A Different Point of View

by Mia Harper, LMT

I have lived in Madrid, Spain, now for four months and it seems so much longer. As my husband says, there is the Romance of living in Europe and then there is the reality of it. I find that I miss my family, my friends, speaking English, and I missed the opening of Alchemy Healing Arts Center. Sitting in front of my computer in my old job back in Maryland, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about getting out from behind a desk and back into massage full time. I surprised myself by such a quick and dramatic manifestation of my thoughts. I suppose I should have been more specific in what I was asking for and imagined making such a shift within the state of Maryland.

But that particular episode also showed me how much time I have spent over the last couple of years living inside my head, wishing to be any place that I wasn’t and not appreciating what I had. In many ways I was simply going through the motions. I know that when we leave Spain there will be much that I miss. So I am here and we will stay here for the full three year tour and I will not spend that time wishing I were someplace else.

We live in the city and I walk to most places I need to go. It makes life very much an “in your face” experience. My goal while living here is to be more present in my experiences. When I walk down the street I will feel my feet hit the ground with every step, I will breathe in the wind or the sun or the rain, not plan my shopping list with my eyes on the pavement. I will acknowledge the street musicians and the homeless on every corner, whether or not I give them a few coins or a loaf of bread, and I will look them in the eye and say good morning and acknowledge their presence, and their suffering. When I have the chance to do a massage because I am not in front of a computer all day, I will be grateful that the Universe gave me what I asked for.

I am thankful. Not everyone has the opportunity to evaluate their priorities and appreciate what they have by living in a brand new culture for a few years. Haha, then again, maybe only some of us need such a shock to their system in order to do so. It’s very easy to go through the motions that we do each day, looking without really seeing. In yoga there is a lovely twisting pose – Bharadvajasana – in which you move your body to look over your shoulder; in effect, looking at your life from a different point of view. I wish for you a chance to see your life through “new eyes” without having to leave home to do so.


Mia Harper, LMT

About the Author

Because of her husband’s temporary assignment in Spain, Mia is living in Madrid for the next three years (through October 2015) practicing massage from her home in the center of town. Mia has created her own style of body work that combines Swedish massage with lymph drainage therapy, energy work and deep tissue when needed. She has extensive experience working with those who have, or have had, cancer, as well as with women who are in their 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.