For years, I was fascinated with System-Centered Therapy and worked hard in a group. One thing I learned was that many of our fears are not based on reality. Rather, we often make negative predictions about what may happen in the future – a meeting might not go well next week, this new client might not like my work; my business may go down later this year because of the economy. Then we feel fears in the present moment, which are just provoked by fantasies about possible futures.
But we can never really predict the future. We don’t exactly know what will happen tomorrow or even later today! Yet, It’s almost a reflex – nature abhors a vacuum, so we fill in the unknown with predictions – even if they freak us out!
As a teacher and bodyworker, I see students and clients reacting this way over and over. Their self-created fears may get lodged in the trapezius muscle above our shoulders; manifest as a frozen, shocked look around the eyes; a fixed jaw; as hypertension in the back muscles, and certainly as restrictions of breath – with a resulting diminution of energy.
These days, some of the excess tension and fear we see in students and clients are a result of what we are currently being told about the economy. For present and future therapists, it is important for us to understand that at least half of this country’s so-called economic problem is a generalized lack of confidence inflamed by the media’s negative predictions.
We need to unplug ourselves and the people we will touch from the prediction-spasm-prediction cycle that disempowers them.
If you are a bodyworker, you can:
- Deeply know that success is largely up to you. Re-own your confidence. Share that knowledge with your clients through the confident quality of your touch
- Help undo negative predictions, by giving the person an experience of deep safety, peace and security in the present moment.
- Relieve the chronic muscle and respiratory tension that keeps people feeling they are smaller and less powerful than they really are.
If you are a future or current student of massage therapy, you can:
- Feel great about your decision to be involved in a field that gives a rare form of independence through healthy livelihood.
- Deeply enjoy the peace you experience by receiving a tremendous amount of touch – perhaps the biggest part of learning is getting two or more massages a week during your training.
- Devote yourself to learning – massage therapy education, at its best, provides the missing piece from so much of our education. The missing piece is self knowledge of one’s body, emotions, mind and spirit as well as the values-based business planning that enables you literally and figuratively to take your life into your own hands.
For re-assurance we need not to look to the government or to the media; we need to re-access the power within. It’s not up to them.
It’s up to every one of us.