When stillness finds us

When Stillness finds us

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Occasionally

there are moments in life

when the dust that clouds our appreciation for our blessings

finally settles

and stillness and contentment

  are all that remain.

~Nicole Martin

Photography by

Nicole Martin

Posted in blogging, Daily muse, My wordpress, Poem, relaxation, Story, Wordpress prompts, Writing

Yawn

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‘I notice an impostor staring back at me from deep within the glass’

( YAWN )

WordPress Daily Prompt

Yawn

Author

Nicole Martin

….

My gaze is fixed on the coffee table.

I’m stuck here

and I’m not moving

this is where I stop.

Just me and the fine layer of dust that’s also comfortable here.

I notice an impostor staring back at me from deep within the glass

Who the hell are you?- I ask

They ignore me.

Disinterested, that’s how I’d describe them.

A timely blink forces me to refocus.

The face is gone and the dust is back.

That happened fast-I thought

I only wiped it the other day

A large speck of white catches my attention

It’s just sitting there, parked off on it’s own

making friends with the crooked glass corner

A toast crumb?

A feather?

A butterfly wing?

A diamond?

My eyes are burning,

-damn you

I close them.

and then I feel it.

A rapid accumulation of energy in my throat that wants to escape

It starts in my chest and explodes out the nearest exit-my mouth

This unwelcome yawn disturbs the edge of my stare

A tear escapes-I feel it on my cheek

“Wake up lady” My brain pleads

“NO WAY”-I reply

I dispense of the tear like a dirty old rag and re-position my solidified gaze to please myself

This time in the direction of the Kettle

Here Kettle, here little Kettle, kettle, kettle, kettle

I’m not getting up-I thought

Although I probably should

If only it would grow wings and fly to me

or sprout little robot legs and run

I’d kill for a cupppa

but my legs are chained to the couch

It’ll have to wait.

My burning eyes blink, and before I know what’s happening my head decides to lie down

I told it not to do that, but it didn’t listen

“It’s only for a minute” it reassures

-I relent

I can see the ceiling now

round and round and round it goes

purring with every revolution

it’s arms are also dusty

the fan did NOT get cleaned last week I remembered, unlike the table

I’ll have to do it another day

not today

I’m not moving.

My legs misbehave now and embark on making themselves comfortable.

-I should get up and do something useful.

They stretch themselves out like they own the place

‘The king has been overthrown’- I am no longer in control of the moment

They stretch their bones

they stretch their muscles

“but it’s only for a minute”-they inform me

“Ok. But just for a minute” I warn.

Round and round and round and round

gone.

Photo credit: DanieleCivello via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Featured Image: Photo credit: origami_potato via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Artistry is about reflection not suicide

When youth leaves us

To my Boy

Posted in Elephant Journal, mindfullness, Published work, relaxation, Stories, Writing

Massage-The one I’ll never forget

‘She lead me into a room-Exquisitely decorated, exquisitely oriental. Chinese characters in bold whispered their foreign word from all angles-portraits of Eastern Medics and Masters extirpated my breath with their stares…’

3384930057_dd8a56e347_o

 

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken.

Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.

Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path.

Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look.

Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching.

March to the beat of your own drummer.

And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Always take the road less traveled-Publisher-The Elephant Journal

Author

Nicole Martin

🔵

This morning I really felt I was in need of a good massage.

My arms, shoulders, back and neck felt positively tortured, and were responsible for a level of fatigue and discomfort that was beyond my usual tolerance.

It’s amazing how this ‘stiffness’ becomes normal after a while.  I’ll barely notice it until it builds to a pathological level, causing headaches, irritable mood, and lethargy.

Today, in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, I discovered a gem.

I made the spontaneous decision to book in for a massage, however, it was proving to be more difficult than I thought.

“Sorry-booked out.”

“Sorry-will next week do?”

“Oh gosh no, but we’ll put you on the waiting list.”

