I recently became painfully aware that whatever semblance of rhythm was left in my life had become the rhythm of NO rhythm. In fact, most of my days are a complete cacophony. The patterns of yesterday never fit today. This is not my favorite thing, to say the least. For most of my life I’ve taken pride in being a good planner and organizer, and I’m also highly sensitive, so constant chaos and unpredictability is actually a real challenge for my body, mind and spirit to integrate. I’ve struggled, protested, dug my heels in and tried to enforce law and order, all in vain. I just can’t force my life to behave itself.
It actually has become so ridiculously disorderly it’s laughable, and in that hilarity I sometimes remember how to dance. Improvisationally of course, which is awkward, embarrassing and full of risk taking, danger and foolishness. Improvisational dance is also playful, joyful, meditative, and can be one of the most beautiful forms of movement I have ever felt or seen, because in improv, when dancers are so absolutely present with what IS, in that one powerful, poignant moment, PURE MAGIC is created. Which is what I hope my process will become, eventually.
I’m still in the awkward, embarrassing and foolish stage of the dance though, seemingly in all areas of my life. There are constant changes and interruptions in my family rhythms, including schedules, finances, health, and our daily sleep, food and play cycles. For the past two years my husband has been creating a small mushroom farm and juggling numerous part time and temporary jobs which has meant countless changes in our schedules and finances. Add to this a 14 year old son half-time and new baby full time and you have a holy mess!
Dancing with this constant change at home I now feel I’m running my business as if standing on a surfboard, and, not yet adept at surfing, always feeling wobbly and off balance. It takes most of my focus to keep my own head above water and yet, I’ve been imagining I could keep a busy practice afloat while I’m actually close to drowning. Needless to say I’m not doing the greatest job with most of my administrative tasks, including keeping us staffed. After one more massage therapist (The fourth since my daughter was born last July) said goodbye a few weeks ago, I finally got the message that this business model isn’t working for me. I’m simply not very good at managing a massage studio right now.
Awkward? Yes. thinking of all the foolish mistakes I’ve made on this journey makes me cringe. Embarrassing? Totally. Early on in life I internalized a belief that I must finish what I start. I constantly hear a voice in my head saying, “If you’re going to do something, do it right”. These beliefs lead me to act as if I just work hard enough, I can force it all to work out. But sometimes it doesn’t. And part of me just hates that!
Rather than fight it, I realize this is the part of the dance where’s there’s a need just a pause. A poignant moment that allows me to get grounded and centered and able to respond to whatever is actually happening, instead of what I’m anticipating or wanting to happen.
In this moment I notice I love my work with my clients more than ever before. I love going to the sacred space we just moved into, opening up the door, walking up the stairs, welcoming a precious human being for a session, and together presencing a timeless healing experience that rejuvenates, restores and soothes the body and mind. This part does work. Hallelujah!
I also notice I have absolutely no energy, heart or creative fire for advancement, growth, success or expansion in a business sense. A year ago I imagined myself working from home, managing a busy massage studio from my cell phone and laptop, becoming a social media guru while my baby somehow entertained herself or napped for hours. I laugh so hard now at this vision, as most days I can’t even find my cell phone, much less keep it charged up to talk and organize with. And naps? What are those?
I don’t know exactly what’s next for me professionally, but I’m catching glimmer by being more present with what’s here now. I am actually quite relieved that my practice isetting smaller and quieter and requiring much less management. I offer a few sessions per week, by appointment, usually on Fridays and Saturdays when I am blessed with my husband’s flexible schedule and his ability to be with our daughter. I’m so glad to have Denise Obray working with me and also grateful for the other massage therapists who have passed through my doors with their offerings and have now moved on.
It’s relaxing to let go of the need to know the next step. The music does have a beat, it’s just not in the place I expect it to be. Awkward, foolish, unsteady I may be, but I’m going to be present with that too, and trust this process that I know will eventually illuminate a pure, powerful and purposeful movement once again.