A short magazine article has stuck in my mind. It is really quite stuck.
We are conscious about the magazines we offer in our office for people to read if they have to wait for an appointment. We want the reading to be on the same calming, meditative wavelength that our treatments provide. One of our commonly carried magazines is Spirituality and Health.
I try and read our magazines when I have a spare moment. I am one of those readers that is REALLY ENGAGED with anything well-written or interesting.
Well, at least while I'm reading it.
Unless I take notes or discuss with someone else, my mind instantly moves on and forgets to file memories from what I read, regardless of how engaging it was.
And this is why this article's stickiness has impressed me. I so enjoyed parts of it that I copied it for a patient. I forced Jason to listen to me read it out loud. I'm thinking about it now as I decide to share parts of it in this blog.
The article, written by Zen Buddhist teacher Karen Maezen Miller is titled "Lessons from a Zen Garden." Miller uses the analogy of her lovely flower garden to illustrate the fleeting beauty of our lives. She discusses what love and relationships mean:
"...one thing that troubles people about Buddhism is the concept of nonattachment. That's because we think attachment means love, and we think love means I can't live without you. We are always hung up on our self-serving notions--what I need, what I want, what I like, what I think, what is best, what is right--and that's the cause of suffering. We attach to those ideas as though they were life itself..."
Miller's message comes at the right time (as messages always do). So many people coming in the doors of our clinic are going through some kind of big transformation in their lives right now. Confronting deaths of loved ones, having major changes in life path or career, working out of old habits that are no longer in line with old ways of thinking.
The difficulty doesn't ultimately come from the event. It comes from how we respond to it, how we resist change. Miller goes on to quote the Buddhist Four Noble Truths:
"1. Life is suffering. Things change.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment. It hurts when things change.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable. Accept that things change.
4. There is a way out of suffering. By changing yourself."
With our acupuncture, massage, reiki, etc, we treat many physical ailments. Sometimes these are purely structural imbalances or physical degenerations, but more often physical ailments are intertwined with emotional stress, old traumatic baggage, and negative thought processes.
There is profound relaxation to be found in letting go. Drop the need for control. Don't resist change. And stop judging everything and everyone around you.
"Maezumi, my teacher, introduced me to a dimension of love that we do not often experience... His kindness was the profound kindness of seeing a person or thing completely, without judgement. I learned two things by this: that it is rare to be seen and that seeing without judging is an act of love.
Zen practice is facing yourself as you are. And by facing yourself, you come to accept everything. Self-consciousness dissolves and separation disappears. Free of deception, you are no longer afraid to be yourself. You are no longer afraid of much of anything. There is nothing to hide; no self-image to defend; nothing to assemble, control or avoid. It's simply a matter of taking care of what appears in front of you."
Judging a situation or person, for any reason, may lead to a desire to change it. Need for control stems from fear. Drop the judgement and let go of your illusion of control, and the fear dissipates along with it.
I believe the reason this article stuck with me is not that it was so wonderfully written, nor was it a message I have not heard before, but that it is needed. For most everyone. Repeatedly.
Even in the midst of a beautiful summer, full of fun and friends, there can be dark times. But life is much too short to spend our limited hours wrapped in self-made stress over any situation that we cannot control.
The only thing you can control in a stressful situation is your reaction to it; choose to love life in non-judgement, peace and joy.
Many women I encounter have a nasty habit of giving.
Relentless giving. Of giving, and then giving some more. Much of that stems from motherhood, as it is a necessary part of caring for young ones. (And is certainly something fathers can be guilty of as well.) But this habit of caring for everyone else so often results in a depleted, worn out woman. Perhaps even a woman who has forgotten to receive.
That is why I am SO HAPPY to announce, or at least remind everyone local here to Southern Oregon, Radiant Women's Day. It is taking place this Saturday, June 7th, all day at the Middle Rogue Farm. Follow this link to see their schedule of events and see the image below for the details.
Please, for yourself if you are a woman, or for a woman that you care for, consider this event as a chance to relax, enjoy, learn, and most of all- receive!
It has been a little while since our last message. We have crossed the one year mark with our little baby business and are growing into a (hopefully well-deserved) reputation of quality service in our community.
Jason and I are blessed to be doing what we love to do, helping others in the process, and supporting ourselves while doing it. Surely, it takes work, but if you love what you are doing, then "work" is a very relative term.
Over this past year we have received a lot of encouraging feedback from happy clients and patients. We consistently hear that we put our hearts into our work and go above and beyond anyone's expectation of what standard healthcare is.
How seriously we take our work and how much we put love into it is a reflection of what we receive from our community in turn. Grants Pass is continually growing into a more heart-centered community of caring individuals and conscious businesses. We feel more and more supported by everyone we meet locally, which in turn allows us to share that support.
The more you give, the more you get. The more you open up and allow for grace to come your way, the more you notice it when it does.
Having been here for more than one year as a business, we have seen slow, natural growth in just the right ways. We haven't pushed ourselves out there or fought for our place in the healthcare community. Instead, we gently allow those who are seeking help to find us in the right way.
If Radiant Family has helped you in any way, please share the love and spread the word! It is our goal to help as many people as we can, if they are ready to receive it. If you are reading this right now, you are connected to us in some way, whether near or far. Thank you from Jason and myself for supporting us in doing what we love. We hope to continue to recycle that love and support in our community, our Family, for many years to come.
Fly forward into a healthy spring with some educational, empowering and inspiring health workshops from Radiant Family this March. Our workshops will be given at the Merging Rivers Zen Center on three Saturdays. See the flier below for more information.
We have tried to keep our workshops low cost in order to share this information with as much of the community as possible, so please share this flier with anyone you think would benefit! We hope to see you there.
I have two categories for my patients. There are those who want to feel better, and want to come in the office, let me do my thing, and then leave until their next appointment. We make progress, but their healing time is limited to their office visits. This is what works best for many people, and that is just fine.
But then there is my other group of patients.
This is the group that wants to feel better, and wants to know every possible thing they could be doing to help themselves feel better faster.
This group is dear to my heart, because this is how I would be as a patient. If I was unwell, I would want to do everything possible on my own to recover. Not that I don't love a good acupuncture treatment, but I'd much rather get well faster and perhaps not have to come back in for more visits. So, contrary to conventional medical business models, I like to focus on what I can do to empower my patients to help themselves get better and perhaps not be my patients anymore.
The field of physical therapy uniquely requires that the practitioners provide tools for recovery to their patients. Having repeatedly given this sort of information to her patients for so many years, Doranne is quite practiced at sharing this information.
Our bodies can be our tools to get around in the world, they can be an impediment, or most likely both. Keeping these tools sharp and well-oiled is essential for a healthy existence. We are bound to strain our physique through poor posture, stress and injury.
Having a useful method to help us prevent and manage aches, pains, and structural imbalance allows us to take charge of our health in a way that is very difficult to do on our own.
I'm so grateful to Doranne for sharing her years of wisdom in the concise version of a handbook.
Doranne has created Your Body Book, which is literally the handbook for taking care of your body. I adore her book, and am pleased that she was willing to answer some of my questions about her work and the resource she has created.
Miranda: What made you decide to write Your Body Book?
Doranne: While working as a physical therapist for more than 30 years, I realized I had been scribbling illegible instructions and drawing child-like stick figures on easily-lost pieces of paper for clients for years. So at the end of each work day, for about a year, I compiled the information and exercises I normally share with my patients, resulting in the creation of Your Body Book Guide to Better Body Motion with Less Pain. This self-help health care book empowers people to take responsibility to successfully manage their health. I am passionate about helping others physically, as well as mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Miranda: How is Your Body Book best used as a tool by any of us with pain, injuries, or structural imbalances? (Aka ALL OF US!)
Doranne: The more you know, the better you can help your body and mind heal with time, by managing pain, improving blood flow, eating right, getting adequate sleep, and minimizing fear, worry, anxiety, and stress. It is easy to become fearful, especially when in pain. Mental and/or emotional stress can lead to physical problems such as causing muscles to tighten and increase pain. Stress and anxiety can decrease sleep, which slows healing and increases pain. Worry, especially about things out of our control, can be overwhelming.
The more you know, the more tools you can use well. Tools to decrease physical pain include: ice packs, heat, including hot showers and baths, pools, pillows for support and positioning, breathing, gentle exercise, and sleep. Give your body and brain plenty of water and good nutrition.
The good news is the body does its best to mend, especially with injuries involving bones, joints, and muscles. Give your body time to heal; generally for every “down” day, it may take two to three days to recover.
Miranda: What is one of the most common questions you get as a physical therapist?
Doranne: One question I am frequently asked, is when to use ice or heat to decrease pain. The bottom line--both ice and heat increase circulation; improved blood flow helps the body heal. Ice is best immediately after an injury, with really sharp pain, muscle spasm, or inflammation (hot, red, swollen). Heat is better with more chronic conditions, low-grade pain, or when the area is more stiff than painful.
Miranda: Any favorite tips or advice you would care to share?
Doranne: Rice socks. I recommend making rice socks by pouring about two pounds of uncooked rice into a long sock. Tie/sew to close. Place in microwave for about two minutes or until comfortably warm. A second rice sock can be kept in the freezer and used as an ice pack.
Thank you so much to Doranne for taking the time to share some of her knowledge with us. So many years of experience is a valuable gift to share, and Your Body Book is such a convenient form!
Doranne currently works as an on-call physical therapist. She is very willing to answer questions via e-mail or phone, and is also available for public speaking and teaching.
Go to www.YourBodyBook.com for more information, including upcoming presentations. Your Body Book is available on Amazon, at the local Grants Pass, Oregon bookstores including Aquarius, The Book Lore, The Herb Shop, and Oregon Books. It is also available locally at Dr. Kahn’s office, and from Kay Nielson, PTA, LMT, in Selma, Oregon.
Thank you for reading. Even though I am trained as a physical therapist, I am passionate about not only helping people physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; to help them be whole in their soul. With 32 years of hands-on experience, I currently work as an on-call physical therapist. Please don't hesitate to contact me.
P.O. Box 5735 • Grants Pass, OR 97527 • 541-643-9289 cell 541-955-3209 fax • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.yourbodybook.com
Satsang with Lisa at Radiant Family
Poetic author and spiritual teacher Lisa Schumacher has traveled the world giving Satsang. Her message is simple and elegant, pointing one back to the simplicity of what we are within before all suffering.
"You are freedom itself.
there is nothing to get,
there is no "me"
You are what is free.
You are the expression of that.
can not be thought of,
It can't be conceptualized.
is not in the future.
There is no freedom in the future.
It is now only."
Below is a short list of questions about Satsang answered by Lisa. If you're new to Satsang, this should help your understanding.
"What is Satsang?"
Lisa ~ "Satsang is a gathering of like minded people coming together to ask the most important questions in life like: Who am I? What has my life been about? How can I be happy? The possibility in our meeting is for the discovery of peace and fulfillment that is your true nature and that what you have been seeking is right where you are."
"What can I expect at the meeting?"
Lisa ~ "We will sit together quietly for 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting and then we share reports and questions about our spiritual discoveries."
"Will I have to learn a new set of spiritual beliefs