Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Gratitude Habit

They say it takes doing something seven times to establish a habit.  For me, it seems, it takes an entire year.  The particular habit that I set out to establish began with a thesis I decided to test out a little over a year ago.  My idea was that if I took time each day to reflect on the gifts and abundance in my life that it might just make a difference in my mood.

A year later.

It worked.  In fact, it started working immediately.  I have said it before, but a gratitude practice is a shortcut to happiness.  It just plain works. 

Not to trivialize the mood lifting ability of the gratitude practice, but what I didn’t bargain on is how wonderful it was to connect with each gratitude buddy throughout the year, how we doubled the gratitude as we shared in one another’s appreciation for the little things, and on occasion, the big things in life.  Sharing gratitudes offered a daily glimpse at another person’s internal life.  It was really lovely connecting in this way. 

There were some big things to celebrate, but most often my buddies and I expressed gratitude for the little things in life.  And what I came to believe is those little things are really not so little.  Those little things are what make life grand.  And acknowledging them allows you to experience them more deeply. 

I invite you to share your own expressions of gratitude with others this season at the website Express Your Gratitude.  In doing so you might even win a one hour massage session with me or another participating massage therapist.  

I invite you also to grab a gratitude buddy and try the practice on for yourself!  Now that I am firmly in the habit, I would happily exchange gratitude lists with anyone who wants to try it out. 

Wishing you balance,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Time

"You spend your time on what you think is important."  This, a pearl of wisdom overheard when I was giving chair massages at the Rochester Women's expo.  Serendipitously, I had recently been thinking about that very idea.  Fresh from my retreat, it came to me, as I took the time to finally face the mountains of stuff left over from my elementary teaching years, that I have been using the excuse that I don't have enough time to put off tackling this intimidating job.  In my own defense, I have had an extraordinarily packed schedule for the last three years, but the other part of the truth is that the free time I did have was not always spent in the most productive, healthy, or life affirming ways.

Something I am beginning to realize is that it isn't about not having enough time.  It is about not allocating the time I have.  I teach a few undergraduate courses at a university.  The other night we started talking about Facebook.  Two of my ten students told me that they had deleted their Facebook accounts.  They talked about how much time it was taking from their studies, as they were constantly being informed of new messages and "likes" as they worked on their laptops, they were unable to stay away from the constant chatter.  Concerned that it was interfering with their studies, they both deleted their accounts.  The rest of us were shocked by the drastic decision to delete rather than just hide their presence on the site.  Shocked and a little envious.  After all, we know the power that technology has over our time.  We all, at times, want to be free of that. 

A week later, both of the students had caved.  Both had checked their accounts.  What was supposed to be the start of our class resembled what I imagine a support group for people trying to quit Facebook might be like.  We joked about it, but really that urge to check in on our friends, to read what they have posted, to see if anyone liked what we posted- it can be a strong urge and it can pull us away from other things.  Technology in general- our smart phones, our laptops, our ipads. (Ok, YOUR ipad.  I don't have one.  Yes, I am jealous.) 

I realized, when I got back from my retreat, all technologically-clean and sober, that I really have a lot more time than I thought I did.  I was just spending it in ways that made me feel like I didn't have any time!  I really like the idea that if we evaluate what we spend our time doing, we can be clued into seeing what we think is important.  And if we don't agree with our assessment, then we can make changes the truly reflect how we want to be spending our time.

May you have all the time you need.

Wishing you balance,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Living Fully

Some time ago, I tried a challenge for myself- I did my best to try to go for a week, I believe it was only a week, without multi-tasking.  Like I said, I believe it was only a week.  It felt, however, like an eternity.  I was inspired by an article I read in which the author tried this challenge for a month.  I was inspired also by troubling multi-tasking habits that I had developed.  Eating while being on the computer was the big one.  It seemed that I couldn't eat alone without being in front of the computer.  I was so bored when I would eat by myself.  It was really difficult.  But eating while looking at the computer was taking away from my really tasting my food.   So I tried my hardest for a week to uni-task only.  The challenge felt like a failure.  It served to make me more aware of my multi-tasking tendencies, but it did little to change them.  

