I really love getting to work on the Mahavama Project. I love it so much that I wish I could do that full time and I didn’t have to earn a living any other way. I do earn a living doing something I love, which is behavior counseling for pet animals and their humans; or as I say when asked, “I teach people to be nice for a living.” I am so very benefited by this work, and I know it’s super good for me in a multitude of ways, besides earning me an income.
That said, I decided to try something different this summer. I see a specific number of clients because I am only one person, and I need to be able to keep track of everyone and what we’re doing, and who they are, and where they are in their progress. I can’t see more than that number and still keep track of all the things, and run my business successfully.
For years I saw clients four days a week, seeing 3 to 5 individual clients a day; depending on whether they had an hour or half hour session, and hosting a class or two per week.
I decided that I could see the same number of clients in three long days, instead of four medium days. This meant seeing 5 to 6 individual clients a day as well as hosting a class or two per week. This would give me four days a week to dedicate to the Mahavama Project – or so it seemed.
Turns out that the stress of those long days meant that I was so completely exhausted that there was nothing more I could do when I got home. I began to have anxiety before those days started, hoping that I wouldn’t forget something important, and knowing that it was more challenging than ever to maintain my scheduled timing – as travel sometimes took longer than anticipated, or a client may need a few extra minutes, and that could through off my whole day.
This anxiety meant that I would often lose a day of writing to checking and re-checking everything I needed to be ready for my other work days, as well as finding my mind so preoccupied that I simply couldn’t concentrate.
The other thing, I didn’t anticipate was that if I lost a day due to weather, or a holiday, I lost a lot more of my income for the week. Each cancellation (which there are a lot of in summer), even though most reschedule, created even more anxiety for me. So, I either would have a very long day that wore me out, or a short day that had me stressed out for lack of income.
The constant stress wasn’t good for me mentally, or physically, and I decided that I needed to step back and go back to four days of clients. It’s only been one week since making this decision, and I can hardly believe the amount of relief I feel.
I regularly tell all my clients, “If you go too far too fast, you will lose the behavior. Then you have to back up and start again at a slower pace.” It’s always interesting to see where else in my life the behavior work I do shows up.
It’s fascinating to learn that what actually moves us forward, might not be what we think moving forward is. Sometimes moving forward requires that we take a step back, and slow down. This is not the first time I’ve learned this in my life, nor am the only one to realize this. There are multiple quotes that say the same thing, by lots and lots of different people. Even if you hear it, know it, experience it, it can still take you by surprise when it happens to you again.
If you want to keep moving forward you have to listen, pay attention to how you’re feeling, to the messages your body gives you, and then respond to them in a kind and loving way. Your body, and all your feelings are there to move you into thriving, even when your training (usually repeated endlessly by your brain), is telling you do things some other way.
I look forward to being able to have more days dedicated to the Mahavma Project, and until it is also part of my income, I won’t be changing my schedule again any time soon.
I hope all of you learn how to really listen to what’s happening for you, and to respond with love and kindness, even if you have to take a few steps back. I hope all of you have the freedom to set yourself up to succeed in your endeavors.
Hugs and love,