The End ~ 2020

For many, the end of 2020 is what they have been looking forward to for the last nine months. It’s been that long since the world shut down in March 2020. What exactly did COVID-19 give birth to around the world? Many wonderful things if you were fortunate enough to be on the COVID-free side of life. 

We all know the planet benefited from less carbon emissions. The oceans, lakes, and canals all cleared up. Mother Earth had a slight break from the onslaught of humankind. The Pause helped all of us to take a breath and reassess what was important to us. And tonight, at the stroke of midnight, a NEW year will come to pass.

Watching the celebration worldwide it looked very different except in New Zealand. Being COVID free, the Kiwi’s celebrated how we used to do, mask-free and gathered together. The needle in Auckland was blazing with fireworks. People were smiling, and you could see their faces which was a welcome sight.

Australia always draws my attention. Actually being in Sydney in 2016 AND walking on top of the Harbor Bridge in January 2017 made the activities of the new year celebration apparent with remnants of the fireworks sitting in boxes where they exploded from above, on and surrounding the Iron Lung. For 2021, Australia’s audience was mostly secured in boats floating in the harbor with only a handful of people witnessing the golden waterfall cascading from the bridge to end a magnificent fireworks display. It sure did Light Up The World

Bangkok touted Building A Bright Future as massive amounts of explosives filled the sky, while Taiwan focused on Love as its theme. In Dubai, the highest building was a mix of colors, pictures, and messages. Do Not Be Concerned floated on the glass as fire sparked from the magnificent tower. 

It’s clear, 2020 will go down in the record book. 2021 will be welcomed in with OPEN ARMS with the hope that we can once again come together in celebration. Cheers to a Healthy, Wealthy New Year. Be well… Nancy T

What’s in a number?

What’s in a number? Truth is, A LOT! I say that in the year 2020. It’s been quite a year for the entire world. 

There was number joke going around. “What’s the worse number ever? #13? 666? 2020 looked at those two and said, Bitches please!”

One of the things that I liked about 2020 : It was a year of inner reflection. What’s most important rose to the surface. For me, it placed me in the heart of the moment. I’m a planner. Yet, with every plan in 2020 I added the caveat, “That’s the plan this moment. It may be totally different in a minute.”

In 2020, most of my plans worked quite well. Travel happened pre-COVID-19. I shared valuable time with my island family. The Caribbean filled my spirit as it does each and every time I am there. Being surrounded by the sea on my little piece of paradise is truly a gift.

Bryce Canyon in March was magical. With snow falling on our first day of exploring the Hoodoos, we mucked through the mud to visit the Queen. Dark wispy clouds brought a certain mysticism to the day. Sheltered from the snow under a tree, a PBJ filled our bellies as the sights enlivened our souls. A long walk from Bryce Point to Sunset Point provided a trek in the snow, then mud as the sun warmed the earth. The scenes opened up around every turn giving us pause as gratitude poured through our veins.  

I have so much gratitude for the relative ease of family members who have been infected by COVID-19 and came through it without too much difficulty. All expressed their appreciation for their sense of smell and taste post-Covid-19. Given time, life became better as flavors registered on their palate once again. A sweet gift in 2020. 

A great internal debate ensued over going back home to see family and friends. In our desire to be with those we love, were we part of the problem? Some would say YES! I have to say, that was the greatest gift in 2020. To have time with those we love most AND to return home safe and sound. Couldn’t ask for anything more! 

This year the holidays were supposed to be with family in Chicago. Instead, they will be spent safely at home in Prescott, enjoying nature and all the gifts my life presents. Although 2020 has bestowed extreme changes worldwide, in hindsight will 2020 be just a number? Time will tell. Be well… Nancy T

Embracing Grace

Don’t look at challenges as roadblocks, but instead speed bumps. Figure out a way to get over that speed bump as quickly as you can, and put it behind you. Think of it this way: Once that speed bump is behind you, it is in your rearview mirror, and it’s tiny compared to the windshield. If you focus on the things outside your windshield, you’re looking forward and there is so much more opportunity in front of you. Keep working, find mentors, be a sponge, and learn from the experience! ~ Sarah Thomas, first female NFL on-field official (American Massage Therapy Journal ~ 2020)

Sarah Thomas contributed some amazing things in the quote above. To be the ‘first’ in any situation may come with pressure, yet Sarah seems to have embraced that with grace. Her path was not easy and I’m fairly certain there are still challenges but she is doing what works for her which is grace in action. Sarah spoke about how she managed to keep forging ahead and who influenced her along the way. I hope that I have influenced others and that I continue to do so with every encounter. 

