There’s this photo-quote going around Facebook which asks what advice you might give your younger self, in just two words. I usually take a look at these little micro self-help bits, think about it for a minute and move on. This one caught my eye, though, and I decided to share it along with my own two words. Exercises like this force us to distill the random jumble of our thoughts to their shining, diamond essence. We can extract what is truly precious and valuable and leave the rest behind. Here are my diamonds:
For as long as I can remember, my first response to most things is “No.” This changes over time, of course, but almost everything has to pass through this negative space first. This is why 12 years passed between my first interest in massage therapy and my finally going to school for it. Everything that has happened in my massage career shows me that this is my happy place, that I belong here. My only regret about this career is (and will always be) those 12 years.
Sometimes people say nice things to me, or write nice things on evaluations. Sometimes I believe these things, but not always. I am wasting time waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don’t think striving to improve always is a problem, but when I am giving someone a massage and thinking more about what I am lacking than what I am doing, I am not giving my best work. I tell my students, “Be confident in what say, even if what you say is ‘I don’t know.'” Like most advice we give out, I follow this sometimes. When I teach, I take time to coach people on grounding themselves, bringing focus to their client and what that client needs today. I need to add in focus on the therapist knowing and believing in their own skills. If we know and believe our skills, we can apply them more effectively, and know better when something is beyond our scope of practice.
What are your two words?