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In many Native American Traditions to “Walk in Beauty” is to walk in balance and gratitude.  Many cultures all over the world share this belief.  People everywhere are rediscovering the simple fact that gratitude is a key to a successful life. We even have modern research that supports the assertion that a grateful person is a happier and healthier person. So during a month crazy with activity and focus on celebrating relationships, why not take a deep breath, smile and actually dip into the well of appreciation.  No matter what your situation is, there is much to be grateful for.  As massage therapists there are specifics I would like you to concentrate on. 

Gratitude for our clients- Those people who are willing to be vulnerable and trust us to honor their needs with each session.  Trust us to bring our whole selves to their aide and believe us when we offer hope of relaxation, restoration, and rejuvenation.  This is the month to offer them tangible signs of our appreciation.  I often have a tree that clients pick an item off of.  Some years they are self care items such as mini rollers, lacrosse balls, and other massage tools.  Some years I have certificates for added value services. And other years I have offered a custom aromatherapy blending bar.

Gratitude for those whose shoulders you stand on- Those people who worked and still work tirelessly to get us to the point we are.  Personally, and professionally you need to make a list of who they are and find a way to thank them.  Educators, advocates, mentors, employers, etc.  Find them, contact them and thank them.  At the recent Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Induction, I got the opportunity to thank people publicly for their part in my journey and it felt great.  I also humbled me and made me realize I need to be better about keeping this up.  As an educator I can tell you that a simple acknowledgement or a message on Facebook can put a smile on my face for days.

Gratitude for our Referral Network – Those people who trust you with their people.  Clients, massage therapists, healthcare experts, wellness professionals and other service industry professionals.  They risk their reputation each time they offer you as a recommendation.  It is an honor and a covenant that I do not take lightly.  My private practice is by referral only so this is my bread and butter.   At its simplest I make sure to send a written thank you for their trust.  At its most rewarding I return referrals back to them satisfied and appreciative.   I also try to refer people to them when appropriate, offer them complementary services, share opportunities for education, understanding and networking.  I use social media to acknowledge them.  Then at least once a year I host an open house and invite them all so that we can strengthen these bonds and understanding.  And have some fun that often centers around a wellness theme. 

I challenge you to start each day for a month by thinking of something you are grateful for and to whom you owe this gratitude.  Then finish your year off by expressing this gratitude thru action.

Be well, Do good work and write us about your gratitude practices.