Reflections on the Table

One of the most beautiful things I've seen in this world has been when I get to witness a person on the massage table during a healing session. Whether their head is in my reiki-ing hands, I'm feeling and clearing their chakra energy with esoteric healing, or I’m holding space for the emotions to move through their body with breathwork (or a combo of all three), it always has me bowing down in awe to the beauty of the human body and spirit. Recently, I had the opportunity to be on the other side, to be in the other role, as my body was calling out to get some reiki from one of my healer friends. I was the one to climb up on the table to receive this time. And I was surprised by how hard it was! 

Healing treatment room at Maha Rose Center for Healing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Healing treatment room at Maha Rose Center for Healing in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

If you've ever experienced a session before, you know what it feels like to be vulnerable and laid bare so to speak in another’s hands. It takes courage, bravery, and trust. It takes a willingness to let the walls down, take off the mask, and be seen exactly as we are in that moment. I know for me this can be hard when the rest of the time I'm running around trying to look like I've got all my shit together. Trying to seem strong and in control of what life is delivering to me.  At the beginning of the session that day, I found myself bracing my muscles as if to try to hold my own self up, rather than letting my weight sink into the massage table and be supported.  It took a conscious effort for me to relax each muscle, to take deep breaths, and to just.... BE.  To receive.  

 And what I realized as I climbed onto that table: there is a quiet kind of strength needed in order to soften and open and receive, whether it be as simple as accepting a compliment or gesture of kindness. Whether it's a physical gift or an offer for help and assistance. Whether it's a healing session, bodywork, coaching, or intuitive guidance. It takes an inner strength to allow ourselves to be on the other end of "the giving".

And I had to ask myself, why then do we do it??  Why do *I* in particular have a business that asks people to receive when it's also a challenge for us to do sometimes?   It took me some time to contemplate this question.


And my reflection: because the body loves it. The body CRAVES it. Receiving brings balance to the yin and yang. The masculine and feminine. It creates reciprocity.  Flow.  Think the infinity symbol: what flows out also flows back to us.  When we finally stop fighting or resisting and sink into the glory of receiving, it feels SO GOOD. In a healing session, the nervous system relaxes and the body has a chance to restore and heal. Accepting the compliment expands our joy and appreciation for ourselves. Getting help from a friend leaves us feeling supported, connected, loved. And then the effects of that acupuncture, birthday gift, hand written note in the mail, random bouquet of flowers, ripples out in ways we probably don't even see!

And so glorious receivers, I am awed by you.  Inspired by you.  Encouraged by you.  I raise a toast to us all: may we continue to allow ourselves to receive with strength, courage, and vulnerability.


Point to Ponder: in what ways can you soften to receiving?  What are some of your favorite ways to receive?

Moon Lessons

A few months ago, I adopted my brother’s dog, Moon.  I never expected to be mommy to a doggie especially at this point in my life, as I always thought I was a cat person, but Moon has been a surprise and joy to my life.  He is teaching me many lessons about being present, trusting love, and play.

The latter one is what I’d like to explore today.  When I was researching his breed (we think he is part Catahoula, among other things), all the sources agreed that this breed needs AT LEAST an hour of VIGOROUS exercise everyday.  Wowza.  Living in a tiny New York/Brooklyn apartment, this is a tough one to accomplish.  Luckily, there is a dog run in a park about 15-20 minutes walk away. 

And what I’ve found going to the dog park almost everyday is that part of this vigorous exercise for Moon has to be social playtime.  He LOVES to play.  And even though he looks like a scary big dog, he plays well with almost EVERYONE!  Tiny dogs, big dogs, medium dogs….dogs who like to chase, dogs who like to wrestle, dogs who like to play tug-of-war with sticks.  He even does the rounds and give licks to the humans.  When he’s had his fill, his tongue is hanging out, tail wagging, and with a look that could be seen as a grin on his cute face. 

This is Moon's "stop working and play with me" look.  How can you resist such a cute face??

This is Moon's "stop working and play with me" look.  How can you resist such a cute face??

This got me thinking about us humans.  What if we were to schedule play into our lives like I schedule it in for Moon?  What if we were to get AN HOUR (or more) of play EVERY DAMN DAY?? 

And what is PLAY?  What would that look?  Do we hard working adults in a workaholic culture even know what play is anymore??  I keep saying I need more play in my life, but haven’t really implemented it yet, cause I’m not actually sure what “play” means to me now.  When I was younger it was arts and crafts, playing make believe, dressing up, running around outside with the neighbors.  Then eventually in high school and college, there was always something to read or homework to be done, but theatre became my playtime.  Entering the “real world” and starting a business, there’s ALWAYS some work to be done at every moment.  But as Moon has taught me, play is essential.  And that’s a piece that has been missing, so it’s time to schedule that in too.  Julia Cameron of the book The Artist’s Way suggests taking your inner child out on “artist dates” once a week.  This might be a great place to start!  Looking back to what we did as kids is also a great place for inspiration.  Is it digging in the dirt?  Is it reading fiction?  Going to a movie?  Playing with toys?  Creating something with your hands?  Going dancing or singing songs?  Nature walks or museum visits?  I don't know about you, but I think I'm going to use this last month of summer to really embrace my playful nature!

I’d love to hear from you: what is play for you?  What do you do for fun and how might you add more of it in your schedule?