Massage and Total Wellness- Cathy Speaks Lewis

I have a “frozen shoulder”, and it’s not just because I’m in the middle of a Colorado winter. Unfortunately, for whatever reason I wound up with pain and limited motion. Of course, with my job, limited motion isn’t really an option. So, off to physical therapy I go, and I’ve also been visiting my friend, Cathy, at BodySpeaks Massage. She’s no run-of-the-mill massage therapist. This gal has some serious skills and training in various areas– and with my condition I wouldn’t dare let anyone else touch me!

Talking to Cathy, I’ve realized that our professions are quite intertwined. People often come to me because something has happened that’s derailed their lives: emotionally or physically. They are looking for permission to let go. Looking for relief. Looking to set things right again. People see Cathy for the same things. She’s able to work with the body and mind to help repair them and sometimes put them back in sync. At BodySpeaks, she even does “Trauma Touch Therapy”. Although the concept is difficult to understand with words, I’d argue that everything she does includes trauma touch therapy– last time I received a massage, I was surprised as I stood up to get dressed and tears came to my eyes and one small, quick sobb to my chest. Although I hadn’t fully realized it, this ailment has been wearing away at me along with some other stresses and it felt good to let it go. I’m not usually emotional, so massage is a good way to release some things. I asked her to explain, which I will include below, but before I turn it over to her, I want to include the link to her site in case you’d like to experience this instead of just reading about it.

https://bodyspeaks.massagetherapy.com/

And now, Cathy!

So what is it that you do?

So often when I try to explain that I do so much more than massage, this is the question with which I am presented.
Well, here goes a try. You can book a 30, 60, 90, or 120 minute session, with each session I include a 15 minute grace period. I do this because our work can vary for what your body needs that particular day. I discourage tips as I consider myself a health care professional. Your gratitude is the best gratuity!

I use a variety of bodywork modalities to assist you along your healing journey. Swedish massage is my favorite modality for relaxing and rejuvenating the whole body. Deep tissue or neuromuscular therapy can be used to assist with releasing tight muscles and fascia. I use manual lymphatic drainage to gently move buildup of excess lymph and edema. Cranial Sacral Therapy is used to calm and realign the central nervous system and address restrictions in the body. We can choose reflexology to support and balance all of the structures and organs in the body through a relaxing massage of the feet and hands. Trauma Touch TherapyTM is a wonderful modality that addresses trauma in the body in a safe and comfortable way. I also have specialized training to work with medically frail clients and clients in all stages of cancer and most chronic health disorders. You can even add aromatherapy, energy work, hot/cold stone therapy, or Bach Flower EssencesTM to your session upon request. I use these techniques alone and in combination to personalize your session every time.
It’s so much more than massage. You get all of my advanced training along with my nurturing and caring touch. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

What is Truma Touch therapy?

Trauma Touch is an innate, simple, organic therapy that allows a client to fully experience sensation, and the accompanying emotions and thoughts, while being completely present. Although the therapy is simple and innate, it is something that has been lost to many people due to the traumas we endure. When a trauma is endured the mind and body will tend to separate, split, or fragment in order to protect the individual from feeling the full impact of the trauma. This is by design a safety mechanism however it can become the default rather than only happening when needed. Having clients practice sensing into their bodies while remaining present gives them access to putting the mind and body back together, to fully feeling and sensing. This in turn has the client take ownership of their bodies and minds, and give access to a richer human experience.

How do we actually do that? That one is harder to explain in my opinion. First we establish boundaries, a sense of safety, and a sense of connection. The work can’t progress without at least a semblance of these things. Next we begin to explore sensation while keeping the client present, in the here and now. We practice this in many ways, those are the tools we use such as breath, movement, touch, art, etc. Through practice the client becomes more comfortable with being in their bodies, truly listening to their bodies. Although this sounds incredibly simple, it is not. It is a leap of faith that the pain experienced before will not happen again, that inevitably they will survive allowing themselves to feel/sense. Once this begins to happen then we can explore areas of the body that need attention and see what they need. We can also then rely on the body as a deep source of wisdom and a connection to know what โ€œfeelsโ€ right for our lives. Clients begin to inquire on their own, where is that in the body, where do I feel that? Then they can move to, does this feel right in my body? Or what does my body need? The answers usually become quite clear. Often insights about why or how these struggles have impacted us also show up. This can help us with having a voice to communicate those feelings and sensations and what we need and want from others.

The most difficult, and yet one of the best, parts of the work is it’s organic nature. There is no ABC or 123 to this work. There are things we must do such as establishing relationship, and tracking clients and ourselves to maintain presence, but beyond those things we are listening to the body. We are watching for the clues it gives us to where it wants to go. We are seeing what tools fit this particular client best, always remaining open to their ideas. We are continuously getting out of our own way, letting go of agenda and ego. It is humbling beyond belief. It is also the most rewarding work I have ever done.

