Go. Do. Be.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” ― John Wesley

WATCH THIS WHILE YOU READ! (thanks to my friend and coach SHEA PETAJA)

Raise your hand if you want to help but you aren’t sure where to start?

I ask myself this frequently. Sometimes I get stuck chasing my tail, spinning around in circles trying to think it all through. I know help is needed but I’m not always sure how to respond to the needs– given that such great needs exist. I am only me. What can I do?

This morning I called my mom and asked her to meet me at the green houses at Grow Benzie to help me pick the remaining produce, to wash and package up to send with my super human(itarian) husband, who is driving out to Standing Rock with supplies and to have Thanksgiving Dinner with The Water Protectors. I chose to stay home because my unease with the stability there was bigger than my yes to go. It wasn’t an easy choice for me, but after much thinking and praying and consulting with a trusted advisor, I am at peace with it. Picking and washing and packaging greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, herbs– that was something I could do. Sending Josh off with a big breakfast and food to share and ear plugs was something I could do. Not begging him to stay home where its safe & warm, is something I can do.

I want to do more.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday. I’m offering gift certificates now through Monday only for just $55 per hour session (thats a $10 savings!) and I will donate $10 from EACH certificate sold to the Michigan Canoe Cold Water Rescue Team. SO you can give good, do good, and save money all in one fell swoop.

standwithstanding

Another thing I decided that I could do is based on the magic that I am already blessed to witness everyday inside my small studio. Ligaments are stretched, muscles are tended to, breath is deepened, pain is acknowledged, hope is restored, and sometimes, inevitably, tears are shed and/or laughter is released. On the macrocosm, I know that I do very little for humanity as a whole, but I can earnestly claim that for an hour several times a day, the clients who have placed themselves in my care get 100% of my heart and skilled hands and each hour is very important and very sacred work, to me.

we-can-do-no-great-things-only-small-things-with-great-love-5

When you spend a good portion of every day in devotion to bringing relief and deep listening to others, you can see the power of this work on the microcosm. Perhaps I am the microcosm and the transformation is within just me, but I feel and see it in my clients, too. While I try not to take myself too seriously, it is impossible to be nonchalant about the intention I set for each session; that the highest good be possible and for my work, my hands, and my heart to be guided to be a blessing to every body I touch. It seems as if more than ever, everyone of us could benefit from the healing arts. It is with this in mind that I’m creating two new opportunities to reach out to those I see needing skilled and affordable services.

  1. Students. Preschool through college, ages 3-21: it is important to recognize the stress & uncertainty children are currently faced with as well as the effects of long term stress on developing brains and bodies. We are living in an era of great change, fast pace, and high demands. Massage is a great tool for empowering young people how to slow down and listen to the wisdom of their own bodies, allowing assimilation of input while forming habits of self care. All students are encouraged & welcome in my practice for just $45/hr or $25/ half hour.
  2. Giveaways. I am now accepting nominations for free massages! If you or someone you know ages 21+ could use some free bodywork, email me a name, phone number, email address and a few sentences on why this person might benefit. I will select one giveaway for each of the next 6 months, and I will notify the winner on your behalf. Submissions can be sent to christinaryanstoltz@gmail.com

safespaces

I am so grateful to be able to do work that I love. I am so fortunate to work with clients who become family. I am so fortunate & privileged in this way and I am trying to never take it for granted. I have many to thank always, but am feeling particularly reverent for you all during this reflective season. Thank you for your support, sharing, showing up, needing me, believing in me, spreading the word, and of course, all your love beams.

Love

Love Is

Love Is All

Love Is All Around

Love Is All Around You

Love Is All Around You Look

Love Is All Around You Look Around

 

Advertisement

#imwithyou

Play this while you read!!!!!!!!!! ❤

I’ll take just a moment here to address what seems to feel heavy on the hearts of those coming into my studio, those asking to, and those I come into contact elsewhere in life. Taking care of ourselves and each other is really important right now. Listening to our still small voice, breathing in deeply, filtering out the fear mongering. Lately I’ve been trying to just get very intentional with the question “am I a blessing to everyone I meet?”. I’d like to be. Believe me when I tell you that I understand it can be so tempting to just recoil from all the discomfort surrounding us like a cloud. I have had to work hard at this every single day since the impact of great loss, and I understand the instinct to isolate in these trying times, take sides and feel the division, acutely.

But I encourage you to seek out your neighbors and community members, your young relatives and your friends. Let love in rather than build a wall of resistance around you. I see a lot of rhetorical advice right now and this is not that, because I do think it is important to honor your process. Instead, I simply want to share that the act of holding space for others while you are in pain or shock or confusion can help you heal in profound ways. Don’t be afraid to reach out or reach in. You don’t have to know the right words. You don’t have to have solutions. You don’t have to “fix or fade” anyone’s experience, including your own. It’s ok to just be with these feelings. Breathe. And proceed with caution. What works for me, oftentimes, is to just get really clear about the next right thing I can do, or step I can take. The next moment, the next breath. This is mindfulness in action, but I see it more importantly as survival skills/coping mechanisms. Interestingly, they are instinctual in fight or flight situations. I love that; the wisdom of the body is so innate that it knows precisely what to do when the mind cannot bear the burden. And let’s face it, the news is traumatizing. Raising children right now feels frightening. Just thinking and feeling and standing strong can feel scary! But the light in all of this, the invitation, the opportunity, as far as I can see, is to trim the fat– get very clear, very focused, on what actually matters and on what we can actually do. And it is quite a lot, I have found, for the time I have spent feeling disoriented and confused after darkness threatened my light from shining. It starts with you. If you want to offer peace, if you want to have anything left after giving, you must learn or remember to replenish. Here again are some tools that have helped me tremendously to replenish myself in times of trouble and strife:

  1. Make art. Whether you think you have talent or not is not the point. Just gather supplies and let your inhibitions have a day off. Try to find colors that match your feelings. Try repeating patterns that represent your thoughts. Move your paper or canvas around for a change in perspective. Drop your agenda or any instinct for perfection or control and just be a creative conduit from source to pen, market, crayon, paintbrush.
  2. Write. Journal. Keep it to yourself and say whatever you want. This is not a status update. Steep in a strong brew of your feelings and allow the potency to run through you. Burn what you write, using a candle, a gas stove or a Bon fire. Release it all in your writing and release it again into the fire– allow for alchemy or atleast liberation.
  3. Get bodywork. Seriously. This is not a shameless plug– massage and energy work are essential tools for profound healing of angst and uncertainty. They allow for the wordless realm, where fear resides to be reached and responded to. Your kids need it too.
  4. Spend time outdoors. Leave your phone behind. A teacher/writer I adore recommends you sit on the ground and let yourself cry. And then mix some dirt with those tears and make effing warrior paint. I am not afraid to tell you this works. It works.
  5. Be a love warrior. Hug everyone you can– everyone who is open to it. Stand on the sidewalk with a sign that says free hugs. And then hug like your life depends on it. Because it does.