Raven, how did you cope when you knew you wanted/were going to leave your day job to do this work but couldn’t?
This is a great question from one of my Intuitive Wellness students — and probably the most popular from those interested in being full-time healers but nervous around the big financial question mark.
I’ve written many essays on purpose and the risks and rewards of working as a healer — and it happens to be one of my favorite topics to process.
The short answer to the above question: I learned how to be patient, have tons of faith and understand the concept of all things in time.
I was a teacher for many years but knew as soon as I started that it would be a short-term career. I simply didn’t have the energy or the ability to tow-the-line when it came to administration and the ever-increasing rules. When I moved up to Vermont for what ended up being my final teaching job, my unhappiness hit the proverbial wall. I loved being a teacher; I just wasn’t flourishing in that particular environment. (Here’s more of my thoughts on what it means to be a teacher.)
That’s the funny thing about unhappiness: my visions dramatically increase. I would sit hunched in a cubicle during prep periods and lunches, scribbling out lists in a blue Comp notebook of how I imagined my life to be, though I had little idea of how to get “there”. What I didn’t realize at the time was that “there” was actually how I wanted to feel all of the time.
I wanted to feel free, not owned or obliged. I wanted to have an open schedule that I designed. I wanted to wake up and make the perfect cup of French press coffee, enjoying every sip on my couch in the morning sun. I wanted to sleep in as needed, wake up at 3 am and not feel pressured to get back to sleep before the dreaded alarm. (I stopped wearing a watch when I moved to VT, and have never worn one since.) I wanted enough money to pay my bills, start the climb out of debt and enjoy restaurants and movies on a semi-regular basis.
The notion of being a full-time healer was far from my mind, though I started doing Tarot reads here and there. Everyone I knew who healed also had a “normal” career that took every ounce of energy. They were perpetually frustrated not being able to do what they loved because of needing a paycheck, health insurance and the security that a “job” brings. And many of the full-time healers I knew worked their asses off, scrambling for clients, terrified of quarterly taxes and not taking much care of their own bodies and lives.
All great teachers, but like any personal path, I had to carve my own way. Shivaya Wellness is a work in progress. Though I’ve officially been in business for 4-5 years, it was only in 2012 that I was fully supported by SW. For many years after leaving my teaching career, I was a private tutor or sub in the public school system because it was good money and offered flexibility in my very open schedule. It compromised my energy over time, however — and I had to make the choice to really focus on Shivaya and trust that I would have enough clients — and the right kind of clients — that would make my business strong. I’m best at what I do when I have the time and energy to do it. I couldn’t go back to any type of work with a boss. I came this realization after plenty of experiences with great and not-so-great bosses — and they were essential to my discovery of what I desire now.
These things take time. Commitment to your healing business takes devotion. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur – but there are many other options such as joining a wellness center, going into business with other healers, etc.
I coped during those early days of transition by taking things one step at a time, knowing how I ultimately wanted to feel every day of my life. I wanted to erase the gap between “life” and “work”. But, as any ex-girlfriend of mine will gladly tell you, I am hardly the most patient person in the world. I wanted a successful business yesterday, and when I rocked that financial edge every month for years, a steady paycheck looked very tempting. I still rock that edge occasionally, but have a much stronger faith that money/clients/steady flow are just around the corner.
And I have made far too many perfect cups of coffee to ever go back now.