- Prior to your treatment I will send a consultation form, depending on how you are and whether you have been sick etc I may not be able to treat you. If you’re all good to have a treatment for your first one post lockdown we will have a 15 minute phone consultation to check in
- The keypad is not in use at Albany anymore so please text me when you are outside and I will come and let you in
- As much as you can try not touch door handles etc, I will be your butler!!!
- We are asking all our clients not to use the loo unless you absolutely have to
- Please sanitise your hands upon entering the clinic
- Please limit the amount of stuff you bring with you as everything has to go into a box that is sanitised between clients
- Treatment times are MAX 45 MINUTES (this includes getting changed and redressed) so I will contact you in advance to see where you would like me to work as obviously we are trying to limit talking as much as possible
- From the wee survey I did I saw that half of those who answered would prefer to bring their own towel, that’s totally fine, obviously it needs to be clean so please don’t use it as a wee blanket whilst on the bus (hahahaha)
- The room and everything touchable will be thoroughly cleaned thoroughly between clients as well as communal touchy things (!!). I will also be changing my uniform for each client. We now have air purifiers in each room and where possible I will open the windows between clients to allow for more fresh air. I am allowing 30 mins for cleaning in between clients but that may be excessive!
- I should be able to do a little work on the neck and upper chest when you are lying on your back as I will have a visor for this
- I am asking everyone pay by bank transfer as I would rather not be handling cold hard cash the now, haha! I know it would be easier if you could pay by card using a machine and I did look into it but it is actually very expensive to use one of those wee machines so I cant offer that I’m afraid
- Although you will only be having a 45 min treatment I wont be reducing the price of your treatment. I wanted to address this as I’m sure some folk may be wondering why. I actually will be preparing and cleaning for those 15 minutes you are not on the couch (plus additional time!), as you can imagine I have been hit very hard financially by being out of work for the last 5 months and my income will be more than halved from not being able to see my usual amount of clients so I just cant reduce it. I hope you can understand (but also understand if you cant!!)
- You will be required to wear a mask at all times whilst at the clinic. If you have a medical reason which makes you exempt from wearing a mask I am so sorry but I still cannot treat you as there are lots of therapists and clients going to Albany and I have to consider them all. I have actually had three massages whilst wearing a mask and the first time felt a bit strange and after that I hardly noticed it!
- Again, to limit talk time we wont be able to have a wee chat after and if you want to make another appt we can do it beforehand or over text
As a Buddhist and someone who has experienced complex trauma, I have been contemplating how I can bring the Dharma (Buddhas teachings) into my experience of healing trauma. As trauma work is largely related to reliving the feeling tones that arose and couldn’t not be expressed at the time and also ‘why did it happen’ I wanted to unpack it with a Buddhist flavour. Firstly, one of the tenets of Buddhism is karma. Karma translates to action. Unfortunately, it has been bandied about to the point that most folk see it as a punishment instead of what it really is, cause and effect. Now, when relating to trauma and seeing karma as a punishment it would be easy to see how even considering the traumatic event as ones own fault for past bad actions would be horrible. And to offer this view to a traumatised person would be incredibly unkind. From a Buddhist point of view, yes, EVERYTHING is karma, all the ‘bad’ stuff and all the ‘good’ stuff too. But we can’t stop there. We must hold the other tenet of Buddhism equally close and explore it alongside, and that’s compassion. If we take on karma as our hypothesis without compassion it is too easy to say, ‘well this happened because I did it in a past life so I just get need to get on with it’, THIS WILL NEVER EVER WORK. We must remember the conventional reality of what happened and how it affected our physiological system. And certainly lets not get too ‘ultimate reality’ about it, the last thing someone needs when they are feeling the wounded child/teenager/adult is to say to themselves or have someone say to them ‘the ultimate mind or soul (or whatever word one uses) cannot be harmed. This is true ultimately, but we have bodies and brains and systems that can be hurt. But thankfully that can also heal. We must bring a compassionate attitude to the us who experienced the trauma and the us now that is unpacking it. In my early experience of Buddhism having had very traditional teachings and the heavy emphasis on compassion for others coupled with my ignorance in that traditional delivery, I would try to be compassionate to everyone and I really didn’t see myself in the compassion pot. I even went so far as to think to put myself in the compassion mix and god forbid at the top of the list would be selfish or to use Buddhist terminology self-cherishing. I was dead wrong about that! There is no way we can heal trauma without compassion for ourselves. When we bring a compassionate flavour to ourselves it will still most definitely be painful, but it is an alive process whereas without compassion we get into a pain loop with no way out. To use myself as an example when I am hijacked by feelings related to old trauma and can sit with a compassionate heart towards myself, I will of course cry, feel rage, shame, deep