Holistic Isranfi at the Sunday Artists’ Market

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Photo Credit: The Vault SG

I am all jazzed up about participating for the 1st time in The Vault‘s  Sunday Artists’ Market this Sunday 6th April!
I just discovered too, from the event’s creative manager that I will be the 1st holistic therapist featured in this bi-monthly affair that provides a necessary platform for handcrafted and artistic gems. Way cool! 🙂


From its Facebook events page:
6 APRIL 2014, 1PM – 6PM
“Artists Market #8
SUNDAY
Behold the return of our beloved bi-monthly Sunday Artists Market this Sunday in the Circular Road neighbourhood we now call home, proudly featuring over 20 local artists whose craft you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Featuring original crafts, plants, skincare, jewelry, shoes, tote bags, notebooks and opportunities to get yourself groomed and hair styled by the local community of craftsmen and women based on our island.
Of course we wouldn’t be proper hosts without adding in ice-cold beers and live music, so come on by for a swingin’ Sunday.
Artists! If you are interested to participate, please email creative@thevault.com.sg
Music by Ramesh, Raeburn & KidG.”

I will be introducing HI’s natural & organic skincare and remedies along with extending a 20% discount off HI’s massages & facials! For massages, click here. For facials, here.

*10% of the day’s sales will be donated for the vet bills of Creampuff the Cat, a community kitty suffering from nasal tumours. Doing my bit for the fighter kitty and imploring others to do so too. Hopefully it will be a smooth path! Insyaallah.

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The toughie kitty!

The day I gave 1 massage and got 2 to a meditation in return..

It was one of those days. Or week, really. When every turn of the hour is seemingly having a vendetta against you and finds you at a heart-pumping and brow-knitting tensed state.

One thing after another piles itself up on you and agitates you. You feel choked emotionally and wrung out physically.

YOU ARE TENSED OUT HOLISTICALLY.
Scary enough?

Well there always can be more adding up to the tragic buffet, of course. Unless you take this situation by the neck and wring it mercilessly and make it square and right for you. Hence, for others too.

But sometimes, others will serve you what you need. At the most unexpected times..

I had been in quite a funk that week. But on one particular day at work, I just had about enough.
After quite a frustrating episode on the home-front, a ruffled exchange at work and finding out that what I was  getting was what I don’t deserve, (thanks. I think) I found myself looking forward to meeting and serving my 1st massage client, who also happened to be a new client.

We proceeded into the realm of calm that was the treatment room, where I strive and always quite successfully indulge in the mastery of the soul; forgetting the self.

As I established the connection of touch on my client’s lean but extremely delicate body, I sought to weave a therapeutic and aromatic tale of bliss with my fat fingers and fleshy warm palms. Her whole being seems to harmoniously agree with my hands and she visibly released all her inhibitions and tensions under my care in less than 10 minutes.

Selfishly though, I admitted that I was still feeling the raw edge that my day has brought and yet I know I was on the mend.

And then suddenly, the whole sky seemed to crack and break in a thunderous loud roar! I was taken aback, but my hands were still unbroken from the contact with my client’s body. It took me a few seconds to recover and realize that there were people doing a helluva drilling job outside.

RIGHT OUTSIDE THE freaking SPA.

All hell broke loose, again for me and in me.

Now, I am a Gemini.
Astrology has it said that Gems are always the long sufferers of mind chatter, insomniac nights and we are the regular patrons in pursuits of intellectual stimulation. But today, I am feeling less like a Gem and much more a terrifying hot mess of a JAM!

I SO don’t need this. Aaaaaaarrrgh!

I almost wanted to stop the massage and shout out loud in protest! On top of that, there were many people passing by the spa and they gleefully decided to be louder than the loud drilling! Aaaaaaaarrrgh.

PLUS, this was Christmas season and the festive songs were on eternal till-death-do-us part repeat mode played by the building’s sound system. Michael Bolton was belting out “Santa Claus is coming to town” in various shades of pained gruff vocals and Celine Dion was belting out “Feliz Navidad” and it was just Oh. My. Gawd.
The OTT-and-nothing-less vocal of hers combined with Mr Bolton’s were simply weapons of mass destruction for this distraught mind at the wrong timing!

No offense, Dion fans. I love her and respect her.
No ditto on Bolton though, nah uh uh. I can pull his remaining blonde locks out really, from sheer frustration.
By each strand.

