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If you’ve been with me for a while, you know the drill: my birthday is coming up and I’m celebrating with Pay What You Want Week, the first week of May. If you are new around these parts, well, the same is still true. I’m turning 35 (halfway to 70, baby!) and I’m giving you presents. Well, just one present, to be specific. Pay What You Want Week is just what it sounds like. For the first week of May, the 1st through the 7th, you can schedule a Rolfing session with me as you normally would, but pay whatever you’d like when it’s all done. Want to pay in cookies? You can do that. Want to pay in fairy sprinkles? Totally an option. Want to pay with a song and a dance? I’m down. Want to pay a dollar amount of your choice? That works, too. The only rule is that you keep in mind that I share a 450 square foot apartment with a person, a dog, a cat, and three fish. I have no room for stuff. Please no stuff. (Fairy sprinkles don’t count as stuff.)

So go ahead. Schedule your Pay What You Want session for the week of May 1st through May 7th and I’ll see you then!

I’m turning 34! It’s not exciting at all, really, despite the exclamation point. 30 is exciting. 35 is exciting. Even 33 is exciting, for a nerd like me, since 3 is the square root of my favorite number and therefore, my second favorite number, so 33 is a fun number for me. (If you never want to talk to me again after I’ve outed myself as an extreme dweeb, I’ll understand.) Regardless, I can find nothing exciting about 34. But, it’s my birthday, and that provides excitement enough.

AND, for the 5th year running, for my birthday, you get a special deal on Rolfing! So, hopefully, you’re excited about my birthday, too. This year’s Pay What You Want Week will run from Monday, May 4th through Sunday, May 10th. In case you’re new to Pay What You Want Week (PWYWW), it’s exactly what it sounds like. You schedule a session. You come get a session. You pay what you want for said session.

This really is my favorite week of the year. It’s always so much fun to see old clients, meet new ones, and get presents all week! Flowers, and muffins, and acro-yoga classes, and paintings, oh my! So schedule away, my loves, and I’ll see you then!

Once upon a time, I met with a psychic.  Or a seer.  That word “psychic” is so charged, you know?  Anyways, I met with a man who has the ability to see beyond the obvious and draw connections between the seemingly disconnected.  Which is not the point of this story.  The point is that he asked me what I really loved; what got me super excited.  And I said, “presence.”  Because I just love when I’m with someone and they are totally and completely with me, too.  Not worrying about their grocery list.  Not checking their phone.  Not watching TV.  Just being present.

But this guy thought I said “presents.”  Like birthday presents.  Which was an awesome, hilarious mistake.  And is also true.

It also perfectly fits into Pay What You Want Week, which is happening very soon.  Every year, for my birthday, I do a Pay What You Want Week because I love my work.  And because I love the idea of giving presents on your birthday.  And because I love seeing a bunch of clients for my birthday.  And because it’s always so fun to see what people bring me (last year I got pumpkin pecan waffles!  and flowers!  and luscious lotions!).  And because I can.  ‘Cause I’m the boss.

So, because I love presence, and I’m never more present than during a session, and because I love presents, it’s Pay What You Want Week for my birthday every year.  But, because my youngest sister is getting married and I’ll be in Chicago for the week leading up to my birthday, I’m doing it a little bit early this year.  I hope you don’t mind.

Saturday, April 26th through Friday, May 2nd will be Pay What You Want Week.  It’s just what it sounds like, but in case you need further explanation, here’s how it goes:  You book a session during that week, just like you normally would.  Then, you come in and receive said session, just like you normally would.  Then, you pay what you want.  Easy, peasy.  You can choose a dollar amount that works for you.  Or you can bring pumpkin pecan waffles.  Or you can sing me a song.  Really.  Pay what you want.  I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Here’s to presence!  And presents!  Happy spring, SassyPants!  I hope to see you during Pay What You Want Week!

I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist.  At least, not yet.  I don’t know the rules of Buddhism, and since I was raised Catholic, I’m used to very strict, non-bendy rules.  With Catholicism, you can’t just wake up one morning and declare yourself a Catholic.  You need to be baptized Catholic.  You need to be confirmed Catholic.  If you’re not born and raised as a Catholic, you probably have to go to classes and take tests and have meetings and do other horribly boring tasks before the Catholic church will allow you the honor of calling yourself a Catholic.  And so, while I love what I  know about Buddhism, I also realize I know very little about Buddhism.  And I certainly haven’t been baptized or confirmed a Buddhist.  Nor have I gone to Buddhism classes, taken Buddhism tests, or participated in any horribly boring Buddhist meetings.  I don’t even know if any of those things are available to fledgling Buddhist wannabes.  That’s how much I don’t know about Buddhism.  So wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist.

