A Reflection of the VSBM Experience by Sue Oberhoffner
And then, my washing machine broke.
It was the final straw of two years of difficult major life events, occurring one after the other, which included news that I would be laid off of my long-time job. Standing in front of a load of dirty clothes, I looked up and said aloud, “OK, what’s going on?!”
Transition is a curious time. Roots are loosened and jostled, preparing for replanting into richer soil where growth can happen. New opportunities…things aligning… perfect timing.
A few days after learning the end date of my work, synchronicities started to appear. While strolling with my beautiful dog in my neighbourhood of Steveston, a “chance” meeting with a friend got me seriously thinking about massage as a possible change of direction from the administrative work of the past. My friend is a VSBM graduate, and, like me, entered the program as a mature student. “Best thing I’ve done,” she said.
Perfect timing! Two weeks later I was signed up for the fall 2016/17 Full Time Spa Therapy program, preparing to trade in my high heels for sneakers and a backpack. Time at last to honour the lifelong whisper in my heart to enter a healing arts profession, gaining skills with my hands to bring comfort to others. The integrative nature of the VSBM program, the start time and the duration were tailor made for my impending “golden handshake”.
Perfect timing – This new journey embraces my life experiences and personality – nature lover, artist, décor, singer, event coordinator, loving dog-mom.
Perfect timing – Each instructor and staff member in my semester were integral to my learning experience. Without exception, each gave generously of their attention, knowledge and life experience and created a supportive environment. Some of the most enduring lessons came from their anecdotes and quotable quotes: “How can this be lighter”….”Stay in your own lane”… “It is good to make the mistakes in school so you can learn from them”.
Perfect timing – The wonderful, diverse group of students in my semester, ranging in age from pre-twenty to, well – me, were a special group. We rejoiced in each other’s triumphs, lifted each other in times of discouragement, respected our differences, shared lunches and the nitty gritty of daily student life. Amid lots of laughs, too!
Perfect timing – The program mixes academic study with hands on experience. Wonderfully accented with intriguing and practical modalities. Employment ready at the end of the course.
I am so grateful for the life-defining time I have spent at VSBM. All combined – the people, studies and learning experience – have brought me to the beginning of a new season in my life. One that calls my authentic self out to play.
Post school, I am building my private clientele, alongside working in my favorite boutique spa in my community of Steveston.
As for the washing machine, I need it for all those sheets I now launder!