I have been busy. Not necessarily always with treating clients, but in all sorts of ways related to work. It's strange to think that I have been in my studio space for over a year now. Granted, four months of that were taken up with flooding and related nonsense, but still! Over a year! In that amount of time, I have come up with a business name and logo, and a very specific idea of who I want to work with, how and why. I have attended five courses, most of them four days long. Brochures, cards, networking meetings, advertising, seeking local listings online, et cetera. BUSY. And now it's actually starting to pay off! In October, I suddenly had this surge of appointments, and I really don't want to work more than I did then. Things naturally slow down a bit with the holidays, but even so, I have enough work to keep me from worrying about the income.
Somehow, I feel like it is my work that has finally brought me into Portland. We've been here for 2.5 years now, and I had felt like an outsider for most of that time. I worked so hard at being outgoing and friendly and doing all of the things I felt were necessary (however obligatory) to get into a new community, but it just didn't seem to be working. It was lonely, discouraging and exhausting. Once I really shifted my focus to my passion, and investing in myself and my business, things began to come together. Last Spring, I took a course on abdominal/pelvic massage. I had been thinking a lot of the difficult experiences women have in this world, and how I might be able to help them heal in as they process. At the same time, I felt like I could really use some support and the kind of help I was providing for others. At that class I met a woman who has become a dear, dear friend to me. We have a lot in common, and a similar heart for working with women. From that point on, I feel that I have made so many great connections. I have been reading books on femininity and healing, and that is what prompted me to start hosting a monthly get together for women. Even though almost everyone there is a relatively new acquaintance, it still feels really good just to be gathering and listening to one another, and offering support-- and a lot of laughter!
I now feel like I know a wide range of practicioners in Portland-- naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, PTs and other bodyworkers, and it has been a big boost to start getting referrals from them, and also being able to meet for study groups on shared modalities. I have also been able to trade and get the work I need for myself! This city is completely saturated with natural health practicioners, particularly MTs. Sometimes I dream about living in a little town where I am THE massage therapist, and there is little competition. At the same time, the pressures have helped me to crystalize my vision and work to set myself apart. I have heard from a number of people that they just don't know anyone else who is doing what I am doing. And I LOVE what I'm doing, so it works out very well!
Next month, I am going to San Francisco with the friend I mentioned earlier to take a course in Somato-Emotional Release. This is a class I have wanted to take for years, that I have finally filled the prerequisites for. I am especially excited to go with my friend, so we can process through together and talk about it as we learn more down the road. Also on the horizon: looking for a new space. There has been more flooding in my room this Fall, and obviously that makes me a bit nervous. Also, there have been some other issues there, and I feel like I might be ready to move on to the next phase. We'll see.
A good friend of mine took these lovely pictures of me working in my studio-- I can finally show you a little bit of my space (it's so small that it was actually hard to even photograph.) I like to post links to relevant articles through facebook, so if you'd like to follow along you can go to the Laya sidebar and become a fan. I technically have a website, but it is not really ready to be shared. I'll let you know.
Thanks, everyone, for listening!