Massage as Self Love

Massage as Self Love

As the season changes before our eyes, we have a chance to admire the change both around and within. In a new light as the sun moves its path higher and higher, surrounded by new scents as the earth awakes and buds, and surrounded by the fresh sounds of excited animal and plant teachers as they too welcome in this slow transition. Acknowledging, enjoying, and thanking the beauty around and in us is a key element in self-devotion as it inspires us to engage fully and relish in the free gifts of this earth and our body. We are meant to be able to commune freely with our bodies and experience the pleasure they sing. Self-message is a way we can commune with ourselves. It can be a ritual of devotion, of honoring, of connection. A ritual of gratitude and fullness; an act of love. 
As with many rituals, self massage is guided by intuition. It is a conversation of what your body is wanting and needing, and can be as simple as thinking about releasing a muscle or noticing how the movement of breathing massages from within. It can include using tools such as body oil, a cup of tea beside you, or a playlist on to center your mood. Be sure to give yourself the time to hear the music of your breath and see the dancing of you body with the slightest movement. Allow yourself to be enamored with your own body warmth, the spaces that flush, and the spots that feel smooth under your fingertips.  
A self love massage ritual may look different than other massages. Instead of the intention being centered on stress relief or relaxation, try centering your intention upon what devotion to your body means to you. Does it look like placing your hands along your body and thanking each muscle for how it takes care of you? Does it look like gliding your hands along your arms and giving yourself a gentle hug, holding yourself gently and swaying back and forth. Could it be a massage solely focused on those spaces that you have ignored or judged and touching them with the caresses that they long for? Recognizing that our bodies wildly vary in ability and experience, let this practice be one where you hold the complexity of your body’s journey with the most tenderness of care.
One way to practice this is by sitting or lying comfortably where you feel the ground supporting your weight and you can allow yourself to be cradled by the earth. Use a blanket or pillow to support your seat or neck so you can relax into yourself. Using a small portion of massage oil, like one of Seagrape’s bath + body oil, warm it between your hands, or between one hand and another portion of your body like your thigh or base of your neck. Take some cleansing breaths and place your hands upon your chest, feeling the rise and fall of each breath. Move your hands along your skin, pausing to notice the bumps, scars, smoothness, and ridges. Notice the sensation of your touch and gently pressing in places that allow you to feel connected to that area of your body. Try different pressures, motions, and directions, to find what feels like a motion of thanks. Speak your own words of devotion to your body, whispering gratitude, sounding out kindness to your limbs.
 
When you feel ready to end this ritual, take a moment to consider how you will integrate this conversation into your everyday. How can you show devotion to your body in your morning routine or your daily habits? How can self-devotion be a practice of reclaiming your fullness? How can it connect you more fully to yourself and others? Let this devotional ritual infuse your self knowledge and practice. Let it be an act that helps you recognize your own innate knowledge and that of those around.

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