Sometimes I ask myself what the ”top” of the spiritual journey is? How do we reach it? Does it always involve working full time with healing/spiritual guidance?
Sometimes I get the feeling that most resources online suggest that your own (successful) spiritually focused business is always the goal and kind of the end station. Everything you do leads up to that self-employment life, working with clients, and 24/7 be immersed in it. It’s what we strive for in this community, or what we should be striving for it seems…?
I am involved in a (wonderful) group of sorts, where the facilitator posted this week about having an amazing spiritual experience and asking if we’re ready to join her in truly jumping into complete transformation. I hesitated because of one reason. The thought popping into my head was ”No, I don’t want to start my own business so no, I’m not ready for transformation.” And I’ve been sitting with that thought and feeling. Why did I instantly feel that transformation would mean leaving my day job and pursue a career as a self-employed healer or similar?
It made me a bit sad that it was my first thought seeing such an amazing message.
Do I hate my day job so much I always focus on how to leave it? Hell no! I actually quite like my day job even though it has nothing to do with spirituality. It’s very much an office job. But it’s independent, quite flexible, pays alright, and I have lovely co-workers as well a nice boss.
So why did I instantly feel like true transformation should be about leaving my job?
I really think it has to do with how the ultimate dream in our community online is always showcased the same way: A beautiful woman spending hours every day doing yoga and meditating, making A LOT of money every day doing spiritual guidance work, booked up through the whole year or even two years, no worries about clients not asking for her services, getting paid to travel and hold workshops on paradise islands, and really having no limit between work and pleasure. Everything is pleasurable about the work she does.
So the first step for all of us is to open that generic website offering our services for a low price, just to get started. Leaving our day job. Working around the clock to make our business take off. And in a few years we join Ms. Dream Job I just described. She is a colleague now and we hold workshops in Bali together!
Last week I saw a post by an instagram friend where she shared her frustration of not being able to let her small spiritual business support her financially after years of working hard on it. She still had to go to her dayjob and then tired spend her evening working on her website.
And I was relieved seeing som REALITY on instagram for once! I feel so bombarded with the message of how amazing it is to have your own spiritual business. You can sleep in, then do yoga as a part of your work day, do fun readings for pleased clients, chat with other entreprenurs – important networking you know, and just make money doing what you love! No bitchy boss, no schedule you’re not in control of, no boring job tasks…
I’m sure some days are fantastic like that, for some spiritual entreprenurs, but we all know that is not the case every single day and definitely not for all entreprenurs! We want to believe we can all be Gabrielle Bernstein, but look, I’m sorry: We can’t.
I’ve said it before and I will now repeat: Healing work, readings, spritual counseling are NOT something ”ordinary people” spend money on regularly. Therefore it is a small market, a hard market. This might change in the future, but right now that is the case. Honestly now, how many people do you know in your everyday life that you think would spend 90$ on a tarot reading or similar? And how many of them do you think would choose to purchase that service around four times every year? Compare how many, and then think about how many of them spend that money and time on going to the hairdresser. Yeah, exactly. That’s why it’s harder to succeed in this sort of business – Not impossible, just harder.
I’ve met countless of readers and healers that have clearly seen my potential as an intuitive/spiritual guide, teacher, and healer. They’ve said ”You’re meant to do this, for sure. Why aren’t you doing it full time?” and there I sit, a bit embarassed trying to explain why.
But I am going to show you full transparency here and my honest explanation of choosing to not go full time as a spiritual entreprenur. A huge part of it is money related, yup sensitive subject, I know… And again, many readers I’vet met have said ”Don’t worry, you’ll get clients!”, without actually knowing my situation.
In my country if you are self-employed selling a service you must pay 50% taxes. If a client pays me 100$ I get to keep 50$ and I have to keep in mind saving for retirement and into a savings account, because we all need that right? So what am I left with from that session to pay my bills with? Maybe 20-30$? During vacation I have to live off saved money, as well as if I am ill and cannot work.
When I am employed, as I am today, I only pay around 32% taxes. The rest I get to keep and pay my bills with. My employer must save money in a retirement fund for me, must cover 80% of my salary if I am home ill for up to 14 days, and also pays me during 5 weeks of vacation (slightly MORE than my usual salary might I add!).
