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morning musings

Recently we received a gift of yummy chocolates in the mail from our fabulous realtor & family friend, Alicia with Real Estate Design (RED) Group. It was SO MUCH FUN to get a surprise in the mail that was pretty & delicious!!! And it was a really nice reminder of something I loved as a child, the rare opportunity to go to the ice cream parlor.

Now, my grandpa Harold adored ice cream of all kinds, so we had it pretty regularly when I was young. Mostly at home, Kroger/UDF brand vanilla. In the summer with peaches or strawberries on it, other times with Hershey’s chocolate syrup from a can before plastic bottles, & Planter’s salted peanuts. Some evenings we’d go out for it… drive to one of two nearby soft serve places, McDonald’s, UDF… or most excitingly one of the special ones… Aglamesis or Graeter’s. Neither disappoints, and great non-dairy options! Cincinnati has plenty of options, if you want an old-time ice cream parlor feel, go to Oakley or Mariemont. And let me know your favorite spots! 

This new year gift had a card with some sweet sentiments, and again I find myself pondering trust, and the ways/depths that we trust people. And don't.

Grateful that folks bring their bodies, minds & beings to my spaces. 

Thinking about how we learn to trust and distrust so early, from in utero even. 

The ways we can & can't trust ourselves.

Fears we grow out of and into. 

Rage we run from & shove down inside.

Remembering that movement is both chaos and rest.

Trusting that I can lean into trust. 

that we can lean into trust.  


step back in time to wordpress writings below, links under titles will lead to more...

Communication Through Touch
originally published here in February 2009

Communication is more than just the words, or lack of ~ it is the tone of our voice, the way we carry our body, the look in our eyes. It is the way we touch, or don’t. 

“Our body is not limited to what lies inside the boundary of our skin… There is no phenomenon in the universe that does not intimately concern us, from a pebble resting at the bottom of the ocean, to the movement of a galaxy millions of light years away.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, or the like, as by speech, signals or writing. We are living in a fast paced, I want it now world with e-mail, text messaging, and instant messaging. In this technological world, miscommunication has become more rampant than ever. It is easy to type in a few words, and press send before we have thought things through, and regret it later. Or perhaps the stress of the moment wins, and something unintended comes spewing out before our mouth can be closed. And sometimes the words just get stuck in our throat and are never said, causing us to retreat further into ourselves.

Human beings are more than just our bodies and our words; we are a mind, and a spirit or soul as well. To communicate effectively, we need to relate to all of these aspects of self. For thousands of years and in many cultures, massage has been used as an effective tool for both communication and healing. Massage is touch applied with knowledge & intention. 

The language of touch is really not complicated. To start with, there may be physical contact through the skin or no physical contact. Add in a few rules: depth, direction, duration and speed. Any variance within these four qualities will elicit a specific response from the body.

~Depth of touch may range from “touching” off the skin to firm pressure.

~Movements toward the heart are more stimulating; movements away from the heart are more relaxing. Movements in different directions will stimulate specific reactions from the body.

~The longer you touch someone, the more adjusted the body becomes to that touch.

~The faster the movement, the more stimulating it is; the slower the movement, the more relaxing.

The word intention comes from the Latin intentus meaning to stretch out or toward. It is an intangible, yet vital aspect of the relationship between massage giver and receiver. Some of the intention lies in the conscious and unconscious thoughts, desires and expectations of both individuals. “Learn your techniques well, but be prepared to drop them when you touch the human soul.” ~ C. G. Jung

You do not have to be a massage therapist to convey deep caring. With this basic understanding of the language of touch and intention, you can communicate love as well as provide comfort and relief to someone. Some people are “touchy-feely” and some do not like to be touched at all. You must always respect where each individual is on their path, and work from that point with the best of intention. For those who are not comfortable with touch, or for whom touch may be painful, you may want to “touch” off the skin an inch or several. For those whom physical touch is appropriate, begin slowly, perhaps by holding one hand in both of yours. If that is acceptable, proceed to massage the hand, wrist and forearm to the elbow, moving slowly and checking in for feedback. You may do this with or without some type of lubricant, such as massage oil or lotion.

When you or your loved one are tired, rest and try again the following day. Repetition and regularity in massage will improve your touch skills and reinforce your message of unconditional love. Please feel free to be creative and experiment, remembering that slow, continuous, reassuring movements are preferable to quick, agitated uneven ones. And you must focus your intention on your loved one. It is extremely irritating being touched by someone who is not paying attention to the person under his or her hands.

Massage is a wonderful way to stay in-touch, literally, with your loved ones on a regular basis. Please touch someone you love today.

I'm starting this blog for several reasons, including my own sanity. You may think that's a selfish (it's not) or racist (it is) place to start given that I'm a white woman who's going to write about race, bias, prejudice and our humanness. That's absolutely okay, we each have our own viewpoint. Also, I know that self-care is the most important thing I can learn. And share.

While I need to write about these topics to help strengthen my education and to further wrap my brain around the exponential learning I've been doing about racism, there is a much bigger reason. People of Color are being killed every day for one reason... NOT being white. This is NOT acceptable to me and many other white people, and we need to start talking about it. And DOING something about it.

I have had the pleasure of hearing James White and Suzanne Roberts in safe conversations about race at the recent YWCA fireside chats, and James has shared his quest to eradicate racism in his lifetime. I'm here to tell you that it's going to take white people to make any real change occur. You may not think you as an individual have that kind of power, and yet you do. We do.

What say you? Are you willing to look deep, really deep? To feel the pain of our Black & Brown sisters & brothers? To sit in the muck and work through your own emotional baggage to get the the real stuff? To look past your own feelings at the big picture of the racist system?

If you're still reacting in the "not all white people" space, it'll be okay I promise. Stay with me here. Take some deep breaths, and hang in there. As with every class I teach, I want to say hold on to what resonates and let the rest go. It may not be for you now. It's not always going to be comfortable, but it's always going to be worthwhile. Watch this video and then come back and visit anytime.

READ & HOLD THIS: Please share your thoughts and comments as respectfully as possible. Know that this means different things to different people. White folks, we need to breathe and listen... really hear, before we respond to People of Color sometimes. Remember that our words can hurt or heal, and it is too easy to do the former in an online format. Being hurt is NOT a reason to hurt someone else.

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