A Bossy Massage and Some Truth Telling

This guest post comes from story coach Cara Jones. 

Have you ever found yourself lucky enough to get a long awaited massage, only to then find yourself lying there feeling just subtly agitated or unsatisfied by the pressure or music or temperature. But then, when the provider asks how it’s all going you say “good” or “fine” because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, inconvenience them, or make them work too hard?

Recently, I had an experience that was the opposite of that. It’s called a “bossy massage,” a body work modality coined by Betty Martin that is all about inviting the client to direct the experience and ask for exactly what you want.

I obviously signed up for the adventure but, in the moment, I froze there on the table. My heart started to race. My hands got cold. I stayed silent for some awkward minutes watching my thoughts race. “What should I say?” “What would be okay for her?” I was so distracted I couldn’t access what I wanted.

The experience illuminated so much of what has and can still happen with me when I am challenged to tell the truth in my life and writing:

  1. I get a hit of something I want to say, then start worrying about what others will think
  2. As a result, I get cut off from feeling the depth of my own truth
  3. I say something that’s acceptably “good” or “fine,” or don’t say anything at all

What I learned from this bossy experience is that so often the “shoulds” and rules we have inherited block us from even knowing what we hold inside. The truth asks us to slow down and give it permission so we can hear what it has to say.

I was in tears by the end of it all as I discovered that, underneath so many shoulds, was someone who was so powerfully clear about what she wanted . . . who could both ask for and receive that.

May you also feel permission to access and receive the gifts of your own truth . . . for your work, your writing, and your life.

If you are coach, artist, healer, or entrepreneur, I would love to welcome you to a free writing experience to support more of your authentic expression in the world. The Be Yourself Out Loud Writing Experience happens on Tuesday, October 19th from 10-11:30am PST. You can learn about it and sign up here.



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