Springtime & a New Lens
Most of my life I’ve lived near the beach.
Now that I live so far away from it and see less sunny days, I am aware of
of just how much I crave sunshine, happy trees, green grass and colorful flowers.
Don't get me wrong, I live in an absolutely beautiful place now, but winters can consist of some "sunniless" days.
This is why I love Spring so much and am grateful that it is finally here.
Spring is sunshine, energy, peace and love.
Much like massage therapy.
Since becoming a licensed massage therapist, I’ve been able to SLOW DOWN and help others do the same.
This was not something I have been good at doing during most of my adult life, nor has it been something I ever wanted to be good at.
Much of the time, I am more efficient when working at a faster speed. Also, as a kid I was incredibly shy and I wanted to be the opposite so I put myself in situations where I had to interact with people a lot, no matter how uncomfortable it so often felt. For a shy person, this meant a lot of “noise” that I didn’t know how to handle and my mind was in constant motion.
Thinking fast without much pause, which is how I went about life, does not actually help. It does not help me with efficiency or stress reduction. It took me years to learn this and to figure out how to slow down. I had to endure lots of inner turmoil before I learned to stop rushing through life, work and my experiences.
Before this career I spent most of it as a professional sales rep. Faster was better. I believed I needed to “think faster” so I drank lots of coffee and not just any coffee… I drank very strong coffee that I had to work hard for.
Like so many others, I used to get up extra early to drive over to my favorite cafe where I would sit in my car or stand in line for a upwards of a half hour every single morning and sometimes twice per day, because of my false need to think faster and perceived belief that it would help me think better. Yes, my mind was going faster but definitely not in an effective manner so it did me no good from a productive and conscientious standpoint and rather contributed to stressing others out more around me because I was always in a rush, often making mistakes, talking fast and often failing to listen, hear or see so many good and important things that were happening around me. And don’t get me wrong, I succeeded in many ways by living life this way but by being in this constant state of go, go, go, it caused me to make decisions that made life a lot harder.
And, eventually, I crashed.
Eventually I had to take time to REALLY think. I had to reflect and decide what changes needed to be made in my life.
I had to walk away from my old way of doing things and be open to learning to be more efficient and calm. I didn't even know I needed to do this but naturally began moving in this direction due to extreme burn out.
While still in my former career, about 8 years ago, I began to experiment with things that would help slow me down. I've always been a lover of fitness but it had to be FAST. Step class had to consist of flying over the step, kickboxing had to be 10x the speed, and yoga had to be "power yoga". But when I started to dip my toes into a much slower version of everything, I started experimenting with things like yoga teacher training, restorative yoga classes, slower "flow" yoga classes, walking on the treadmill rather than running, slowing down my pace in group fitness classes, massage school, appreciation of different types of massage (not just “deep tissue”), journaling about happy experiences (rather than mostly things I didn't like) and spent lots of time alone reflecting, learning and growing.
So many things in life that actually help us rather than hinder us are ironic. So many things in life that are healthier for us are simple… so simple that we don’t do them.
Rather, we search for those things that are complex, nonsensical or completely unhealthy, because they are temporary fixes or because others are doing them and we assume they are what we need or think we want to do to find the one thing we think we want and need, which we can’t slow down long enough to truly figure out…
So we drink and eat things that actually dumb down our brains, buy things we don’t need or even use, choose to impress people who could care less about us and vice versa, and neglect things and people that and who are good for us.
For the record, I am still a coffee drinker. I make it at home most of the time now and drink it in the morning, only (unless it’s decaf on occasion). It’s much weaker but delicious (no sugar added, not then and not now). I changed my perception of not only the type of coffee I choose to drink but so many other things in life.
I see through a new lens.
It’s ironic that I used to think I couldn’t make coffee at home strong enough and it had to be a certain brand in order for me to have the energy that I thought I needed to do the work required of me. Today, I love making and drinking my coffee at home. It’s part of my “morning ritual”. Today I also engage in activities that slow my mind down, like taking advantage of the beautiful sunny day yesterday here in TN in this first month of Spring and laying out in the sun for part of the day to soak up the Vitamin D. And I focus on sleeping better and going to bed consistently earlier as often as possible, eating more greens, filling my mind with positive info (and avoiding the opposite), spending time with
those who lift me up and doing the same for others…
Today, I think more efficiently. I'm not shooting for perfection but always working to improve.
I have my mentors and positive people in my life to thank. I have my career to thank. I have massage therapy to thank. I have restorative yoga to thank. I have uplifting, kind hearted people to thank. I have my family and friends who are so loving to thank.
I have my wonderful clients to thank. I have the sun to thank.
And today, I am thankful for Springtime.