I recently spent 5 days in silence at a meditation retreat.  As I drove myself home from that extraordinary experience, I did simply that.  I drove.  No radio.   No thinking about my day, no rehearsing that conversation that I wanted to have with a certain someone.  No planning my next dance class.  No filing my nails.  Yes.  I do that.  Name a massage therapist who doesn't.  But on this drive I didn't even think about doing any of those things. I simply drove.  And as I drove I noticed how many people I passed who were clearly driving with divided focus- talking on their cell phones, eating, texting.  I recently queried my friends about what they have witnessed drivers do behind the wheel.  Shaving.  Reading.  Eating cereal.  Putting on makeup.  Brushing one's teeth.  That one bears repeating.  Brushing one's teeth.  (And spitting out the window!)   

For a few days after the retreat I actually lost the ability to multi-task.  Arriving at  friend's house a bit early, I caught her finishing up a some computer work, so I just sat in silence while she continued.   I was very content just sitting.  She offered up music, but I was happy with the silence.  Anyone who spends any time with me knows that I have a tendency to grab my phone impulsively if  the person with me picks up his or her phone, or if they leave the room, or if there is simply a lull in the conversation.   Must  See  If  Someone  E-mailed  Me.  Must  See  If  Someone  Liked  Me  On Facebook.  Must  See  If  I Am Loved.  But, I didn't even have that urge.  I just sat there.  And I was content.  In fact, I was way more content, way more filled up, than if I had checked my smart phone and discovered that 42 of my friends and God himself had liked my status message.  That moment, just sitting there, felt very full to me.  Nothing more was needed.

My favorite result of being so mindful for so many days, is that I get a lot more pleasure out of eating.  Right after I got home I helped myself to three dried cherries.  Three.  In the past, I would have taken a handful.  Why not?  They are small!  But all I wanted were three.  In the past I would have eaten them while I worked.  Why not?  But this time I just ate them.  One at a time, chewing slowly.  The flavor was incredible.   It was an extraordinary treat.  The best dried cherries I ever had.  

Now a few days post retreat, I am listening to music again.  I even had  the news on the radio playing for a few minutes before the sound of it got on my nerves.  I do get an occasional impulse to check my phone to see if I am loved.  The stirrings of  mulit-tasking are starting to come back.  But, right now, they are only hints of an impulse.  I am determined to be mindful as I go about my day- to really pay attention.   I think that is the secret of living fully.  Not doing more.  Doing less.  But doing it more mindfully.

Wishing you balance,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

La Danse

I have been using a photo of balanced stones as a logo for a few years now.  The stones illustrate balance beautifully and I received positive feedback about the image from most.  And although I love the image of perfectly balanced stones, they never felt 100% right in representing what it is that I do.  Beautiful, but a little too serious and a little too static, I think.  Body in Balance is about loving living in your body and to me that implies joy and movement.  So for now, I am replacing the stones with the familiar joyful, moving image of Matisse's dancers.  The painting is in the public domain so it feels right to me to use it for now, knowing that at some wonderful "aha" moment in the future the permanent Body In Balance logo will be born.

I wish you joy and movement AND balance.

Love Living In Your Body!


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Seed

As I was sorting through my files and re-reading old writings, I came across a piece I wrote as part of my application for massage school.  People often ask me why I chose to become a massage therapist.  Below is the story of that first moment, the seed that eventually led to that decision, many years later.

There was a defining moment in my life, when I was in undergraduate school studying dance, when an Alexander Teacher “walked” each member of our class. First we observed our classmates walk around the studio, noticing their idiosyncrasies. We noted the rhythm of the walk, the initiation, how the weights of the body were being carried, etc... Then, our teacher put her hands gently on the walker and gave some simple images. When the student began her walk again, it was like a magic act; the walk had changed. Footsteps were lighter, arms swung more freely...the students were taller! When my turn came I remember that I wanted to run and skip to celebrate the freedom that I felt in my body.

