Nature's Elements Studio of Massage Therapy turns 3 months old September 1. As I look back on those 3 months, I can't believe all that has taken place. Some days it feels like just yesterday I was working for someone else. Other days, I feel like I have been here much longer. Maybe I have- at least in my spirit.
Thinking back to the days before Nature's Elements began to take root in me, I can remember being SO tired. All the time. That's not to say that I didn't love seeing each and every client I saw every day. That is what I love about my chosen profession. But as time went on, I could feel myself burning out. I was working 6 (sometimes even 7) days a week. I worked from 8 am until 6 pm or later. I never was able financially to take any time off. I had no time to care for me. This is the nature of the independent contractor beast. It's an ok set up until one reaches a certain point of success, then the advantage goes to the business owner. I probably reached that point several years ago, but fear stood in my way.
Then, something happened to set me free- or to allow me to set my self free. The business I was contracting with sold. I had no ties to the new owners, no sense of obligation. I had been asking for a sign of how to get back to "me". I think this was it. I knew in my heart that now was the time to make a change or "die".
And so, I began the process of starting Nature's Elements. As I mentioned my ideas to some of my clients and friends, I received nothing but support and encouragement. I got a lot of "it's about time", "what took you so long", "I'm so happy and excited for you", "I can't wait!" and "what can I do to help?". It seemed I had an army of support behind me!
I thought it would take at least 6 months to a year (this was March) to get to a point where I was ready. But once I opened the door, Nature's Elements took on its own life. I quickly found a space (which I am told can be difficult to do). I knew I wanted to be centrally located, but not in a lot of hustle and bustle. I wanted the space to feel peaceful and "tucked away". I wanted it to look classy, clean and up-to-date. And, of course, the right price. The first place I looked at seemed to have all of these qualities. Too good to be true? It must be...but it wasn't. So, by April I had a location! I figured I could make the transition by June 1 and that would give me a few months to get my feet under me before Christmas. I began working on my business cards and brochures.
I had so many people willing to pitch in and help with everything from pre-paying massages for cash flow to donating decor accessories to putting together furniture. We ALL built Nature's Elements. And I am so very proud of how far we have come in such a short time.
It looked as if I would be on my own for a while, even though I had 2 rooms I could rent out. Each person that expressed interest faded away. But that was ok, because I wanted my people to be the "right ones"- Therapists who shared my vision of massage and holistic care. No drama queens allowed! To my surprise and delight, the two rooms filled within 2 months-actually on the same day and within 15 minutes of each other! I love out little band of therapists. Each of us so different from the others, yet very complimentary.
So, here we are, 3 months later. The reception is filled with comfy furniture, a pretty wall mural and a couple of plants(courtesy of a couple of clients). The treatment rooms are furnished and ready for clients, we have 3 very competent, caring therapists. And the entire space is filled with a peace that I have never experienced in my working life. We have a pretty good website, a fairly active Facebook page, online booking, online gift certificates, online payment. We are using some of the highest quality products on the market. I stand in awe of what has taken place in these 3 short months.
I have such a grateful spirit as I write this. I am so grateful for each and every one of YOU- you made this happen. Your loyalty to me and continued support is immeasurable. I am grateful to God and the Universe for the gifts I have been given as a therapist and for the passion I have for the work. I get up excited EVERY SINGLE DAY, ready to experience what the day will bring. I am grateful for Clayton Kelley, one of the therapists working with me. Who knew the day you showed up in my classroom what we were headed for? You have been such a support and I am happy to call you friend. I am grateful for McLees Baldwin, the other therapist with me. I had no idea the first time you were on my table we would one day work together, but I am glad you decided this is where you want to be. I am grateful for my best friend, Taylor. She has been there through the good and the bad. She is the creative spirit behind much of what Nature's Elements is all about. Not to mention, she does all my laundry--priceless! And to those special benefactors who wish to remain anonymous, I am eternally grateful!
If you haven't been by to see us, come on by sometime! Our door is open even if we are in sessions. We have water and a nice quiet atmosphere to just "take a break". No need to get a massage, we would just love to see you! Of course, if you'd like to schedule, we can accommodate you. And if you have been here, then come on back! We love sharing our space with you.
I am so excited for what the future will bring to us at Nature's Elements. I have lots of ideas and not a lot of time to implement them. I am making plans, though for October 20-26. Stay tuned for details as they become available!