Take a Vacation From Your Problems

Deb -lrgMy 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 memory.

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 movie.

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 perspective.

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 considerably powerful. 

Take good care of yourself. I hope to be hearing from you soon!