A “nothing” massage?

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It hit me laying there still thinking (as the idea for this post popped into my head 🙂 ) about whether I should tell her to go hard. This session was meant to help and serve a purpose. And therefore she should ‘dig in’ to get rid of the knots that have formed.

Odd, but that’s how I and many of us approach our day to day life. To confront, to overcome, to get rid of, to manage… and the corollary, if we are not there yet, we had best work on getting to this ‘ability’ to confront, to overcome…

Really?

I have had strong massages, and they do serve a purpose – after a painful session and a couple of recovery days, I was finally able to feel my body and notice the knots had “miraculously” dissipated. The freedom is glorious.

There were also gentle massages for me, sometimes with the aromas of choice and, always focused on the healing touch of hands gliding. In that moment, to acknowledge the work we do often and to enjoy time for self, of not-doing…

And these are the times for deep breaths and non-thinking, of allowing things to unfold and appreciating them as they happen.

Even as the idea for this post popped into my head, I knew the session was for this. The decision was an easy one, to relegate my thinking mind elsewhere. Honestly, I didn’t care where it went at the time. Feeling myself drift in and out of consciousness, to be refreshed…

This is enough. There is freedom in this too.

 

Enough

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
We have refused again and again
Until now.
Until now.

by David Whyte

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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Letters into the human psyche

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I have a fascination with what I call “the human condition”, and this probably charted the course for my training as a lawyer then a psychotherapist. I have taken (guilty?) pleasure reading the emotions and thoughts of others, the whys of their action and words, as they examine their lives in one form or another. Some may call it voyeuristic and over-thinking, and there were moments of these; often it is a genuine curiosity about what makes us tick and tock.

I have written about “Letters of Note” (2013) a compilation by Shaun Usher of correspondence by history figures in different facets of life. I came across his second compilation, unsurprisingly titled “More Letters of Note” (2015) last year.

At the heart of the correspondence in both volumes is the meaning and purpose of life, and love; shared from one to another which demonstrated our shared humanity.

No matter the time in history, our station in life, our wealth, our sexual preference or gender, our racial or ethnic background, our religious beliefs – we love and we seek to find meaning for those transitory moments.

Here is a letter written from mid-19th century Georgia, USA.

And here, a letter from a famous turbulent relationship.

 

Ah, so what is love?

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

A true conversation

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Conversation… what’s it about?

I have encountered ‘conversations’ a lot these past few days, and in many different contexts.

The conversation I promised another, when time permits for the both of us. The conversation I had with another which distilled much and created space for more imaginings. The conversations which signaled change and endings and beginnings. The conversations I referred to imbued with so much meaning and not enough time to explore.

I hope these conversations have been true.

No matter the context, true conversations have a common thread. True conversations are arrived at with a willingness to listen, an openness to receive and embrace, and where required a loving rebuke. True conversations happen with humility and love, supportive and encouraging growth. We hold conversations through engaging with each other authentically. Maybe that’s why we hold conversation – the conversation as a space, a safe space held which allows each conversation-holder to be vulnerable and to express who we are to each other. Otherwise the interaction becomes inter-reaction.

Idealistic? Perhaps. Nevertheless it does not detract me from trying my utmost to being such a holder of conversation. To ask a beautiful question that says ‘I have heard’, a beautiful question which touches another deeply, a beautiful question which invites a genuine answer.

How beautiful and uplifting our relationships can be when we hold true conversations.

A conversation is not the same as a friendly chat, a quick ‘how-are-you’ nor lengthy IMs. Nothing ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ about these – each serves a purpose at different moments. Conversations I don’t think can be had all the time.

True conversations are always filled with meaning, meaning-full.

When did you last have a true conversation? And with whom?

Live meaningfully, I say. 🙂

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Who you truly are…

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“How will you serve the world? What do they need that your talent can provide? That’s all you have to figure out…

The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is…

Ultimately, we’re not the avatars we create. We’re not the pictures or the film stars. We are the light that shines through.  All else is smokes and mirrors, distracting but not truly compelling…

To find real peace, we have to let the armour go…

Risk being seen in all your glory… You’ll come up with your own style, that’s part of the fun…

The decision to be made in this moment can either be based on Love or Fear.”

~ Jim Carrey, ‘The Meaning’

 

Making meaning of our life stories

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question markMaking meaning of our life stories” – that’s my tag line, and it occurred to me that I’ve not spoken to it.

Our lives are made up of memories, which are in effect stories, narratives which were told and remembered. These narratives, created by us and others, in turn have created our life, in how we think of or remember our lives thus far.  They give meaning.  And these narratives or stories also in some ways shape our perception of how our life stories are unfolding and how the future stories will be told.

Ever had the weird experience of being told two very different stories only to realize it derives from the same event?  Then you’ll pretty much figure out that these two story-tellers would attach different meanings to this event, and interpret them into their lives in different ways.

The stories we, and others, tell of our lives (and thus us) impact significantly on how we perceive, behave, interpret; and how we live.  It is not just the negative stories I am referring to, even the apparently positive ones have their sway.

woman in glassesI grew up being praised for my academic prowess.  I worked hard, put in lots of effort, and was relentless in my pursuit of excellence.  They were, I was led to believe, the reasons for my success.  I somehow did not quite believe I was intelligent, no matter what my successes.  Without hard work and effort, I would certainly fail.  Let me clarify – when I say hard work and effort I meant HARD WORK AND EFFORT, all the time.  No idleness, I was told!  I recall references to being ‘not really intelligent’ but ‘she works hard’.  So this was one of my stories – which led me to a life of busy-ness, too afraid to relax, always vigilant, just in case I missed life’s ‘opportunities’.  Don’t misunderstand, I do enjoy mental and intellectual stimulation, and I appreciate the work ethic my parents have instilled in me and the importance of having a goal in life.

But (there is always a ‘but’) I have now realised I am indeed intelligent and creative (now, that’s a story for another time!) – that I can ‘wing it’ if I choose to do so, and brilliantly if I may add.  It’s such comfort to have less of the stress and anxiety surrounding a fear for not putting enough effort, for not having worked hard enough and fail. I am far from being a sloth, however I am less hooked on this story of ‘hard work and effort’, and instead realising and/or acknowledging other stories that I fancy. A bit of self-love here 🙂

self loveI have many stories which I have had to fulfill, some of my choosing, some not – stories which require me to be the good girl, the dutiful daughter, the responsible one, the be-like-a-man woman of the world, the self-sacrificing mother… the list goes on.

Be aware of being stuck with any particular story for your life! It may serve others to tell a certain story of you.. be it of a victim, a survivor, the dependable one, the sick one, the weak one, the capable one… Will you let them?  Do you know yourself?

So making meaning is twofold – to re-tell the stories of old in our own words; and to tell the stories which have so far been untold (or ignored) so they can become a  part of our life.

I am conscious now of what and whose stories I am fulfilling… and I am pragmatic.  One story for now – my children need me to be an available mother, and I do so willingly and happily.  And I also know a time will come when this story ends.  And I am also choosing to write my own stories…

What life stories have bound you?  book

What stories will you re-tell now in your words?

What stories untold will you tell now?

Which stories will set you free?

 

Wishing you discernment,
– FlorenceT