Every year I like to take a look back and reflect on everything that’s happened (2013 2012). I can’t say it was the most productive year I’ve ever had. In fact, I produced very little (relatively speaking). I’ll call it a year of reflection and change; a year of endings and beginnings.
After ending a long-term and long distance relationship at the end of last year I felt that I needed to get rooted back in Toronto and focus on living fully in my community. Rather than adventure, I craved routine.
My house has always been a social house and being home I started taking couchsurfers again, from Germany, Portugal, Singapore, Canada and many from France. I had people living with me at various points during the year: My brother Glen, the lovely and talented Krittika Sharma who came from India to do her masters in business design, and a very delightful young Frenchman Jacques who is involved in nicotine research.
I got a thorough introduction to the world of stand up comedy from Melissa Story who I absolutely fell in love with. I redesigned the Sex and the Single Parent website for her and her comedy partner Precious Chong (Tommy Chong’s daughter) and was featured in a Sex and the Single Massage Therapist podcast. Scandalous, I know. But not nearly as exciting as you might think. She has become known to my friends as “diarrhea girl” as they see her latest commercial broadcast every five minutes on national TV here in Canada. (Hey! It pays well and is better than being the face of yeast infection.)
World Massage Conference entered it’s 7th year of production. And what would World Massage Conference be without a hiccup? At the very beginning of the first day of our June conference my super reliable and super fast Internet went down. Unfazed, we hopped in a cab and did the broadcast from Goddess Marla’s apartment.
I got sidelined from a kickboxing injury. I wish I could say I injured myself in dramatic fashion, but I pulled my calf muscle in the most uncool way possible. It was fascinating to see the blood slowly leak down into my foot from the strain at the top of my calf.
Family was a focus this year and I have an enormous extended family. I don’t even know all my cousins. I had a great time reconnecting at a mini family reunion.
My son Seth has clearly moved from his physical side (rock climbing champion) to explore his musical self and entered an arts school this fall. He was featured in a Walmart ad with his boy band, Sugar Rush.
I got into the idea of challenges and spent the month of August going alcohol free. The next month I gave up cookies, ice cream and chocolate. I have to say that giving up chocolate was way harder than giving up alcohol. Then I lead a big group of almost 2,000 people in a 30 Day Productivity Challenge.
It was a good thing I rested up in the summer because the fall was a crazy time. I started off the fall by actually taking a live workshop myself. I do online learning almost every day, but it’s been a while since I went to a live event as a participant where I could just sit back and enjoy the sessions. I ended up on stage doing ballet moves in front of a group of about 250 marketers from around the world. (I used to be a professional ballet dancer if you didn’t know already.)
Then came the Massage Business Superhero Summit,. This was a special World Massage Conference event dedicated to the business side of massage. It was offered free thanks to the generous sponsorship of ABMP and we had about 7,000 therapists register. We did not expect the turnout we got and our servers were pushed to the max. At least nothing exploded.
The WMC crew went to the American Massage Conference in San Deigo and the Canadian Massage Conference in Niagara Falls, both stellar events. Then we immediately launched the fall World Massage Conference program. It just keeps getting bigger and better.
In the middle of it all, Liddle Kidz Foundation founder and massage star Tina Allen came to Toronto and hung out with me for a week or more before heading for Japan. Except for the fact that her voice is higher pitched that mine, we discovered just how much alike we are. She could be my twin. We went trampolining and I even got to hold her hand roller skating at the roller rink. (Sorry Shad!)
The most significant moment of the year, however was deciding to exit the massage profession. I’ve been a massage therapist for over 26 years and it has become a big part of my identity… I am the Grand Massage Poobah after all (and have the hat to prove it!) So with a tear in my eye I put my notice of resignation into my regulatory body.
Along with resigning my massage license, I close the doors on BodyworkBiz on December 31st. This has been a hugely successful site offering online business courses and resources for massage therapists since 2000 (the dinosaur age in internet years). To the best of my knowledge, I was the first doing online education in any significant way in the massage profession. In the early years the site got more traffic than even the AMTA website. I love that I’ve been able to help so many therapists with building their practices and helping them touch the lives of more people in their communities in the 15 years of operation of that site.
If you’re reading this before December 31st, you can get pretty much everything I’ve produced at BodyworkBiz as part of my Retirement Sale and at just pennies on the dollar. Get it before it’s gone:
The reasons for leaving the profession are outlined on my blog. I’m healthy, I’m not financially destitute and I haven’t lost my mind. Just looking for new adventures and new ways to impact the world around me.
What’s next? I’m not exactly sure. Although I can say for sure that I’m NOT interested in MLM business opportunities (but thanks to the dozens of therapists who have invited me into their programs over the past month).
I have a unique set of skills and may move into publishing, video production or consulting for growing businesses. I’ve also been working on the outline for a unique immersion ESL video program which I think would be an invaluable resource for English language learners. Who knows?
I’ll continue to be a presence in the massage field over the next year as I continue to transition out. So expect to hear from me for a while longer and look for the release of several massage books in the coming months.
This will be my last year in review for the BodyworkBiz blog and before I go I want to thank you so much for your generous support throughout my 26 years in the profession and I wish you the very best for 2015!