Codependent or Healthy in Love?

codependent relationship

Relationships are a funny thing. We hear often that famous saying, “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” Isn’t that the truth?

Most times we say it in love and with laughter, but for some, this phrase is an actual statement into a deeper issue, one that supercedes fun, light and love. It’s about codependency.

What IS codependency? According to Wikipedia, codependency is the term used to describe a dysfunctional relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity. Like whoa.

Aren’t we supposed to have our OWN identity in relationships?

While for most of us, we believe so, for some codependent people, the belief is that they are not complete until they are in a relationship and that person they are in love with, completes them.

jerry maguire

I mean who can forget that scene in the Jerry Maguire movie when he says those same words, “You complete me.” 

It sounds romantic and I am sure for some, it is a desire to hear these exact words but I urge you to STOP! It is another Hollywood scenario that sounds better on screen than in real life.

Remember 50 Shades of Grey? Very exciting movie and book, but think about it in real life. Think of it especially with a partner who may not be a milionaire and owns a hundred companies and looks like Christian Grey. Hey realistically most of us can’t or won’t attract that kind of guy into our lives in this lifetime (being real not pessimistic). Would it be as romantic if your guy lived on his friends’ couches and didn’t hold down a job? I thought so.

In life, we have to learn to discern what sounds more like a great fantasy or what can actually work in our life. Most times, romantic fantasies need to stay just there, in fantasy.

Here are three signs of a codependent relationship. If you notice some or all of these, hang tight. I got you. I will also talk about connections in love xo.

Signs of a Codependent Relationship:

1. Your Sense of Purpose is delayed as you tend to your partner’s needs 

When I was  younger, I was very  much caught up in a codependent relationship with a boyfriend. I was a rising star at my college and given many blessings to advance forward in my path, but truthfully, I cared more about how he felt than my future. I remember there was a leadership conference and each college in the NorthEast United States were allowed to send two representatives from their school. Of course I was selected to represent my school and guess what I did? I threw it away to spend the week with my boyfriend.

When you are in a codependent relationship, the other person seems more important than you. Their needs, their desires, their wants are catered to and yours barely are acknowledged.

To break out of this mold, (and yes you can) the power scales need to be balanced. Start by taking inventory of a month. Are you only doing activities your partner wants to do or are your needs met? If you notice a tipping of the scales in their direction, have a talk with them and let them know that this is an issue for you and you would like it to be more balanced in your relationship. Either they will agree with you or not, and then you get to decide how that goes. But for now, start with inventory. Take an honest look at your relationship and decide how it feels.

 In its broadest definition, a codependent is someone who cannot function from his or her innate self and whose thinking and behavior is instead organized around another person, or even a process, or substance.

2. You believe the other person is responsible for your happiness 

In the first sign mentioned above, it is expected that the scales are as balanced as they can be to make it an equal relationship. This balancing does NOT equal out to your partner catering to you to make you happy.

One time I was arguing with a boyfriend when I was 14. I remember this clearly because of what I said and his response.

Me: ” I am so unhappy! It is your responsibility to make me happy in this relationship!”

Him: “Well then we are screwed because it is not my job to make you happy, that is your job. My job is to focus on my happiness and together we create a happy relationship.”

Lord that boy was smart. Smart and right.

No one can make you happy. YOU know this! But yet, once we get in relationships, it seems like all logic goes out the window and for some of us, we turn into whiny little babies who need constant attention.

We start placing blame when things go wrong and never think to look at ourselves. Why is this?

Sometimes we place the heavy obligation of happiness on another’s shoulder because we don’t want to face the truth that the relationship is not meeting our needs. We may know that it is time to move on but fear of being alone or dying single, keeps us in place. Then when we stay, we become unhappy and place that blame on our partners’ shoulders.

Be the bigger person. If you are not happy in your relationship, leave. If you are not happy with yourself, get help. Whatever it is, do anything but blame your partner. Because you know what? If your partner truly is the source of your unhappiness, then go back to step 1 and leave. It really is that simple.

I believe some people feel if they complain about it, it will somehow magically change to what they want. This is not how the Law of Attraction works. In fact, the more you complain about a source of displeasure, the more of it you will attract. I have tried repeatedly to share this information with several people in my life and guess what happens? Absolutely nothing. They keep complaining, and they keep staying in the rut they are in. In life, you have to know when to help and when to walk away and for these individuals, I tend to walk away.

If you can’t create a happy life using the resources you were given or have attained in life, then no one else will do it for you. This is your burden to bear. Figure it out. 

3) You need to be around that person all the time 

When you are with them, you feel ALIVE and full of love and happiness. When you are away from them, you call/text/snapchat often. When you can’t reach them, you are dying on the inside. If you do have peace and quiet in your alone time, it is because you know they are at work or the dentist and can’t access their phone. You feel happy and content.

Sounds familiar?

Being alone is necessary. It is in our times of silence and solitude that we uncover the parts of ourselves that need the work or can do with some improvements. When you are around someone all the time, (and yes it can be the same person or different people), you are engaged in interactions. There is no time to reflect, meditate and do some self-analysis.

I think some people use people for constant companionship because they don’t want to have introspection! They know on a deeper level, there are some issues to sort out but don’t have the drive, interest or courage to do so.

I have met some highly functional and successful broken people and have been impressed! They have shrouded themselves in such a strong invisibility cloak, it would make Harry Potter jealous!

Try to factor in some alone time away from your partner. How does it feel?

If it brings up anxiety, stress or fears, then you are onto something. You may have hidden out in a codependent relationship for awhile but cleverly crafted it as, “We are a team” or “We do things together”.

No you are not. You were born into this world alone and you will go out alone. This precious partner of yours will not sacrifice their life to go with you at the end of your timeline. And more than likely, they will eventually move on and be with someone else until their end of time. This is natural because at the core of it, we each need to survive and thrive.

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Now that we have some signs of codependency, let’s look at some signs of a healthy relationship. For some of you, there is a possibility to change a codependent relationship to a healthy one so why not try now? Just because you have identified being in a codependent relationship, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in it. Here are three signs of a healthy relationship:

1) You Respect each other’s Boundaries 

My partner loves riding his Harley and loves his dog. He will not tolerate anyone in his life that does not respect his need to ride and his time with his dog. I can tell you that I am not particularly interested in riding on the back of his motorcycle and I am not a pet owner or dog lover (I know shoot me). How do we make it work? We respect the boundaries.

I join him on his weekend bike rallies by either driving there with him or staying back so he can go with his friends who also love to ride. When we plan our schedules, we factor in time for him to go riding. I find something else to do. With his dog Silas, we include him in our plans and then we create events without him. We work together while respecting each other’s boundaries. 

When you truly listen to your partner, you are not listening to respond but rather to understand. What makes them tick? What sets them off? And what can you do in the process to respect their process while also respecting yours?

Boundaries are needed in relationships! It lets each person know the level of safety and comfort available based on needs. Once needs are respected, each partner can relax more into the relationship and develop deeper bonds.

Take a personal inventory of your own relationships now. Do you know your partner’s boundaries? Do you respect and uphold them? What can you do differently to show respect for what your partner requires?

When you respect your partner’s boundaries, you allow room for connection because they trust you. They trust that you will not hurt them, not by your words but by your actions. This means everything to a person. I know it does for me.