Every since that experience, I have been fascinated by the intelligence of the body. I do not believe, as I once heard a scientist claim, that the human skeleton is somehow flawed, that we suffer from a kink in the evolutionary process, that our spines cannot adequately support this business of being erect. Although many among us suffer back pain, I don’t subscribe to the notion that it is a natural result of the aging process. I believe, instead, that it is a result of our culture, with its constant stress and misuse of the body. I believe that the body is intelligent and that pain and disease are often the result of restrictions that prevent the body from being able to function to its potential. Freeing these blockages and allowing energy to flow, enables the body to find balance and health. Our bodies, when in harmony, are free from pain and restriction.

So there it is.  The seed that started it all- being walked by an Alexander teacher.  I remember it vividly.  That one delightful moment when my body, free of restrictions, was suddenly a beautiful place to live and it felt as if my entire world had changed.   It is that change that I hope to pass along to others.

Wishing You Balance,


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This past Thanksgiving marked the launch of my year long gratitude project.  Every month, I have invited someone to join me in exchanging a list of daily gratitudes for the entire month.  It has been a remarkable experience.  Although reluctant at first, my August gratitude buddy turned out to be a most enthusiastic participant; it didn’t take long for him to understand how profoundly enriching this practice can be.   We shared our gratitude list by e-mail, each with a subject line that reflected the day of the week:  Gratitude Sunday, Gratitude Monday, Gratitude Tuesday.... And on one one particular Tuesday, we cleverly ran the words together and the concept of Gratituesdays was born.

Each Tuesday, I would like to invite people to share their gratitudes on my Body In Balance Facebook wall.  Taking time to express gratitude is a wonderfully life affirming practice on its own, but sharing these gratitudes with others deepens the experience.   It is a beautiful way to connect and to be inspired.

Please join us!  “Like” the Body In Balance page.  Join in on the sharing!  

Wishing you balance,


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Year Of Lessons

Birthday time!

I just turned...


And perhaps a little wiser.

To prove the wiser part to myself, I decided to try to identify a few life lessons I learned this year.  Here it goes, in no particular order, unless you count the order that they popped into my disorganized brain.  Random order, then.

1.  It might be fun for a time to reinvent yourself, but after a time, it is disorienting and a lot of work.  It always comes back to authenticity.  I just have to be myself.  This doesn't mean being stuck and static.   Learning, growing and adapting are good, but it's no good to try to change who I am.   There are all kinds of way to be, but as a wise yoga teacher said in class the other week, "Be virtuosic at being you."  Yes to that.

2.  It takes a village.  I love my solitude, but isolation is, well, isolating.  Connection is vital and healthy.  Connections as simple as smiling at a stranger can be nourishing to the soul.

3.  Environment is important.  For whatever reason, the vibe of where I spend my time, makes a huge difference in my mood.  I could probably be very happy doing almost anything for a living if I were in a beautiful place.  I am lucky though- I love doing bodywork and both my spaces are beautiful, so I don't have to chose between beauty and doing what I love.  My home office is magical.  One Life Chiropractic is just beautiful.  I dare you to walk in the waiting room and not get an immediate sense of calm.   I am so happy that my clients have a choice- some prefer a homey atmosphere.  A professional atmosphere with a comfortable waiting room will work better for other clients.

4.  Being careful with money is important, but sometimes you just have to spend some dough.  When I realized that it was taking me 20 minutes to do what could be done on a friend's new computer in less than one minute, and if time is indeed money, I was losing all kinds of it working on my very cute, but very out of date mac.  New mac in hand....simple computering is indeed simple now- the way it should be.  I can finally catch up on all that I need to do, simple stuff and sophisticated alike- and not spend my day looking at that spinning pinwheel that indicates that my computer is trying as hard as she can to climb that hill, "I think I can....I think I can....I think I can...."

