This blogger’s life…

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a catch-up post about what is going on in this blogging woman’s life. Rather than blogging about some topic, I thought I’d share a slice of my life. Meet the blogger, if you haven’t already.

Massage school, test, license. You probably know that in my pursuit of health and happiness, I enrolled in massage school last summer. Well, I finished my internship on February 10 and completed the paperwork and fee-paying the following week to get my transcript. Then I holed up with books to study for the National Certification Exam for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

I took the test on Feb. 25. It was very hard. I got to a place where I knew I’d done the best I could. There were maybe a dozen questions out of 160 that I was clueless on and quite a few more that required my best guesstimate.

I turned it in after 2 hours and 10 minutes (20 minutes short of the maximum time), and 5 minutes later learned I’d passed.

Whew and yay! I’ve been a good test-taker in the past, and it had been many years since I took a test of that sort, the GRE for grad school. It’s good to know I still got that mojo, and I sure don’t want to do that again. Immediately after getting the results, my mind began to let go of all that information. Damn, my brain was full! It’s still there in my unconscious mind, accessible when I need it.

I’ve applied for a Texas state license, and it will take a few weeks to get it. Then I become Mary Ann Reynolds, LMT. (If I wish, I can add NCTMB to that.)

I’m continuing to practice massage in my Spartan trailer. Have now done 168. It’s said that it takes 200 massages to really get your hands minimally educated in the art of massage. I’m counting toward that milestone, and then I won’t be keeping track any more.

Going back to work. Meanwhile, my savings are running very low. I’m going to do some contract technical writing for a few months to replenish my coffers and bankroll starting a full-time private bodywork/changework practice. I’ve been looking for a short-term contract job since January and am currently being considered for eight such jobs in the Austin area. It’s been slow hearing back, but finally, I’m online to start a short-term editing contract, possibly followed by a technical writing contract. Thank you, Universe.

I’ve really enjoyed this time of not having to go to work! Of learning and practicing massage being my work. I’m looking forward to the time when that’s all I do. When I asked myself the question of what kind of work would I love to do even if I didn’t get paid, healing touch came to mind. Of course, I will get paid for it, which makes it even juicier!

So even though I am going to back to technical writing for a few months, it’s temporary.

And while I am working as a technical writer, I’ll still be doing a few massages each week during evenings and weekends to keep in practice and segue into my right livelihood.

Getting sick. So… the stress of studying for and taking the test, being broke, and the slow job search took a toll. Add to that some emotional difficulties, and I got sick last week. It’s been up and down — not really ill, but not feeling like my usual buoyant, energetic, resilient self consistently. It’s been part emotional, part energetic, part physical, like a mild stomach virus coupled with a sea change in my life. Times of not being able to get warm enough, of belly aches and no appetite (I’ve lost a few pounds), of needing extra rest, taking naps, going to bed early — mixed with life as usual, running errands, spending the day with my daughter when she had surgery, going to dance.

This past Monday, I went to South Austin Community Acupuncture — my first time there — after a week of illness, to receive sliding scale treatment on short notice. (My regular acupuncturist whom I see every couple of months, Patrice, is rarely able to get me in quickly. They take walk-ins at SACA.)

It was awesome! After the intake and interview, I was led to a room with 9 sheet-covered recliners, dim lighting, and very low soothing music playing. The acupuncturist read my pulses and looked at my tongue. I rolled my pants up to my knees and pulled my shirt up a little. He put some needles in my legs and feet, also at my waistline and key points on my head. Then I just laid back and let the needles do their work.

After about 45 minutes, I felt great. My energy felt healthy and balanced again. The acupuncturist took the needles out, and I felt better than I had in days. That lasted for several days.

Emotional distress. It’s painful but here’s my best shot at being quick, accurate, and kind about my experience: I dated someone for a couple of months. I really, really liked him, and he did some things that shocked me. We broke up (he really scared me), and we tried to be friends (he scared me again).

I put our friendship on hold because I need friends whom I trust, who treat me well, who disclose what needs to be disclosed in a gentle, kind, and trustworthy manner.

I desire to move toward loving relationships with healthy, grown-up men and women. I desire to feel valued and emotionally/physically safe with those who surround me.

I have compassion for what I know of that he’s been through and respect his path toward a healthy life. I know it’s tough. I appreciate how much he did open to up me and all the great qualities he has. I’m grateful for the times we shared that were good. I hope I made a positive difference in his life. I wish him well.

