I love my job. I know that what I am doing is helping people live better lives, and that's incredibly rewarding. But the details of running a business and the long hours I've worked to build it have been stressful. All while trying to teach others the value of reducing stress. Then I discovered Nisha Moodley (http://nishamoodley.com/), who said, "The harder I tried to hustle, the more depleted and stressed-out I felt. Although I loved my work, I started to have nagging feelings that amidst all this work, I was missing the true meaning of life. I felt like a physical and emotional wreck, and a fraud. Then, one day I heard the Dali Lama say, “The world will be saved by the western woman”, and I thought… which ones? It dawned on me that it wouldn’t be those who felt totally misaligned with our work or ended up quitting, because we were too overwhelmed and depleted."
Nisha's words resonated with me deeply. The only way I could continue to serve others was by beginning to care more for myself.
I changed my business model so that I wasn't rushing treatments but instead was going deeper and getting more thorough with my understanding of each patient. I shifted my business model from a hybrid of community style to private style acupuncture that treats both sides, does cupping and heat, and raised my prices so that I had a better chance of not being in the negative every time I do my taxes. I read about being mindful with money and saw this amazing video from Money A Love Story series: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=money+a+love+story&&view=detail&mid=FBBD6629DA5FAE28A81EFBBD6629DA5FAE28A81E&FORM=VRDGAR
This resonated with me because as practitioners, we give. We listen, we encourage, we think about treatments for our patients and how to get them better. We respect them and teach them to respect themselves, to decrease their stress and to live better lives. But like the doctor in this video, it starts with doing it for yourself. There's a reason the saying is "Be the Change you want to see in the world." But this video is about more than just that - it's about recognizing that money is an energetic exchange. When you devalue what you have to offer and constantly under price it and give it away, you disrespect yourself. Now don't get me wrong - it's important to serve and to help people. But if you are poor and exhausted, working 65 plus hours a week to make your practice survive, constantly sick from overwork, using a business model that doesn't work, that is not the time to do community service.
It starts with respecting yourself, so that you can allow others to respect you.
In the spirit of this self respect, I've not only improved my business model, I've also begun some cool projects. I'm taking a 6 month course on using essential oils during the acupuncture treatments, and hope to include it more in treatments. I'm studying Reiki with Lindsay of Ladybird Light, and will soon offer an Acupuncture with Reiki option. I plan on signing up for a year long pain management course teaching more techniques for helping patients with injuries and pain. I'm taking a year long yoga teacher training at Yoga Kayla. I'm investing in myself, because I love to learn, and then put it to use. And this fall there will be some free acupuncture days because I always want to serve the community. But first, I want to make sure I'm ok, well rested and happy, and that I'm in alignment with my beliefs and my goals. I figure, that will only make the treatments better. And I'm definitely noticing the change in things because of it - Acupuncture Nirvana has become a really calm, relaxed place to get a treatment. Things are running smoothly. I am really happy with the progress as I try to improve my practice by improving myself. ; )