pain but the difference is I will feel all these whilst offering myself the kindness of ‘I love you’, ‘I’m so sorry that happened’, ‘you’re ok now’, ‘you’re safe now’. Compassion is the key that unlocks the door into a new reality. The emotions that are strongly associated with trauma (fear, rage, etc) were appropriate responses to the event and as they couldn’t be expressed then they must be expressed now. It is HOW we express these that is key. Don’t be afraid that feeling your feelings will create more dense karma it won’t. It’s the NOT feeling your feelings and then the unconscious outward expression that happens due to previous suppression that will do that. When it comes to karma it’s important to remember that motivation is very important, so one can feel these heavier feeling tones with the intention of softening the system so ones innate compassionate self can take up more space. Also remembering that for full karmic ripening one needs motivation, engaging in the act and completion of the act. If you need to rage at someone mentally who perpetrated violence towards you I think one can still do that but it might be useful for you to say beforehand ‘I do this so that my system can soften and ultimately let go of this rage so I may be free and this person may be free too’. I personally feel that’s cool but I’m sure some may disagree! I really want to make the point about the importance of honouring ones anger or rage because often the mere mention of them is met with ‘that’s not very Buddhist, spiritual etc’! These feelings are alive energy fields within us and everything needs and has to have an expression whether we like it or not, so I would rather the process be conscious. If I were to just feel rage and cry without conscious compassion you better believe I’ll get caught in the loop, which will feed my thoughts and actions therefore creating more karma for myself to deal with down the line. I don’t think Buddha taught that anger is bad and advised to just not feel it. I think he probably suggested to feel it and express it in a healthy way so you don’t start flinging your anger at yourself and others! I would also say that we can’t navigate the healing of trauma alone so make sure you have support, ideally professionally or a support network of some description. When I go into my own process I don’t stay in that space indefinitely or at least I have the strong intention not to. It doesn’t make anyone more holy to drown in their feelings! For me, I will feel the feelings by consciously sitting and often set an alarm so when the alarm sounds I come back to Jules the adult again. Because really when we process the trauma, we are reliving it so its vital to have strategies that help us move in and out of the denser internal spaces. That to me is wisdom. Of course sometimes I have a few days of being engulfed and I can’t get out and that’s when my friends come pull me out with their love! And sometimes the best medicine is (and one I reckon Buddha would agree with) is a Netflix binge and loads of crisps to let your system settle! Please remember that it is too your karma to be resilient enough to work with the pain, courageous enough to feel it, resourced enough to navigate it, so you’ve done some virtuous stuff to achieve those mental qualities! Let all the ways you navigate your healing be imbued with compassion and that compassion muscle will get strong! For those of you navigating anything from choppy waters to full on storms I wish you every blessing of love. I see your strength, your courage and ultimately your indestructible nature. Love you all xx
For the last few days I have observed an intensity within me. Old feelings stirring and I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. And then I remembered….the moon!! I have always felt the moons dance, full moons bring a stronger outward energy to me and a new moon brings a more internal dynamic.
Tonight we will experience a black moon. A black moon only comes about every 32 months or so which makes it quite rare and definitely something to tap into. I don’t know much about astrology but I do know that new moons signify new beginnings, intuition, creativity…As with new beginnings, for the new shoots of what we wish to feel and experience in life to manifest, we must clear away the old and prepare the soil.
I have been reflecting on a ritual I could engage with to connect and focus this powerful moon energy. A ritual to let go and plant seeds of beauty for my future. If you would like to join me in this ritual please read on! Of course this ritual feels good for me but please do what feels good for you. if you are not into ritual I would suggest doing something conscious and positive no matter what that is to utilise this powerful energy.
Things to gather for your ritual
- A nice piece of clean cloth
- A candle
- A piece of paper big enough to draw on
- Colouring pencil or pens
- A food/drink offering
- PREPARE THE SPACE
Sit on the floor in a quiet space (or outdoors). Arrange the items on the cloth in front of you. Make it nice! In every different tradition I have experienced there is always an offering of light and food. I love this, as I call to life to support me I offer to life too. You can offer anything you like but do so with a mind of generosity, if you are offering a small plate of your dinner please lift this first before you plate up your own. You can offer water, juice, tea, coffee, whatever pleases you is good.
If you have sage you can sage the space around you and I like to sage myself too before ritual. If you work with guides, teachers, call them in to hold you during your ritual. Call to the moon that her energy may support you as you heal and transform! I also set an intention that this ritual will benefit all beings, as I heal all being heal, as I create love and beauty so do all beings.
- AAAHH, LETTING GO!!
