Ideas can land on you from above, like a gift from the Gods. This phenomenon has happened to me when writing, especially songwriting. Suddenly there is a melody where before there was nothing. I wasn’t even searching.
My decision to become a Massage Therapist happened in this way. I was at the feet of a dear client at the end of our yoga session (I gently stretch my clients shoulders or feet as they relax) when I was struck by the enormity of touch and how profound it is to place your hands on someone with healing intention. All at once I thought: I need to go to massage school!
That very afternoon, I went to the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in Westport to inquire. Within weeks I was enrolled in their most extensive program, had myself a nice sized student loan and was ready for a new adventure. It was so clear that it required no actual pondering or deciding. I just knew it.
Being in school was glorious. Learning about the body lit me up. I was an anatomy nerd of the highest order! We learned all sorts of hands-on techniques and modalities, practicing regularly on one another and our family and friends (this can make you quite popular!). Upon graduation I felt prepared, capable and excited.
As I began to practice, however, my confidence stumbled. This stumble was mostly due to a belief I held about what others believed. (Did you catch that?) I put myself firmly in my own way by believing that, because I worked at a gym, I was expected to do deep tissue and sports massage. These modalities are not where my gifts (nor my point of view) lie and hence I deemed my gifts inadequate.
So even though I had a lovely base of clients who appreciated my style, I decided to move away from massage after several years of practice. At the time this decision made 100% good sense in my mind. I viewed it as a logical sacrifice to make way for other endeavors.
But here is the thing: I planned, strategized and agonized over that decision. It was not inspired, it did not drop from the heavens. I absolutely labored over it.
Here is the other thing: Last year I returned to massage. Like lightning, I just knew I wanted to come back to it.
That lightning bolt surely formed in the time spent away. My subconscious figured out that no one can be the perfect massage therapist for everyone, which is the beauty of ANY kind of personalized work. If you are true to yourself, you are true to your clients.
Somewhere in the interim, the value of my style of bodywork became clear and l realized that I genuinely missed the work. Doubt and struggle were replaced by a sense of honor. Working with the intention of love and being willing to listen, really listen to my clients and their bodies is a privilege.
There are several things I hope to remember from this experience. 1) Whenever you try to mold yourself based on what you think others want you to be, you stumble. 2) You must move from a place that lights you up 3) Decisions made from heavy analysis (read: fear) are typically not our best decisions.
Simply put: Be true to your truth, follow your spark, and stand by your intuition.
The World is better served when you do!