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The only thing I do every day is brush my teeth.  I mean, technically, that’s not true, of course, because I open my eyes every day and I breathe every day and I eat every day and I drink water every day.   But you know what I mean.  The only helpful habit I’ve cultivated (that’s not demanded for life) is brushing my teeth every day.  Some people do yoga every day.  Some people meditate every day.  Some people take a multivitamin every day.  I brush my teeth, and that’s it.

Not that I haven’t tried to do other things daily.  I’ve gone through (relatively short) periods where I meditated every day.  I’ve taken different supplements for weeks or months at a time.  I like yoga.  But brushing my teeth is the only thing I do every, single, day.  So, when it is suggested to me, or I suggest to myself, that I start a new something, every day, my response, both to myself and to others, is usually something along the lines of, why bother?  How many bottles of half-finished supplements have I thrown out because after 3 weeks of diligent supplementing, I’ve completely forgotten about them until they expired?  How many yoga/gym/class memberships have I purchased for a great month of sweating to be followed by a few months of guilt and eventual cancellation?  Which means that I often don’t do things that I know are good for me.  Things that would make my life better.  The knowledge that I’m probably not going to be able to keep this up every day, forever, stops me from even starting.

But then I went to the dentist.  For the first time in 4 years.  Don’t judge me.  And the dentist said I needed to start flossing.  (I know, I know, I should’ve started flossing a long time ago.  But I didn’t.  Probably because I tried to to it every day, failed, and gave up.)  As it stands, I floss when I’m bored, standing in the bathroom with the medicine cabinet open, and the floss catches my eye.  As you can imagine, this is about twice a year.  Or, not as often as I should be flossing.  The dentist had the audacity to suggest that I should floss every day.  Which is approximately 363 times more per year than I’m currently flossing.  Naturally, I thought to myself, “That’s not going to happen.”  Clearly, my dentist hadn’t gotten the memo about me only doing one thing every day.  But then, something strange happened.  I went home, and the next day, I flossed.  And then, about a week later, I flossed again.  And then a week after that, I flossed again.

And then I felt silly.  Why even bother flossing once a week?  And then, I thought, “Wait a minute.  What if it’s not silly?”  I mean, flossing once a week has to be better than flossing twice a year, right?  I mean, it’s 26 times better than flossing twice a year!  And, if I’m 34 (and a half) now, and I live to be 100, I could end up flossing 3,275 times more in the next 65 and half years than I would if I just stuck with my regular schedule of twice a year.  That seems to me like a pretty significant improvement.  So maybe it’s not so silly.

And who knows?  Every now and again, I might get the urge to floss twice in a week.  Or three times.  Maybe next year, or in 2020, I could commit to flossing every other day.  Which might not be enough to make my dentist happy, but it’s a helluva lot better than twice a year.

As you may have gleaned by now, I’m not one for new year’s resolutions.  Not that I have any problem with you having them.  By all means, go right ahead.  They’re just not for me.  But, that being said, I do have things I’d like to work on this year.  And I’ve decided to try applying my new flossing approach to them.

For example, I’m trying to sit less, and stand and move more.  And instead of saying, “I will only stand while I write emails and check facebook; never again shall I sit!”  I’ve put my laptop up on a pile of books so that it makes more sense to stand than to sit.  Sure, I can and do take my laptop to the couch when I want to.  But now it’s more effort to sit than to stand, so through my own laziness, I’m standing more than I was before.  I’ve also switched to walking to work more than driving or riding my bike.  I’d love to say that I only walk to work and that I never drive.  But I drove to work on Friday and that doesn’t mean I’m a failure.  I’m still standing and walking more than I was before.  And I count that as a win.

I’ve gotten really excited about this idea of little changes over long periods of time adding up to big differences in the end.  And letting go of the idea that a habit is only good if I do it every single day.  It just makes me happy to come to terms with teeth brushing being my only every-day-habit.  I don’t have to do push-ups every day.  I don’t have to eat kale instead of cheese burgers for the rest of my life.  I don’t have to meditate for an hour a day, every day.  Doing 5 push-ups this week is better than no push-ups.  Even if I swap kale for a cheese burger once this year, it’s a step in the right direction.  And 2 minutes of meditation are better than zero minutes of meditation.

So that’s what I’m going with.  Baby steps.  And no beating myself up when I don’t floss.  Compassion always, even (especially) for myself.

SassyPants, I don’t know what it is.  I’ve had a block about writing a blog post for so long now.  Months and months.  Clearly.  Every time I had the thought “I should write a post,” I would immediately start shutting myself down.  Why?  What do I have to say?  Nothing important, really.  And whatever I have to say, I’m sure they’ve heard it before.  Probably from someone smarter and more articulate than me.  And in this world of so-much-information-available-all-the-time, I don’t really want to add to the clutter, do I?  No, I do not.  So there, I should NOT write a blog post after all.  And so it went.

But today, I’m choosing a different option.  I’m not making a resolution, ’cause I’m not a resolution sort of girl.  I’m just writing this one blog post.  Whether or not I have anything important or smart or articulate to say.  I’m really excited about 2015 and I know a lot of other people are, too.  Big things are on the horizon.  I’m training for my first ultra marathon!  I’m committing to strengthening and deepening the relationships that feed my soul!  I’m going to try recipes I’ve never tried before (including tonight’s African sweet potato peanut butter soup)!  Someday I’ll actually put plants in the planters in my (still new to me) office!  It’s going to be great.  And that’s reason enough to write.

So, happy new year!   I’ve missed you!  Maybe I’ll write again before next year!  (But I’m a big fan of setting really small, extra-manageable goals, and I don’t want to promise something I might not follow-through on, so let’s just play it by ear, shall we?)

In the last week I’ve gotten two very sweet texts from two very sweet women who have both gone through the 10-series with me in the past.  Both were saying ‘thank you’ for the experience because of the effect it had on their lives.  And so, I thought it might be time to once again rave about how awesome the 10-series is.

Luckily, I have a stockpile of before and after pictures from several clients I still haven’t shared with you.  So today, we’re going to talk about Dave and his experience with the 10-series.  When Dave came in, he’d been dealing with chronic back pain for about 10 years that had initially started with a football injury.  He also had occasional numbness and tingling in his leg and pain in his shoulders and arms.  While Dave is super active, the pain in his low back prevented him from moving with the ease and confidence he used to enjoy.  We went through the traditional Rolfing 10-series pretty quickly, averaging only 1-2 weeks between sessions.

Let’s take a look at Dave’s before and after pictures from the front and back, shall we?  (Before is on the left and after is on the right.)

Can we just start with Dave’s face for a second?  Because, seriously, his face just looks so drastically different in the two pictures.  The second one looks so open and clear and wide, if that makes any sense.  It’s almost as if in the first picture, his facial features are a little smushed together and in the second one, they’ve been set free.  Then we can move down to Dave’s neck, which seems to have lengthened by about an inch post-10-series.  Dave the Giraffe, we’ll have to call him now.  Then scan down to his shoulders, where Dave starts out with his left shoulder much higher than his right.  In the after picture, there’s still an imbalance, but it’s greatly reduced.  Next, check out that six-pack.  See how the right side and the left side of Dave’s six-pack don’t match?  We want them to match.  And while they’re not perfectly symmetrical, after 10 sessions, the horizontal lines are much closer to actually being horizontal than diagonal, don’t you think?  Lastly, let’s check out Dave’s feet, which are almost  pointing straight forward after the 10-series, instead of out to the sides a bit.  Yay!  In the pictures of Dave’s back, we can again see that long neck and those even shoulders.  Take a look at his shoulder blades.  In the first picture, his shoulders are rounding forward, making his shoulder blades flare out, like little wings.  But in the after picture, those shoulder blades can just lay flat on Dave’s back, giving him broader shoulders and more openness through his chest.  And check out the quality of Dave’s back as a whole, before and after.  Doesn’t the second one just look…better?  Smoother, straighter, and longer?  As we look at Dave’s legs we can see again that some of the outward rotation is gone, but also that Dave’s legs are more under him, not splayed out wide.  Just by changing his posture, Dave’s gotten taller.

Now let’s take a look at Dave’s profile to see if we notice any changes there.

Personally, I think this left profile of Dave’s shows the most dramatic changes.  Just look at him!  We’ve already talked about the face, neck, and shoulders and you can see all those changes here again.  But look at Dave’s low back in the first and second pictures.  See how he has that extreme curve in the first one?  See how long and tall he is in the second one?  Crazy!  And his chest over his abdomen looks so much more proportionate in the second (and fourth) pictures.  As we take a look at Dave’s legs, we can see that more length in his hamstrings allows even his legs to get longer and taller.

However, all of my excitement over Dave’s improved posture and structure is useless if Dave doesn’t feel any different himself.  So what did he have to say about his 10-series experience?  Here are just a couple phrases from a little exit interview we did:
“I would recommend it to anybody.”
“I don’t feel any pain.  Like, I don’t feel that constant, nagging, sharp pain every step, and every time I sit up, every time I sit down.”
“I used to only be able to use the elliptical at the gym…because it was easier on my back, easier on my knees.  Around the 4th or 5th session I was able to start running again, regularly.”
“It was just smooth, it was natural, there was no windedness, no tiring in any part of the body, it was just like a complete machine, working as it should.  It felt great.”
“Six months ago I was contemplating going to see an orthopedic surgeon because my back hurt so bad.  It was literally constant pain.  Sleeping, walking, sitting at my desk, anything, it hurt.”
“This past week at the gym I felt like Hercules, it was fantastic.”
“I feel fortunate to have been exposed to this, this early in my life.”
“I feel like I haven’t felt in ten years.”

So there you have it.  Two lovely women and one lovely Dave, all big fans of the 10-series.  And me, too.  I just keep coming back to how great it is.  That Ida knew what she was doing when she designed the thing, that’s for sure.

Okay, I know it’s not blog/newsletter day, but I didn’t want to wait ’til Tuesday, so here it is. Sorry about overloading your inbox this week.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of changing up my schedule for a couple of reasons. I always thought that I really needed two days off in a row. In every other job I’ve had, that first day off was a kind of stare-at-the-wall-and-do-nothing day and the second day was for all the things you couldn’t get done during the week, like laundry and grocery shopping and maybe a picnic if I was lucky. So, when I started my Rolfing practice I made sure to build in two days off in a row. Hooray for respecting my own needs! But the thing is, I really like Rolfing. Like, a lot. Like, more than pretty much anything else I do. Well, maybe I like eating more, but with eating I quickly reach the point where the pleasure is traded for pain, and well, then it’s not fun anymore. I certainly don’t need two days off in a row to eat. And since I like Rolfing so much, I miss it on those days I have off. Which means that I’ve been playing around with the idea of switching it all up. See, my goal was to see 6 clients a day, 4 days a week (and get an extra special 3rd day off!). But now, I’d like to try to see 4 clients a day, 6 days a week, just to see how I like it. As I said, I’ve been playing around with the idea. Will I love it? Will I hate it? No way to know, really, until I try it.

It’s tricky, though, to try such a thing, ’cause I share my office with the lovely and talented Tracy. And I can’t just switch my schedule up willy-nilly without making Tracy rightfully annoyed and frustrated. So, playing with the idea is all that I’ve done, until now. See, Tracy’s going out of town for the whole month of June to teach and work and see friends and ride a motorcycle and such. Therefore, the office is mine-all-mine for 30 days or so. Which means I can play with my schedule without risking pissing off one of my favorite bodywork trade buddies and long time office mate. Hooray!!

Here’s what that means for you: I’m open on Fridays during June. What!? I’m seeing clients from 10am to 4:30pm Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, in Denver. I’m seeing clients from 2:30pm to 9pm Mondays and Sundays, in Denver. And as usual, I’m seeing clients from 1:30 to 8pm on Tuesdays in Lafayette. The online scheduler that I use is all set up for this, so you don’t have to remember which times go with which days. Just schedule like you always do and you’ll notice different options available to you. Yay! Once again, this if for June only, to give it a whirl. Things will go back to normal for July, when Tracy’s back in town. Depending on how this little experiment goes, I’ll think about making these changes permanent, but I might really miss those two days off in a row. We’ll just have to play with it and see. So, wanna play?

Hey Sassy Pants, happy Tuesday!  Yoga Instructor Appreciation Week starts on Thursday and I’m totally pumped!  It’s filling up quickly (only 8 spots left out of 30 available openings!) and I’m so grateful to you for all your help in spreading the word to the yoga teachers in your life.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

Now, let’s get down to it.  This issue seems to keep coming up lately, so I thought I’d address it here, out in the open.  What happens after a Rolfing session?  What should you expect?  I know we talked a little bit about this after your first session.  You may have gotten an email with lots of details, depending on when you started working with me.  But let’s just go over it all again, ‘cause some weird shit can happen after you get Rolfed, I’m not gonna lie.

First, let’s cover the basics.
-You might be very thirsty.  We are trying to make your tissues extra juicy, afterall.  I know it’s hard to believe, but you should drink some water if this happens.  Weird, right?
-You might crave protein.  Fascia is a protein matrix and as we move it around, you might need some extra oomph to fill in the gaps.  If this happens, you should eat some steak or beans.  This stuff is so complicated, I know.
-You might want to sleep for 12 hours straight.  You should follow this impulse.  I’m not sure why this happens, but I have two theories.  One, your nervous system is finally coming out of its perpetual ‘fight or flight’ state and would now like to take some time off.  Two, your body would like to integrate some pretty major changes and would like your logical brain out of the way because it keeps interrupting with things like, “That doesn’t make any sense!  Your head can’t feel different; she only worked on your feet!”  So your body says to your brain, “sssshhhhh…why don’t you take a nap…a really long nap?”  Either way, if you’re tired; sleep.
-You might be sore, like you would be after a good, hard workout.  Arnica, an epsom salt bath, lots of water, and rest are all good ideas.
-You might notice your balance and perception have changed.  You might be standing differently on your feet or holding your head in a different place.  Hooray!  Just be careful as you begin to do things like operate a car or workout.  You might want to lay off the gym for 24-48 hours after your session, just to be safe.
-That thing that always hurts?  It doesn’t hurt anymore.  I think I’m legally bound to say that the relief of symptoms is NOT one of the goals of Rolfing.  But let’s be honest, I’m not going to complain if your pain goes away, and neither are you.

Let’s get a little weirder, shall we?  These things are a little less common, but by no means unique.
-You might feel a little dizziness or light-headedness.  Please tell me about this before you leave the room.  We can work on that.  I don’t want you falling down the stairs.
-You might have small, sharp pains in different places in your body.  This is what happens when sheets of fascia shear away from each other because your body is changing its posture.  This is a good thing, as fascia shouldn’t be glued together, it should glide.  When this happens, it feels a little like a bandaid’s being ripped off, on the inside.  It shouldn’t last more than a second or two and should fade over the next 48 hours.
-You might feel like you’re gliding, instead of walking.  That’s awesome.  Work it.
-You might feel taller, or more expansive, like you’re taking up all the space in your body.  Words don’t do justice to this feeling, but it’s amazing, so if you’ve got it, live it up.
-You may feel a bit drunk or stoned.  Yes, that’s normal.  Again, be careful if you’re going to drive.  Or send texts to your exes.
-You may feel stronger or easier, if that makes any sense.  I have often finished getting a session and thought, I could walk all day!  I feel invincible!  I hope you sometimes experience that, too.
-You might experience an emotional roller coaster.  Usually, there are issues in the tissues.  And when we go stirring up the tissues, we stir up the issues.  Waves of whatever you don’t need anymore can hit you on their way out.  If you need to cry, then by all means, cry.  Pop in The Color Purple if you need a little help getting started.
-My mom says she feels all rolled out, like with a rolling pin.  Or spread out, like pancake batter.  Maybe you’ll feel this, too.  Maybe my mom’s just got food on the brain.
-You might be more flexible.  That yoga pose you always struggle with is suddenly a breeze.  You can touch your toes for the first time in years.  We’re trying to increase the length in your body, so this just means we’ve done a good job during your session.  Yay!