BUT.  All that being said, I’m drawn to the idea of ‘Buddhist economics.’  From what I understand, there’s a tradition in Buddhism, of the teachers offering their teachings on a donation basis.  There is the implied understanding that all those who benefit from the teachings will then go forth and share those teachings with others-also on a donation basis.  After all, it would be bad juju (technical Buddhist term) to get something for free and then turn around and try to make a huge profit from it.

I’ve been curious about this concept for a while.  SAME cafe in Denver offers lunch on a Pay What You Can basis.  I’ve read stories about other restaurants in other cities doing the same thing.  My shaman offers sessions on a sliding scale.  And when I do a Pay What You Want Week for my birthday every year, it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year.  It’s all so fascinating to me.  Can it really work long term?  It sounds so very lovely, and community oriented, and utopian, and magical, and full of opportunities for people to rip you off and take advantage of you…  But SAME has been open and operating for 7 years now.  It seems like it can really work long term.  Which leads me (in a very long and roundabout way, I know) to my point; and that is this:  I’m offering all my sessions through the end of the year on a Pay What You Want basis to experiment.  Then, I’ll reevaluate.

Just to clarify.  I’m offering healing sessions on a donation basis.  I am not expecting you to then go out and offer healing sessions on a donation basis, unless you yourself are a healer and feel drawn to do so.  I am simply hoping that with less pain, you will be able to start your day with more energy.  With better range of motion you will be able to greet your coworkers with more kindness.  With a better night’s sleep you will be able to meet your children with more patience.  Pay it forward in some way, shape, or form.  You know; standard hippy dippy hopes and dreams.

If you already have a session booked, you can pay what you want for it, everything else stays the same.  If Pay What You Want or sliding scale situations make you uncomfortable (I know you’re out there), feel free to pay my regular rate.  I do have a couple of rules for this experiment, just to (try to) maintain my sanity. 1) Pay what makes sense for you.  I don’t know your economic situation.  Please don’t ask me what you should pay.  If you can give a little more, please do so.  If you can’t, no worries.  Consider your life right now and pay what makes sense for you.  2) Please limit your form of donation to money, consumables, or experiences.  No stuff please.  I have enough stuff.  And a tiny apartment.  There is no more space for stuff.  But money is nice.  So are homemade cookies and bottles of wine.  So are scuba diving lessons, concert tickets, and horseback riding adventures.  Just no stuff, please.  3) Lastly, I beg of you, don’t make me regret this.  Don’t book 12 sessions, then show up for none of them.  That’s rude.  Don’t book a session and show up 30 minutes late, either.  Don’t get mad at me when I’m not available to work with you all day and all night and weekends and holidays.

I think those are the only rules I have.  Pay what makes sense for you.  No stuff.  Don’t be rude.

Oh my gosh, SassyPants, I’m so excited/nervous about this experiment!  I feel like we should place bets on the success rate or something.  But that’s not very Buddhist.  Or is it?  I really don’t know.  I’m just a fledgling Buddhist wannabe.

Much love,
Theresa

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!

It may be hard to believe, but sometimes I forget about Rolfing and how helpful it can be.  It’s especially hard to believe considering I am a Rolfer.  This is what I do all day, every day.  But you see, I have this weird thing in my brain about Rolfing: I think it can help just about everything, for just about everyone.  Except me.

Someone tells me how their knee’s been bothering them; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone tells me how they feel out of whack and off kilter; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone tells me how they get headaches a few times a week; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Someone’s freaking out about work and their house and their boyfriend; I think to myself, “I can help with that.”  Then, I break my toe, sprain my shoulder, get emotionally wrapped up into a giant-multi-colored-extra-knotted ball of string and I think to myself, “Whatever am I going to do?!?  Who could possibly help me with this!?!”

