Last Spring, I was feeling an undeniable nudge to take what I did to the next level—to work with women in a deeper capacity by way of private, one-on-one work for months at a time. But the one thing that was keeping me from stepping into this new purpose was the one word that I felt would need to encapsulate my work: coach.
I took this conundrum up with my therapist, a spritely, otherworldly wise woman who I kind of want to be when I grow up.
“Why do you resist calling yourself a coach?” she asked, curious.
“Probably because the word is just awful,” I blurted out. “When I hear ‘coach’ I think of little league & some really masculine machinery. It’s just not a representation of what I really do.”
“Yeah, coach is a fucking terrible word,” she agreed, crinkling her nose. Then, she softened. “Tell me. . . what is it that you really do?”
Me, thinking. “Well. . .” I said finally, “I write about sex & sexuality, & I use my own experiences & stories to help heal women’s perceptions of themselves. But it’s spiritual & intimate & meaningful to me, not information-based or goal-oriented.”
“Oooohhhh,” my therapist cooed. “I like that you said heal.” Then, she paused to collect her thoughts & her face turned inquisitive as she asked, “I’m wondering how you think a healer would conduct business. . .”
Me, not really following. “Well, they would go easy on themselves. They would only work with people they truly resonated with. They would allow themselves breathing room & grace periods. And they would do whatever they needed to do in order to take care of themselves.”
“And why would they do such a thing?” Her face brightened, anticipating my answer.
“Well, because if they don’t, they can’t serve to the best of their abilities. They would be healing half-assed.”
Ding. A lightbulb went off in my head. My therapist saw the illumination over my head & stated as she shrugged, “Maybe you’re a healer, then.”
A world of clarity opened up before me. A healer! The idea of this was revolutionary. What if I really was a healer? How would that change the way I worked? How would that change the way I didn’t work?
So I took it on (internally, ’cause I’m still working through the official title of what I “do” & can’t, for the life of me, relent to calling myself a sexual healer because it sounds escort-ish).
Seeing what I do as more than just simple coaching & writing, & honoring myself as a Healer has catapulted me into a different state of working. It means that I follow my intuition more & the “entrepreneur blueprint” less. It means that I am more likely to go easy on myself than force myself (a circle) into a square peg. It means that I stay deeply connected to the truth of who I am instead of being someone I’m not.
And I have tried my to be someone I’m not in my work. I’ve tried waking up at 8 o’clock in the morning to write three pages of unfiltered content; I’ve tried starting my day off with a donut & a cup of caffeinated coffee to jump start my motivation & inspiration; I’ve tried to keep my “office hours” at 9am-5pm, & clock out in just enough time to make dinner & begin to unwind.
I’ve tried my damnedest, & these things—rules, habits, lifestyle choices—don’t gel well with me & the way I do my sacred work.
I need space. And ease. And grace periods. And rest. And play. And time to heal.
How I take care of myself as a healer:
I take the week of my Moon Cycle off. This is a new change, one that I’ve only just implemented (this week, actually), & it’s proving to be one of the most transformational facets of my work life.
When I bleed, my life & creative energy is at its lowest. I am lethargic, introverted, & introspective. I’ve always forced myself to work through this highly sensitive time for me as though these feelings & tendencies didn’t exist. And for many of my jobs, I had no other choice but to power through the mittelschmerz & brain fog.
But when starting this new work, I came to a powerful realization:
I can choose. I can choose my work hours. I can choose how full (or desolate) my schedule is. I can choose to honor my natural cycles.
So, the week before my impending cycle, I tell my clients that Moon Week is approaching & that this will be their time to uncover solo. I feed them prompts & potent questions they can journal or meditate on in their own time, & they are free to dive in & explore whatever comes up. And while I’m still around for check-ins & email support (if needed), I’m generally out of the office.
During Moon Week, I sleep, I indulge in my cravings, I allow myself to feel deeply & ride the waves of my emotions, I take hot showers, I masturbate, I shimmy. Sometimes I do a little work, but mostly I retreat into a love cave & do whatever needs to be done to recharge, replenish, & rejuvenate. And my work is already better for it.
I honor my natural rhythms. Unabashedly, I am a late riser & a night owl. I do not like to be out of bed before 10am & I need at least nine hours of uninterrupted beauty sleep or else I’ll spend the day feeling like an apparition. I cannot work in static hours (a typical 9am-5pm). Rather, I do as much work as I can give space to when the inspiration strikes, then I call it a day when I feel depleted.
I do not like rushing. I do not like pushing. I like to make sweet, soft, sensual love to my work. I like to court my Genius & give ample foreplay to my Muses. I like to flow with & surrender to whatever it is I’m feeling & let my heart lead the way home.
I take time to connect with my community. Every day, I am in communication with at least one beloved girlfriend & have at least one girl-date on my calendar. Sometimes it’s for tea or for brunch; other times it’s for text marathons & Skype calls.
Sisterhood & the feeling of being deeply supported is the driving force of my work.
And it helps when all of my friends are, in some capacity, intuitives, empaths, witches, coaches, artists, writers, dancers, alchemists, psychics, & healers of their own.
Other ways I luxuriate in self-care during my work week:
- waking up slow
- long, hot baths
- classic black & white films
- walking my dog, Sofie
- playing video games with my man
- morning sex
- mid-afternoon massages
- tarot card readings
- collage work
- chopping vegetables
- working in bed
If an early-rising, by-the-book businessman looked at the way I did business, he would think me a lazy, work-shy hedonist. And I am.
Two of my core desired feelings in everything I do are ease & connection—ease in my work, connection to my self. Always. Even if it means disrupting the immovable masculine push ‘n drive, get-shit-done, crush-it-til-you-kill-yourself status quo.
It just works for me.