Note: If you’re seeking advanced integrative bodywork in Austin, TX, please allow me to redirect you to my business website, maryannreynolds.com.
One of my friends calls me an “aliveness blogger.” I like that a lot. I’d like this blog to be a resource in offering information and inspiration to help people live healthier and more authentic lives that overflow with well-being. So here’s my story to back it up.
For years I worked in office jobs. In my free time, I practiced yoga. I meditated. I danced. I learned how to eat more healthfully. I saw healers of various kinds. I worked on healing myself: from past trauma, unhealthy habits and relationships, poor decisions, addiction, sedentary work, stress, the culture’s excesses and demands, my own monkey mind.
Deep down inside, I was not well. I may have appeared to be healthy, but I was not.
One day, it became clear that I’d had enough of the office lifestyle. I saw colleagues who were good people, also doing the best they could, but whose hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits were also not well. Those who knew it felt economically stuck, making a sacrifice in their freedom and well-being for a mortgage, health insurance, financial security, their children, their self-image as achievers. Many didn’t appear to know it and didn’t seem to question the prices they were paying. They were doing the best they could, but wasn’t there more?
Who’s the healthiest person in every way that you know? Having physical health, emotional intelligence, range, and resilience, mental capabilities (not necessarily academic — common sense counts more), social good will, a skill or skills that are needed and that make the world a better place, a spiritual belief that we’re all part of something bigger… Maybe there are other characteristics of comprehensive health that come to mind. These are what I came up with.
I did question what I was doing with my life, especially after several people I worked with died. It sure looked to me like the stress of the job had at least something to do with it.
Because of my affinity for ecstatic dance, I also happened to know people who didn’t do office work, who radiated health, well-being, and happiness, who felt alive and free, were loved and loving, living mindful lives of contribution, teaching, healing, building, offering solutions.
I wanted my life to be more like that.
My child was grown. My house had appreciated in value. I was overdue for a major change. I gave notice at my job 17 months short of retirement, sold my house, bought a vintage trailer, remodeled it, and moved in.
After being accepted into an acupuncture graduate school, I instead decided to become a licensed massage therapist after a friend who was a gifted healer asked me to work on him. He told me afterward that I needed to get a license to touch people with my hands.
I tried on the belief that I was a healer using my hands, and I liked how it felt, even though it felt bigger than I customarily saw myself (becoming aware of how I had limited what I had believed was possible for me). It felt like a blessed calling and also one in which I would constantly grow and learn. I knew that I had nurtured the healing processes within me that resolved issues from the past and steered me to make healthier choices, and I would continue on that path. I knew that gifted healers had often healed themselves and somehow were able to transmit their healing energies to move others toward greater health.
I made the leap, and here I am, learning every day and being of service to others. I offer advanced integrative bodywork at my office in West Lake Hills, near central Austin, Texas.
Sixty to 90 percent of doctor visits are attributed to stress-related illnesses and symptoms (Humana, 2009). I don’t know why more is not being done in our culture about addressing stress as the root of illness and dis-ease.
It appears to me that since business, government, traditional health care institutions, the media, schools and universities, churches, and most parents aren’t adequately addressing the amount of stress most Americans live with, and are not understanding the cost to individuals, families, and society, it’s pretty much up to each person and each family to understand the connection between their choices and their well-being and to adjust their lives accordingly.
What kind of life do you want? Who can guide you on your path to wellness? How does life teach you to live better?
I’ve learned some important components of healing first-hand: for instance, that trauma resides in the body and we can help it release, that the food we eat and water we drink literally provide the building blocks for our bodies’ renewal (and if we eat animals, the food they eat), that stress can affect our genes, that energy flows through our bodies and we can experience and address imbalances, that our beliefs are powerful in shaping our lives, that healing is a constant process that we can support and augment, that meditation is a worthwhile practice, and Mystery and Love are always present in healing.
I live frugally in a 1959 Spartan Carousel trailer in Manchaca, Texas, a quiet unincorporated village just south of Austin.
I eat a clean diet that I tweak to work for me better, and I am fascinated by all the new research being published about the our microbiome’s influence on health. Hence I’ve added some posts about making sauerkraut and beet kvass, fermented foods teeming with probiotics.
I love trees (I’ve planted ten since 2011), and wish to share that I am continually amazed at the astonishing sight of our planet’s blue sky and clouds and the star-spangled night sky, how day and night forever chase each other, the phases of the moon, seasons, the living soil, the living planet, and human life. What a gift to be part of it.
I wish I was taller. I wish I had done a lot of things in my young life differently. I dislike sudden loud noises and sudden bad news, and I appreciate wholeness, authenticity, health, wellness. I have close to perfect pitch and think musically, (well, according to an online quiz). I am a social creature who appreciates solitude daily.
MBTI type: INFJ.
Enneagram: I’m a Five (curious investigator) with Four (artistic) and Six (scientific) wings. I go to Seven (the magic child) in stress and to Eight (the embodied challenger) in security.
- Sun: Aquarius.
- Moon: Scorpio.
- Ascendant: Virgo.
Life purpose: being of service (from Lifeprints: Deciphering Your Life Purpose Through Your Fingerprints)
One of more than seven billion human beings on Planet Earth.
Unfaithful to my sorrows.
JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU.