Another post about work. You can skip it.

I can’t write.  I brought my laptop to work and now I’m sitting here listening to my hispanic worker talking about her crazy shenanigans with her boyfriend.

“Why would he be driving off in MY car with a man who has money on his head?  He know’s people want him dead.  He know’s there’s a hit man after him and he’s driving around in MY car with my kids carseats thrown in the back and some girl in the front seat.”

Me – “That’s shit.”

“She don’t need to be driving around in the front seat with him.  Why was she in the front seat?  I jumped on that car like a spider monkey and sucker punched him in the face through the window.”

She showed me some bruises on her arm.

Me – “Then what happened?”

“He drove off speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in MY car.”

Me – “Did you report the car stolen?”

“Yeah I went to the police but they said it has to be missing for 24 hours before I can do anything.  It’s because I let him borrow it for work so I had to wait to report it stolen.”

I know it’s bad to stereotype, I know, but she’s just like someone you’d see in a movie.  Super cute with her big hoop earrings, her hair always done up in different styles and that spunky Latina accent.  She looks like a young Janet Jackson but sounds like Rosy Perez.  Last week she told me about a high-speed police chase she and her boyfriend were in.

Okay, I’m home now.  Laying in bed watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I was on top of the world yesterday.  I was up to 96 members, a good hefty sum of money in my bank account even after having spent thousands of frivolous dollars this month, and my new employee who’s taking over most of my shifts starts this week – yes on top of the world.  That is until I glanced at my bank account two hours ago to see that the IRS had taken out $1,200.

Shit…..

Shit!

Shit….

The thing is, I don’t want to work anymore.  That’s my ultimate goal.  And with the start of my fifth employee, I’ll now be working Wednesday evenings, every other Saturday from 11-3, and I’m still working freaking doubles every Sunday – but that’s it.  That’s my work load until I reach 115 members and my new employee can assume the rest of my shifts.  I’ll be “by request only.”  All my favorite clients already have my cell phone number to text me for appointments.

I have to rely heavily on my employee’s to rake in dough while I’m not there.

I know that 96 members sounds like a lot, but once you factor everything in, 96 members will only cover the cost of my workers and little else.  I sell 40 Groupons a month which pays for most of the rent, but all other bills and stupid taxes are not yet covered.  As long as I make at least $80 a day, I’m good – but now that I’m hardly working anymore, it’s going to be a constant struggle in hoping that my little stinkers hit $80 a day.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be worried, every day I sell more and more memberships, but I’m planning a month long trip to Thailand in December.  It all comes down to another crunch.  I’ll need at least 135 members by December to pull off Thailand.

And that’s the most of my worries.  Well, there’s that and I sliced open my finger last night while putting together a cabinet I bought from Ikea.  I spent $300 without batting an eye on a new cabinet to store all my shit in.

I’m a fanatic when it comes to feng shui and my money corner is way too cluttered with junk.

$300 on a new cabinet, $500 for a plane ticket to Minnesota, $300 to advertise in the Bargain Book, $300 for peel ads in the Record Journal, $200 for regular ads in the Record Journal….I spent $1600 this month plus the $1200 in taxes – that’s $2800 I spent towards things that aren’t accounted for – meaning, they aren’t part of my regular monthly spending.  That’s a lot!

And that’s another big reason why I don’t want to work anymore.  I mainly massage member clients now – that’s $50 an hour plus a tip between $10 – $20.  Making $70 an hour doesn’t seem like a whole lotta shabam anymore.  I massaged 3 members today and a woman with a birthday coupon – that’s over $200 for 4.5 hours of hands-on work which sounds like a lot, but it’s not.  Not compared to how much I actually need to make.  But then add on the members that my employee’s massaged today and that tacks on another $150.  Now we’re talking.

It’s like if a person cuts the grass and trims the hedges of their own million dollar mansion just to save a few bucks.  It wouldn’t be worth the effort unless they actually took pride and enjoyed it.

And that’s the thing isn’t it?  I don’t enjoy it.  I NEVER enjoyed it.  And I find it hard to believe that people actually DO enjoy it.  Are they kidding themselves?  I mean really….

As you can see, I’m becoming greedy.  Greedy out of fear.  Fear that I may have to keep working just like my father.  Keep working with nothing but Ikea cabinets to show for it.

Perhaps greed doesn’t stem from over-indulgence or power.  Maybe it’s just fear of losing everything.  Maybe the fear of having nothing causes greed.  Well, that’s in my case at least.

I salivate at new member sign-ups.  With each sign-up, I chip away at that $80 quota I have to make every day.  Once that $80 hits zero, would I still yearn for more?  Or would I indulge in a life of travel and leisure?  To not give a shit about anything anymore?  Would my greed sickness be remedied with 40 more sign-ups?

And now it’s 1 A.M.  I have to be up early tomorrow for a regular client.  But then I can come home and nap after.

I think I’m mistaking worry for greed.  I’m worried, but I really shouldn’t be.  I’m worried I won’t be able to go to Thailand – what kind of ridiculousness is that?

I can’t believe how high on life I was yesterday and tonight is just the opposite.  I am so freaking lucky compared to others.  This blog entry is shit, I’m a shit.  I still have to write about my trip to Ecuador.

I’m genuinely curious to see my behavior after I sell 40 more memberships.  Will greed corrupt me or would I finally exhale?  Stay tuned!

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Another reason why the flashlight was a bad idea

To elaborate a little more from my last post.  Carrying a flashlight in lieu of turning the outside lights on whilst hunting zombies in the backyard, is not a smart idea.  First off, If you’re trying to be sneaky by hiding “under the radar” it won’t work.  You’re holding a flashlight!  It has tunnel vision and you can only see things that are directly in front you.

The zombie can see you, but you can’t see him.  Right away he has the jump on you.  However, if you light up the entire backyard with spotlights, you’re more likely to see something that shouldn’t be there than the zombie has of spotting you first.

I just don’t understand my brothers logic for choosing a flashlight for hunting zombies in our backyard while he was stoned last night.  I mean seriously, a flashlight?  Come on bro.

I need to have a talk with him about this.  It’ll gnaw on me.

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Oh Brother….


Man-with-Shotgun

 

My brother (not pictured above) and his girlfriend watched a bunch of zombie movies yesterday and come around midnight, when they were outside having a smoke, they hear something “suspicious” in the backyard.

Next thing I see is my brother grabbing his shotgun and flashlight.

Me – “What are you doing?”

Bro – “There’s something outside.”

Me – “There’s nothing outside.  You’re just scared from those horror movies you watched all day.”

Bro – “Me and Michelle both heard it.  And we seen a shadow move.”

He snuck out the back door and circled the house with his flashlight and shotgun.  I don’t know why he didn’t just turn the outside lights on to see.  If he didn’t turn them on for fear of scaring off the intruder before he got the chance to capture them, than that defeats the purpose of the flashlight, yes?

My Aunt laughs a little and spies on him from the window.

Aunt – “What’s he doing?”

Me –  “Being stoned.  He’s probably a little high, that’s all.”

I’m almost positive he was high and freaked out.  Not a good combination while holding a shotgun outside a home that contains everyone he loves (minus my niece).  In a completely safe town, with friendly neighbors, and the police station and firehouse two minutes away.  He was guarding our house with a SHOTGUN at midnight quaking in his boots from horror movies eked out on drug induced paranoia.  

I found this to be hilarious.  They’re doing it again, watching The Walking Dead in the next room.  I’m watching Once Upon a Time.

I had to upgrade my Netflix account so that 3 people can watch movies at the same time on different devices.  My brother, my niece, and me – all one big happy family watching Netflix not together.

I unpacked my bag from Ecuador yesterday (a month after returning home).  Work has slowed down a bit and I gave my employee’s more hours.  We’re up to 92 members and I was able to relax yesterday and today while my employee’s worked for me.

A steady stream of blog posts are ebbing closer and closer.  It’s only a matter of months now.  A few more months until I’ll never have to work again.

Shit, can you imagine?  My dreams can actually happen!

I don’t like massaging people.  I like massaging friends, sure, but not as a job.  I don’t like massaging strangers.  But I LOVE the business side of things.  I love managing and seeing things grow.  Nothing excites me as much as filling out my accounting chart and watching my therapists getting booked with repeat clients.

I was meant to be a business owner, not a massage therapist.  And oh the plans I have…..

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A quick post while getting ready

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to do what you love to do.  But my question is; how do you know the difference between addiction and passion?

Think about it.

