Day 97: Time Off

As I have expressed in previous posts recently, it has gotten difficult to find the time and energy to post on here everyday.  I have been blessed with more work than I had been used to the past few months, and that has caused me to get behind a bit in my gratitude project. But I have still been grateful everyday for all kinds of things, and that is what really matters. Besides, I can't help but wonder if my increased gratefulness over the past few months is part of what has contributed to my abundance of business all of a sudden. will never know for sure, but I'll be grateful for it anyways.

One big lesson from the past few weeks has been scheduling time off for myself. I started working 8-12 hours a day over a 6 or 7 day stretch mainly because I was still in the attitude of taking business whenever business is there and had neglected to schedule myself regular days off.  Phew! Since I most often work on Saturdays, I have decided to let Monday be my day off.  It won't fully go into effect for the next few weeks, but going into 2013 I will no longer take appointments on Monday. Whoo-hoo!

I also scheduled for myself a week at the beginning of the year to rest and recharge. I am not sure exactly what I will be doing with this time, but I know it is there and that foresight of relief is really all that matters.

Days 88-95: Time that Flies By and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

I can't believe it is already Monday and that by the time I get to actually posting this Monday will be practically over. It might already be Tuesday, who knows [and as it turns out, this didn't get posted until Wednesday]. All I know is that it seems overnight, all of my time has gotten accounted for.

My last post was Wednesday and everyday since then has been filled with productivity and a whole lot to be grateful for.


: This was my doggy's dental appointment which turned out to cost me much less than I thought it was going to. In addition to this great financial outcome, I saw one of my regular client's this day who bought herself a new package and included in her check a VERY large tip. Having seen me for over 100 sessions, she has given me a gift like this once before and both times my jaw dropped. In the note on the check she wrote, "Happy Thanksgiving!" Happy Thanksgiving indeed. Let's just say that it would pay for several doggie dental bills, but it will probably just pay off my credit card debt, which is such a blessing. My day ended with an amazing open mic night at Cafe Hey where I felt honored, cherished, and loved. I left early because I was exhausted and had several long days ahead of me.

I was thankful

to have someone else who can run the show and give me time to go home and relax, since that time has been few and far between lately.


: I started my day at Gaither High School, my second school this year in the Arts Council's Poetry Jam program that I get to do every year. I am one of the Arts Council's poets that visits schools around the county and share a love of writing and the power of poetry and the spoken word. AND I GET PAID FOR THIS.

I am eternally grateful


Gianna Russo

, my poetry teacher, who suggested my name to the Arts Council when they were looking for poets.  These often involve me being at high schools before 8am, but I don't care. This is one of the best jobs I could ask for; the only part I would change is to be able to do this all year long. I was at Gaither until 2pm, then had a little time off before an evening client. It gave me time to go to the bank, stop by Kaleisia for some tea and a snack and take a little time to review the final proof of my chapbook that will be debuted this week. What an amazing Friday...

Saturday and Sunday

: I spent all weekend in the first workshop in the CranioSomatics training program. Back in 2006 I started studying Structural Energetic Therapy, developed by my teacher Don McCann, who combines cranial releases with deep tissue bodywork.  Don learned the cranial work from Dallas Hancock, the creator of CranioSomatic therapy. Now I am learning the cranial work for my teacher's teacher, and it is blowing my mind! I am only at the beginning of the training but will say that touching the cranium will never be the same again. I spent two days filling my head with all this new awareness of the cranium, and it is a good thing we did some releases on each other because frankly, I need a little more room in there to fit all this information! It was great to reconnect with some of my previous class mates and fellow therapists and I am SO excited to integrate this work into my practice. Six months ago I decided that this would be the next step for my practice.

I am thankful

that it is finally coming to fruition (and I should also mention, that my mom helped me pay for the class!).