And so, last week, I found myself with said broken toe (my first broken bone!), and sprained shoulder (thanks for nothing, yoga), and emotional ball of knots and I finally (finally!!!) remembered that Rolfing might be able to help me.  So, I called up my bud, Dave Sheldon, a Rolfer in Boulder, and asked if he could fit me in.  He said yes and I walked into his office with a laundry list of complaints.  It was one of those sessions (do you do this?) where you go in, planning to mention just those two or three things that are really bothering you, and by the time you’re five minutes into the session you’ve listed 23 things instead.  “AND my roommate’s dog is driving me crazy!  AND my sister’s coming to visit next week and it’s stressing me out!  AND my sacrum feels all wonky!  AND I’ve been wearing flip-flops for two weeks now and I’m sick of it, but I can’t wear any other shoes without my toe hurting and I can’t exactly walk into the bank barefoot, can I?”  And so on, and so forth.

Then, the funniest (and at the same time the most natural) thing happened.  I got on the table and closed my eyes, and Dave started working.  All of a sudden, it felt like all these layers were falling away from me.  Like I’d been wearing a suit made out of 23 layers of tissue paper.  So light that I hadn’t thought to take it off, but enough that it was affecting the way I looked and that rustling noise was really getting to me.  And one by one, Dave gently cut each layer away, and let it fall to the ground.  Some layers were wrapped tightly around my foot, keeping it stable, but I didn’t need those anymore.  Some of them were wrapped all around my shoulder, all the way down to my wrist and around my ribs and spine.  I didn’t need those anymore either.  Most of them were wrapped around my heart, or my solar plexus, or my throat, or my head, getting me caught up in unnecessary worry and fear and distress.  I didn’t need a single one of those tissue paper layers.

And I realized there, on the table, why it was that I fell in love with Rolfing in the first place.  Dave wasn’t taking away anything that I needed, or anything that was inherently me.  And he wasn’t adding anything to me, either.  He was simply uncovering the real me, and giving me permission for that to be enough.  I didn’t need any of this tissue paper to make me stable or pretty or to cover anything up.  I was perfectly me, without all that other stuff.  He was reminding my shoulder and my toe that they already knew how to recover from an injury quickly and with ease.  He was reminding me that worry and fear were good intuitive signals to listen to, but there was no reason to walk around spinning in them all day.  And the greatest part was that he did all that without saying a word.  He worked with the physical tissues and the energetic patterns and gently unwound them until there I was, just the way I should be.  And when I came from that centered, more-me sort of place, I realized, my sister and I had shared a house (and usually a bedroom) for 16 1/2 years.  We could probably figure out 3 days just fine.  Oh, and my sacrum felt better, too.

It was funny.  When I walked into his office, I didn’t feel like someone other than myself.  But when I walked out…the change was drastic and clear.  I’d walked in like a papier-mâché doll of myself and walked out as me.  And that right there is some good shit, yo.

It is.  And I thought you should know, Sassy Pants.  And right now, in this perfect moment, you are perfectly you.  No, you’re not perfect.  Thank gawd.  Nobody would want to hang out with you if you were.  But you are perfectly you.  My friend Tim told me that once.  He said, “I may not be perfect, but I’m perfectly me.”  And it stuck with me.  I hope it sticks with you, too.

There’s been a whole lot of anxiety walking into my office these days.  Next week we’ll go into some practical tips for dealing with anxiety, since our culture lends itself to fear and spinning and anxiousness in general.  But for now, just know that you’re okay.  Just the way you are.  Even with the debt.  Even if you had ice cream for dinner last night.  Even if you stayed in bed until 6pm.  Even if the roof is still leaking.  Even if you still have your snow tires on your car.  Even if the love of your life just dumped you.  You’re okay, and you’re right where you’re supposed to be.  Right now, in this perfect moment.

So go on with your bad self.  Keep rocking you the way only you know how to.

What’s up, Sassy Pants?  Thankfully, I’m finally back on a normal sleep schedule.  I know; you were worried.

Seriously, if you’ve never been to Palestine, you should go.  Uh. Maze. Ing.  If I ever get kicked out of Colorado and can’t live here anymore, I’ll move to Palestine.  As a bonus, I’d be the top rated Rolfer in Palestine.  And the worst.  And the tallest.  And the shortest.  Not a whole lot of Rolfers in Palestine, it turns out.

Enough already.  Let’s get down to business, shall we?