Loud next door drilling  + loud endless festive songs + loud passersby + loud ugly emotions and mind = not a happy Wati.

Just when I surely thought that I will get over my funky funk by doing the woosa with myself by performing a massage on my client… 😦

Now I am a double or triple whammy loser battling over the edge and I have to battle my ugly state for the next 75minutes while providing a semblance of bliss to my client. I felt so awfully bad for her!

But hey wait, what was that? Was that a tiny snore I hear? A little muffled yes, but it was very audible enough rolling in like little waves with the heavier and much deeper breathings of my client. A slow and rhythmic up and down of her whole back was in perfect synchronicity with all little that Nature has to offer me.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miss L has left the building and has entered the higher state of consciousness called ‘sleep’.
I am glad to say that my fat fingers didn’t stop working and kneading her body as my mouth made a huge ‘O’ and my eyes were big balls of fire with amazement at her very noble achievement.

How she did it, amidst all that fuckery noise I don’t know! But she sure did it and it brought to mind a memory of my 1st meditation class long time ago with an English Buddhist monk. That class was marred by renovation noises too and he kept on losing focus by opening his eyes to check if his students are being mindfully quiet and not bothered by the commotion. How did I know? Because I kept on opening my eyes too! Hah, that made 2 of us mind MONK-eys! Geddit?

Anyway, as I continued to focus on Miss L’s sleep-induced breathings, I got into quite a hypnotic tizzy myself. My skilled fingers danced together with the melody of her composed breathings.

When I completed her whole back massage, I realized I felt heavier on my eyelids and breathings but lighter on my chest and shoulders. Yes, these all while the noises were still going on.

When I guided her to turn over and lay supine, she did it almost robot-like and fell right back into her slumber immediately after the kerfuffle of towel draping had passed.

I was impressed.

You know what else I was impressed with? The fact that by observing her breathings, I have managed to calm my frenzied self down and get into the same meditation session with my client. I mean, I could try to get meself calm down by counting to 1000 but whoever said that that’s a charming remedy needs a voodoo poke on the behind.
Hard.

Miss L and I were conjoined in the same realm but of separate bubbles.
It was our 90 minutes of shared Nirvana.

When the time was up, I felt almost reluctant to ground myself back into this realm.
But I did what every therapist had to do: I woke her up gently and curve my lips into a smile slightly higher than usual and  sincerely too, to her awakened but still sleepy self.

I knew I felt better than before, but she was a million bucks.

As she thanked me sweetly, I shook my head in full humility and said “No, I thank YOU. I really do.”
She laughed and asked in jest, “Did I snore, Wati?”
I replied, “You were playing spa music to my ears, Miss L!”

And we both laughed.

Thank you, Miss L

Thank you, Miss L

 

What price, dignity?..

If you read my last blog, you will know that I had a meet up or ‘interview’ with an ex colleague. I looked up to her because she mentored me during my 1st years in the spa industry. Gosh, I was a teenager still. But yes, you read right. I used past tense on ‘look’. That’s probably because I will not know where to look anymore when I see her next..

The rate she offered me was lower than abysmal. This, even after she knows of the experience that I have collected in almost 15 years as a therapist, head therapist, trainer, executive, manager. I have worn several hats and I have tasted life as a fulltime staff with complete benefits, permanent part time staff with pro rated benefits and also the life of a carefree freelance therapist. I have been ALL that, and I am aware of the differing pay structures and rates. Heck, I sooo gotta know because one of my duties were to help hire, interview, train and also amend commission rates based on current industry rates. Now, I cannot be telling on the most basic hourly rate here but I can tell you that what I was offered in a ‘take it or leave it’ mode was lesser than what I saw in the employment poster in a fast food joint. My girlfriend and I were having pre-movie dinner there and I was aghast to realise that they offer higher hourly rate than my ‘high and mighty’ ex co! My gf was disgusted too upon hearing the harrowing experience I had. And I thought she needed the help and was looking forward to have my experience onboard her spa biz because she approached me and asked me a couple of times! I was of course just offering temporary help till I get clearance from a work contract, in all honesty.

