I try to make time for receiving massage as often as I can. Self-care is, after all, an important part of my job.
Most of my recent treatments have been geared towards alleviating some kind of physical discomfort. But prolonged spells of physical discomfort are exhausting so, the other week, I booked myself in for a massage with a different intention in mind: relaxation.
Relaxation can feel like a cop out. We’re so used to ‘doing’ all the time, to putting our physical needs above our emotional and spiritual needs, that it’s all to easy to feel guilty about or write-off the possibility of simply allowing ourselves to relax, be and see what comes.
Even I, a professional massage therapist, sometimes struggle to let myself ‘off the hook’ and give my mind and spirit the same attention that I never question giving to my body.
But the other day I decided I would do just this, and I’m so glad I did. The results were incredibly powerful.
I became overwhelmed with emotion as I realised that it had been a very long time since I tuned in to how all of me, not just my aches and pains, was feeling.
I saw that although my emotions might not present themselves in the same way as physical discomforts, they are just as much a part of me as anything else. And every single part of me, every single part of anyone, is valid.
We are all so many different things at once but accepting all the pieces and considering ourselves as a whole can be fraught with anxiety.
We hold up this one idea of a person that we really ‘should’ be and get cross with ourselves when a slightly different version shows up to play. We berate ourselves. We try and push that other version away, banish it from the image of ourselves we consider to be more virtuous, professional, likeable, appropriate, desirable, or whatever the right word may be.
As a massage therapist and practitioner of tai chi and meditation, I offer support and a safe space in which to be to anyone who needs it, but I also need support myself. I am a professional adult, but I am also a playful child. I am passionate about wellbeing but, every so often, I like to dance until dawn and lose myself in the music.
All these parts can seem like polar opposites. But really they make up one diverse, holistic picture.
All that you are
What if we allowed ourselves to be one whole person rather than lots of different bits in conflict with each other? What if, instead of saying to ourselves, “I really ought to stop doing that over there and be more like this over here,” we said, “I both am this and this. All these different parts make up one whole me and I am richer, happier and healthier when I accept, rather than fight against, all the different pieces of the puzzle.” Wouldn’t that be a relief?
Your existence on this earth is as emotional and energetic as it is physical. It’s time to celebrate all that you are, to give yourself time and space in which to relax and be, aside from your aches, pains or whatever may be going on for you at a conscious level.
You’ll be amazed by what you can discover and learn by allowing yourself to do this.
Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more.