Make it good

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“Macht gut” is something my Grandma used to say. It roughly translates to “make it good” or “makes good”. The true meaning of this phrase, though, is profound advice for life. Basically you only have one shot at this life, so you might as well make it a good one. The concept of ‘makes good’ is also there too; you take your life, the world around you, and you make it better. You make it nice for people. You help when you can (even if butting out is the best thing you can do).

This phrase also teaches without telling. She rarely told me what to do to “Macht gut”. It was implied that I already knew what ‘good’ was and all I had to do was do it. How true is that. Most people could easily sit down and write out a long list of things that would help them live better, happier lives, but how often do we follow through? Things like ‘drink more water’, ‘eat more vegetables’, ‘exercise’, ‘forgive’, ‘spend more time with my children’, ‘use less throw away containers’, the list goes on.

Where to start? If you start, how do you keep it going past the first week? When you apply the “Macht gut” principle, then it all gets pretty easy.

You can filter the list of things that would improve your life by asking yourself: “Does this new behaviour, make it good, for me, for others, for the world?”. You get a quick sense that some items are better than others and will make a bigger impact. The ‘goodness’ part of you knows that small little changes, done every day add up to a big, great, wonderful life.

It really is the small things that makeĀ  the difference. Taking time to listen. Taking time to play. Taking time to share a few laughs and a few tears. Saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’; they are so basic. These small things add up. People hold these little things in their heart for years. Ultimately, these little kindnesses are very big, important things. Those little things are the foundation of friendship, of marriage, of love; without them we wither just like untended house plants.

There is another aspect to this phrase that a bit of Googling taught me, but what my understanding always knew. “Macht’s gut” means ‘Take care’ or ‘So long’. It means travel well, get home safe, call me when you get there. It is also a request to care for yourself as much as you are cared for by the person. Take care of yourself because you mean the world to me. Be good to yourself.
I miss her.
But her words and wisdom live on; and now I get to share them with you.

So, macht gut!

Fantastic Feet

Feet are a truly amazing part of your body. They bend and flex, they compress and spring with each step you take. They are a marvel of arches and bones. Sturdy, yet flexible. They carry us through life. Happy little servants carrying our wonderful body around through our lives.

Our culture has a weird relationship with feet. They are often seen as ugly, dirty and even offensive. But from my perspective they are one of the cleanest parts of your body. After all, you don’t pick your nose with your toes. Not even the limberest yogi wipes their bum with their feet. Hands do not get the same bad rap that feet get, by far.

I see feet very differently. The bottoms of your feet tell me a story. Every lump and bump, callous and freckle, is a wealth of information of where you have been and where you are going. I marvel at how feet are reflections of our lives. I see this in every pair of feet I treat. Issues in the body show up in the feet, like a mole over an area connected to an old health problem, or callouses protecting a sensitive emotional past. It is all there, like a map that shows me your journey so far.

The really cool part of feet is that they are always constantly changing, just like we are. I see this even from the start to end of a session. They are different feet than when I started. They are more flexible, softer, more resilient. When people are ready to change, I see it in their feet first. There is a subtle magic at work and I get to witness it, to facilitate it. I give people the nudge, and they do the rest. It is like helping someone move and all you do is tell them to lift with their legs and hold the door open; they do all the heavy lifting.

And lift they do. I am amazed at the courage people have to change and grow, to become more of themselves. More awesome, less bullshit. More following their own heart, instead of everyone else’s. To sit down at a person’s feet is a huge honour. It is sitting at their soul.

In our society, we spend a lot of time worshipping the feet of great sages and saints, and we spend a lot of time gazing at babies feet. But I think everyone’s feet are worthy of that much love and respect. Everyone is both sage and infant, deserving of our full attention and our loving kindness.

So love your feet, be nice to them, and they will carry you to many grand adventures.

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