Disheartened, I gave up on the seemingly exquisite idea of being spoilt, as clearly everybody else in this town had the exact same thought. As I made plans to down some paracetamol instead, an interesting ad for a massage therapist caught my eye. I hesitated, believing the response would be the same, but took my chances one last time.

“Hello?”

“Oh hello, my name is Nicole, I’m hoping you have a spot for a massage today, but I know you’re probably booked out, so don’t worry, I guess I’ll just have to—”

I hurried my introduction, added in a few deep sighs, and prepared myself for rejection when I was interrupted by a sweet voice simply saying,

“12:00 my girl, you come in.”

“Oh. Really? Wow, ok thank you. You sure?”

“You good gal. 12:00.”

Before I could get another word in, the conversation was over.

‘I had never seen a massage place like this one before.’

Her studio lay tucked away behind some old buildings at the top of a flight of stairs. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an element of anticipation. I don’t know about you, but booking a massage with someone unknown always concerns me. I have certainly had my fair share of odd massages, in some very odd places.

Like a little child, I pranced to the top of the stairs, and quickly ran down them again, as I panicked and thought I was in the wrong place. A quick scan of the area downstairs revealed nothing, so I stealthily re-climbed the stairs for a second look. Peering carefully around a concrete corner, I saw it-Signage.

Large, hand written, white letters were splayed across her window, much like words on a chalk board aligning a market stall, where vendors sit cross legged, hoping to sell their goods. I imagined it reading-

“Grapes $5.00/kg.”

Instead, it read

MASSAGE OPEN

 

8596521866_9dc07f6442_b

The strong scent of massage oil and incense began to awaken my senses as I approached the entrance. Instantly, I was on the back foot.

‘Incense and me just don’t go together.’

My stomach churned as asked myself whether I’d made a terrible mistake.

I had never seen a massage place like this one before.

Incense and me just don’t go together. For some reason, I associate it’s odour with Witch doctors, Magic tricks, Ouija boards and Tarot cards-you know, all that spooky stuff-

“wooohooooo I can see her…your dead great aunt in law…she is trying to tell you something…” -that kind of rhetoric.

With no sense of an open mind, I made a judgement that this massage was going to involve a few magic prods here and there, some Abracadabra words, a poof of smoke and

‘shabam’

-I was now a frog.

3500412170_ed6a2a31aa_o

Photo credit: Paul Grey via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

As I entered the shop, there was another customer sitting down in the waiting area. She glanced over at me and nodded her head, but kept quiet. I nodded in return and took a seat.

The reception area was small but neat, the walls adorned with Asian images. As I waited, nervously suspicious, she turned her attention to me, speaking in soft tones.

“Hello. Please pill out da form.”

She gave me the fright of my life as it occurred to me that this person I thought was a client, was actually the therapist.

She was of Chinese descent, elderly, half my height, with a crooked gait, and wise eyes. Her skin as pale as white porcelain, her feet as tiny as a toddler. Her English was exceptionally limited.

I filled out the form, which included the usual questions-injuries, sore points etc, and handed it over to her on completion. She glanced at it for a fleeting moment. As I sat there, in silence, waiting for the next instruction, I felt as though I were lost in time—as if I were no longer in 2015, but on a mission somewhere in Ancient China in 1756. I began to sense that this session was going to be different. I was already feeling the wonder and intrigue.

Strangely, I was keen for more.

She lead me into a room. -Exquisitely decorated, exquisitely oriental. Chinese characters in bold whispered their foreign word from all angles-portraits of Eastern Medics and Masters extirpated my breath with their stares.

Massage oil and candles-carefully positioned on dainty little tables clad with silk cloth, proudly owned every corner.

6863035270_07065cb343_o

Photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Modesty was left outside as she instructed me to undress. She was not interested in waiting outside for me to do this. I carefully placed myself face down on the massage table. As I did this, I happened to glance upward.

Wooden bars-I pondered their role.

“You know, I might look small, but I am bery bery strong.”

