasn’t going to be the same as my usual 90 min trade, so I went ahead and set up 2 hours.

The first one was at a place called “Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa” then an hour later I went to “Massage Envy”. The first place charged me extra for deep tissue saying that I had the best therapist available for that on that particular evening- $70 first time appointment for regular price of $95. Massage Envy admitted they didn’t have a deep tissue person available, so I knew that was not going to fix anything significant. Yet their intro price $55, for a normally $75 appointment.

The clinic charges $80 and I’m feeling like that’s totally not enough.

The comparison was night and day. My deep tissue appointment really just scratched the surface, and the second appointment was only slightly less pressure. There really wasn’t enough difference to have justified the extra charge at the first massage, and neither of them were anywhere near what I provide at the clinic.

I felt severely ripped off, but knowing that spas like those pay their therapists like crap, I tipped well. I spent $170 including tips, to walk away with 100 minutes of hands on time that left me feeling like it was a good start, instead of the 90min fix I’m used to.

I ended up going home to do 3 cycles on my Homemedics massage roller mat, and followed that with detailed instruction for Nathan to polish off most of what was missed. I still need to get a fix it massage scheduled ASAP.

Where this really gets my goat and why I decided to rant about it here today, is that I asked for a service and received inadequate results.

For instance: I specified that I was a massage therapist and sorely overdue for my massage. I specifically asked the ‘deep tissue’ person to stick to upper body, mainly arms shoulders and pectoral muscles.

She almost forgot that I requested upper body only and ended up doing my glutes in a pretend correction. Something a seasoned therapist can spot easily. Then, she barely grazed my pectorals, and was horribly ineffective at releasing any chronic areas, even a little. She barely grazed my rhomboids (shoulder blade) a couple of times which left me screaming in my head: “No! Go back, go back, you missed it!”

Here’s the thing, if you charge extra for deep tissue, it should actually be a deep tissue massage. Additionally, there’s no reason she couldn’t have worked my pectorals at least enough to count it.

Here’s the deal, I have no desire to see or touch anyone’s junk, and in 12 years I’ve only been forced to see that 3 times, all of which I put the kibosh on by pulling out a towel. Yet, when someone brings a problem, a hurt, that lies where their junk is, I still fix it. It’s called, keep it covered with the sheet, and if you really have to get super close-you have them hold it out of the way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a man and his penis or a woman and her breasts. Move it over and I’ll get the job done. There’s been twice where a womans breasts were so large I had them lay on their side to allow gravity to get them out of the way. Effing get creative if you have to, but fix the damn problem. So if I, as a therapist, tell you my pecs hurt and I’ve approved working on them, then you better damn well do it. Grazing them with your pinky finger doesn’t count. See picture, excerpt from textbook: “Trail Guide to the Body” by Andrew Biel

Additionally there’s simply no reason that she didn’t get my rhomboids, or really any of my shoulders and arms better than she did.

Except for the fact that I kept redirecting myself to mantras, I would have left both massages infuriated.

As it was, I’m glad they at least accomplished a good start, and that I was able to figure out a solution for the rest. I wish them as therapists well, but sincerely hope that the one doesn’t keep selling herself as a deep tissue therapist. They both need to specify that they are solely relaxation specialists, and people like me won’t waste our time.

May you all have the fixes you need and great massages. May you all have the schedule to accommodate self-care and good results from that self-care. May you enjoy your days and be free from pain or discomfort.

Siva Hir Su

Do you enjoy vanity?

I found myself saying: it must be nice to be vain; that is after experiencing the 3rd person this week to comment on the lines the face creadle cover made on their face.

I’m from the perspective of- I like my massages, and so what if the face creadle cover leaves lines on my face. At least I got a good massage to combat and eliminate the stress this world produces in my body. I’d much rather have face cradle lines than the look of weary and downtrodden stress-bots that most people carry.

Then I started thinking, do people really enjoy vanity? The kind of vanity that is afraid others might notice your massage face. What is your brain telling you that makes massage face a bad thing?

Why would you even want to carry stressed face like everyone else? What is so appealing about sameness, that you want sameness even when the reality of that sameness is an element you work to undo every 1 to 3 weeks?

To me relaxed massage face or genuine glowing happiness and joy are the best faces to have, and anymore they are both rare.

Mostly, I have enough sense to get my massage and then go home. The few times I haven’t, I later thought: what the hell was I thinking, I’m not functional after a good massage. So I tend to think others would do the same.

I guess not; and in your instant worry about lines on your face and trying to be functional afterward, you’ve just wasted what your $80 just paid for. The moment you go back into worry, your body begins to ramp up your stress response and literally within minutes to hours it will be as if I never worked on you to begin with.

However, that is my job security.

No matter how well I demolish your stress and built up tension, I know that it’ll come right back. It comes back with every negative thought, every stress induced action, every repetitive motion, every moment of WORK, every worry. Frankly, most of society is really good at that side of the equation and really lazy on the stress reduction side of the equation. Why do any real work on/for yourself, when you can go pay someone to do it for you, and convince yourself that your occasional massage is adequate.

The real work, I used to give as homework, until I realized my words were bouncing off of thin air.

Now, I just willingly accept your $80/hour and smile politely when you make remarks about the lines.

The real work:

Self-care, including but not limited to:

Meditation

Yoga

Epsom salt baths

Regular Mag-a-hol usage

Supplements including but not limited to Magnesium, Potassium, Fish Oil, and Turmeric

Self-massage with a variety of easily accessible tools, some as simple as a tennis ball or foam roller.

Better diet choices to reduce inflammation

Consistent and ample sleep

Regular Sunlight

The not so hilarious corker here is that all these same things fight depression. You can read “The Depression Cure” yourself for the science of why, but in simple terms.

Stress=Inflammation=Tight Muscles

Stress=Inflammation=Pain

Stress=Inflammation=Depression

So tight muscles are usually experienced alongside pain, and as statistics are showing, increasingly alongside depression as well.

Massage fights the tight muscles element and can combat stress itself to a certain degree, but unless you work on the whole package, you will never find whole relief.

So go ahead and waste many dollars and many hours seeing therapists like me to convince yourself you’re doing what you can to feel better. I’ll gladly accept the job security, and inside laugh at your vanity over lines.

For those willing to do the work, I’ll gladly answer direct questions on any number of topics.

May you all have abundance of self-care and a famine of stress and worry.