“Healthy diet starts tomorrow!” “10,000 steps if it kills me!” Who among us has not uttered these sentiments on some occasion? I know that I have, and I also know that without a proper dose of motivation, I am less than inclined to move toward meaningful change.

The interesting thing about motivation is that it often requires an external stimulus—something on the outside—to set the wheels in motion. Think about fitting into that swimsuit in time for vacation or completing that degree before age 50. Motivation suggests an element of do or die, now or never. Inspiration, on the other hand, involves a subtle nudge from the universe, an idea that alights upon the spirit with gentle breath. Poetic imagery aside, the two concepts are vastly different, in terms of how they come to us and how we respond.

How then, do we invite clarity? Certainly massage relieves stress, eases pain and promotes a sense of well-being, but what about massage as a contemplative tool…a source of inspiration? Simple human touch invites surrender, which is oftentimes the thing needed to go within, where creativity lays waiting to be acknowledged. Massage holds within itself the power to connect us with our own spirit, but it also takes us out of our own way at the same time. This is one of the wonderfully unique aspects of massage, it urges us to be present at an enhanced level of consciousness that allows the universe to step in and offer guidance.

So, the next time you find yourself struggling with the best way to approach a problem or get your head around a life issue, enjoy a massage first…you may be surprised by the answers that find you at the end of the session.