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Cascade Quarterly News Archives
Autumn 2012 - Volume 6, Issue 3

Feature Article: Reflecting on the Virtue of Compassion

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In this issue:

1) Defining Compassion
2) Thoughts for Reflection
3) Diaphragmatic Breathing
4) Love Meditation, by: Louise Hay
5) About Cascade Massage Therapy

Compassion is the word that keeps popping into my head this season as I ponder what I would like to write about...this word represents a virtue which we both receive and give on a daily basis, often without even realizing the many ways and moments that it comes into our lives and helps us along.

I perceive that by honing one's awareness of compassion, an opportunity opens up where those around us, our own selves and the world at large are uplifted. There are so many tensions, fears and judgements at play much of the time in this life; wouldn't it be nice to offer compassion to one another more often in the moments when we need it most?

By sharing this newsletter, I aim to plant the seed...

1) Defining Compassion

Reflecting on the Virtue of CompassionThe Miriam-Webster online dictionary defines compassion as follows:
'sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it'

Wikipedia has a nice intro description:
'Compassion is the virtue of empathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a fundamental part of human love, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism —foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.'

and goes on to say...

'More virtuous than simple empathy, compassion commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering.'

Wickipedia includes in their description, a quote most of us know very well: 'Do to others what you would have them do to you.'

Sessions with Cascade Massage Therapy are opportunities to unwind tensions, uplift spirit, release stress, and embrace relief:
Click here to book your next appointment!

2) Thoughts for reflection

To love others truly and to experience love in the world we must first love ourselves, accept ourselves and be kind to ourselves.

As a healing professional, I am a witness to the hurtful self-talk that people are stuck in; I am aware of the detrimental effects of our internal 'chatterbox' in regard the human state of wellness. I am also a witness to the joyful opposite of this state of mind: when people remember their blessings and experience love and appreciation for their precious body's inner wisdom, when they slow their mind down to enough notice the gifts around them and appreciate the lessons learned.

Remembering to love oneself is a flowing art that is challenged as our lives and bodies change. Let us honor the process and remember to always come back to the heart.

Pain as a Teacher...

My work is primarily in the arena of pain management; I offer people help and relief from that which ails them. In over 15 years of working with people on their healing journeys, I can say this: Pain is a powerful teacher; it is a humbling signpost and guide; it is distressing and unravels one to their core. Pain is a part of the human experience. 

When discovering the many dimensions of pain and the path of healing, Be present today. Be really present in the moment today. The physical causes of pain are one factor, and are important to notice and to correct; your medical team will help you to move forward so that you may heal from injury, surgery, illness or learn to manage chronic discomfort and disease.

Consider these thoughts as you move toward Comfort...

My opinion is that the deeper, more subtle layers of pain require stillness to discover and unwind. All of our experiences are housed in our cellular biology; the tensions felt today are the result of not just one moment, or one injury; they are a reflection of a lifetime of events, thoughts, emotions, traumas and joys.

During times of distress, I find comfort in the following quote by philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

Please be patient with yourself on this journey! Be present today; breathe deeply and fully from your diaphragm to help you be in present time. (Focus on breath stills the ever busy mind!)

Below is my handout on Diaphragmatic Breathing:

3) Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing

When you use this breathing exercise, notice where you feel stagnation; notice where you feel ease...

Focus on smooth, even, slow breaths. My experience is that most people benefit from bringing their attention to the lower ribs during this exercise - allow the diaphragm to truly open the lung space so that you can receive an abundant flow of air with each breath.

This simple exercise is very powerful when done with mindfulness and quiet focus. Re-awakening the subtle coordination of the many different structures involved in breathing is one of the key elements to diminishing pain and enhancing wellness. Enjoy...

4) Love Meditation

I invite you to notice your moments of serendipity when then heart is open to receiving and giving love...

I would like to share with you the following meditation which I have enjoyed for over 20 years! This writing is by Louise Hay - a well known author and teacher of the self-help genre. These rich words have helped me countless times to restore positive internal focus when needed. I stumbled upon this meditation again today; perfect timing for this writing on Compassion! I'll reiterate: We must have love for self in order to experience compassion for others...Enjoy...

Love Meditation
by: Louise Hay

There is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give; the supply is endless. The use of love makes me feel good. It is an expression of my inner joy.

Therefore I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing food and beverages. I lovingly groom and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy. I LOVE MYSELF... Therefore I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it.

Therefore I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people who I love and who love me, and earning a good income. I LOVE MYSELF... Therefore I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world for they are a mirror of myself. I LOVE MYSELF... Therefore I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free.

Therefore I love totally in the now experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright, joyous and secure for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more.


5) About Cascade Massage Therapy

My Approach

I bring over 18 years of bodywork experience and education to the massage table!

I offer you diverse and comprehensive massage therapy sessions. Your treatment goals are foremost and your needs will be heard and addressed. I utilize both traditional and alternative treatment techniques, and recommend self care tips and exercise options that evolve with your individual healing process.

This is your time - I encourage you to enjoy the stillness of your session, and sense the changes occurring in your body while we work - you don’t need to be entertaining or start a conversation; that being said, please recognize that I do not read minds. I expect my clients to participate in his or her experience and give feedback as needed during the treatment.

Cascade Massage Therapy is focused on education and prevention.

It is important that you know what you can do to help prevent stress, tension, and pain when you are not with me. I allow for time at the end of our session to converse, suggest self care tips and exercises that would be beneficial for you, and answer any questions that you may have.

I believe that prolonged stress, whether environmental, physical or emotional is a primary factor in dis-ease and a true obstacle to healing.

Therefore, I welcome you to a peace-filled and relaxing environment where you can experience relief from pain and tension.

Sonja Rawlings, RMT
1601 – 30th Avenue
Vernon, BC V1T 2A3



If you have specific health concerns consult your medical doctor.

The information in this newsletter is educational only and is not intended to replace the advice of your personal health care providers.

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Office located in Vernon, BC, Canada. Serving Vernon, Coldstream,
Lavington, Armstrong, Lumby, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase,
Falkland, Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan.