I wonder what this human thing is all about. I wonder why we go through all this stuff, hardships, challenges, confusion, disconnect, just to fucking die. What a great way to start a blog. But reader, client, friend, mom, if you carry on, I promise, it gets better.
For more than half my life, I’ve been pretty shut off and down from actually engaging in life. From an outsider’s perspective, and even my own, I thought I was onboard with living this life well and fully. And on many levels I was showing up and taking care of myself and doing what I needed to keep moving forward. I graduated high school and college with honors, I traveled, I dated (and even fell in love a few times), I got my own place in the city, I started a business, I worked through health challenges, I kept learning new things about the body, I was doing my best at adulting and all that came with that.
I was happy enough, ok enough, secure enough to live another day. I really was.
But underneath it all, I was gone, missing, disassociated from my body. I was deeply angry, deeply sad and disconnected, deeply scared, and deeply not ok.
I’ll share a little bit of my story as to why. Everyone has their story (stories) of what makes them shut down and not be ok. And I also believe everyone gets to learn and unlearn their way into what makes them truly ok.
When I was 13, I moved from Massachusetts to Panama for 2 years. My parents decided to become missionaries, and damned to hell to anyone who stopped them. Not really; but my 4 siblings and I had no say in the matter and were brushed aside in our pain and grief from moving.
I shut down. I actually left my real self in Massachusetts, and brought along a stranger to Panama. I even changed my name from Megan to Maggie. Megan didn’t move. Maggie did. I didn’t know what disassociation was at that time, but kids are smart.
The most precious, life-abiding part of me, took a huge blow and had been spiraling/reeling ever since. My visioned narrowed, and I lost my wonder for what could be in this world.
Ah, but on the surface…fuck I was fine. Nothing fazed me. I was good. I was above it all.
Investing in relationships. Too cool for that.
Believing in possibility, both mine and others. Meh.
Actually giving a shit. Not even a chance.
There was this wall that went up in my heart, in my being, separating me from world.
Even with the deepest part of me vacant all those years, I still had enough of my essence and drive to keep going and become who I am today. Wonder was always whispering.The deepest parts of me weren’t lost, just hiding. I was always showing up, doing the work, finding my way; up-leveling if you will. And all that work brought me to a place where I was actually ready to deal with all the years of deep shut down that originated in that wee little, feisty, eager-to-take-on-the-world, broken 13 year girl.
Some things that shut down my wonder?
Moving at a young age
Limiting religious beliefs
Dealing with long-standing health issues
Some things that whispered and expanded my wonder?
Seeking out and experiencing alternative treatments from Lyme disease
Shamans, past life and energy healers
Nature-based therapy and meditation
Leaving organized religion
How does wonderment play out in my life?
The biggest way I experience this resurgence of wonder is letting go of underlying judgment toward others and really seeing people with curiosity and well, wonder. I feel so much more connected to humanity and the bigger picture of life than I have in a very long time.
Other ways are:
An expanding hope for growth and change for myself and others
Living with more in creativity and an open-ness to never-ending learning and possibility
It’s so easy to allow the busyness of life, our traumas, and our programming to narrow our view and limit our experience, leaving little to no room for wonder. I believe Wonder is always there, inviting us to play, to hang out, to breathe, to be the fullest versions of ourselves.
I hope for more wonder, more awe, more LIFE to be sparked and flamed in your lives! And I look forward to hearing talking about it next time we meet!
Living in a body is both weird and normal. Normally weird? Weirdly normal? What is a body anyway? Is it simply the flesh and bones and sinews that keep us contained and moving? Or is it more?
I curiously wonder whose body is really calling the shots and sustaining me?
Is it the 37 year old’s body that greets me daily?
Is it the 13 year old’s body who shut down from the world on deep levels after leaving all she knew and loved, having moved half way across the world to Panama with her family?
Or could it be the body who’s experienced 10 years of aches and pains from finding her way through Lyme disease, a car accident and living in a highly sensitive body?
I believe we are simultaneously living in more than one body, while living in one body. Let me explain.
We have the physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, the spiritual body, and the etheric (energetic) body. All of these bodies are communicating (bickering, whining, crying out for help, homeostasis and hope) and have created the person and the body (bodies) we live in today, right now, in this moment. And it can get a bit congested with all the stories and stuck experiences, preventing clear connection with the Us that we know is good and whole and playfully curious about life.
My findings on how to support these bodies are universal but they are also deeply personal to my own experiences... And I get to share them through written word and inspired movements with my own heart and intuition. Here is what I find to be helpful:
Be in nature
Listen and be with your sense body (not mind body)
Be in connection with those you feel safe with, seen, and truly cherished
Did I mention slow down?
Do these in varying combinations
What does that actually looks like on the ground for me?
I wake up and stay in the dreamy state, slowly allowing my body to ‘come to’ and assimilate after being in the wildly creative and limitless dream land.
I breathe slowly in the bath tub, allowing the water to support my being, reminding me that I’m safe and ok.
I walk barefoot in nature, the grit and gravel encouraging me to slow down and experience the connection of the earth beneath my feet.
