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Monthly Archives: September 2012

My dad’s parents were born in the same small town in northern Italy and until the day she died, my nonna would swear at my nonno in that Italian dialect and speak to us grandkids in strongly accented English.  I grew up knowing that “Santa Maria!” was the appropriate way to respond to spilled milk or outrageous prices and that “Ciao, bella bambina!” meant I was about to get my cheeks pinched.  I also grew up hearing “Con chi la ghettu?” quite a bit from not only my grandparents, but my mother, who loves this phrase more than all the others she’s learned over the years married to an Italian.

“Con chi la ghettu” isn’t standard Italian.  It’s all-the-way dialect, so it’s not something I learned in years of Italian classes, nor something I heard studying in Italy, as I wasn’t in that region.  I actually had to call my dad and ask how he thought it might be spelled, since my Italian dictionary has nothing resembling the word “ghettu.”  But the meaning was always apparent in my household: who are you mad at?  Literally, I think it means “with whom do you have it?”  But it was always used to ask the rhetorical question of who was to blame.  Mad that you got a “C” on that paper?  Con chi la ghettu?  Upset that you burned the pancakes?  Con chi la ghettu?  Pissed about the rain today because now you can’t mow the lawn and you knew you should’ve done it yesterday?  Con chi la ghettu?

And when I sat down to write this post, immediately, the phrase “con chi la ghettu” came to mind.  Because here’s the thing (in the words of Danielle LaPorte):

Everything that’s on your plate is there because you said “yes” to it.

Consciously or unconsciously, out-loud or in your head, you agreed to today.  You may have felt you had no choice, but there’s always a choice.  And so, if you’re not thrilled with how things are going, con chi la ghettu?

I was so thoroughly reminded of this on Friday, as I sat in agony on my couch, with every movement bringing more agony.  See, my sacrum was in open revolt.  Sitting hurt; as did standing; as did lying down.  And anything that made any part of my spine move, say like walking, or sneezing, or well, anything, made it hurt worse.  It was a pretty wild way to spend a Friday, let me tell you!

Also, it was my choice.  See, I’ve got this weird hip-popping thing ’cause my right sacro-illiac joint is stuck, since I fell down some icy stairs 8 years ago.  It’s not that big of a deal.  It’s loud and mildly uncomfortable, but on the grand scale, it’s really nothing.  But when I found myself in a yoga class Monday morning with only one other student, and the teacher asked if there was anything we wanted to focus on, I remembered that sticky sacrum joint and I said “I’d like some hip openers, please.”  And open those hips we did.  Which was great at the time.  Tuesday was a little sore; Wednesday, moderately uncomfortable; and Thursday night was awful.  But nothing compared to Friday.  I felt like I’d just fallen down those stairs the day before.  Groaning like an old man with every movement.  Wincing as I sat down.  Shuffling through the house at a snail’s pace.

And I thought to myself, “con chi la ghettu, Theresa?”  I had literally, out-loud, asked to open that hip up.  Unsurprisingly, there was some trauma stored in there.  At the time I fell, I was at a really low point in my life and there was a lot of anger, and shame, and hurt, and loneliness around that slip on the ice, not to mention the postcard-sized bruise on my butt for 3 weeks.  When I asked to open it up, the universe said, “Sure, if that’s what you want.  Have fun with that.”  So I tried to do my best and just be present in the process.  I looked at the anger and shame and hurt and loneliness that I had been feeling and welcomed each emotion, then reminded myself of how far I’ve come.  That heartbreak didn’t end me.  That loneliness didn’t kill me.  That shame was self inflicted and undeserved.  That anger was justified and has since been transformed into love.  And now this pain wasn’t going to end me either.  I could take a day or two to move slowly.  I could get some bodywork for myself.  I could practice energetic clearing on my own traumas.  No biggie.

So now I want to open it up to you.  What’s on your plate right now that you’re not thrilled with?  Can you figure out when you said yes to it?  Or how you continue to say yes to it with your choices every day?  Is that a choice you still want to make?  Ultimately, con chi la ghettu?  Pain isn’t the enemy.  But knowing why you’ve allowed that pain into your life can go a long way towards healing.

Please forgive me, SassyPants.  I know I wrote back in May about how I became a Rolfer.  In fact, I wrote so damn much about it, that it took up two posts.  And now, I’m telling the same old story, again, this time on video.  Really, if you already know, or don’t really care how I became a Rolfer, you don’t have to watch the video.  Not that I could make you if I tried.  But really, you don’t have to watch it.  I just get this question ALL the time.  And I love answering it.  So I answered it in a video to put up on my site.  And I loved the results.  So I’m sharing it with you.  And I say ‘and’ a lot.  Also, I say ‘so’ a lot.  So many things to beg forgiveness for.