Yesterday I saw a therapist/shaman/friend who worked with me on undoing these emotional disturbances. We did left eye/right eye/cross-hemisphere work using visualizations. We also did some classic NLP. It was  fun, amazing, and effective. We untriggered these disturbing memories. I also decided to learn to stop pointing and use my whole hand as an indicator instead.

This morning I was struggling to awaken, feeling really exhausted. I felt the presence of an angel loving me energetically. A visitation! It was so awesome and so welcome after the difficult emotions of dealing with this. Thank you, angel. Please come back!

Changes to blog. I’m interested in monetizing my work, having started and maintained this blog as a labor of love for free for over two years now and spent many, many, many hours on writing posts.

I’ve decided to join the Internet economy. I added a Donation button after seeing one on some other WP blogs. Why not? If something I share is worth something to you and you’d like to show that monetarily, it’s one way of reciprocating.

I also love your likes and comments and subscriptions!

Need help finding source of quote that 90% of disease is stress-related

Note: I first published this post in 2011. Be sure to read Tom Beckman’s comments and click the link if you’re looking for the source of the quote. Thanks so much to Tom, who is the associate director of the Health Professionals Program at the HeartMath Institute, a great program for stress reduction, for this persevering research!

Note: It’s November 2022, and I want to add something about how stress and disease are related. Our autonomic nervous systems react to threats (severe, mild, and even imagined threats) by preparing us to take action (to run, fight, hide).

When this happens, our heart rate increases, pupils dilate, lungs take in more air, digestion slows, cortisol and epinephrine/norepinephrine are released.

In other words, stress prevents our systems from resting, repairing, restoring, regulating, and digesting — the functions that keep us healthy.


I’ve heard this statistic for several years. I’ve seen various forms of it in print, too, often attributed to the Centers for Disease Control but sometimes to the American Medical Association.

I’ve searched the CDC and AMA websites but haven’t found it.

I also searched, but it doesn’t include it.

Because there are variations (some say doctor visits, and the numbers range between 60 and 99 percent), it’s been difficult trying to hunt down the source of the quote.

That’s why I’m posting this. If any readers can shed some light on this, I would sure appreciate hearing from you. I’d love to have verification of the actual original quote and the date it was first published.

I’d like to use the quote with integrity.

Also — if this is close to true, is it possible that we’ve been chasing the rabbit down the wrong hole? That we’ve been addressing symptoms and not the cause?

All signs point to rest, quiet, and stillness today

For weeks now, I’ve been planning to have a party after I closed on my house.

Well, I closed yesterday. Woo hoo! The money after paying my mortgage was supposed to be wired into my bank account! I was ready to make a deposit on a fabulous vintage trailer.

After I picked up my paychecks from the contract agency (big SNAFU in getting me set up, and someone stayed late to give me these checks), I went to the bank to deposit them. I was in a drive-through lane, very crowded on Friday afternoon, and my car was running hot.

(This is the car that I had a collision in on Dec. 23 that has been in the shop more than out since then, that I’ve taken back twice so they could finish the job.  Last week they replaced the thermostat because the heater didn’t work.)

It was my turn. I deposited my checks only to be told that they were dated Feb. 21, and the bank can’t deposit them until then!!!!

So I left the bank and called my daughter to vent, about the car and the checks. Sometimes you just want to tell someone.

Luckily, she had just been talking to a friend up north who could pick me up and bring me home.

Sweet. I left my disabled car in North Austin. Last night I made plans to rent a car over the weekend.

Guess what? I woke with a sore throat and later developed aches and chills and fatigue.

I’d been exposed to strep and the flu when my granddaughter was over on Tuesday while my daughter worked. Been doing the thymus thump to boost my immune system, but alas, it was not to be.

I haven’t been sick in so long, I forgot what it was like.

So I’m sick today, and I’m moving out next Friday, and I need to get boxes and sort through stuff and give stuff away and take stuff to Goodwill and pack.

Oh, and celebrate!

The way I’m seeing it now, with the car disabled, and me sick, the universe has just made arrangements for me to have a day of stillness, quiet, and rest. Because that’s what my body has the energy for. I did make the bed and wash the dishes and cook a little. But mostly not.

Because all I want to do is take naps, drink herbal tea, watch videos, read, and try to stay warm enough.

And sometimes that’s enough.

I did learn that before they were applied to trauma, induced body shaking was used in sports as a way to speed healing.

Maybe I’ll have enough energy to do them today. But not right now.

And maybe that celebration will just have to occur later. Like when I move into my trailer.