It’s Pay What You Can Week for a few more days.  I’ve had a blast so far reconnecting with those of you I haven’t seen in a while.  And to the new clients I’ve seen, welcome!  It’s great to have you around!  Thank you so much for coming in!!  Ida Rolf would be so happy!  What a great way to celebrate her 116th birthday!  How many exclamation points can I use in one paragraph!? It’s like I’m shouting all the time!

It seems I’m struggling with serious today.  Alas.

If I haven’t seen you yet, there’s still time.  I have a few appointments left in Denver on Wednesday and one on Saturday.  Grab ‘em while you can.  ‘Cause as of Sunday, we’re back to full-priced sessions.  Womp, womp.

Take care, darling, and I’ll catch up with you next week!

Hey, ya’ll.  Next week we’ll be getting into how and why I got into Rolfing in the first place, but first I have to tell you about the exciting events coming up in May.  As you may know, I’m leaving town (again!) today and I won’t be back home until May 16th.  O little town of Bethlehem, here I come!  The thing is, I’ll be gone for my (31st!) birthday, on the 12th.  Also, Rolfing® Structural Integration National Awareness Week (what a mouthful, eh?) is May 14th-20th this year.  Also, also, Ida Rolf’s 116th birthday is May 19th.  In short, there’s a lot (and I mean A LOT) to celebrate upon my return to the States.  So, without further ado, let’s do this thing!

Announcing Pay What You Can Week! May 19th through May 26th!
Are you as excited as I am?  If not, maybe you should be.

Here’s the deal:

As you well know, my session fee is normally $120.  You know what you get, right?  Rolfing and SourcePoint in one, magical hour-and-a-half combination.  My undivided attention.  Communion with your healing spirits.  Access to my healing guides.  Elbows in your glutes and IT bands (if you need/want that).  Feeling all light and yet grounded and also expanded and integrated for the rest of the day.  You know, that magical, I-just-got-Rolfed-and-now-I-feel-a-little-stoned feeling.  Not to mention better posture and alignment and less pain.  You know what I’m talking about.

Now, for the week of May 19th through May 26th, you get all of that, for whatever price you can afford.  What you think is fair based on what it’s worth to you and what’s in your bank account.  Magical, no?

There are endless ways to play with this, but let me just explore a few of them with you.
Obviously, you can come in for a session and Pay What You Can, which may be $40 and may be $120.  Simple.
Another possibility is you can PWYC for someone else to receive a session.  Give it as a gift.
Or, you can PWYC for your session, as well as someone else’s session.  A pay-it-forward-pay-what-you-can combo!
Or, if you’re feeling generous and able to do so, you can pay a little more than the regular rate of $120, with the extra going towards covering someone else who may only be able to afford $10.
Or, if today you only have $5 in your pocket but you know that over the course of the next year, you could afford more, you can give me 4 post-dated checks (for 3, 6, 9, and 12 months from now) and I’ll even send you an email before I deposit them.

A couple of notes to make sure this stays fun:
Everyone pays something.  This isn’t Theresa-works-for-free-week.
No bartering or trades this week.  Cash, check, or credit card, baby.
It’s this week, May 19th through May 26th, and this week (technically 8 days) only.  If you’re out of town this week, or due to deliver your baby this week, or have 7 graduations and a wedding to attend this week, or just can’t make it this week, I’m sorry, but you’re out of luck.  (Also, I don’t work Thursdays and Fridays.  So take that into consideration.)
Once the spots are filled, they’re filled.  Don’t call me on the 25th and complain that I’m booked on the 26th and you didn’t get your chance at PWYC week.  You’re getting plenty of heads up and you know it.

So that’s it.  Pay What You Can Week!  Happy Birthday to me!  And Happy Birthday to Dr. Rolf!  And Happy Rolfing Structural Integration National Awareness Week!  And happy I’m-(probably)-staying-in-the-country-for-the-rest-of-the-year!  I could go on, but we’ll leave it there for now.

Schedule your PWYC sessions the same way you schedule any other sessions.  Click here to schedule online in Denver.  Or leave me a voicemail and I’ll return it when I get back in town.  Either way, get yourself and your friends in for PWYC week and celebrate!  And if you have any questions about anything, just shoot me an email and I’ll get it answered asap.  Much love until I return!