“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” ~ Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay
I am participating in a weekly photography challenge called Focus on Life hosted by Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime.
Our prompt for this week involves taking time for ourselves.
Miss Sally suggested that we don't focus enough on ourselves and she is right. As women, and particularly mothers, the focus is always outside on other people. Part of my journey this year is to find BALANCE. One of the Big Rocks in my life is Health and Wellness, and focusing on myself is high on my Must List. I feel like I have completely fallen apart the past few years and I know that I must do something to affect positive and lasting change, to put myself back together. So when I saw this prompt it was like giving permission to me to do something I haven't done in a long time.
I scheduled a massage with my favorite massage therapist in the whole world - Allen Musch of Inner Element Massage.
Al and I met through the Business Networking International (BNI) group that we both belonged to. I have since left the group, but he is still a member. It just wasn't the right fit for my business, but I really enjoyed the time that I was in the group, including being the Educational Coordinator for a term. We spent many hours getting to know each other and our respective businesses and helped create situations where we could actively promote one another. But more than that, I genuinely like Al as a friend. I sometimes miss those sessions. So when we do get a chance to get together, it is easy to share ideas about our business lives and bounce those ideas again. While I was telling him what I was doing now, it occurred to me that there might be a connection we could explore with my intentional jewelry, as I am developing a line of power mantra pendants that might be a good fit for him. I will have to give that some thought for the next time I see him.
Here is a testimonial I wrote for Al on his website:
"When I want to relax, to renew and to recharge my internal batteries
there is nothing better than to treat myself to a soothing massage. I
have had massages all over the country, but the one and only massage
therapist that I have chosen to come back to time and time again is
Allen Musch with Inner Element. He really listens to me and takes care
of my needs. He is very aware of how I am feeling and what my comfort
level is. Allen always takes his time and puts great care into each
massage that he gives. I am not just a number of minutes on a clock, I
know I am a friend. I give gift certificates for his services to
everyone because I know that Allen will treat them with the care and
respect they deserve."
I seem to have forgotten my own advice.
So I took the time that I would have been working on orders and other minutiae of my life and made it about me. That might seem selfish, and it has put me a bit behind my order schedule, but it really helped me to relax a bit more than I have in a long time, which helps me think clearer and will in turn help me be better present to those who depend on me.
I hold all my stress in between my shoulder blades. I find that I am always tight through there and always feel like I am hunched over like an old crone. I always kid Al that he has to hunt the knots down and beat them out of me. The joke is on me, because he doesn't have to hunt long! I always tell Al that I feel taller when I walk out of his office. My shoulders are disconnected from my earlobes and I can stand straight.
When I went to pay for the services with a gift certificate that I picked up in an auction this past summer (I know! Shameful that I held it for so long!), Al told me that I still had time on my package. A few years ago I purchased a bulk package of massage hours. I was the first in that experiment and he used to say that I was the President of the Massage of the Month Club. (I prefer Queen President ;-) That was truly the only way that I would be sure to schedule a massage in my life, if I had pre-paid it. Apparently, I forgot about that, but Al didn't. He had to convince me that the massage was already on the books and that I actually had more time left! So I walked out with a greater spring in my step and another appointment a few weeks down the road. I promised him that I work on creating a few new knots so that he had something to look forward to the next time I am in! ;-)
In thinking about what might be a suitable picture to depict this taking time for me, I thought about the quiet and calm that his environment instills in me. Not only was the tension released, but I was able to think and plan some things in the stillness that came into my mind. I stoked a fire that had simmered down to an ember. He has a new space that is completely his own (whereas, he used to rent a space), and it is a haven from the bustle of the outside world. Stylish modern Asian decor, soothing music, soft lighting. I can't wait to get back!
I took a picture of this glowing rock salt lantern that was in the room. Apparently, aside from the calming glow, I found out that the gently heated rock salt disperses the negative ions in the air. A good visual reminder that through this stillness negativity is released and my fire is stoked.
I have to stop here and say that the reason that I joined this was that 80% of the photos that are on my camera are all macro shots of some
piece of jewelry or Simple Truth pendant. I am always constantly
inspired by those that take such compelling shots of their everyday lives. I
want to change that and take more photos of things around me. To be more present to what is around me. To document my life. What I
didn't bargain for was that this would be about so much more than just a
weekly photo. It is a about living life. Thank you, Miss Sally, for
helping me to do that!
Please go and see what the other participants have done to take time this week by hopping over to The Studio Sublime.
P.S. It is my turn for the Studio Saturday over at Art Bead Scene if you would like to see what I have been up to! I am pretty excited about the new direction in my Simple Truths line and I am giving away one of the first pendants of the year to one lucky commenter on this post.