I didn’t hear the news when it happened.  I learned about it a couple of months later and was surprised.  An author whose books I have enjoyed, Vince Flynn, had died.  He was only in his forties.  His books had a series that followed a main character.

My son also read his books.  He had read most of them and was looking forward to more.  He asked me if he had finished writing the series.

That question struck me and has been rattling around in my mind.  It made me think of what I have not finished yet.

I have things I want to do.  There are places to go, things to see, experiences to have, people to spend time with, books to read, goals to reach, and on and on.  I’m sure most of us won’t be able to do everything they wanted in life – I’m always learning of something new that sounds interesting.

Are you waiting for the right time for get started?  I wondered  – what if the time wasn’t quite right for Flynn? If he had waited, he may never have written the books he did and enjoyed the accomplishments.  According to the typical life span here, he should have had many more years to live and work.

Is there a relationship you want to have?  Maybe you need to open up more to let them in.  I have discovered that no matter how many people I love, there is always room in my heart for more.  Let your guard down a little and allow yourself to be more vulnerable (not to everybody, of course, but to those you believe you can trust).  I know, it’s a little risky and scary, but the rewards can be so fulfilling.

Is there a relationship you want to be better or to repair?  Apologize or make it right if you need to.  Forgive if you need to.  Don’t let past unhappiness take away the joy you could be having today.  If it doesn’t work out the way you want, at least you did what you could.  It’s a chance worth taking and you won’t have to live with the uncertainty.  Be kind and give more and generally you will find that returned to you.

While you’re at it, make peace with yourself.  You have made mistakes and done dumb things.  So have the rest of us.  Forgive yourself and resolve to learn from those things and do better.  We all tend to be harder on ourselves than other people are.  You have friends and family that you look up to and love even though they aren’t perfect, right?  Do the same for you and enjoy the liberation.

Is there something you want to do?  It doesn’t have to be big like a career change or space travel.  Do you want to learn to play an instrument?  Travel (even somewhere close)?  Learn to cook?  If you want to practice making lemon meringue pie, I’ll be happy to test them for you and cheer you on.

What is stopping you?  In the future will you regret that you never did it?

I had a job that I was good at and the pay was good enough.  Eventually I had too many mornings that I didn’t want to go to work.  I began to dread Sunday evenings, because that meant Monday morning was next and it was back to more of the same at work.  Now I love what I do as a massage therapist.  Yes, there are challenges of having my own business.  A lot, actually.   But I am getting to spend time doing what I love, making a difference in the lives of the people I touch, and enjoy the accomplishments I realize.  Do you start your day with excitement and anticipation or with dread and apathy?

What do you want to do?  What do you want to have finished when it’s time to go?  Have you said “I’ve always wanted to …”

Do those things.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

* If you have read some of my other posts, you will notice that this was a very different post for me.  I usually talk about massage and health and business.  It was inspired by a combination of things I have read recently, including this intriguing post on opening up by Kate Bartolotta (such a wonderful writer).  Also this one on choosing what you carry by another great writer Allissa Haines, who I am lucky to have as a friend.  It’s also been a tough stretch with the loss of some family members.  Do you want to see more like this or do you want me to stick to massage?   Let me know what you think in the comments.

Find your comfort zone with massage

We all have comfort zones.  They can be really useful by allowing us to do some things out of habit and repetition.  It’s something that we don’t have to consciously think about and one less decision to make.  If we had to think of everything we do each day all day long and decide what to do, we probably wouldn’t make it until lunch time.

For example, think of your typical morning.  You probably get up around the same time, hit the bathroom, get dressed, and eat something before you head off to work.  You can do a lot of these half asleep – because you are.  You may drink the same coffee or juice and eat the same brand and type of breakfast food most days.

Comfort zones can limit us however.  They keep us from trying something new, even if it a good thing.  Stepping outside of our comfort zone makes us, well, uncomfortable.  How long does it take you to try something that your friends are raving about?  Once you do try it and like it, do you find it aggravating that you didn’t do it sooner?  How much have you missed out on because something wasn’t in your comfort zone?

When you think of it, almost everything was new at some point.  All of the products and services you use, benefit from, and enjoy now were once new to you.

Since they are a part of daily life, we usually don’t think about our comfort zones until something changes (eek – they stopped making your favorite flavor!) or they get challenged.

Some people allow pain or stress into their comfort zone.  It happens gradually so it’s not noticed.  After a while, part of your routine is taking pills for headaches and pain and you are not sleeping well.

Some people have not included massage into their comfort zone.  Let’s consider a couple of possibilities on why.

For some it is new.  Maybe they have heard about it from family or friends but since it’s new they are reluctant to try it.  If this is you, do a little research.  Check out some local massage web sites where you’ll find some frequently asked questions.  Talk to your friend and ask them about it.  Since they are a fan of massage and have experienced it they can help you feel more comfortable.  Call a massage therapist and ask some questions.  They understand the issues people have (and it’s usually the same set of questions most people wonder about).  The therapist will be happy to answer your questions and won’t be pushy – that’s just the way most of us are.

Click here to read more about what to expect from your first massage, from my friend Paola.

Some are hesitant because of their body image. Massage therapists understand this.  Most of us have had to deal with our own body issues when we began in massage.  We have learned that bodies are wondrous and amazing creations.  We truly, honestly, genuinely, sincerely, indisputably, unquestionably, 100% do not care what you look like.  You are not here to impress us.  You will be draped the whole time, except for what is being worked on at the moment.  We want you to feel better so you can enjoy your life.  Imagine how much better you would feel with a good night’s sleep, less stress, and relief from headaches and other pains.

Reach your new comfort zone by breaking out of your old one with massage.  It will be a very comfortable one.  You’ll be glad you did.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at