Take a few moments to feel what you want to let go of. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, experiences, people. Allow tears to come if they arise. Take the bubbles and as you breathe out fill the the bubbles with all you wish to let go of. As they gently burst see all of what you are letting go of dissolve. I think bubbles (although perhaps not traditionally ceremonial!) as a really sweet metaphor for letting go. They are beautiful, light and burst with grace and gentleness. Continue to gather within you what you wish to part with and keep blowing them into the bubbles until you feel a shift. If you don’t have bubbles just place the candle far enough from you that you don’t blow it out, and breathe out towards the candle seeing the flame burn up all you want to leave behind.
- MANIFESTING THE NEW
- Take the paper and pencils and draw a plant pot, on the plant pot write the words and experiences you wish to experience. Use positive words e.g. ‘joyous abundance’ ‘a blessed loving relationship’ ‘great health and well-being’, ‘meaningful friendships’. You can be specific of course but I would suggest keeping the scope wide so as not to limit yourself. Go for this with your whole heart, don’t hold back on what you want to feel and experience! After you have written on the plant pot draw a wee shoot coming out of the soil, this represents the beginning of your wonderful new experiences and feelings. And as the days, weeks, months pass and you actively participate in the creation of your hopes and dreams, add to the shoot, making it bigger, taller, adding leaves and flowers. Bring it to bloom. Put this picture somewhere you can see it everyday, look at it and engage with it. If you are in an environment that isn’t particularly supportive and you don’t want others to see it , keep it somewhere but please take it out every day, look at it and engage with it.
Wishing you all a blessed black moon and every happiness in your new-ness !! xx
Whilst preparing for a recent lecture on Buddhism I was reminded powerfully of the importance of intention. Intention of course is not just a Buddhist concept, it is a powerful state of mind. Intention is what fuels our experiences. A lot of the time we don’t think about our intention when we are doing something, we just kind of do it !! And so intention setting wakes us up.
When we bring a positive intention to our daily activities we make the mundane extraordinary ! It also trains our mind to engage in a different way, it wakes us up to a mindful way of being where we purposely engage with our lives. When we set an intention we bring ourselves to our experience, the present moment becomes truly alive! As all experiences dissolve and change it is only our intention that remains.
Before I begin my day of working with clients I take time to set an intention. I get strong in my mind and heart what I want my clients to experience (expansion, easy letting go, power, love, etc). And I also get clear on how I want to feel too (relaxed, strong in my body, present and awake). I imagine that each one of my clients bodies is the body of all beings and so as they heal all sentient beings heal.
When we intend consciously our brain literally seeks out experiences that are in alignment with our intention, so if we intend on experiencing happiness, love, being of benefit to others, well then that’s what we will subconsciously seek out. And if we experience hardship, stresses, disharmony during our day we won’t stay in these emotions very long as they are not in alignment with our intention. We remember that staying in anger, upset, fear is not what we intended to experience and so we can move back into love quicker !
By including others in our intention we make our experiences more powerful and the Buddhists would say more virtuous. Having the intention that others benefit from us being in the world loosens the grip of the ego, the self existent ‘I’. This helps us become less attached and tight in our minds.
There are so many ways in which we can bring others into our daily activates. For example, when we eat we can imagine that the nourishment we enjoy goes to all beings especially those hungry or starving. When we exercise we can imagine that all beings bodies receive the health benefits and enjoyment especially those who are ill or unable to move their bodies in the way they would like. By changing our mind we change everything!
We are creating all the time let’s take charge of our creating with a joyful happy heart !
I often hear people refer to massage as a treat. You might be wondering why I would disagree with that. A treat is a good thing right? Yes, a treat is a good thing but a treat isn’t a regular thing. A treat is something we give ourselves from a place of self-kindness and self-love. But as we don’t love ourselves enough it can often be problematic, as it will always remain an occasional reaching out to ourselves instead of regular coming home to ourselves.
Getting regular bodywork sends a powerful message to life and that message is:
I am worth it. I am worth making time for, I am worth spending money on, I am worth being cared for.
Through regular bodywork I have felt a profound transformation in my own life. Not just with my body becoming stronger, more flexible and the experience of less pain. But it has brought me into my body where all my emotions live! It has given me the opportunities to explore, to see the aspects of myself that I accept and that I reject. To embody the parts of myself I slammed the door on many years ago and thus really become alive!
It opened the door marked ‘My relationship to myself, my relationship with myself’.
Without cultivating a relationship to ourselves we remain disconnected. And when disconnected from self we reach outward for happiness, for nourishment, for love. When in reality, we must reach inward, extend our hand to ourselves and so access the ever- flowing unending love and wisdom that we are.
Our bodies are speaking to us all the time. Our pain, our tension, our numbness are rich with insight. This insight brings fluidity and flexibility.
This insight changes how we are with ourselves and in the world.