I was completely unsure of what to expect at this moment. What a pleasure. What an invigorating feeling to be faced with a new taste, an unknown entity.

Her hands were powerful. Her technique flawless. I lay there mesmerised, weak under her force. She located every pressure point with ease and accuracy.

I found myself drifting into a semi-trance, as my muscles let go for the first time in years. Every single muscle fibre in my body was re-energised and invigorated.

The soft background tunes took me to the Great sinking Titanic-really? I know bizarre

-and the quiet clunk clunk of the air conditioner sent me direct to a deserted island where tropical fish frollicked in crystal clear water. I lay in a hammock on the beach where I was setting up for a siesta beside the cooling fan.

4644117248_202762e0f2_o

Photo credit: sinosplice via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

She placed a hot towel over my back, and then another, and then another, and then another.

Completely buried under a stack of hot towels, she began to walk, all over my body.

Ahhhh, so that’s what the roof rack was for.

Her feet kneaded my legs and back with delicate precision. It actually felt amazing until she stood still on top of my lungs for what felt like hours. Death by asphyxiation crossed my mind a few times, but she clearly knew what she was doing—

“bixing your spine to berfec.”

It was the perfect massage.

The influence Eastern Massage techniques had on her style was refreshing and effective. How fortuitous, to find such a gem, and have such an experience in a day that was not planned as so. My body felt light, relaxed and refreshed.

Going with the familiar, has become habitual for me. I think it’s because it feels safe. Control is my middle name, and it’s so darn restrictive.

Do you do that?

Take the same route home from work everyday? Buy the same food week in, week out at the same grocery store?

I stumbled upon a little bit of magic today. It just goes to show, there is a fascinating world out there just waiting to be explored and experienced, in so many different ways.

What have I learned?

‘Always take the road less traveled’

It’s growth, It’s freedom.

To my boy

  A lonely strand of hair

I am John

The face I will never forget

MORE POSTS FROM NICOLE HERE

Posted in Elephant Journal, mindfullness, Published work, relaxation, Stories, Wordpress prompts, Writing

Massage-The one I’ll never forget

‘New massage therapist in town makes one hell of an impression’

Ripped Into the Headline

According to local resident Jon West, the new massage therapist in town is like ‘no other.’

“I’m sure she must be into magic or something because I felt like she’d cast a spell on me and just like that- poof! -my aches and pains were gone. I’ve never felt anything like it”

Of Chinese descent, ‘Marta’ at ‘Relax if you will’ incorporates Eastern techniques into her practice, providing a much needed alternative to western massage methods.

Below is a true recount from one of her still ‘dazed’ customers- and trust me, it has to be read to be believed.

ARTICLE AUTHOR

Nicole Martin

Continue reading “Massage-The one I’ll never forget”

Posted in Mental Health, mindfullness, relaxation

Are you an absorber or a deflector?

 

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‘Please can someone switch off the noise in my head’

 

by N.A.Martin

 

“If you are an absorber and you do not take the necessary time to rest your mind, you will live in a continual  state of fatigue and anxiety”

 

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🍀

Do you walk into a room and feel the energy hit you like a freight train?

Do you feel uncomfortable in the presence of some people for no particular reason?

Do you have trouble detaching yourself from negative emotions?

Do you avoid conversation and socialising despite the fact that you consider yourself a social person?

Are you an over thinker?

Are you always tired, especially when you have been dealing with people all day?

Does the thought of Cooking for 20 people at a dinner party exhaust you?

Would you rather stay home after a long day at work than go out?

Chances are, you are an absorber!

Truly relaxing can be extremely challenging for some.

This problem can sometimes become pathological and contribute to conditions such as  insomnia, depression and anxiety and  open the door to  substance abuse or destructive social habits as a way of trying to offload noxious energy.

I often wonder when it was exactly, that I lost the ability to relax.

When I was younger, I had the time to stare out of a window and daydream without interruption for hours. I would do as I pleased. Listen to music, draw, go for a run, or just think.

I slept well and I relaxed well.

