7 Quick Takes #63 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

One of my hidden talents is…I give really good massages. 

My family are the main beneficiaries, particularly Husby, WonderAunty and Mum.

They’re not any kinds of ‘lie down in a towel with essential oils, candles and a CD of whale-music’ deal – they tend to be more of an on-the-go, meeting-you-where-you-need-to-be kind of deal: I will massage at computer chairs, at the kitchen table, in the kitchen (whilst cooking happens), over the dishes as they get done, on sofas, in gardens…wherever. 

I’ve honed my technique over the years (and years) that I’ve been doing them, and I seem to be best with feet, necks-and-shoulders and heads. Though in the past I’ve also had a passing go at backs and arms/hands. 

According to those who enjoy them, I’m pretty darn good at hitting sore muscles and snagged nerves and working them loose again. I don’t go lightly (I went for a massage once at a spa – a plinky-plonky music and candles one, and it was totally weird – I was expecting all my knots to get worked out, and instead there was this…smoothing, stroking thing which happened and nearly sent me to sleep, which wasn’t *unpleasant* but was a bit discomfitting) and the occasional “ouch!” and squirm *might* make me grin in a slightly sadistic way…but on the whole, my point is that those knots ain’t gonna come loose by themselves, but that I can help. 

Massaging brings me a certain amount of enjoyment as well – to see someone I care about stressed and wound up, and the tension showing through in the tightening of their muscles and the ensuing aches, is sucky, and to be able to help them by giving them some release from the pain, even if only temporarily, is amazing.

I particularly like giving head massages. I don’t know why, (and whether it’s true or whether it’s just something I’ve convinced myself of) but as I massage a person’s head, I get a kind of linked, intuitive ‘feel’ about which pressure points need attention and which areas need smoothing or pulsed pressure or little circular movements of the fingertips. I can *almost* feel across my own scalp the areas which I need to focus on next, and how to approach them for maximum effect. 

I’ve also learned how important it is to keep returning to the temples and the pressure points around the ears; those just in front of where the top of the ear joins the head, and the ones hidden behind the ear in the little nook between neck and skull. There are important pressure points on the outsides of the eye-sockets, high up on the cheekbones and down the forehead in two lines above the eyebrows.

Then there are the lines of pressure points across the top of the head and high up on the nape of the neck, in the dip where the base of the skull sits, and down the two tendons between the neck and the back. Those, too, are vital in any good head massage, and I make a point of ensuring that I focus on all these areas as well as the ‘in-betweenier’ ones, and return to the most important several times during the session.

Seeing a visible difference in the person’s levels of relaxation as I work is a huge driving factor, and I’ll keep going for as long as I can stand (or time permits), watching as that beloved person is released from their tension and their eyes begin to sparkle again. My hands might ache, but it’s an ache I cherish because in it, I am reminded that I am, in the most tangible way possible, caring for someone I love very much.

But. I hate, loathe and cannot STAND having my own shoulders or neck massaged. It’s one of the things which makes me most squirmy and run away fastest. On the other hand, having my back gently scratched makes me physically melt into a puddle of happiness.

— 2 —

If YOUR hidden (or not so hidden) talent is poetry, oBOY have I got an opportunity for you.

The highly exclusive and wonderfully beautiful poetry site, The Well Tempered Bards, is looking for Guest Bards to feature.

You’ll get your poetry published and pimped, along with (if you want) your bio and links to your blog and social media connections.

This is MADE OF WIN!

Contact me via Twitter if you’re interested, or let me know in the comments below.

The Well Tempered Bards

— 3 —

I did some important learning today, after a pre-emptive chat with WonderAunty about my struggles surrounding self-worth and self-image. She agreed that (having witnessed) the way I was raised is a huge, huge part of the problem, and that I’ve been forced into a place of believing these negatives and taking them on as ‘my own’, but that in challenging the way I receive feedback and intentionally creating new neural pathways to do with ‘not automatically dismissing every positive thing I hear about myself’ and ‘framing negatives within a rational context’, that I can maturely take responsibility for realigning my view and understanding of myself.

This. Is. HUGE.

I’m gonna work on it.

— 4 —

The sun shone this afternoon. I got to have snuggles with Niece and Neff, which filled my heart right up. Husby got me new headphones (David Bowie sounds so much better when the left side doesn’t conk out), we went out to dinner with some of his friends, we had gelato for dessert (maybe I like ice-cream. Sometimes). It was a good day.

— 5 —

I found an ancient first draft of the Secret Book of Rules (a.k.a. Book of Secret Rules) and it suggested that the get-out clauses therein mightn’t ALL be related to the TToT, and that (in fact) with the right dance (and just enough wiggle), the Seven GuardVirgins could be persuaded to allow a verbal, non-binding contract to cover such events as this.