And let’s also keep in mind that I turn 31 this week and have a stable partner since almost 3 years. We’re still not 100% sure IF we want children, and if we do when that would be… But honestly, I do keep that in the back of my mind, that maybe we will want to try having a baby in just a few years.
In my country we have one of the best parental benefits in the world. 480 days of paid parental leave, with three different levels of how much money you get. The first and the most important level is based on the income you have had the year before you give birth. That means that if I have a good income I will get a good maternal benefit to cash in on. Chilling at home, getting paid, for a year with your beloved baby – Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? If I am self-employed I will naturally make less money than I do today. A business doesn’t blossom from the first day, it is built during a couple of years unless you get super lucky and Oprah Winfrey decides to promote you or something.
But wait, what if my partner goes on paternal leave and I work on my business at the same time? Yeah, sure, but remember that parental benefit is not the same amount as your regular salary! Losing his very good income depending on decent parental benefit + a slow healer business isn’t ideal when you’re just starting a family. Depending on his very good full income + a decent maternal benefit, now that works a bit better. Unfortunately we have careers quite traditional to our gender.
And maybe if there is no baby in the stars for us, what about (God forbid) I would get very ill and can’t work for a year or even two? Again, I live in a country with fantastic sickness benefits. The level of paid sick leave is, again, based on the previous year’s income. So again, it’s a problem if I have not made a lot of money in the last year from my own business. And here I also have to take into account that returning clients will forget about me and have to seek up a different healer/reader during the months or years I am unable to work. This is the reality for many hairdressers, massage therapists, and similar that I know. If I am employed they have no right to get rid of me when I am on sick leave.
As a social worker I saw people in poverty go on sick leave and live off almost no money at all. Not a pretty sight…
Hey, talking about when I was a social worker got me thinking… How much do I want to sacrifice for other people? This is going to sound selfish to some of you, but I promised transparency so I welcome you into my thoughts now, wide open…
As a social worker I was a naive 23 year old that wanted to save, help, and guide people. I gave it my fucking ALL! I worked so much overtime, I skipped lunch, I cried in the bathroom during breaks because I was so overwhelmed. I held so much space for the people that needed me. And in the end I sacrificed my own life and joy – That is the simple truth. I had no time nor energy to be social with friends, go on dates, cook, take walks, work on my spiritual practice… Everything revolved around helping my clients. Even in my dreams I was trying to figure out how to help certain clients.
I burned out. And I am not going back. Since then I have given up my social worker career. And everyone that worked with me will tell you that I was damn good at it! But in my heart I felt it was not worth the sacrifice of my own life.
As you can see above, if I went full time healer/reader I would need to sacrifice a lot of fantastic benefits this country offers. Is it worth it? Fuck. This is hard, but… No. I don’t want to once again spend all my time and energy helping, guiding and saving people, just this time in a different field. I love spending time with my partner, with my friends, going out dining, not thinking about work issues during the weekend. I love going on 5 weeks of paid vacation without a worry in the world how my job is doing. And if I eventually do have a baby I want to give her/him my all; my energy, time, joy and attention, without worrying about clients and business.
I applaud and admire the people that work full time as healers and readers etc. Their work is hard. They deserve to hear that they are doing a fantastic job without the romanticized idea of sleeping in and doing yoga a Tuesday at 10 AM.
Can I still be a healer, an intuitive reader, a teacher? Oh, absolutely! Because I am today. I am! I just don’t do it every day of the week for 6-10 hours daily. I do around two readings a week for clients, and they take me around 1-2 hours each. So on Saturday or Sunday I sit down for 2-4 hours and help and guide my clients. I love it, and I hope they do too. So I am happy to be of service – Just not every day of the week and just not to depend on it paying my bills.
Right now I feel like I am getting the best of both worlds, without sacrifying all my time and energy for others. I do what I like (my day job), what I love (my ”hobby” job), and then I have time and energy to live life, rest, play, and just be me. I’m just trying to say that I love the choice I’ve made about this, and right now it fits me so well, and I wish others wouldn’t see it as failure that I don’t do spiritual work fulltime. Because that’s not how I see it.