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  • Writer's pictureMiwa oseki robbins

How are you doing?

Dear community. How are you doing as we navigate these unchartered waters? And no, that is not a rhetorical question. I would love to hear from you. Send me an e mail at and let me know how you are.

I know for me it has been up and down. I've had days of anger and grief as I read the news and tap into the amount of loss and hardship that people across the world are experiencing right now. And I have had moments of deep gratitude as crisis puts things into perspective and I know that I am well, with a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and a husband whose public school teacher salary is secure for now. I've given myself days where I don't look at the news or check my e mail and instead enjoy the time to work in my garden, take walks in nature, and play with my kitties. And I've also had moments of feeling like I should be doing more, hustling to make up the income I have lost, or finding ways to help those in greater need than myself.

I miss giving massages, and am also noticing that now I have the time and energy to give my husband a foot massage every night; something he really needs as he has incredibly high arches and recently had been showing some early signs of potential plantar fasciitis such as foot cramping and pain. So our new normal: Each night we watch something on netflix and I give him a foot massage.

As Mayor Tecklenburg of the city of Charleston announced the closure of all nonessential businesses for at least two more weeks I feel it is my obligation for the safety of the community to not give massages to the public until this crisis passes. But there are still things you can do to support Flow State Healing including buying gift cards for when this all blows over or scheduling a coaching session.

My colleague in the massage industry wrote a great article about our "new normal" that you can check out here. I love her suggestions of buying a gift card for those who are currently working long hours in our hospitals, or for your kid's teachers who you might be appreciating a little more now that your kids are stuck at home. And I would add, also consider buying a gift card for someone who you know is out of a job and may not be able to afford a self care "luxury" of massage for a while. If you are reading this and don't live in the charleston area support your local independent massage therapist wherever you are.

Also, please think about supporting the small businesses in this time that are most vulnerable and that we will need most when we get to the other side of this if we don't want to live in a world where only the big chains and corporations have survived. Before you buy groceries from amazon think if there is a local farm or independent grocery store or even neighborhood convenient store you can support. Before you buy home gym equipment from amazon think if there is a local equipment store that has maybe moved their sales to online and is hoping and praying that they can make enough sales to still be there when we get to the other side of this. If you are getting takeout from a restaurant see if your favorite hole in the wall restaurant is open for take out.

For yourself during this quarantine here are some self care questions to guide yourself through you day:

  • What am I grateful for TODAY?

  • Who am I checking in on or CONNECTING with today? Call a friend or a family member or someone you haven't spoken to in a while. Or reach out to a neighbor and see how they are doing.

  • What expectations of "normal" am I LETTING GO of today? This is a time where we are being forced to let go of old patterns and habits. But that also means opportunity to create new habits and birth new ways of thinking. No need to rush the process.

  • How am I getting OUTSIDE today? Is it working in the garden, going on a walk, sitting on my porch?

  • How am I MOVING MY BODY today? A zoom yoga class?

  • What BEAUTY am I creating, cultivating, or inviting today?

There is no right way to do this. We are all going to feel many different things on this journey. Let us be compassionate and kind to each other, patient and forgiving of our human flaws, and gentle with ourselves.

What has been particularly hard for you with this pandemic? And what is bringing you joy today? Do you have ideas of how I can best support you in this time? What do you need right now? I would love to hear from you!

Warmly, Miwa

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