• Massage,  Mind & Emotions,  Movement

    I can’t fix you.

    Mind Shift is a blog series where I turn my fascination with body-nerd research into bite-sized info chunks, designed to help you shift the way you think about–and live in–your body. One of my bodywork pet peeves is the concept of fixing someone. “Yep, I can fix your shoulder!” “Sure thing–lemme get in there and fix that knee.” Nope. Not happening. Sorry, folks.  Here’s why this concept drives me nuts: The way you feel in your body did not happen overnight. Yes, there are exceptions in the form of acute injuries, but even in many of those cases, the injury was made possible by overuse, weakness, or other patterns. The…

  • Mind & Emotions

    Is your exercise program missing this important ingredient?

    Mind Shift is a new blog series where I turn my fascination with body-nerd research into bite-sized info chunks, designed to help you shift the way you think about–and live in–your body. In the previous Mind Shift post, we talked about shifting from an exercise mindset to a movement mindset, the first reason being time. Today, we’ll cover the second reason: variety. An exercise mindset categorizes movement into things like yoga, running, or weight lifting, and within each of these categories exists a subset of movements. For example, with running, your body experiences a series of movements that get you from Point A to Point B, and those movements are…

  • Mind & Emotions

    Life Lessons From My Sewing Machine

    I try to stay open to wisdom from a variety of sources, but it isn’t often that I receive it from inanimate objects. Last weekend, I was working on a sewing project when–bingo! Lightning bolt of clarity. In machine sewing, you use your hands to guide the fabric through the machine, and when I first started sewing I was what I would call an “overly agro sewer” (if your bro-speak is rusty, agro=aggressive). With my leading hand, I would actively tug the fabric forward, and with my guiding hand, I would push the fabric toward the needle. (Accomplished sewers are probably shaking their heads as they read this.) What’s the…

  • Massage,  Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    The hidden messages of physical tension

    In my own life and in working with massage clients, I’ve noticed a pattern: When we don’t create and maintain healthy boundaries in our relationships, it seems that our bodies try to compensate by creating physical “boundaries,” which we then experience as tension, constriction, or illness. Here are just a few examples: We say yes to plans that we don’t want to do, and then we get sick and can’t go. We don’t speak our truth, we agree to things we don’t actually agree with, say things we don’t mean, and we lose our voice or feel tension in our neck and jaw. We feel like we have to do…

  • Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    The Upside to Not Having a F#&*ing Clue

    I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Dervish and the Mermaid, and Pace Smith, the show’s co-host, was recounting her and her wife’s six-month adventure of living in an RV, and specifically, what came up when they changed their minds and decided they were done living on the road. Pace struggled with a fear of looking flaky and inconsistent simply because life had changed and their minds had changed with it. I’ve written in the past about the power of changing your mind (and the difference between that and being a flake), but here I want to focus on another aspect of mind changing: When we embark…

  • Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    Life Advice From a Demon

    In a fantastic graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, the main character is having a chat with a demon who gives her a piece of profoundly useful advice. The demon says: It’s perfectly normal to bury a thing that you’d rather not admit…We–in my profession–definitely encourage humans to keep secrets from themselves. Nothing makes you sicker faster than that! So, let’s cut to the chase. Many of us spend a massive amount of energy trying to distance ourselves from what we’re experiencing—our emotions, feelings, needs, wants, sensations, you name it. We might say, “Not true! I get together every Friday to hash out the week with friends over wine.”…

  • Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    Following Your Fault-Lines Home

    Flipping through an old journal, I came across a passage I copied down from the book Cave: Nature and Culture: W. H. Auden, who so loved the karst shires of the Northern Pennines, adored limestone. What most moved him about it was the way it eroded. Limestone’s solubility in water means that any fault-lines in the original rock get slowly deepened by a process of soft liquid wear. In this way, the form into which the limestone grows over time is determined first by its flaws. For Auden, this was a human as well as a geological quality: he found in limestone an honesty—an acknowledgment that we are as defined…

  • Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    Why We Must Burn Away Our Fear

    On the last New Moon (July 23), I performed a ritual to prepare myself for what is known as a Black Moon Cycle. A Black Moon occurs when two New Moons fall within the same solar month; the second of the two moons is known as a Black Moon. While New Moons in general are a potent time for setting intentions and starting new endeavors, a Black Moon ushers in a period of momentous change, which lasts until the next Black Moon (July 31, 2019). This period is marked by major transformations, transformations that can alter the very course of our lives. My guides led me on a meditation during…

  • Mind & Emotions

    What To Do When You Feel Stuck

    In the tarot, the suit of swords corresponds to the mental realm, for, just like a sword, the mind is double edged. It can cut through confusion and generate new ideas, but it can also lead us through a labyrinth of unproductive thoughts. When we don’t know how to use our minds in a soul-aligned way, the mind ends up using us. What does this look like? In a nutshell, we equate our thoughts with reality with far too little questioning of the leaps and assumptions the mind loves to make, and then we take action based on this faulty chain of “reasoning.” Or, just as likely, we take no…

  • Mind & Emotions,  Spirituality

    You Are Shaping Your Reality Right Now

    The idea that our thoughts create, or at the very least influence, our reality is becoming ever more mainstream, but I’ve noticed an interesting disconnect happening for many of us. A disconnect between what I’ll call our real-time thoughts and our “special,” mindful thoughts. Let me explain. Meet Sara… Sara’s a big believer in the Law of Attraction and the power of thought. She spends time meditating and focusing on what she wants, and she has positive affirmations taped to her bathroom mirror. Sara also has a really stressful job, and most nights after work she finds herself complaining with her friends over a glass of wine about work meetings,…