Stepping away from Burn Out...
I work full time as a Tarot reader and shaman, and my working hours can be long. Clients often ask if I find my work draining or exhausting, in principle I love my work, and don’t find it draining. But in recent months I got the balance between work and self care wrong, I stepped into “burnout” and I am now determined to create a better balance in my life.
I believe great change often comes from paying attention to small details, and creating sustainable habits.
I have learnt, as my working hours have increased, the importance of starting and finishing each appointment with a few moments of self care. These vary slightly depending on if I am working as a Tarot reader or shaman. As many of my clients will have a blended tarot/shaman session it means I often get self care at the start of the appointment, and at the start of the healing too!
Before a client arrives I will usually do a small spread for me. Often just three cards “what do I need to know right now” possibly “what should my focus be today”. If something is bugging me, annoying me, if I have a problem going round in my head then I will pull a couple of cards to reflect the problem, just to shine a light on it. I will often scribble a couple of key words down, perhaps a doodle (often a bind-rune) to reflect the days energy.
I take a moment to breath, and be grateful for these few moments of meeting my needs. It allows me to be fully present for my client if I have paused to meet my needs first. This may be of particular importance at this stage of my life as I am also a single Mum to four kids, so taking the time to meet my needs can be pushed to the bottom of the list. I have noticed if I don’t meet my needs then my client work becomes exhausting and I can start to feel resentful. Those few moments at the start of a session become something I look forward to in the day.
Before a shaman healing I always tend to my soul needs first. As a shaman I enter an altered state of consciousness (using chant, drum or gong) and I connect with my client’s world tree to do whatever healing is needed. But when I first enter the shamanic state I walk to my tree and do whatever I need. I might just look at my tree, I might do some energy work, I might light a candle or remove some psychic daggers. It takes only a few minutes, before I move towards my clients tree, but those few moments are so valuable. They centre me, allow me to acknowledge any issues or vulnerabilities I might have. It helps me to see my client more clearly if I have seen myself first.
At the end of all appointments, I take a few moments to just reflect on the experience. To just sit and be grateful for the experience, and to have a space for energetic closure. Often I just take a moment to focus on my breath and to be fully present.
I have not always got the balance right between meeting my needs, and meeting the needs of my clients. If I’m honest it is still something that I am adjusting to get the balance right. But ensuring that a few moments at the start and end of each appointment are spent focused on me is helping me to build better selfcare habits.
I am also applying this “micro” principle to the “macro”. Looking at my day and trying to start and finish each working day with small acts of self care- a walk, a cup of tea, 20 minutes reading a good book.
It’s a slow journey re-working old habits that led to burn out. But one step at a time I am getting the balance back.
I started my business by trying to do one thing each day to promote my business, I finished the manuscript for my Tarot book by writing each morning with my coffee.
I know small habits can create big changes.
Now my focus is on selfcare and building a healthy work/life balance.