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Are You Listening?

Article by Lori Howes, CRT,200-RYT- Gentle Soles Reflexology

“A Man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”-Mark Twain

            As the Wellness Center Reflexologist, you might think I’d be writing something amazing about the specific healing effects of a reflexology session….and there are many. But today, as I sit here, the only thing on my mind is the damage we do to ourselves with negative self talk. Have you ever noticed how you talk to yourself? How do you treat yourself? Do you think of yourself as a unique and beautiful being?

Full disclosure? I never did. It took a long time for me to understand that my inner critic was not speaking the truth. It had been my constant companion so of course I thought it was legit. What I learned, with a lot of support, was that I was internalizing outside messages and multiplying them times a thousand. No one would have talked to me the way I talked to myself or expected from me what I expected from myself. I always thought “If I only try harder”… until a friend finally said, “Why don’t you try a little softer?” Great advice and I took it.

            This has been a constant practice for me and part of my healing process was discovering the positive effects of healing body work. It was through my yoga mentor, many years ago, that I discovered Reflexology.  I had not experienced much body or energy work at that time and became curious. I made an appointment, mainly, because one of the descriptions I read was that reflexology deeply relaxes the whole body from head to toe. That is exactly what I needed. I hoped I’d find relief from anxiety and I did, but it also offered me an invitation to be present with myself.  I didn’t expect that.

Healing touch, whether reflexology or the any of the wonderful services we offer, provides an opportunity to get grounded in the present; to ourselves.  Along with the many other healing aspects, healing touch helps remind us of the connection between body, mind and spirit. Body and soul are inextricably bound while on this human journey.  Therefore it is just as important to fill your soul with healthy self talk as it is to fill your body with healthy food. Both body and soul need to be nurtured; one cannot feel whole and healthy when the other is starving.

There are plenty of websites detailing healthy eating but how much time do you spend finding healthy food for the soul, or the little self, inside? Perhaps we can start very simply by making room for the possibility that you are perfect the way you are right here, right now. And when I say perfect, I mean, perfectly you, with your DNA, your ailments, your quirks, your dis-ease, your age spots, your gray or thinning hair, your healthy and your failed relationships, your goals, those met and those that weren’t. All of it makes you exactly you and what isn’t great about that?!

Would you be willing to spend even an hour just noticing? You know, just paying attention to how you sound inside your head when no one is listening but you. Try it. Spend a little time today being present with how the voice inside is talking to you; your constant companion.   Is it telling you that you should be doing something, that you aren’t pretty, handsome, rich, thin, or healthy enough; that you didn’t exercise enough, that you shouldn’t have taken that path,  spent that money?  Is it constantly telling you to improve, get a plan, lose weight, cut your hair, and eat more kale? Does it constantly remind you how you used to look, what your body used to be able to do?

If so, here’s a way to “try softer”;   Every time you notice a negative thought come in about yourself, abruptly change it to a positive. Tell yourself something great about yourself. Be outrageous! Who cares, you’re the only one listening. I’m sure you have no problem criticizing yourself in epic proportion so let’s go in the other direction.

I just don’t think we spend enough time being with and accepting exactly the “UNREPEATABLE MIRACLE” we are. Can we make a little room for the possibility that we are messy humans and we actually aren’t meant to be anything but that?

Each of us has a journey to live and a story to tell.  Not one more important than another.  I continue to learn our ability to authentically connect to others is directly related to our connection with ourselves.

I don’t know if any of you have read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, but his book reaffirms one of the only things I know about life… that it is a series of experiences and adventures, some planned and some not.  We get to decide if we’ll flow with and accept them or resist. Will I accept the truth of my experience and recognize that it’s always changing? And will I give others the dignity of their own journey of experiences or will I resist, control and judge keeping both myself and those around me from opportunities for growth, depth, great pain and great joy? Every day and every experience, you get to decide.  More is always revealed. Are you listening?


“…..  And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life.” (Siddhartha, pg110).


Contact: Lori 508-685-2195
Email:  lorisurrendered@verizon.net