Meditation Practice Key 1

 

What are you thinking about?

 

Some people are overwhelmed when trying to start a meditation practice.  They think it’s too long, too intense, or they don’t think they can focus.  Here’s a jumping off point to get you started.  It’s simple.  Just ask yourself “what am I thinking about?”  In this way, you can start to focus more often on your own thoughts and identify what you may be doing to block your own progress.

 

When I decided I needed to begin a practice of meditation it was because I realized I wasn't in control of my own thoughts, and that didn't sit well with me. It was very common for me to start thinking about something that lead to worry, and the worry lead to dread, and the dread started a reaction in my body. My throat felt tight and my stomach and head hurt. My breathing felt restricted and soon I was in a full panic, all because of a troubling thought. And when I didn't want to think them anymore, I had no idea how to stop-- it wasn't nearly as easy as it was to begin. These thoughts just came to my mind nonstop, usually several at once. I had trained my mind for years to multitask and hold on to useless things. I had painful memories, grocery lists, silly jingles, heavy realizations, and mixed up emotions all fighting for space in my conscious mind. This mindset was keeping my vibrations so low, it's no wonder I felt stuck.

 

The more I analyzed thoughts, the more I realized the people around me were very judgmental and negative in the thoughts they expressed, even in jest. This helped me begin to notice my own thoughts more frequently, realizing they were pretty negative, too.

 

I started with asking myself "what am I thinking about?" My first obstacle was not getting upset with myself when I caught myself lost in negative thoughts. To this day, I still catch myself sometimes, but it's far less often. And the things I find myself thinking aren't nearly as awful. So I'm proud of my progress. I suggest everyone who has a desire to get in control of their mind start there.

 

"What am I thinking about?"

 

Just make a point to note the answer throughout the day. Some of my most popular ones were lists, "what if" scenarios, harsh judgments of myself and things other people had said to me.

 

I stuck to this exercise long enough to make it a habit. I just take a deep breath and ask myself, what was I thinking about a few seconds ago? This is what worked for me long before I was able to sit in stillness for 20 minutes at a time.

 

Try it, and tell me how it goes for you.

Three Great Reasons to Buy an SLH Massage Package Deal

 

There are so many benefits to receiving consistent massage, so why not get it at a great price, too?

1. Amazing deals

Because consistent in-home massage therapy care with an elite massage therapist can get pricey fast, the package deals are often as much as 40% off the original pricing.

There will always be places that offer massage care for dirt cheap but are their services really what you need, personally? In most cases, no.

Hospital visits are not cheap. Consistent massage therapy helps you to be in touch with your body’s needs and signals. Your body sends signals constantly to let you know what it needs because its #1 priority is staying alive. These signals start out at a whisper (hunger pains, thirst, yawning, mild headaches, soreness, etc.) and when ignored, slowly advance into a yell (fainting, diarrhea, migraines, injuries). Learn to tune in and listen to your body’s cues before they take you down the path of discomfort and illness, at a cost to your health and pocketbook.

 

2. Know thyself

The customers who benefit from massage services most are those who have reached advanced awareness in their bodies. These are people who have had enough massage care to know exactly what to expect, and they work as a team with their therapist for the best outcomes. They know without a doubt if they are trusting the right person for help.

I will show you stretches, tips, and modifications that work along with the muscle work to restore you. We will work our way to preventing pain, maintaining peak health and finally attaining advanced awareness.

 

3. Consistency is key to improving your well being

Commit to keeping yourself at peak health now: flexible, strong, in tune. This way you are 75% more likely to keep a consistent massage schedule and attain the full benefit of this care. Together we will learn how often you need a massage to maintain your level of activity with peak flexibility, strength, nerve function, and sleep without pain!

Massage therapy care is a journey that will teach you tools for healing yourself as you move from repairing to maintaining, with the goal of prevention and advanced awareness of yourbody.

Be sure to follow SLH Massage on Facebook for the latest package deals.

I Love my Career

Right now I'm exhausted. But it's the best type of exhaustion. Today I did five 1hr massages for five people who all really needed my help. I got to spend my day learning about what they needed and utilizing my skills and gifts to make them each feel better one by one. It was the type of day that makes me feel so grateful to be in the profession I'm in. 

One of my clients had tension from traveling, another had a severe headache, one had sore legs from strenuous work, another had a stiff low back from lots of driving and I had a regular who needed the usual. I was able to help all of them feel relief. 

And even better, one of them booked their next appointment right away after their session--even with so much going on! 

