Whoa... I've never started a blog with a whoa, and I've written some deep blogs including one that included my own 5-year fertility journey. But this seemingly innocuous event has my heart in my throat. I think it’s very important that we look at, honour and acknowledge our feelings around this so that we not only take care of ourselves but so we can be in the best possible place to welcome our clients back. Especially as we will all be needed now more than ever.
This blog is a prelude to a talk and Guided Gentle Release I will be doing in the LOVE Reflexology Facebook Group on Tuesday 23rd March. During the guided release I will help you release tension, stress and fear you may be holding before you return to work. Due to the complexity of every ones individual situations, beliefs and past experiences; it’s going to be different for everyone and I do wish I could give everyone an individual Gentle Release treatment bespoke to them, but since that can't happen I'm going to ask you to explore your feelings, find any blocks, acknowledge them and allow them to release.
I'm going to explore some different areas that may resonate with you now. Before we begin take a few deep breaths and feel what neutral feels like in your body right now. Then as you read though I would like you to feel into each of these situations, see how the feeling in your body changes, notice any tightness, heaviness or tension, you may see colours or feel emotions, whatever is right for you…there is no wrong.
My biggest fear...
This happened to me just before Christmas. My 6-year-old daughter tested positive for Covid. I felt so guilty despite having followed all the guidance, I felt guilty for her classmates that wouldn't now be able to spend Christmas day with their families. I felt great shame letting my clients know. I had only seen a handful of clients, I had worn the required PPE, clean clothes, followed my cleaning protocols, so wasn't too worried but I still felt awful telling them. Thankfully they were all really lovely and very understanding. I then felt very let down by the whole situation and being forced into that position. I had to send my daughter to school and ultimately, I have to work too. I'm sure many of you went through and experienced similar scenarios last year and I was very relieved that with our move into tier 4 my return to work was looking unlikely for the foreseeable future. The fear, shame, anger and frustration around all of this needs to be released for all of us.
I was lucky my daughter was fine, my husband and I were both fine and none of my clients contracted Covid at that time. But I'm sure many of you have a different story. By now I'm sure we are all connected with someone who passed away or been severely affected by Covid. If that is the case for you it would be useful to consider your feelings around that. You may feel guilt, anger, frustration, despair, heartache and many more emotions aside. This is going to be deep stuff and may take a little work through but acknowledging it is the first and biggest step. Please do seek support in whichever way feels right for you if you feel you need it.
I'm worried my clients won't want to come back…
I completely get this, but I don't think that is the real issue for many of us. I actually think the real issue is am I really ready to go back? I think by suggesting it’s our clients that don't want to come back we may be protecting ourselves from not being ready to go back. Should we feel ready to go back right now? I don’t think so, in England our return won’t even be confirmed until seven days before our expected return date. That just leaves us with more uncertainty that doesn't help us prepare to step back out into the world.
If you don't feel ready to go back right now don't beat yourself up or criticise yourself, I think it would be a completely natural protective stance to take. However it doesn't mean you can't put the effort in and start readying yourself for your return by exploring and acknowledging the thoughts and beliefs you are holding.
When we get the green light to re-open some of you may still not feel ready, I know some people have decided to retire because they couldn't face the thought of going back. Some people will be absolutely raring to go, but wherever you are on that spectrum please make the right decision for you. Please honour your feelings and beliefs without guilt or shame.
I realised I haven’t actually addressed the issue of whether your clients will or won’t want to come back, but that feels like a whole other blog and for me would be about where you see yourself in the future, who you really want to be serving and the blocks that are stopping you achieving those dreams and goals.
My cheerleader pitch…
I hope I am preaching to the converted about the powers of holistic therapy, the power of touch, the power of allowing people to be heard and seen, the power of holding space for someone. People have been missing this for a long time, some for over a year. We are needed more than ever to help people step out into the world again to offer them a kind and gentle space without fear, so they can gradually allow themselves to feel comfortable with touch and with being heard and seen once more.
Bear in mind that your future clients are going to be going through all kinds of emotions as they walk back through your doors and lie on your couches. Be gentle and go at their pace. I think this is another really important reason we need to have done our best to have dealt with our own issues before we welcome our clients back so that we are truly there for them and not entangled in our own issues. I will say it again - We will be needed more than ever!
How are you feeling about the PPE, the cleaning, the risk assessments? I know it’s a drag and a pain but I'm not feeling that’s an issue for me this time but what about you?
What about all the rules about who I can treat, what am I allowed to do? Is that a worry for you? Is that something you need to look into and resolve?
The first day back...
Now I must mention this as I'm sure a lot of the mums will have had this. On Monday my daughter went back to school. I wasn't worried about her or anything but my heart was in a very funny place outside the school and the other mums I spoke to felt it too. Whether it was losing our little shadows I'm not sure but I suspect a big part was actually being around people again. I'm not used to that and it felt weird and strange, and I realised it was change. Staying at home had become the new norm. Opening your doors that first day will be full of change and all kinds of other emotions unique to you. Spend some time imagining that day. Visualise yourself preparing your space and yourself - how do you feel? Can you feel any tension in your body? Acknowledge it, thank it for being there and let it gently dissipate. Once you are ready visualise your client arriving, welcoming them and explore any tensions in yourself again. Some of you may be nervous about actually doing the treatments again. If that’s the case visualise that too and see what blocks you can find.
But I haven't done anything on social media!?
Please do not beat yourself up about this either some people excel at this, some people 'get by' and some people hate it with a passion. My advice is to follow your heart and do what you love. If you hate posting don't post- it’s not going to resonate with your audience if it came from that place anyway. People found therapists long before social media even existed. And also please stop comparing yourself to others.
I've followed my heart this year with every choice I've made about my work this year and its going superbly. When you follow your heart, you have motivation, alignment and flow. I've been writing this for an hour and a half on my evening off, but because its coming from my heart and it’s what I want to do, it doesn't feel like work.
Grief - not sure I want to put myself through that again.
I remember back at the start of the first lockdown. That was the massive feeling that was resonating. Loss of our livelihoods, loss of our business, loss of our sense of worth, loss of connection with others, loss of that buzz you get when you help someone feel better. Like a rug pulled out from underneath us we were in shock and there was no way out in sight. As an industry we were forgotten and undervalued. It still hurts to write that now (I need to do some work on myself!). To be fully prepared to return it’s time to let go of the grief, the sadness, the frustration, the anger and the fear.
It's interesting how we protect ourselves with untrue beliefs and this is something that I love exploring if it pops up as part of a Gentle Release treatment. Sometimes it’s hard to unpick these deeper beliefs by ourselves as we are so busy protecting ourselves we can’t see them, but you can certainly make a start.
In the Facebook live on Love Reflexology I will talk through the areas I find fear stored in the body and the connections involved. As I often say we are each a weaved web of emotions and experiences that are all connected on their own unique way. There is no protocol with Gentle Release, we intuitively work where you are ready to release at that moment in time as we gently release the web. Releasing the stagnant energy, blocked emotions and untrue beliefs allows your energy to flow more freely so you have more energy, more capacity for life, less restrictions and tensions in your physical body and greater freedom in your spiritual body too.
To get the most out of the Live Guided Release it may be worth doing a bit of Gentle Release prior to the Live to clear a bit of space. Its hard to release the deeper things when everything is so full there is no room for it to move. There is a list of free guided releases in our closed Gentle Release Therapy Facebook Group, which you are more than welcome to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/193221065330459
I knew it was going to be a long one - but this is even longer than I thought sorry!
Anyway, my final words are be gentle with yourselves and your clients, do the work to look after yourself and follow your heart.