This post is a response to a group call I just attended with ten local massage therapists. I had the idea to organize the call because I realized that I needed to hear the voices of my community. I have been at home now, not seeing clients, not teaching students and not training instructors for the last eight days. As one person on the call put it, life has come to a screeching halt.
I was worried that a group call in a time like this could escalate quickly into an emotional drama. I was concerned that tensions might be too high for us to talk respectfully and that we all might end up taking things too personally if one person or another started to rant.
What unfolded instead was a beautifully calm and, at times completely silent phone call that had me in tears after the first fifteen minutes. Each person was given approximately one minute to say whatever they wanted about where they are with their practice and what their concerns are. Everything each one of them said touched a heaviness in my heart that I didn’t even realize I was carrying until this call.
What I realized is that I have been in shock. Since I’ve been isolated at home I have cycled through ALL of the thoughts and emotions that my peers vocalized today on our call. And today, they gave me a voice when I couldn’t find my own because I was lost in the sea of whys, ifs, hows and whens.
We identified blame, guilt, shame, anger, desperation, confusion...all of those feelings that are scary and hard and very real right now in our world. Toward the end of the call a few of us asked some questions about things like licensure renewal and continuing education extensions. The answers that did come through were vague. And then I realized we need to prepare ourselves for more vagueness and vulnerability before any solid solutions come through about what to do, other than stay home.
So I’m writing to ask you to reach out to your massage therapist friends today. At least one. Say hello, ask them how they are doing. Initiate a gentle, loving kindness that might result in each of you experiencing an unexpected moment of healing, too.