You’ve just spent an hour giving a first-time Feldenkrais® client everything you’ve got, to show how much they can get from working with you. The man sits up in that cloud of awareness we’re all so used to seeing, and begins telling you how different everything is now. As you listen, your mind’s eye reveals the transformation he will experience as you work together.
Then you begin to discuss the logistics of working together. You quote your fee. He says some variant of “I can’t afford it.” With a sinking feeling, you offer a lower fee.
Or how about this? It’s 15 minutes into your half-hour lunch break, and you can’t get your client to leave. You’ve hinted, you’ve walked her to the door, you’ve practically put her in the car and fastened her seat belt, and still she isn’t leaving.
These two examples come out of my own experience. I’m sure you could add to the list with stories of late arrival, no-shows, no-checks-left, calls made at inappropriate times, or requests for something inappropriate.
In every case, how we react tells our clients something about how we value ourselves. And how we value ourselves is essential to their own understanding of who they can expect us to be in a long-term commitment to working together.
Our clients need to see that we value ourselves, because it shows them that we love ourselves, and that helps them love themselves. It helps them do their part in the working relationship we have with them. When we are clear about our value and stand firmly in it, our clients understand more about why they are making their own commitment. When we’re not clear in ourselves, it’s harder for them to see why they should do what it takes to make that commitment — they need to love themselves enough to do it.
Begin to see yourself consistently standing in your own value. Not only is it good for you to feel your own love for yourself — it’s the best way to make sure that your Feldenkrais® clients get as much as they can from their work with you!
“We are not educated to respect ourselves, to love ourselves…If you don’t know how to love yourself, you can’t love your neighbor. In order to give some love to the neighbors, you must do something about loving yourself a little bit more.” — Moshe Feldenkrais, in The 1981 New York Quest Workshop
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