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Quite the Contrary

I expand my possibilities by cultivating the opposite in myself. When I was young I did not have much choice. As an adult I do, so I use my free will to be the antagonist from within. I understand that no matter how correct I think my decisions are, or how black and white a situation seems, there are always shades of grey or layers of circumstance that I may be unaware of. This requires humility beyond the four decades of lessons I have learned. A set frame of mind can be my own worst enemy. Cultivating the opposite moves my life towards the pursuit of liberation. Freedom from all lesser pursuits (that often revolve around money, food, sex, and power) can be greatly empowering. The value of seeking change and enlightenment enriches my days beyond what I have previously dreamed.


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The Neighbor Next Door

Please don’t be the neighbor the next door. The one that always looks angry, frustrated, and troubled. The one that cannot rally a pleasantry such as “good morning” or “hello”. For life is exponentially better when we choose to be respectful and caring for those around us. When we as individuals live too much in our heads we go through our days with only ourselves in mind. To think of just ourselves is a path to no where. If motivation to action is purely with selfish intentions in mind, the outcome will always and only lead to a temporary satisfaction. We are all in this world together and thus we must rise above the so called “struggles” of the day. Bob Marley once wrote, “every man thinks his burden is the heaviest.” When we engage our minds and understand that every single one of us is struggling, has periods of ups and downs, and are all simply working toward a better tomorrow, life will begin to flow more easily. Modern day living is racing toward a more alienating state of being particularly with “social media.” How is it possible to feel more alienated or lost when information and activity is so close at hand? The answer lies within our ties to community. The physical and mental needs to feel part of a tribe is as old as our genetics themselves.


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Memoirs of a Masseur – April 2018

Every day I ask people when they received their last massage. For me, it is a prerequisite question before I begin my work. I listen attentively and have come to the conclusion that very few people give back to themselves enough. For some reason guilt exists about maintaining our own bodies. There is no need to wait. No need to have a back out of whack, a tight neck, a migraine, today is the day to loosen up and get yourself a massage. Let experienced hands put you into a trance where the mind and body can heal, can change, can grow. Massage is no longer a relaxing luxury. Therapeutic massage is an effective healthcare approach. A combination of art and science that true professionals in the field have spent years combining technical and academic information along with developing subtleties of palpation and technique. My twenty years of massaging defines my life more so than just my job. Working in my chosen field you could say, has massaged me into a man that goes through life caring about the mental, physical, and spiritual direction of other humans.


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End Of Vacation

We live in a world today which is always striving to make the tasks of daily living easier and faster. Both our physical and mental health should be at an all-time high, compared to decades of the past. Modern innovations in this high-tech day and age should be leaving us with more time and money, if we play our cards right, to cultivate ourselves in whatever we choose….health, love, art, travel, amongst other finer things in life. I wonder why most people never feel like the weekend is long enough, why our favorite activities get less and less attention as we grow older, or quite possibly that the sense of stillness, or simply having time on our hands, may be subconsciously being avoided. I know many people who never feel freedom or embrace the notion of nothing to do, and nowhere to be. For these people it is impossible to just “detach” as we are creatures of habit.


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Planting Yourself

I spend a lot of time outside. Particularly in my garden around plants and trees. Although I have no formal training I had landscaping jobs as a teen and into my twenty’s; in college my work study job was in the university greenhouse, growing plants for science experiments and observations. I’ve always enjoyed herbs and find the cycle of life very rewarding…even the year when I lost 4 mature coconut trees to a nasty beetle. I was emotional about that for months. Toucans and parrots of all sorts frequent the tallest of trees on my property and wake me most mornings. Once my land was a barren dirt hill that used to be cow pasture, now I am surrounded by five fruit trees, lipstick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spotting’s occur almost daily and I never knew I would become a bird watcher, professional sunrise/sunset observer, and can identify our slight change of seasons with the best of them.


