I cannot accept being paid for being. I cannot find a way to equate the two. For me, healing seems to happen with others just from “being”. I sit in front of someone and just look at them and what happens is I just am my full self and I meet them. And sure, talking and emailing happens too. But it isn’t anything that I do. How do you charge someone for just sharing who you are? When loving yourself and them IS what helps them heal…how do you charge for that? I don’t.
When you invite a friend for a lovely dinner, you do not ask them to pay.
No one pays us to love our children.
It’s like that.
Being me, with others, in the container of an intentional healing space is all that I feel called to offer the world. It is the only thing I feel I am here to do, besides raise kids. When I ask myself how I can be of greatest service in the world,..that is the answer. Were it not for my kids, it is literally ALL that I would do. I would find some space where room and board was provided and leave the door open for anyone. I’d sit in nature, meditate, do yoga and stay centered while waiting for the next person to cross paths with. I’d write things down that I feel may be of support to others and post them on my blog. I’d help remind people that love is always there with them for those days that are feeling hard for them.
Funny thing is that this is mostly what I do already….I just do it here, in mainstream America.
Many times people have asked me why more people do not know about me, why I am not super busy with clients or why I only work with a few at a time. All I can say is that I go in very deeply with each person I work with. There literally isn’t a way to work with a LOT of people at once. So, heck, even if I did charge money, I wouldn’t make much anyway. Because depth wins out over quantity. I’ve done healing work on and off since 1993. I’ve done the donation based thing and I’ve led groups and charged money. And where things are at now, for the last year are where it finally feels complete with charging versus donation…and donation given not in exchange for the work but to support the work in general is what finally feels appropriate.
Yet, here in this place, I have run out of money.
There is no religious order supporting my effort, and allowing me to solely focus on this calling. I am staying where I am geographically for this is where my kids are. And with joint custody I am not going anywhere until they are quite done with high school. So, this is where I am.
There is no trust fund or family wealth backing me up. While doing this work in this fashion I am usually juggling being a single parent whose children have after school activities to be delivered back and forth from. I run a small part-time online fabric repair company that I run out of my home which I have had for ten years. And honestly, since the divorce 4 years ago, I have been in a financial tail spin. Let alone the challenges of going from full time stay at home dad to suddenly needing to provide for a family of 3…I have been in this place of increasingly working with people…and trying to financially provide as a sole provider.
I have sustained so far due to generous and kind donations from the clients I have loved working with. And some super great friends have helped me out immensely. Last but surely not least are my very giving parents. Without them I would have been sunk months or years ago. There has been this sense that this has been an experiment. They have helped me because it always seemed that either healing work would become more sustaining via some benefactors or perhaps my small business would ratchet up. But these things have been in potential now for quite some time.
I have tried to get “normal” jobs. About a month ago I got hired as the National Sales Coordinator for a company launching a new product in the whitewater market that I am fairly sure will make oodles of money. It was an interesting shift for me. I worked 10+ hour days. I was fully involved in how to sell a “thing”. And I noticed right away at how it affected my time. How I did not have time to rest in presence. No time for yoga. No time to be in nature. I had so many details about work on my mind. Launching a new national product requires a lot of thought space. But my kids needed a roof over their head so it felt like a good trade. Readers of this blog or those that do healing work with me may wonder how on Earth I even had the chops for being a National Sales Coordinator. As a brief list, some of my more interesting jobs, before this recent phase of my life were: owned and operated an outdoor guide service in AZ, was an undercover inspector for the FDA running sting operations, was the manager of a very successful medical translation firm serving Fortune 500 clientele, the asst. manager of a high/low ropes course and Alpine Tower where I also was a raft guide. You see, it isn’t that I don’t have the skills to go out and land a great job. It is just that healing work is the only thing I feel suited to do any longer and the only thing that speaks to my heart as what I am here to do any longer.
But I digress. Back to the Sales Coordinator thing. I figured I would just do what was in front of me and knew I would work with clients whenever possible, but that making money to support my kids was finally being offered to me in a solid way. And they made a product that would encourage people to be outdoors even more…so I could get behind that whole heartedly. I didn’t last long. I ended up being me. I couldn’t help but see what was so plainly happening interpersonally and energetically with the others in the company. I couldn’t help but respond to what was presently there and say out loud what I saw. In short, I found I cannot be me and pretend to separate the business from the personal. I saw so much that it was too painful to not open my mouth and speak. Another interesting phenomenon of being around me is that when others are around me is that their issues come up. And I don’t mean this in a small way or even in a negative way. I mean that when people spend time with me, what is hidden within them comes to the surface pretty quickly. Where I am at, energetically, is a bull in their china shop, even if just working over the phone or Skype…even when just discussing “business” matters. When I quit, I definitely wondered where on Earth I fit in any longer where I could also make money to support my kids. I threw myself back into healing work, working more than ever and felt strongly called to offer retreats. That felt so good!
