All this scheduling I'm doing is to make sure that I don't wind up burned out.
What? Massage therapists burn out? You've got to be kidding! Wait, no, I'm not kidding.
Everyone who doesn't take time to take care of him or herself can burn out. In massage therapy, our job is to relieve pain and stress. But that means that we start a lot of our sessions working with someone who is very stressed. Even though we end our sessions with people who are relaxed ... we can wind up sort of absorbing some of that stress if we're not careful.
Additionally, we tend to get so focused on helping people, that we forget to help ourselves. That means that we'll say "yes" to one more appointment on a full day, and work longer than we ought to without taking breaks. Worse yet, even though we're good at reminding our clients that regular massage can save wear and tear on their bodies, and can help prevent injury -- we're guiltier than most of letting months go by without getting the bodywork we're so good at providing.
So where was I. Oh yes, scheduling to avoid burn out. So among the ways to avoid burn out is to do things to take care of yourself. While getting massage is certainly one of the ways to take care of yourself others include exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and getting plenty of sleep.
I've been working on taking care of myself, making sure I don't burn out - and generally keeping myself healthy. As you know, I've been working on that exercise thing -- doing my Tibetan Rites (and that's one of those things I'm scheduling into my day). I've been eating more healthily (there was that dramatic cut back on the sugar I eat -- still in play except for ice cream indulgences). And I'm very protective of my sleep.
So, lately, I'm trying to add a little meditation to keep my mind from working overtime. My mind? never shuts up. Never. So... the meditation is supposed to fix that.
For something that is supposed to be so relaxing - mediation is HARD.
Maybe it's because my mind never shuts up. And meditation is about quieting your mind, letting all those thoughts that are racing through slip on by unheeded, until you've let them all go. And, did I mention that my mind never shuts up? The only time it quiets down is when I'm giving massage, doing Reiki, or CranioSacral Therapy or Zero Balancing - when my focus is on the client. I'm not even sure it's quiet when I'm asleep.
Well, since I can't give massage ALL of the time, I need to find a way to still my mind so that I can rejuvenate myself. Hence, massage.
But lately, I've been trying an on-line meditation thing that took 15 minutes a day (7 of which was listening to the theme for the day, and preparing yourself, and about 7 1/2 of which was actually meditation). At first, my mind was like a hamster on its wheel, running running running. But I tried again the next day, and the next, .... and the next. After two weeks, I'm finally able to stay FOCUSED on the mediation for a good five of those minutes without the monkey mind going off and doing crazy stuff. And when it does go off track, I can actually bring it back to the center, returning to the theme.
So, I'm working on scheduling at least 15 minutes a day for quieting my mind.