Traveling Shoe Saleswoman

I read a question today on Facebook that asked "What would you do if you felt that it was 'allowed'?" It made me reflect on how my thoughts on healing and myself have evolved just over the last year and the process I'm taking to shift gears into what I feel like I'm being called to do.

When I first thought about starting a business separate from my career as a nurse, I initially wanted to spread awareness of healthier alternatives to all the mass produced products out there that's laden with harmful chemicals. I thought that if I could help give people what they're looking for- better skin, a cleaner house, yummy smells, better health - without the yucky toxic stuff putting them at risk for cancer or other illnesses and help protect the Earth, then maybe it will lead to happier people and a better world. I wanted to fix people and fix the Earth. 

It sounded like a good idea at the time and everybody else told me it was. But after several months of putting in time, energy and money into it, it just didn't feel right. Although it involved doing things that I loved- healing, crafting, making and improvising- my approach felt wrong. I started out with friends and family and felt bad for having to charge people money.  Yet, at the same time, I was scared to venture out of my comfort zone and felt disappointed that I wasn't making money either.  After a while, it just stopped being fun, so I stopped doing it. 

I spent about a year of spending time with myself, soul searching, learning as much as I could about myself and everything else that interested me. I learned different healing modalities and, again, tried to turn it into a business, driven to do GOOD and fix the broken, but it still didn't pan out. Over time, I realized that there wasn't anything wrong with what I was doing or even how I was doing it. What wasn't in alignment was WHY I was doing it. The problem was that it was based on judgment: Man-made chemicals are BAD, organic and all-natural is GOOD. Money and Profit is EVIL,  self-sacrifice and charity is GOOD. People who are unhealthy or unhappy are broken and feel BAD and they need to be fixed so they can feel GOOD. My initial reason to do all this was to do GOOD and save the Earth and everybody who was broken and do it all as charity. Anything else would make me BAD or a failure.  But I realized that nobody needs fixing. Nobody is broken. Nobody needs to be saved.  Nothing is inherently BAD or GOOD unless we put meaning into something and judge it as such. 

Through my exploration, observations and experience in my own life as well as in my work as an intensive care nurse, I've discovered that our thoughts and beliefs play a huge role in our emotional and physical well-being. I tried to break it down and explain it in terms that most people can relate to in this post by using shoes as a metaphor. Basically, just like shoes, if a thought or belief doesn't fit who you truly are, don't wear it. Most mental and physical discomforts and illnesses are manifestations of "wearing" thoughts and beliefs that don't resonate with who you truly are. Once you wear the right shoes and live the truth you were meant to live, our bodies become aligned and in harmony with the vibrational masterpiece our lives were always meant to be. All aspects of our lives realign and our body actually heals itself to return to its true harmonic state.

Over the last year, I've had to try on multiple pairs of shoes myself. I've found that not only is it important to find shoes that fit, but it also matters how you wear them. Even if you find the perfect pair of heels that slip on like butter and make you feel like you're a vixen even when you wear them with your most tattered jeans, you know better than to wear them to workout at the gym. Should you yell expletives at the pair of heels for causing your feet to erupt in blisters after you wear them to hike up Mission Peak and throw them out? No. You just wear them when it's appropriate.  That's how I learned to change my beliefs regarding money and being a healer. 

I've been blessed with a career as an ICU nurse that has provided me with more than enough money to provide for myself and my family. In that context, I never saw money as evil.  Money is like my pair of killer heels. I don't need it, but it's a luxury that I'm blessed to be able to enjoy. And yet when I initially tried to go out and start my own venture as a healer to try and "fix" people to save them from their misery, I felt conflicted about charging people for my services, time and efforts. It was like me telling myself that those heels are evil because they'll make your feet hurt if you wear them to go jogging and try to be healthy. And then my self-talk evolved into something along the lines of "Why do you even need a pair of heels (money)? Who do you think you are to even think that you deserve to feel like a vixen (abundant) when you're supposed to be slaving away at the gym, jogging or climbing a hill (working your butt off/saving the world)? Nobody's going to think you're a good person if you're not struggling and you're just walking around in heels." My preconceptions of "GOOD" (save the world, be charitable) clashed with my idea of "BAD"(greed and materialism). Well, I wasn't going to throw out my heels just because I also enjoy hiking in the woods. I had to re-evaluate my beliefs and judgements about money and helping people and make room in my closet for both.

