by John Germain Leto |
Every time I teach the Create a Thriving Practice course, new insights occur. I’m approaching the second class of the current 6-week webinar and I’m at the point where I’m helping everyone craft a focus for their practice so they can attract their ideal clients. How? By exploring the greatest lessons they’ve experienced in their own life.
I’m always amazed at the profound wisdom that people acquire on their journey through life and the incredible upheaval they’ve been able to transform. They’ve completed a tremendous amount of personal work and understand so much about the mythic journey that we’re all on.
And yet, some of these advanced souls are mystified by business. Even one of my key mentors and teachers – who is extremely advanced – recently exclaimed, “I just don’t think I understand business.”
In one of my favorite scenes from The Wolf of Wall Street, the main character says to a group of his employees, “Sell me this pen.”
One of the guys then stumbles through an answer about the pen.
When he asks the second person the question, “Sell me this pen”, he replies,
“Do me a favor a write your name down.”
“I can’t, I don’t have a pen.” The main character replies.
“Well, here you go! (Tosses him the pen). Supply and demand, my friend.”
It occurred to me this morning, in the simplest of terms, what business actually is. Reduced to its most plain language, business is simply…
Fulfilling a need.
That’s all it is.
Yet, most healers and practitioners seem to forget this when build their websites or talk about what they do. They often position themselves and their offerings as “a good idea” instead of something that fulfills a need. I’ve seen some beautiful practitioner websites that explain things like the chakra system and “dreaming the world into being”. Yet, for most people, it all sounds like “a good idea”, not something that’s indispensible. It’s a service that seems worthwhile, but something that, “I’ll do a little later when I have some spare money”. If you’re a healer looking to build a practice, this simply won’t work.
So business is fulfilling a need.
Like the movie, another way of saying that is: “Supply and Demand.”
But it occurred to me that it’s actually more appropriate to think of it as Demand and Supply.
What’s the demand that people are asking for?
Where are they experiencing pain?
What’s their need?
What would they demand of you?
Then how can you supply it?
How can you position your services as meeting and fulfilling their demand: the need that they have for your services?
Do that one thing correctly and you’ll never have to worry about having enough clients.
Do that one thing well and you won’t have to work another day in your life.
It would simply be about doing what you love to those that NEED what you can offer.
(Find out more information about what Speaking Powerfully about What You Do course can provide for you by clicking here.
In April’s free Community Call, Linda Fitch led an hour-long teleclass around Sacred Time/Dream Time. Linda explored how to work with the place between sleep and wake to develop guides, experience heightened perception and creative breakthrough.
To hear the recording of the Community Call, here’s the link:
The goal of our Community Calls is to come together in ceremony, share new wisdom, and lend support. These calls are your chance to connect with other powerful practitioners and your own medicine journey.
by: Anasuya Krishnaswamy |
Breathe, baby, breathe. I was taught the importance of breathing well early in my life with my participation in team sports and other athletic training. When I wasn’t feeling well, my mother taught me to breathe and to focus my awareness on my body and imagine it healing itself. If you don’t learn how to breathe under various situations, then you’re sunk, so to speak. But how many of us concentrate on our breath during the day? It’s in our lexicon. I have heard the constitution of the United States of America described as a living and breathing entity: I’m holding my breath, got to catch my breath, waiting to exhale, I didn’t inhale. You get the picture. And here I’d like to say that it’s okay to inhale. Inhaling deeply is encouraged. That is, if what you’re inhaling is mostly oxygen, with some nitrogen and various benevolent gases thrown in.
Every ancient tradition of health and spiritual well-being deals with the breath. In the Yoga Sutras, there is a passage on pranayama, or the expansion of the breath. Patañjali, the sage who composed the sutras, says that after practicing the conscious and controlled inhalation and exhalation of the breath, a fourth way emerges in which “… the cover of the light of truth dissolves and the mind is fit for concentration.”
When I practiced qigong with my tai chi teacher, we directed chi, or energy, through and around the body by using the breath combined with the gentle movement of the body. In both pranayama and qigong practice, on the energetic level, we break up and release heavy energy or energy that doesn’t serve us and bring in light energy, or energy that can fuel us. These practices are thousands of years old. And yet the process described by the ancient sages, the ancient shamans, is similar to the process that we observe through the lens of the biochemist.