It never occurred to me that this over abundance of mental space was actually important recovery time for me.

It is a fact that some personality types actually require more mind recovery time than others.

Those people that deflect the energies of those around them require less recovery time than those that absorb these energies.

Absorbers whether they like it or not are wired to soak up the energy around them until they are saturated. These people are usually the more sensitive, emotional personality types. They fatigue more easily and they are more prone to over stimulation.

Often absorbers  are misunderstood.

They may appear  irritable,  short tempered, stressed, depressed/anxious, difficult or unhappy.

This is true, they may present with these traits! Ouch!

However, they may not be aware the cause of this ‘out of character’ behaviour can be attributed to a serious deficit in mental recovery time.

Attempting to function with a stressed out, over stimulated mind day in, day out, makes for a challenging life. Nobody can do that well.

Absorbers, depending on their immediate level of duress, may have the ability to override their ‘over stimulated mind’ and continue to interact with others quite successfully, even appearing to be the life of the party,  however, this is never sustainable. If they do not give themselves the rejuvenation they require for their personality type, and they continue to absorb the energies around them, therein brews a potential disaster.

I know, that it often exhausts me to socialise when I have had a long day at work. The simplest things such as having a reasonable conversation with someone, can be a challenge.  Since having children and working full time I rarely allow myself the time I need to fully rejuvenate in exactly the way I need to- as I regularly did in my former years.

I often live in a state of over stimulation absorbing the energy of everyone around me continuously, with sleep my only reprieve.

Living in this state, gives one the distorted perception that one is in constant demand, or one has no spare time for themselves, or one is the busiest person on the planet, when in actual fact, their life may not be any more demanding than Joe Bloggs down the road.

This is why absorbers love to sleep.

The land of nod provides a much needed escape from the constant flow of energy that they absorb from the world around them.

It has taken me years of unnecessary self torture to unravel the cause of my inability to relax.

I was simply living in a continuous state of over stimulation.

I was so full of everyone else’s energy, that I had no capacity to feel the essential emotions that make us feel alive. Humour, fun, elation, excitement, peace, enjoyment.

The internet, work, kids, husband, family, friends, news, TV, radio, life in general all radiate energy, and absorbers take all of that in and then add to it with their lovely genetic tendency to overthink as well. All of this equates to one thing-

OVERLOAD!!

I have now learned the consequence of my nature ( to absorb others energies opposed to deflecting them) is rapid over stimulation when coupled with a lack of mind recuperation.

The solution?

An enormous down time requirement.

When I say downtime, I mean an environment with little to no stimulation, every day. No internet, no talking, no interaction with people, no writing, just nothingness.

The result, I have discovered, is miraculous.

The result, is an entirely different person. A rested person, who has a much greater capacity for others.

This is not always achievable however, as life will always find a way of creeping up on you before you have a chance to refuel. This is normal.  I now understand, it’s a matter of self management.  If  I am feeling overwhelmed,  it is because I have not given myself enough time to empty my mind of emotions, thoughts and energies, and so I will politely remove myself from all stimulation as soon as is humanly possible and do what I need to do to rejuvenate.  If your friends and family know you well enough, they will understand the need for you to do that. If not, they may question your requirement to run away from them. Simply give them a lesson in Biology and reassure them that it is all Grandma’s fault as you have inherited a brain that is extremely empathic, but needs regular grease and oil changes to run smoothly. They might not get it, but they’ll appreciate the new relaxed you when you return.

It’s just the way it is for the hypersensitive empathic personality type.

Deflectors on the other hand, may appear cold, or incapable of feeling empathy. They often don’t operate on quite as deep an emotional level as absorbers, and can’t see the point in dwelling on things, however, they have a gifted ability to deflect the energies around them.

Absorbers may struggle to truly connect with a deflector, and may feel lonely in their company, however, they can actually be a godsend to them. They can act to ‘lighten’ the absorbers mind.