5. I alone am in control of my happiness.  As soon as I link my happiness to something external- I am in big trouble.  I can't really control anything outside myself.  It is hard enough control my own thoughts, but it seems key.  What is watered grows.  A brain can be changed.  My gratitude practice has shown me that focusing on the wonder of life can indeed make for a more wonderful life.  And for that, I am very grateful.

Five seems like a good number.  If I stayed at the computer longer, I could probably go on and on.   That is the nature of lessons- they are opportunistic and insistent.  They just keep showing up.  This is something for which I am also grateful  Very grateful.

Wishing you balance,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One Great Massage. Two Terrific Locations!

Massage At One Life Chiropractic

One Life.  One Body.  One Choice.

And now...One New Massage Therapist!  I am extremely happy to announce that I have very recently joined the friendly and professional staff at One Life Chiropractic.

Located at 3300 Monroe Avenue, One Life Chiropractic features first rate health care in a welcoming and relaxing environment.  

Please come visit!  I am hosting two chair massage events at One Life: Thursday, July 28, from 2:00-4:00 pm, and Friday, July 29th, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and again from 4:00-6:00 p.m.  Come and receive a chair massage for $1 a minute, or just say hello and check out the space and the other offerings.

I am now taking appointments.  Just call me directly at 585-288-6006 or e-mail me at  Take advantage of the introductory massage special.  If you schedule before September 15, your one hour or 90 minute session is $10.00 off.

Check out the One Life website:  One Life Chiropractic.  

Wishing you balance,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Traveling Altar

This weekend Shannon Halligan, L-CAT and I co-led a workshop called, "Awakening to Possibility With a Traveling Pocket Altar."  I became interested in the idea of identifying and inviting change into one's life when I attended a vision board workshop earlier in the year.  During that event, as I sat leafing through magazines, cutting and pasting my collage of things I wished for my future to hold, the idea to create my own workshop began to form.  The social setting of that early January gathering was fun and inspiring, for certain, however, I sensed that this idea of envisioning one's life could be carried further, that there was a rich potential for a workshop that was deeply reflective.   Discussing this with Shannon, she introduced the idea of creating a traveling altar which she described to me as a small decorated box filled with meaningful items that can fit in a pocket or bag, so that it can travel with you.  I loved the idea and suggested that a centering meditation and mindful movement session before creating the altars might lay fertile ground for ideas.  Thus, the idea for the workshop was born.

Yesterday's workshop was a relaxed, creative and inspiring morning of meditation, movement, dream making, art making and discussion.

But that isn't what I want to talk about.  We will offer this workshop again and I will talk it up then.  I will encourage you to come and will send you many invites.  You will be made well aware of why you should take this particular workshop.  And you should take this workshop.   But that isn't what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is MY traveling altar.  I had a bit of a vision of what I might want to include before hand.  One of my friends had introduced the idea of writing affirmations on her phone- things that she wanted in her life.  I loved the idea and copied it.  My smart phone has meaningful messages on the screens, reminders to practice gratitude along with reassurances and visions such as, "You have all the time you need," and "Decisions are made with ease."  At the workshop, I realized that my phone messages are a form of an altar- a collection of ideas that are important to me- ideas I place on high. 

I imagined my altar box to include objects that represented love, financial security, creative expression, yoga, a thriving massage practice- the things that I put on the vision board I had made earlier and on my telephone altar.  When I do finish filling my traveling altar, I am sure it will have ephemera that will represent all of that, but the altar box itself took on a direction that I didn't expect. 

I found myself thumbing through travel magazines, my fingers reaching for travel themed collage paper and cutting out maps.  And when I heard another woman read the phrase, "We are not in Kansas anymore," from a tin of movie themed magnetic words, I, the girl who grew up in Kansas, pounced on it.  My altoid box turned traveling altar is covered with a maps, passport stamps and images of postcards.  A traveling traveling altar!  Who knew that I had the travel bug?  Recently I renewed my passport, but I did so without any emotion or fantasy.  Passport renewal was just an item on my to do list; it seemed like just another something that had to be done.  During the workshop, however, the dream of world travel was awakened!  For so many years, money and circumstances have made travel unrealistic.  And even though I have no plan for world travel right now, what I have realized from my other envisioning projects, that once a seed has been planted, things do begin to shift and what might start off feeling like a crazy dream can slowly begin to feel very possible.