When we breathe air into our lungs, the oxygen binds to a protein in our red blood cells called hemoglobin, and it binds in such a way that when one oxygen molecule binds, it is energetically favorable for others to bind, until all the possible sites on the hemoglobin protein are bound. Then the hemoglobin is carried to the cells of the body, and it becomes energetically favorable for one of the oxygen molecules on the hemoglobin to pass through a cell membrane and into the cell where it can participate in metabolism. Once one oxygen atom is released from the hemoglobin, it becomes more energetically favorable for the others to release, freeing the hemoglobin to bind to the waste products of carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions. We inhale and send the oxygen to our tissues, and then we exhale releasing the carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions. The whole process is assisted (in fact made possible) by the energetic inclinations of the protein molecules and cells, by the molecular vibrations of subunits of the protein molecule sliding and rotating, sliding and rotating, in a complex sequence of movement and rhythm.
When we pay attention to our breath and learn to breathe well, to breathe deeply, our digestion improves, our brain function improves, and our disposition improves. The better we breathe, the better we become.
Before us came photosynthetic bacteria that produced our oxygen rich environment. When they breathed, then we were able to breathe. As we breathe, so breathe the other animals and the plants, in slightly different movements and rhythms, and thus the earth breathes. When the Pomo and the Paiute, when the Massachuset and the Mapuche, when the Q’ero and the Cahuilla speak of all our relations, they know our breath is one essential chord, one essential rhythm, in the song and in the dance with our relations. So, breathe, and breathe well.
Albert Lehninger, David L. Nelson, and Michael M. Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 3rd Edition (New York: Worth Publishers, 2000).
Barbara Stoler Miller, Yoga: Discipline of Freedom. The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali (Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1995)
B.K.S Iyengar, Light on Yoga (New York: Schocken Books Inc., 1979)
Mark Hyman M.D., The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First (New York: Scribner, 2009)
by John Germain Leto |
We all want to fulfill our soul’s journey and use our time here well. It’s such a blessing to be on a shamanic path, living the deeper elements of life and also sharing them with others. It’s a very fortunate thing to have so many powerful tools that have aided in our own healing and the healing of many others.
There are lots of people that have completed some shamanic training and feel blessed to have their own personal stories of growth and transformation. Yet there are many who yearn to use more of their medicine on a daily basis by creating a rich and full client practice. There are a lot of shamanic practitioners who are frustrated and struggling because they haven’t yet sorted out how to continually attract paying clients. My heart goes out to them. I certainly know what it’s like to get a glimpse of your soul’s journey and then not be able to support yourself financially while doing it. In the last 11 years of creating my own successful business, a blend of business coaching, shamanic energy medicine, and also brand consulting, I’ve learned that it takes more than just good intent, high integrity, and strong desire. It also takes some practical marketing skills. For me, that simply means learning how to position yourself to the people who can most benefit from what you have to offer. It takes looking within to learn from your greatest wounds to see how those lessons can be applied to others on a similar path. In order to build certainty, not only in your shamanic abilities, but also in how you present yourself to the world, it often requires a more strategic approach.
I hesitate to use the word “marketing” when describing the upcoming Creating a Thriving Practice course. I don’t think of it as a “marketing” course. It’s not about being a good marketer. It’s about learning how to stand in your Truth, in the key awakenings of your own soul’s journey, and then be able to express those lessons in your speaking and presentation materials so that when you increase your visibility, you easily attract lots of people who are happy to pay you for the difference you can make in their lives.
I understand the challenge in talking about what you do. It’s easy to fumble around with language to come up with a way to describe to others what you’re up to in a way that not only makes sense, but that they find it so valuable that they are willing to write a check for it.
This medicine path is deep and profound. It happens at the level of the mythic and affects our lives in meaningful ways. But when we have to use our minds to explain it, sometimes people aren’t able to relate. We need a better way of talking about what we do. There is a method that I’ve discovered to bridge the non-linear, sensing, shamanic path with that of the linear, logical, rational way that our mind likes to comprehend things. Here’s the key – it needs to be specific and individual to YOU. We all know the importance of “making our own medicine” and utilizing our own unique gifts in the healing work that we do for others. The same is also true for how we talk about what we do.
How I describe what I do should be different from how you describe it. While we’re both shamanic practitioners, my particular challenges, awakenings, and life experiences are unique to me, as yours are to you. Herein lies the gems that are waiting to be discovered. These are the access points into the healing conversation with others. What I mean is that you have to first look within at your own healing journey, see the most meaningful ways of how the shamanic path has helped you, and then talk to others from THAT PLACE.
