Do What You Love

When my body hurts I tend to recoil away from and against the pain.  This was the coping mechanism that I glommed onto at an early age.  For the huge majority of my life I felt like pain was a bad thing... the enemy to be gotten rid of and stopped at all costs.  I still struggle with living the philosophy that pain is my teacher, my body telling me something important.

It's easy for me to understand this concept when I'm not in pain, and it's a completely different story when I'm in it.  I am getting better at it, albeit slowly.  Quick back story: I've been living with chronic pain since I was 15, thanks to my dare devil adrenaline junky ways and high propensity for carving turns, going really fast and getting as much air as possible.  Although I was adept at the activities (skateboarding, skiing, surfing, bmx, motocross, etc.) I was also pushing my limits... so when I crashed I crashed hard!  The list of injuries and traumas is too long to list here, but suffice it to say that I've been paying for that fun ever since.

Lately I've been in more pain than usual.  One of the side effects is depression.  It's so interesting to me how I can go from feeling good physically and emotionally, to hurting and depressed almost instantly.  I simply haven't learned how to 'get over it' or pretend it's not affecting me.  Let's just say that this last week+ I've had a difficult time getting out of bed.

As things generally go in my life, when I most need a wake up call- BAM! -there it is.  Usually it's in the form of some kind of shining example of how blessed and fortunate I am... something to nudge me back to center and remind me to focus on what I want, not on what I don't want.  Yesterday it came into my inbox from my friend, Jeremy.  

Jeremy P. McGhee is one of the most amazing and inspirational people I know.  After a motorcycle accident he has been living with paraplegia.  He has the best, most upbeat and positive attitude and is on a serious mission.  Jeremy inspires folks to DO WHAT THEY LOVE. He sent me a link to his latest public speaking engagement.

At a recent TedX talk in San Diego Jeremy spoke to over 600 people about his experience of living his mission... doing what he loves.  He manifested an incredible crew of people to team up and support him in joining them atop Bloody Couloir, so he could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with them.  Bloody is a +12,000' peak in the backcountry of the Eastern Sierra Mountains.  Not only did he make it to his goal and eat PB&J's with his friends at the summit, Jeremy then skied down Bloody on his sit ski!

Did I mention Jeremy has no use of his legs?  

Even if you don't need inspiration, the TedX talk is great.  When you have 15 minutes check it out: click on the link below his picture. You can also find his website under my Favorites tab.  Click on Jeremy P. McGhee.

My pain didn't magically disappear, but I was able to say YES to my niece who asked me for a Watsu because she's been in pain.  This afternoon I was able to use the amazing energy of Jeremy to get out of my funk and be there for my loved one.  I've said it before and I still believe it... we're all in this together.


Jeremy P. McGhee, "Do What You Love."

Thunder Heads and Rain

I am feeling blessed yet again with the opportunity to be at Rancho la Puerta for a week of Watsu, music, guests and weather!  This week I've been honored and privileged to be able to serve an 80 year young grandmother and her collegiate granddaughter with Watsu sessions.  Grandma received first and had a profound experience, stating, "I have never experienced anything like that.  I can't comprehend it."

Her kind and sweet granddaughter arrived just before the session was complete with papaya smoothies for all of us.  Grandma was so pleased with her experience that she offered her loved one the gift of a session!  Aquatic Bodywork can be a very transformative experience.  'Erica' also very much enjoyed her treatment and we talked about the experience from both of our perspectives.

"I recently got certified in scuba diving, so I had the image of kelp flowing in the currents.  I felt like a mermaid!"  'Erica' was inquisitive and insightful, curious and observant in her conversation.  I very much enjoy doing my best to explain what is happening when I facilitate an Aquatic Bodywork session.  One thing I repeatedly state is that it's impossible to capture the essence of the experience with words... that words cannot do it justice.

During our conversation 'Erica' said, "You obviously love what you do."

This much I know is true.

Today two clients cancelled due to the thunder heads and rain.  Although I would've kept my appointment if I were receiving, I understand.  Me? I took the opportunity to be out in it.  My first Watsu experience was at Harbin Hot Springs; in Northern California, in the winter, at night, under very large drops of cold rain while being floated in very warm water... I LOVED it!  That experience changed my life, truly.  It was a sample, a quickie.  In under 5 minutes I relaxed more and my body let go more than I ever had on any massage table for an hour!  I knew this was it... profound, deeply transformative and effective Aquatic Bodywork.  

Why the pomegranate?  Because it's one of the beautiful things I see here at my office.   enJoy!

Early Opening, Poolside Pomegranate

Rancho la Home

It's funny how I'm more inclined to write while away from my San Diego base.  After several days at home after my friends and family trip to Minnetana I am back down south at my other home away from home.  Rancho la Puerta has turned into a most wonderful place for me to live and work.

When I was scrambling to get things done prior to coming here for a week, after being away for 2 weeks, I felt like I was running out of time.  I did my best to breathe through it and to stay calm and centered.  Doing my best, sometimes I actually felt calm... at times not at all. Driving here through the beautiful mountains, I realized that I was heading into the part of my life where I am most chill.

The warm smiles and happy hugs I give and receive here are indicative of the vibe I get to swirl in for a week.  Walking the grounds gives instant reconnection with the abundant nature, that is interrupted only minimally by brick pathways and tastefully designed buildings.  Our 6 acre organic garden/farm provides a bounty of amazing produce that our chefs and dining staff craft lovingly into incredible tasting and healthful meals.  Fresh seafood is picked up 45 minutes south in Ensenada.

Life is simple here... there are less demands on my time than in my 'life on the outside'.  My J.O.B. (Joy of Being- thank you Shaon Plache for that distinction!) here is to greet guests in our 96 degree warm water pool and float them.  Watsu is a relatively new offering here at the Rancho, and I love being able to be of service here.  Yesterday one of my clients shared with me upon completion of her session, "That was lovely.  I lost track of all time and space."

When not in the pool doing Watsu sessions I am free to enJoy all the Rancho has to offer.  Occasionally I will join one of the 6-8 fitness classes offered hourly.  I most often choose the Crystal Bowl Sound Healing or one of the many guest speakers' lectures/workshops.  Yesterday I got to sit at the pond and play guitar... then I joined other staff members for an evening hike up to Alex's Oak.

We gathered to send off Joe, who has been working here for 30 years!  Two different snakes greeted us on the trail... a Rosy Boa and a baby Rattler. Transformation, shedding skin.  Atop the mountain looking over the Rancho and Tecate with this group of souls randomly thrown together, I was once again struck with feeling blessed and in awe of life.  I don't know what it's like to be in one place for 30 years... but I do know what it's like to follow my heart.  Joe is following his heart and he departed with an air of confidence and contentment.

Until we meet again...

My Beautiful Office, Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico