Mothering Your Beautiful Self

For Mother’s Day this year we are encouraging self-love. Mothering Yourself Day, if you will.  This may sound really cheesy, but we believe what the world needs is more people who love themselves.  Believe it or not, when you love yourself you are changing the world. Think about this, how do you treat others in your mind when you are being hard on yourself?  And how do you treat people differently when you are being kind to yourself?  There is a shift, right?  You affect the world around you every day whether you realize it or not.  Trust me, the world knows when your smile is authentic and when it’s not so don’t think you are fooling anybody.

This Mother’s Day, we invite you to join us in our mission of self-mothering.  Here are some suggestions to get you started.  Carve out a moment to slow down to check in with yourself?   Find a quiet place where you can look inward and ask: “What do you need right now?”  Wait to see what comes.  “What can I do for you that would make you feel loved and supported?”  Let your answers come.  Write them down.  The answer could be as simple as, “I really just need a hug.”  Or perhaps it is something like, “I really would like a few days to myself in a beautiful place.” Or “I would really like a massage at Austin Ashiatsu.  It has been too long.”  If the answer was the last one, we have some good news!

We are open Mother’s Day this year so you can snag your appointment to be taken care of by a staff that will put your needs first.  You don’t have to be a Mom to someone else to celebrate Mother’s Day, though you could be.  You can choose to mother your own beautiful self!

 

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Finding Balance

So let’s just acknowledge that we are in a bit of an upheaval in our country right now and the journey may even get worse before it gets better.  There, it is said!  What now?  First things first, feel your feelings! This is important! Once you have had ample time to experience and express your emotions, you can begin to let go of the feelings of helplessness or insecurity and move into empowerment.  This requires a radical shift away from resistance (arguing with reality) and into acceptance for what is.  If you think about it, we are much more effective when we are willing to accept the reality of what is happening, so that we can begin to take steps in a positive direction.  Acceptance does not mean condoning or ignoring what is happening, it is simply being willing to look at life’s trials from a different perspective.  “Okay, so that happened.  Now, what can we do about it?”

It is amazing to see the recent rise in action as so many people ask themselves that question!   The world is actually waking up to unfairness by having no choice but to see it.  It is now impossible to pretend it is not happening.  Looking around, you can find many ways to be a part of a real change.   It makes no difference how large or small your efforts may be, each act of kindness creates a ripple that contributes to the wave of change.  The same goes for fear. You get to choose the ripple that will become the change you want to see.  “One individual who lives and vibrates to the energy of optimism and a willingness to be nonjudgmental of others will counterbalance the negativity of 90,000 individuals who calibrate at the lower weakening levels.”  Dr. Hawkins , ‘Power Vs. Force’.

Our message today is to Stop, Center, and then Choose the next right action.  This level of presence is essential for our actions to come from a place of love instead of fear.  Try this simple practice for finding your way back into balance:

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Close your eyes, and take a few long deep breaths.  Send love and appreciation to yourself as you breathe in and out.  Repeat for several breaths. Now extend your efforts outward by sending love and appreciation to the world.  Smile as you breathe and you won’t be able to stop the love from flowing.  Do this practice every day for 30 days and watch what happens to you and the world around you.

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Holiday Survival Tips

Yes, the holidays are already in full swing and if you tend to get through this season with love in your heart and and zero stress, then you need not read further.  This message is specifically for anyone with mixed feelings about the holidays or just plain dreads them.  We all have our lists this time of year, but this list is just for you.

Tips for finding your joy in the holiday season:

#1.  Breathe. Bringing your awareness into the breath you are taking in this very moment will bring you right back to the exact place where you can access your own true savior: the inner peace that dwells within.  Yes, it may slow you down for a minute, but it will also increase your efficiency and effectiveness for the tasks ahead.

#2.  Schedule a massage for yourself.  Our top choice for stress and tension relief is Austin Ashiatsu and we hope it is yours too.   Scheduling time for yourself amid the chaos will allow you to float through the rest of the holidays with that gorgeous and peaceful smile on your face that we all want to see.

#3.  Say “yes!” to the events that bring you joy and respectfully bow out of the ones that do not!  If you feel you must leave an event, leave as early as possible.

#4.  If you have to spend the holidays with challenging people, find and focus on the part of their personality that you can appreciate and leave the judgments under the mat at the front door (no matter how well founded they may be. )  Trust me, it will improve your experience exponentially!  

#5.  If someone gives you a gift and you don’t have one in return, think again!  Your gift will be to receive their present with warm gratitude and a big hug and sincere words of thanks!  Love is the best gift ever!  It sure beats guilt by a landslide!

#6.  Give yourself a special treat as many times as possible over the holiday season!  Big or small, choose something that makes you feel good or even great! For instance, take a break from everything and take yourself out on a special outing to your favorite spot.  If you don’t want to be alone, invite a friend!  Or treat yourself to the very thing that only you know you want and feel good about it.