Deflectors have a strong ability to multi-task and not only cope with, but enjoy a high energy demanding life.

They make efficient managers as they have the ability to separate themselves emotionally  from difficult situations.

They suffer from burnout ‘less’ than do absorbers.

Deflectors require less down time than an absorber to operate on a healthy rested emotional level because they naturally deflect, which in turn sustains their rested state of mind.

So if you are an absorber, it is very important to calculate your required down time- The quantity of time you personally require to freshen up your mind- and take it. Some need more time out than others, its as simple as that.

C’est la vie!

Recognise when you are over stimulated and if possible, completely remove yourself from that environment,  with yoga, exercise, meditation, reading or whatever it may be that works for you.

 

 

Take the time you need to cultivate a healthy mind.

Remember,

DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP

You are not a grouch,

You are not boring,

You are not anti-social,

and you are not acopic.

Your mind is simply tired.

🍀

💚All of Me-N.A.Martin

MORE POSTS FROM ALL OF ME HERE

Posted in Elephant Journal, mindfullness, Published work, relaxation, Stories, Writing

Massage-The one I’ll never forget

‘She lead me into a room-Exquisitely decorated, exquisitely oriental. Chinese characters in bold whispered their foreign word from all angles-portraits of Eastern Medics and Masters extirpated my breath with their stares…’

3384930057_dd8a56e347_o

 

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken.

Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.

Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path.

Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look.

Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching.

March to the beat of your own drummer.

And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”

Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

Always take the road less traveled-Publisher-The Elephant Journal

Author

Nicole Martin

🔵

This morning I really felt I was in need of a good massage.

My arms, shoulders, back and neck felt positively tortured, and were responsible for a level of fatigue and discomfort that was beyond my usual tolerance.

It’s amazing how this ‘stiffness’ becomes normal after a while.  I’ll barely notice it until it builds to a pathological level, causing headaches, irritable mood, and lethargy.

Today, in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, I discovered a gem.

I made the spontaneous decision to book in for a massage, however, it was proving to be more difficult than I thought.

“Sorry-booked out.”

“Sorry-will next week do?”

“Oh gosh no, but we’ll put you on the waiting list.”

Disheartened, I gave up on the seemingly exquisite idea of being spoilt, as clearly everybody else in this town had the exact same thought. As I made plans to down some paracetamol instead, an interesting ad for a massage therapist caught my eye. I hesitated, believing the response would be the same, but took my chances one last time.

“Hello?”

“Oh hello, my name is Nicole, I’m hoping you have a spot for a massage today, but I know you’re probably booked out, so don’t worry, I guess I’ll just have to—”

I hurried my introduction, added in a few deep sighs, and prepared myself for rejection when I was interrupted by a sweet voice simply saying,

“12:00 my girl, you come in.”

“Oh. Really? Wow, ok thank you. You sure?”

“You good gal. 12:00.”

Before I could get another word in, the conversation was over.

‘I had never seen a massage place like this one before.’

Her studio lay tucked away behind some old buildings at the top of a flight of stairs. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an element of anticipation. I don’t know about you, but booking a massage with someone unknown always concerns me. I have certainly had my fair share of odd massages, in some very odd places.

Like a little child, I pranced to the top of the stairs, and quickly ran down them again, as I panicked and thought I was in the wrong place. A quick scan of the area downstairs revealed nothing, so I stealthily re-climbed the stairs for a second look. Peering carefully around a concrete corner, I saw it-Signage.

Large, hand written, white letters were splayed across her window, much like words on a chalk board aligning a market stall, where vendors sit cross legged, hoping to sell their goods. I imagined it reading-

“Grapes $5.00/kg.”

Instead, it read

 MASSAGE OPEN

 

8596521866_9dc07f6442_b

The strong scent of massage oil and incense began to awaken my senses as I approached the entrance. Instantly, I was on the back foot.

‘Incense and me just don’t go together.’

My stomach churned as asked myself whether I’d made a terrible mistake.

I had never seen a massage place like this one before.

