People sometimes ask how I got into massage. Usually, I say, “I was a middle school teacher and needed a change.” That is just part of the story, though. The truth is that I was sad. I was three years into my teaching career and found myself living for summer and sick when September rolled around. My good therapist at the time made the wild suggestion that perhaps I should think about doing something else for a career, if the path I was on made me depressed and ill.
I quit my steady job as an English and Spanish teacher and found work as a waitress in a steak house. I started to write a little and created a character who was a massage therapist. Maybe it was procrastination. Maybe it was grace. But as I researched massage therapy, I found myself drawn to it. It sounded like good work, like something I might like.
My sister and I went on a driving trip to tour the nearest school I could find that was accredited by the important national massage agencies. A few months later, my flexible, sweet husband and I sold our house and moved from Nevada to Salt Lake City, where I started a six month full-time intensive massage therapy course.
That was 19 years ago. I graduated from the Utah College of Massage Therapy in 2000.
Life in Utah gave me many gifts. After graduation, I worked for a chiropractor for a year before getting a job at the Spa at Sundance Resort, one of the most beautiful places on earth. I worked there for six years before we moved to Ohio to be closer to family. It was in Ohio that I started my own massage practice.
While at Sundance, I often thought that people could have used more time in the spa after their massages- like something in them had started to unwind and the end of the massage came too quickly. In Ohio, my goal for my practice was to provide a place where people could relax after their massages, have a cup of tea, and take time to journal or meditate. I wanted to offer my clients a space for a retreat in the middle of their busy days, an everyday retreat. That’s how Everyday Retreats was born.
Now, back in California, I am grateful to work at a retreat center, one that has been serving people for decades. Mercy Center is a foothills oasis for respite, solitude, and spiritual enrichment. It is also a conference center for group gatherings. Some of the retreats include massage and groups and individuals can also schedule massages ahead of their arrival. It has been a blessing to provide massages there.
One more thing about me, hidden at the bottom of this page, where you wouldn't find it unless you were meant to see it: before I was a massage therapist, before I was a waitress, before I was a teacher? I was a writer. My first job out of college was as an intern for the National Catholic Reporter newspaper in their Washington, D.C bureau. Later, I worked for them as a staff reporter and a monthly music columnist. Writing has always been an important part of who I am. I've had a blog for a few years now at www.ordinaryholy.com . I would love for you to visit there. You can also find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ordinaryholy and at Facebook at www.facebook.com/ordinaryholyrobin. Blessings to all.