: Here we are at Monday. I am writing this is the morning but know that the day will bring me more to be grateful for. I know this because I welcome it. If there is anything I've learned from this continuous gratitude practice is that when you are open to the world, it opens for you. I have had so many opportunities emerge in the past few months that I can't do anything but be thankful. Something that takes almost no time at all, makes the biggest difference. So

I am thankful

for today and the time I had to write this post.


Now it is Wednesday and I haven't even posted all this yet! Let's recap and get back on track.


(revisited): Monday turned into a great day! I saw three clients and got to try out some of my new techniques, with great success.  My day ended with seeing a bunch of my family at Skipper's for a big fundraiser concert. Though I am sure the musicians that night were super talented and deserved respect, I was really only there to hang with my family.  And I was glad they were there because I made a bad choice for my parking spot and got my car stuck in a bunch of sand. My male cousins knew exactly what to do and got me out of the hole, which involved rolling back up over a steep step, scraping the bottom of my car and popping off the corner of the front bumper. But here is where gratitude comes in:

I was super thankful

that it wasn't any worse (like leak-inducing or something) and that I already had plans to take my car in the shop the next day for routine maintenance. All in all, it turned out okay.


: I woke up not feeling too well and wondering if I needed to cancel my work. I went to work anyways and was relieved to find out my first client wasn't feeling well either. I moved my second client (who was coming in for a double session) to another day and had the whole afternoon to catch up with things. It was just what I needed. Though

I am grateful

to be so busy with work I am also grateful for understanding clients. I felt good by the afternoon and stayed to see my last client for the day. It was the second time I had seen her and the session was incredibly powerful.

I am thankful

to be increasingly working with clients on all levels, mind, body, and spirit.  This is truly what I am here to do.


: Now, here we are. Today I am thankful for some time to just be. My days have gotten really full, as the rest of this post explains, but I am learning more and more the lesson of finding that quiet time within. I was able to take some time this afternoon to just enjoy and breathe, which was a great way to get ready for another Tea + Meditation at Kaleisia this evening.


Yay! I am glad to be back on the wagon. Only a few more days to go before the end of this project. I suspect, though, gratitude will continue to be a driving force of positivity in my life. After these past few months, it seems like I can only see it as essential.

Days 80-84: A Growing Business

Something has happened over the past few weeks: I've had a lot more work than I am used to. Between completing this manuscript, seeing

slightly over

my weekly goal of clients the past few weeks, preparing two workshops, and all the normal stuff I need to take care of, it seems like I am working all the time!

This is a good thing, a very good thing, but if I don't watch myself, it is a bit tiring as well. All minor complaints aside, it is exactly where I want to be. Building a business is a challenging task. I am educating myself on practically every aspect of business owning all on my own. I get a little help here and there but for the most part, it is all up to me.

I am learning big lessons in time management. Part of the reason I have neglected my gratitude posts the past few days is that I didn't find the right way to fit it in my busy days. This is the wrong way to think about it.

It seems interesting to me that I have not done any extra advertising or marketing, but I have gotten busier. I believe that having and expressing more gratitude has something to do with it.

So my new mantra is "Gratitude will get me through." So far it has, and I bet it would for you too.

Day 79: Date Night

So things have gotten busier for me. Good, but how do I keep up? One area that has taken a hit is spending time with my boyfriend. A year ago, we spent several night a week together and even substantial time most weekends. I now consider that luxurious. Between seeing more clients in the evening (my client's most coveted times) or trying to make it to a yoga class at least one night a week, I've had less and less time to devote to my relationship.

Our solution: Date Nights. Usually nothing special, we make some dinner at home and do some good ol' couch cuddling and I am in heaven. I have come to cherish these times.  Instead of just assuming we'd be seeing each other most nights and then get disappointed when it doesn't work out for days, we decide earlier in the week which night works the best for both of us. Like an upcoming vacation, I look forward to those nights all week.

I'm not opposed to spontaneity, but for the essential things in life, I can't rely on the stars lining up all on their own. They did the big part of bringing this great love into my life, but I must do the work to keep the fires burning.

