Being a yoga teacher [or a wellness coach] is similar to being a physician [i.e. one that is invested in healing, not keeping business good]: my mission is to find the origination of my clients’ problems and help my clients heal themselves, so I can send them on their way, out in the world with the ability to maintain their health, on their own.
It’s not about business or client retention or making more money than we did last year. Sure, on some level it is important to create business and have clients and keep them around long enough for everyone involved to benefit in the ways that matter. But these days, it seems that the ever important dollar gets the final say more than anything else. Pulling a profit that’s bigger than before takes priority, and we tell ourselves that if business is booming, well, we can help more people. In some ways, it’s true. We can try to keep clients coming back for as long as possible, plant the seeds of positive change, treat the disorder with a pill, and along the way help the bottom line. Everybody wins, right?
In this world we live in, money is important. You might know this already. Depending on where we live and what sort of lifestyle we are aiming for or born into, we need a certain minimum of incoming cash flow to thrive. Living on the planet comes with a price tag for most people in the modern world. So, while money is obviously important, I might dare to say that authenticity is more so. I don’t know about you, but I’m not super interested in working with someone who doesn’t really want to interact with me, or only does so out of fear or guilt or whatever other reasons people do things that they aren’t intrinsically motivated to do. People can benefit from programs and classes and 1:1 appointments, absolutely. That’s not my issue today. My issue today is that yoga and wellness coaching and health care, at the core, is about healing. It’s about honoring the process. It’s about authentic ways of being together and in the world that increase beauty and take energy away from destruction. Too often our culture has lost sight of that. Too often we hook people and try to convince them that they need us forever. Too often we become part of the message of lack.
I’m interested in spreading the message of wholeness and being part of a movement centered on healing and empowerment and owning our stories. We all need support or guidance or extra help with healing sometimes — humans were made to exist in community. We need to come to each other’s aid and accept help when we need it and give help when others ask for it. As Howard Thurman writes, what we need is more people who have come alive. What we don’t need to is to sell or be sold happiness in a bottle, programs that will cure us in 10 steps and three easy payments of $45.95, or a lifetime on seven different medications that require visiting the doctor’s office every three months until the end of time.
As a physician, I knew it wasn’t enough to treat only the biochemical elements of a healthy lifestyle. Sure, diet, exercise, a good night’s sleep, and [managing stress] are key to a healthy life. But if you hate your job, you feel spiritually disconnected, you feel creatively thwarted, you can’t stand where you live, and you haven’t found your supportive community, no drug, surgery, supplement, or diet plan is going to save you. The body is a mirror of how we live our lives. Our bodies sometimes have the power to enable spontaneous remissions from seemingly “incurable” diseases when we change our beliefs and how we think about our health while doing whatever it takes to bring our bodies into harmony with what is true [for us]. ~ Dr. Lissa Rankin