This is about reaching people where they actually are. It’s speaking into their listening. Not from your shaman place, but from a place where they can hear you best.
So here are some questions to ask yourself:
What’s the greatest truth that you’ve learned through your own experience?
What challenge has been your greatest teacher?
What have you discovered about yourself and about life by going through what you have?
What have been your most cherished accomplishments on your soul’s journey?
How can you use these as an access point into a meaningful conversation with others?
I believe that this is what it to take your greatest wounds and turn them into your greatest strengths. Also, these are the areas where you can have the most compassion for other people as they go through a similar journey. You understand how tough it is. You understand the ins and outs of healing from those particular situations.
When you position yourself to people in this way, you not only attract those who you can most benefit, you do your best work in a way that comes easily to you.
It’s not really a target market, but if it helps you to think of it in that way, then go ahead. For me, it’s more about looking within, seeing the truths that you have discovered about your own life, and then positioning your services to others in that way.
People don’t buy shamanic healings. They buy situational problem-solving. They don’t buy an illumination or a soul retrieval. They have a specific situation in their life that is challenging and you happen to have some tools that can help them to solve their problem. So you don’t need to sell shamanism. You only need to sell people themselves. I don’t like using the word “sell” because that’s actually not what you’re doing at all. You’re simply talking to people about what they’re facing and where they’re at. You have a profound way of helping them to heal so that they can attract what they’d like in their lives, whether it’s a more fulfilling relationship, a more satisfying career, or of simply being more at peace with themselves.
Are you a shaman with not many clients? It’s a shame to be sitting on all of the beautiful and powerful tools that you’ve developed while you could be actively walking the path of your soul’s calling as a healer, making a tremendous difference in the lives of others. Be of greatest service to the world by more effectively reaching those that you are meant to touch.
| by: Anasuya Krishnaswamy |
As I trekked up the mountain with my group to the high lagoon on Apu Salkantay in southern Peru, I kept hearing “relax.” I had wanted to hear profound insights into my journey and the questions I had rolling around in my mind and heart. I just kept hearing “relax, easy-now.”
When I reached the lagoon and looked into the blue-green water, I could see the reflection of the scree and ice slopes from the glaciated ridge across the water. As the wind rippled over the surface the reflection would be lost, and then as the wind settled the image would reappear.
In a world of perception, conception, and preconception, everything around us can serve as a mirror: our interactions with people, the behavior we observe, the animals we come across on a walk, the struggles that we engage in directly or the struggles that grab us when we watch television or read the news.
If we were to ask ourselves directly, what are the beliefs, perceptions, and ways of being that hold us and prevent us from stepping completely into our whole powerful creative selves, we may not be able to articulate them. Perhaps we could do a meditation to quiet our ego mind, and then ask the questions again. Alternatively, when we consider the external world as a mirror for these ways of being in the world, then we have allowed the reflected light to shine on our subconscious, our shadow selves. We have sent out a signal from our energy body, and it is being returned to us for examination.
The metaphor of reflection from a mirror can imply something direct and straightforward. A ray of light that has supposedly traveled in a straight line hits a flat polished mirror and is reflected from the spot of incidence with the same angle that the ray of light struck the mirror. However, mirrors can be concave and convex, not so well polished, and consider the possibility that the material is fully or partially transparent – we then have partial reflection or a lens refracting or bending the light.
What this metaphor means is the following: while the external world can serve as a mirror or lens for our subconscious beliefs, perceptions, and ways of being, we may have to look sideways, up and down, and beyond the surface of the reflection to find what we are looking for, and come to terms with it, so that it does not hold us back from becoming our best whole selves.
For example, if we are obsessed with the details of a war that we disapprove of and have very little control over, and it consumes much of our time and energy; it may be that we are not addressing the struggles in our own lives that we do have a choice about.
Now consider what is really going on with light – the description from quantum electrodynamics (QED). Light is composed of particles called photons. When light “bounces off” the surface of something, what is really going on? Photons are interacting with electrons in the material, not just on the surface, but throughout. How the photons interact depends on the arrangement of atoms in the material. And photons do not travel solely in straight lines.
All chemistry and therefore biology can be explained by interactions between photons and electrons. As Richard Feynman summarizes in QED, “Photons go from place to place. Electrons go from place to place. An electron absorbs or emits a photon.” There is a probability for each of the ways that these events can happen, a strength or number associated with it. These individual probabilities add up or multiply, canceling the strength or re-enforcing the strength depending on the situation. In these situations photons and electrons can absorb and emit each other and go forward and backward in time.
