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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Body Payments, in this economy?

We use our bodies something fierce. We demand they work long hours with little sleep. We expect them to walk us where we need to go, release waste and huge amounts of toxicity (I'm not talking about recreational toxicity, but more along the lines of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the power lines we can't escape). We expect them to behave like our toaster (efficiently), and give us what we want when we want it. Rarely do most of us do what our bodies need for such optimal performance.

Athletes know that along with their training they need to feed the body well and let it rest. They know the body is a machine, or a temple and they do everything humanely possible to elicit the body's best.

Stars, models, and celebrities who make their living being in the public arena are usually more aware of what the body needs and how to satisfy these needs. But often, these people and most of the mainstream population that wants to look like them think of body payments as a process that adorns the body.

For instance, in a nail shop, so many women will pay the extra money to have rhinestones or painted flourishes graphically placed onto their big toes. They'll spend oodles of cold hard cash to buy toxic materials to build out their nails into creative claws. How many women will pay that little bit extra for a chair massage? Ten dollars for fifteen minutes is nothing in the scheme of things, two Starbucks coffees.

I was stressed this morning... Feeling like a powder keg about to blow, the thought of going to get my toes done so I'd look nice for an important event tonight didn't sound appealing. However, the thought of someone's hands on my occipital ridge and rubbing away my anxiety was enough inducement to get me moving.

I know exactly how to breathe in order to download my stress, how to focus on touch so it does the trick. But rarely, especially these last few months, have I allowed myself the extra expenditure to "indulge." Even though I know that body payments which reconnect and make friends again between the head, the heart, and that which encases them is not an indulgence, it is not a luxury. It is the best money spent...

These last few weeks life seemed to be squeezing me extra tight. I'd forgotten that simple moments, like a quick chair massage, are often the difference between continued exponentially accumulating stress and a momentary readjustment, which realigns the breath with the body. The attitude with what is truly important. The soul with her purpose. I'd momentarily forgotten that something as simple as deep breathing while someone puts pressure on my Trapezius muscles could be the difference between experiencing life or being done by life.

When I had a full time job, instead of a car payment, I negotiated a body payment for myself. A massage therapist came to my house after her last massage and when she left, I rolled into bed. It was always my best night of sleep. At that time I discovered that if there were a three-week break in between massages, my body would begin to feel like a prison. As if my bones were closing in on me. Almost overnight, I'd be in lock up again.

Because of this economy, I haven't had a massage in many months. Today, sitting in that chair, focusing on my breathing as a man rubbed out my sore spots and stretched my arms in ways I rarely can do for myself, I regained perspective.

The reason I call myself a stress reductionist, is because I know how important stress is and the effects it has on our bodies; increased aging, disease provoking, illness enhancing. I know simple cures like certain breathing techniques, pin pointing trouble spots and finding an immediate solution, and choosing another option when something isn't working can be had without spending a dime.

I get more stressed than most people and as a result I've searched throughout my life for ways to release and reduce stress. Sometimes it gets to be too much for simple measures. But sometimes, like today, a simple $10 body payment did the trick and reinstated my body, mind, and soul.

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