When I first truly felt grace in my life, it was magical. I’ve learned to be grateful for things big and small. To me, that’s especially important as we manage life with the threat of COVID-19 lurking around the world. 

In the past week, I’ve connected with many people. The holidays seem to forge bonds. Personally, I like it. Although it’s nice, I don’t feel like I have to be in the physical presence of others to feel the love we share. Perhaps because I don’t have huge expectations for the holidays, I’m not devastated by them. I’m used to my own company and I’m grateful that I like myself. I just wish everyone could take a step back and feel grace at work, that they could truly sense what they have and appreciate it all. 

Although COVID-19 and the regulations it brings feels like a roadblock in the big picture, it’s just a bump in the road. Change is difficult but it doesn’t have to be if we look ahead and stop dredging up what used to be. Personally, I focus on my health each and every day. With that secure, I can do anything. Without it, I could care less; nothing seems important. As Sarah points out, there is more opportunity ahead of us, if we learn from our experience and we embrace grace. Be well… Nancy T

Life is Beautiful

For months I have wanted to write but I kept hesitating for various reasons. I’ve decided to keep things simple and focus upon things that lift me up. That said, I hope that everyone embraces the message. I do believe that we all share similar desires although our differences pop in the press more often. 

My peace and love dance continues nightly even as the temps dip into the freezing zone. May this message touch your heart and ignite the fuse of peace and love. Keep breathing ~ that’s what keeps you present, the gift. Be well… Nancy T

Paralysis ~ In Present Time

Last Tuesday morning I was on my way to outdoor yoga when I was paralyzed. A flagman wouldn’t let me onto the main road to reach my destination. Five minutes passed and I tooted my horn. He threw up his arms as if to say, “What?” Eventually, he approached my car, informing me that it would be an additional 15 minutes before I could move. The flagman pounded hit cigarette pack and said, “You can’t go in either direction. They’ll yank me off the job.” Knowing I would miss my morning ritual, my blood was boiling. The inefficiency, the lack of communication, and the disappointment that I wouldn’t be physically moving my body, it felt like paralysis all over again. Ironically, a blog on paralysis popped into my head earlier that very morning. 

Although it bothered me, my anger response didn’t surprise me. In 1982 when I was in the hospital, truly paralyzed from the chest down, anger was my Go To. I was angry for EVERYTHING ~ including having to wait for people to do their jobs. Sometimes the inefficiency and lack of care were mind blowing. That’s what burst my bubble of tranquility Tuesday.

My thoughts of writing a blog on paralysis had nothing to do with what happened Tuesday morning but EVERYTHING plays into it. 

The Pause* that stopped the world in March 2020 continues with a trickle down of change from the norm.

The New** has arrived and not many are fans of what it has brought to light. On some level we all feel paralyzed, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. The feeling of being Locked Down or unable to move are very familiar to someone who was truly paralyzed. It’s disturbing to say the least.

Reflecting on my response Tuesday morning to something so small yet so big to me, I see how anger has led the charge as people emerge from COVID-19 paralysis to an ever changing world. Nothing is the same. 

I’d guess my “Fall From Grace” took less that a minute. In mere seconds my existence switched from fully functioning to the inability to feel my limbs and invoke a response. My recovery initially took 4 months ~ that is to be able to move in an upright position. How my body responded to the world, on the physical plane ~ that’s with me to this day, nearly 38 years later. 

The Coronavirus has paralyzed each of us to a certain degree. I for one am thrilled that the illness hasn’t darkened my doorstep, throwing a monkey wrench into my life. At times, it has caused some mental and emotional paralysis. I diligently put forth effort to find balance.