Other participants spoke of the same phenomenon- that their altars took on a different direction than they expected.   Since we took time to become fully present in our bodies before we started our creative work, it doesn't really surprise me.  The body is ripe with wisdom and when we tune inward and pay attention, we can reap the harvest.

Join us next time, why don't you?

Wishing you balance,


Sunday, May 8, 2011

On Being Unique

My college students are required to attend dance performances and submit written responses describing what they have seen.  I was noticing that the word "unique" was coming up again and again.   This made sense to me, but I also found it annoying.  For many of my students a dance concert is a novel experience so everything is they see is "unique."  But without explaining why it is unique, the word held no meaning, so I started outlawing it entirely in an effort to get them to describe what was happening on stage and how it amazed them, moved them, inspired them, confused them or exactly why it bored them to tears.

The other night I was at a gathering full of people I didn't know and I found myself in a typical cocktail party conversation discussing what it is that I do.  "I am a massage therapist," I explained.  Going to massage school was a dream come true for me and I find helping people in this way to be an incredible honor.  So, when I tell people that I do massage and bodywork, it is with a certain pride.  But, let's face it.  There are a lot of massage therapists out there, especially in this town.  And furthermore, there are some very good ones.  Why should you come to my modest office for a massage when you could go to a ritzy spa?  Why should you come see me for bodywork when you could get a cheaper massage from a student therapist at the massage school?  What makes my practice unique?  What should I tell this person who is asking me what I do?  What should I tell her sets me apart?

My bodywork treatments are unique of course; all body workers offer up something of themselves in their practice.  We, as clients, relate differently to different people and I believe that you have to trust and resonate with someone in order to open up fully to treatment.  This makes it important to find a therapist that you respect and trust and with whom you feel connected.  The most important thing that I have to offer, besides my training, skill and intuition, is my ability to be present, to listen, and to respond.  I do not do cookie cutter massages.  Each session is tailored to your needs and designed collaboratively, based on your goals and preferences for treatment, combined with attentive hands that listen and respond to the wisdom of your body.  Nurturing, nourishing and effective,  sessions are designed collaboratively, based on your goals and preferences, combined with expert hands that listen and respond to address pain, tension and movement restrictions. Each session is truly unique.

I would never say that other therapists don't do this.  Many do, I am certain.  I can only promise that this is what I believe in and therefore it is what I do.  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

De-snagging the Sweater

Let's meet the fascia. The fascia is a network of extracellular material that runs throughout the body.  If it were possible to separate out the fascia from the rest of us, our fascia would form the same shape as we do, as it is a three dimensional web that runs throughout all our tissue.  This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a seminar in Myofascial Release. 

If you can imagine this interconnected web, it is easy to see how a fascial restriction in one area could create a problem elsewhere.  Ida Rolf used the analogy of a snag in a sweater that when pulled distorts the entire sweater.  This is a great image to help us understand how fascial restrictions can wreak havok on the structure, causing pain and tightness.

The snags in my sweater cause my head to pull forward and my shoulders to round.  The snags in my sweater cause pain and tingling to travel down my right arm; they cause TMJ problem, headaches and that annoying ache right between my shoulder blades.  You know that one.  That ache that you just can't reach.  In the process of learning the material, I was able to receive a healthy dose of the work myself.  I left the seminar feeling like a different person.  Now, with a de-snagged sweater, I feel loose and free- I have new found mobility in my shoulders and pelvis.  My jaw feels good.  I have a few lingering areas that still need to be addressed, but my pain is greatly diminished  My form has changed.  This sweater, which I was really starting to doubt, is actually a pretty fine garment!

