Over the Fall of 2014, I had the awesome privilege of training close to 1400 professional Massage Therapists all across Illinois in less than 4 months. In doing so, I got to meet and work with people of all skill levels, all levels of knowledge, all backgrounds, and a massive variety of views on the world of bodywork. Some were still brand new in their careers, and I was amazed to have so many attending who were 20, 30, and even a couple of 50+ year veterans in the field.
Working with these talented therapists, I was called to look even deeper into myself, and deeper into this work of healing. Teaching is always about growing – the teacher and student. With each training, the words of my mentor echoed in my thoughts, reminding me of the separation between one who is a highly skilled technician and one who is becoming, or has become, a master of their art.
There are many things that differentiate the two – a technician and a master, and the answer can be as complicated and specific as you like. Or, the answer can be quite simple, and within that simplicity resides realms and realms of wisdom.
As massage therapists, we know that as soon as our clients get up off the table, they are reverting back to their postural habits and re-engaging in the backward slide into old pain patterns. So, why encourage people to come spend their money if the physical results too often don’t last?
Nutritionists know that no matter how good the plan provided is, it’s not the total answer. Medical professionals know that patients resist change. So why do we do it? What are we trying to achieve?
As energy workers, we know that once the session is done, life’s stress and fears and angers will draw people back out of their optimal state. So what does this mean about the work we do?
It means people are not just what they eat, the tension and holding patterns in their body, and the state of their thoughts.
Over the years, artists and musicians have come to my trainings to learn about working with energy. Their goals often have nothing to do with seeing clients for treatments. No. They want to learn how to get more “fire” in their music, more passion in their movements, or more life in their art. As artists, they want to “move” people, to “inspire people”.
Perhaps that’s the key. Maybe people only intellectually seek “better health”, “less pain”, “improved mobility”. Maybe that’s the easy answer to distract us from the more challenging path.
When people come in for a massage, they finally feel safe. They finally get to narrow their attention to simply being in the moment to feel, and experience, and live. When people want to “eat better”, what they are really saying is I want live more. When energy moves more fully and more freely, life happens.
That’s the magic of artistry. It is helping people to really feel, and to really live once again, even if only for a moment. When that moment happens and is embraced fully, we enter into a space where magic happens. We find that place where transformation is possible. We find that place in which healing has occurred. The client truly lived in that moment and faced the choice of whether to stay or re-enter the world in the same way.
When we look at the healing arts as less about change and more about transformation and creating moments of possibility, we can no longer be just physical in our approach. Even if our technical skills are extraordinary, they fade in comparison to the results evoked by a moment created within the convergence of body, mind, spirit, and divinity entering into a unified space of feeling… of being.
This year, my goal is to focus my courses on awakening masters rather than developing skilled technicians. It is a lofty goal. It is a difficult goal. It is a goal to help move you out of what you know and think, freeing the possibility to shift into what you are. It is a goal to end the external search for knowledge and technique, by discovering how to use technique to expand more fully into possibility.
Whether through energy healing, Reflexology, Craniosacral Therapy, the shamanistic healing practices of Hawaii’s Medical Kahuna, it is all available. The path itself doesn’t matter.
This transformation will be the hardest thing you will have ever done. All of your relationships will change. You will never look at life the same way. There is no guarantee that you will complete it, and there is no guarantee that you will survive it. If you have the courage to look inside, I will guide you through this journey and have your back while you become all of who you are with no limits.
Are you willing?