I have the gift of travel in my life ~ paralyzed now. Uncertainty keeps me home. 

I have the gift of a great family and amazing friends ~ paralyzed now. Lack of face to face encounters and physical distance keeps all of us at bay.

I have all of my basic needs met. Yet paralysis enters now. What I can’t do comes to mind and I experience those unpleasant feelings, reminding myself of the abundance and grace in my life. 

I have great LOVE in my life. Paralyzed now. Emotionally I get lost and distance keeps me from fulfilling my emotional needs. 

All this and I know I am a fortunate one. In 1982, physical paralysis entered my life. Since then, I’ve noticed how paralysis comes in many forms and it hits us on countless levels. When we emerge from it, nothing is normal, EVERYTHING has changed. Embracing The New**, that’s what will support us even as our dreams feel shattered. 

Humanity has a long way to go to start walking this earth again with a good stride. We are still in the wobbly faze of our recovery. Yes we can stand, we can get up from a chair unassisted, we can even take some unsteady steps, but we are far from running or competing in a marathon. There are innumerable levels of healing and knowing ourselves in this ever-changing world. 

I have faith that the world will recover and be better for this experience. Initially, it will look and feel foreign to us. If we allow it, it will teach us to display more love and compassion for ourselves and for others. During my recovery, I journeyed from angry to sadness to confusion to life. At times the cycle continues, but there is also the cycle that goes; thank you, I love you, I appreciate all that you have given to me. That’s the inner mantra that has kept me in my good life for 38 years and counting. In comparison, paralysis was a blip in time. Be well… Nancy T

Please refer to past blogs for more on: *The Pause. ** The New.

What’s Right?

Over the past several months the question of What’s Right has continually popped up. The funny thing is, there is no overall right, but what is right for you. No matter your mindset, COVID-19 has turned the world as we know it upside down. Some view this as a bad thing, perhaps clinging to the past and what is missing. Others see opportunity for change and growth, perhaps fearful but welcoming The New.*

In therapy, I witness the body going from chaos to order constantly. Whether a client comes in for a session with a new trauma or they are working with a persistent pattern that throws them out of rhythm, the body is always and forever seeking balance. It uses Divine Intelligence, chemistry, and tenacity to reach its goals. I believe that’s right. It’s also smart enough to know that change is constant.

However, people, the mind’s of people in particular, don’t follow such wisdom to do what is right. Our needs and wants get in the way of balance all the time. A simple example is the desire for a cookie. On the surface there is nothing wrong with having a cookie until you devour an entire bag. Then the body has quite a job to do. 

So how do you obtain balance in a state of chaos? One step at a time. Doing what is right for you but also considering others needs. 

The first time I went to outdoor yoga my instructor said, “Please communicate. There is plenty of space. Ask for what you need and respect each other. Don’t take things personally. Ask for grace to come. Enjoy your practice.” Her words work not just in yoga but in everyday life as well. 

So much of what is happening inside of us and around the world could be avoided through good, calm, conscious communication. There is plenty of space so we don’t need to push each other out or demand more. Asking for what we need is tough but doing so with kindness is the best for all. I have heard so many people taking things personally, like other people brought this plague on and now we are suffering. Or someone said something and they feel hurt or pushed away. Grace is perfection at the deepest level. To ask for what is right is to feel grace enter and follow that energy. Life is a practice to enjoy… to be IN JOY. It’s not something that is set in stone and followed diligently. In Polarity Therapy, we call it the River of Life. Just like water, it flows, it forces its way through a blockage or it trickles to find its way to the lower point, the Earth. That grounds us to be present in life.

As children our faces lit up with presents. In adulthood, presence is sometimes a struggle. In either case, it is a gift. 

What’s Right? Only you can truly answer! Consider coming from a state of grace, from being present, from love. Then communicate what you need in that moment knowing it may change instantaneously. Most of all, do your best to not take things personally. Everyone is scared. Everyone is trying to make sense of the nonsense. Everyone is attempting to do What’s Right! Be well… Nancy T

  • The New: Check out my previous blog for more.

The NEW

March 20, 2020, was the last time I had contact with the real world minus my wildcard, my nurse who visited the following week. I call her my wildcard because her daughter was exposed to the first reported case of the Coronavirus in Yavapai County where I live. My nurse diligently contacted the Center For Disease Control and Infectious Disease, sitting on the phone for hours, laboring to find answers to the question, “Am I okay to see patients?” When her daughter tested negative for COVID-19, she was told that her chances of spreading the disease were as likely as anyone else. I was given the option; proceed with my infusion for Immune Deficiency or take my chances without. With five weeks since my last infusion plus major travel, I felt there was a greater risk not having my treatment and maintaining a normal immune system during a pandemic. I invited my nurse to come to my home and proceed.

In March, it felt odd and scary to go out. Of course, I had the privilege of being outside hiking daily so all was good in my world. In April, things around the planet seemed to finally settle. The NEW order was taking hold and people recognized that everyone was in the same boat; struggling with dis-ease. On May 13, 2020, the state of Arizona opened the gate and the energy shifted considerably.  When the gate swung open, it was as if nothing was wrong, there was NO virus, we were back to normal. Watching the numbers climb on a daily basis in Arizona I know how wrong people were then and how it is affecting us now. 

I have heard so many people say, “I’m done with this,” I think done with what? The threat to your health, your life is still very real. “I just want things to go back to normal.” There is no normal. If you haven’t taken that away from the last few months you are living in a fantasy world. “We need the economy back.” True, but at what cost? We know that if we jump back in too quickly all of the progress made will be lost and it will take more to recover. Presently, the USA is accountable for 1/4 of the COVID-19 cases and the numbers are still climbing. A real shame and a great loss!

So here we are sitting with The NEW… normal, hardly! I like the phrase ~The New ~ because it sums things up. Normal, the thing we counted on as reliable, familiar, friendly even, is GONE! Each day is NEW. Every moment is NEW. Not a bad thing, just a NEW thing!

Every day the news feed of my mind rolls incredible stories. Some are great, some are sad, some are old, some are NEW. The thing is, all are based on my past experiences. Travel is a large part of my life. In April, I was supposed to be in NYC and Washington DC to play and be with friends I have known since I was 5 years old. Of course, the trip was canceled and I easily let it go. The New NYC ~ deserted, infected, shutdown. Even the lights on Broadway were extinguished. A location where you could always find lights blazing, traffic humming, restaurants thriving, tourists shuffling, people hustling; all quieted by dis-ease. My mind knows NYC and DC through my memories which are terrific. I have had amazing times in both places. The NEW; foreign, scary, shut in; not a place for me. Gratitude for being in nature and being fed fresh air daily, that is my reality. 

In May, the gate flies open and it feels like everything is back to normal. People in my state are out and about. I see folks gathering at the bars in Scottsdale, hanging out as if it is Spring Break. It’s packed. The only mask I see is on the face of a bouncer who is overseeing the crowd and laughing. I notice that by the lift of his mask and the creases by his eyes. Prescott follows as they open for festivals and gatherings in the town square. Even The World’s Oldest Rodeo is scheduled to launch over the July 4th weekend. Some things change, some remain the same.

Being an energy therapist, I pick up on energy daily. I feel my fire energy engage, we are ready to GO! My mind feeds me stories daily, travel is on the horizon. Each day I watch my inner screen as it projects a new place, a new destination, and I want to follow to make it a reality. 

In July, I have an to opportunity to go home to see my family in Chicago. I have a place to stay with a pool, the thing I miss most right now. But how to get there and stay well, that’s the million dollar question. From Chicago, I can stay for FREE in the Caribbean. Again, water draws me and I think of spending my days swimming in the Caribbean Sea, being with friends, enjoying my island life. How do I get there and stay well? 

As a kid I watched Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. Oh, to have the power to snap my fingers or blink my eyes and be where I long to be. Maybe someday we will transport ourselves energetically and not have to rely on planes, trains and automobiles. But for now, that is what it takes to journey beyond the borders. 

