You know, I really love a good metaphor.
And since yesterday was the winter solstice here in the northern hemisphere, it seems like the perfect time to announce the ways in which we’re spreading more light here at CMC.
We’re talkin’ illuminating awareness, shining a way towards wellness, and igniting the fire that lies within us all. Yeah, baby!
Does this all sound totally cheesy? Yes. But is it still 100% awesome and true? Absolutely.
So, let’s not waste another minute, and let’s start talking about how we’re brightening things up around here.
Patreon members can get the bonus content HERE.
Welcome to the blog & podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that supports folks who are ready to get creative with the care of their mind, body, and mother-lovin’ soul.
If you enjoy this content, would like to support my work, AND score some sweet self care goodies, consider a Patreon Membership for as little as $3 a month! Yup, three bucks…it’s like buying me a cup of coffee.To learn more about memberships and how funds directly impact the wellbeing of others, you can visit: crystalmclaincreative.com.
And, if you like to read along WHILE you listen, or enjoy graphics and videos, you can access all of these features through the blog version of this podcast (yes, even the audio as well). I’ll leave a direct link to this episode in the show notes below.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, truth be told, ever since I was a kid, I’ve been bumping around this Earth, just wanting to make people feel better. But, sadly, this desire ended up turning into people-pleasing, over-extending my resources (be it time, money, or energy), and being taken advantage of. Eventually, everything caught up with me, and I burned myself out and started to resent everyone and everything.
But, despite all this, there was still a small piece of me that wanted to help and heal others.
But the valuable lesson I needed to learn was, first, I needed to help and heal MYSELF.
And it wasn’t until I went to massage therapy school, back in 2009, when I truly learned what boundaries are, and how to establish them.
I also learned that words like “helping” and “healing” are kind of sticky.
For starters, if you don’t have your head screwed on right, helping could present the idea that there’s an imbalance of power. Like, if I’m helping someone, then I’m more powerful than that person. And vise versa. If someone is helping me, then clearly I’m the weaker of the two. Not only is this concept toxic to both parties, but it’s also bullshit.
No one is more powerful than anyone else. We all have our own strengths. We have wisdom from our lived experiences. And we all have ways in which we can help one another.
LIKEWISE, we all have our vulnerabilities and areas of our life where we, ourselves, could use a little help.
And there’s NO shame in that. It doesn’t make any one of us less powerful, valuable or important. We’re literally dependent on one another for our survival.
And as for healing, the only person who can truly heal you is YOU. Whether or not you get a cast for a broken bone, or therapy for a broken heart, the practitioner isn’t healing you. They’re simply giving you the support so you can heal yourself. It’s your body’s natural wisdom that’s healing itself by knitting the bones back together. It’s you, using the power of your conscious brain to make deliberate choices that heal your emotional wounds.
So, I was never going to be someone else’s healer. And I could never expect anyone else to heal me. That’s impossible. What I could do, however, is facilitate others in the process of their own healing. And ask for help when I was the one in need.
Over the course of the second half of my life (that I’ve lived so far), I went from being a person who suppressed their feelings, ignored their physical pain, and allowed society to dictate my worth, into becoming a person who processes and expresses their emotions, prioritizes and advocates for their total wellbeing, and knows that they’re invaluable.
Was this a quick and easy process? Hell, no.
But it’s the most important decision I ever made, and will continue to make. It was a decision that possibly, quite literally, has saved my life.
So, trust me when I say, this self care shit is worth your time and energy.
Alright - so, this is what’s going on here at CMC…
Back when COVID first came to town, and everyone was losing their jobs and losing their minds, my helper mode kicked on extra strong. I mean, I was also experiencing my own fear, grief, and depression, but I still wanted to be of service to those who didn’t have the same coping tools as myself.
Anyway, I wanted to help, but didn’t know how. I had all this valuable information and professional skills as a holistic massage therapist, having been the Self Care and Professional Development teacher at the Downeast School of Massage, I had experience as an educator, and I certainly had loads of insight from my personal experiences of crawling out of addiction, depression, and low self esteem. But I still didn’t feel like I had all the right tools.
I reached out to a friend of mine who’s a smoking cessation and life coach, and she mentored me through the coaching process. I did loads of research, practiced the coaching model on myself, and offered a few low cost sessions to some folks I know to gain a little experience.
Lo and behold, coaching was the missing link.
So, now I’m a massage therapist and self care coach, and that’s all well and good, IF folks have the time and money to access those services. And having been a person who used to patch together two or three jobs just to make ends meet, I understand that most of these health and healing services are NOT accessible to a LOT people.
And I want to change that.
Here at CMC, I’m creating a resource where people can get creative with their self care, so they can gain similar benefits to these otherwise inaccessible services.
My mission is to empower people with:
- a growth mindset, so they can feel confident, capable and deserving of self care and self love
- awareness about their mind and body so they understand how health and wellness are achieved
- insight into all sorts of self care methods so they can practice simple routines at home
- support systems so they can feel inspired, encouraged and cared for.
Will this ever be a substitute for working with an actual therapist or medical professional? Absolutely not. And I would never suggest as much. But people need a starting point, and they need it to be accessible.
SO, going forward, my plan is to start interviewing professionals in the health, wellness, and soul-centered fields, so we can learn simple, practical self care skills that we can access any time.
I also want to talk to regular folks, like you and me, who (despite all odds), have found something within themselves to start their own process of health, wellness, and wholeness.
By the way, if you’re either of these people and you’d like to share your story and your wisdom, I’d LOVE to chat with you. (You can contact me HERE).
Also, if you’re either a person who wants to support this mission, or, you yourself, need a little guidance while you work towards wellness. Come check out what we’re doing here at the website. Just take a stroll around. I truly believe we can make our days quite a bit brighter if we work together.
Patreon members can get the bonus content HERE.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’ll see you soon.