“My Lesson to the World” IceBreaker Speech for Toastmasters

My Lesson to the World Speech [display_podcast] I gave my first Toastmasters speech today. After weeks of brainstorming, outlining, and half a dozen times recording myself practicing my speech, I’ve given my final presentation. There were about twice as many people as the first time I visited the group, and I was the first to give my speech. Overall I felt it was a great experience, much different than being a guest. I felt the community aspect and had great comments and feedback on my speaking abilities. The other speeches given were very inspiring, and I signed up to give another speech in two weeks. The Transcript I wrote for my speech is below: Everyone has a lesson to teach. This is your life’s purpose, why you are here, and what you will show others. A combination of genetics, family upbringing, life experiences, and the way you identify yourself creates this unique perspective from which you can teach from. Every speech that is given is a lesson, even humorous or entertaining speeches teach us to laugh more, and can have deeper meanings behind them. We’re all learning from each other, and teaching each other at every toastmasters meeting we attend. Today I will discuss what I believe my lesson to teach the world is, and what I hope to learn from Toastmasters and all of you. I have lived most of my life in nature, being surrounded by the tropical jungles of Hawaii while a child, the towering redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains as a teenager, and now in the majestic mountains of Summit county. I believe these settings help me see the beauty and peace in nature that can seem to be void in urban cities and lifestyles. The presence of nature helps me to see how small our everyday problems are in comparison. This has helped me to pay less attention the trivial, stress inducing patterns that are so common in modern day society. This last year I’ve been training in massage, yoga, and Qi Gong, and have found these to be great ways to connect with your body, become more present, and enjoy the peace of nature. Through massage I’m able to connect with someone, bring them into a meditative state, and help them release unnecessary tension and holding in their body. All of these exercises are great for releasing stress, and allowing your body and mind to come back to a natural state of peace. I’ve always been a very introspective person. For example I’ve attended a 10 day silent meditation retreat, spent months practicing lucid dreaming techniques, and hours writing and journaling on visions of my future. I believe that everyone could benefit from looking within more. A lot of people skip this step and do whatever other people think they “should” be doing, whether that is going to college, getting a job they dislike, or living in a city they don’t enjoy. I want to teach people how to find the passion within themselves, to discover their individual meaning of life, and to fulfill their deepest desires. How will Toastmasters help me to teach these lessons? I want to learn how to connect with people within minutes, talking with passion, freedom, and inspiring others to act. I want to be able to share my personality fully on my blog, expressing myself through video, audio, and writing. I want to teach people Yoga postures, Qi Gong exercises, and self-massage techniques through how-to videos. Overall I want to believe in myself and learn how to proudly and truthfully express myself to the world. Now… Take a Breath. Look within yourself. Ask: What do I have to teach the world – and how does Toastmasters help?
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Free Guided Meditation and Reiki

Healing Light Guided Meditation This meditation is perfect for allowing your mind to slow down and to become more in touch with your body. Guided meditations are great to listen to during the day when you have a massage scheduled. This 20 minute total relaxation and healing guided meditation begins with deep breathing exercises, progresses to muscle relaxation, and finishes with visualizing healing white light filling you and relaxing you. This is the equivalent of giving yourself a reiki session. When I receive a massage I will often imagine the practitioner’s hands as emiting healing light that relaxes any tense areas on my body. Using this guided meditation helps me strengthen my ability to visualize and experience this healing energy. I’m now offering Reiki and Guided meditations to complement your massage session. It is $5 for 5 minutes and $10 for 15 minutes to add Reiki and/or guided meditation to your massage session. When you begin your massage with a guided meditation, your personal intention is set and your mind is reminded of why you’re here. These are great ways to deepen your meditation practice, and increase your awareness of subtle energy as well. For more information on my regular massage rates click here.
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Developing Presence through Awareness of the Body

Spiritual leaders and famous writers old and new have taught the importance of being present and how worry, over stress and fear can be overcome by focusing our attention on the “here and now”. Our minds have old habits of predicting what will happen next, and worrying about what we’ve already done. One way to retrain our mind to become more present, and to live with more peace and joy is to bring more awareness to sensations in your body. When we completely feel sensations in our body without judging them, we can release tension that doesn’t serve us and quiet our mind. Some practices to cultivate this presence and awareness include: *Mindful/meditative movement (Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Dance, Walking, light exercise) *Mindful Sitting meditation (Attention to breath, listening, sensations of wind on skin) *Mindful eating (Smelling, taking small bites, noticing all the varying tastes) *Receiving Massage (Awareness of touch, breathing and releasing tension and stress) I feel a deep contrast from busy thoughts and unconscious shallow breaths, to a sense of relaxation and inner peace when I practice these techniques. It is like I’ve stopped throwing stones into a pond and the waves turn into small ripples, and soon the ripples are gone, and awareness of more subtle feelings arise. I’ve found that receiving massage has helped with all of these techniques. You close out the sense of sight and have your whole awareness on your body and the sensation of touch. You cultivate concentration of pleasant sensations in the body through light flowing strokes, and with the deeper work you learn to stay present in discomfort and to release tension in muscles that are tight. With this awareness you are able to breath, release, and enjoy the moment. Regularly tuning into this relaxation and pleasant experience in the body helps to let your mind accept being present in your body. I love to give massages that include a slow meditative introduction, followed by deeper work that releases tight muscles through combined awareness and breathe of the recipient and the practitioner. I am present with the work, intuitively feeling when an area has been massaged enough, and what areas to work on. I check in with you on pressure, temperature, and other factors that could distract from being fully present. I communicate before and after the session to understand what experience you are looking for, and what areas you enjoy having massaged. May we all be present and joyful. You can find more information on my Massage Practice at Massage.TravisDharma.com
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Why Go to Massage School?

I started the 250 hour massage certification program at Twin Lakes College in Santa Cruz, California the beginning of this month. So far it’s been an enlightening experience and better than I could have expected. In this blog post I am going to share why I believe everyone should go to massage school.

Receiving Massage Daily

You will be both receiving and giving massage daily, learning how to create a safe environment for your client, and how to facilitate their healing experience. When you receive so much massage you become more aware of your body and where you hold tension. Receiving and giving loving touch is a great way to become more in touch with your heart and feelings. The more you help others relax, the more you are able to empathize and feel the love multiply. This sense of touch is also a new way of communicating with people and friends. We get to know the person intimately, knowing where they hold tension, their unique body shape, and nurturing them in a safe environment. The receiver of massage puts a lot of trust in the giver, letting his/her touch encompass their reality. This vulnerability, trust and place of nurturing causes relationships to deepen.

An Uplifting Social Environment

The classmates I’ve had in Twin Lakes are motivated to help each other learn the most they can in these seven weeks. You will spend so much time together, trading massage outside of class, and the deeper the connections you make with your classmates, the more you will gain from massage experience. The sense of community is already tangible after just a couple weeks, with everyone being very friendly and open to each other. The teachers are great resources at Twin Lakes college, listening and answering our questions and problems with their knowledge and experience. They’re very approachable and some teachers have even stayed after class to allow us to practice more on each other. The possibility for continuing education is exciting as well, after this 250 hour Swedish program we can go on to learn more about other modalities such as Thai massage, Shiatsu, Reiki and Deep tissue.

Developing Presence and a quiet mind

In order to give a good relaxing massage you have to be centered and grounded while giving.  When you give your full attention to your present movements and sense of touch, the receiver feels taken care of, and feels the pull to become present in his body as well. Once you develop this ability your massage work will feel more like a calming meditation. Practicing things like Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and meditation help you more easily stay in this state of presence.

Self-Care and your Health

The most important aspect for the massage professional is self-care. Exercising, relaxing, eating nutritious meals and getting enough sleep are all necessary to stay in that state of presence while giving a massage. If you’re going to be working while going to massage school I would recommend taking massage school part time. This way you will have more time to practice, read, and take care of yourself. Invite others students to do group yoga sessions, go hiking, and to go to the beach together. Then you can relax and exercise while deepening your connection with your classmates. The field of massage naturally attracts people who are athletic and you should have no problem finding class mates who are interested in exercising with you.

Everyone should go to massage school

The ability to be present, to give others the gift of relaxation and to receive it as well. The friendship and sense of purpose. Helping others heal themselves. The entourage of growth oriented students who are motivated to learn. Click here for more information on my massage services.
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