Things in Erin’s Head 

 

Can you believe it’s May FIRST? What I can’t believe is that I’m planning things for JUNE because May is like all filled up. It’s like my life went from floating the lazy river, to a full blown class IV rapid, that rushes in with excitement, and love, and abundance (but you still hold that paddle with a death grip, just in case).

In this week’s episode of the Embracing Layers Radio Show, I talked about some of the life lessons I learned as a massage therapist. Really, what I learned about MYSELF. And it was fun and interesting for me to look back over the past twelve years to see how this industry has really shaped me. Today I wanted to share a few of those life lessons with you and I’ll be curious to know if these lessons have shown up for you too.

Recently I had a client ask me what I did BEFORE I was a massage therapist. I gave them the brief run down of my extensive real estate background, and they just started laughing. “There is nothing about your demeanor or calmness that speaks to you being in real estate. You have definitely found your calling as a massage therapist.” It made me laugh too. Because while I can be GOOD at a lot of things, I know that just because I’m GOOD at something doesn’t mean I LIKE it. And if I don’t LIKE it, well… how much fun is that? Which brings me to my first Life Lesson:

LESSON #1 – I CAN’T BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE.

Shocker, isn’t it? But when I first became a massage therapist (and frankly for at least five years… or maybe ten…) whatever people asked for, I would try to accommodate them. Deep tissue? Sure. Stretching? Yes. Sports massage? My pleasure. Facials? (yeah, there was a short stint of massage facials that didn’t last long – the body scrubs didn’t last long either #MESS). Could I do these things? Absolutely. Did I LIKE them? Not so much. 

What kept happening was people who came in for the kind of massage I liked, that I believe serve the body and mind best, those clients were very happy and they kept coming back. The people who came for the (I’ll call them un-aligned services), were never as happy, and ultimately didn’t return. Each time that happened, I would feel sad, rejected, and wondering why I wasn’t good enough. 

It wasn’t until I slowly (S-L-O-W-L-Y) started to shed those treatments and services that didn’t feel in alignment for me that I learned this lesson: I am not meant to be all things to all people. It’s not humanly possible. By focusing on the modalities I enjoy, actually committing to them, and talking about them, I also learned there were people were CRAVING the kind of massage I offered. By dropping the modalities that didn’t align with me, I also stopped inviting clients who weren’t a right fit and gave them the opportunity to find a therapist who IS right for them. It really was all kinds of magic. 

How did it trickle down through my life? It taught me that I just get to be ME. Some people may not like me (#truth – that still holds a sting – but I’m getting better at accepting it) and that’s okay.

LESSON #2 – EVERYTHING COMES AT EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME

I continue to learn this lesson over and over because sometimes I just want things NOW. I’m guessing you do too. We live in a world of FAST food, INSTAgram (with 30 second reels to keep our dopamine levels surging), and texting where if the little ellipsis pops up then disappears we think the person on the other end has either died or hates us. 

Since the day I graduated from massage school I was interested in CranioSacral therapy. But I never signed up for the course. Why? Because I wasn’t convinced there would be a fast enough (if any) ROI. What classes did I invest in? Things I thought people wanted, but that didn’t really excite me (see Lesson #1 above). OR things my massage therapist friends took, even if I had zero interest in it.

Enter the pandemic and I decide SCREW IT. I’m only doing things *I* like from now on. And I signed up to learn CranioSacral therapy at the Upledger Institute (aka The Mother Ship). Here’s the funny thing… within two minutes of being in that class… learning about the dura mater along the spine, its separate rhythm from the circulatory and respiratory systems… how gentle the technique is (the pressure I use is the weight of a nickel)… if I took that training in 2012… THAT version of Erin would have thought it was INSANITY. It was only because I had been a massage therapist for over a decade and seen people transform on the table, become a reiki practitioner and learned more about what it means to feel another person’s energy, those were my life experiences that made CranioSacral accessible, easy, and fun for me to learn and introduce to my clients. (It’s now a client fave and I incorporate it into 90% of my massage sessions). 

How did it trickle down into the rest of my life? We don’t have enough time for that. Every single day I am reminded that everything comes at the exact right time. And the more I trust, the more I surrender, the easier it gets.

Which brings me to the final lesson for today:

LESSON #3 – EGO VS INTUITION

It was CranioSacral that made this really click for me. Standing in that class, a crowd of massage therapists around a table, watching the facilitator work his magic. It was this statement that made my whole body, mind, and ghosts of past, present, and future, all take a big sigh of relief:

“It is about intuition and not ego.”

Ego wants to “fix it.” Intuition asks the body to reveal what it needs. Ego wants to force. Intuition is flow.
Intuition is a knowing. A trusting. 

Again the evidence I received after practicing this modality catapulted this message into every crevice of my life. Wherever I am feeling forced, I lean back to allow. Whenever I utter the words, “I should,” I take a pause to get back in alignment with my own beliefs and feelings. Whenever I feel uncertain and reach out for external validation from someone, somewhere, ANYWHERE, I pause to go inside myself. To trust myself. My own knowing. And you know what? Even if hindsight reveals there could have been another way – perhaps a better way – I’m okay with it because I know I did my best with the knowledge I had. 

All from massage… 

I’m curious to know if you had a vehicle in your life that delivered lessons like this. I wonder sometimes if I hadn’t made the choice to become a massage therapist where I would be. Would the lessons have shown up another way? Or would I have been stuck? I’m excited to keep moving forward. To see what new lessons reveal themselves… with love…

Because it’s all about love…

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