If you have anything you’d rather hear about or questions you’d like answered, please let me know.  All the topics I considered writing about today bored me.  I’m asking you to be my inspiration.  Got anything good for me?

In the meantime, if you want, check out the video and let me know what you think.  Worth putting up on the site?

Oh!  And Demo Day is on Saturday.  Yes, this Saturday, the 15th.  Tell your friends.  Or your family members.  Or your neighbors.  Or nobody at all.  But if you want someone to come give me a try, this could be a good way for them to get a taste.  30 minute trial sessions for $10 each.  New clients only.  Have ‘em give me a call, or shoot me an email, if they want to schedule one.  Yay!  Demo Day!

I feel like I wrote this article already.  But when I went searching through the archives, I couldn’t find it.  Maybe I’ve just explained it so many times that it feels like I’ve written this article.  Or maybe I did write it, but I titled it something like “Plantar Fasciitis,” which makes no sense whatsoever, but it could’ve happened, I’m not going to lie.  Regardless, I’m going to write this article now.

Here’s my thing about referrals:  I love referrals.  Duh.  What business owner doesn’t?  I love referrals not just in a referrals-mean-more-clients-which-is-good-for-my-business sort of way, although that’s true.  There’s also the aspect of referrals-mean-I-get-to-help-more-people-live-their-lives-without-pain, which is awesome.  But really, the number one reason I love referrals is that people who come to me through a referral already know what they’re signing up for, at least to some degree.

I do my best on my website and on the blog and on the phone to prepare new clients for what they’re getting into when they come in for a session.  But there’s something about having a friend explain to you what it was like for them that helps people understand it all better than I can ever seem to achieve.  Which is great, ’cause a session with me can be pretty intense or weird or overwhelming (or all of the above) as it is; nobody needs the added factor of surprise.  So for the lack-of-surprise factor, I love referrals.

That being said, I don’t have a referral rewards program.  You know; send 3 friends, get a free session.  Or for every person you refer, you get $10 off your next session.  Trust me, I’ve thought about it.  I think about it often, in fact.  The number one reason I haven’t instituted a referral rewards program is privacy.

Here’s a hypothetical story.  (I do have a sister named Anna and she does have a friend named Gina, but I’ve never seen Gina as a client, and if I had, I’d never tell you about it, I promise.)  Let’s say that my sister Anna refers her friend Gina to come see me.  Great!  Gina comes to see me, and while we’re going over her initial intake, we come across the vey embarrassing problem she’s been having with incontinence lately.  This is something we can work with and try to resolve with Rolfing.  Hooray!  But then Anna comes back to see me, and she gets $10 off her session.  If she referred 20 people to come see me, this wouldn’t be a big deal.  But I don’t know how many people she referred to me.  All I know is that one came in.  Maybe Gina is the only person Anna’s told about me.  In which case, it would be very easy for Anna to deduce, from her reduced price session, that Gina has come in for a session with me.

This is where it gets tricky.  All of a sudden, client confidentiality is out the window.  I haven’t expressly told Anna, or anyone else, that Gina has come in for a session, but Anna knows, regardless.  And next time Anna and Gina are hanging out, Anna might casually mention to Gina, “So you went and got Rolfed by Theresa, huh?”  Now Gina may not know that Anna deduced this simply from getting $10 off her session.  She might instead assume that Anna and I were out at a bar and I started talking about the session I had with Gina.  She may also assume that in this conversation I let it slip that Gina’s been dealing with incontinence.  All of a sudden Gina is mortified, and will never trust me again.

Not okay.  Big fat not okay.  Capital ‘N,’ capital ‘O,’ Not Okay.

And so, even though I never expressly told anyone that Gina came to see me, nor any details of her session with me, Gina feels her trust has been betrayed.  And I never, ever, ever want you or any client to feel that way.  I am very careful to keep the identities of my clients private and the details of their sessions private.  Yes, there are HIPPA laws around this, and I respect those laws, but there’s more to it than what the laws dictate.  I want your sessions to feel safe.  I want them to be a place where you can relax and lay it all down, whatever it is that you’ve been carrying.  And I don’t want you to worry that it’s going to get back to your friends if they come in and see me as well, or if I see them while I’m walking around Wash Park.  Which is why I will guard your privacy with the utmost care, and also why I don’t and won’t have a referral rewards program.

Also, I want you to send people my way because you think they would benefit from a session with me, not because you’re trying to get cheap sessions for yourself.  That’s just a personal pride thing.  And lastly, referral reward programs feel a little like pyramid schemes to me and pyramid schemes feel skeazy.  I don’t like skeazy, even if it’s a cool word.

But I love referrals.  Really.  Like a whole bunch.  Thank you so, so much for each and every person you send my way.  It really is an honor that you trust me with the people you care about.  Thank you.