I sit with the rocks and trees, syncing up to their steady and solid rhythm.
I dance and move freely and intuitively, sometimes as soon as I wake up; other times in nature.
I soak in the supportive touch and interconnected alignment cuing I receive from other healing and movement practitioners.
I cry, scream, kick and scream some more in safe supportive places (nature, bathtub, car) in order to move emotion through, both old and current stories and experiences.
I write. For no one but me.
How do these findings translate to meeting others’ bodies with the body work sessions I offer?
I continue to find that slow, deep (energetic or physical), breath and presence-filled strokes remind the body that it is held, it is safe, and it is a wonderful thing to be alive in the body.
This feeling and experience helps recalibrate one’s system and can be an integral part of one’s healing. In addition to helping the body feel really good, sessions can often times unveil and support parts of the client that busy lives and a general sense of not ok-ness covers up. It can also sometimes ignite in them ideas for how to keep supporting these hidden and tender areas (physical, emotional, or spiritual) and how to continue on their healing, human path.
I can only speak for myself, but it’s been really fucking hard to thrive in this fast-paced world that isn’t always (usually) kind to our bodies and nervous systems. I wish I could say that I know what it’s like to confidently and safely live in my body every day with all the slowing down and healing work I’ve participated in throughout the years. But I don’t yet. Not every day. Not every moment. But I have my days and I have my moments where the work I’ve done clicks and I experience the joy of simply being alive.
In my deeper, slowed down spaces, I find myself asking if healing on all levels and in all bodies is even possible? And my immediate answer is, in this life, I really don’t know. But the truer and deeper part of me believes that reconnection into the aliveness that feeds our souls is possible. We are able to breathe life back into these battered bodies so that we can feel alive in the spaces that have been vacant. I don’t believe we’d be put here without access to the most innate and endless (re)Sources of life and love in our beings. And that, my friends, brings me hope.
Fuckkk. Wait, am I allowed to start this blog post with that kind of language? And to that, I say, 'fuck that!' Some of you may jump ship and think I have absolutely no class or vocabulary. But if you’re low on hope and fed up with the challenges of being a human (or have an appreciation for the finer curse words of life), I encourage you to stick around.
I say fuck at least 20 times a day. This is mostly said under my breath, and occasionally loud enough to be heard if anyone was around. What, you may ask, would lead a health professional who comes across fairly chill (dare I say zen?) most of the time to cuss like a sailor every goddamn day of her life?
Because, welp, I’m fed up with this life and really am not a fan of living in my pain-filled body most days. Now please, don’t see this as a cry for help or even the precursor to doing anything harmful to myself. It’s simply (and perhaps not so simply) how I feel more days than not.
The fact is, living in this body, in MY body, is physically painful, emotionally intense, and spiritually disconnected more times than not. I thought this life would be a hell of a lot easier than what it’s been. I thought I’d have healed my childhood traumas and risen above the physical ailments life has thrown at me (Lyme Disease and a car accident to name a few). I thought I’d be abounding with hope and connection and momentum and really be rocking this human thing…
But alas! I am… just… me. Still struggling and fumbling and grasping for some solid ground in which I build my life upon. By outward standards (and even my own), I feel I’m failing at this human thing. From life since covid to the loss of relationships to loneliness to experiencing my shortcomings to living as an HSP (highly sensitive person) to dealing with chronic physical pain and persnickety health issues…I’m feeling it on all fucking sides!
The truth of the matter (this matter of flesh and bones) is that everyone has their own laundry list of things. No matter how big or small, pain is pain is pain is pain.
Feeling pain, emotional, physical or otherwise, is a part of being human. But how we chose to deal with the pain that is present in our lives is what transcends our humanness and connects us into the Essence of our Beings.
But FUCKKKK does it hurt sometimes (a lot of the times?)!
On the surface level, I find it kinda funny (and maybe ironic) that I, a massage therapist, struggle so deeply with being in human form. I feel a bit of a fraud because I haven’t life-hacked how to fully eradicate pain out of my body (or others!). But deep down, it quite makes sense what continues to draw me to the healing work and what makes me the therapist that I am.
I feel the depths and loss of my being human, which deeply drive me to continually engage with and make strides in the healing process for myself and for others.
Sure, I have actual schooling and know the nuts and bolts of massage. But it’s the learning from the blood, sweat, and tears of my life experiences that create the underlying flow and essence of the sessions I offer.
The concept of turning lemons into lemonade, madness into magic, pain into power, isn’t anything new. I just know how it plays out in my life and continues to do so with the healing sessions I provide.
My hope during sessions is to create a space where one’s body and Being remember what it is to feel good, to feel safe, to feel whole…where one can take a deep breath, literally and figuratively, enabling them to keep going and connecting into all that matters.
Bottom line: Living in these bodies we’ve been given isn’t fucking easy. And it can be hard to remember why it’s worth it to keep trying and showing up. But fueled by tragedy and trauma, hurt and pain, and hope for renewed connection, we can keep showing up and finding ways into the beautiful undercurrent of Life that I believe is there, and is always supporting us…one moment, one breath, and one colorfully painted word at a time.