I had an epiphany last night after coming home from massaging people’s backsides for 8 hours.  Everything that I am, all that I know, all that I do, is built upon the structure of pure addiction.  I am addiction incarnate.  My persona is held together by an inferior sugar-laced, heroin injected lattice framework meant to dissolve in tears when I don’t get my fix.

Addiction keeps you away from people.  It makes you selfish.  When you’re not in a high, you dissolve.  When you lose that thing that defines you, you fall apart.

When I was under ayahuasca, she said to me that addiction is a way to fill the void where your faith should be.  It keeps fear at bay.  And ALL fear, no matter how big or small, are subsidiary branches growing from our one mega fear of death.

Like the tree of life has its branches that lead down to mushrooms.  We are related to fungus, just like having addictions are related to the fear of death.

Our ego’s can only be controlled and fastened when something outside ourselves defines us.  And where there is nothing to define us, we fill the void ourselves whether it be through art, writing, drugs, alcohol, fooling ourselves into thinking we’re somebody we’re not by hanging around with people who like only our facade image.

We run from the loneliness, run from not feeling connected to others.  We fill the void by avoiding fear altogether.

Addictions holds us away from people.  The same people who make you feel unconnected to them.  Unconnected from the world, society; having unique problems that nobody gets or understands.  We are alone in our heads.  I’m the only person occupying the inside of my head.

Writing to me, is as much of an addiction as it is a passion.  Completely derived out of fear, not curiosity.  How true is this?  I want nothing more than to hole myself up in a strange exotic land, not talk to anyone, not know anyone, and write.  Just lose myself.  Detach from my head.  If I make something real, than I become real.  I become defined and palpable.

As real as my beating heart, only this time, knowing why it beats.  Or you can have the unhealthy kind of addiction.  The kind that makes you not care anymore.

Why me?  Why here?  Why now?  These are questions that lead us to addiction.  They are questions that can’t be answered until we pull the wool above our eyes and make the connections.  Until we stop finding answers at the bottom of a pint glass.

Today is my day off and I just wrote all that crap between blowdrying and straightening my hair.

I’m wearing a dress!  I bought this dress last year for a wedding that I never attended.  I’ve been in uniform most days between then and now.  My legs are hairy.  Damn….

So anyway, I’m a writer.  That’s what I love to do.  But another thing I’m just learning about myself is that I love making money.  Maybe as much as I love writing.  Money brings freedom, so maybe I’m addicted to freedom?  One major reason why I love being single.

But it’s troubling to me.  It’s troubling to learn this about myself.  To actually contemplate the question; would I choose money over writing?  If I could choose only one?  I’m leaning towards money.  Maybe because I don’t have any yet.  I don’t have any money yet, but a superfluous over-flow of words that need to be written are well at hand.

I better go.  I have sheets that need washing.

 

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The World’s Greatest Nerd

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m the world’s biggest nerd.

I’m sitting at home excessively watching Cosmo’s with Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It’s already 1 am.

And I just wrote him an email telling him he should try ayahuasca.

“If a guy like you can connect with the spirit realm, having all your questions answered, it will literally change the world!”

“You can go on Ted Talks after your experience with ayahuasca and you’ll no doubt change the world!”

I don’t know how I should feel about myself right now.

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An update on my business. You can skip this post.

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed b...

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed by Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is arguably Tolkien’s best known elf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh God blog…..

I can’t seem to catch up to anything.  My thoughts, my debt, my job, my life.

I got back from Ecuador, hmmm, when did I get back?  Three days ago?  Four?  My suitcase is still laying where I left it before slipping into bed after a long two weeks.  An awesome two weeks.

I have no time to unpack just like I have no time to write.  I’m laying in filth which I call my bedroom.  

Destroyed since my brother decided to go on a cleaning spree while I was away and threw a bunch of my old stuff in my room in order to “clean” his area of the house.  A guitar, old mail, storage containers, a life-size cardboard cut-out of Legolas from Lord of the Rings (don’t ask).

I gave one of my employee’s more hours.  Two extra shifts hoping that will free up some space.  So I don’t have to work so much.  But it seems like no matter how many hours I give my employee’s, I’m still fully booked from 11-8 six days a week.  Mornings and nights, before and after work, I find myself working still.

I need one more employee.  Just one more.  To take this burden away.  But I haven’t done the math yet.  I have yet to do the math to figure out if or when I can hire another.  All the numbers are there from last month – how much I made, how much I paid, my projected income for the months ahead – it’s all there.