Incense and me just don’t go together. For some reason, I associate it’s odour with Witch doctors, Magic tricks, Ouija boards and Tarot cards-you know, all that spooky stuff-

“wooohooooo I can see her…your dead great aunt in law…she is trying to tell you something…” -that kind of rhetoric.

With no sense of an open mind, I made a judgement that this massage was going to involve a few magic prods here and there, some Abracadabra words, a poof of smoke and

‘shabam’

-I was now a frog.

3500412170_ed6a2a31aa_o

Photo credit: Paul Grey via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

As I entered the shop, there was another customer sitting down in the waiting area. She glanced over at me and nodded her head, but kept quiet. I nodded in return and took a seat.

The reception area was small but neat, the walls adorned with Asian images. As I waited, nervously suspicious, she turned her attention to me, speaking in soft tones.

“Hello. Please pill out da form.”

She gave me the fright of my life as it occurred to me that this person I thought was a client, was actually the therapist.

She was of Chinese descent, elderly, half my height, with a crooked gait, and wise eyes. Her skin as pale as white porcelain, her feet as tiny as a toddler. Her English was exceptionally limited.

I filled out the form, which included the usual questions-injuries, sore points etc, and handed it over to her on completion. She glanced at it for a fleeting moment. As I sat there, in silence, waiting for the next instruction, I felt as though I were lost in time—as if I were no longer in 2015, but on a mission somewhere in Ancient China in 1756. I began to sense that this session was going to be different. I was already feeling the wonder and intrigue.

Strangely, I was keen for more.

She lead me into a room. -Exquisitely decorated, exquisitely oriental. Chinese characters in bold whispered their foreign word from all angles-portraits of Eastern Medics and Masters extirpated my breath with their stares.

Massage oil and candles-carefully positioned on dainty little tables clad with silk cloth, proudly owned every corner.

6863035270_07065cb343_o

Photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Modesty was left outside as she instructed me to undress. She was not interested in waiting outside for me to do this. I carefully placed myself face down on the massage table. As I did this, I happened to glance upward.

Wooden bars-I pondered their role.

“You know, I might look small, but I am bery bery strong.”

I was completely unsure of what to expect at this moment. What a pleasure. What an invigorating feeling to be faced with a new taste, an unknown entity.

Her hands were powerful. Her technique flawless. I lay there mesmerised, weak under her force. She located every pressure point with ease and accuracy.

I found myself drifting into a semi-trance, as my muscles let go for the first time in years. Every single muscle fibre in my body was re-energised and invigorated.

The soft background tunes took me to the Great sinking Titanic-really? I know bizarre

-and the quiet clunk clunk of the air conditioner sent me direct to a deserted island where tropical fish frollicked in crystal clear water. I lay in a hammock on the beach where I was setting up for a siesta beside the cooling fan.

4644117248_202762e0f2_o

Photo credit: sinosplice via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

She placed a hot towel over my back, and then another, and then another, and then another.

Completely buried under a stack of hot towels, she began to walk, all over my body.

Ahhhh, so that’s what the roof rack was for.

Her feet kneaded my legs and back with delicate precision. It actually felt amazing until she stood still on top of my lungs for what felt like hours. Death by asphyxiation crossed my mind a few times, but she clearly knew what she was doing—

“bixing your spine to berfec.”

It was the perfect massage.

The influence Eastern Massage techniques had on her style was refreshing and effective. How fortuitous, to find such a gem, and have such an experience in a day that was not planned as so. My body felt light, relaxed and refreshed.

Going with the familiar, has become habitual for me. I think it’s because it feels safe. Control is my middle name, and it’s so darn restrictive.

Do you do that?

Take the same route home from work everyday? Buy the same food week in, week out at the same grocery store?

I stumbled upon a little bit of magic today. It just goes to show, there is a fascinating world out there just waiting to be explored and experienced, in so many different ways.

What have I learned?

‘Always take the road less traveled’

It’s growth, It’s freedom.