I can't wait to start using the fantastic new techniques I learned to help clients who are suffering from pain.  With a bit of de-snagging,  that misshapen sweater of yours may just feel like a totally new garment.

Wishing you balance,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Bad Dancing?

This week, in my elementary dance classes, we have been reading the story Giraffes Can't DanceThis is a wonderful picture book about a Giraffe with buckling knees who wobbles and falls every time he tries to dance.  The annual jungle dance is a rather traumatic event for poor Gerald as the other animals laugh and tease him,  calling him a bad dancer.

I posed the question to my students- Is there a such thing as a BAD dancer?  Some said yes and explained that their siblings routinely accused them of being bad dancers.  But the vast majority of the children said that there was no such thing as a bad dancer.  They explained their thinking-

"Some people practice more."

"Some people can do more things but that doesn't mean that those who can't are bad dancers."

Here was my favorite-

"We all dance the way we are meant to dance."

Yes, a second grade child said that.  Smart kid.

In my book there is no such thing as a bad dancer, but this week it was nice to be reminded.  I haven't been feeling well, and missed my daily dance a few times.  The dances that I did do were of the tiny variety.  One day I danced with just my hands.  No leaps or dazzling turns.  No jazz hands, even.  But it wasn't a bad dance.  It felt great, in fact.

Dancing every day doesn't work if you judge yourself.  Each dance is what it is meant to be.

We all dance the way we are meant to dance. 

Wishing you balance,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let the Dancing Begin

In January I fantasized about aggressively promoting my March challenge of dancing every day for 5 minutes.  I envisioned it going viral, spreading like wild flowers.  All I need to do is get everyone I know to forward the info to everyone they know and so on and so on and...

And then February came and I totally forgot about Dance-A-Day March.  That is until March 1st, when it suddenly hit me.  Then came the dread. "Do I have to do this?  I don't feel like dancing." 

I don't have to do this.  I don't have to dance.  But then I would be a real fraud wouldn't I?  I set up this challenge for myself and I told people about it.  This means that I really ought to do it.

So, I did it.

And it was fun.

Really fun!

Just five minutes- not even five- it was probably more like three, but it put me in a great mood. 

It takes a bit of self guilt tripping to make me follow through on this missive, but when I do, my inner five year old gets released and I have a blast.

This Dance-A-Day March thing doesn't need to go viral.  It need not sweep across the internet.  But I am thrilled to have people join me.  The fact that there is a tiny community trying on this challenge for themselves makes me feel connected in a really lovely way.  I feel support for this project and supported personally.  Today again, I didn't feel like dancing, but did, and it was good, but not great.  In truth, I really didn't let loose.  I went through the motions.  Then, much later in the day, a friend posted a song to dance to, her five minutes of dancing song.  So I danced to it.

And this time I really danced!

And it was more than fun!  It was fabulous.  I felt as if I were part of a dancing community.  I can't describe how wonderful that feels.

Here is the song I danced to. Have fun with it!

Wishing you balance,


Friday, February 25, 2011

February Gratitude

As many of you already know from prior posts, I have adopted a gratitude practice this year, which involves a daily exchange of lists of things for which I feel grateful.  This other person, with whom I exchange lists,  I affectionately refer to as my gratitude buddy.  Each month a new gratitude buddy joins me in this adventure.  This month, my gratitude buddy was someone I affectionately refer to as Mom.

This has been a very special month indeed.  I have already written about the gratitude practice being a express lane to happiness.  It continues to be so.  My glass feels half full.  This month brought with it the realization that the gratitude partnership also brings people closer.   I have enjoyed the daily connection with all my buddies immensely, and have deepened my relationship with each of them, but this past month I consider myself truly blessed to share something so life-affirming with my mother.   It has truly been a gift.

I feel better letting go and moving on to the next buddy knowing that my mom has a new buddy for March- my sister!  Each of my buddies has gone on to continue the practice with either a new buddy or a journal.  Just think....if everyone got a new buddy each month....this project would grow exponentially and become a crazy out of control gratitude fest.   This sounds just great to me.