If you don’t know what your boundaries or your partner’s boundaries are, no problem! Start making a list! I like to make a page with three columns and write down all the things I want in a relationship, what I can compromise on and what I cannot or will  not tolerate. For example, I want a kind person in relationship, I can compromise on if they are a pet owner and I will not tolerate smokers. Once you make your list, ask your partner to do the same and it doesn’t matter if you have been together for 2 months or 20 years, start now in communicating! Boundaries can change over time as we age, so don’t be surprised if your partner says things that seem new to you. This is the process of connecting and if you stay with it, you will reach deeper levels of your relationship!

2) You have no problem saying NO to your partner

One time I was really into studying the ancient arts of tantric practice and I dragged my partner along with me. We were both in a room with our tantric teacher, me in a sarong and him in a sarong that barely covered his body. He looked delicious but uncomfortable! He went through the private session with me and loved it but he put his foot down and refused to go to a group class with nakedness where we talked about intimacy! He drew his line!

And you know what I did? I respected it. I didn’t push, beg, manipulate or anything of the sort. I agreed and found ways to continue my tantra study through books and online courses and then used the practices with him in the sanctity of our home.

In a relationship, you can say no. You don’t have to cosign to everything. Sometimes I see women doing the craziest things to please a man! Things they would never do but did it to keep his attention. Guess what happens? Invariably a breakup happens and those same women go bat s**t crazy! You know why right? Because they sacrificed their time, money and effort to be with him and they can’t for the life of themselves, figure out why he wouldn’t want to stay.

Say yes to the things that make you happy and interested to do. When my partner asks me to go visit his daughter in Myrtle Beach, hell yes please! When he asks me to go to a football game in the dead of winter, not so much.

You have to have a firm basis of stability in your relationship to be able to say no though. If you are insecure and unsure about yourself and the relationship, chances are you are going to keep saying yes to things even though you rather not. What happens is you will start to break down energetically and exhaustion sets in. You overextend yourself and you will feel it in the long run. Concerning your partner, you may shift blame to them for your tiredness or crankiness even though you were the one that said yes!

Save yourselves and your relationship this nightmare by just honoring where you are, what you need and what you can and cannot do. Trust me, they will love you for it and sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder.

3) You have a life outside of your relationship

When I do relationship coaching, I invariable start out with my clients drawing a pie chart and having them fill in each pie piece with what is needed for a well rounded life. Some write health, love, social, money, career, spirituality etc…. And then I have them color in the pie pieces on a scale from 1-10 with 1 meaning little to no effort and 10 as maxium effort.

For my codependent clients, most times the love piece is fully colored in and for the other parts there is a lot of blank paper!

Guess what happens to these same people who have break up? They absolutely crumble.

When you place all your worth, time and attention on any ONE of those pie pieces, your whole world can end if that piece is taken away. It is important to have a life outside of your relationship. Start by asking these questions:

  • Do I have a daily spiritual practice?
  • Do I spend enough time with my friends and social circle?
  • Do I work hard enough or too hard?
  • Do I take vacations?
  • Do I work out daily or weekly?
  • Do i spend enough time with my partner, too much or too little?

When you start asking these questions, you train yourself to see where your attention is. If you noticed in one week, you never meditated, worked out, made a home cooked meal and spent all your time at work….you can see how imbalanced a life is.

Create a life where you thrive in all areas of your life so if one unfortunately has to be removed, you can mourn in appropriation. It doesn’t consume you because there are so many other pieces that are working.

In the end, we all are pursuing happiness. If we attach this happiness to a relationship, we can create sadness by its departure.

Learn how to have healthy habits for the sake of your healthy body, positive mind and thriving soul. In return, your relationships in your life will blossom as you now have more to contribute to them than take from them. How wonderful that will be for everyone!

Until  next time, stay in the love and the light

xo Uma

Untitled design (9)Uma is an intuitive consultant, consciousness coach, published author, inspirational speaker and the owner of Lotus Wellness Center in Northern VA.

To learn more about Uma’s classes and services, visit http://www.lotuswellnesscenter.net

 

I don’t do KnockOffs…

I am not a flashy person with nice, name brand things. It’s true! In fact, most of my name brand things come to me generously through my mom, dad and brothers who like the flashy things and every now and then on a birthday or Christmas occasion, like to get me one too.

When I do get the flashy things, I love it. I love it because it’s good quality stuff and the difference in the price DOES make a difference in the feel, durability, dependability and experience of the product.

When I was in college, I made do with Payless shoes and Walmart purses. I am not knocking them, hey they worked for me for a long time. But as I got older, I wanted more. I didn’t want my shoes to only last the summer or my purse to make it to a year and then shred on me. I wanted good, quality products that could last a bit longer so the turnaround on them would stretch. I am really not a shopper so I delay the process for as long as I can bear. If I am buying something, please Lord let it last my lifetime so I don’t have to go shopping.

At this point, some of you might have started to wonder if I am off my rocker. “Uma done did it now and lost her damn mind sitting her talking about shoes and purses.”

Or have I? (cue evil laugh and rubbing of hands together)

Maybe not. You know there is a purpose to this blog, so hang in there, I am getting there.

I am talking about quality versus quantity and real versus artificial because I feel the need to remind people that in life, if you take the quick route, you will eventually get what you paid for.

At my center I teach a variety of classes; some certification classes that follow the protocol of the parent company I am subscribed to and the rest Spirit Led. Spirit Led just means that Spirit woke me up (usually around 3am) and channeled a class to hold. I obediently follow through and it becomes one of the most amazing experiences myself and the students experience. It’s not made up, it is destined. 

As fun as my job is, there is the little quirks that pop up from time to time. In the beginning it was “nail on chalkboard” bearable but now, after so many years and so many times, its more like an annoying fly that buzzes too close to your pina colada on the beach. Shoo fly, don’t bother me!

One of these quirks is my observation of how many people that take a class or two in metaphysics and then become teachers in a turnaround faster than you can say, “Olly Olly Oxen Free!”

I remember working with a business coach awhile back and after assessing my center and what I do, she made the remark, “I have to give it to you-you create classes and teach and basically you are teaching your competition. Well isn’t that a doozy.” It is.

Now let’s be clear. I am not knocking anyone who has a life path and destiny to become a spiritual teacher or to own a wellness center similar to mine. In fact, there are many who created their businesses and have my stamp of approval with them because Spirit told me they would go far and do well as is their calling. I am only too happy to oblige.

But for the few, who do it for money, fame and recognition…. this is a post for you. 

Now some of you at this point might think I am being mean, shady or condescending. You have a right to your perspective but hear me out, and if you can stomach it, read through the rest of this blog before you make a firm decision that Uma is catty and immature. I am pretty sure you will have a different opinion by the end.

I am writing this blog in hopes it reaches the people who are doing these things and if it does, this is what I would like to say to them: “Stop it. You are doing more harm than good.”

Now why would I say that? Did I just pull it out from thin air? No.

Did Spirit tell me to say it to give people complexes? No.

Do I feel better or superior to others and feel the need to put people down? No.

I say it because if it is anything I can be known for in this lifetime, it is my integrity. I truly care about people. Most times people may think I don’t because I am not a warm, squishy kind of person but you know, my type of caring is not in that category. I am genuinely worried about people fulfilling their soul missions and making sure they are acting in authenticity and alignment with their purpose.