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Diseases of Prosperity

I believe in having to pay to play. The best and most rewarding things in life take ample amounts of time to mature. Things such as relationships, love, fitness and financial goals, and successful careers all need time and continuous effort in order to truly fruit. Work needs to be done and sometimes blood, sweat, and tears are a part of the process along the way. If something comes easy its value most likely is low. I find it curious that some cultures influence us in exactly the opposite direction through media, marketing, and their focus on profitability. The forces that be try to persuade us that there is a quick cure for everything or that by simply buying a product worries will end. If you are hungry fast food is the answer, no need to even get out of your car. Any ailment or discomfort, pop a pill to mask the symptom, no need to sleep, rest, eat nutritious food and be hydrated. Looking for love? Websites for immediate and perfect “soulmates” are a few clicks away. If that is still too much work we have legalized prostitution right here in Costa Rica. One can’t get quicker than that! My point being this month is a new year which means we can shift our minds and change our lives. If we can get comfortable with being uncomfortable we can re-wire ourselves from the inside out. Enjoying oneself when not in a comfort zone is one of the secrets to anti-aging, change, and growth. Magic can happen when we chose to pay dividends with struggle, knowing that the results will return tenfold.


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Surrender the Selfies

The way we portray ourselves to the public is never how it seems. The lexicon of internet usage that has just appeared this century has a word that spurs on many thoughts for me. Selfie. This unique noun, brought to us from technology has gone beyond a picture, it is a word that has changed how people experience moments in time and brings a “mirror” to every situation that has a cell phone. Like anything, there are varied opinions on what a selfie is actually showing. A picture is worth a thousand words. Everyone has an opinion, and very easily images can be misconstrued. Health, happiness, beauty, and achievement all are on a sliding scale and a matter of opinion. A projected public picture can translate to egocentric, self-involved, or pompous…for it is a very fine line indeed. The phenomenon of woman pursing their lips (duck face) with an ever so mystic look in their eyes to me is downright idiotic. Sickening when it is a young girl just doing what she’s seen hundreds of times before. We are bombarded daily by television, magazines, and internet often saying that we are not good enough, that we just don’t measure up. Culture, trends, and the ever so popular cosmetic surgery all help to shape opinions on who is beautiful and what the “in thing” is…Hollywood reigns supreme. With Go-Pro cameras making everyone think they are heroes (or not) body image is a major player in how we go about our work, play, and our very lives.

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The Blues

Sometimes we find ourselves down in the dumps. It may be a day, a week, or even a month but we as humans are susceptible to periods of depression. The last two months in Costa Rica can play into this malaise….a lack of sunshine, heavy rains, and a slow work schedule can often heighten restlessness. Waters run deep with depression and it can be hard to put a finger on exactly what is going on internally if we are in this rut. Common signs are: poor sleep habits, self-abuse through drugs, alcohol, and even food, irritability, loss of excitement over once enjoyable activities, sadness, angry outbursts, slowed thinking and movements, fatigue and physical pains to name just a few. Sometimes it is a challenge to take a good hard look at oneself and to admit that there is something wrong. Once we do we can turn the battle into our favor. Michael Jackson said it best in his song Man in the Mirror. The lyrics state, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways.”

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Eyes of the World


I try to see other peoples’ lives through their eyes. I try to imagine how they feel, both physically and mentally. I don´t know if this is a common practice for others but it is almost an obsession for me. I do this most accurately when it involves physical feelings. A description from a client or friend, followed by questions, listening, and decades of personal physical experiences, usually leads to an accurate conclusion. My hopes are beyond wanting to relate, I want to change their feelings for the better. First physically with my hands, next emotionally as the two are connected. I see it as my duty and my oath as a massage therapist. I give thanks every day that this is what I do here in wonderful Manuel Antonio. Which just so happens to be a place that tourists seek out. They come here in droves from around the world for a variety of reasons. I live in a town that survives on the tourist dollar. Interest in what we do here, how we see the world, is what we sell.

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Memoirs of a Masseur – August 2017

The ebb and flow of the ocean, moon phases, and our days to nights it seems as if everything around us has a rhythm and a tempo. The world works in patterns as does energy, ying and yang, and the seasons. As humans why are many of us not in touch with our own natural cycles? How many among us let someone else set the rhythm of our lives and why? I spend much of my time observing people trying to understand them because nothing is more fascinating to me. As a body worker I have learned that tension lies not just in our flesh, but in the mind, heart, and soul as well. It is my job, if I am the best at what I do, to be able to understand peoples’ actions and behaviors and how that incorporates into their chosen lifestyle. I must physically feel as well as sense which parts of a body needs more or less work. A quality professional massage in itself has rhythm and tempo changes, high pressures and lows. This can only be possible with the ability to listen and to respond accordingly.

