Now don’t fib, folks, isn’t one of the first questions out of your mouth when you meet someone new almost always “so what is it that you do?” Jobs become identities. Roles become labels put on us, sometimes before our names are even mentioned.
I’ve struggled for years with how to explain what it is I do. First and foremost, I am Dawn. After that, there have been labels of wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, instructor, practitioner, cousin, trainer, mentor, room parent, you get the idea.
Elizabeth was a holistic client of mine for the first time almost five years ago now. I immediately connected with her and knew that she would walk away from her session that day feeling better. She mentioned that she was coming to see me because her Dad and step Mom suggested that a session could help her sort some things out and get clear on where she was headed.
She talked about the idea of having children with her longtime boyfriend. She knew it would be a big step but didn’t know why she was so hesitant about it when she felt like all the major pieces were there and it was her next right leap to take. She was truly in love with this man, both of them had amazing jobs, and the recent purchase of a quaint home in her beloved New York seemed like it should have sealed the deal.
I shared a brief snapshot of my current kid-dom life. My daughters were aged 5 and 9 at the time and damn, it was hard. I didn’t sugar coat anything as she asked hard questions about parenting and the season of life I was in at the time. I shared with her the struggles that were on my marriage, my household, my world in general.
I also shared with her that I didn’t necessarily advertise my holistic offerings and session work to my community for fear of the misunderstandings it could present for me and my kids. “There’s a lot of people who live from a place of fear of new experiences” I said…and I looked in my studio mirror as I was saying it and a strange feeling came over me. She must have picked up on it. She looked me square in the face and responded “I’m so sorry, Dawn, it must be difficult to live in a place where you can’t be who you really are.” Well then…
Still working on it…
Five years later (last week, actually) I had a conversation with a long-time mentor of mine about why I’m still hesitant to speak about my profession with others. I could explain how I’m like a “Life Coach” but there’s really more to it than that. I could say I’m some sort of therapist but I don’t hold a degree in that arena. I could go through all of my certifications and give long explanation for why we are all energetic beings living in an energetic world but that’s a long and windy road for people to take in. So no, things aren’t fixed for me but just like my CrossFit squat snatch, my profession is evolving and progressing.