When I talk to men and women working (or considering working) in the Sacred Arts field there is one fear that I almost always hear about early on…damaging or losing one’s reputation. It takes a lot of cojones y ovarios to come out and advertise yourself as a tarot reader, Reiki healer, energy worker, crystal reader, or spell caster.
For so many people this is a huge pain point-not to mention a huge block in building a business based around services and offerings that they feel called and inspired to provide. The conundrum is easy to understand: how do I do the work I feel called to do and talk about myself when it involves me telling people that I’m into this or I’m practicing that?
- My mother will disown me.
- My father will be embarrassed.
- My friends will wonder what the hell happened-they thought I was NORMAL.
Oh boy have I been there.
When the doors were opening and the universe was rushing me down a particularly strange and overgrown path I realized that at some point I had traded in my ideal work costume of a three piece suit and good heels for a velvet shawl, crystal ball and glitter-lots of glitter. I was not at all sure how I felt about this change in direction-but I was sure that I was doing work that was actually making a positive difference in people’s lives and allowed me to be of service-and afterall, wasn’t that what I had always wanted?
Longtime readers might expect me to simply say that when it comes to reputation you have to get over it and proceed full steam ahead-but I actually think that this area is so heavy that that kind of advice actually falls flat. Instead I present you with three insights to help you gain clarity on and around your fears followed by three questions designed to assist you in determining if now is the right time to come out of the broom closet:
When fears around your reputation loom large and you see the words WOO WOO tattooed across your forehead (in blue woad of course) remember these salient points:
1.) Its not a stupid thing to be worried about. Because you know, for a long, long time those of us working in the Sacred Arts were considered con men (and women) at best and were burned at the stake as witches at worst. We have a lineage and some heavy stuff has gone down in that lineage.
2.) You are NOT your reputation. Reputation is something that other people assume about you-its built on what other people say about you-at the end of the day babe you cannot make everyone like you and you certainly cannot control what other people think about you. This works both ways-people can LOVE you and you can have a great reputation-but if your work is lacking your work is still lacking.
3.) Your work matters; what you call yourself doesn’t (much). Yeah, its important to be able to describe what you do for people in a way that is coherent and makes sense. However, what really matters is the actual work you are doing and not what you call yourself. If calling yourself a tarot reader feels to charged for whatever reason try on something else that can fit more nicely-like “intuitive counselor” or “spiritual reader”. (See question #3 below for more on this…)
Not sure even after mulling over those little jewels if its the right time to come out of the (broom, tarot, energy healing, crystal, magical) closet? Ask yourself these three questions:
1.) Am I ready to be seen? (Compliments of my compadre Fabeku Fatunmise) This is a pretty self-explanatory question but if say, you still work a rather buttoned up corporate job and you do your angel readings on the side you may not want to change your facebook profile to “angel reader” just yet…ask yourself seriously, are you ready to be seen? Is it time?
2.) Do I have a supportive community in place? So your mom may not know you love divination-but what about your BFF, your tarot teacher, or your fellow seekers? Do they know? You most likely have a handful of people around you that are already supporting you-call on them in times of doubt. If you do not have anyone who knows about your work then I advise that you start small-tell a few people you really trust who will get it and then build from there. Baby steps y’all.
3.) Am I using the right words? For Shakespeare a rose by any other name was still a rose-but he was SHAKESPEARE. You are not. Me either. Sometimes fear around reputation has much more to do with what we are calling ourselves rather than what we are putting out there. If the words are not matching the work then play with them until they do (or hire a kick ass copywriter) so that you describe yourself in a way that makes you feel proud+potent.
And…remember what Mr. Lincoln had to say about reputation:
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
At the end of the day its about you, the REAL you. That’s what people want to see anyway-so let your light shine! The ones who love you, who are really there for you, are ALREADY cheering you on.