If you had told me when I was eighteen years old, finishing up high school and trying to decide what to study in university, that I would be sitting here writing this article about my adventures in the last several years as a massage therapist and healer and where it has taken me to, I would think you a bit strange.
In my earlier years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have friends and loved ones guide me through some major life decisions or helping me map out ways of getting me there. My best friend in high school pointed out that I was good at learning languages. She was correct, so I went to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and studied French and Italian with the hopes of becoming a translator.
It didn’t quite pan out the way that I thought it would though. In my final year, a friend who studied French with me asked what my plans were after graduating. When telling her that I wanted to partake in the typical post-grad endeavour of travelling through Europe for a few months, she mentioned that there had been a job posting for flight attendant. I never thought of doing this, but I thought I would give it a try as it would take me to some of the places I wanted to visit and then some.
Even though I enjoyed travelling and I made some great friends with the airline, I instinctively knew I was supposed to embark on another adventure, which, of course meant going back to school.
This time it was for massage therapy. And yes, this new pursuit was brought to my attention by another university friend who invited me to some schools’ open houses as he was planning to attend that year.
Yes, a language major who became a flight attendant was now, without a science background or a degree in kinesiology or a sporty spice, was going to embark on something totally out of her wheelhouse. However, my intention was: I wanted to help people heal with my hands and my presence.
I suppose part of this was rooted in my childhood. I would rub my mother’s back to make her feel better and I must have because she told me I had such nice hands. This meant a lot coming from her as she had suffered from chronic musculoskeletal pain for a large part of her life.
Then even before embarking on my new adventure in the massage therapy program, I started doing Reiki. My Reiki Master said it would really enhance the massage treatments and she was right. I was told by several clients that there was something different about my treatments that set me apart from other therapists. I knew this was indeed my calling.
A few years later, again, with the advice from my Reiki Master, I became a mediation instructor. I was intrigued to learn how to meditate from Buddhist monks as she was, but this course allowed for certification, and again, I thought why not. I witnessed how my life, personally and professionally, ran so much more smoothly. I was in awe of this but keeping up such a rigorous practice became challenging as life was changing again.
The next stage of life and career involved children. We purchased a home a few years back with a space for my massage therapy practice making life easier by omitting travel time to a clinic. But with this move to a home-based clinic, I knew I also wanted something different.
Fast forward: I had years of going with the flow and surrendering to the Divine to create what I wanted…so how did everything go so terribly wrong, so fast and all at once? The short answer for me and for a lot of Stuck Spiritual Seekers is abdication of responsibility. I thought that by taking a spiritual bypass and following someone else’s lead instead of being inspired by their words to act of my own volition, I would get where I wanted to go faster. Was I ever mistaken. I went through tremendous loss, that, even though has softened over time, will always feel somewhat surreal to me.
As a lot of us in the spiritual development community know, it’s these kinds of experiences—of trauma, of loss, of feeling completely helpless—that can lead us to a path of deep self-discovery—the kind that allows you to know yourself at the very core of who you are.
So here I was at ground zero, wondering where I needed to go next. Slowly, but surely, I used some familiar methods that had worked in the past, sprinkled with some new ones. Each one added more depth to my journey of self-exploration, but what really got things cooking is when I discovered who I am at soul-level. When you know this, no one can tell you who you are, what you need or want or what you ought to be doing, IF you are willing to be fully responsible for everything that shows up in your life.
I learned to come from this place when dealing with anything that comes my way. It has created changes in me that enabled me to take action that I didn’t before because I didn’t embody the confidence or skill. I have experienced changes in my personal and professional relationships, and I have a clearer direction of where to go and what to do to get there with a lot more drive.
So, in this pandemic, when I was closed for a time (R.M.T.’s once having completed IPAC courses and secured proper PPE and disinfectants were allowed to reopen as regulated health care professionals, governed by the C.M.T.O.), I was able to dive deeper into courses that offered an alternative to what I could do in person and to acknowledge my desire to focus on spiritual-based work.
Via my connection to CranioSacral Therapy, I was able to study with Suzanne Scurlock CST-D, an Upledger instructor who developed full-body presence work for in-person and distance healing. Learning distance healing work was certainly a useful piece particularly when we could not treat each other in person. I learned more about my own inner landscape using sensations, visuals, images and words to describe what I was experiencing inside of me. The best part of this is the client is always in charge and leading the session. The practitioner is there to guide the session and offer support and a safe space for one to journey down into their body.
On a personal note, practicing full body presence regularly also helped me stay present when I lost my father from a 4-year battle with cancer. I was able to functionally navigate the grief that I needed to face and remain strong for my 10-year-old son who just lost one of the closest people he knew.
The learning during this pandemic didn’t end there. I further broadened my knowledge base by studying the complexity of concussions which I have applied to my CranioSacral work especially with persistent or chronic cases. I received certification as a basic Ho’oponopono practitioner, rooted in the Hawaiian ritual of forgiveness. And lastly, I furthered my soul’s purpose work by diving deeper into healing relationships, manifesting specific outcomes and even reading for businesses. All these tools have contributed to the enrichment of my overall practice which I am deeply grateful for.
So, even though in my previous life I was able to create quite a lot by surrendering and listening to suggestions from friends and mentors, I was still not creating what my soul came here to do, in order to manifest the life I wanted, in the way the Divine created me. Knowing what my soul’s purpose is allowed me to sit in the driver’s seat of my life.
If you too would like to experience that kind of expansion as I have, I would love nothing more than to sit in the passenger seat next to you, to support and guide you on your journey to empowerment.
Laura Graffi B.A., R.M.T. I have been a massage therapist since 1997, presently focusing on CranioSacral Therapy. Healing from the Core™ allows me to deepen my in-person sessions and long-distance work connects me with clients from the comfort of home. For the Stuck Spiritual Seekers, I unlock who they are at soul-level so they can manifest the lives they were meant to live.