Hereby invoked.

— 6 —

Six Sentence Stories
It was late at night, and our intrepid writer was minding her own business, scurrying around the internet in the most benign of ways, when what to her horrified eyes should appear, but a prank, played by someone who calls herself ‘friend’.

Her name tagged in a photograph on Facebook, our writer clicks, wondering what on earth she’s been gotten into.

A picture pings up in the screen, terrifying her to her very core; exploding her mind into emotions of fear and horror and the memories of the first time she ever saw that image.

She responds, quaking, trying to tear her eyes away from that transfixingly awful sight, and utterly unable to do so.

The friend laughs, callously, and sends more images which evoke further fear, leaving her with their wickedness emblazoned in the forefront of her memory, just before bedtime.

She’s pretty certain that nightmares will ensue, and faces sleep that night with wide eyes, watching every shadow, just to make sure that she doesn’t somehow, by accident…blink!

— 7 —
Ten Things of Thankful is live again this weekend, and I believe I heard that there might be an extra special list on its way to be shared with us – come along, join in, and see if you can spot it.

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

69 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #63 x FTSF

  1. villainized
    Simple past tense and past participle of villainize.

    Just saying.

    Us 'Mercians, we talk different. 😉


  2. Wise man. Apart from an anti-inflammatory type thing when it gets really bad, meds will only mask the symptoms, not deal with the problem.

    Other things you could do to help include planks and push-ups, to develop core strength and help support your back better. Have you assessed the chair you usually sit in for blogging etc? Is it the right height and with enough support for you?


  3. I just now copied and pasted your text. I will absolutely give those a try. I will NOT take meds for it = dependence. So, the holistic approach is right up my alley. Thank you! 🙂


  4. Ack, no, really not good. Back-ache is bad for the spirit. Definitely research some simple stretches you can do. There were ones I used to be prescribed involving lying on a hard floor and raising the hips as far as possible then holding for five seconds then lowering slowly. And hip tilts whilst standing with my back to a wall anddddd *racking brains* I think lying on my back again, and slowly bringing opposite knee and elbow towards one another. OH and kneeling on all fours and then arching and dipping the back slowly, to the extent of possible movement.


  5. I just made a note (literally)…stretches for my back. Excellent call Lizzi! Thank you, thank you. Those food posts I put up on Facebook on Saturday nights (and later posts on my blog) are lots of fun but taken in severe discomfort. A little secret there from me 🙂


  6. No, I heard that the deep tissue ones can be really really painful! I'm not that vicious, I promise! Might be worth you investing in a non-vicious massage, nonetheless, if Phoenix isn't up to the task! Cos not getting along with your back is a thing which can rapidly become debilatating.

    Do you do any physio or stretches for it?


  7. That Secret Book of Rules segment was fun to read, Lizzi! Sorry I'm arriving late. But, the Blogger God's must have been sending a message because I was totally thinking about soooo needing a massage earlier this morning. Me and my back don't get along. And try as I may getting Phoenix to properly stand with his weight on my back and “kneed” with his paws have only resulted in him stealing my ball cap or slipper (an ongoing game of his). I soooo need my back “cracked” but there is only a certain way it can be done and requires another to do it. I don't go to a chiropractor. And I do not like those deep tissue massages…no bueno! 🙂


  8. Find those pressure points and you can at least give the head a going-over. That works, even if it's a self-induced massage.

    #3 sucks, but now (for me, at least) there is HOPE! *hugs*


  9. As usual, I relate to much of this. Well, okay, number 3, a lot.
    And now I really want a massage…sigh. I'm going to go pretend that I'm having a relaxing massage.


  10. Pffft, Don's ALWAYS thinking something inappropriate. You'd think we'd be inured to it by now.

    You're lucky you have that friend 🙂 Sounds like she did really well. Is she a professional or just a happy amateur like me? I have to say, there's also something very affirming about someone really enjoying the massage. Lets you know you're doing well 🙂

    Shame you were in hospital to get the massage though – does she only offer when you're busted up?


  11. Your hidden talent gave my chills; I'm not sure there's anything I love more in life than having my head massaged. (If Don or anyone else is thinking something inappropriate now, just shut up!) I have a great friend who has your gift; she visited me once when I was in the hospital, sat behind me and gave me the best massage of my life. I'll never forget it. 🙂


  12. GOODY 😀 Do you have my email yet? I'll ping it to you if not. Send me your poem, a bio and links to your blog and any social media you want promoted. I'm getting a schedule together. I have next Friday booked, but could fit you in any Friday thereafter…


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