Wishing You Balance,


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Opening The Heart

Many massage therapists offer couple's massage for Valentine's Day.  Although this is a lovely idea, it is something I have never offered.  I have a solo practice.  Without another therapist with whom to collaborate, a couple's massage would be challenging indeed!  Right now I am imagining myself trying to give two people a massage simultaneously!   Couple's massage fail!

Now that Valentine's Day has passed, I have thought up the perfect idea for a Valentine's session.  Of course! Now I get the idea!   Happily, I am not going to let the fact that Valentine's Day is behind us to go ahead and offer it.

Opening the Heart is a massage session that focuses on all those muscles of the thorax that get so short and tight from all the things we do like computering, driving, carrying things, even cooking and reading.  Those tight muscles round our shoulders forward and collapse our chests.  We literally sink into ourselves.  When we open the sternum, the shoulders and the ribs, we are able to breath more fully and experience more deeply.  Opening the heart opens us to life itself.

I received a note the other day from a client that recently received an Opening the Heart session-

"I think that the work has encouraged me to soften my heart....I feel different." 

Open to Possibiltiy.  Open to Joy.  Open the Heart.

Request an Opening the Heart session, now through the month of March, and pay just $50.00.

Please visit the Body In Balance website for more information on massage and somatics bodywork.

"The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart."  -The Buddha

Wishing you balance,


P.S.  Some other resources for opening the heart-

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gratitude: Month Two

I am well into my second month of my gratitude project and am now exchanging messages of gratitude with a dear friend that I went to college with who I haven't seen for several decades.   I can't even begin to describe the richness of the exchanges.  At this point, writing my daily gratitude list has become a habit, as natural as brushing my teeth.  When I started the project on Thanksgiving day, I was so excited about it that I couldn't wait to do my gratitude list and I would put a great deal of thought into choosing my three things; I wanted them to be the right things.  I wanted them to be profound.  Then, after a few weeks, the novelty of the project wore off, and it began to feel like a chore.  And for a few days in there, but only a few, my mood so dark, it was difficult to think of three things, and the whole project felt like a lame joke.

But nowadays the gratitude list flows easily.  Whatever resonates at the moment I decide to do my list, I write.  One day I am thankful for opportunities to begin anew.  Another day I am thankful for lemons.  The longer I do this project the more I love it.  I think it is true that what you give your attention to grows.  These thoughts, the positive thoughts that I have cultivated and cajoled, have now become second nature.  These thoughts have changed the way that I live.  These days I would describe myself as a happy person. I am grateful to be alive.  I happily greet the morning and climb into bed excited for sleep so that I can wake up and do this life thing some more.  In the words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, "Change your thoughts and you change your world."

I am grateful for the people who have signed on to do it with me.  I have three more gratitude buddies in the wings and I am excited about month long exchanges with each of them. And as I continue, I will keep you posted.

Wishing you balance,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Setting Intentions

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

This is a time of setting intentions.  How would you like your life to be in the New Year?  To what habits of mind and body would you like to say goodbye?  What would you like to invite into your life?

I have been having many conversations with people, clients and friends alike, about New Year's resolutions and intentions.  Health seems to be the number one priority when making those resolutions.

Recent research is hailing touch as the new medicine.  The research is welcome and affirming, but the body already knows how important nurturing touch is.  Bodywork feels wonderful and facilitates the body's own ability to  heal.  Touch is vital to our health.

What will you do to take care your body this year?  How will you invite in health and balance?

Some inspiring resolutions that I have heard-

  • Drink more water
  • Eat organic food
  • Meditate more
  • Get a massage a month
  • Make a New Year's resolution

Here's wishing you a year of joy, good health and balance.  May you breathe deeply, sleep soundly, dance happily and laugh loudly.  I hope to see you soon.  I owe a great big thank you to all my supportive friends, clients and readers for making this year a great start to my dream to help others in their own healing journeys. 

Wishing you balance,