If by now you’re convinced, get in contact with Cathy today! She’s conveniently located in the heart of Denver. Thanks for sharing, Cathy ๐Ÿ™‚

Coffee + Client= LOVE

This isn’t just any cup of coffee. See that tag? My client made it for me and it’s one item we don’t get rid of. In many ways, they’re family, and after every organizing session, my coffee tag goes back in the cupboard for next time.

This is the second time I’m organizing this entire home, as the floors are being replaced and everything shuffled. I know every inch of it after working here over time, but more importantly I know the hearts inside and they know mine. You see, the work I do isn’t about “the stuff.” That’s just what leads people to call me. But it’s the souls I enjoy working with.

Clients often admit that they’re worried at first that they’ll be judged for their dirt. But as today’s client mentioned, I don’t judge as I’m there to help them make their own decisions.

Oftentimes, I’m a sounding board for issues. Many times I’m asked for advice on topics totally unrelated to organizing. Sometimes, people just need someone…there. There while they let go of an ex or a family member. There when they get excited about a system. There to help them organize for a new job, a new school, a new adventure.

And so to my clients: I love you! Thanks for the deep talks, the new viewpoints of the world, the laughs–for sharing yourselves. Thanks for the coffee โค

Procrastination

Maybe it took me a month to get around to writing this article…I’ll tell you later.

My nose is so often to the grindstone, it’s amazing that I have one left. Usually, if there’s a project to be done, I don’t like it hanging over my head so I’ll pound away at it, even if I have to stay up thru the night to complete it.

But there’s a few things I just don’t like to do. Just. Don’t. One of those things is the quarterly taxes I’m required to turn in since I own my own business. I don’t actually mind paying taxes and it’s not a hard task. Nope. It’s the paperwork. I hate paperwork. Although the funny thing is that I do it all electronically and it still feels like paperwork.

What’s the fix? Try these two ways:

  1. Suck it up and do it immediately. You’ll feel so much relief! This is what I do with most things. One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain reads: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Basically, get it over with!
  2. Prepare yourself ahead of time, and actually work procrastination into your schedule. So for my taxes, I put a reminder to do them a couple of weeks before I actually need to do them. This gives me time to put it off while I mentally prepare for it, keeping it in the back of my mind. When I finally do it, I feel so good that I wonder why I didn’t try approach #1. But I feel I just can’t so this is the way I deal, haha!

Finally, did it take me a month to write this article? No! I love blogging about organization. In fact, it’s what I do sometimes to procrastinate a little from other tasks and take my mind off of things. To get centered while still being productive. And that’s my final tip: find something you enjoy that’s productive so you can revert to that instead of wasting time when the current tasks at hand seem unappealing.

So whatever you’ve been putting off, quick and do it NOW! Or later ๐Ÿ˜‰

To My ONE Reader from Ireland! :)

Some might not know that when you have a website, it gives you data in the back door. With one click I can see how many readers I’ve had that day, where they come from, etc.

I’ve been fortunate to have readers from all over the world. But something I have found interesting is that I always just have one hit from Ireland, and I’m assuming I have a loyal reader there!

And so, friend, if you’re reading, I’d love to know about you ๐Ÿ™‚ Is organizing popular there? What’s the biggest challenge? You can feel free to contact me thru the Contact tab on this site, or my Facebook page: facebook.com/simplysarahorganizing

Happy tidying!

One Thing Organizers Find in Every House

You’d be surprised…

Long passed away pets, old love letters, and unmentionables, which is why I won’t mention them. Organizers get up close and personal, and we see a lot of things. Pretty much nothing phases us. Unlike a magazine page or Pinterest pin, you actually live in your home and there is evidence of that. We’re all mostly the same and you are totally not being judged in any way.

However, there is something that I come across repeatedly and I want to address it: organizing and/or cleaning supplies. Storage bins and baskets of all sizes, printed out materials about organizing, cleaning liquids of all kinds– often unused or still in packages. One realistic client joked to me as we kept finding these items, “Don’t you love seeing our pitiful attempts at organization?” Again, I don’t judge.

I see these items as a realization that something needed to be done about the mess. However, it also reveals a bigger issue. The thinking that an organizational system or program alone will fix the problem.

For organizational systems to work, there are two other parts that need to be in place.

  1. A reasonable amount of items. You must first edit your clutter. Just buying containers to corral it in new and fancy ways won’t cut it.
  2. Implementation. Let’s face it, these products don’t use themselves. Sometimes you need an organizer to motivate you to tidy up and keep you on track. (Click this to see Why You Need an Organizer!)

My client last night had a binder full with an organizing program she had purchased…we found it underneath the mountain of stuff on her desk. But good for her! She realized she needed help to get the ball rolling and contacted me, and together we had tackled that mess in no time. We recruit professionals of all kinds for their various specialties– maybe an organizer should be your next call!

(PS BONUS! One other thing we always find is a serious overage of pens and pencils. We accept this as a fact of life. I don’t know where they come from exactly but they multiply like bunnies! Don’t worry, everyone has this problem.)

Tiny Traditions & Big Love

We call him “The Tiny Santa”. I’ve always loved miniatures. And I suppose that’s fortunate since I don’t have much room and keep very little. Very little, in this case– we’re only talking millimeters, in fact.

IMG_20181206_212537795.jpg

Can you see him?

I can’t remember where I first found The Tiny Santa, but I do know I used him as a gift in an Advent calendar box some years ago. Most of the other trinkets are long gone but Santa has been with us for years now. When we put up the tree, the first to come across him among the decorations will hang him on a not-too-obvious branch. His small stature makes him awfully difficult to find, and sometimes it takes days. Once discovered, he is then rehidden by the finder, and the game continues through the season.

When the time comes to take the tree down, he is tucked away in a Ziploc bag labeled Tiny Santa so that he won’t be forever lost. There he waits to play hide and seek again the next year.

Although the usual Santa is seen bringing huge bundles of toys, this one knows his gift is in his smallness. He knows that Christmas joy doesn’t necessarily come from excess. And he knows that tiny traditions, looked forward to year after year, add up to a big love.

Merry Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

My Heart to Yours: What Makes This Job so Satisfying

thank-you-1238361-639x504It’s always a pleasure to get good feedback. After all,ย  who doesn’t like a compliment? But the excitement for this job runs deeper than that. An organizer isn’t just aiming to pitch your belongings and call it a day. This work is life-changing. It de-stresses. It frees people to spend time doing more important things, like enjoying their families.ย  It makes homes tick in a sweet clock like cadence.

Recently, I completed a particularly satisfying job which likely brought as much joy to me as it did to the homeowner. When we were finished, all we could do was sit back with our hands behind out heads and sigh happily over the simplicity around us. The resident children went from room to room, oooing and aaahhhing and exclaiming how much cleaner everything was.

Then, the other day the following feedback showed up in my inbox from the said homeowner and I was overwhelmed. It reminded me that this is so much more than a job: Organizers forge friendships,we bring freedom. Sometimes we hold hands, sometimes we help you move towards your future, and always we aim to improve your quality of life. I’m thankful to this artist, author, and mother who allowed me into her home and invited me to be a part of her family for a little while. Read and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

“I’m still in shock.

Sarah came to help me with my upstairs and it was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t handle it myself. I’d see the disaster up there and just turn and walk away because my mind couldn’t wrap around the mess โ€“ I couldn’t seem to make myself try. I felt like I was drowning in toys, trash, artwork, broken crayons, and other junk. Even if I could have gotten started digging into the mess, there was nowhere for it to go. It had spread from the main area upstairs into the three kids’ bedrooms and even through the large loft.
Sarah came in for the initial meeting and had such a calming presence. She looked around, formulated a plan, and for the first time I felt like I might be able to gain control in my house again. She gave me some simple homework โ€“ an easy task to work on until the actual cleaning day.
Once the day we’d set arrived, the real magic began. Time flew as we dug through the deep mess and somehow, every time I blinked, there would be more and more order. We filled three large cans with trash and then some, and filled two cars with donations. Still, I didn’t feel like I was losing anything. Somehow she managed to take everything I cared about and give everything a home. I didn’t lose anything โ€“ only gained. She did the real organizing work โ€“ I just helped.
The work spread into the three kids’ bedrooms and the large loft area โ€“ all disasters before, all neat and organized now. We now have the three bedrooms, a playroom, and an art room. Sarah developed a maintenance plan after everything was organized and neat and emailed it to me the next day. It keeps me on track so I don’t slip back into messy habits. Everything is easy to maintain, even for my four small kids. I can ask them to clean up and it actually happens โ€“ everything goes back where it belongs and nothing is lost.
It’s been truly amazing and my home life is already better for it. The kids’ creativity with play has just exploded now that they can access things and keep them neat on their own, and I actually feel light and happy when I go upstairs, rather than being smothered by a mess I couldn’t mentally handle before. I also feel more prepared to deal with everything else in my home now that she cleared and organized the worst of it โ€“ I feel like I know how to tackle things on my own now. Sarah’s work here changed so much for the better, even me. I am truly grateful to her and all she’s done โ€“ I couldn’t have done this without her.”