Saturday, October 18, 2014

Massage and monkey brain

I got a massage last night, after nursing a migraine for two days. Ibuprofen hadn't helped much, so I thought that getting a massage would help me sleep better and better sleep would fix the migraine.

Lying there on the massage table, as the lady kneaded the knots on my shoulders, I remembered how much I hated my first massage, done by a blind person with firm but gentle hands.

If I wasn't stiff, I was ticklish -- which made me stiff! All my muscles were tense, so the massage hurt like hell. The masseuse kept asking me if everything was okay, and I lied and said yes because I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

The massage after that wasn't any better. I still couldn't relax, perhaps because I was expected to, and when it became painful, I wondered if there was something wrong with me that I couldn't appreciate what many people loved.

Was there something wrong with my body? Were my muscles incapable of relaxing? Did I have a super low tolerance for pain?

A few more massages later, one that involved hot volcanic stones on my back and another that had me bathing in milk, I learned to tell the masseuse how much pressure I wanted. I learned to tell her when to press harder and when to stop. Most importantly, I learned to shut my brain up.

Last night was all about stopping and shutting up.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Not perfection

I watched The Equalizer last week. It was a fun movie, like Taken fun. I'd been overthinking a lot of things lately, so I welcomed every bit of onscreen violence as that day's catharsis. I was only after escape, but a line, one I'm sure I'd heard many times before, stayed with me: Progress, not perfection.

I've been feeling quite paralyzed lately. It comes and it goes, and the intensity varies, but there it is: I've been finding it difficult to make steps forward.

Perhaps it's because I haven't been doing what I want and creating things I love. And because I've put it off for so long, I have somehow convinced myself that when I do it, it has to be perfect to be worth the time I wasted.

Crazy, right?

Progress, not perfection. I have to remember.