Starting with the roots…
I grew up to the north of Baltimore in an upwardly mobile working class family originally from North Carolina. In high school especially, I experimented with a lot of different art forms including photography, painting, and zine-making. I developed an interest in sustainable, simple living alongside a sometimes obstinate rejection of nearly everything our dominant culture seemed to offer instead.
I also grew up sick. Throughout my childhood, I struggled against severe asthma that would often result in an extremely diminished lung capacity if not the actual collapse of my lungs once or twice every year. Relocating back to North Carolina in 2006 helped my breathing significantly. However, neurodivergence and mental illness kept me feeling alienated, resentful, and despairing. By age 26, my metabolic system had broken down as well, and I was diagnosed with diabetes.
Caring for myself became my full-time job.
The threat of a lifetime of medication and blood tests cut short by chronic pain, amputation, blindness, and heart disease haunted me. And it’s no exaggeration to say that the last four years of my life have been hyper-focused on sustaining my own health at the expense of everything else. Through a strict routine of daily exercise and low-carb, plant-based vegan dieting, finally, at age 30, my diabetes is in remission and my health seems to be on the upswing.
Through these changes, the last several years have taught me a lot about healing. First, absolutely, our individual choices in what we consume or expose ourselves to matter. How we make time to care for ourselves matters. Second, absolutely, our choices occur within the confines of a social calculus that often works against our wellness and creates disparities in health across factors like race, gender, and class. Third, healing is not something any of us can just bottle or offer anyone in the 50-minute sessions of spa culture alone.
At a Glance…
Pat Mosley (LMBT #16882) is a licensed massage therapist and life coach in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His work is especially focused on creating permaculture in his community, which sometimes looks like providing bodywork, and other times looks like writing or designing gardens for people and bees.
Get connected with him via email to email@example.com
My next chapter…
My study of different healing arts began at least a decade ago with an interest in energy healing forms like Reiki. Through massage school, various aromatherapy programs, and my life coach training, I also picked up some more tangible healing techniques. Sometimes we all could use a good massage. And sometimes we need a coach who believes in us and cheers us on to success. I’m here to help in those moments, and you can easily book with me right now.
I also know that healing is cultural. It’s social, it’s ecological.
My own healing journey traveled through all of those programs. My pain persisted through all kinds of supplements, medications, and treatments. And while my present well-being does include some of those things, my approach to suffering has changed, and I realize now that the healing many of us need is not something ‘conventional’ alternative therapies alone can offer.
To a degree, I think my intuition as a rebellious teenager was correct. There’s a lot wrong with the society we live in, and the scale of it seems rather daunting to confront. What I’ve learned about myself is that my well-being begins beyond my ‘self’, and so my health becomes intimately connected to my environment in the health of the soil, the water, the air, wildlife, and my relationships to all these things. To frame it in massage terms, the pain in my back radiates out from the pain in my lifestyle, in my work life, and in my ecosystem.
My hope is to do bodywork at that level in this community. I think it’s a part of what I need to do with my life. I don’t want to just treat the outer-most symptoms or create ephemeral moments of transcendence. I want to dig up our pain by the roots. I want to nurture a holistic appreciation for the ecosystem, where well-being is the norm and no longer a commodity or privilege.
As dark as our own situation or the world around us can seem so often, I am a definite optimist. As a gardener, I know that every seed begins in darkness too. There’s a bright, colorful world waiting for us on the other side.
This seed believes in sunlight.