Have you ever found yourself rushing around trying to get everything done and the more you rush and multitask, the more you fumble and make whatever you are doing last 2-3 times longer than you anticipated? You eventually get frustrated and stop, take a deep breath, organize your thoughts and reconnect your mind and your body and then everything flows smoothly again. Take a close look at that deep breath you take. How incredibly helpful is that small moment you took to reset what was happening?
There is a Buddhist concept of ‘Practice.’ You may hear yogis talk about their ‘practice’. In our Western culture, we see undertones of this in our lives, but nothing in the forefront unless you are an avid yogi or actively practicing Buddhist. In our culture, there is little to no room to make mistakes. We are constantly trying to be the best at all times. Whether it’s the best sales person at a job, or the best mom that does the most things with her kids, or how many things we can juggle on our plates without dropping the ball on something. In reality, our bodies are not equipped to function like that. We have to sleep for our survival. We need downtime, to relax, recuperate, and restore our minds and bodies. The concept of Practice is merely showing up. Your Practice is having an intention of doing said thing, being gentle with ourselves, and striving to be better than the day before but accepting and welcoming where you are today.
How can therapeutic massage facilitate this concept?
I’ve always said the space between being awake and being asleep (many times where you linger during a massage therapy session) is so very therapeutic. It’s one thing to sleep and restore but to be actively relaxing takes the healing capacity of restoring to a whole new level. You can begin to feel the slight adjustments your body makes that take you to a deeper level of relaxation. When you develop a keen awareness like this, you are more equipped with knowledge to access what your body needs. You are quicker to hear your body needing sleep or food or exercise. This is just on a physical level, which is a great place to start. Then, when you take this same concept and apply it to your thoughts and emotions, a whole new world opens up for you to enjoy and take in more fully. When you can recognize the subtle adjustments that you need a hug or to talk something through with a friend, you spend less time struggling through your interactions with people and more time feeling fulfilled.
Receiving therapeutic massage is a great way to introduce your body and your mind to this ‘Practice’ we call Life.
Here’s the challenge:
Starting December 1, 2013: 30 Days of Intentional Relaxation
If you complete all five steps, you will be put into a drawing to receive a 60 minute DeepFeet Bar Therapy Massage. Depending on how many participants, will depend on how many sessions will be available for the drawing. Also, if you share this post and coax a friend or family member to join the challenge, you’re name will be put in the drawing once more for each additional person you get to take the challenge. *If for some reason, you are not a great candidate for DeepFeet, a equal prize will be given. Here’s how you play:
- Let me know before November 30 via email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) that you plan to participate. I will email you more information and a worksheet.
- Write a few sentences before you start the challenge to see where you are mentally. You may feel edgy or calm or distracted. Use your own words.
- Record how often you spend time being quiet. I suggest starting with 30 seconds each day and when you feel comfortable, increase your time to 60 seconds and beyond. This is setting aside time each day to sit comfortably and quietly with little distraction. This does not include as you’re falling asleep. This is a bit of the honor system but you must record time (on the worksheet I provide) 20 of the 30 days to be included in the drawing.
- Write a few sentences at the end of the challenge to see where you are mentally. If you really focus on the ‘Practice’ of this, you will see a difference after a few days and after 30 days, you may find yourself approaching situations (like the Holidays) with a lot more ease and grace.
- Return your information to me by by January 4th and the drawing will be held on January 13th.
A few details and helpful hints:
- Be gentle with yourself. The point is not to be the best, but to acknowledge your intention and your progress. I cannot emphasize this enough. This is not a game of who can be the best, it’s a game of who can complete the task and learn something of it.
- Invite your friends and family. Starting anything new in your life is always easier with the support of those around you. Let whoever you live with know that you are participating in the challenge, that way they can respect your quiet time. Have them read this post so they understand what and why you are doing this challenge.
- Focus on your breath. This practice of Intentional Relaxation should be time set aside with no technology and no distractions. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus on the inhale and exhale of your breath. If you catch your mind wandering, that’s ok. Acknowledge the thoughts and go back to your breath.
- No judgement here. I will want to see your records only to glimpse at your experience with this exercise. You will not be rated or graded.
- Support is your friend. I’m here for you. Anytime you have any questions or comments about your experience. Just send me an email with your question and I’ll be glad to help!
Easy as that. Quiet time=Massage at no cost. What do you have to loose but a little distraction in your life? 😉
Let me know if you have any questions and Happy Holidays!