Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How do you relax?

The Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health & Healing and it's webdesign company, Plumb Media, are having a contest to win a free one-hour massage. To enter, you have to tell them how you love to relax using a variety of methods.

There are a number of things that I do to relax.  My initial response was that I go down into the Nine Mile Run restoration area and walk or bike or just sit.  Sometimes I take a camera to document what I see, sometimes a notebook for my thoughts. Sometimes I take nothing and I just rest in the world and am free.

Sometimes, especially if my body is a mess, a yoga class is just what is needed. Getting out of my head and into my body can get the brain to calm, and the stretching and movement helps to undo some of the many knots through out my muscles.

When time and money allow, massage is fabulous.  Trying to work out my own tight muscles usually causes other muscles to tighten or fatigue, so having another set of hands to release the tense spots is luscious and allows me to completely sink into the table and just let someone else take care of me.

Any day, at any time, I can always turn in and spend a few moments in meditation, whether at home in front of my altar, incense burning and candles lit or on the bus on the way to work. The breath is always there and free...

So, how do you relax? Feel free to tell me, PCCHH and Plumb Media (links above)--maybe you'll get to experience the healing power of the laying of hands yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Hi :)

    I wanted to personally thank you for taking the time to participate in my "love bombing" last week,

    It's taken me a while to reply because I refuse to copy and paste a generic thank you.

    I hope you have a wonderful day full of love and happiness,



Why is this place called Rough Branch?

Rough Branch is a reference to Wendell Berry's "mad farmer" poems. Berry is an agrarian populist poet, and advocate for sustainable agricultural practices. I don't agree with every position he takes, but his reverence for the beauty and balance of the natural world, for the preciousness of the life that runs through it (including our own), and of the community that sustains both the land and each other, speaks to my heart.

Over the past few years, I have sunk myself into the soil in my back yard, and into the community of neighbors that surrounds it, and it has begun to restore me. My garden is not just a plot of dirt providing vegetables for the salad bowl, it is an act of love, a place of profundity and awe. If you knew about the ecosystem that lives in but one gram of good earth, you would be humbled, literally, to the ground.

Berry's poems are passionate calls to live--deeply, profoundly, fearlessly. To step out of narrow-minded egotism, to secede "[f]rom the union of self-gratification and self-annihilation, [to] secede into care for one another, and for the good gifts of Heaven and Earth."

And so I have made my own nation small enough to walk across. I have named the small corner of the earth I steward Rough Branch. I have declared myself free of ignorant love, and I secede...

From the union of power and money,
from the union of power and secrecy,
from the union of government and art,
from the union of science and money,
from the union of ambition and ignorance,
from the union of genius and war,
from the union of outer space and inner vacuity,
the Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

There is only one of him, but he goes.
He returns to the small country he calls home,
his own nation small enough to walk across.
(From "The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union")
The Mad Farmer challenges us to reconnect, to resurrect our land, our communities, and our souls.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
(From "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front")
All quotes from Wendell Berry.