Well....It's an interesting story, actually. I have been a massage therapist for 10 years and have had my own private practice, Living Anew Therapeutic Massage, for only around 15 months. It was a new thing, managing all the ins and outs of business, as well as physically doing the massages. Although, I've found it to be fun. It added a new level of "know how" and change to my life that has proved to be pure amazingness.
Around February of this year, I began thinking about ways I could reach more people. How could I, as a massage therapist who can only see 1 person at a time and only 3 to 5 a day, affect more people? TEACH. Ah yes, teach. What was I passionate about or knowledgeable about? Touch, massage, the human body, and human nature?
Of course, I couldn't possibly do this sort of intimate work with people and not learn a thing or two about my Self and human nature, right?
So, off I went to research for a class I would call, "Daily Massage: Techniques to Help Each Other". In this class I would teach massage techniques we could use at home to help our family or friends or partner. (Seriously? I get paid to do something we used to do for each other). I would also teach some anatomy, touch receptors, as well as talk about why touch is important in life and all relationships.
I feel like, in this age of technology, we have moved so far away from allowing others in or from touching, really, at all, that this class would be a fantastic way to spread the love and importance of touch.
In doing this research, the Infant Massage USA website popped up. I clicked.
Turns out, loving and nurturing touch from parents to babies is extremely therapeutic for both parties. I found that this was a way parents could raise more empathetic and compassionate children. How kind, and caring, and loving of you to give your child your touch as a way of easing their tension in this new world.
I immediately began saving for the class and within the month, signed up.
Not only could I teach adults how important touch is now, after being raised without it, but I could also teach parents to instill it in their children from the beginning of life. The child would then pass it on to his children, and on and on for generations. YES! I have found a way to affect the world.
Little did I know, I was in for some healing of my own. On my drive home, I was reflecting on what I had learned after the fourth long day in a row of training, and realized something. It's never too late to begin anew.
I was not from a household who touched or hugged or kissed. The overall vibe was luke warm at best....Yet, I chose a profession where I am constantly touching people. Things that make you go "huh?"
I arrived home and hugged Brian, my partner, as we always do when we see each other. Something came over me and I broke down and sobbed. He, simply held me and asked what was going on? I realized I had chosen a partner who was a toucher, who I felt safe touching. I thanked him for being him and knew then I was on the right path, or one I was excited about, at least.
And for your viewing pleasure, my teaching dolls, Freyda(Yiddish for Joy), Amora(Spanish for Love), and Pax(English for Peace)...And of course my 3 year old kitty, Mingus, helping me study. So sweet.
As I was preparing for my first class of parents and babies as part of my certification process, I happened upon this excerpt from Vimala McClure, the founder of the International Association of Infant Massage:
“When people ask me, ‘When did you start all this?’ I’m not sure what to say. I believe that for me, as for all of us, it started in my infancy. Psychologist Abraham Maslow described two kinds of needs we all have: ’deficiency‘ needs and ’growth‘ needs. Deficiency needs spring from a lack of something basic; growth needs are those higher quests – to do something for others, to realize one’s greatest potential, to contribute to the welfare of humanity."
"My work with babies and parents springs from both of these. I seek to heal the infant me, who, because of cultural misconceptions and circumstances of fate, was deprived of wholeness. Every baby I ’touch‘ is me, and I am again made whole through love. My work also springs from a deeply felt desire to contribute to my culture and to my world.”
This really resonated with me as I found these could have been my own words that day as I walked into my house after class. "I seek to heal the infant me...Every baby I 'touch' is me, and I am again made whole through love...My work springs from a deeply felt desire to contribute to my culture and to my world".
I have a few more things to finish up in the certification process and am extremely excited to begin my new work. Yes, I'll still be doing massage and plan on implementing the adult class, too.
What did I learn from all of this? Follow my internal guide. Life shows me in very obvious ways what I need to grow and move forward out of stagnation. All I can do is listen and make a choice. Remember, that choice is not wrong or right, it simply is what it is until it's something else.
If what "it" is is pure and positive love and happiness, well, I may have arrived at something that's going to be intensely fun! WOOHOO!
Filled with gratitude!