So with that being said, here are the reasons why a newbie student turned newbie teacher is not a good idea and why when you pay more or go with more, you get more:

  1. Newbie teachers break the cardinal rule.

Yes there is a cardinal rule of learning and this is how it goes: First you learn, then you DO and then you teach. Now depending on who you talk to, this can span months to years to decades. While I am a bit concerned about the timeline, I am more concerned with the concept.

My partner would laugh every time we took a class together. Immediately when we returned home, I would call up close friends or clients and offer them a session of what I just learned for free or at a discounted rate. My goal would be to get a set number of students in and practice the session. Usually by the end of the week, I have the protocol memorized and can do it easily without my manuals or handouts. This is the doing part of the protocol. Then after months or years of doing, I would feel confident to teach because I have seen all aspects (or alot) of the process and can handle situations as they arise.

I had one student learn a class from me in one month and then two months later she was offering the class AND at the cost I charged for the class. I was floored but I waited to see what Spirit would do. I knew this woman was not competent enough to teach this class, it was quite technical and had set procedures to follow. How could she possibly pull it off without even practicing it outside of the one session she did in class? I was worried and anxious thinking of her students who signed up and I prayed for them, that they would get alot out of the class and somehow it would all magically pull together to be a successful event. Well I didn’t even have to do that. Spirit ensured that class did not happen and as the days led up to it, one by one her students started dropping out. I was part relieved and also part sorry for her. I knew she needed that class for financial purposes but also my integrity said this was not right. Spirit agreed.

When you learn something, you need time to understand that thing. You need to sit with it, breathe it in, experiment with it and heck even fail at it. You have to mess up, try again and work it, work it, work it until you find your flow. Once you arrive at that point (however long it takes), you will know it’s time to teach it.

Usually I create classes because students ask me to create them. The way my process works is I get a message from Spirit to teach a class. I say, “That’s fine” but I need validation that this is meant to be and soon after that, the right people come my way to either collaborate or to be taught. That simple.

I became a past life regression therapist this way. I was working on a client, doing a regular reflexology session and as I was talking to my client, my voice naturally went into a hypnotic flow and my client went into a light trance. She started to recall a past life concerning an issue she was facing in her present day circumstances. There was alot of healing and tears that came from this process and I found it fascinating. I didn’t think about it anymore until months later when I was sailing on the river Seine in France and realized I was reading the book, “Many Lives many Masters” by the amazing Dr. Brian Weiss. I was being drawn to the path of past life regression and didn’t realize it. When I went home, I booked a class and got in to Dr. Weiss training program to become a past life therapist. It is still one of my favorite modalities to facilitate to this day.

I have never put up a class because someone else was offering it or to compete because the energy is wrong from the get go. And I have learned over the years of doing this, that if the energy and Spirit is not there, it is more work than necessary and shouldn’t be done. I have in fact CANCELED classes that had people in it! Why? Because the energy felt off and in acting in my integrity, I didn’t feel the students would get the same powerful delivery I could have delivered if I did it another time. As you can imagine this is frustrating to some but for those who know me and respect my process, they are relieved. Relieved to have a teacher who cares more about their experience than her bank account.

All this talk about money leads me to #2.

2. Newbie teachers are often in the grip of Ego not Spirit

I understand. There is no judgment here but a quiet request to really check in before you decide to offer this class you just learned. Are you sure you can pull it off? Will you do it justice? Will the student have a better experience with another teacher who has been doing it a lot longer than you? Do you have enough integrity to admit that?

When I teach Tuning Fork Therapy®, I RAVE about my teacher and the founder of the modality, Francine Milford. I WISH all my students could take it firsthand from her, the way I did. Francine is partly retired but comes out of retirement to teach from time to time (well at least for me!). I LOVE classes with her partly because its at her house in sunny FL and she makes me lunch too. 🙂 Mostly I love classes with Francine because she is so knowledgeable about everything and I always leave learning more than what I paid for.

I am proud to say that every teacher of Tuning Fork Therapy® in Northern Virginia came through me as I was the only person in this area taught personally by Francine Milford. I uphold this class to the highest respect because of that responsibility and also because students in my area cannot get a personal training from Francine unless they go to Florida to learn from her. So it is my responsibility I feel to give them as close an experience as I can to what she offers. It is nowhere near it of course! But still I try.

Francine sees my integrity in what I do and recently she gifted me 13 boxes sent by mail of over 225+ attunements and classes. Most of her life’s work, I now possess and my responsibility is to teach it to continue Francine’s legacy. As you can expect, I will take my time reviewing the classes and knowledge before offering it to students, because I want to make sure I teach it the way Francine would want me to teach it and to do the courses justice. It has to be right.

When I see Newbie teachers hustling to put up a class they just learned (and may not have been a good student at), I know they want the ROI quickly. I get it. When we spend money, we need to earn money but I believe there should be a pause button here somewhere and then a golden question to follow. A question like, “How does this work out for the student?”

DO you really feel you can deliver a wonderful experience and turn that student ON to the love of learning they are about to receive? Or will this be another failed class with let downs and disappointments?

Each class I offer, I prep for weeks and sometimes months before I actually step into a classroom. There is the outlining, storyboarding, mission planning, checks and balances, dry run through, emotional run through and spiritual run through before I even advertise the darned thing! And once it is advertised, there are more checks and balances, fielding Q&As and inventory before we get to class. Once in class, I hardly eat (or breathe) as I am so focused, tuned in, taped in and turned on to Spirit to deliver precisely what is needed for that group and by Spirit’s commands.

Newbie teacher are you prepared for all of that? Can you DO all of that? And lastly, are you interested in creating all of that?

One time I had a former client tell me they wanted to become a teacher. I knew this was a mistake. For one, my client was an extreme introvert so ummm….not sure how that would work.

I started to detail the work I did before, during and after class times and the amount of interpersonal communication required for EACH student and they backed down immediately!

“Oh heck no, I don’t want to talk to people that much! I don’t even like people!”

Bingo.

But you know how I saw that? Cause I am an experienced metaphysical teacher and highly intuitive person. I am trained to see what one cannot see at the present moment.

Usually when a Newbie teacher offers up a class, their drive is ROI, excitement, money, fame and/or significance. My advice is to take the time to learn what you know and trust that Spirit has your back. By rushing to put up an event you are not well trained in, you run the risk of messing up the class and not giving the student a pleasant experience.

There is no rush, no destination, only the journey. Trust the process. 

3. You get what you paid for

Sometimes I have potential clients call me for a session and when they realize my price, they would back out because “I am too expensive.” I once had a gentleman ask me, “Why would I pay you that rate for a session when I can go down the street and get it for ___(lesser amount)?”

I don’t even fight them on it. At that point, I agree with them and let them know that is a good deal and they should go there. Most times when I do that, I am met with silence on the phone. They didn’t expect me to say that and I guess they were hoping I would fight for their business. That’s not necessary.

Firstly, there are plenty of good, established healers in the area and I am sure if they go to someone else, they will get what they need. I have my clients, the people who want to see me and be seen by me. Other healers have theirs. We do not need to fight over this.