Money, just like the perfect pair of heels, isn't evil, in and of itself. It's not essential in the grander scheme of life, and causes such polarity in people, just like heels. Some might argue that it's unnecessary and makes life more shallow and superficial, while others might consider it as what makes the world go 'round. In this particular time and place in my life and the current state of the reality we live in, it's something nice to have and helps to make me feel good. Why would I deprive myself of that flow when it provides us with our needs and reasonable comfort? Do I love money so much that it's the only thing that drives me? No. Just like I don't love my heels enough to wear them ALL DAY or to any occasion. If wearing my heels occasionally helps to make me feeI good about myself, then it'll make me that much more motivated to go out and put on my sneakers to put in the more strenuous work of doing "good". Until a better alternative exists, I'll rock my heels. I've learned to see money as part of a positive feedback loop that enables me to live out what I feel is my purpose in this world- to help show others the way to healing themselves.

So, if nobody's truly broken and needs fixing, then who the heck needs healing? I don't see healing as fixing people anymore. I see it more as helping people find their way to themselves. So many people are still lost, holding on to beliefs that are holding them back from their fullest potential, hence the remaining prevalence of suffering, disease and illness. 

What causes problems isn't that people are doing BAD things, eating BAD food, or being exposed to BAD chemicals. The problem is that people have gotten so lost in this world, they don't know who they are anymore. Growing up, we've been told what we need to do and who we need to be so we can be GOOD. We've gotten so many messages of what "GOOD" means from so many different sources who blast us with beliefs that are not in alignment with our true being that it's no wonder we're all confused. Just like in the shoe analogy, it's like wearing the shoes that your parents gave you when you were a baby underneath the LA Gear sneakers you've had since elementary that all of your friends thought were THE COOLEST, while wearing the pumps you're required to wear as part of your business casual outfit for the job that you hate and your feet are just KILLING you. Imagine the world being filled with people like that and you can get a better picture of why we live in the kind of world we live in.

As an intensive care nurse I've seen patients who've worn the wrong shoes for so long that it's caused chronic disease or severe illness. Too often, they've worn them for so long that it's hard for them to take off those ill-fitting shoes. Although it's very rewarding to help those who do decide to take them off and see the relief it brings to them, for many it's often too late in their lives to find the right shoes and go back into the world to frolick like they were originally meant to. The calling I've been feeling lately is to shift gears and try to reach people before it's too late. I want to step outside of the hospital and reach people before it's too late. I want to reach and help people while they still have time to blossom in a life they were truly meant to live. My nursing shoes are getting too heavy, restrictive and uncomfortable and I'm itching to change shoes. I want to trade my clunky nursing shoes for lighter healer shoes that are more fun and let my feet breathe more. I think I've narrowed down the style and color, but I'm still breaking them in, adjusting the cute strappy straps to make sure it's just the right fit.

Going through my year of introspection, searching for the right shoes and walking in them to try them on for size, I've realized that my role as a healer is not to tell you what to eat or to put on your skin or what medications to take. I see my role as a healer in a different light. After going on my own journey, I feel it's my role as a healer to simply help others on their journey too. I see myself as kind of like a shoe salesperson, but without the selling part. I'm more like a shoe consultant. I'm not trying to sell you any particular shoes. I'm just here to offer you the knowledge, experience and techniques that I've learned in my own journey to help you navigate your way through the vast assortment of shoes out there in the world to find the perfect shoes for you. 

Not only do I see myself as a shoe consultant, but I see myself as a TRAVELING shoe consultant with this as my magic shoe box.
PHOTO: http://www.happiercamper.com

It'll be like my magic bag of tricks that I can travel around with to store and pull out my tools of trade. With this magic shoe box I see myself taking "heal" trips out in nature to take you to places where you can take off your shoes and feel what it's like to have the sand run through your toes and water wash away the aches in your feet while listening to the calming rhythmic crashing of the waves on the rocks. It can also be a safe and comfortable space for healing conversations and fun, creative workshops to teach you tools and techniques to help you get to know yourself so you'll have a better idea of what kind of shoes will fit. I can also see myself using the space for energy sessions to help you clear any blocks that might be holding you back from taking those first unsteady steps as you try new shoes on. 

The thought and vision of myself as a traveling shoe consultant makes my heart full and tingly with excitement. I haven't seen anybody wear these shoes before and I'm designing them as I go along. It's risky but I can't wait to see how it materializes. I can't wait to watch those who finally find the right shoes run free with their hearts full, leading the way for others. Then they can pass on what they've learned by guiding their own kids, friends and loved ones to find the right shoes by being shining examples. And when more people wear the right shoes, people will shine brighter and run, strut their stuff, confident and fulfilled in living out their calling. All these beautiful people running without abandon out in the world will be a wonderful sight to see, each of them singing the masterpieces their heart has been teaching them all along. I'll be running right alongside them in my own new comfy and cute pair of shoes, our beautiful songs harmonizing into a grand symphony. And that's how I envision changing the world in my own small way if I'm "allowed"- driving around with my magic shoe box, making the world more beautiful, one pair of shoes at a time.
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