So let us explore ourselves, say YES to ourselves, embrace ourselves !
Enjoy whatever it is you do that brings you home….to you xxxx
I was talking to some friends recently about massage and its benefits. Apart from the physical benefits of which they are many and are hugely supportive for well-being. I found myself emphasising more about the responsibility of the therapist. Getting a massage can be a big deal! For me, when I am in the role of client I am acutely aware of my body and my (past and present) relationship with my body. This can sometimes be an emotional process as I acknowledge what hurts (physically and emotionally) and begin to let go. Although this is not the same reality for everyone I decided to treat all my clients the way I wish to be treated.
I believe a therapist must work on themselves to a level where their intuition is strong, where they can hold someone tenderly who is healing. Massage has a huge capacity to create transformation once the client wants to do this, a client who wishes to let go, really let go needs a therapist who holds the same vision. For this healing to take place they need a therapist who can support that person strongly as they go into the bits that hurt and as they breathe deeply new life into those areas of stuckness.
I do feel that the power of massage can be sometimes overlooked, seen only as a tool for relaxation and nothing more. Relaxation is incredibly healing don’t get me wrong, and big positive shifts can take place through a relaxed body and mind. But often to get to that place of true relaxation we have to shift some old ‘stuff’ and this is a good thing! Lying on the massage couch with a tense body and busy mind can be just what we need to see what we need to let go of.
I always set an intention before receiving a massage, sometimes I will verbalise this to my therapist and sometimes I will internally do this. As a Buddhist Master, Lama Yeshe once said ‘everything exists on the tip of a wish’. A wish is an intention. So taking a moment to think ‘how would I like to feel during and after this massage’ or ‘I wish to let go of ……. easily and gracefully’ is a great way to begin your treatment. If you are comfortable saying this to your therapist then great! They can then get on board with your vision and massage that positive intention into you!
I love being a massage therapist. To know that I may have made even a small positive difference to anyone I work with really makes me so very happy. I also love being a client, not just because I love bodywork but lying on the couch reminds me of how important it is to be the best therapist for my clients.
I wish you all a happy healing that supports you in your life x
I have been thinking, listening and talking a lot about how we create.
So what on earth does creating a pleasing external environment have to do with healing work ??!!! Well, if we are indeed in a constant state of creation but not creating what we want, i.e. a fulfilling job, partner, friendships, financial security, well then how do get these things that we wish for ?
Get a massage!!
Ok, I’m being playful, a massage or any other pleasurable situation is not a magic trick for your true love, that meaningful job, happy home or more money! But what these healing practices do is create ‘high vibrations’. Usually during and after a massage or other healing work you feel good right? You usually feel relaxed, less stressed out, peaceful, optimistic, or you simply couldn’t care less about the worries you had before because that massage was AWESOME!! Simply put, these good feelings create situations that hold the same good feelings!! It’s just ‘like with like’!
I have been contemplating how when we ‘should’ be doing all the things we ‘should’ be doing but feeling exhausted and stressed what could we create by stopping and asking ourselves, ‘What do I WANT to do right now’ and then doing just that that. How beneficial would it actually be to leave the office and have lunch in the park when you feel over worked and have a desk stacked with things to do? How beneficial would it be to turn off the laptop when you have emails to send because you are exhausted? What if we incorporated enjoyable ‘high vibration’ things into our daily to do list? If we give ourselves the medicine it makes sense we would become well. So the question for today may be ‘What’s my medicine’?
I have noticed recently that the more I engage in enjoyable things the more circumstances for enjoyment naturally come to me. When I go for a massage or other healing work I am filled with positive feeling or energy which acts like a magnet for experiences or creations with the same feeling and energy to come my way. I believe these experiences can be different but the base or tone is the same!
Recently I have been manifesting a new home, my criteria was a safe and happy neighbourhood, and a peaceful quiet space. As the search progressed I had periods of stress, worry and concern about its lack of manifestation which of course created more stress, worry and concern! So I began to tell myself to relax but the feeling of that sentence was still worry, what the feeling was actually saying was ‘ you better start relaxing or it’ll never happen’! See what I mean? So I stopped, stopped the pushing and the telling myself off for being worried. Instead I made joyful patience important and I started to do more cool fun stuff. I went for more massages, met with friends more, slept more, I listened to more beautiful music, I meditated more and I watch more good movies. And soon I got a lovely home!
The harder your life seems the easier you should be with yourself!!
If this seems far out, or a load of nonsense that’s ok, but maybe give it a go anyway. Even if you don’t manifest your hearts desires (but I reckon you will!) you will certainly have a great time!
As The Buddha said…
‘You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection’
Heres to all beings easy and joyful manifestation ! xx