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The Drudgery (and Lessons) of Waiting

shutterstock 198405680 KarinI hate waiting. I also hate to admit it. Despite years of meditating and attempting to live in the moment, despite my best efforts to be countercultural in the face of a “hurry” society, I have become a product of our instant gratification culture. Right now, it feels like I am about to die from waiting. I’m waiting for the seeds in my back yard and on my window sill to sprout into the gorgeous array of colors, textures and fragrances I have planned for my first-ever flower garden.

Forces outside my control seem to be plotting against me. I have replanted the seeds three times now, both inside and out. The neighborhood cat scratched up the bachelor button starts while leaving a gift I neither needed nor appreciated. Birds plucked up the Chianti sunflower seedlings. Rambunctious boys playing a game involving soccer balls and scooters decimated my calla lilies. I forgot to water the inside seeds. Several times. Okay, I admit that was within my control. In any case, I am waiting with gritted teeth for my beautiful vision to come to fruition.

Not surprisingly, this is the perfect metaphor for my healing practice. I am also waiting for the seeds of my Healing Touch business to shoot up and bloom. They say it takes two years for a new business to gain its footing and become financially viable.  I haven’t reached that landmark yet and the waiting is getting to me.

I tell myself this is an opportunity to practice patience and persistence, to breathe into the frustration and grow spiritually. My inner teenager rolls her eyes and groans. My inner sage knows it’s true. We can’t sit on our meditation cushions visualizing our perfect practice and expect it to manifest all by itself. While we wait, we also need to be proactive. Not a crazy, frenetic kind of proactive that loses all sense of grounding. But a centered, open proactive that listens to the stirrings of synchronicity and inner whisperings, and follows their lead.

I received an unexpected invitation to join a networking group. A doctor friend is exploring renting out her space in the evenings to integrative care practitioners and I’m first in line. A friend of the sister of my old roommate emailed out of the blue to learn more about my practice. While these aren’t paying clients pounding down my door, these connections are steps in the right direction.

When I stop pouting and accept what is being offered with gratitude, things change. I have noticed there is a connection between gratefully opening to what the universe brings and the frequency of those gifts—the more I’m open, the more gifts arrive. Then buoyed by gratitude, I take further action and the cycle continues. Some would say I’m raising my vibration and experiencing the Law of Attraction. That’s fine. I would also call it a good way to build a business—as long as I can just wait long enough to see it come to fruition. Just like the flowers in my garden.

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Shameless Self Promotion

shameless2I choked the other day. Not literally on food. I choked on my words. They were on the tip of my tongue, mostly formed. But they sounded so self-promoting that I couldn’t get them out. I had given a free Healing Touch session to the receptionist at the integrative health center where I have my practice. This receptionist doesn’t work for me, but she sits at the front desk three days a week, greeting everyone who comes through the door.

My intention in giving the free session wasn’t altruistic. My intention was that she understand what I offer so that if ever the topic came up in conversation with clients of the center, she could point to my business cards and with authority tell the person how fabulous my work is. That’s great marketing, building up your referral base. However, I’m not sure the receptionist was even aware of the partner-in-crime role I assigned her because I choked on my words. We parted ways after that session without me asking for referrals. Thankfully, I see her every week and was more proactive the next time I saw her. She enthusiastically agreed to let people know about the benefits of a Healing Touch session with me.

This marketing story had a happy ending. But what about all the other conversations in which I have choked and didn’t have the opportunity to rewind and replay? I know I’m not alone. In a women’s entrepreneur class I’m taking, all of us choked during role plays about discussing our fees and asking if our partner wanted to hire us. Why is this so hard? The information is straightforward: we charge X amount for a particular service and we have these specific times available. It should be so simple. Is it our taboo against discussing money? Is it a lack of confidence that our work is worth the price? Is it the fear that we won’t be taken seriously because we’re energy medicine practitioners? Role playing the conversation in my class was enormously helpful because it uncovered all those nasty doubts we harbor but never examine in the clear light of day.shameless1

I admire practitioners who come right out and say it. No shame, no hemming and hawing or apologies, just direct and clear. There is power in that, an assertion of worth that’s not pushy. That’s how I want to be, so I am pledging to tell the next person who asks about my business what my fees are in addition to all the benefits that come with energy medicine. And the next person, and the next person after that. No more choking, only shameless self-promotion. 

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