What do you do when your whole system is geared to help others see what they cannot see in rare and unique ways….but the way in which you work with people does not provide “income”? Or rather, simply put, you find that you are not financially supported enough to make ends meet from that work?
All I know for now is that no matter how poorly I may fit in the working world, nor how often I work with others for healing work (where I do fit) I am totally out of money. All done. I am not saying I am done working with people. I am saying that I feel that the experiment is over and that it is time for something else to happen. And I’ve no idea what that may be. My parents, bless their hearts, have given enough, so that I could pursue this calling. But I have leaned on them for far too long now. I have no idea what the future holds, but this particular way of doing things has to end….or rather….has ended and I am just finally seeing it.
I have dreamed many times of being offered grants from those who see the value of the work. I have been discussing this with a few clients and friends. I have put together an entire campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds actually. Asking for a year’s worth of “crowdfunded” monies so that I can totally focus on writing and publishing books, poetry, audio CD’s…and of course being available for sessions, retreats and the like. I have done everything except make the necessary video for the campaign. I am on the fence many weeks now. I definitely have a conflict with asking for money to support myself to do healing work when I can, literally…support myself by getting a job. For me to get a job all I need to do is let go of being as available for healing work, to let go of being available in the way that makes sense to my heart. I told a friend yesterday that I had decided to delete the campaign and just look for a job again. He actually got a bit angry with me. He told me that was bullshit and that if I didn’t do the campaign that he would launch it on his own. He said that I needed to stay focused on how I can be of the most service in the world. I know what he means. And yes, being of the most service in the world for me IS what I have been doing. Being the most available Dad is what I have been doing. But when neither of those things pays the bills…what do you do? Also, I do not feel badly about seeing that financially speaking, my path just seems to be heading into something different than what I had envisioned.
Still on the fence. My kids took off this morning with their mom and her partner for a big trip with her side of the family. Everyone is going. A cruise to Alaska. Funny thing juxtaposed with where I am today. Rent is due. I don’t have it. Every bill is due. I don’t have it. I don’t begrudge them their cruise. It is just sort of a funny reverse life over there.
I am drawn to what I want. Like anyone. And, I am more drawn though to what is. Up til this point, it really did feel like I was to stay the course and that through some method money would materialize that would be sustaining. It can be hard to explain to others what a powerful calling the healing work is….to make it worth so much risk financially. All I can say is that yes…to be able to work with people has been worth the risk. Some people would look at my choices and say that I have been financially irresponsible. Financially? Yes. But irresponsible? No. I have been responsibly answering to a calling that simply does not yet have an obvious place here in American culture. And I have been offering work, that may look like others, but isn’t. I know that I gave this my best effort of responsibility in following guidance and listening to this calling. But whatever it is that I have been doing, this place I have been holding, it feels played out. It doesn’t mean not being available. The scheduled retreats will still go on. I will still be here for sessions with people. But something needs to change, is changing.
I also want to thank anyone who has so kindly and generously donated money to support this work. Anytime someone gives I always write to them sincerely thanking them for the donation. Even if you have thought I was just being nice…it was more than that…I was completely grateful for every penny.
Regardless of where I have been, I look at what is right here and now. Today, I’ve got a big talk with my parents tonight to review things and talk about our plan B. I have a little bit of money in my account for gas and food. The cicada’s are talking outside and I have a promise I made to my body and heart to go on a date. I am off to spend time under my favorite tree in my favorite field in various positions of prayer that some call YOGA. That is my date with me.
All I know is that the time has come for my level of responsibility to include a more reliable income for my children’s sake. And that healing work will have to take a backseat to this calling. Were I alone, this would not be so. But I am not. And if the healing work has not achieved or been a supporting endeavor organically, then I must find other ways to provide for my kids.
An interesting life this.
ps…the pic is to brighten your day. A pic taken by me yesterday of my daughter shaking her braids. My favorites of her ever. Nikon AF Nikkor 50 mm Fixed lens, manual focus.