You see, we want you to remember how special you truly are.  Whether or not you celebrate, or however you celebrate this time of year, give yourself a big hug from all of us.  You could even throw in a little jig if you want to get fancy!  Whatever makes you smile is exactly what we want for you!  And if calming someone else down will help make your holiday even better, here is a special on gift certificates just for that special someone on your list.

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Stress Be Gone!

running-lateLet’s talk about transforming stress into serenity!  A natural response to stress in life is to build a mental wall to block out any more input.  The wall protects us in the moment but if you look closely, the very wall we put up to protect ourselves, also blocks our access to positive input.   Without the good stuff coming in, life becomes very hard indeed.  This is often why many people live for the weekend or the next vacation – so they can let go of all the stress and let the light come streaming in.  After awhile, however, weekends don’t seem to be enough time to unwind and vacations don’t come often enough.  Sunday is spent dreading the inevitable Monday.  What then?  

Believe it or not, you are the author of your own experience.  Your judgment of the things that happen in your life dictate how you feel, respond and experience them.  Have you ever heard the saying: “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.” Ninn.  This means very simply that if you can change how you feel about the world, the world will change with you.  

One way to change how you feel, of course, is to set up a regular schedule at Austin Ashiatsu to receive the most amazing massage you can get anywhere.  You can make the most out of your sessions by letting your therapist know exactly what is going on in your life and what you want to achieve out of the session.  Perhaps you need to get some things off your chest.  Or maybe you really need to have total quiet during your session.  Perhaps you need your therapist to spend more time in the area of your body where you tend to hold most of your stress.  Whatever it is, let her know because she wants you to have the best possible experience.  

Here is another way to begin your transformation:  Create an affirmation that tells a story about what you want your experience to be.  For example, let’s say you have a very stressful work environment.  Everyone around you is stressed out.  Try this affirmation: “My job is so fulfilling.  I feel so grateful to work in an office where I can do great work and feel appreciated for all that I do.  My very presence puts my coworkers and clients at ease.”  Creating a new story about your life sends a message to your subconscious mind that actually changes how you experience the world.  Others will begin to respond to you differently because they are responding to your higher expectation.  It is pretty amazing.  

remote-working-hawaii-headerHere’s another affirmation example. Let’s say your current story is that your life is stressful and there is never enough time to get things done.  By thinking these thoughts about your life, you are actually compounding the stressful life experience.  It is like you are asking for it to be that way by affirming it in your mind over and over again.  Try this affirmation instead:  “My life is easy going and I always have time to get things done with plenty of time to spare.”  Repeating this over and over again over many days and weeks will actually create a neurological pathway that will actually change how you feel about your life!  You won’t even need to wait for a vacation to feel good because your life will begin to feel like a vacation!  And…you won’t have to buy a plane ticket just to feel good!  Amazing!

Affirmation practice

Once you have your affirmation, write it down.  Begin saying it out loud to yourself before you leave home or when you are alone in your car.  At first it will feel silly, like you are saying something that isn’t true.  This is natural.  Keep making your way through the awkward stage until you are confident enough to affirm it when speaking to others.  When someone asks you how things are going, say, “I’m good and things are going great, life is really good right now” and say it with true feeling.  When you speak your affirmation to other people, believing that it is true, they will reflect this belief back to you which will strengthen the affirmation within yourself.   

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An Antidote to Make Work Life Better

active-listening

If you want to be heard…

Everyone wants to feel heard.  Too often we are so focused on what we have to share, that we forget to listen to others.   The irony is that if no one is listening, then no one is being heard.  The only way to change this pattern is to be the one to listen first.  You will find that if you take the time to listen to others and really hear them out, they will take the time to listen to you.   Once people feel heard, they are typically more receptive about what you have to say.  One really great way to show someone that you have been listening is to find a way to rephrase what they are saying and repeat it back to them.  This is called active listening and it is a sure fire way to attract friends and get promotions.  Try it out and tell us how it worked!  We want to hear your success stories!

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The Desk Job: Part 2

In part one of “the desk job”, we discussed the common issue of upper back pain: how to treat it, and how to prevent it.   Now let’s talk about your arms, wrists and hands.   Repetitive use of a keyboard or a mouse can lead to issues in the hands, including: discomfort, pain, weakness, stiffness, numbness or tingling.   One of the main reasons is the constant contraction of the muscles in the forearm as you work at your computer.  The same process of fascia build-up that happens in your back also occurs in the forearms.  Your body’s natural response to muscles in constant contraction is to wrap them in connective tissue (fascia) to hold them in place.  Unfortunately, as the muscles of the forearm are wrapped up in this way, blood flow to the hands is significantly reduced and many of the issues listed above ensue.  There are many ways you can counter the effects of long hours at a keyboard thus preventing dysfunction.

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First: Forearm stretches.  Before you begin your day at the computer and throughout the day, extend your right arm forward with palm facing down.  Pull your right hand down and back toward your body using the left hand and hold for 15-30 seconds.  Then, keeping the right arm extended, flip the palm face up.  With the left hand, pull the fingers and hand down and toward your body, holding for 15 to 30 seconds.  Then use the other hand to repeat with the other arm.  You can also use the opposite hand to assist in rolling the hand slowly around the wrist.