It was a long, full, fun, happy day.  

I'm nearly to my goal for taking care of some urgent financial problems! Thank God!

And of course my clients. Next I've got some renewal fees I've got to pay. 

I'm filled with gratitude. I love having a prosperous career!!

Massage Party ❤️❤️ 

Massage Party ❤️❤️ 

My Meditation Approach

this post is late, but I've finally approved a draft and I'm ready to share it with you guys. Remember as you read it that I offer meditation coaching at no charge to my massage clients with open accounts. 

My Meditation Approach  

I consider myself about 3 years into my meditation practice. And I have established a framework that I believe can help anyone ascend to a more desirable perspective of their life journey-- which is, after all, the long term goal for meditation in my life. It includes daily meditation, stretching, gratitude journaling, BEing and bathing. With this practice I have already manifested so many things in my life.

 

There are several different approaches to meditation. And even several different definitions. The bible instructs us to "meditate on the word" which many understand to mean study the word of God. Some meditate on mantras or affirmations. There is also a common belief that to meditate is to clear your mind of all thoughts for some exorbitant amount of time. We have all seen beautiful images of the perceived ideal body position for meditation. But once I began to study the work behind meditation I found that those perceptions were the very reasons I initially concluded I was no good at meditation. I am so happy to know that is false. If you can BE, you can meditate.

 

The transition from active mind state to meditative mind state is gradual. I also find it methodical. And the transition back to active mind state should be conducted just as slowly. The crazy sensory overload feeling I was getting was happening because I broke away from a meditative state and went about my day too quickly. I skipped a few steps I was unaware of.

 

So how did I fix it?

 

I begin by finding a position that is comfortable for me. I've found that if I'm tired, and I don't sit up straight I will fall asleep. So I'm always sure to check in with my energy level before I get comfortable. 

I take a deep breath imagining my lungs are a giant tank and pull the air all the way down to my pelvis. Then relax and allow the air to escape my lungs freely. I do this several times inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. 

Next I check in with my body, part by part to see what sensations I can detect. If I feel pain, I acknowledge it. If I feel tension I relax it, if I feel good I am grateful. I note it all as progress.

Then I focus on what I see before my eyes with them closed. Is there color? Are there shapes, is there just darkness? How does it feel?

Next I direct my focus to my breathing.

I really appreciate each breath. There's a bit of magic in zooming all the way in on your breath and allowing it to take center stage in your mind. It fascinates me.

After a few seconds of this something will happen to distract my focus from my breath. This is when I become aware of a second train of thought. There's the me that is distracted, and another who watches the thoughts roll in and out like waves. This me is able to zoom out and not be IN thought, but aware of it. The breath is the music, the thoughts are the singer and I am the listener who appreciates the song.

When my chimes sound to let me know my time of stillness is over, I then begin stretching. I feel the blood flow and energy begin to zip through my body and it's a great feeling. Some of my stretching is yoga-like, some not. But I make a point of moving and stretching and sending love to every part from toes to fingertips to the neck and jaw. I'm grateful for how amazing it feels to stretch after sitting in stillness for 20 minutes.

 

More later!

Why I thought I couldn't Meditate

 
This is a re-post from a blog I wrote last year. I knew not many readers could find it so I didn't post the second half. I will post the next part next week.

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Why I thought I couldn't meditate

For nearly 10 years, before I became a massage therapist, I worked in retail. If you have never worked retail you might think it's easy to just hang out at the mall all day. But retail jobs, in addition to soul draining, are quite demanding. They require you to stand for extended periods of time, climb ladders, carry heavy things, (usually while wearing uncomfortable attire) multi-task, get an exorbitant amount of repetitive work done in a short period of time, to hold the same conversation numerous times a day and pretend it's new each time all while smiling and trying to make sure no one steals. Before my retail career was done, I became a store manager, which meant in addition to those general requirements, I had to be accountable for what happened in the store 72 hours a week. I managed up to 6 employees At a time, memorized a bunch of otherwise useless information, and had to worry about things like inventory, surprise visits and audits. My brain was half filled with meaningless stressful stimulation and the other half was nearly dead from lack of use. So it's no wonder that when I first tried to sit in stillness and meditate I found it a complete waste of time.

I couldn't sit still.
I couldn't zone out.
I felt uncomfortable.
I started to fall asleep once I did get comfortable.
Eventually, I got frustrated with myself and gave up.

