At the end of each year I take the time to reflect back, take stock of what’s happened and chart my direction for the future. This year has certainly been a year of shifts and changes, of closing old doors and opening new ones.
Last year I decided to take a leap and leave the massage profession by giving up my massage license. I wanted the departure to be quick, but it’s difficult to extricate myself out of a world that I’ve been deeply involved in for 26 years. The departure continues. BodyworkBiz is now closed, I’ve scaled down my involvement in World Massage Conference and have been actively looking for a buyer for Thermal Palms.
I always wanted to write a best seller and was sure that I could. So as proof of concept, I released 60 Clients in 60 Days on Amazon where it shot up to the number one spot like a bullet. Amazingly, I was able to write, edit, format, publish and get it to the number one spot in just two weeks! By the way, it’s still available on Amazon for just 99 cents! (And as I was writing this blog post and checking out the book on Amazon I see it got an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5!. Hey, that’s better than the iPhone!)
With time on my hands I got more into French language. It’s my cultural background, but I’ve only ever been functional and never fluent in speaking. And as I explored courses and programs, I realized that language instruction sucks and I wanted to learn how it could be done better.
So I did an intensive ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor certification program to better understand conventional approaches to language learning. I absolutely loved the experience of being back in school again. But I’m not someone who loves convention and as you can see from the slide in this photo, I took some unusual approaches to teaching that got me applause from the class, but failing marks from my trainer.
I discovered some unique and somewhat radical teaching approaches and came up with a crazy idea for an online ESL training program. This lead me to hanging out in cottage in July with Hollywood writer, Stephen Witkin, as we explored narrative for the project. (Oddly enough, although he lives in LA and he’s not someone I know, he has a picture of my ex-wife in an elephant suit hanging in his cottage. Don’t ask me to explain.) A fascinating process and fun times. What’s to come of all of this? I’ll let you know in 2016.
I crossed off one big item off my bucket list in September as I journeyed through France with only my knapsack and a desire to meet some cool people, speak French and eat great food.
I booked a AirBnB residence for only two nights on arrival. After that, I made up my itinerary from day to day, going wherever circumstances or curiosity took me. That lead me to lots of adventures including eating giant snails and pig cheeks, exploring catacombs, mushroom hunting, climbing sand dunes, singing the blues, sleeping in a medieval village, and hanging out (literally) at a nudist colony. I kept a daily blog of the France trip for anyone who was interested in joining me on the journey.
It was back to work on my return to Toronto as my World Massage Conference partners Melanie Hayden and Scott Dartnall and I produced the ABMP Back Pain Summit, the largest event in the history of massage. We stopped promoting it when we got to 14,000 registrants as we were quite certain that our servers would explode. Over 7,000 people ended up attending the live event. It was awesome!
I never thought I would own a house. That just seemed too grown up for me. But I picked up a little place in my hometown. Although I have no plans to move out of Toronto for the immediate future, at least I’ll have a nice little home for retirement whenever that may happen. A big thanks to my mom and dad for the work they did on it.
I crossed a second item off my bucket list this fall as I made a trip to the Big Apple with the lovely and talented Krittika Sharma. It’s crazy that I’ve never visited New York before. Otherwise, I took most of the fall off, thoroughly enjoying my home and the people in my life.
The one thing that we can count on in our lives is change. As much as we would like to freeze our lives as a moment in time when things are good, that’s not the way life works. This year I’ve felt the pain of many losses, both professionally and personally. At the same time I’m thankful for the pillars that have remained unchanged and I’ve thoroughly delighted in the new people, experiences and opportunities that have filled the vacuum.
This may be the last post I do for this blog as I continue to migrate out of the massage profession. But feel free to keep in touch on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter where I’ll be sharing new projects, experiences and lessons learned in the years to come.