Let’s come back to our metaphor. If we connect into the heat of the situation – the place with the most draw, or the place where the probabilities add up for us, rather than cancel out – if we look at the places in our lives where we find the most heat or energetic pull – negative and positive – we will be looking into our mirrors, finding out about our lenses, and seeing into our shadows. We may think something is one thing, and when we look more closely, find out it has shifted into something else. And the trajectory may be calling from our past or drawing us to our future.
Richard P. Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985).
Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (New York: Riverhead Books, 1998).
by John Germain Leto |
What does walking with your own Jaguar look like? Jaguars live on the edge and explore the high places. What about you? Are you exploring the high places in your life’s work as a healer? Or are you playing it safe? Maybe even playing it small?
When I say “living on the edge”, I mean living on the edge of where we are comfortable. If you were on the edge of your comfort zone, facing more of your fears with what you are meant to create on your path as a shamanic practitioner, how would those business endeavors be different?
The upcoming Creating a Thriving Practice course is not meant for every trained shamanic practitioner. It’s only meant for those who are serious about living their life on the edge to create a business with the Shamanic path. It’s for those who are willing to dedicate their lives in service to others. If your intention is to keep your shamanic energy medicine a hobby, only working on close friends and family members, then it’s probably not for you. It’s really for those who feel a deep call to be in action everyday on their soul’s journey as a healer, working with lots of people to make the biggest difference they are able to make in this life. It’s also for those who want to integrate more of the shamanic path into the service that they already provide like massage therapy or psychology.
In order to do that, the course is designed to work in two primary areas:
1) Having you increase your visibility and how you are known in the world.
2) Giving you practical insights to create your business and position yourself to attract your ideal paying clients.
The first part is about working through whatever energetic barriers you may have to being fully visible in the world. You can’t create a full client practice and not be known. That’s impossible. A lot of people have this issue. I was talking to a client last week who wants to make a big difference with others and even companies by employing the shamanic medicine that she’s learned. But she didn’t want to use the word “shamanism” in explaining what she does because she thought it would be too “out there” for some people.
It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to step up and stand out as the powerful medicine-carriers that we are. It’s time to stop hiding with our families, with our friends, and especially with those that are willing to pay us for the tremendous service that we can provide for them.
Try saying this to yourself: “I am willing to be known in the world for Who I Truly Am”.
What thoughts come up when you say that to yourself?
If you’re completely clean energetically, then great. But if there’s some lingering voice that says, “Yeah, but what about….”, then maybe there’s a little work for you to do around that. We’re going to be addressing the energetic barriers head on in the upcoming course.
The second mission of the Thriving Practice course is meant to bridge the level of the energetic with the level of the mind. So we’ll also be including the A to Z practical aspects of creating a business as a shamanic practitioner. This includes everything from how to position yourself in the best way to others and speak powerfully about what you do, to how much to charge for your services and how to handle the initial phone conversation with someone who is interested. That and a whole lot more.
It’s also about understanding all of the avenues of where clients come from. This may seem very obvious, but the only way to be in action on your soul’s journey as a healer is to actually be doing healing work. There are too many excellently-trained shamanic practitioners who simply aren’t doing enough of the work and making the difference that they are meant to make. When you’re able to broaden each avenue of how people find out about you, then you’re able to have more conversations about what you do and you’re able to be of service to more people.
How can you TRANSITION from what you’re doing now to being a full-time shaman? I feel that before you can become a full-time shaman, you have to first be a part-time shaman. In my view, one of the best things that you can do for your shamanic practice is to not solely rely on it for your total income. It puts too much pressure on your budding business. I know this because I tried it when I first became a solo-practitioner nine years ago. I drove myself straight into debt. I always had clients; just not enough of them. So keep your day job for now. Just give yourself a transitional time period where you gradually build up the work of your soul’s journey so that you can eventually leave the day job that you do just for the money.
Maybe you’re comfortable with your presentation and you have a website, but for some reason, you’re just not easily attracting paying clients. Why is that?
There are too many of us working in isolation. Your shamanic practice shouldn’t be a game of solitaire. Part of what we are creating at The Shaman’s Collective is a community of successful practitioners. Included in the course fee are three months of follow-up teleclasses to continue to support you as your integrate the insights from the course into your practice.
If you’re serious about building a thriving client practice, come learn some new insights and tools that can make the difference. If you’re ready to live on the edge with your Jaguar, come join the Collective.