Days 76 & 77: Good Times and Good Friends

I took my

friend's biking accident

as a sign that I needed to go visit him.  It turns out I haven't been to Gainesville in over six years. A crime when I consider that two of my best friends live there.

So this past weekend I drove up to this town, with my two dogs and massage table.  I had wanted to work on my friends because it is the best I can do in a time of stress. We talked, made great food, and had some healing sessions. Healing for me too.

I've known these friends since elementary and middle school. There is something so comforting about knowing someone so long. I think to myself, "Well, they must like me or else we wouldn't have been friends this long..." and they do. They do.

Day 62: Full Day of Work

Though I, like most others, don't really want to work all day, I have to admit I have it pretty good. I had a full day of work yesterday, four clients, all in need and was at the office until 7pm on a Saturday. I took my forth client last minute and offered to extend my Saturday work day way later than usual, after already having a full day. It was one of those, "Well, because I like you, I will stay late." They are financially strained so I also saw them at 1/2 price.

I was a little worried that I'd feel resentful about working late for half of what I usually make. Lucky for me I absolutely LOVE what I do. By the end of the day I was feeling energized and accomplished and didn't even care about how much money I made by the end of the day.

I heard recently that happiness isn't about

getting more


having enough

. When our basic needs are not met, no food, shelter, or comfort, we are very unhappy. But beyond that, there's not much difference in the happiness levels of those who have enough versus those who have a lot. I'm not really sure where in that spectrum I fall, and I really don't care. Not only do I have enough, but I receive absolute joy out of what I do. Combine that with food on my table and a comfy bed and I'm ecstatic.  If I hated my job, I'd want more, but since I don't I can offer my service to those who need and be thankful for what they can give in return. Even if its not full price.

Day 60: My TBI Clients

Years ago, I was hired by the VA hospital to come in twice a month to offer chair massage for family members in the poly-trauma unit. This meant mostly moms and wives of traumatic brain injury victims, who had left their lives from often across the country to be the main care-takers of their loved ones.  Talk about people that really need massage. There were  few who started to see me privately; several of them then asked if I could work on their son. This was how I began my experience with working with people suffering from a TBI.

It has now become one of my specialties. I have three clients I see regularly and cherish my time with them. These sessions have made me think outside the box of typical massage and learn how much communication can take place without words.  Though I can not "cure" them of their condition, or even guarantee that I can make them improve, it is obvious that they enjoy our sessions immensely. The mom of the client I saw today said once, "I think this is the only therapy that he really wants to come to."

These clients may not know it, but they teach me so much. Learning to connect with someone that can not talk, has severely limited mobility, and only sometimes is able to answer a yes or no question with gestures or facial expressions is possibly the most valuable lesson in human connection that I will ever get.

When I see them I have two main goals beyond relaxing them. The first is helping them to feel seen. Not just looking at the traumatized body in front of me, but the person within that. Though I am working with their body I left them know through words but mostly eye contact that I am acknowledging them as a person.  And it goes both ways, I know they see me too.

The second goal is to make them laugh. I'm no longer surprised by their ability to pick up subtle humor or remember a story I told them months ago. I know when they laugh I've connected with their spirit, and its in that moment they may forget their limitations or condition. Its in that moment that I do and all I see is a dear friend expressing joy.  

They've shown me that the way to deeply connect with another isn't through words or touch or anything that complicated. Looks and laughs, that's it.

Day 52: Off Work Early

I love my job, pretty sure I've said that before. I can work all day long and still feel great by the end of the day. That being said, it does feel good to be home sooner than expected.

Today was a long day. We started with meeting with my new doula client at 9am this morning. After some office work and lunch I saw two clients pretty much back-to-back. Then I started to get ready for my next client who called right about then to say they couldn't make it. Though I would have loved to work on them, the cancellation was a relief. I got to finish up the office work I didn't get to earlier and even run to the store to get some last minute supplies for my doula bag.

Last minute cancellations are not always a bad thing. Looks like someone gets to put her feet up. Ahhhhh....