Category Archives: Spiritual

Kick some Cancer Booty!

Gulley Park Trail
Gulley Park Trail

Last night I went for a run at Gulley Park.  I used to run there regularly, so it’s like visiting an old friend when, like yesterday, I got to run it after so long being away.

Running is like church.  When I’m running I feel like I could fly, and sometimes I do run with my arms raised like a bird.  Yes, I’m that crazy lady on the trail, but I don’t care because it feels so damn good.  There is so much joy and gratitude in being able to run outside in January here in Arkansas.  Our weather is so erratic in the winter that it will be 60 and sunny one day and 20 degrees the next.  So we grab the good days when we can and fly with them.  It feels amazing and I’m so grateful to be able to run, grateful that my body has allowed me at this point in my life to be able to feel that joy.  The exhileration is priceless.  Immeasurable.  Beautiful.

I was listening to the John Butler Trio radio station on Spotify.  Let me just take a detour and say that Craig has been telling me about the John Butler Trio for years.  We will be listening to them and every time I ask him, “Who is that?  I really like them.”  And he patiently answers, “The John Butler Trio.  You ask me that every time.”  I finally got the message and played them voluntarily on my own for the first time yesterday.  As I listened to the John Butler Trio and ran up the hill next to the pine trees with all the young lovers giggling in their double hammocks together, breathing the cool air deep into my lungs for that sweet burning sensation that I love, and that feeling of my body burning with effort, I thought about my friend Eileen who just started her first rounds of chemo on Friday.  She runs too.  But she can’t right now because she needs to take a break and let her body kick some serious cancer booty.

I know she is in good hands.  She has a great team of nurses helping her, a great doctor, and an amazing and supportive husband and beautiful family, not to mention a supportive community.

In my joyful, exhilerating, and grateful run I am intentionally lifting Eileen up to a space where she can tap into that joy and exhileration and heal her body.  This is church.  And yes, if you see me lifting my arms like a bird when I’m running you might think I’m crazy, but I don’t care because in my own way I’m lifting Eileen up so that she can soar.   And no, Episcopaleans aren’t known for lifting up their hands during a service, but I think they’d appreciate the sentiment of surrender, acceptance, and grace.  We are gratefully and joyously receiving the blessing that is this life, this breath, this moment.

She’ll be done with chemo in July and hopefully back running again soon.  In the meantime I hope to be able to keep lifting her up in my practice till she can get back on the trail and do it herself.

With gratitude

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, entrepreneur, student nurse tech at a local hospital, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 22 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health. 

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Father’s Day Foot Massages

It’s that time of year again.  Time to honor our father’s for their contributions to our lives.  Whether it’s with time fishing or a hiking date, time in the spa for a foot massage date with your dad, I hope you are able to connect with your dad this Father’s Day, the 21st of June (which also happens to be the Summer Solstice).

My dad has passed, but he was a troubador, traveling all over the states, playing music, sleeping at friends houses and in a camper on his truck on the way.  I wouldn’t hear from him for months sometimes and then one of my friends would have what we called an “Ed sighting.”  Somebody had seen him at a festival or some town along the way, Luckenbach, Kerrville, Mexico, Cody, or somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona and they always went out of their way to tell us about it.  It was a pretty good system.

I was at the bank last week and ran into an old friend, Josh, who has a deep appreciation for my dad.  I hadn’t seen Josh in a few years.  We hugged and he started to tell me a story about coming home one day to a hand written card attached to a CD of my dad’s music.  The card said, “a wind blew through while you were gone.”  It was a reference to a song that my dad had gotten some recognition for called, “A Wind Blows Through West Texas.”  It was the first “Ed Sighting” we have had for a while.  My dad was a character.  A charismatic performer and story teller.  I’m so glad when people remember him to me.

Do you have a good memory of your dad to share?

Call to make a foot massage appointment with the Dad in your life: 479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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Fayetteville Skyline Love

Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline
Ben Climbs Cross in the Skyline

When you have a small business and you are a full time nursing student and you have four sons, it’s important that you grab every moment you can to do special things like go up to Mt. Sequoyah at sunset with your 10 year old.  These are the best things in life, eh?  Not to mention, he got up early with me this morning to do yoga together. My life is amazing.

Another Cross in the Sky Tonight
Another Cross in the Sky Tonight

Spring is my favorite. Vibrant colors. Clouds. Fresh turned dirt. Clouds. Sunshine. So much green. Fayetteville is amazing in the Spring, and I’m so glad I get to share it with my sons. Makes me breathe deeper just looking at these pictures.

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6 Commitments or New Year’s Resolutions

Today was the first day back in nursing school after a 3 week break.  And during the break I took some time to try to define what was important to me to keep up with if it was at all possible during the craziness that is full time nursing school, full time business owner, and full time mama of four boys.

Planner
My 2015 Planner (covered with post its).

