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Come as you are

After receiving one of my first massages in my early 20's (thank you, Karen Donald), I remember getting off the table and being aware in an unexpected, joyful moment that the self-critical internal rant about my body that was often running in the background was quiet. My first thoughts were not about how I looked or what someone else thought about my body or my choices or my life. This surprised me at the time, as I had felt self conscious on and off throughout the session, but in the brief solo time I had as I got dressed, I felt lighter and freer- I had space to breathe. I was aware of my body, from the inside, not as an object for others to notice or simply as a tool for me to use. Twenty plus years later, I still notice and appreciate those moments of spaciousness after bodywork and healing work with practitioners I trust.

To be witnessed and touched with care can be a powerful experience. I return to the felt sense of spaciousness and quiet when I need a reminder of my wholeness, when emotionally or mentally I feel adrift. I think about this often when I feel shyness and vulnerability arise in my clients in session or in myself in my day to day life. I want to offer the kind of space in my sessions that invites that sense of quiet and freedom and rest, no matter what brings someone in to see me.

*About the title: I read the book Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. a few years ago: (She also co-wrote Burnout; I look forward to reading it, too.) She is a researcher and educator who repeatedly drives home the point in her books and on her blog and podcast that "normal" is not a narrow window to squeeze through but a giant tent; from a biological perspective, variation is the name of the game. I love the science, the stories and the space she makes for us to be who we are and feel what we feel.


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