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I guess I’m not as mindful as I thought.
Today I went to a new massage therapist, after moving to town back in April (about three months ago).
I had googled and asked around for “someone good.”
She is located in a well-resourced place. Her website described “Integrative Classical Homeopathy with Therapeutic Massage and Yoga.” Already, I was proud of myself and my self-care efforts for making an appointment.
Like many previous instances, just going to get a massage was 90 percent of the battle for me. I always seem to have so many more important things, people to lunch with, or laundry to do.
My time off from work has been a huge area of growth for me in the last six months. By that I mean, actually being “off” without my work cell, emails, disasters, or general anxiety from the week prior or the week ahead consuming what time I did not need to devote to the grind. The mind, body, spirit thing was catching up to me.
So, back to the massage.
I felt calm, aware, and proud of myself for being there. My breathing was steady, her hands were great. I focus on her hands, my breath, but alas…still a make-believe Mandy post-it behind the closed eyelids of my mind reminds me of a person I need to check on, and then a phone call I need to make.
My mind literally is doing a thing, I said to myself. We’ve been through this, with the therapist, in meditation. Just see what you are thinking about with no judgment.
I keep breathing, my body is relaxing. My mind not really resting, but I’d forgiven her for not being the blank ocean scene the background music was trying to bring me to. My body felt amazing. By the end, she’d given me a great massage.
You know how when they are done, they say, “Take your time, I’ll meet you out front,” or something like it? I noticed I laid there longer than I normally do before I got up. I went outside to tip her, say goodbye, and settle up.
“Do you feel better?” she asked.
“I do. Yes, thank you.” I said. “Do you have any feedback for me?”
“Well, Mandy, your body seemed angry—deeply.”
I sit there quietly for a while. What do you say to that? But oddly, even though I felt calm and relaxed, I knew she was right. Not sure about what, though.
“Our body keeps record of everything, far more than we realize. It’s lived through whatever you did, too,” she said.
I don’t remember much after that. We exchanged genuine niceties, and I walked home. First thing I wanted to do was drink—and it was 2:30 in the afternoon. (Okay, Elephant Journal, I didn’t!)
How could I have anger? I was doing so well with self-care! I sat down and considered how I’ve taken in experiences that could have made me angry and internalized them. It was like an intense post-massage meditation session. I mean, damn. I was really angry about a lot. And my body was carrying it.
So I’ll start a journey of addressing subconscious anger—begrudgingly. I really thought I was a calm, peaceful, approachable human. And I do believe I am, but now another layer of awakening is my next chapter. Perhaps I’ll write about that, too.
Turns out that healing takes more than imagination—and your body does keep the score.