Friday, August 29, 2008

The Gospel of Sacred Touch--My Soapbox

I was recently asked why I do what I do, and instead of falling back on the same old reasons I've had for years, I decided to take the opportunity to do some soul searching.

I've always been sympathetic to activism, but never considered myself an activist. I'd like to see the end of wars and poverty and environmental degradation, but these causes have never drawn me into the fight. And it's not that I don't care deeply. Both as a child and an adult, I've literally been moved to tears at the sight of a smokestack dumping toxins into our air, the killing of our global brothers and sisters by violence, and the starving to death of children on this earth. Yet, I haven't made it my life's work to tackle these issues.

My life work is to touch (literally) other human beings and to teach others to touch too. In my recent soul searching, I re-discovered just how passionate I am about this. I know that touch can change a person's life. Being touched can connect a person to his own depths, to another person, or all beings in the cosmos. Being touched can bring a person to a place of stillness and peace, where she can realize her essential nature. Being touched with honor, love, and understanding can remind us of our inherent worthiness and basic goodness.


Touching another human being is no small matter and I want to do my part to make sure that touch is given it's true status as a sacred art. Every person who lies on the massage table, regardless of what they've done in their life, is a spirit in a body that can be reached with touch. I have no idea how many massages or bodywork sessions are happening in the world in one given moment, but it has to be a lot. Imagine glowing balls of light and love pouring from the hands of all the therapists working throughout the world at this very moment. That's my vision.

And sadly, just as there are toxins pouring into our environment everyday, sometimes there is professional, healthcare-related touch that is fails to honor the client's body and soul. Sometimes it's because an otherwise conscientious massage therapist is having a bad day; sometimes it's because the therapist has an agenda to achieve a particular outcome; sometimes it's because the therapists or schools that taught them were motivated by things other than spreading the gospel of sacred touch :) and in the worst cases, there are people who are consciously harming clients through sexually inappropriate touch.

I know I can't do a lot about most of this, but I can do my part in making sure massage students are educated to revere the bodies, hearts, minds, and souls of everyone they touch. And I can try my best to approach every massage I give with reverence for my client's body, heart, mind, and soul. It's not always easy--for any of us--but it's worth trying.

That's what drives me. That's my quiet activism. That's why I do what I do.

Love to you,

© 2008, Rebecca Mauldin, All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Shish said...

That is a beautiful soapbox to stand tall upon! I think all therapists need to be reminded of how sacred bodywork can be and the precious moments that we share with people. We all can get stuck in a rut and at times, may only think about the financial reimbursement we get from giving a massage. We all need to know that we are repaid in a much bigger and grandiose way. I share the in the sentiments that Rebecca stated. We all can do our part in any way we can and through bodywork, we can change the world.