It is not my desire to work with everyone. I have no reason to. I made a call out to the Universe concerning the time of clients I want to see and so far, I have been getting my clientele. I am not hurting either. In the nearly ten years I have been working as an intuitive and healer, I have seen close to 10,000 clients. I know because I keep track of my sessions and I see roughly around 1,000 people/year.

My clientele come to me because they have been everywhere else and it is not working.

My clientele trust me to deliver the services they need and want with the highest integrity and passion I can bring.

My clientele do not fight me or question me on my services or prices because they implicitly trust that quality is more important to me than quantity as it is to them.

It is what makes me a genuine, real healer and teacher; not a knock off.

My reason for writing this blog is simple. I want you to know who I am and what I am about.

I love the work I do and it pains me to see charlatans degrade, abuse and villify my profession. Please people, let’s be more conscientious of what we are doing and how we are doing it.

The formula again: Learn. Do. Teach.

Some may say I made myself the whistle blower concerning this topic or the self appointed monitor. I am ok with those titles because we don’t have a regulating board of members or accreditation to our work. So someone has to say something and say it loud and clear. So I will.

You get what you pay for.

If you want quality, find the trusted, reliable, long standing healers/teachers in your community. It will cost you less in the long run.

My love and light with you until next time,

xo Uma

Untitled design (9)Uma Alexandra Beepat is an Intuitive Consultant, Metaphysical Teacher, Consciousness Coach and Published Author.

Uma owns Lotus Wellness Center and three other businesses in Northern Virginia.

For more information on Uma, visit http://www.umalotusflower.com

 

 

The Path of Least Resistance

sunrise behind tree

I listen to a lot of Abraham Hicks recordings on YouTube. I am a big fan of the Law of Attraction (LOA) and while there are many speakers on this topic, Esther Hicks just hits home with it for me.

It is not uncommon for me to include the requirement of listening to Hicks YouTube videos in my clients’ weekly homework. It is so helpful on so many levels. Many times my clients do not know who Abraham Hicks is, and well, if you are in this bracket, let me help a little.

Abraham is a group of beings not from this world who use Esther Hicks as a vessel to speak their messages. Esther acts like a channel by first relaxing and allowing the Beings who are collectively referred to as Abraham to speak through her. You can find hundreds of FREE YouTube videos on this phenomena like this one. The messages are always positive and filled with love and compassion for us earthly beings. I find myself soothed after listening to one of their fabulous channeled recordings.

 One of the teachings Abraham Hicks stresses about 80% of the time is taking the Path of Least Resistance. At first, I just liked hearing it and repeating it to myself because it sounded catchy. It made me sound smart and like I knew what I was talking about. However as I started delving deeper into the world of LOA, I kept bumping up against blocks while trying to manifest my goals in life. What the?!

I decided one day to really ponder on the concept. The Path of Least Resistance. What does that mean? Maybe some of you might get it right away but to this Capricorn, it sounded like Greek. I couldn’t understand. Until I did.

I had a situation come up with a friend that I could not avoid. I had a different point of view than this friend and unfortunately it was a strong difference in opinion. So strong that we could not continue on the same path because our points of views were so radically different.

It was at that point that I decided to try the Path of Least Resistance. I mean, I wasn’t about to change my mind, it felt right at the time for me to do what I was doing and for them, well they were just as stubborn about their view point as well. We were at an impass and only because of that, this stubborn Cappy decided to try a different route.

At first I just stopped resisting her. I would state my point clearly and then also clearly let her know I wasn’t going to change my mind so the ball is in her court as to what she wanted to do. Well, it would have been a good end to a movie if it just ended there, but of course it didn’t. It escalated and quickly.

This person who was so loving towards me turned harshly and took to social media to attack my personal life and my business. Ouch.

All of me wanted to fight back. To defend, to fight and mostly to win, but I kept remembering Abraham Hicks words, “You want to manifest your hearts desires? Take the Path of Least Resistance. What you resist, persists.”

So I didn’t do anything. I left it alone. I hurt silently in private and then put on a brave face when I went out in public and did the best to teach my classes and see my clients for services, but always with the burning, stinging words in my back. I felt less than, unappreciated and betrayed.

Eventually the former friend grew weary of attacking me and moved on to something or someone else, who knows because I was unfriended on FB which suited me well, because if it is one pet peeve of mine about Facebook is all the passive aggressive posts people put up. I mean just say what you mean and mean what you say already!

Well years passed and I all about forgot about this moment in history because like the LOA promised, things worked out in the end. My decision which I felt strongly about at the time panned out and my business grew by leaps and bounds, despite all the negative publicity (or maybe because of it) she brought to me. What was even more special was her reaching out to me after the fact and asking for us to have lunch and sit down and talk a bit. I was reluctant at first because I wasn’t sure who I was going to get but I trusted and went with best intentions.

It turned out to be a good lunch! She apologized for her behavior towards me and went into some personal details of what she was going through at the moment and how it just made me the punching bag. I was floored because of course, when you go through something like that, you tend to think its all your fault!

The thing that did change though was my reactions to these incidences. The Path of Least Resistance taught me several things which has helped me with my confidence, self-esteem and in maintaining my positivity:

1) You are a Shiny Mirror for others

Many times when people are REACTING to you, they are really reacting to some aspect within themselves they don’t like but are seeing quite clearly in you. I mean think about it. What could you possibly do that would be so devastating that they have to cut you out of their life? When you see people cut you out of their life or block you on Facebook, it is because they don’t want to SEE you…a.k.a they don’t want to SEE the parts of themselves reflected back.

SO if someone says you are bossy (true story), they are unhappy with the moments in their life when they are bossy and they feel bad about it. They want to change it but instead of analyzing their own behavior, they tend to look at what you are doing instead. It stings less. Didn’t Jesus say it best? Worry not about the speck in my eye but the log in your own?

What do you do then? You take the path of least resistance. You do nothing and let them act out. I have lived long enough to see people who made a great spectacle of themselves over MY actions or MY words, come back later in life and apologize. And you know what you do then? You stay humble and be in gratitude that they can accept responsibility for what they did because that speaks volumes to their character. The most enlightening beings will come back and apologize because they have no ego, they truly are concerned with their growth and making amends as they go along. Stand up people in my opinion.

2) Don’t Assume. It’s not Personal.

Even though the insults hurled at you may seem personal, it really isn’t. Hurt people hurt people and the harder the insults come at you, the more hurt they are in. I remember one time a looooooooong time ago when I was a young girl, full of emotion and passion, I had a screaming match with my boyfriend. I mean I was 16 and I was full of RAGE (God knows for what) and he was the one I was mad at so……..BLAST!

 It’s funny that I can’t remember all the details of this particular fight, it was so long ago but I will never forget how he reacted. He too was only 16, a boy really but so mature. He stood there for the longest time, silently and watched me; then when he found a break in my rampage, he just slowly walked towards me and hugged me. Well he timed that perfectly because I was so winded from all the yelling and screaming, I couldn’t do anything but collapse in his arms and cry. And he just held me. It was one of the most poignant and tender moments I have in this life that I like to reflect on. He would be a prime example of the Path of Least Resistance. He didn’t take it personally anything I said. He knew I was hurt and he knew I was lashing out and he was committed to hugging me and being there for me despite it all. Wow. Talk about a classy 16 year old!

