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by Lauren Bilbe

A few years back, I made a fortuitous decision to leave my career as a bureaucrat. My goal was to find a calling that allowed me to live a rhythm of life that works optimally for me, allowing for more free time. I desired to have a greater, more immediate impact on my community. Massage has met those goals and allowed a transformation of healing and healer within me that is proving greater than my hopes.

In my first year as a practitioner, I have learned to more fully trust myself and my intuition. Like any great education, I left massage school feeling confident in my skills and a sense of wonderment at all of the possibilities out there for me to learn and try.

My natural reaction to massage as a science is to want to learn more, understand anatomy, physiology, pathology and the interconnectedness of the human body at its depths, a life-long pursuit. The human body is absolutely fascinating to me. And yet the art part, trust and intuition, is just as important. I am learning to open myself as a channel for artistic, therapeutic experiences at the fulcrum of the clients’ needs, yet releasing my attachment to outcomes and any desire to fix them. I provide educated healing experiences the clients receive how they need with great results. Trusting myself and my intuition has been key at every step of the entrepreneurial process, from taking the initial leap of becoming a therapist and private practitioner, to continuously figuring out marketing and new client needs.

Building my practice has allowed me to face challenges and opportunities on my terms with the spaciousness to take care of what arises with presence. It is creating spaciousness in the now, being fully present with myself and others, that is the most important skill in life from my perspective. Massage allows the time and spaciousness for presence. For me, the practice is in large part a moving meditation. I practice acceptance of the present moment as the key to quieting my mind, my little meandering path to Nirvana. This space allows me to provide a higher quality of touch, to be more creative in session design and to adapt my sessions more readily based on the clients’ needs.

Massage has been a gift of transformation for me. My heart feels a renewed sense joy and ease when I am giving massage. I feel in alignment with my purpose. All of these qualities (happiness, peace, presence, trust, connectedness, and I add love) are what we all strive to create in our lives, isn’t it? I find my bliss in this moving meditation.

Lauren Bilbe loves running her private massage therapy practice Willow Bend Wellness (www.willowbendwell.com), providing integrated table and Thai yoga massage. She specializes in working with outdoor, wellness, and spiritual growth enthusiasts who seek to relieve chronic and lifestyle related pain, mobility, and energy limitations. Lauren considers travel an important tool for deepening compassion towards the human experience and all life and keeps a blog of her adventures, Trails of Wonder (www.trailsofwonder.wordpress.com). She welcomes your questions and comments at willowbendwellness@gmail.com.