On to the extra odd.  Yes, indeedy, this Rolfing business is a strange one.
-You may notice that your dreams shift in quality as you do a series of Rolfing sessions.  Ida Rolf, when pressed, once said that Rolfing was really shamanism, but what did she know?  You may have more of a “journey-like” quality to your dreams for a period of time.  Keeping a dream journal could be an interesting experience, if you’re up for it.
-If you’ve had a particularly intense session, you may experience some out-of-body time, as disassociation can be a way to take a time-out from what’s happening.  Again, tell me about this before you leave, please.  This doesn’t make for safe operation of heavy machinery.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure I’ve missed a few.  Have you experienced some Rolfing aftermath that should be on the list?  Could you please remind me?  Or, do you have a crazy story about experiencing any of the above?  I’d love to hear about it!  Feel free to shoot me an email, or post it right here by leaving a comment.

And if you experience anything out of the ordinary that’s NOT on this list, please, please, please tell me about it.  I do free touch-up sessions if something’s just not integrating quite right.  As usual, thanks for reading.  Until next time, much love!

So I’m doing this cleanse.  It’s day two of 21 and I’m feeling pretty excited.  Getting clean and lean always feels good and last time I did this cleanse my energy was really lovely, clear, and present.  So Yay! to three weeks without meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, or anything white and refined.  No ‘food products’ or artificial flavors or colors or fillers here.  I’m cleaning house, physically.  Along with the dietary changes, I’m making some life changes in an effort to clean up some areas of my being that have been neglected in the past.  I’m committing to exercising every day.  I’m meditating every day.  And I’m taking a look at what I’m thinking about, how I’m acting, and what I’m saying all day, every day.  This is the stuff of my life, after all, and if all I do is complain, what beauty am I contributing to myself, let alone the world?

This whole experiment has got me thinking, (and I’m only one and a half days in, imagine where I’ll be in three weeks!) about pausing and taking stock every once in a while.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff; go to work, mow the lawn, do the dishes, that sometimes we find ourselves wondering, how did I get here?  Is this the path I want to be on?  Is this the life I would choose for myself?   And if something’s off, if the answer is not quite clear, then what do we do about it?

I’m such a physical person that for me, when something’s off, I generally look at my physical body first, for clues as to what needs to change.  It’s true for me that I also get clues that something’s wrong from my body.  Two weeks ago, I got a rash out of nowhere and then some swollen glands in my neck.  I knew something needed to shift.  I start making that shift by looking at what I’m putting into my body.  After that, what am I doing with my body?  After adjusting my diet and exercise, I start to think about a deep cleaning.  I’m going to get myself some concentrated Rolfing sessions (one a week for five weeks) to hit the reset button and deal with some nagging hip pain.  I’m meditating with the intent of bringing up and dealing with some very old stuff in that little head of mine.  But I’m also doing some more menial things, like cleaning the basement and donating clothes to goodwill.  It’s almost like I’m nesting, in preparation for a new baby.  Getting things in order, so that the chaotic genius that’s on the way will have the space to do what it needs to do.

What about you?  What do you do when you feel like it’s time for a change?  How do you know you need a change in the first place?  Got any house cleaning tips you want to share?