If only we could all be that poised…..but actually, we can. I believe tolerance of other peoples’ actions or words is a muscle that needs to be built up. If you grew up in a home where kindness and virtue were extolled daily then you might have a weak tolerance muscle. If you grew up in a rougher neighborhood, you may have a strong tolerance muscle. But like anything else, you can build it.

NOW I am not saying just stick around and be a punching bag for other people. No way! You have to also have discernment about situations. If your partner is usually cool, calm and centered and one day they flip off and start dropping F bombs everywhere, you might want to take that opportunity to build your tolerance muscle. On the other hand, if the partner is constantly letting you down, hurting you emotionally or draining you, this is not the time ti build tolerance. It’s another muscle you need to work on and its called detachment.

 3) Focus your Energy Elsewhere

It takes a lot of energy to stay engaged with someone who dislikes you. It is exhausting running those mental processes of what you could,should and would have done in a different scenario. Stop. Haven’t you read #1 and #2? It’s never about you and it’s mostly their own issues they are addressing.

So that frees you up now…what will you do with your reclaimed energy? For me, whenever I am “under attack”, (remember this happens quite a few times a year, and I find the more popular my center grows, the more this happens on the regular), it is the perfect time to take a hiatus from social media. I would limit my social media time to just posting for my businesses and then be off as quickly as I got on. I would also increase my meditation time to tune out those pesky negative thoughts and stay in my vortex of happiness, peace and joy.

It becomes almost a game, where instead of playing to win, you are playing for peace. What can I do today to have the easiest and most peaceful day possible? You start to plan your route around people or things that can trigger you, and you know what? It works. You become so focused on your self happiness and ways to stay peaceful, that you almost forget there is someone out there who is unhappy with you. I heard a saying that I really loved that went something like this, “It doesn’t matter what other people think of me, it only matters what I think of myself.” Well I tend to think I am just the cat’s meow, so negativity be gone! There ain’t no place for you here!

 4) People will talk, let them.

I remember one time an ex-partner and I broke up romantically but remained friends. It’s not uncommon for me to do that, I mean, just because we didn’t work out romantically doesn’t mean I stopped liking or even loving the person, so why not stay friends? Well we were living in a small community at the time where everyone knew everyone. I remember he went to an event and these two nosy older ladies straight up asked him about our love life in front of everyone. He was a classy guy and he handled it well. He was able to answer their questions to tell them what they needed to hear without betraying our connection.

I remember when he told me I was so enraged. I mean what business is it of theirs? What did our love life have to do with the event anyways? But I did as my partner suggested and let it go. At first I let it go more for him because he was such a stand up guy but then I saw the reason in it. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do…people will always have some opinion about it.

You have to learn to take the path of least resistance and walk away from the drama without engaging. What happens when you do engage? It gets worse. Because that’s what unhappy people want. A reason to feel alive, a reason to DO something, a reason to fight for something because they can’t or won’t fight for their own self improvement. Ouch. I know it sounds harsh but trust me, I have seen enough of these depressing people in my life, and they all have a common thread which is unhappiness within themselves.

Now when I see other people nosy about other peoples’ businesses, I instantly recognize the core issue. They feel unloved or unworthy within themselves and feel the need to put down someone else to feel a little better. There is no helping these people because unless they accept responsibility for what they do, it wouldn’t change; so why even bother? I have learned to let people have the last say…not because I can’t debate them, but I just don’t have the energy or interest to. That revelation brought me so much joy and peace, it made the path of least resistance more irresistible.

I am aware that for letting go or taking the path of least resistance is either an entirely new concept or something you have dabbled with. My advice? Take it slow, do what you can and be easy on yourself. In the beginning if the path of least resistance is just you focusing on your breathing to feel better, then do that. In time, it will build to bigger and bigger steps to the point, you are completely not engaging and it becomes second nature.

Now isn’t that a nice concept? To live your life independently of others and be free.  What a beautiful world that would be if we all could. Until next time, stay in your Vortex and always be full of love and light,

xo Uma

The Birth of Awareness

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Ever since I was a little girl I was chastised for the wrongness of me. At first I was confused. What do you mean I laugh too loud? What does it mean that I am too curvy for a 10 year old? Why do you want to tame my long, unruly hair and put me in dresses when I rather climb a tree and play football with my brother and his friends?

Eventually the confusion gave way to anger. I became angry and stayed angry for a very long time. Anytime I felt the judging comments or looks coming my way, I would block it off at the start with my own growl or piercing stare. I learned from an early age how to shut down opposition fast.

There is a right and a wrong, good and bad to this though. While I learned how to love myself unconditionally, I also avoided constructive criticism that came my way from well meaning friends, boyfriends and family members. I couldn’t take it as constructive, I was too burnt from the years of oppressive comments that burned me to my core. I was angry and if you were not in agreement with me, you were against me. And all of Uma, couldn’t have that.

 Fast forward to last year which I lovingly refer to as my “Dark Year of the Soul” and those unhealthy behaviors came full force. My anger cost me my relationship, friendships and created stress and strife in my life. I was not feeling the Zen I was promised from being on the Spiritual path.

I knew I desired change but I didn’t know how to go about getting it. Abraham Hicks says all of your reality is your manifestation and everyone and everything in it is there to serve you, as it is about you, and for you because it is created by you. I like to use the terminology of a sandbox. When we are born, we are born into our own sandboxes. As we go through life, we invite people into our sandbox to play with us. Some stay awhile, some come and go and come back again and some come in quickly and never return again. Sometimes we leave our sandbox to go meddle in other people’s sandboxes, and that is ok. It’s all a circle of life. A circle of sandboxes.

I believe what happened last year followed this concept and the Law of Attraction. Me, the UMA that was born on this Earth Planet many years ago knew she was wanted to uplevel and be there before she turned 40. The UMA wanted to work on those few bothersome things that were still affecting her on a personal and emotional level, and take it a higher level. So the UMA invited in the contrast.

Abraham Hicks talks about the need of human beings to invite in contrast for them to transform. Contrast is all the yucky things- drama, strife, struggle, pain and suffering. At this moment in time, we cannot ascend or transform without the contrast, so according to their teachings, it is a beautiful thing when the contrast comes because it signifies growth.

There was a lot of strife and struggle last year with business as I created another two businesses in addition to the two I already owned. My health and weight was not in the best place and these things were affecting me and therefore leaking into my relationship with my soulmate. Eventually it led to our downfall and for his own safety (and sanity) he had to lovingly walk away from our relationship. That was the last straw and I broke.

In true Uma style, I didn’t break halfway or a little bit or one piece at a time, I broke completely. It was a breaking of my self. It was the beginning of my death.

I remember reading Eckhart Tolle’s work awhile back, “The Power of Now” where he talked about being suicidal because he was tired of being him. He reached the point where he thought about suicide and was seriously contemplating it and it was that one night, he experienced as he called it, the death of the Ego.

As Eckhart was muling over the thoughts in his head, “I can’t stand myself”, he realized there were two voices. The “I” and the “myself”. So which one was he? He was identifying himself all the time in his thoughts and he wanted to know, who was this person speaking? From that first question, he gained an incredible amount of clarity and awareness and it changed his life to take him to the level of success he is at now.

Some call this other voice a monitor, some call it the Voice of Reason, some say Higher Self or our Inner Being. It doesn’t matter, the understanding is the same in that we are always accessible to a higher version of ourselves, and that higher version usually comes out in times of strife.

