Massage & Bodywork

JULY | AUGUST 2020

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8 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 2 0 EDITOR'S NOTE author and University of Houston professor Brené Brown (McMaster is a Brown-trained Dare to Lead facilitator). I had the good fortune to speak with McMaster about braving trust during a pandemic on a recent The ABMP Podcast episode. McMaster explained, "Embracing the suck is really about embracing uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It's choosing courage, even when it's hard and uncomfortable." McMaster says based on research, surprisingly, vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. "So, embracing the suck is how you get to courage." And that's through embracing vulnerability. And what could have possibly made you more vulnerable in the past few months than the state of the profession, whether that was your inability to practice, your decision not to practice, or now practicing with anxiety because of the possibility of putting yourself and your clients in harm's way? These intense emotions bubble up at a time when many feel powerless. But speaking your truth to the situation and giving a voice to your vulnerability can help you reclaim your power. "Embracing the suck is different for all of us, but if we don't embrace it, we discharge it," McMaster says. And that could mean projecting it on our families, friends, colleagues—or worse—checking out altogether. "It's a practice and it's not easy. We're all being called right now to do better, to regulate our emotions like never before." McMaster encourages MTs to slowly, and with commitment, increase their conscious competence. "We celebrate our small wins, we circle back to fix our mistakes, and our confidence grows. We actually like ourselves better, our connections feel deeper, and we inspire other people to be braver with their lives. We do our part to make the world a braver and brighter place." We hope Massage & Bodywork magazine continues to serve as an education vehicle for your practice and as a source for braving trust and finding your courage during this challenging time. Together, we will get through this. DARREN BUFORD Editor-in-Chief darren@abmp.com Scar as Metaphor Speaking your truth to the situation and giving a voice to your vulnerability can help you reclaim your power. "Scars are like icebergs—what you see on the surface is not always an accurate representation of what is happening below." This sentence, from Catherine Ryan's in-depth cover article ("Scar Tissue: Not Breakable, But Changeable," page 52), not only illustrates the challenges MTs have when working with difficult fibrous tissue, but the turn of phrase made me think that it perfectly encapsulates the challenges of being an MT in a COVID-related world. Above the surface, you may be as cool as a cucumber, putting on your best face. Below are emotional scars brought about by a global pandemic that has challenged your practices and your profession—conflicting feelings of anger, anguish, anxiety, fear, passion, and/or relief. At first, a whirlwind of emotions were related to not being able to practice due to stay-at-home orders, and now those emotions surround the "new normal" of work—donning personal protective equipment and elevated hygiene protocols. You may be feeling these emotions simultaneously, in rapid-fire succession, or in a wave-like ebb and flow. Emotions surrounding the safety of your clients and yourself, all balanced with financial insecurity. Whatever was normal isn't now, and may not be for some time. So, how do you push forward? My friend and leadership guru Amy Andrews McMaster says, "Embrace the suck." The phrase is synonymous with best-selling

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