This month I celebrate nine years since I completed my hypnotherapy training and became a Certified Hypnotherapist. It was nine years ago this October that I stepped out of being a full-time Music Therapy employee, into the world of a self-employed, small business owner and private practice therapist. In these last nine years so much has evolved for me: personally, professionally, spiritually, and emotionally!
I have gone from seeing one client a week or every few weeks (from the living room of my Park Hill area of Denver town home) to having a full-time practice where I see clients from both my local office (that is hosted in a beautiful space I am lucky to share with two other amazing women-owned wellness businesses) as well as from my home office via Skype with clients around the globe. It’s an amazing journey that these nine years have taken me on, and I am thrilled with where I am now. But it hasn’t always been this way.
In the beginning of opening my practice I never wrestled with the question that so many women of small businesses have of “should I do this?” Rather, for me, the burning question was “How do I do this?” I felt so passionate about what I wanted to create and offer that I never waffled about if this was the “right thing” for me to do. I wanted to create a private hypnotherapy practice that empowered women to live peacefully and powerfully in all areas of their lives. I knew in my heart that this was the only thing I wanted to do, it was my soul’s calling. For me, there was no other option but to do “this”. But the “how” – that was a different question entirely.
While still in my hypnotherapy training program I had created a magnificent business plan that included seeing at least 20 clients a week as well as teaching inspirational and popular classes and seminars… I had huge visions of people immediately lining up to utilize this wonderful approach that I had been trained in.
But when I officially opened my door and began marketing, I was lucky when I had one client a week. I would look at my business plan and feel so frustrated, feeling like I was doing something wrong or that I wasn’t good enough. After a few frustrating months of this, I would create another, new, shinier business plan, with even more events and classes.
With this new, shinier plan in hand, I would start again. A few more months would go by. At the end of the month I would tally up the client sessions to find that I had only 3 client sessions in the last four weeks, and once again I would feel like a failure. I can’t even recall how many times I went through this cycle of creating a new, bigger business plan, only to feel worse and worse about myself. I must have gone through this cycle at least a dozen times.
During this time, somehow I always managed to scrape by. I worked side jobs to pay my rent and buy food. I found part-time contractual music therapy work; I got a Substitute Teaching License in the state of Colorado so that I could teach after school reading to young at-risk elementary students (who were so adorable and made such amazing progress throughout the program); and I worked part time as a nanny. I lived as cheaply and simply as I could and would find jobs that would pay the bills but also allow me time to pursue my deep longing to keep my practice alive. All the while as I was struggling to keep it all moving along, I also felt like I was cheating myself by not being able to make the living I so desired from my private practice. I would ask myself “Why? If my passion and longing were so strong, why wasn’t I being rewarded in the financial way I had so meticulously outlined?”
Somewhere along the line I read one of those motivational books about entrepreneurial work that emphasized the notion of letting go of the financial outcome of your efforts. For some reason, maybe because it felt like the only thing I could control at the time, I took this to heart, and just let go of the outcome of my marketing efforts.
Instead of getting frustrated and upset with myself when things were so slow, I began to let myself just notice what was and wasn’t working, without the emotional self-blame. I began giving free seminars just to get experience. This seemingly small shift in my mind-set of letting go of the financial outcome (which may seem ridiculous as a business owner), opened a whole new door of perception that allowed me to follow and trust my heart, learn as much as I possibly could in this beginning phase of owning my business, and also experience a much deeper peace within myself.
Since those early days, months and years of being in private practice, having this continuing experience of letting go of the financial outcome and allowing myself to just keep moving, regardless of how slowly I may perceive the movement to be, has created a huge amount of trust in myself and the flow of this mysteriously unfolding process. I have come to see that there is an incredible process to it all that is so much more rich than my conscious mind can comprehend.
Today I had a Skype session scheduled first thing this morning with another distance session scheduled shortly after the first. When I finished the first session and began the second session, there immediately began to be technical difficulties with Skype. Each time the client on the other end began going into the issue that she was struggling with, the Internet would go out. Initially I felt a bit flustered; it has been ages since I have had these kinds of difficulties with my Internet connection. But after a few moments, I felt a peace settle inside. I let go and allowed myself to remember that I completely trust a Higher Timing.
It obviously wasn’t the time for she and I to be meeting to do healing work around the topic she had brought to the table. During our brief, technologically stilted and awkwardly cutoff interactions, this client and I laughed as she also acknowledged the perfect timing of these technical difficulties. There is more about what is currently going on for her that will be revealed before the next time we meet. We both let go, and rescheduled her session.
Yes, since those first months and years in private practice, I have come to surrender completely to Divine Timing with everything. In this surrender, I have come to feel this amazingly soft, Feminine Flow with it all. Like Mother Nature with her splendid seasons, I know that there will be a variety of seasons in my business, as well as in my life. I will experience seasons of abundant flow, and there will also be seasons where the tides will turn and the flow that has been abundant will receed, and I will have an opportunity to experience abundance in new ways.
While I currently have a fair number of distance clients, I also have many distant client sessions that haven’t been filled. This “ebb” allowed me to enjoy a sublimely wonderful day today.
After my morning technical difficulties, I had the rest of this amazing fall day to myself. Instead of worrying about what was going wrong that I wasn’t busy with clients, I allowed myself to feel into the day and gave myself permission to do whatever my heart wanted. I went outside and worked in the garden. I picked a bunch of late season tomatoes and made a delicious spaghetti sauce. I also cooked up some butternut and acorn squashes that had been sitting on my counter and made a delicious soup for later in the week. I walked my dog in the unseasonably warm and gorgeous daylight of late autumn and took pictures of the magnificent red trees in my neighborhood. I felt an incredible amount of gratitude for the freedom of the afternoon. This trust in the Feminine Flow, this freedom to enjoy a gorgeous day… This is true abundance.
In the many years since I began my private practice I have had so much support of family and friends through this journey, for which I am eternally grateful. I’ve also had some incredibly lucky “breaks” that have allowed me wildly exciting and expansive opportunities. This last summer I spoke, for the second time, at a retreat held at Omega Institute. While I was there, I was able to hold a Feminine Embodiment Circle for 40+ women so that they could taste the nourishing nectar of some beautiful Feminine Embodiment practices that I have learned from Awakening Women.
I am lucky to have a referral source that allows me to see clients for Cellular Release work from places all over the globe, some of which have included Moscow, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Mexico City, Lybia, Dubai, South Africa, Singapore, as well as all over the US and Canada. I am so incredibly grateful for these amazing opportunities. And, I know that they wouldn’t have come into my sphere if I wasn’t following the trail of longing and desire to be of service that my soul requires. I had to go through those initial phases of my business, and of growing my own skills, to be able to say Yes to these opportunities.
As you go through your day and the current season of your life, may you find peace with where you’re at. Your soul is moving in the perfect timing and in the perfect way for you. May you enjoy your seasons of flow, as well as trust in your seasons of ebb. Letting go of things being or looking a certain way will bring you incredibly unexpected and beautiful gifts.
With so much Gratitude and Love for you, and for this life….