Last summer, I had a breakdown myself like Eckhart and contemplated dark thoughts. It was a dark moment where I wasn’t sure which way to proceed. It felt like all of life was failing me. My businesses were becoming increasingly difficult to handle, I felt betrayed by the disappearance of my soulmate, my kids were gone for the whole summer and I was all alone in my house with my thoughts. Yup, I was ready to check out feeling sorry for myself.

I remember one painful night very well. I drank a lot because I was trying to numb the pain of feeling alone, overwhelmed, fearful, scared, depressed and like a failure. I was in and out of consciousness and I faintly remember crying and talking to a friend about how this was all too much and I was overwhelmed. I went to bed feeling defeated and begging the Universe for another way.

I can’t remember exactly how the turn around came and I wish I did so I could share it truthfully here. What I do know, is that blessedly it came. I just woke up (literally) the next morning and I felt….lighter. Something was lifted and something was no longer there but I didn’t know what. It didn’t matter though, I felt so good, I got up and did my morning spiritual practice, something I haven’t done in a long time. And then I decided I wanted to live. Not just live day to day but truly live. I wanted to experience this life and expand my experiences as much as possible outside my previous circle of pain. I felt I could do it and I wasted no time getting to work.

I planned a girls trip to Mexico. I wanted to do one of my first loves, which is traveling. I also have a hobby of visiting ancient wonders of the world so Chichen Itza was on my list. In going to Mexico, the visit to the famous ruins wasn’t my high point. The high point of that trip was jumping into a cenote (an underground sinkhole) and swimming in the cool waters.

There were two ways to get into the cenote, either jump into the dark lagoon trusting there is no mythical water dragon there to eat you up or you can take the ladder down. I remember standing there with Julie and we were both contemplating it. It felt important somehow, me taking this jump, like it was representing something more than what it was.

As I stood there, I realized, “Uma this is what you do. You weigh the pros and cons of everything as life is passing you by. No more! trust your intuition and the vibration of the moment and go for it if it feels right.” I stopped thinking and jumped into the cool dark waters. As I sank lower and lower and lower, I let go. It was only a couple of seconds but it felt like a lifetime going down in that water. I kept falling and it felt good. It felt free.

As I rose to the surface of the water, I felt all the heaviness of my problems stay behind in that cenote and I came up lighter, happier and free. I laughed out loud uncontrollably and was crying but no one could tell because I was swimming in a cenote, where there were tons of people, lots of whooping and yelling and my uncontrollable laughter and tears were part of the mayhem. I felt like me again.

Not me prior to my relationship or my business, big things that were part of my identity for such a long time. I remember specifically feeling like I was when I was 12 years old. I felt sassy and happy and content with who I was. I felt fearless and adventurous and always up for a good time. I felt joy.

When we returned from Mexico, I jumped into life. I took a spontaneous trip to Florida to see my babies and hang out with my brother, talking about life on a beach in Fort Lauderdale and just being in the moment. I went to a concert with friends high on life and heard my favorite all time song live. And met some interesting people that taught me some interesting things. I took another spontaneous trip to Florida to be in an advanced mediumship workshop with John Holland and met an incredible group of people and fell in love with the most beautiful Gypsy man I ever met. We became friends but knew we lived this life together before.

In living for myself and with myself, I became increasingly aware of what this life was like and what it was about for all of us. I developed compassion for myself and all beings. I stopped looking through the lens of hate, anger, fear, blame, shame, regret, doubt and all the other distractor implants we have to distract us from just loving and being love. I became love.

Now this love I was experiencing and being, was my version of expression of love. So sometimes I can say this and some people go “huh?” Uma is NOT what I would think of as love and light, and you know what? You are damn right. I am not.

 My expression of love is trust and allowance. My definition of trust is in alignment with the Access Consciousness founder Gary Douglas’s definition which states, “Trust is not about trusting in someone or in self, it is about trusting that person will act exactly how you know them to act given their circumstances and their thought processes.” I became clear in my perception. I became aware.

In trusting that people were going to do certain things based on what they know to do, I relaxed and allowed. I held no judgment and I stayed in my sandbox.

People noticed a change in me over this summer. To some, they couldn’t understand me. Like literally. We would have conversations and they would look at me and say, “I can’t understand what you are saying.” And this is the second part of my love coming in. I allowed. I was doing and saying things outside of the comprehension of many and they couldn’t grasp what I was doing. For some, they were aware enough to know that something else was at play here so they accepted and allowed and some turned to judgment. It was all okay.

Some went further and accused me of ridiculing them and being mean so I got blocked and unfriended on FB. I was accused for being a “fake spiritual teacher” and I got ridiculed for being an emotional being. However none of these things triggered me. I didn’t feel dejected or rejected. The anger did not come nor did the pettiness, because I was just so keenly aware of what was happening and sometimes even on a cellular level. This is how I knew I gained enlightenment. Life was still happening all around me and to me but I did not have a charge, an emotional charge about it. I was in a state of continual perception.

The best part of this enlightenment happened in my workplace. I took this awareness into my work, and I spoke to bodies that were sick and dying and brought them back to functioning. Law of Attraction brought me terminally ill clients, more so than I have seen in years. Last year became the year I stopped being a massage therapist and the majority of my sessions were either on the phone or in person and talking. No touch, just talking BUT people were leaving healed. Lighter, free and more aware. I am grateful for this shift that has profoundly helped me and helped others.

It’s not miracle work, its awareness. When you gain awareness, you know what you need to say to everyone and everything to make it work again. And making it work again, work the way it was intended to work, that was my way of expressing love in this community.

So what was the point of this blog? The moral of the story? Step into the pain. Go into it willingly. Embrace it if you must because eventually, one painful day or night, it will lead to the death of the ego and in doing so, the birth of awareness can happen.

I am not saying I am perfect now. Hardly. I am however more aware of where I still have work to do and what I can work on and what needs to be left alone until another time. When I do make a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally, I am quick to apologize. I am even quicker to listen and slower to defend. I am learning to accept that people will do what they need to do to comfort themselves without regard for others because truly, they have to take care of themselves.

I am also learning when to offer help and when to step back. I recently tried to help someone close to my heart but they responded with such anger and hate towards me, I stepped back immediately and stayed in a place of allowance and love for the person. This particular person and I had a torrid past and they clearly were still hurting from my past actions. It is because of their hurt, I wanted to help, especially because I created the hurt in the first place but they said something that added to my awareness. “I am not ready”. I agreed and stepped back. I love this person for honoring where they are at and not judging themselves for still holding on to the anger. This is the version of super human I intend to be myself. To be ok with all the feelings and accepting of them all.

I see what people are doing, and I am seeing it clearly because I have no judgment into what they are doing. I want to help. Its part of my soul contract why I came here.

So in closing, ask yourself  if you are in the middle of depth and despair. And if you are, be honest and ask yourself, are you running from it? If a yes comes up, how about trying something different? How about leaning into it as Pema Chodron would say, or just letting go and allowing it? Maybe you will experience the great death I did and begin to feel the free-ness of being you and being aware. It is something I wish for everyone. Awareness without Judgment. It’s a beautiful thing.

 Love and Light,

xo Uma

5 Tips to a Mature Breakup

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A few months ago I experienced yet another breakup in my life. You would think I would be safe from this trauma/drama in making it to my 40s, but no life has other plans for me. Including heartache and despair.