But instead of pouring over the numbers, I’m writing this blurb.  A blurb that tells you absolutely nothing about anything of real importance.

It’s like having a lump of upset in your throat, only it’s in the pit of my stomach.  A tightening, a sort of wrenching feeling of constipation, only I’m not constipated (I ate so much freaking papaya).  My heart is beating so fast.

Oh God blog….

I’ve sold 74 memberships so far.  I need to do last months numbers to figure out how many more I need to sell in order for me to start breaking even every month.  But it’s a catch-22.  From every angle, it’s a catch-22.

If I continue having all these clients, giving shitty massages because I’m so damn worn out, I’ll never sell more than 74 – who would want to get a monthly shitty massage from me?  Not to mention I can’t get myself out there to market my business whilst I’m busy giving shitty massages all day.

Solution?  Hire another therapist.  Catch-22?  I can’t hire another therapist until I can make sure I can afford them.  I can make sure I can afford them by selling more memberships.

And the members that I DO have, I’ve promised them easy bookings.  They can get in whenever they want whether it be short notice or not.

I’m not keeping this promise.  All of us are completely booked solid for the next seven days.  There are five of us!  What members are going to want to stay if they can’t get in?

We have 550 online deals still circulating out there.  Once they get redeemed, we’ll have more space.

There’s always some kind of crunch to go through, you know what I mean?  Two months ago I was going through the online deal crunch – groupon debt.  This month I’m going through an entirely different crunch.  74 monthly members need to be able to conveniently schedule with us at the same time we’re redeeming all those stupid online deals.  Member clients make up 90% of our income (I’m not making anymore from the online deals), so they are priority, however, I need those online deal clients to sell more memberships (not to mention to keep my employee’s booked).  Catch-22.

And I’m drowning in skin, lotion, limp bodies, back and neck pain, sore legs, empty stomach, no sleep, stress.

Crunch…..

I need to do those numbers.  I need another therapist.  I haven’t been eating away into my personal line of credit yet, in fact, I paid half of it off leaving me with a remaining $4,500 of debt.  The only thing that could bring me into borrowing money again is a new hire – it’s the only thing that can tilt the scale.

But if I allow myself to borrow again, will I eventually be able to pay it off once we sell more memberships?  How long will it take to sell enough memberships until I can stop borrowing?

Oh.  My.  God.  Blog.

Growth seems to happen on a gamble.  Although, I don’t like to think of it as a gamble, but an investment.  We plant crops on a gamble hoping they’ll grow.  If we don’t plant, there will be no growth and where there is no growth, we find ourselves scrambling to the nearest wild berry brush, gnawing on cattails and grubs.  Always starving.

Do I start planting or start preparing for a hard winter?  Catch-22…..

Ayahuasca told me she will give to me as long as I give to her.  The more I drink, purge, let go, surrender, don’t slink away into control and darkness – she will show me everything that I’m ready to understand.  If only I give to her everything I have.  My heart, my curiosity, my strength.  I’ll get it all back.

How much faith do I have?

I go through this every time I hire someone new.  A period of torment.  And after each new hire I always exhale and say to myself “now I can relax.  Now I won’t need to work so much.”  And each time I’m wrong.

Shit I need to sleep.  Sorry for these types of posts.  They are mainly for myself so I can record my progress.

I’ll write about my trip to Ecuador after I crunch those numbers.  My next post I’ll tell you exactly how much I make and what I pay each month.  As of now I don’t know if I’m plus or minus.  Literally no idea.

Monday.  I’ll figure it all out on Monday.

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Insert foot here

20140731-012524.jpg

This innocent text was accidentally sent to a client.

And that client called me.  She called me wanting to know who I was because obviously this text wasn’t meant for her.

But she knew who I was.  She had to.  My cell phone number was blasted to over 1,000 client emails trying to get them to buy into my massage membership.  “Here’s my cell number, you can trust me,” was what I was going for.

I answered in a panic before my voicemail picked up to confirm that I am in fact, Melanie the massage therapist.

Client – “Is this Melanie the massage therapist?”

Me – “No, not me.  I think I texted you by accident a few days ago.  Total accident.”

It sounded like she was smiling on her end.  In her indian accent she says, “Okay no problem.”

I hung up with her and exhaled, “I’m going to jail.”

