2016 My Year in Review

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Yes, I’m petting an owl. More on that below.

This blog is a bit of a ghost town since I’ve closed down BodyworkBiz two years ago, but if you’re curious as to what’s happened to me over the past year, here’s what’s been going on.

My attention has shifted from the world of massage to the world of English. Almost two years ago I became CELTA certified as an English as a Second Language teacher. I knew absolutely nothing about English. Just like a fish that realizes he’s wet, I discovered I was swimming in a linguistic sea that I knew nothing about.

I started teaching my first class and was writing the conjugation of “to be” on the board:
I am
You are
He is

But I heard myself saying:
I yam
You wahre
He yiz

Weird sounds were coming out of my mouth. Why was I adding y’s and w’s to every sound? It was bizarre! When I told my fellow English teachers that they do Wit, slide80everyone said, “No Wi don’t!” It was my first clue that things are not as they seem when it comes to language instruction and learning.

Anyways, I’ve continued to devote a lot of my time to the development of a very unconventional online English as a second language learning program. It’s an enormous project, but I will start releasing some of it in 2017. Very exciting stuff.

I never thought I’d visit India, but in the name of love, spent two months living there in the spring. It  was my first time to a developing country and was truly a mind-shifting experience. It’s a country that personifies resourcefulness and the strength of the human spirit.

The thing I love about travelling is that your senses are on alert and even the most mundane things are new. When I spent a month in France last fall, I had a lot of fun blogging about the little cultural differences I was noticing each day. In the case of India, there was really nothing familiar that I could hook into. Everything was new and different. Each foray into the outside world was an adventure. It was difficult to take in the experience because my senses were constantly overwhelmed with the exotic sights, sounds, smells, tastes and way of being.

Train stationimg_20160419_082447176_hdr

I got my first Rickshaw ride (they call them “autos” here) and it was a harrowing experience. I can’t even begin to tell you what traffic is like here. It can only be experienced. The roads are filled with every sort of vehicle imaginable (trucks, cars, motorcycles, bikes, and thousands of rickshaws). Sidewalks are pretty much non-existent and where they do exist they are vendors stalls, homes, trash heaps, public urinals, cow parking and more. So everybody walks on the street. Throw in a smattering of cows, goats, chickens, and dogs (unbelievable numbers of street dogs) and you have the makings of complete chaos.

In a city of about 12 million people, there is not one stop sign. There are no such things as lanes. Where lane markings exist, they are simply regarded as decorations. Traffic lights are suggestions rather than absolutes. And everyone beeps their horns non-stop – everyone! I don’t understand what all the horn honking does except perhaps making you believe that it gives you some type of magical control over the hordes of moving things on the streets.

I worked for the two months I spent there. And I got the feeling for what it was like being an outsourced overseas worker. I sat pretty much right on the other side of the globe, so I would be up at 5:00 am to prepare for an North American evening broadcast and was working up to midnight on broadcasts that were happening the next morning. I had such a hard time getting my time zones right. Living a half day into the future was very confusing!

img-20160327-wa0004I feel eternally grateful for the opportunity to have had an India experience and thank Krittika Sharma for all her love and care.

Without travel, you can never return home. And on my return I had a whole new appreciation for the place I call home. My senses were awakened to all the things I loved about Canada. It was as if I was experiencing my country, my home, for the first time.

Courtyard at my home

img_20160221_092740075My son, who many of you have come to know through my courses and this blog (and through Seth the Chef) is growing up. He is now in his last year of high school and like me, is thinking about what he wants to do when he grows up. Here he is today with his step-sister.

I had some fun expanding my video skills. Here’s a little video I did of a flash mob. See if you can spot Marla Gold, World Massage Conference’s administrative goddess. And you’ll see my weaving in and out of the dancers, playing with one of my new gimbals.

97cb2b658f600051912656c5d00f9849I continue to extract myself from the massage profession. Slowly, but surely. I produced the ABMP Head & Neck Summit. About 17,000 massage professionals signed up for the event. And this was followed by a groundbreaking full day online workshop with Erik Dalton. Nothing like this had ever been done before in the profession, so it was very exciting. My hats off to ABMP for being willing to entertain such a crazy idea and push innovation in the profession.

img_20161114_181140541-1World Massage Conference ran its 9th annual conference. Next year will be the last year of my involvement. I came across this schedule (see image) from the 2009 show when we did almost 80 live presentations in the span of a week – all live streaming. Was I insane?!

I also attended the World Massage Festival this year to meet up with some old friends and meet some of my loyal BodyworkBiz fans.

With our inaugural issue's cover girl: Monica Pasinato-Forchielli.

With our inaugural issue’s cover girl: Monica Pasinato-Forchielli.

Oh ya, almost forgot… I served as Editor-in-Chief for Canadian RMT Magazine. My good friend Scott Dartnall always drags me into projects even if I’m kicking and screaming. So I was enlisted to help with the launch of a new Canadian magazine. We had super high level people contributing to the magazine including Tina Allen, James Waslaski, John Barnes, Til Luchau, Erik Dalton and so many more talented writers and educators. We got two issues out before the end of the year and each magazine was distributed to about 10,000 therapists free of charge. If you are interested in taking a look, I believe you can view it online and you should be able to find links on the magazine’s Facebook page.

One of my highlights of the fall was hanging out with a falconer for the day. She was the real deal with about 80 birds of prey. I got to fly some owls. (I have completely fallen in love with owls). And to finish the day, we took a hawk for a walk in the woods. He followed us through the trees and every once and a while I’d call him to come back to my arm. It was truly a day I’ll never forget.

Access to the BodyworkBiz site will close for good in 2017, but I’ll extend everyone’s access until June. I’ll publish some of the resources as books through 2017 so practitioners can continue to benefit from the information. Currently, 60 Clients in 60 Days and Fill Your Practice 101 (also in Kindle) are available on Amazon at discounted prices. You’ll have a short time to pick them up so you can add them to your library. You’ll still see my face around for one more year before I make my final exit.

I’ve been doing these posts for a number of years now (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and it’s a great exercise to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and learned over the previous year. Feel free to publish your own “Year in Review” and post it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

Eric
Eric Brown of BodyworkBiz (an online massage business resource) also owns Thermal Palms, Relax to the Max, World Massage Conference and Massage Therapy Radio. Sign up for the free BodyworkBiz massage marketing newsletter at http://bodyworkbiz.com/newsletter.php
Eric

@bodyworkbiz

You can now find me on Twitter @ericupsidebrown
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