Foggy

The water temperatures were in the 50’s and the 70 degree warm air was descending upon the marina as the day was awakening. I caught a glimpse of the fog as I walked the pier that morning noticing how it hovered just above the water line. It looked as if it was coming up from the water, like the surface of the water was evaporating and small droplets of water, millions of them were rising from the surface of the water, like miniature tornadoes. I never noticed this before, but then again my life before living on my sailboat was one crisis after another moving me in constant motion but little accomplishment. I felt that as long as I was moving, driving, scurrying about, I was getting stuff done.

Stillness, noticing, watching, observing and remaining peaceful, and mindful of my surroundings is the direct result of a minimalist lifestyle on the sailboat in a marina in Herring Bay which spills out into the Chesapeake Bay.

 

via Daily Prompt: Foggy

Self Care – Walking

I did it. I’ve been walking between 2 to 4 miles a day. The fortunate aspect of this walking habit is that I live in a small town and most of the businesses I need to frequent for errands are within a mile from my boat. The furthest I need to walk is 1.7 miles one way to the bank (so that’s 3.4 miles that day), which I visit once or twice a week. Other days I walk to and from work about 2 miles a day.

I really want to share the benefits I’ve been receiving from this daily walk. Before, when I was working on the boat writing blogs or planning marketing for the massage business, I would get depressed from being home alone and sitting for long periods of time in front of the computer. I realized that since I’ve been walking, I don’t get depressed  nor do I feel jittery and unfocused. I remember as a young (twenty something) person, I was very physically active, happy and focused. It seems that walking, especially first thing in the morning, wakes up my body, loosens the joints, activates the lymphatic system, cleans out toxins (accumulation of which I believe are a contributing cause of depression) and tones every muscle in the body. I’m talking about brisk walking with arms swinging and hips swaying.

Ask a friend to walk with you, catch up on the latest news and derive some health benefits at the same time. Walking in nature wakes up your senses as you breath in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face. What an awesome way to start your day.

So I want to share with you 20 Benefits of Walking.

  1. It’s accessible to everyone.
  2. Helps with weight management.
  3. Doesn’t require special equipment.
  4. One of the easiest ways to become more active.
  5. Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  6. It’s a low impact exercise.
  7. Lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL – the bad cholesterol).
  8. Raises high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL – the good cholesterol).
  9. Lowers blood pressure.
  10. Reduces the risk of some cancers.
  11. Helps reduce risk and aids with the management of Type 2 Diabetes.
  12. Improves mood.
  13. Helps maintain strong bones.
  14. Reduces the risk of heart attack.
  15. Less likely to lead to injuries.
  16. Reduces stress.
  17. Reduces risk of heart disease.
  18. FREE – you don’t have to pay for it.
  19. Builds aerobic fitness.
  20. Helps maintain lean muscle tissue.

My favorite stretches before and after walking.

Image result for walking stretches

Tell me about your walking experiences, I would love to hear from you.

Many Blessings,

Kathy Brokos, LMT

 

Self Care?

When did we first start hearing about self care? My first time was about 5 years ago. My life drastically changed. I went from being in a committed relationship and my son in high school to being single, my son graduated from high school, moved out of town to be on his own and with friends. Wow! Lots of changes in a short period of time.

Self Care? What does that mean? I always thought it was selfish to care about myself. Where did I get that idea? So, here I am, single, alone and the first thing I did was go back to school, join a gym, that I visited quite often, and journaled. I was determined to do this self care thing.

I graduated from the local community college with an AAS in Massage Therapy, found an opening in a spa where I can practice therapeutic massage and have been helping other people with their self care program. As I delved into caring for myself and giving massages, I discovered that most people in my community are so busy taking care of others that self care doesn’t even fit into their day. No wonder so many people are stressed out, not happy with their physical appearance, and don’t have time for family because of so many demands on their time.

Maybe the first thing we can do for ourselves is to schedule daily time for self care. It is not “selfish” at all. Think about the last time you flew in a plane and one of the things they tell you to do in case of emergency, is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others. Possibly we should adopt this philosophy in our daily lives. How can we be available for our family members or co-workers if we are sick or lethargic because we don’t eat healthy foods or get enough sleep every night.

So I pose these questions to you: What areas of your life are you neglecting? Are you getting enough sleep each night? Drinking adequate water to stay hydrated? Eating healthy foods and having regular meals? Time for play? Time for family? Time for self? Are you exercising regularly? Have a spiritual practice?

I wonder!

My goal for 2017 is to add self care practices to my life. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with a ton of New Year’s resolutions that I won’t keep, but realistic monthly goals of adding one new habit of self care to my life. It takes 21 days for a new neuro-pathway to be created and adding the extra 7 days (28-30 in a month), I’m sure to establish the new self care habit before adding another one to my plate.

I challenge you to join me. Tell me what areas of your life you would like to improve, or start taking care of that have been neglected. Also, tell me what you would like to know about certain self care issues in your life. I would be glad to research those issues and share the results with you.

Are You Ready for a New YOU?

Blessings,

Kathy Brokos, LMT

Blessings!

Have you ever felt so blessed that you wanted to cry because the amount of joy in your heart is overflowing?

Life hasn’t always felt this way. These blessings I’m receiving are the result of years of letting go of the past, forgiving those who have hurt me, and being generous to everyone that I possibly can.

I’m sitting here today feeling extremely blessed that I just want to shout to the world how AWESOME IT IS and how WONDERFUL life is. I have to admit this change of my mindset has shown me that the world is HOW I CHOOSE TO SEE IT.

I CHOOSE to see the good in people.

I CHOOSE to be happy.

I CHOOSE to send LOVE to all I see and meet every day and every moment!

Will this be easy? I guess it will be easy or difficult according to my mindset.

So…

I CHOOSE each day to be EASY and FULL OF ABUNDANCE.

What a CHALLENGE!!!

 

Body Image Risk and Reward in Massage

Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. For many people it’s a minor issue, no big deal. But some people have a major issue with their body image. It affects how they live and their happiness.

When I tell some people that I’m a massage therapist it can cause a strong reaction. They tell me, whether verbally or through their reaction and body language, that massage is not for them. Their body image is such an issue that they don’t think anybody else can accept them.

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. In massage school we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better we felt better about our bodies.

I think there are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.

1. Don’t get a massage.

This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. The risk is low since you are not letting another person see or touch you at all.

The reward is zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before.

2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist either makes note of how you look, as if it matters.

If this has happened to you, I’m sorry. You got a crappy massage therapist. That’s a bummer, and I’m really sorry. You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, got very little reward.
This is not going to happen if you come to me. Never. No way. I can’t say this strongly enough. It goes against the very nature of who I am, how I treat people, and what I believe.

3. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage.

In this option your risk is low. I don’t care how your body looks. That’s none of my business. I just want to help it feel better. Your reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

I have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in. You may be dealing with something that you can’t control, such as a medical condition or an injury or accident. You may be in a lot of pain or are limited in what you can do physically. Since I don’t know what caused your body to be like it is now I can’t make any judgments about you.

I’ve worked on hundreds of people. Each body is interesting and I’ve yet to come across one that I could not help.
If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, let’s find an option that works for you. You don’t even have to explain anything to me. Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up or face down or lying on your side or however you want. It’s up to you.
It’s my job to help you feel better. That’s it. Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. Don’t let your body image keep you from feeling good.

I like to perform Myofascial Release and Shiatsu Shin Tai on my clients. One really important aspect is that these modalities are performed with the clients wearing loose fitting clothing and is very effective in reducing pain, stress, and stuck areas.

See my post on Massage and Myofascial Release for more information about how it can benefit you.