19 January 2013

Focusing on Life: Week 3: Take Time

“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.

What did you do to take time for yourself this week?

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


 

30 comments:

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Great talk, Erin... I admit many days end with that "what did I accomplish" feeling. I'm going to start asking "What did I do for ME?"

Patti Van said...

I am totally grateful to Sally for these prompts, which really have me thinking more about "life" in total, not just the hustle bustle of everyday living. Your picture is so soothing, and your discussion today has me craving a good massage as well. Glad to see you are going back for more!

Claire said...

what a wonderful surprise!!! taking time to care for our bodies is sooooo important! i hope you booked another session there and then!
your photo reminded me i have a rock salt lamp hidden away somewhere... i must dig it out...
have a great week!
[no. 13 this week]

AntiquityTravelers said...

great idea! I think a lot of hold our stress between our shoulder blades - I certainly do! How wonderful to have a friend to talk to and cheer each other for your businesses.

Kim Stevens said...

Exactly - it's about living life! That is why I love photography so much Not only am I more participatory when I have my camera in hand, but you really notice the people the places and the things around you. I love the photo you took, it has a very emotional feel to it. xo

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

Very inspirational post Erin. I take regular massages too just because I get migraines from neck/shoulder tension. It has become a necessary part of my life. We owe it to ourselves to take care of us first but as women it often comes last.

A Polymer Penchant said...

Oh now that just sounds heavenly! If never been for a massage - shocking I know. Never a facial, or a mani-pedi ... Just not something I think to do. I should really change that. Thanks Erin

Shel said...

Love your post and how you took such wonderful time for yourself. I miss the massages I used to get and you've inspired me to go get one! I have many salt lamps through out our house,..the red/amber colored ones are especially soothing to me and your picture is superb!!

Alicia said...

A great idea, Erin - I completely forgot about massage! Glad you took the time to relax and feel good about yourself! Keep at it now =)

Beti Horvath said...

A massage is perfect, and that salt lamp is fascinating.

Tanya said...

Oh .. Wow .. A massage sounds delightful. You definitely deserve some time for you. I love the salt lamp photo. It is fun taking non macro or non jewelry pictures. I cannot wait to see what future weeks bring.

Annette Beanland said...

I've never had a professional massage and my sister can't live without them. I think I'm missing out on something! I like the idea of a salt rock lamp too.

Emakaye said...

You did it again Erin, you touched on the strangely parallel lives we live. I too hold all my tension in my shoulder blades and neck. Lucky for me my husband is amazingly good at finding those rocks that my muscles turn into. And you won't believe this I have a gift certificate for a massage that is TWO years old. Why don't I go? I don't rightly know. Because of Sally's prompt I thought about scheduling that appointment. I'm glad you did this for yourself. I think we as women MUST remember this prompt every week.

Laura Twiford said...

I too find myself hunched over and I occasionally will catch myself and stretch my shoulders back and up and I crackle and pop! I agree that this is so much more than a weekly photo prompt, but it is putting us back in touch with our life on every level. Lovely photo Miss Erin, the glow is perfect!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Very inspiring blog post Erin - I love the image of the glowing rock and that it removes the negative ions in the air (I wonder if I could have one at work?). Make sure you keep on treating yourself to those massages!

Juli Cannon said...

Excellent you time, excellent sharing of it, excellent photo. EXCELLENT YOU.

Becky Pancake said...

Erin I always feel better after reading your blog. You really are a wordsmith. I agree that Sally is doing a wonderful job with this idea. It's so much more than just pics. By the way Your pic has wonderful contrast and seemed to just draw me in. My shoulder blades are where I tighten up also. Good job on your time for yourself.

Alice said...

I know that feeling--the stress that makes your shoulder blades touch your earlobes. I'm glad you were able to take some time out for a much needed massage. That rock salt lantern looks incredibly soothing.

Mary K. McGraw said...

What a great way to take time for yourself. I enjoyed your writing about it and I think that the picture you chose was very apropos.

Pearl and Pebble said...

A good massage is a magical thing! Good for you Erin!!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

A massage! What a wonderful way to take time for yourself. I agree that this challenge is causing a lot of us to see things in a new way, to be more present. I never heard of a salt lamp! What a beautiful glow.

HundredColors said...

So much of wisdom!! I liked the photo. Your post filled me too with positive energy Erin! Once again, I liked the photo - there is something heartwarming about it!

Stacie said...

I spent an evening at a spa in New Mexico called Ojo Caliente..one of the very best nights of my life...numerous baths, the works. And there was a salt lamp there too...and I vowed I would find one for my home at the time and promptly forgot about it until I read this post...sounds like you are finding balance...and I am so glad to see you taking time for yourself via body work...nothing compares, does it?

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

What a great way to take time for yourself! I feel more relaxed just reading about it. ;) How awesome that you still have some time left too.

Each night, my husband and I take turns rubbing each others back while we watch episodes of Frazer or a movie. It really helps us eliminate any stress of the day!

alankarshilpa said...

Erin, You really care for this. I can see it from this post of yours, your concept of the rocks and the most beautiful photo of the rock. Do take time for your self, my friend.

I was smiling reading your comment that you had left in my blog as you were on the go at that time, multitasking, eating your lunch and blog posting in your i phone or some thing at the same time. No I did not find any bread crumbs. You are cute, Erin. See you next week. Dita.

LoriF said...

Love your new header, Erin...it reminds me of the "inukshuk" which we have all along our highways up here. Google and you'll see...
I'll have to investigate the massages; you and I are partners in the "shoulder about the ears" thing. I've thought about massage but there is just something about it that icks me out; I guess it's all in finding the right MT.

maryharding said...

Great choice for spending time on yourself. The glowing rock is a wonderful beacon. I enjoyed reading your post.

Sally Russick said...

Erin, your posts are always so insightful and they always make me stop and look inward at my life. Thank you for taking the time to join me on this journey! Your photo is wonderful and even though I have never meet you in person, like most of the people who are joining in on this hop, I am so grateful everyday for the people that I have "met" and others still waiting to make my acquaintance you push me everyday to be a better person! Enjoy your next massage!

Anonymous said...

Здраствуйте!У меня есть хорошая новость Тогда читайте новость - купить модную одежду для полных выпускные платья 2012 купальник купить распродажа 2012 распродажа новое платье смотреть онлайн магазины распродаж женских сумок ... Удачи Всем!
-====-
Discount 10% - kamagra delivered in canada no prescription - what do kamagra tablets look like :.cialis and kamagra together .: Discount 10 % == differemce between kamagra and viagra - kamagra review tablet

Anonymous said...

Привет Всем!Оформить заказ выгодный для Вас! Тогда читайте новость - купить недорого брендовую сумку чулки фото и женская одежда большого размера купить сайт одежды а также интернет магазин французской одежды блузки женские ... Всем пока рад был сообщить...
::::::::::::
cialis and kamagra taken together - generic cialis europe kamagra or what are kamagra tablets - kamagra rx review !!!!

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin