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 Pixie's Blog 
Tuesday, November 30 2010
TeapotMarsha Schermer's teapot is a constant reminder to me that life is short.  Live it now.

Marsha Schermer was an attorney for Time Warner Cable in Columbus, Ohio.  She was a beautiful smart blonde woman in her early 50s.  One summer she cleaned out her office and gave away the things she no longer wanted.  I took the teapot.

At the time, I was in my early 40s.  I can remember Marsha sharing with the other women in the office how good her 50s were.  Nothing like she thought they would be.  It's as if at 50, she knew who she was and didn't care what other people thought about her.  All the angst of the discovery years of her 20s, 30s & 40s was gone.  She was at the peak of her career.  She was beautiful and sexy still and she knew it.

Later that year (I think), Marsha and her boyfriend went on a driving vacation in New England.  They awakened early one morning to drive to the next point of interest.  As they rounded a blind curve, they were hit head-on by a drunk driver.  Marsha's boyfriend was seriously injured.  Marsha was killed instantly.

Sometimes I imagine what it must have been like for Marsha to wake up happy with someone she cared for and who cared for her, feeling relaxed and happy to be on vacation, feeling excited about what the day may bring.   What must have it been like in that moment of terror right before the crash before being rocketed into the next dimension.

We never know what lays around the next corner.  Life is short.

How do you want to live it?
Saturday, November 20 2010
Last night Nora Ephron was at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park to give a talk and sign her latest book, Things I Don't remember.

Nora is best known for her novel, Heartburn, and her screenplays for box office hits like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and Silkwood.

For an hour two friends and I listened as Nora talked about her history and craft as a writer.  She spoke without a script.  I like that.  I like when you just talk to me and tell me your story.  She told funny stories about the collaboration that took place to create the orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally.  She shared that she wasn't prepared for growing old.  In her book, I Remember Nothing, she tries to tell her truth about aging.

After Nora talked, there was a question & answer session.  She displayed the same understated quick wit in her impromptu answers as she does in her screen plays.  One person stood and said, "I have a compliment, a question, and a suggestion." 

Nora replied, "Please don't tell me to cut my bangs."

Another person asked, "What do you read?"

She answered, "I read a hug amount.  This is a way to avoid writing.  I even read the first chapter of George Bush's book . . . . I don't recommend it.  My book was called I Remember Nothing and George Bush's book could be called I Remember Nothing.
Thursday, November 18 2010
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I decided to try hot yoga.  After hearing my friend's enthusiastic tales of her friends' losing weight, being fit and having amazing skin, I thought it might be something I would like.  I don't need to lose weight, be more fit or have better skin but I would like to be more flexible.  Playing soccer is not conducive to flexibility.

We decided to try Bikram Yoga in Bellevue because they offered a week's worth of hot yoga for $20.00.  I carefully read the instructions for First Timers that discussed when to arrive, what to wear, to hydrate and to not leave the room if you're feeling light headed or nauseous.  The "light headed or nauseous" part made me a little nervous.

The facility is nice really; set in an office park off of 120th street in Bellevue near my beloved Whole Foods.  It's nicely decorated with a welcome desk where you're greeted and given an intake form to fill out.  If you don't have your own mat or towel, you can rent one.  There is a peculiar smell as you walk in the door.  It wasn't until later I recognized it as the faint, deodorized smell of sweaty bodies & equipment.

There's nothing like torturing your body in a room heated to 105 degrees with 50% humidity.  As newcomers we were encouraged to be toward the back of the room so we could clearly view the more experienced students in the front.  For 90 minutes (yes! 90 minutes), the instructor quickly went through a series of 26 poses, each of them held for 90 seconds.

With sweat dripping from every pore of my body, I did my best to twist myself into a pretzel, hold the pose for the required time and not bolt from the room.  It was a humbling experience.   I could not do many of the poses either from lack of flexibility or from the ACL reconstruction on my left knee.  For every pose that I could not do, I gratefully sat quietly

There were long moments when my mind screamed, "WHAT AM I DOING HERE????!!!!"  And other moments when I thought, "Am I going to die?"  Followed by, "No one ever died from doing yoga.  No one ever died from doing yoga . . . "

At the end of 90 minutes my friend and I changed our clothes, got in my car, and drove silently back to her apartment.  My brain felt numb.  We usually talk the entire time we're together, but after hot yoga we were speechless.  It took a shower and food to jump start my brain back into speech.

When I compared the pros and cons of the experience, the only pro that I could find is that my skin did, indeed, look amazing from the sweating and the heat.  When I shared that with someone, he said, "Go to a sauna!" 

I can see where hot yoga can be really beneficial for:
  • arthritis
  • fibromyalgia
  • increasing flexibility
  • sweating out toxins
  • losing weight
  • providing a challenging workout
  • improving concentration
  • boosting your immune system
  • disciplining your mind into controlling your body
 I kept promising myself that I would try it 2-3 more times before I gave up but that day hasn't come yet.  Until then, I'll just have to settle for the sauna.
Wednesday, November 17 2010
"You are not a helpless victim of your body," has been the theme recently with my massage therapy and coaching clients.

Time and time again clients appear with muscle tension running down their necks, across the tops of their shoulders and into the middle of their backs.  If they don't find relief from that tension, they also suffer from headaches.

While some therapists use deep tissue massage to work out the knots, I prefer to use a combination of both massage and mind/body therapy to help relieve muscle tension.  While I manually, mechanically work on the muscle from the outside, the client focuses mentally to relax the muscle from the inside.

There are people who immediately grasp the idea.  There are those who reject it entirely.

I teach that it doesn't take all that much effort to mentally relax a muscle.  It takes focus and thought.  The thought could be as simple as, "I'm relaxing my shoulder."  I have actually felt the muscle twitch or relax beneath my hand when the client begins thinking about relaxing!  Not only does that internal thought and focus enhance the effect of the massage, it also gives the client a feeling of empowerment, being in control of her body -  if she wants it.  

Believe it or not, there are those who don't want.
Tuesday, November 09 2010
Have you ever found yourself in an argument, scrambling to defend yourself?  And then the harder you defend your position, the more ground you lose?  There are three powerful phrases that you can use to counter the attack and diffuse the argument.

OKAY.  Saying "okay" to something is not agreement.  It's not saying, "Yes, you're right, I'm totally inept and should have done what you wanted."  Okay is simply an acknowledgment that you've heard what was said.  If someone continues to argue his position and you continue to say "okay," eventually the energy of the conflict will fizzle out. 

YOU MAY BE RIGHT.
  Saying "you may be right" is not agreement either.  The unspoken finish to that sentences is "and you may be wrong."  "You may be right" is just another acknowledgment.  It reminds of a standard answer used in the legal world when answering questions in writing:  "Defendant neither admits or denies the allegations as set forth in the Complaint."

THANKS FOR SHARING THAT WITH ME.
  Again, "thanks for sharing that with me" says that you've heard the opinion that the other person has felt compelled to share. 

The key to using any one of these phrases is to repeat them.  Do not go beyond them.  Don't add any extra words.  Looking for an argument is like fishing.  A good fisherman knows the type of fish he wants to catch.  He knows what kind of bait the fish likes to bite on.  He know that if the first bait he throws into the water doesn't work that he can change the bait.  Good fisherman change the bait on the hook until he finds something the fish will bite.  

If you go beyond those simple phrases, you're hooked and you will find yourself being reeled into a conflict that you want to avoid.
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PIXIE STEVENSON, LMP 
Licensed massage therapist, certified professional coach Learn more . . . 
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Massage & Mind/Body Therapy

Pixie Stevenson, LMP - Enigma Wellness

Locations in Kahala and near Kapiolani Park
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816
Phone:  808-859-8088
Email:  info@enigmawellness.com