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Here’s an instructional video we like!

Second: The cold to hot forearm plunge.  This home treatment is designed to drastically increase blood circulation in the forearms.  It is especially effective after the myofascia has been released with an ashiatsu forearm treatment.  Using a double sink, fill the first sink with cold water and the second with hot water from the faucet. The water is a safe temperature if it is no warmer than 112 degrees F. You can do one forearm at a time, or both at the same time if your sinks are large enough. Begin by submerging your right forearm into the cold water and holding it there for 15 to 20 seconds.  When your forearm begins to ache a little bit from the cold then it is time to switch and submerge in the hot water sink and leave submerged for 30-45 seconds.  When your forearm begins to heat up and feel the slightest bit uncomfortable you will know that it is time to pull out. Repeat with the other forearm if you were doing one arm at a time. Repeat the process for 3 rounds making sure to start with cold and end the treatment with heat.  The reason for this order is the cold dip is forcing the blood to evacuate the area and the hot water is forcing fresh blood back into the area.  The result is healthy blood-flow through the forearms and hands.

Third:  The Ashiatsu Forearm Flush. If you are already experiencing any of the symptoms of fascia build up listed above or if you feel like you spend long hours at the computer, request this special forearm treatment at your next session!

 

 

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Walking Meditation Practice

shutterstock_223725967I have always been enamored with watching elderly women and men on their walks through our neighborhood. I just knew there was some wisdom in the smiles on their faces, as they would walk slowly admiring the trees and greeting everyone who passed with a genuine hello.  I always felt like they knew something that I did not know yet.   One beautiful fall day, I set out to discover what I was missing out on.  I starting taking walks and mimicking the behavior of my elders.  What I noticed was that all of my senses seemed to come to life.  I was keenly aware of the different sounds of the birds, the colors of the leaves in the trees, the gentle breeze blowing through my hair and on and on.  The biggest thing that I noticed, however, was the level of peace that I felt from simply being fully present in the moment with my surroundings.  It felt so good just taking the time to smile and say hello to everyone whose path I crossed.  I am certain that there is more to gain from the wisdom of those who have lived more years than I have, but I feel really blessed to have experienced that one little secret.  If mindfulness walks are not a part of your daily routine, I encourage you to give it a try and see how many things you can notice along the way.  I’m confident you will notice a shift in your level of peace.

Cathy

 

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Chakra Balancing

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This high vibrational treatment empowers you to shine from the inside out.  We use sounds, scents, vibrations (e.g., tuning forks), and energy work to induce a meditative state, activating your right brain consciousness and putting you in touch with your own limitless potential.  If you have had difficulty achieving this higher state of awareness through your own meditation practice, this treatment is a way you can experience what all the fuss is about.  But, you may ask, what is the point of all this energy and chakra balancing?  Here it is:  You see, the truth about you,  is that you have within you the potential for a miraculous life no matter your circumstances.  The only thing in your way in any given moment, are the self-limiting thoughts in your head that are going non-stop from the second you open your eyes in the morning until you fall asleep at night.  Quiet the thoughts in your head and you are only left with the beautiful raw you which is infinite potential.  Our approach to raising your vibration, accessing your creative, emotional consciousness, helping you experience and clear away negative energy, is a means of actively quieting your thoughts, leaving you with you. This service is something that you can add on to your 60, 90, or 120 minute ashiatsu massage session.  We also offer a free add-on of chakra balancing for your birthday.  If it sounds interesting, give it a try.

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The After Glow

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“One of the greatest rewards of being a receptionist at Austin Ashiatsu is that I get to see the miraculous transformation that has occurred as a result of what we do.  You come out of that treatment room looking amazing!  Sometimes, I even have to do a double take.” – Mary Streepy.

Showing up to be you every single day can be tough.  And yet, the world demands that you keep coming back for another round again and again.  Why?  Because no one else can be you as well as you can.  It can be too much at times.  However, we know that underneath all of the stress and tension weighing you down is the bright and shining YOU the world needs.   We believe when you succeed at being who you are capable of being, the world wins.  We are committed to doing our part to clear away the stress and tension so you are free to be the best version of yourself in everything you do.  Whenever we see the relief and lightness in you after a session, we feel successful in our mission.   Thank you for all that you do everyday.  And thank you for letting us help you get it done!

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Getting to know the team at Austin Ashiatsu: Sarah Wendtlandt

Introducing Sarah Wendtlandt!

SarahWhen Sarah isn’t using her feet to do Ashiatsu Massage she is dancing with the local Hungarian performance folkdance group, Csardas.  She is one of the newest members of the group and even though she has danced her entire life, she is having fun being challenged by currently learning four new dances from different regions in Hungary.  One of them  requires not only her feet but her head as the women balance large wine bottles on their heads for the entire six-minute dance!

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