At last spring has come and across all our different cultures and traditions similar themes arise as it brings hope. We celebrate renewal of the green, and re-emergence of all creatures great and small after the winter of lockdown and hibernation. From worms and frogs to caterpillars and……massage therapists!
In Impossible Darkness
Do you know how the caterpillar turns?
Do you remember what happens inside a cocoon?
There in the thick black of your self-spun womb, void as the moon before waxing, you melt (as Christ did for three days in the tomb) conceiving in impossible darkness the sheer inevitability of wings
by Kim Rosen
We have plenty of reason to celebrate spring here at Shiatsu and Thai Massage Training Scotland (STMTS). Firstly, we therapists sharing the space are able to return to close contact services and THE DIARY IS OPEN! Also Ruth, Lesley and I are pleased to welcome our colleague Freya of Rowan Therapies to the team of therapists in residence, she will be working on Thursdays.
Secondly – just like schools throughout the world, STMTS has adapted to change and our students have responded with incredible resilience. This year’s TYM Diploma cohort had only two weekends in person training before transferring to Zoom but all through
the winter they have hung on with open hearts and determination, and with the generosity of their family members giving themselves up for endless massages (!) the students have made it through! I am so delighted and amazed at their professionalism. Watch this space there is a group of amazing therapists just about to hit the market!
Last year we gave ourselves a big pat on the back for becoming an accredited training provider with Federation of Holistic Therapists. This year I am pleased to be invited to represent STMTS and Well Mother with a specialist Pregnancy Massage workshop at the Virtual Congress. I had a blast making the video during lockdown and my past history as a performer and digital film maker came in handy! You can see the end product (edited in iMovie with great sophistication) in June at FHT Virtual Congress
And finally, we have something to ask from you…. Thanks to you all for your support and interest, we celebrated reaching 100 subscribers on Youtube thanks to you! Marketing is an ever-changing landscape and now we are turning our attention to other Social Media. Could you help us by kindly take a moment to subscribe to us on Facebook and perhaps even leave a review? If you are interested you will then more easily see our regular updates, so please, click on!
It’s a little late to be posting this really, I saw my first snowdrops 10 days ago, but having spoken to a friend who is sad just now, and patiently but painfully awaiting a little lightness of being, I felt moved to share it here again. It’s timely too, as yesterday was the new moon in Aquarius, heralding the shift from the Age of Pisces, nebulous and mutable, to the presence, grounding and connection of the Age of Aquarius. And if that’s not enough it’s also Chinese New Year! By this model we are beginning the Year of the Ox, symbolic of hardworking attitudes. Tibetan New Year, Losar, is also celebrated on the same day. So here’s to all things new, grounded in the Earth, yielding shoots of renewal ready for the necessary work of our lives ahead.
Snow Drop Day in Glasgow
Lucy Trend 23/1/2015
Today is Snowdrop day. It’s the day when I see my first snowdrops of the year and my heart jumps a little jig of delight at these tiny white drops of hope, announcing the dark days are over, it’s time to think about new beginnings, soon fresh energy will be springing up. It’s a beautiful time of year, a time to rejoice in the miracle of life.
Ancient festivals have stuck fast at this season, evolving through time with changing religions and spiritual beliefs. The festival of St Bride, the patron saint of Midwives, is a combination of the Christian festival of Candlemas, and the fire festival of Imbolc, of the pagan tradition. This celebrates the ewe’s milk coming (‘oimelc’), as early lambs are about to be born into an uncertain future, will they survive if the season is harsh, will they perish in the snow? And Candlemas holds a similarly uncertain future for the lambs, stemming from the Law of Moses, a ritual purification of the new mother at the temple, 40 days after childbirth, offering a sacrifice of a lamb as thanksgiving for new life, or more modestly in the case of Mary and Joseph, a pair of doves.
For some, the returning of the light is not joyful and rebirth is hard to see. As the days become lighter our inner shadows may seem deeper, the darkness within felt more harshly, stubborn and unyielding to external signs of hope. Patience is required; deep, slow nurturing, and drawing on our reserves of faith, that the light within will return. It is important that the beautiful stillness of Winter does not become stagnation, we must try to look to the future, be flexible and open to the shifting energies of nature. Likewise, frail lives, knowing deep down that their reserves are almost empty, have held on through the long winter, and seeing the light returning, find strength to let go of their struggle and slip away. This is the cycle of life. We each have our place on that wheel, the big wheel that keeps on turning.
So, now that the snow has trampled the last surviving undergrowth revealing the bare bones of the landscape, we have an opportunity to see our own lives laid bare, stripped down to the underlying structure. Now is a time tor considering plans for the future. We don’t have long if we want to catch the wave of growing energy that lies ahead! Snowdrops were pushing up under that snow, and now it as melted, there is no longer any doubt. Spring is coming!
Lucy Trend written 23/1/2015 posted here on 12/2/21
‘The harvest moon has come, Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon. And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum…’ ~ Ted Hughes, ‘Harvest Moon’
In the Chinese five element theory late summer is the season of Earth element, which represents ‘manifestation’. In the turning of the seasons plants grow from seed in winter, to sprout in spring, to flower in summer and finally in late summer growth comes to fruition and we have our harvest, both of crops and of fruits & nuts of the tress and hedgerow.
Likewise with our day to day lives, the completion of the process of creativity is the manifestation of the final product. And within ourselves; the mind, emotions and spirit exist because they are manifest in the living, physical body.
I teach my students how to touch without causing pain or flinching, by first exploring how to crawl softly on the floor, leaning bodyweight on the Earth, discovering how it is that gravity keeps us connected to the Earth. We transfer this understanding to our technique; leaning on our client, their body becomes our Earth, our support and we relax into this. This is the mechanism by which Shiatsu and Thai Massage allows both giver and receiver to feel more deeply in touch with the body and the Earth, to feel more grounded and supported, to feel more ourselves and how we are manifest. by Lucy Trend. 10th September 2020.
Ah, to dwell on the positive moments of my day! This has been one of the joys that my mindfulness practice has brought, and particularly during lockdown which has offered so many more peaceful moments in my environment, despite the difficulties of these times. These words are from the head of my MSc course at Aberdeen Uni, Studies in Mindfulness. Thank you Graeme!
Coronavirus has brought with it anxiety, stress, fear, suffering and bereavement. It has also brought many to reflection, new perspectives, altruism and common humanity. All of us are in a moment of obvious transition. The students and young people of this moment are entering a time of huge uncertainty about how their education will proceed. Many are living alone, isolated from families and friends, in some cases distant from their homeland. For many of our students, beyond the remaining few course assignments, they are looking down the barrel of a long summer with little prospect of work or holiday.
For the last 6 weeks I, and my colleague Ingrid Stanyer, have been offering drop in mindfulness sessions for student teachers at the University of Aberdeen. I wanted to share how these have been going and what benefits may result, with particular focus on the claim that we can…