Yesterday, I spoke at the graduation for Colorado School of Healing Arts, where I received my massage education. This is an edited version of my speech.
When [CSHA Director of Education] Chris Smith called me to ask whether I would speak here today, I couldn’t pick up because I was with a client. That sums up how I spend most of my days, and that’s because of CSHA.
... I spend many of my days working with children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities. I did not even know this was a specialty when I came here, but I am so glad this work found me. I do have a private practice where I do more conventional massage, in an office with a chiropractor who specializes in work with kids on the autism spectrum. ... I am exactly where I am meant to be. For me, this has always been work that is as much spiritual and emotional as it is physical, so what I am doing feels right in every way.
The only regret I have, as someone who’s now in the midst of her third major career, is that I didn’t do this sooner. That is the lot of the INFP – also known as “the unemployable,” if you know your Myers-Briggs personality types. We INFPs are restless and inquisitive and always on the quest. We’re always looking for something, and we have no idea what that something is. In other words, it’s really hard to hold down a job for long. I’ve been a journalist and a teacher, a dog food salesman and an importer of southern African art, a shoe expert and a classical music telemarketer. I’ve gotten something out of every single job I’ve ever done (even if that “something” is a good story to tell).
And now, I am a massage therapist, a Reiki master, and the owner of a small but mighty business. I had this on my radar for many years but for one reason or another – timing, feeling like I “should” do something else – I didn’t do it. As [one of my massage instructors] said several times, “ ‘Should’ is just ‘would’ with shame attached.” What a great saying. I want that on a plaque in my office! “Should” is a word I’ve tried to weed out of my vocabulary because it held me back from this life for so long. It doesn’t hold me back any more.
My favorite job is being a wife and mother. I couldn’t be here today without the patience and support of my family, all of whom are here today, which makes me so happy. One of the things I love about what I do is that at the end of the day, rather than feeling depleted and cranky, I feel alive and centered and ready to spend time with the people I love.
… Thank you for being passionate, and dedicated, and kind, and smart, and fun. There’s a lot of love in this room. I hope all of you feel like you’re living your purpose in life. If you enjoy your journey as much as I have, you will have a big and fulfilling life indeed.