After massage school I was a much calmer person. When you study massage, you receive a lot of massage as part of the learning process. Just walking into my massage college had a calming effect. Even on exam days, instead of feeling stressed, I was excited! I graduated with a strong determination for finding a job. once I was working and had a little income, I went on a journey to learn about meditation. I knew it was a tool I would need in order to build a thriving massage practice one day.

My journey began at the book store. I bought about 7 books about meditation and read about other people's exploration of it. One lady wrote about going to live with monks and spending hours with them in meditation. Another book focused on a place they called "the gap" which was explained as the space between thoughts, and gave helpful tips on how to get there. So again, I found a fairly quiet place, I sat perched cross-legged on a pillow and attempted to clear my mind of all thoughts. This time I stuck with it, trying different methods I researched. I refused to give up on myself again. Eventually, after several tries I found myself in a trance-like state. I was swaying gently and watching swirls of color wrap themselves around the inside of my eyelids. I wasn't aware of anything else except the subtle swaying and the colors. This moment lasted about 2 minutes before something happened to pull me out of it.

A little later that day I was riding in the car with a friend when this extreme sensory overload came over me. The radio was way too loud, the car was moving way too fast, the sun outside the window was shining directly into my soul and I wanted to crawl out of my skin!! I started to have a panic attack. I was so scared because I had no idea what was wrong with me. I couldn't figure out how to get away from this feeling! It had been a few hours since I had meditated so I didn't connect the two events until it happened again later that week.

A few minutes after meditating, I was walking my dog when the leash started to hurt my hand, the sun hurt my eyes, the sidewalk felt like a waterbed under my feet and the overwhelming smell of citrus blossoms from the neighbor's tree nearly made me gag. I stopped and tried to wait for it to pass but it continued. My senses were under attack from all sides and there was no escape. The only thing I could do was go inside, lie down and cover my eyes and wait for it to pass. I couldn't explain what was wrong with me, and was a little embarrassed so I told everyone I had a migraine. After that, I decided meditation was not for me.

I had connected the strange spells to meditation and I had no interest in recreating them.

Nearly 3 years after I gave up on meditation, I met a lady I would soon look to as a mentor. She believes that meditation can improve anyone's life. and that they should practice it twice a day, every day. I told her about my experience and she suggested that maybe the way I was transitioning from meditation to everyday life was too abrupt. She convinced me to give it another try and I'm glad I did.

I would love to share what I learned with you. Check back for my next post where I tell you more about my experiences with my meditation practice. 

Fireworks!

BANG! 

You instantly recognize it as the jump startling pop of a huge firework and know you are safe. But what happens inside of you when you are unexpectedly startled by such a loud noise?

You flinch involuntarily, your heart races, you feel warm all over and at the same time your breathing rate increases. Your body responds in a split second moment of panic as if you are in danger and might need to run for your life! What's happening is a primal instinct. Your "fight or flight" reflex is triggered. Your heart races to send an influx of blood and oxygen to your muscles so they are prepared to either fight or flee. Your brain activates the release of necessary hormones  while also attending the task of deciding which response is necessary for the threat at hand. If you happen to have tension or dysfunction in a muscle when this happens, you could get a muscle knot from the quick involuntary flinch that happens when you hear such a noise!

In a situation such as this, adrenaline may hide or at least distract from the severity of a muscle spasm. Then days later, you awaken in the morning in pain and can't seem to figure out the cause. 

"Stress." Says your massage therapist. And you think back on the past week of your life, sure you've been busy, but not particularly stressed out. Right? 

My little made up scenario is just a small example of how tension can affect the body. These little flinches can happen for lots of reasons: a sneeze, a couch, or even a 10cm slip in the shower on a drop of shampoo. Our bodies are designed to keep going after tiny stressors and the better shape your in physically, the harder it is for little things like this to affect you. But, don't let those tiny stress dominos stack too high! An easy fix is tangible!

Just schedule your massages no more than 5 weeks apart! 😋

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!  BOOM! 🎉🇺🇸🎆

 

A New Day

Relaunching my website with a fresh new design has got me thinking about new beginnings. Today I am excited beyond words. 

Welcome to this new chapter of my adventure as a healer, feminine entity, student of life and conduit of love and positive energy! 

My calling is one that leads me to interact closely with people in many different stages of adulthood. They are often tired, stressed out and in pain. My job is to help them begin a new healing phase. I cherish the opportunity to witness their new beginnings as a privilege. My commitment to leading a low stress life is a challenge I accept gladly, and a decision I make constantly. Because the truth is, you cannot give what you do not have!

 

love & light

 

Seren