Provincetown artists, massage therapy

PROVINCETOWN – Marilyn Massad is an Artist, Licensed and Certified Massage Therapist, and a force for positivity in mind and body.

“My happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment depend on me,” Massad said in a recent interview.

“I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to change my outlook to something more positive,” she said.

Massad recently completed a leadership training program which she says has helped her continue her healing journey. Next Level Trainings is a program that helps people develop their emotional intelligence and become better leaders in their work, in their community, or wherever they want to be more effective, she said.

Massad has been a full time resident of Provincetown since 1993, but had been on vacation in Provincetown since the late 1970s and early 1980s. “It wasn’t the life my parents planned for me, but it was is the life that I created, and the circle has come full circle, ”she said.

The early years

Born and raised in Worcester, with two siblings, Massad’s family of five lived what they called a conservative Central American life – attending school, church and home. Massad played tennis and took piano lessons. During the summers, she and her family visited Provincetown, a place she loved.

“The air, the beach, the smells and the art,” said Massad. “I really thought I was living in Heaven. ”

After high school, Massad went to the University of Southeastern Massachusetts, which is now the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. After graduating, a friend of Massad’s was on vacation in Eastham for the summer. So Massad and her then boyfriend started coming to Cape Cod for the summers and some weekends.

“It was in the 80’s, I was following the Grateful Dead,” she said.

She began working as a mental health aide in a Boston mental hospital. On weekends, she usually drove to Cape Cod, went to the beach, and smoked weed. She “was looking for an endless summer, looking for community,” Massad said.

In Provincetown, in fact, she found this community.

Community found

“In the 1980s Provincetown was a very mixed and diverse crowd. It was old, young, gay, straight, bisexual, it didn’t matter, ”Massad said. “Hippie, artistic, expressive. I just thought I was falling madly in love.

Massad remembers the 1980s as the prime time for spirituality, meditation, yoga, and body-mind psychotherapy – all of the things she was passionate about. She soon found herself leading workshops and retreats.

“I loved the body-mind connection and I thought to myself: how can I do this with people? That was my goal in the ’80s, but when I found myself in rehab I was really lost for a while, ”Massad said. “It’s not what I expected when I smoked my first joint.”

“I drank beer, smoked weed and took hallucinogens. These are my main substances that created mental and emotional depression,” she said. “Because I did it too much,”

Massad was in his twenties looking for community and belonging. “I was looking for a better way and I was really misguided, trying to find spirituality through psychedelics,” she said.

“There is a positive press around psychedelics, healing depression and opening the mind and that’s what I was looking for. My method of doing it was to do too much, not to take good care of myself and not be anchored in the world, ”she said. noted.

Do too much psychedelic

In 1985, Massad received drug and alcohol addiction treatment at two different locations. His rehabilitation process lasted a full 18 months. She was in rehab at McLean Hospital in Belmont for three months. Then she went to a halfway house in Worcester called Linda Fay Griffin House for nine months, and she also stayed there for six more months.

“I was there for six months as a night shift manager because I was sober and had a rehab degree and wasn’t ready to go out on my own,” Massad said. “So they offered me the option of staying there as a night shift manager while I got on with my life.”

Massad had lost the spark she had for life.

“I didn’t have confidence in myself as a healer because I kind of destroyed my life and didn’t know how I was going to be an effective healer until I got my life back into my own hands.” she declared.

The painting "Fireflies" is by Provincetown artist and massage therapist Marilyn Massad.

Make a change

Massad has managed to get his life back in hand, she says.

After rehab, she served dinner, took classes at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, and got a job as an insurance agent, which she did for 12 years.

“It was a good job and I was good at it, but something was missing,” she said. “It didn’t fuel my creativity.”

“For 20 years, when I was a waitress, when I went to school to learn desktop publishing, while I was an insurance agent, the art was on the back burner and the healing arts on the back burner. . ”

Her father was sick and dying too. He was living in Worcester at the time. He passed away in 2011. His death was hard on her. “It was a big deal,” Massad said. “It was then that I realized that life was short and if I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, then it would be my fault. Life was just going to pass and I would have missed it. ”

It was then that she decided to cut her hours at the insurance company and started taking massage classes, and eventually started a part-time massage practice.

Massage insurance sales

Ultimately, Massad had to choose one or the other – “insure or take a risk and put my energy into my healing practice.”

“So I decided to do it. I took a risk and that was in 2015,” Massad said.

It was around this time that Massad’s painting began to flourish.

“The way I paint, at the level that I paint, has really had its moment of bursting,” she said. “I had time to spend in the studio because I was out of the office. I could do my own hours.”

She began to paint in an impressionist style. She had taken classes in Provincetown with Ilona Royce Smithkin.

"Elegance" by Provincetown artist and massage therapist, Marilyn Massad was on her show at Provincetown Commons in 2021.

Continue to develop

Last year, Massad organized an art exhibit at the Red Inn in Provincetown called “Jewels By The Sea”. This year, she presented a program at Provincetown Commons called “Emerging As:”

Many of the bumps and turns she took in life were based on her history of drug addiction with certain trauma, she said.

Taking the three-month leadership course allowed her to overcome some of those blockages, she said. “Now they are in my past instead of in front of me. I have the impression that the road is clearer.

Maintaining a positive attitude helped Massad stay focused as she walked towards her accomplishments. Her vision for her life, she said, is to continue to expand.


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