One of the bigger factors in becoming a massage therapist these days is that the bar has been raised and the research on what we do is now some serious science. When I graduated from massage school, back before the dawn of all immediate access to absolutely everything, one could literally decide to hang a sign and declare themselves a massage therapist. And it worked! Some basic knowledge of skin and muscles coupled with a lot of intention and you were good to go.
I did have the good fortune to actually attend a school that was before its time. And it taught me lots and lots of technical, science-y stuff. I entered the field confident and spry - ready to handle whatever issues entered my sacred space. And I did just that. For many years. It was great. I felt like a big fish in a small pond... the therapist who actually knew her anatomy and could do more than just apply organic, essential oil-infused lotions.
Everything is different now...
And that is a good thing! Our schooling is fast paced and rigorous, our accreditation has incredibly high standards, and if you haven't yet taken the national exam, you sure as hell better prep for the MBLEx. As a result, the MT's who are graduating these days are smart, well versed, and - dare I say - know more than I did when I graduated.
But everything ELSE is different, too.
With 2017 having arrived, I am sure I speak for a lot of us when I say that my intentions are set and my inward focus on what to shift, what to change, what to be grateful for, etc. is high on the vibe scale right now. It is usually at this time of year when I reflect on the past and feel hope for the coming days, weeks, months. But it is hard this time. With our new commander-in-chief so close to being sworn into office and the country, and, in reality, the entire planet, in a deeply divided realm, I am not feeling much hope.
This is a new year, under a new "leader"-ship, in an ever changing world. But as I sit and ponder this hyper-speed of change, something is quite clear:
I am still the same me.
The same me who maybe did not not know what I know now. Who has not yet experienced a fraction of life's trials and tribulations. Who was not yet addicted to coffee and Instagram.
But the same me who, deep deep deep down, on a very beautifully basic, child-like human level, likes to feel good. I mean, I really like it. Feeling bad sucks. Feeling stressed about the future, feeling nervous about the world my kids are growing up in, feeling the aches and pains of getting old... No bueno.
And even with all the science behind the techniques of the stages of the layers of the practice of bodywork, I think the real motivation is still the same. We all want to feel good. Or maybe just better than we do right now.
And that is ok. Maybe I am preaching a bit, maybe I am really talking to myself. (Isn't that really what blogs are about?) But for fuck's sake it is absolutely ok to want to feel good.
To look past the rhetoric and remember what lies deep. To stop worrying about what someone else thinks and decide what we think. To stop reading the Twitter fights and start reading Upworthy. (Am I spilling my new years resolution?) To peel away the layers of SHOULDs and remember that we intrinsically know how to be happy.
After all, isn't that the true seed of change? Maybe intentions aren't about change, but about getting back in touch with the same us that was born with all the wisdom of the universe. Maybe, beyond all the information and technology, lies the truest sense of how to feel good.
See how smart I am? Damn that feels good.