Things I put in my planner were:

  1. I want to continue to run to school and to work, but I’m also training for the Hogeye Half Marathon with my son Sean (he’s 16) and Ellie, a young colleague from nursing school.  We’re training 5 days a week.  Yeah.  I don’t know how that’s gonna get done either–but there it is.
  2. I want to meditate daily-15minutes.
  3. I want to blog 3 days a week and not get onto myself if it’s not perfect.  I at least need to show up.
  4. I want to do yoga with Ben one day a week (Mondays because it’s a rest day from running).  When your nine year old kid wants to do something with you, you’d better make time for it, because God knows, soon enough he’s going to have a life that is too busy for yoga dates with mom (hopefully not, but it’s a distinct possibility).
  5. I want to continue developing my book.  Yeah, I said it.
  6. I want to invite friends over to play once a month.  Because I love them and they’re just going to have to forgive my messy home.  It is what it is.

I really don’t know if there are actually enough hours in the day for this crazy list.  But surely if I just do a little bit regularly I will be okay.  I’ll try to keep you posted on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  But if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know that I’m buried with school work.

And if I lose my mind in the process, you’ll be hearing bout it.

Schedule your appointment at I.M. Spa :  479-251-7422

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

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Reduce Your Blood Pressure with Meditation

We got our neice a medical bag with a stethoscope, ice pack, and wound care gear.  Craig makes an excellent patient!
We got our neice a medical bag with a stethoscope, ice pack, and wound care gear. Craig makes an excellent patient!

If you have been following Craig’s (my husband of 25 years) story you know that he was able to get his Low Density Lipoprotein levels from 148 (high) to 117 (almost normal) after 4 months of raw and vegan eating.  But his Blood Pressure remained high.  Often it was 150/90 which is Stage 1 Hypertension.

Don’t be fooled by the “Stage 1” part of Hypertension.  There are only 2 stages.  150/90 is not good. 110/70 to 120/80 is normal.

We weren’t sure where to go with the meditation at first.  I guess the concept of meditation doesn’t feel weird to me.  Just sit and breathe and let your body slip into Alpha state.  But to do it with somebody who wants guidance or a method hadn’t occurred to me.  Also during this time many of my clients have been asking me pointed questions about meditation, how to do it, and where to go for resources.  There are tons of resources for learning how to meditate.  Here in Northwest Arkansas there are classes all over the place.  Classes are a great way to experience many different types of meditation to find one that works for you.

I looked into Transcendental Meditation and the Silva Method of meditation.  They are both expensive but well reviewed and researched methods.  I did not take the TM course, because as a starving nursing student it does not fit into the budget.  But a long time ago a friend of mine gifted me some Silva Method recordings and they are fabulous, especially if you need a step by step method to feel like you are doing it right.

Turns out Craig was okay without a method and it works pretty amazing whether you pay somebody $1000 to learn or not.  You can see his results after just 14 days of meditating once a day for 15 minutes.

Date Blood Pressure Time
12/4/2014 150/90 4pm
12/4/2014 135/88 11pm
12/5/2014 138/90 6:40pm
12/10/2014 124/80 pre-meditation
12/10/2014 108/77 post-meditation
12/10/2014 118/66 at Drs. Office later
12/17/2014 120/74 post-meditation
12/17/2014 118/60 post-meditation
12/18/2014 110/68 pre-meditation
12/18/2014 108/70 post-meditation

He went from 150/90 to 108/70 in 2 weeks.  Yes I know my method for recording is not daily.  But it was finals at Nursing School and I did the best I could.  The numbers speak for themselves.  You just can’t make that up.

One of the questions people always ask me is, “Is he exercising?”  Yes Craig rides his bicycle from Fayetteville to Bentonville and back (60 miles round trip) once or twice a week, and all over Fayetteville recreationally the rest of the week.

Another that I always hear is, “I can’t get my mind to stop so that I can meditate. I never feel like I’m doing it right.”  I always hear that there is no right way and no wrong way to meditate.  That being said there are times when I don’t “get there.”  Usually when that happens it’s because of interruptions.  I get a little irritated but I have to forgive myself.  I think this might be key to people who criticize themselves so much they can’t let go and sink in.  Forgiveness and practice are the key.  Show up to your practice every day.

One of the things that Craig and I have learned about our meditation practice is that it is not a good idea to wake up from a dead sleep and start meditating.  That might have been a no brainer, but at the time it seemed like it might be a more efficient use of our time.  NOT.

We also discovered that we prefer 15 minutes to 10.  Ten minutes is okay, but we just barely sink in and start floating before the timer is going off.

I aspire to meditate 3 times a day for 15 minutes each time.  Morning, noon, and night seems like a good recipe.  I’ll keep you posted about how it is going for Craig.  It’s scary coming into your 40s and staring those numbers in the face.

Do you have methods you use for keeping your blood pressure down?  What types of meditation do you practice?

