Sometimes there are people you meet who you want to learn about and learn from. Who smile from deep in their souls and who's touch feels supportive. Sarah is one of those people. As a massage therapist, she gives support though her hands, as a yoga teacher she gives support though her listening. She gives and gives and that is why we wanted to interview her for Kindred, her generous spirit needs to be celebrated.
- Meet Sarah -
Who are you and what are you about?
I did an exercise once and during it we were asked the question “Who are you?” As an answer came up “I am a daughter” we would ask “If I am not a daughter, would I still be? Still exist?” of course “Yes” So I am not that. “Am I this body? Without this body, would I still be?” “Yes” Then I am not that. On and on it went. Each question peeled back a layer, a label. I finally got to the place where all that was left was love. What I am about is removing everything else that gets in the way of that. I am interested in creating connections with people who want to grow, towards love, strength, confidence, and leadership. I think the world needs more of that right now and I want to be a part of bringing that side of people into the light.
How your career grown and developed?
I graduated from Massage Therapy school in 1998 and in 2000 opened my own business. I started out traveling to local companies, providing on site massage. They provided me a small empty room and I had no overhead. Once I developed enough of a clientele I opened my own studio. I never wanted a big business because I love small cozy spaces, meaningful connections, and relationships that get stronger over time so that’s what I created with Solace.
What does community mean to you?
I think community is the connections we make with other people. I use to think that meant we needed to see everything the same but I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think if I can really connect with a person on one thing, they become community. After that it becomes a practice of celebrating our differences. The people in my community have wide ranging religious beliefs, political views, social status, health habits, life experiences, etc. I’ve learned so much from being genuinely interested in other people. I lean into what feels right for me and I let go of what doesn’t fit. If we were all the same, the world would lose its color, its beauty. So, I give up my righteousness to create space for connection.
What does the future hold? What do you want to add or subtract? How do you want to grow, personally and in business?
I want to add in more connections and more community in my life. I want to subtract the idea that I have to take everything on myself. For a long time, it was just me running the business. It was very comfortable for me to keep it that way. It was very controlled and manageable. I feel like its been trying to expand past what I can take on myself for a while and I’ve been fighting it because I am afraid that it will fail, that if I depend on others, they will let me down and that I won’t be good enough or smart enough. The way I can grow personally and in business is to just let go. To be open to whatever opportunities come my way. To listen and trust my intuition. To remember that some of the most amazing lessons come out of failure. To be vulnerable enough to be seen and also strong enough to stand in my own truth. Over the last year my team has expanded. I now have so much help with the behind the scenes business stuff and the front desk. My friend Jen Mills opened a business within my business called Urban Bliss Massage Therapy. What we have created together is very unique and it has been such an amazing experience to have her there.
Tell us what you can find at Solace Massage + Bodywork?
Our mission statement is:
Through unity and trust our goal is to create a calming and inviting atmosphere. An atmosphere that provides support for health and wellness to our community.
Solace means to provide comfort. Sometimes that means it gets uncomfortable to eventually reach lasting comfort. That’s why trust and connection are so important. It can be a difficult experience for some people to get undressed for a massage or to even be touched. There is a saying “your issues lie in your tissues.” It is so true. Sometimes during a session, as tensions are released in the physical body, things come up for people. Past experiences, hardships, stress, or old injuries. It’s important for me to create a safe space for conversation and for release. I’ve had sessions filled with uncontrollable laughter and sessions with uncontrollable tears. Sometimes people fall asleep and sometimes they share their deepest secrets and stories. My hope is that at the end of each session there is a deeper sense noticing what it feels like to let go. To release some of what you’ve been holding on to. Being present with our physical bodies and listening to what its saying gives access to health and wellness.
Describe your favorite day.
I love early mornings with a hot cup of coffee so it would definitely start like that. I almost always start with a 10 minute meditation ( I am currently using the app called Headspace) and ideally would have time for a little bit of yoga (I practice Baptiste Yoga). I would definitely spend my favorite day with the people I love. I recently heard the best way to strengthen relationships is to do something new together so on my to-do list next year is to go paddle boarding and learn to ski. I love adventures, particularly road trips and spending time outdoors. I like to move and work a bit vs. sitting around. Outdoors I love wide open spaces, they remind me how small I really am. When I look at all that space I see so much room for endless possibility.
Sarah, we appreciate your willingness to be open and share. You are a beautiful human and the World is lucky to have you!