Client: “I’d really like to schedule a session with you. Is 11am your only open slot?”
Practitioner: “Yeah, but it’s booked for the next 3 weeks.”
Client: “Aw man, it sounds like something I really need.”
Practitioner: “Hmm, well, I could add a session on before. How 8:45am for you?
Client: “Sure! Yeah, I can do that! Thanks so much.”
Practitioner: “You’re welcome I’ll see you next week at 8:45am.”
*sends an email reminder and calls 3 times*
8:45am the next week, NO SHOW.
Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so. How can we as practitioners create boundaries for ourselves and our clients to ensure we are not giving them advantage of our time. Yes, they are taking advantage of our time, but we gave it to them. We are givers but our boundaries must withhold integrity!
I don’t know about you, but I am easily persuaded into giving my time and energy for less than appropriate currency return. Granted, these days my time is spent volunteering but even more so then, my time, energy and expertise are very worthwhile forms of currency. Why do people have a hard time paying with their own time and energy?
These are the boundaries I have set, will set or am trying to set for myself to ensure my time and energy currencies are not overspent:
- Proximity: There are dozens of places to volunteer around the city. Choose places that are easy and convenient to get to, and do not pose travel problems. If working from home, create boundaries in your space and truly, only invite people you’d welcome over socially.
- Time: Your time is precious! Believe that! Include travel time, planning, preparation and effort to the overall hours of giving. Block out a large chunk of time at the volunteer space to make the time worthwhile. Further, stick to your time boundaries. Time is plentiful but somehow manages to challenge our patience. Set your schedule weeks in advance if need be and realize that everything will happen in time. There’s not need to cram client time in immediately.
- Energy exchanges: Healers, just as much as everyone else, are in need of healing. Keep your pilot light stoked by engaging in work that feels good to do. Say no, or plan sparingly, to working with people that you know will drain you. Actively schedule self healing into your weekly schedule if you anticipate or begin having feelings of burn out.
- Unequal energetic exchanges: This has been perhaps the hardest for me to admit and work through. Don’t heal/work/give for sake of battling loneliness or boosting your ego. Work because someone wants what you have to offer and you can provide for proper exchange of money, favor, volunteer, or barter.
- Resilience: Find your best methods of bouncing back from energy suckers or unmet expectations. Whether that’s being in nature, taking a nap, writing, moving, breathing, or self care, invest in practices that boost your resilience.
This journey of healing would not have been a part of my life without Syl Carson at Bodhi Yoga. If these tips and boundaries resonate with you, check out Bodhi Yoga’s philosophy.
Kiera Lucich is a neural integration specialist based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s the owner of Smart Move Wellness, a brain-based wellness company dedicated to educating and training people to heal chronic and trauma-associated pain. For more information visit smartmovewellness.com.