As many of you know September was my last month at The Massage Place. It was a beautiful space to grow both personally and professionally these last five years, but as I stepped more boldly into living my soul's purpose - I was led to take a giant leap of faith that would not only change my work, but my LIFE.
When I gave my notice at the end of August I had no idea what the next step would be. Would I continue in the massage therapy field? Would I find a whole new line of work? Would I take an indefinite amount of time off to figure out what was next? how would I finance this transition time? Would I be traveling abroad sooner than expected? Would I take more courses or get another license? Would I even continue living in Olympia??
As I moved through September - getting closer closer to my last day - the questions continued, both within my own mind and from others. I was in free fall.
At times I felt a deep sense of empowerment, excitement and adventure, while others I was left overwhelmed and riddled with fear of the unknown.
While I still didn't have answers regarding where I was going to land next and what I was going to do - In mid September during an amazing, soul opening session with the dear Amanda Lux of Earth in Heart, it became clear that I was to shatter the box that I had so carefully put myself in. Shatter the fear, the control, the walls of protection and open to vulnerability, deep self-love and my true self - in all it's perfect imperfection.
No small task! Where was I to begin???
I knew I'd be taking most of October off to figure out what was next and that an open ended road trip was in my near future. October 1st (the new moon) I packed my car and headed south, but to my dismay excitement was replaced with stress - where was I to go? where was I to stay? was I going the right direction? what if I missed something important? The onslaught of questions and the unknown was all too familiar. My shoulders tensed, a headache started and anger came boiling to the top. What the hell was I doing?? In that moment I almost turned around and came home.
But I continued on - heading south on I-5, rain pouring, I sat with both the physical and emotional discomforts I was feeling - curiously asking about all that was coming to the top. With the help of deep breathing, a phone call with a friend and a break in the rain, I began to find some moments of clarity as well as a place to sleep for the night: Beacon Rock State Park. As darkness settled in I found a great place to set up camp under two beautiful, towering Douglas Firs. Tent set up, fire crackling, and hot soup in my belly - I looked upward through the trees to the twinkling stars above and let out a sigh of complete contentment.
In that moment I new with absolute clarity that I was exactly where I was meant to be and I was moving in the right direction - even if the end result was unknown.
For the next four days I would continue my road trip - winding east along the Columbia River Gorge, then south through the Willamette National Forest (Central Cascades), stopping to stay at Breitenbush Hot Springs a few days, then continuing on to Bend, Oregon. All the while my mind and spirit winding in and out of complete freedom/faith to anxiety/fear, then back again. Along the way witnessing nature's limitless, wild beauty and meeting many beautiful beings whose stories touched my heart and strengthened my trust in the journey. Inevitably it all pointed me back home to you - much sooner than expected - with renewed clarity, purpose and vision.
Most of October I sat with the unknown (some days easier than others). A few days before the 1st of November it became clear that I was to began renting space at the beautiful Smyth Landing on West Bay Drive (yes, right on the water!)
Within the building is a new space and group of holistic practitioners called Sound Wellness. It has been a dream of mine to work with a variety of wellness professionals in a space brimming with vision, possibility and new creation - I just never thought it would happen so early in my career! The rest of November I spent creating my space - my sanctuary - grounding even more deeply into my heart and the new work I was to offer you.
During my trip it became clear that my work was to undergo a deep transformation. My early training and work was strongly based in the physical/treatment oriented side of bodywork - more or less Deep Tissue Massage and Treatment Sessions. If someone had an ache or pain - we looked for a solution - dare I say I tried to "fix" the problem area. At times this would work with great success while others left me dumbfounded, even frustrated - like I was beating my head (or hands) against a wall.
There was a lot of force and determination involved in my first 5 years of practice - not bad qualities to have as you're starting a business, but it took it's toll - physically, energetically and emotionally. I realized not only was I wearing myself out quickly, but I was resting back into what was known, easy and safe. In short, I was not practicing in a way that served our highest good, both you - the client or me - the practitioner. And the passion I once had for my work was dwindling as well.
As my work began to progress over the years, my personal awareness of my own being deepened and my awareness of the entire human system expanded. Not only was I feeling the physical aspect of one's being, but sometimes the energetic, emotional and/or spiritual sides as well. This was a struggle for me - what do I do with this information? How does this fit in with physical bodywork or healing in general? How can I work more holistically while maintaining my own integrity, ethics and clarity? How can I assist in creating lasting change, instead of momentary relief?
What is "healing" anyway??
These are questions I still ask and continue studying about, but for now I realized I don't need to have all the answers. I'm realizing the more self work I do - by strengthening my personal practice, deepening my self awareness and self love, healing my own wounds, and clearing/balancing my energy fields on a regular basis then all that comes through is pure love - the ultimate healer.
The more I lean into the unknown, trust the process and simply LISTEN - deeply listen - to each human system that I encounter the more things naturally begin to unwind and find balance again. It's as if coming back to the body and heart - allowing space for breath and inward focus - moves energy once more to those spaces of dis-ease. By going within, we find our hearts, our POWER and the grace to transform - possibly even AWAKEN to find our authentic selves.
During a time when our world is so full of fear, violence, never ending struggle and chaos it's hard to know where to begin or how we can make a difference. I've been told time and time again these last two months to go within, go within, go within - find that peace and unconditional love deep within your own heart - then let it permeate every cell of your being.
This allows flow instead of force, ease instead of dis-ease, response instead of reaction. and love instead of fear. The work done within your own heart will affect your family, your neighbors, your community - OUR WORLD.
Will you join me in this transformation - this time of awakening?? If so, you can start NOW by doing one small thing to nourish your own heart.
Maybe it's taking a walk. Maybe it's drawing a picture or painting with your hands. Maybe it's dancing or playing music (cranked to 11). Maybe it's playing in the dirt. Maybe it's skipping the make-up today. Maybe it's taking time to simply BE instead of DO. Maybe it's taking something (or a lot of things) off your to-do list. Maybe it's putting down your phone for the day. Maybe it's signing off Facebook for the weekend. Maybe it's calling off work and driving to the coast or the mountains. Maybe it's sitting with a friend to laugh or cry. Maybe it's saying "I love you" in the mirror. Maybe it's running through puddles or waves with wild abandon - in your shoes! Maybe it's sleeping outside in your backyard. Maybe it's gazing at the stars. Maybe it's simply breathing in this blessed moment. Maybe it's staying in bed all day. Maybe it's ______________________________________________________.
Ask yourself, "what does my heart want today"?
Today my heart wants to reach yours as I continue down this path - to touch one another's humanness - connecting in our struggle and our joy, our light and our darkness. My heart wants to feel less alone in a world full of people. My heart wants to be seen and to see YOU - in our unveiled brilliance.
"Hello" - I see you.
Terri Lynn Perry is a Dream Weaver, Facilitator of Sacred Spaces, Artist and Traveler living in Olympia, WA.