My all-time favorite comedy film is "What About
Bob?" I have seen it more times than I can count and still find
myself laughing at scenes that I could virtually repeat from
Although the movie is a ridiculous
exaggeration of an OCD patient, two messages from the movie have
resonated with me and have helped me build a foundation that allows
me to keep things in perspective, lighten up and maintain some
semblance of balance in my life.
The first is the very underlying theme
of the movie and that is that life is much easier to handle when
you take it in baby steps. "Baby Steps" is actually the title of a
book written by Dr. Leo Marvin (Robert Dreyfus), a psychiatrist in
The idea of taking baby steps is
nothing new, but remembering to incorporate that advice precisely
when you need it takes practice. I repeat that mantra many times
when feeling overwhelmed, and it forces me to readdress the issue
that's giving me trouble and dissect it into manageable pieces,
thoughts or projects. Just carving it up like that and taking
another look, from a different angle, just seems to put it in
The second idea - and this one is
ridiculously simple, yet brilliant - comes about from a scene when
Dr. Marvin is trying to get rid of a patient, Bob Wiley (Bill
Murray), who has followed his family to their vacation home because
of his attachment to Dr. Marvin.
To Bob's objections, Dr.
Marvin begins to write him a prescription. The prescription reads,
and I think this is the brilliant part, "Take a vacation from your
problems." How utterly simple these few words are, but taken at
face value, we can all learn from his clever idea. I mean, who
doesn't need a vacation from their problems once in a while?
Sharing these ideas with you came to
mind during a recent massage. As I lay on the table becoming more
relaxed and dazed, I thought about how lovely it is to get to that
point of nirvana where you don't care about your job or the work
that awaits you, you're not worried about the kids, financial
worries can take a hike -face it, you don't even care to remember
your name! This is the exact place to take a vacation from your
problems because in this ecstasy, they cannot co-exist.
As a massage therapist, you will
realize the power of touch, the most sophisticated physical tool in
the world. As a result of your work, you can create an escape for
your clients, a vacation from their problems. And because
therapeutic massage is one of the only forms of health care that
specifically addresses the mind, body and spirit, it is
Take good care of yourself. I hope to
be hearing from you soon!