10 or 15 years ago I would have given her some of my disgusted and shell shocked piece of mind and then some.. And oh, I would so love to that day in her cubicle of an office! But I left politely, after saying I shall consider her proposed rates. I managed to tell her though, of how freelance/part time therapists are paid normally and currently. To which she bluntly and abrasively exclaimed- (yes, she can be both blunt AND sharp, and it can be a good thing sometimes but not at this moment) that “It’s too high!!” Wow. I cannot find my tongue, so I looked at her in her challenging eyes and smiled. Then it was all the niceties of goodbye (should there be any?) and I left her establishment without looking back.

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The thing that struck me 1st was how she didn’t change at all. Never listening, solid, rash, firm and blunt. NOBODY has escaped arguing with her because she picks them often. The 2nd that surfaced was how much I have changed. I would like to believe that it was for the better. Because I do not see any good in replying her insults with mine which I know neither of us will want to sleep better with.. I also contemplated kicking her teeth in after bashing her overdone coiffure with my lime hobo bag but naaaah. I shall keep that contemplation within the perimeters of my tortured mind. Gandhi said:
“An eye for an eye makes the world go blind”.
Either it was him or a hopeful optometrist, optician or an eye specialist..

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Gandhi, the quote sage..

I am brought to a renewal lesson in this episode. That it was not my ego that rejected her, but it was my older and amplified dignity that will not take unjustified and underpaid crap like this. I know it is not my ego because I walked away with a smile that got even wider as the distance between us drew.

As I sat and have a cuppa to recover in the midday sun, I realised too that perhaps she thought I was the one being unreasonable. And perhaps she also realised that she too has dignity and it will crumble if she depended on my accounts of what is current and present. And perhaps she felt that it was necessary to stay firm in giving me the entry level rate because it was justified.

I only know of one difference though in all our probable discoveries of similar but polar things.

I am not cheaper.

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Groundbreaking Connection

I love my work as a spa/holistic therapist very much, most would know that.
I am the irritating one who will preach “Love your work, and you don’t have to call it a job” or “When you are passionate about the thing you do, you’ll be darn good at it”. I think Confucius said something similar like the former too, but correct me if I am wrong.. 😉

In numerology, 6 is my life path number- the ultimate nurturer and gung ho maternal/paternal peacemaker. It is also not surprisingly, my favorite number since I was in primary school.
So being a therapist, I guess I landed myself  with the right work role. And these are stressful times in need of plenty nurturing, surely.
(Calculate your life path number here. Thanks so much Laurie Buchanan!)

I am tremendously grateful always that through out the many ups and downs that life brings me, I am at the right place at the right time. Or the negative-sounding positive cynic in me would say that I would just be somewhere else and still be fine. But whatever it is, I am contented. (Duh. If  I am a positive cynic, then am I a cynic at all?)

Born 29th January 1954. A Life Path Number 4.. The practical fixer. Next career option: Home builder perhaps?

Oprah Winfrey (I L.O.V.E her!) quoted: “I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters”.

I truly can relate to that. Honestly. Even though in the sense of physical well-being, I could really do with some weight loss amounting to the size of a planet, really. Effects of post-baby weight, post-breastfeeding and too-much-love-for-food is a combo that no fast food chain can achieve and serve on a plastic tray even if they ALL combined forces..

Nevertheless, Miss O struck a similar chord when she said those words. If I may add, THAT ‘connection to what matters’ is what grounds me at many times when I feel more vulnerable, less focused and uninspired.
(OK, I used that “U” word in my previous post too, I realize..)

Thankfully, THIS is not the grounding I’m talking about.

And I am never one to spew nonsense like “Oh, I am a perfect human being”. I mean, we were ALL born perfect but it didn’t stay that way obviously, did it?

We ALL have demons, and it takes turns to show its various prowess at different times. I learn to tame and find a way around my demons, if not through it. And THAT connection again, helps.

Through this grounding with what matters, I learned to have more capacity for sincerity and faith in the work that I do. Trust me, if you are working back-to-back with clients with various ailments, moods and sizes, you will treasure a bit of sincerity on your part. And a whole lotta trust and faith! Not to mention some carbo intake too for the energy you need in yielding the release of tension on the client’s mind/body/spirit.. 😉

Practically, this grounding connection sustains me and keeps me sane and checked in all areas in my life.

So what grounds you? Is it faith and/or ambition? Or is it a constantly ever-changing source?

🙂