Massage & Bodywork

COVID 2020

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instead allow the expression of your truth to anchor you in the moment. With practice, you can begin to connect the obvious truth of the day of the week with the unpredictable nature of your emotions, and feel more at ease and share more accurately in the world around us. Instead of overriding, justifying, or resisting emotions, begin to accept them and co-opt the energy of your feelings in service of your next step. Dedication We don't know all we need to know about COVID-19, but all indications appear that it is going to be influencing our economy, social relationships, and health-care system for quite a while. Here we have an open space to dedicate ourselves to be in alignment with what matters most to us. What are your core values, life purpose, or soul mission? And would you be willing to dedicate yourself to experiencing and expressing more of what you hold near and dear to your heart? We are committed to embodying loving kindness, and in the context of savvy self-care, we are advocating our community of friends, family, clients, and neighbors to dedicate themselves to practices that grow exquisite self-care. Combined studies show that it takes at least 40–66 days to forge a new habit, so as you consider dedicating your life to something you deem worthwhile, be generous, patient, and kind to yourself. Just because intention is clear, new habits may not "stick" the first time—or every time. Diligent dedication is a requisite ingredient to creating what you want. Likewise, release the notion that you're going to always feel a certain way and be in congruence with your intention. As much as you'd love to align your values of loving kindness with your life, none of us are ever going to continuously be loving and kind. We are human after all, and people or circumstances push our buttons, or we go unconscious, or we simply go to sleep. We recommend against buying into the unrealistic myth of trying to get it right the first time or every time. As you zero in on what you'd like to dedicate yourself to in the near future, consider this formula: Commit + Recommit - Criticism = New Conscious Habit. New Conscious Habit Said another way, your first step is choosing an intention to commit to, and your second step is going unconscious and forgetting your intention. (Luckily, you don't even have to remember to forget!) Third is recommitting to your intention without adding any criticism, blame, or complaint. Not beating yourself up when you make a mistake is often a challenge, but we know that learning outcomes don't improve when we use punishment (like criticism). Magic happens when we simply recommit. This likely will require several thousand repetitions until your new commitment becomes a new habit. To help ripen your new commitments, write them down on Post-It notes, and place them around the house, on your computer monitor, car dashboard, on your digital calendar to remind yourself every day (or hour) to recommit without criticism. What new habit would you like to explore, enjoy, and grow mastery in as you co-create a new normal? Unmitigated stress is harmful to the immune system, and some of the most effective ways we and our community can enhance health is to commit to behaviors that activate calmness, openness, vigilance, intelligence, and dedication. The atmosphere is ripe to reimagine and create new habits that support an environment for our highest self to shine though. Fear is inevitable and fear is contagious. But kindness, generosity, and listening for how we connect are also contagious acts! You can make a new commitment any time. You can be a source of leadership in your community by consciously creating habits that support your beliefs, ideals, and a world you want to be in. We are all in this together. We want to leave you with inspiration from Chief Seattle, "Man does not weave this web of life. She is merely a strand of it. Whatever she does to the web, she does to herself." Let's band together and be that bright light that sparks the expansion of feeling more connected, loving, and safe! Heath and Nicole Reed are co-founders of Living Metta (living "loving kindness") and want everyone in the world to enjoy the experience of befriending their body. The Reeds lead workshops and retreats across the country and overseas, including Thailand, Mexico, France, and the US Southwest, and have been team-teaching touch and movement therapy for 19 years. In addition to live classes, the Reeds offer massage therapy and self-care videos, DVDs, and online trainings, which may be found at www.livingmetta.com. F o r t h e l a t e s t i n f o r m a t i o n v i s i t w w w. a b m p . c o m / c o v i d - u p d a t e s . 31

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