Suzanne's Journey

I have a background in art, dance and social work. And I've always been good with my hands. So my artistic journey began working with media that I could manipulate with touch (clay and paper). I spent years working part-time jobs so that I could take art classes and make things without the pressure of selling them. Then a time came when what I produced with my hands was making me a living. I was producing memorabilia for others and myself, but it started to feel unsustainable (in all meanings of the word).

It was then that I started to look for ways to transition from product to service. Massage seemed like a good fit. I could work with my hands and be of service. I started researching for massage techniques where my size would be advantageous. Did I mention that I am very small? And that one of my favourite quotes is penned by Shakespeare: "Though she be but little, she is fierce!" Thai-style massage fit the bill. A bunch of small people effortlessly turning bigger people into smiling pretzels and relieving them of their physical pain. I was lucky and discovered that a few blocks from where I lived was Lotus Palm. I walked over and signed up for Level I. Sukha was my teacher and I really appreciated how she took the time to show me how to adjust the postures to fit the difference in size between me and my practice partners.

After I completed Level II, I was guided elsewhere to study Chinese Medicine and Acupressure. During these studies, I realized how what I learned at Lotus Palm was more than just a massage technique. It was a way of being mindful so you don't hurt yourself in your efforts to be of service. Metta towards oneself and others. The trainings at Lotus Palm emphasize the practitioner's health and well-being. Great importance is placed on taking proper care of yourself so that you can continue doing what you love for a very long time. Warm-up exercises, stretches, proper stance and positioning. Little things like the angle of your wrists so you save your hands.

While I was finishing up my other studies, Sukha began offering Ashiatsu training. How could I resist an opportunity to study again with Sukha in a massage technique where my being small was an asset? It was a match made in heaven. All of the pieces fell into place. I could dance on people and ease their pain. However, I did worry that I might be too light and not have enough weight to give a satisfying deep tissue experience. So on the first day of class I paired myself up with the biggest person in the room. He was over twice my weight. I needed to know if little me was enough. And I was :) In a sometimes one size fits all world, it is so wonderful to find a place where differences are like spices, they add more flavour.

Lotus Palm feels like a warm ever-evolving broth where you are welcome to add your special twist. I am grateful everyday that I get to express loving-kindness through my hands and feet. Thank you Sukha and Lotus Palm.