A Taste of my own Medicine, Self-Worth & Pissin’ People Off
Every now and again, I feel the need to get a taste of my own medicine. When I do that, I click around and find out when and where Panache Desai is going to be. This time it was Black Mountain, North Carolina. What’s little road trip? Only seven hours between here and there, right? Yup. Something like that. Seven hours to drive for an energetic ass-kicking.
Let me divert a bit with a little back-story. I first saw Panache about a year ago. He ‘accidentally’ showed up on my computer screen. Riiiiight. You know how I feel about ‘accidents’, right? I knew in less than an instant that I needed him like I needed air. I drove like a bat out of hell for 14 hours to St. Petersburg, FL, to the Unity Church there to see him. I sat. Looked around at the eclectic crowd and tried not to fidget (remember how I have to practice patience?). When he began speaking I almost fell over. He was using the same language, the exact same words I did while working, the language that others thought I channeled. I was brilliantly relieved and tickled that I wasn’t alone. Then, he started doing his thing. He wandered around the room touching folks and when he finally got to me, I was just ‘struck’. That’s the only way I know how to describe it except to add that in one moment, in less than a second, I just ‘knew’. I knew everything. I knew that what I’d begun doing a few months beforehand had little to do with healing torn rotator cuffs and a lot with changing the world. All in a flash of light (although that doesn’t quite describe it) and presence that moved in and through me in a split second. And, then, it was all I could do to not interrupt the still, meditative manner that others had settled into without laughing hysterically! Guffawing, snarfing, snorting…the whole shebang.
The mystical experiences clients had been describing to me finally made sense. Those may have made sense but the “holy shit” factor remained at the forefront of my brain all night. The 14 hour drive back to Virginia was filled with self-conversation that went something like this: “Oh. Shit.” “Holy CRAP!” “HOLY crap!” “Whatthehellisthatallabout!” “Crappity, crap, crap, crap!!” “Damn, there’s responsibility here!” “Now what the fuck do I do with that bit of information?” Enough that the chatter sent me straight to the computer before the bathroom (after 14 hrs on the road, no less) to send an email that said, essentially, “Holy crap. Now what the hell do I do?” The response, bless him, was, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Moving back on track to this summer’s trip. Only 7 hours, not 14. And I knew what I was getting into. Didn’t feel the ‘need’ but wanted to feel what others feel through me. A reminder, really, of what we’re about. As far as I know, he and I are the only ones that work in this strange and usual fashion (odds are, though, that if there are two of us, there are bound to be more around the globe). What’s a state line or two between us, I thought? So I went.
Hauled ass (safely, of course!) through the heart of Virginia into some of North Carolina’s finest spaces. The two-hour session on Friday evening was nice. I was tired and it was a great way to end a day of travel. Just a nice energetic high of the warm, fuzzy kind. On Saturday, though, initially it wasn’t. I found myself annoyed. Annoyed that I was listening to myself. Really annoyed. Remember, we really do speak the same language–damn near word for word. It was only toward the end of the day that the smack upside the head occurred. The universal, “Yeah. You. You big dummy. You ought to listen to yourself!”
A week or so before I made the run to NC, I met with a really awesome woman from Northern Virginia. During the course of our time together I looked at her and said, “Quit being a pussy.” (Yes, I really did. I don’t have to make any of this up, kids. These aren’t therapy sessions. And, seriously, wouldn’t you love to hear your therapist say that?). After listening to what Panache had to say toward the end of Saturday, I realized I’d been speaking to myself as well. I’d been settling for being a pussy. Preaching on one hand while my other hand chose to hold me back. Although in some respects I have behaved fearlessly, in one key aspect I had chosen not to.
Because I am ridiculously human, I’d held onto a couple of key beliefs about myself that others had sold me on. The primary of those (the one addressed now) was that I didn’t have value. Grounded in years of ‘stuff’, I’d held onto that notion. And, subsequently, have lived recently as if I was of no value, as if my needs and desires, and, yes, my Gift, had no value. I’d dealt with it at one relational level but not at another. Silly girl. Don’t know what I was thinking. Actually, that’s not quite true. What I was thinking was, “Oh. I can’t do that. They won’t like me/come to me/value me/want me (think Sally Field) if I do …”. In this case, ‘it’ was if I charge for my services what I need to have my own needs met. As if it were perfectly okay for me to provide what I do for others and martyr myself in the process.
It is no longer okay for me to suffer. It’s no longer okay for me to choose between putting gas in the car and going to the dentist. It’s no longer okay for me to be afraid of what others think of my need to take care of myself. It is not okay for me to be afraid of every noise my car makes. It is perfectly okay for me to want underwear that fits. So, I’ve raised my rates. I’ve raised them to help support both me and those who can’t afford me at any rate. I do a lot of work for no fee at all and when I do, it’s done with love. I choose to do that for those in need who have limited or no income because I fully believe what I call the Gift is of all of us and for all of us. I have previously set myself up and created limitations that needn’t exist because I was afraid. No mas. I have desires to work with veterans groups, pay for advertising, develop a retreat center, and live on my own again. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
There are those who will say, “Oh, there she goes. Just like all these other healer-types. All about the money.” Others have already come right out and said, “You can’t do that! You can’t charge so much for something that people don’t understand!” “You can’t expect people to pay you for miracles.” You can’t, you can’t, you can’t. And, we all know how I feel about that. So be it. That’s their problem, not mine. It is up to others to decide what the value of the Gift is for them and to find the courage to say things like, “I really can’t afford more than the $60 I used pay you.” Those who don’t pay me do that every day and, then, pay with loving kindness, chocolate cake, garden goodies, and the willingness to be open to themselves & others.
A good part of what I teach is grounded in deciding (see above). Deciding how we want to feel. How we want to experience life. I’ve finally decided that I want to live freely, without self-imposed limitations. I’ve got plans and am creating a way to make them happen. I am worthy.
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