The breakup I am referring to is one with a close friend of mine and not a boyfriend. It seems I have a lot more breakups with friends these days and I guess I should be thankful that it is not intimate love related, but still it hurts. It hurts just as bad.

However in this story, there is a silver lining. In fact the silver lining is so shiny, it just damn well blots out the entire dark cloud. Why? Because despite the breakup, my friend and I were able to leave on amicable terms and I thought that was pretty amazing.

I am pretty sure there are many people who face the same situations I face on a daily basis. However no one is talking about it or they are suffering quietly about it. No need! There IS a way to end a friendship/relationship when the time is up and there really doesn’t need to be any struggle.

Here are five simple tips to achieve the breakup of your dreams (seriously) so you can walk away feeling lighter and free:

  1. There is no Right or Wrong, Good or Bad. It just is. 

My friend and I had a good run in our friendship for a couple of years but with the start of 2018, we both knew the change was coming. We weren’t sure what was about to happen but we knew instinctively that things were about to change and we needed to proceed with caution.

As the months progressed, it became evident that the change was about US. We no longer could be in each others’ lives the way we had been. Life was pulling us in different directions. I am a middle aged mom to two young boys, in a committed relationship and working full time in my three businesses. To protect her privacy and identity, I wouldn’t describe her situation but let’s just say, it was different from mine. And the differences were becoming increasingly more obvious as the months wore on. What drew us together in the first place was now vanishing quickly and we were clasping at straws desperate to save our friendship.

When our breakup finally happened, I am relieved to share that neither of us thought bad things of the other. In fact it’s the opposite! We layered praise upon praise to each other in our last breakup communication to the point where it was comical! I laughed a little, imagining someone reading our texts and thinking in a thought bubble, “Are they breaking up or making up? I can’t tell!”.

But it wasn’t for show either. We meant it. We meant every word we said when we said we enjoyed our friendship and our memories would be kept close to our hearts.

When you breakup with someone, more often than not, it is because life pulls you apart not because you stop loving that person. The love is still there but it’s not enough to sustain a relationship. So you end amicably and don’t point fingers. No one has to be the bad guy and for that, I am thankful to her for not making me out to be one.

2) Be Honest and Communicate

When we hit a rough patch we did the worst thing we could do. We holed up in our respective corners and avoided each other like the plague. Great. Of course it didn’t solve anything and it only made the confusion and discomfort worse.

When we finally decided to come out of our shells and talk about it, we felt immediate relief and peace restored! We were both feeling the same way but out of love and respect for each other, we didn’t want to say anything! We didn’t want to hurt each others’ feelings. Aww.

In finally communicating our personal truths, we realized just how much we had drifted from each other and how we could not fulfill each other needs list anymore. It made the breakup much more easier as we realized it wasn’t personal.

Sometimes when we go through things, we can only see it from our vantage point. When you communicate with someone, you can learn how they see it too and most times, its not the way you see it. It’s a valuable learning lesson that has helped soften the blow of a breakup and helped me to see things from someone else’s perspective. A game changer so to say.

3) Be Open and Be Vulnerable 

While communication is key to having a successful breakup, it cannot happen this way if guards are up and barriers surround each person. Space needs to be created for open and honest communication where each person is wiling to be vulnerable to share how they are feeling.

Rough stuff! I decided in the conversation to be the first one to open up and talk about how I was feeling. My vulnerability caused her to let her guard down and speak truthfully about what I did that hurt her for which I apologized. She too apologized for things she did that hurt me and was clear to let me know that she didn’t mean to ever hurt me. It was one of the most profoundly touching moments in my life. Two women, speaking from their heart with care and concern for the other. Powerful.

Hurt people hurt people. When you want to end a relationship with someone, attacking them will not make it an easy process. Instead of pointing fingers to the person and playing the “blame game” try speaking only to your hurts, feelings and emotions. Let them SEE you and what you are going through. Chances are, your vulnerability will cause them to be kind to you and also be honest.

4) State Clearly the Goals and Objectives
Sometimes the end of a relationship feels ominous. No one discusses what the actual outcome will look like or feel like, so then situations come up where you run into them at the local coffee shop and everyone feels awkward and out of place. Reminds me of my first school dance. Awkward.

When we ended, we noted that due to business relations we would still see each other from time to time and we were both ok with that. By acknowledging the social/work/family obligations you have with them, it makes it less awkward when you do see them at these social events.

I also stated my objectives for the breakup because really, what kind of b***h would I be if I just broke up friendships for fun? There were specific reasons for this breakup with the most noticeable one being that I was holding my friend back. She is meant for great things and in her need to help me with my businesses and my dreams, I saw too clearly she was sacrificing her own. She needed to go, even if I had to kick her out, she needed it because she deserved so much better than what I could offer her.

In being that open and honest in communication about my objectives, it brought her alot of relief and happiness. I could FEEL her exhale and feel better within herself. At the end of the day, a breakup is rejection and no one likes to feel rejected. Once she realized that I wasn’t rejecting her or her friendship but actually supporting her in achieving her goals and dreams, she felt so much better. And you know what? That made me immensely happy! Like I said earlier, there is no good guy or bad guy here. We are all just walking each other home, and sometimes we chose not to walk together.

5) Still be their Cheerleader 

After all the heart wrenching talk, it was time to bring the conversation to a close and I could feel the sadness from her as I did from me. I vowed to myself to still be on the sidelines cheering her on because truthfully, there is no ill will here. She is a great person and I was so lucky to have her in my life for the time that I did. I was blessed.

The next day I woke up and sent her a motivational FB meme in a private chat. I wanted her to smile and know that I still believed in her. Even though our lives are taking us in different directions, it doesn’t mean I will stop caring or loving her. I truly will continue to do so, as I know she will for me. It’s just not in the cards for us at this time.

In the end, we never really know what’s to come in our lives. Sometimes people circle back into our lives and sometimes they came for a season and left when it was over. Despite the differences, if you chose to have a mature breakup, then you create a world of love and care, connections and possibilities. Just thinking of those things make me feel joyful, light and peaceful. I think everyone deserves to feel this way, don’t you?

Here’s to happy endings (smile) and joyful beginnings. May we know them, have them and be open to receiving them.

In love and light,

Uma

 

 

Creating Wealth from Secondary Incomes

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If you are like the millions of people roaming this world, you are sometimes unsatisfied with your work-life commitments. Sure, the pay is good (or not) and the benefits are there (or not) but sometimes you can’t help but feel…lacking in some way.

 What if I told you there is a way out of the humdrum and monotony of your current situation? A way to make some extra money each month AND develop a sense of personal fulfillment and soul happiness? There is.

 Many people invest their time and money into developing a second career to help with the weight of their current bills and also provide space for creative expression. Most of us living in the DMV area hold prestigious jobs in the government community, which allow little to no self expression. A second job that expresses your interests can do more than add to your bank account, it can also bring life back to you.

There are many avenues you can go down to creating a secondary income and redefining your work life. For some, the second job becomes a satisfying hobby that brings in a little extra cash each month; for others, it can be the transition they have been waiting for to smoothly exit out of their current positions while maintaining the income stream.