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.  Schedule an appointment for a massage  479-251-7422

 

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Healing Community

When I was a kid we moved around a ton.  Texas, the Bahamas, San Diego, New Hampshire, Possum Trot, Low Gap, Monterey.  My parents were musicians and the community we had was the community of artists and musicians.  It’s a beautiful thing because there is a whole culture of people who speak the same language, hold the same values, and they dedicate their lives to their art.

It’s been amazing watching my kids grow up in the same house for the past 18 years.  It’s a whole other level of community that I’ve come to know, and man is it beautiful.  We have a supportive spiritual community in our church, a very active and supportive local business community, a musical community, an educational community at the university as well as at the public schools,  a farm community that is feeding us well, and a downtown local community of folks who, you might not know them all one on one, but there are faces that are just part of the fabric that makes this town so beautiful.  I’m sure I’m leaving out a bazillion folks but you get the idea.

We also have a healing community here in Fayetteville that is a remarkable resource.  We have great chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, physical therapists, vibration therapists, acoustic therapists, art therapists, nurses, doctors, psychologists, hypnotherapists, yoga instructors, physical trainers, midwives, doulas, herbalists, nutritionists (or rather ‘foodies’), and many other specialties.  Hah!  I almost left out one of my favorites, massage therapists.

I’m on a mission to interview as many talented, smart, innovative, out of the box thinking, health practitioners who are amazing at their job as I can.  (Which isn’t very many right now since I’m in nursing school full time).  I love to find out how people got interested in their work, what they love about it, how it changes lives, and how it contributes to our  healing community.

I have quite a list of people I want to talk to, but I’m interested in you.  Who do you love?  Who has helped you with your health?  Who has made you feel better?  Who are you grateful for, and can we talk to them so that we can tell others how awesome they are?

Leave a comment below with the website and contact information of the healing community people you love, so that we can share the love.  Inquiring minds want to know!

Learn more about I.M. Spa or book a massage, facial, or acupuncture appointment 479-251-7422.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

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10 Things Every Boy Needs

Every year in July my sons go to Arkansas Interfaith Choir Camp at Subiaco Abbey in Subiaco, Arkansas (close to Paris, AR).  From a mother’s perspective, singing in the choir is one of the most awesome things my boys can do.  Choir Camp is an amazing thing for them to experience.  It gives them life skills that every boy needs.

Church singing Saturday Morning at Choir Camp
Church singing Saturday Morning at Choir Camp

 

 

  1. For my sons to have strong men singing in the choir as role models is priceless.  I couldn’t hope for a better image for my boys to have of what good men do in our community.  There are so many outlets and celebrations of the violent, domineering, aggressive way of being male in our culture that choir culture has given our family a fabulous balance.  Yes son, there are other ways to be masculine that don’t involve guns.

    The Church at Subiaco
    The Church at Subiaco
  2. Having a commitment to our church choir gives them a sense of being valued in our community.  They have a job to do.  The church needs them.  Their voice is important.
  3. Choir Camp gives my sons abilities to perform in leadership roles, to learn interpersonal relationships, and practice those skills with their peers, guided by loving adults from their community who care about them.
  4. Choir camp gets my crazy boys all up on stage, in front of people in a way that is not invasive or scary.  They perform a broadway production every year with opportunities to have leading or supportive roles.

    Sean Goofing around with Friends at Choir Camp
    Sean Goofing around with Friends at Choir Camp
  5. Gives my sons a sense of belonging.
  6. Gives them the experience of being a part of the team.  Yes you are important and yes the team is important.  Gives them a purpose bigger than self.
  7. Gives my boys the opportunity to flex their creativity, explore their voice, and express themselves.
  8. Choir (and Charlie-our choir guru) teaches my sons that singing is a great way to express joy and gratitude.  How awesome is that?  I know, right?

    Beloved Charlie the Choir Guru at St. Paul's
    Beloved Charlie the Choir Guru at St. Paul’s
  9. Choir in church can lead to choir in high school, which every boy knows is where the girls are.  And there is nothing more sexy to young women than strong young men who can sing and dance.
  10. Choir is helping to turn my sweet boys into more well rounded young men.

 

Final Broadway Number
Final Broadway Number
Zachs Group Having Fun
Zachs Group Having Fun
The Pool at Subiaco
The Pool at Subiaco
Zach practices hand bells
Zach practices hand bells
Shenanigans on the Waterslide at Choir Camp
Shenanigans on the Waterslide at Choir Camp

 

 

 

 

 

Me and My Boys after Choir Camp 2014
Me and My Boys after Choir Camp 2014

 

I am so grateful for this community that provides a safe haven for my boys, guidance, a sense of responsibility, and belonging that seem so absent in our culture right now.  Our family is fortunate to be surrounded by such great, loving people.

Wendy Finn is the mother of 4 boys, owner of I.M. Spa, a Raw Food Enthusiast and educator, a world traveler in pursuit of superior massage education, a Master Massage Therapist of 20 plus years, a gardener, and a nursing student.  She’s passionate about touching people and sharing health.

 

 

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