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my hands.

I sit and look at my hands. and whenever I pause to really look at my hands, my hands “carry” me to people. people, they remind me of. people, close to my heart. mainly people who’s hands I held, one last time.

and so I want to share my "hand-story" with you.

I never particularly liked my hands and fingers. as a little girl I started biting my nails, when I forgot to cut them short before my violin lesson, as a quick fix.

it didn't become too much of a habit but I loved to chew on my nails/fingers every now and then. so I grew up with short nails and am blessed with sausage fingers :-)

not a great combination and the older I got, especially during my teenage years, I loved to hide my fingers – under my thighs or simply under the table, crossed behind my back, under long sleeves, and so on.

and even though I am the one who's hiding my fingers, it’s what I notice first when with others. I want to see their hands, I look for them. I observe how someone moves their hands, the shape of fingers, nails, and not to forget – the handshake.

the hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. the touch of some hands is an impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger-tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm.

Helen Keller

yes, it could speak stories, the touch of the hand. the pressure, soft or rough, dry or sweaty, cold or warm, long and determind or short and fleeting …

in the weeks before my Dad passed away, when his body wasn’t well, I noticed his hands more than ever. even though his body changed due to illness, his hands stayed the ones I’ve known for so long – soft skin, round finers and perfectly short cut nails. (it’s funny I would never have said he had sausage fingers!)

yes, and his hands were what I held, I laid my gaze, felt the energy – when there were no more words. it’s when I started to see my Dad in my fingers and hands. it’s where he is alive, in my hands, every day.

and this is when I started not looking for how my hands are supposed to be anymore. I love them just as they are. I love my short cut nails, as I do play instruments and I type and I touch. basically in all I do it is just more convenient for me.

I am at peace with my hands and fingers. I see them and I finally notice them as they are. they found their way.

to me. from me. to you.

now starting to give massages, sharing touch, something shifted. for me and my hands.

a new kind of touch.

touch is always an exchange, even if one part is passive.

touch stirs something. even the smallest touch.

"when you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything."

Thich Nhat Hanh

I invite you. here and now. take a moment, before you continue to read, and touch yourself. let one hand, or both, touch you. best your skin. no matter where – stir something up. allow your eyes to close if you like and consciously feel into the touch you give.

maybe this gave you goosebumps. maybe tears welled up. maybe a tingling or discomfort can be felt somewhere. maybe you’re smiling, maybe you feel cold or warm.

you do FEEL something.

yes, that is what touch does, stirring something up.

did you know:

· more than 17 000 receptors in our hands help us to feel pressure of all sorts

· fingernails grow faster than toenails. the nail of the middle finger is the fastest.

· the hand consists of 27 bones. that is around a quarter of the bones of the human body.

· 33 muscles from the forearm help us move our fingers. the hand itself does not have any muscles.

did you ever think about what your fingers and hands do and touch all day, how the touch?

take a moment to reflect on this. it is amazing to realise how pretty much nothing happens without our hands, one or the other. touching.

yes, they are fantastic and magical our hands and fingers.

I am grateful to have arrived. at peace with my hands, who give and take – pure energy.

grateful to have started the journey of massages, to express this art:

massage is an art

the body as the instrument

can be helped to create sound.

and not just the body,

the soul as well.

after Jörg Reinhard

as I continue this journey to deepen my skills, to train as a massage therapist, excited to learn and share, I find myself bringing more awareness to the touch I give in daily life. making it meaningful, being present. closing the circle, as I ...

I remember the fingers and hands of my dad, my grandparents, the touch of the hands of a friend as we last hugged ...

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