It’s an exhausting dance. I strive for peace and balance in my life. Sometimes, I miss a step and stumble. That too, is part of the dance.
I love my work. As a massage therapist and an artist. It’s what keeps me going. Sometimes, I get glowing compliments, lavish tips or just feel such a magical flow of energy that it’s hard not to feel a swelling of pride. The ego is hungry and wants more. That’s when my inner Yoda voice chimes in with a comment, or two. “Through you, not from you.” “This is a gift. Don’t dirty it.”
I had a new client a while back. She was referred to me from a friend. I exceeded her expectations. I always try to give the best treatment that I am able. My clients deserve that. Well, she was gushing about my work and of course, my ego was reveling in the shower of praise. I tried to be humble and thanked the woman. I was glad she enjoyed her treatment and let her know that the studio had other, very good therapists if ever she needed work and I wasn’t available. That’s true. I wanted her to know she would be taken care of. After she left, the front desk person berated me for not drinking deeply of this woman’s praise. “Patricia, she loves you and is all about you.” I understand that, but didn’t want my ego to get too big. “What’s wrong with that?” She asked.
I’ve been contemplating that for a while. I have worked with people of different vocations and skills. I’ve seen talented people slack off because they believe they are so good at what they do that they don’t need to put forth any extra effort. I was raised to have an exceptional work ethic. I feel I can always do better. Now, am I truly humble or just a poser who hides behind the humblebrag?
I don’t do selfies and feel uncomfortable with self promotion. I like to do my work, like a ninja. It always feels like a tightrope walk.
I have been in circles of “healers”. People who claim to want the greater good. To be of service to people. That is a glorious goal. I share it. But, what always happens is that I begin to see behind the mask of altruism. To the selfish, greedy, ego driven desires. I have my own and try to flash a light on them. They aren’t pretty. What is my motivation here? I ask myself. Is it bad to love the feeling I get when I help people? To enjoy the overflow of energy when I work on a receptive body? To take delight in the glow of relief on a face that has been suffering chronic pain? I try to live a very minimalist life. Someone even told me I live like a monk. Maybe by his standards. But I admit. I LOVE the generous tips I get. I love being able to share the wealth and being able to donate to my favorite causes. I’m one of them.
So, how do I promote myself without being a narcissistic, butt plug? I’m always cheering on other people. Why not myself? Where is the happy medium?