Should I stay or should I go now? Considering The NEW I have to stop myself and consider many things. I ask myself daily, “Is that the right thing to do?” Desires drive me to want things to be NORM so I can go back to my good life and travel at will, see those I love, to create new memories. But what if The NEW is a hospital visit and the journey is suffering and illness? There is nothing wrong here at home, I remind myself. I tell my brain, Yes, that was great. Thanks for the memory. There will be more but not now. I have everything I need. I know you want more. It’s all different.

If you don’t feel different from what has happened and what is happening then I’m not sure you are truly here. I have not gotten swept away by news and thoughts of others. I have noticed the energy of the planet and the people who call it HOME. I hope that they can tame their fire and settle into what is right in front of them; that is The NEW. 

Each night I continue my ritual of circling and chanting to the stars, “Peace & Love.” This is my NEW and I like to feel it is my way of helping the people of the world to heal, to be kind, to know that normal is a thing of the past and The NEW is here to stay. What you do with it is up to you. Remember, the mind is a trickster, it feeds you things that may help but it may hurt. It is up to you to follow the path that serves you, as well as others, best. At this time, there may be heavy consequences to pay for our actions. Maybe you will stay well. Maybe you will harm others. Maybe you will find better ways to be in this world. Maybe you will embrace The NEW. Be well…. Nancy T

The NEW ~ Dedicated to Raymond… thanks Daddy.

Peace & Love

By nature, I am a night person. The quiet of the night allows me to get things done without the chaos of the world disturbing my peace. 6PM is the start of my awakening, perhaps because my birth began at 6:17PM. All I can say is, life is different as the sun sets and the moon rises. 

Since March, my nightly ritual includes stepping outside to take in the stars. With COVID-19 circulating throughout the world, I’d look skyward and say, Peace and Love, Peace and Love to the world, over and over again in a 360º turn. Lacking the ability to physically touch others, I felt this was a way to reach out, to be felt and seen, to see and to feel the energy of planet Earth. The crisp mountain air seemed to push the stars closer to my view. The stars were clearly talking to me and I to them. Peace and Love coursed through my heart and extended to my limbs, filling me with the gift of Peace and Love. 

As doors opened, I had great hope that people would exit their domain with more Peace and Love. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung and the fire ignited. So, here we are. 

At first this upset me greatly. Although that still lives in me, I continue my chant Peace and Love, Peace and Love to the world! Each of us has an impact here. My nightly practice will continue, quite possibly the rest of my life. It reminds me of what serves me and deep down what serves all of humanity. It may not stop the hate, the violence, the unrest, but my incantation allows me to hold space. As a therapist, I know the importance of holding space in therapy and how most people need this more than anything else. They need to be heard AND they need to listen. They need Peace and Love. I urge you to do your part, however that looks. Be well… Nancy T

The Pause

The Pause that was felt ’round the world ~ COVID-19. As the world is OPENING its doors again, I feel the energy increase. The need to “get out” and be with people is an incredible draw. Still, I step back and ponder The Pause.

Initially, The Pause felt settling. It felt like people as a whole were able to breathe. Perhaps a strange thing to say as COVID-19 affected the lungs. In therapy, The Pause is where true healing takes place. It is scary at times to take The Pause, but it holds incredible benefits.

In trauma therapy, there comes a time when a client approaches the line in the sand. As you might guess, that is a challenge just as it is in a game of Tug of War. In the game, you are pulled and you pull back. It goes back and forth until someone is yanked over the line. For some, that may have been the response to the Coronavirus. Whether we liked it or not, we were holding a rope on one end. What I saw on one side was fear,  on the other side love and compassion. For someone in trauma, this may be how they live daily. However, when trust is established in therapy, The Pause feels like a miracle. 

I am speaking from personal and professional experience. The Pause goes like this in therapy. The client is going back and forth with an issue or trauma. The body charges ahead trying to find balance. At some point, there is The Pause. In Polarity Therapy, we call this Being. It’s not about Doing, it’s just about Being. Being is one of the greatest challenges of all. Many would rather continue the Tug of War without ever taking a breath, without ever experiencing The Pause. 

At the beginning of the “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” orders, it felt like people were happy to take a break, to breathe again. Not just to take air in, but to feel the Breath of Life, the Life Force Energy settle a bit. For some, they were unable to maintain The Pause. They needed to start DOING. Others embraced it and found gratitude for healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, and most especially, the INTERNET! For the first time in history, we connected with people we loved while an Earth-changing crisis was happening. Humans opened the door to change. 

Even with all that we have, countless ways to reach out, and SEE those we love, people still complained.

The Pause gave us an opportunity, what we did with it was as individual as we are. For me, I continued to live my good life knowing I was well, my family was well, my friends were well, my clients were well. Gosh, what else can we ask for? A chance to breathe, love, and connect. That was good for ME.

So now what? Things are shifting quickly. People are moving back into the game. Perhaps they have more of themselves to play fully, or they may have lost everything. There is much in between. What happens to The Pause? It’s my hope that more people recall the good that came from it. That they are able to process better and appreciate more. That they value their health and know that we are more connected than we ever thought possible. That they find compassion for themselves and others. That they are kind and caring. That they know The Pause and use it without the entire world having to shut down to feel it in every fiber of their being. That they know we are all here for a limited time, why not be here in LOVE? That they know…. Be well ~ Nancy T

Journaling

     To write is to release. To ME, that is! In 1989, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and I headed to Mother Nature. I was lost and my head was spinning with unpleasant thoughts. Contemplating my own demise, I felt crazed by my brother’s suicide. 

      Thankfully, extricating the words from my cells and presenting them to the physical world eased my fire and allowed me to simmer a bit. Instead of blasting full speed ahead, I was able to take a breath and see what was right in front of me. Sitting in a pile of leaves for over an hour, I became aware of the moisture under my bottom. As I furiously wrote, I felt the grain of the wood log that supported my spine. My eyes scanned the scene and I fully absorbed autumn in Illinois––the red, golden, and orange leaves. The cold wind slapped my face and shook me awake. All of this took place in an instant. Once I released my innards, I was able to experience life again. 

     For people who don’t use journaling as a release tool or a place of peace, this may seem impossible. How could writing what you feel bring you back to life? The answer is simple; once you feel and cellularly experience what you are hearing in your head, it is like letting the air out of a balloon. It falls back to Earth and feels the ground beneath it. 

     I have encountered many people who are resistant to journaling or even writing a letter to someone who is dead or alive. They state plenty of reasons as to why they can’t or won’t write. But, when I look into their eyes I see the emotion longing to be released in the tears that form in their visual center. Fear keeps it right there as the water is reabsorbed by the system or simply wiped away. The funny thing is, they are afraid of what they already know about themselves––that they feel loss. 

     When my brother Ronny died, the incredible loss that I felt consumed me. The “all-powerful” in me felt that “I” should have stopped him from taking his life. What I learned through journaling, and later, using my journals to write a book*, is that it wasn’t about him; IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME!

     Journaling showed me that I feel deeply. I take things personally because everything in my life is PERSONAL; for I am the person taking it all in. Journaling provided a space to find more of me. It opened my heart, first to me, and then to the world. This was not an easy task. Initially, I grieved the words that I released to the masses through my book. But once I took some time for myself––taking countless breaths, walks, swims, etc., I was able to let things go. My words were not just meant for me, they are there for everyone. People may absorb them fully, partially or not at all. That is not the point. Words are meant to be spoken. 

     I never thought that I would share my journals. Prior to 1998, I didn’t even re-read my own words. However, as I did, I found more pieces of myself. I discovered that what I feared was not nearly as big as it appeared inside of me. The greatest gift came when I recognized that the record playing in my head could change its tune. That’s the most amazing thing that journaling hands to me on a silver platter each and every time I put pen to paper. I no longer have to hold all of my thoughts, words, and feelings internally. I have a way to set them free and let them fly. 

     Journaling is a GIFT––plain and simple. So, grab paper and a pen to see what comes out of you. You may be pleasantly surprised. One thing that I can guarantee––you won’t be carrying such heavy hearts. Be well… Nancy T

For further information or questions, please contact Nancy @ Bez Publications at 928-717-1251, bez@naturalmassagetherapy.com.