 One of the few growing industries and little known secrets is the career of massage therapy. Here are some interesting and factual statements to consider from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-21017 and the 2015 Massage Profession Research Report from American Massage Therapy Association :

  1. According to the 2015 Massage Profession Research Report from the American Massage Therapy Association, the number of practicing massage therapists grew by approximately 32% over the last decade.

  2. The United States Department of Labor projects that employment opportunities for massage therapists will grow much faster than average from 2014 to 2024.

  3. Approximately 32.6 million Americans received a total of about 140 million massages in 2014

  4. 92% of Americans believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain and 91% believe that massage can be beneficial to health and wellness.

 

If that isn’t enough to raise an eyebrow or have you lean in a little closer, consider these facts as well as published by the American Massage Therapy Association:

  • Research estimates that massage therapy was a $12.1 billion industry in the country in 2015.

  • By comparison in 2005, massage therapy was projected to be a $6 to $11 billion a year industry.

  • It is estimated that there are 300,000 to 350,000 massage therapists and massage school students in the United States.

  • From 2011 to 2015, revenue from alternative health care providers, which includes massage therapists, increased by 14 percent, and employment increased 19 percent. Revenue growth is projected to continue at an average rate of 3.6 percent per year through 2020.

  • Between July 2014 and July 2015, roughly 39.1 million adult Americans (18 percent) had a massage at least once.

I can tell you from personal experience as a licensed Massage Therapist and the owner of Lotus Wellness Center that these statistics and projections are on point. I have watched my business steadily grow in clientele and finances over the years from a meager start in 2008 to the booming business it is now.

 But enough about the money part of this talk. What about the feelings?

Entertain me for a second. Imagine your work day at your current job. You probably had a long commute, stuck in traffic, get to work where there is a lot of noise (staff, customers, work environment), tedious meetings, irritating coworkers and demanding bosses. You deal with this for 6-8 hours a day every day and then jump into traffic and get home so late and tired, there is no room or effort to do something else.

 Let’s switch the script. You own a massage practice from home in this scenario. You wake up when you want to, and come downstairs and workout in your living room or do some yoga and meditation. Make yourself breakfast and take a relaxing shower while listening to your favorite station on Pandora before heading to your home office where you begin your day. You see your first client and as you set the room with aromatherapy, relaxing music and a soothing environment…you think for a split second, “Wow my life is amazing.” At the end of the session, your client is immensely grateful to you for removing the stress of life from their muscles and pays you what you asked for. You say goodbye, book them a follow up appointment and then head out the door to run errands.

 

Even if half of that is not the reality of what your practice could be, even some of it is welcomed at this time. Am I right?

You might think to yourself it is too late to start a second career or I am too old for that. Well according to AMTA you might be right in the vicinity of the norm. What does the average massage therapist have in common with you?

  • Most likely to enter the massage therapy profession as a second career.

  • Predominantly female (86 percent).

  • At a median age of 45 years old. Twenty-one percent were younger than 35 in 2015.

  • Most likely to be sole practitioners.

  • Working an average of 20 hours a week providing massage.

  • Likely to provide massage therapy in a number of settings, including clients space, their own office, a health care setting, health club/athletic facility, or massage therapy only franchise or chain.

Yes starting a second career can be a daunting idea and something as serious and professional as massage therapy might be terrifying but the old adage applies here: What you put into it, you get out of it. If you learn a new hobby that takes one hour to learn and try to create that as your second career, you can get but so far. If you invest in your future by taking the necessary courses and action now, you can expect to reap the benefits later.

 By statistics and my own personal account, massage therapy is not going away, in fact it is becoming a popular trend that continues to grow and flourish with each coming year. Consider these statements:

  • Fifty-two percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2014 and July 2015 received it for medical or health reasons such as pain management, soreness/stiffness/spasms, injury rehabilitation, or overall wellness.

  • Ninety-one percent agree that massage can be effective in reducing pain.

  • In July 2015, more than fifty-one million American adults (16 percent) had discussed massage therapy with their doctors or health care providers in the previous year.

  • Of those who discussed massage with their doctor or health care provider, 69 percent of their doctors or health care providers referred them to a therapist/strongly recommended massage therapy/encouraged them to get a massage.

  • While physicians led the way in recommending massage (54 percent vs. 59 percent in 2014), chiropractors (46 percent vs. 49 percent in 2014) and physical therapists (37 percent vs. 43 percent in 2014) also recommended massage therapy when their patients discussed it with them.

  • Nearly two-thirds of adult Americans (65 percent) would like to see their insurance cover massage therapy.

  • Cancer-related fatigue

  • Low back pain

  • Boosting the body’s immune system functioning

  • Lowering blood pressure

  • Reducing headache frequency

  • Decreasing pain in cancer patients

  • Fibromyalgia

Can you imagine providing a service and getting paid to help people with pain relief and stress management? How awesome would that feel to do something worthy and contribute to society in a meaningful way?

At this time you are probably considering a second career in massage therapy, I mean why not? After the school and taking the exam, you can look forward to forming a lucrative business that:

1) Helps people

2) Adds to your income

3) Adheres to your schedule

4) You own and become a boss at!

 So what does it entail to become a massage therapist? In the State of Virginia, you are required to pass a background check, complete a 500 hour massage therapy program and pass the MBLEX exam. There are a variety of schools offering different variations of this requirement and you can choose one based off of your schedule and budget.

In Manassas, Lotus Signature Massage School opened their doors in 2017 to accept students for their first ever massage therapy certification program and have been going strong ever since.

A student can enroll any month (there is a new class starting June!) and the school year runs for 12 months with a total of 525 hours. The cost is the best part…..you can create a new career and get to your secondary income at the amazing cost of $7,500…a welcome break for new students as other schools in the area offer programs of 600+ hours and cost over $10,000.

Worried about fitting in a class schedule around your work schedule? LSMS has you covered. Classes run only twice a month on two weekends from Friday-Sunday. Imagine that? Developing a second career and making the transition to a soul satisfying career without a break in life.

If you are considering starting a second career in Massage Therapy, I recommend Lotus Signature Massage School for a variety of reasons:

1) The cost.

Because this is a new school forming, the significant drop in tuition fees (savings $5,000) is a welcome bonus to anyone who wants to transition from their former career without breaking the bank. Obviously fees will go up in following years but for the lucky few coming in this year, it’s a deal that cannot be replicated.

 2) Small classes.

Lotus Signature Massage School keeps their classes small with a maximum of 12 students at any given time. Small classes mean individualized and personal attention that is lacking in larger classes.

3) The Faculty.

Both faculty members have been in the massage field over ten years and both own their own businesses. They have each worked in a variety of settings and bring academic and real world knowledge to the program. Students will understand and learn about massage therapy in a professional and realistic way.

4) Location.

With several school closings in the area, this school is the nearest and most convenient location for anyone in the Manassas/Prince William county area. Other schools are located close to DC or Richmond and can be a pain to get to during the week and on weekends.

 Whether you are moved to begin a career in massage therapy or not, one message is clear that you really do need to consider. For most people, having one source of income is not enough both financially and spiritually. Multiple streams of income allow you to diversify your financial basket and also create opportunities for soul growth and creative expression. So if you are not happy where you are right now, start thinking and writing down ideas that make your soul happy. Massage therapy was mine, what’s yours?

 Love and Light,

xo Uma