Tuesday, April 17, 2012
In preparing for the next series of practice-building workshops I’ll be offering this Spring, I found myself reflecting on the topic of prosperity and the internal blocks that so many skilled healthcare professionals encounter as they start, shift, expand, and grow their practices. Working individually and in groups with practitioners, I hear a wide array of inner block experiences, and several themes emerge. They include fears about scarcity and competition, guilt and confusion about whether or not it is okay to earn a comfortable living as a healer, and worries about whether it is possible to be prosperous doing work one truly LOVES. While there are always practical considerations in growing a practice (location, startup costs, defining your specific niche, etc.), these details are rarely the places where people get stuck. Instead, the deepest blocks typically present as a crisis of faith. Here, faith can refer to faith in oneself, one’s skills, and one’s unique way of helping. It can also be understood as faith in God, the Universe, or one’s personal sense of spirituality or meaning. Those in private practice need faith that when they offer their heart, skills, and deepest passion, the world will support and receive them well. When we step forward out of fear, instead of love, we may move tentatively, creating only half of the life we envision or trusting our heads more than our hearts and designing a practice that “makes sense” but leaves us feeling bored, drained, uninspired, or burned out. Or, when listening to fear, we may not move at all.
Reflecting on this topic as I sat outside enjoying this warm Sunday, some words from the Sufi poet Hafiz came to mind. Hafiz challenges us to surrender to love, to see the divine in ourselves, and to engage our sense of play through dance, song, and laughter. Two poems in particular were moving through my mind as I enjoyed the flowering trees, sunshine, and light breeze today. The first was “The Sun in Drag” in which Hafiz writes:
You are the Sun in drag. You are God hiding from yourself. . . .
The appearance of this world is a Magi’s brilliant trick, though its affairs are nothing into nothing. You are a divine elephant with amnesia trying to live in an ant hole. . . . You are God in Drag!
The second is “Now is the Time” which concludes with these lines:
What is it in that sweet voice inside that incites you to fear? . . . . This is the time for you to deeply compute the impossibility that there is anything but Grace.
Now is the season to know that everything you do is sacred.
Inspiration is important for our sustenance as healers, and both of these poems inspire me to remember my personal sense of meaning in this work and in this world. For me, my best work is not solely of me but rather moves through me. Yes, I have specific training, an advanced degree, and much learned wisdom. However, when I am most in the “flow” in my work, I am more than my training. I am intuitively connected to the person with whom I am sitting, and I am doing work I truly LOVE and that empowers, fascinates, and energizes both of us. I believe that whenever we are clear with our passion and our path, prosperity follows. Faith doesn’t preclude the necessity for hard work; instead, faith makes the hard work and perseverance possible.