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All In The Family

memoirs of a massuer headerDepression, feeling alone, constant fatigue, poor sleep, and heaviness within our heart and soul is a human state that everyone goes through. The best counter to this type of malaise is pulling yourself up by the shoestrings and to get moving. Drinking alcohol and poor diet selections only further the descent into a black hole. Beyond the physical change the best remedy can be socializing. Although we are far removed from primates (or are we?) an alone primate is a sick or troubled one. Humans need to be among others, we have forever been tribal animals that flourish when we feel important and are part of a whole. In my younger years it never occurred to me that this aspect of day to day life was so important. Granted, I rarely lived in one location for more than a year or two, but only until I moved to Manuel Antonio was I able to feel the love of so many. Even before social media (which is a false family) the pure act of running into people in Quepos, at the gym, or on the beach was usually delightful. Holing up in an apartment or home benefits nobody. As we lose ourselves to Netflix, the comfort of over-eating, and then despair, it is important to remember help is always available. The simple act of calling a friend can heal. We must remind ourselves that when we are at our lowest, we must reach out and get involved with others to increase our energy.

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Self-contemplation

memoirs of a massuer headerManuel Antonio is not for everyone. It is a beach town that caters to the parts of us that are lazy and aloof. I see families, lovers, and friends arrive here salivating for change. We live with an alternative lifestyle to not enough hours in a day, the “realities” of life elsewhere seem so distant. I’ve heard from many that the over stimulation of nature….both jungle and ocean… make them feel so… free. It roots itself into the psyche because it is all around us, sleeping to jungle sounds make city dwellers feel like they are camping! In my 17 years here I have come to believe that Manuel Antonio operates on its own unique level. It is a place that can bewitch the most stringent, it can surprise the most mundane.

The level I am referring to is meditation. I believe Manuel Antonio forces us to be more aware of ourselves by changing the culture we are used to. Simply by alternating the repetition of day to day living, and the habits we are all used to, produces the opportunity for self-contemplation. This alone stimulates change. Change is something, I have grown to believe through my massage work, most people are willfully fearful of. Don’t be! Why would humans be afraid of change when everything around them is changing….plants, weather, ocean tides, and the sun and moon cycles (to name a few). Do we actually believe ourselves not to be one with our environment? Are we evolved beyond that? I think not. However, in order to pick the fruit from a tree we must first cultivate the roots and the trunk. That means we must work with fears, frustrations, disappointments, and irritations, the painful aspects of life. Then, if we are lucky, we might be able to pick the flowers from our beautiful gardens.

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End of Vacation

memoirs of a massuer headerWe live in a world today which is always striving to make the tasks of daily living faster and easier. Our physical, mental, and spiritual health should be at an all-time high compared to decades of the past. Modern innovations in this high-tech day and age should be leaving us with more time and money, if we play our cards right, to cultivate ourselves in whatever we choose….health, love, art, travel, amongst other fine things in life. I wonder why most people never feel like the weekend is long enough, why our favorite activities get less and less attention as we grow older, or quite possibly that the sense of stillness, or simply having time on our hands, may be subconsciously being avoided. I know many people who never feel freedom or embrace the notion of nothing to do, nowhere to be. For these people it is impossible to just “detach” as they are creatures of habit, robotic.

Read More…


Planting Yourself

memoirs of a massuer headerI spend a lot of time outside. Particularly in my garden around plants and trees. Although I have no formal training I had landscaping jobs as a teen and into my twenty’s; in college my work study job was in the university greenhouse, growing plants for science experiments and observations. I’ve always enjoyed herbs and find the cycle of life very rewarding…even the year when I lost 4 mature coconut trees to a nasty beetle. I was emotional about that for months. Toucans and parrots of all sorts frequent the tallest of trees on my property and wake me most mornings. Once my land was a barren dirt hill that used to be cow pasture, now I am surrounded by five fruit trees, lipstick palms, and plants and flowers of all kinds. Wildlife spottings occur almost daily and I never knew I would become a bird watcher, professional sunrise/sunset observer, and can identify our slight change of seasons with the best of them.

Read More…


Touching Humanity

memoirs of a massuer headerHigh season is well upon us and everyone reading this deserves to give themselves the gift of love. The best love I can think of is treating yourself to a session of bodywork. Even now, in this day and age, I meet people who have never had a massage, who don’t like to be touched, who still have the decades old philosophy that it is something sexual. Well, I’m here to talk some facts and to share some of my nineteen years of experience as a full time body worker. I write this article to educate the public and to bring further insight into a field that always seems to be a bit murky for some reason.

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