And I don’t even do drugs!  My employee wanted to try mushrooms, so I was trying to hook her up.  Great boss I am, right?  She thinks that text was hilarious.

A few days ago I received a terrible email from an irate client.  She was not happy with her massage, so I took it upon my shoulders to forward that email to all my employee’s telling them to be a little more careful next time.  I came to find out, her massage therapist was ME!

Here’s my email to my employee’s….Oh damn WordPress won’t let me copy and paste it.  WTF?  Well, I’m not figuring it out now.

It’s 1:45 AM.  I can’t sleep.  Why can’t I sleep?  Because I’m going to Ecuador and my plane takes off in approximately 6 hours.  I have to be at the airport 3 hours before my plane leaves because it’s an international flight, so I basically screwed myself.  I couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard I tried which will make for a horrible plane ride.

I’m leaving my business in the hands of four therapists all of whom I don’t know very well.

Holy shit I’m tired.

It’s not just physical tiredness, but stressed-out tiredness on top of everything.  But this is something I must do.  My heart is calling for it, not my head.  My head is pissed at me.

“Idiot!”

“Shut up rational brain!”

I decided four weeks ago that I wasn’t going to Ecuador.  The business is still too new and fragile, I can’t trust my therapists not to mess everything up – I don’t have the money.

But then my key arrived (I wrote about that in my last post), and the key sold 69 memberships.  69 memberships!

I don’t want to jump the gun and say I’m a certified genius business owner with a head for success, but come on now, 69 memberships!

I’ve been working non-stop since February.  When Esmeralda, my old Ford Escort, died on me.  I was forced outside my box and I haven’t stopped or looked back since.

According to my genius business mind, I’m about half-way to obtaining financial independence and being able to work as little as 10-15 hours a week.  It’s all right there staring me in the face!  All the steps that I need to take, all the time that still needs to be invested – it’s all right there.  I can visually see it.  Like a map laid out before me.

Alas, I’m going to Ecuador because fate wants me there.  All my clients are rooting for me to go, I see them more than I see my friends, and Laura, a woman I met in Colombia on my first retreat said to me, “you’re definitely going.  I can feel your energy there.”

And my other friend decided to go at the exact critical moment when my heart was most open and vulnerable.

“Okay, I’ll buy my plane ticket.”

And here I am going down the rabbit hole on my second journey with ayahuasca.  I’m going to try keeping a video journal while I’m down there, although, I’m much better with the written word.  Especially since I’ll be looking like shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waiting for my key

I hired another person yesterday.  Can I pay this other person?  I don’t know.  But I desperately need her.

And that brings me up to 4 employee’s that I have to pay every other week.  A Latina, a Puerto Rican, a caucasian, and a half-black.  I’m technically a minority at my own business.  And because there were plenty of boring white people who applied, this is proof to myself that I’m definitely not a racist.  I haven’t hired an all black person yet, so there’s still a chance I might be.

I fork out over $2,000 a month to pay them.  It’s like I’m walking on glass right now.  Every step hurts.  But I can’t do it alone, I just can’t.

My Puerto Rican therapist just texted me that I have a beautiful soul.  White people don’t do that!  I told him he reminds me of myself because I’m a total schmoozer like him.

My Caucasian therapist is so up-tight that the only time I felt any sort of familiar bond with her was when we both laughed at one of my clients.

I had a client a few weeks ago.  A short plump woman who was all belly with skinny legs and arms, wearing a big tie-dye shirt.  She taken a huge shit in our bathroom just before her massage, and while I was massaging her, she kept nuzzling her head against me like she was a cat.  And then she taken another huge shit (leaving remnants) once her massage was over.

My Caucasian therapist who was working at the time, bursted out laughing.  And then I started laughing.  It was our one and only bond time and it was at the expense of someone else.

Gossiping / making fun of people has incredible bonding capabilities.

What if my minorities start ganging up on this minority (me)?

Nah….

I have so much to write about.  An astronomical amount.  But I don’t know where to start.

Today is Monday, my day off.  I went to work earlier to meet with a woman from the Record Journal.  She’s trying to get me to buy into an online ad marketing program.  Not like Google ad-words, but those other ads you see that follow you around everywhere.  The ones that pop up on random sites that are targeted specifically to you.

It’s just more money that I have to spend, although the salesgirl didn’t call it “spending”, but investing.

I don’t have the words to describe how destitute I am.  If this keeps up, I’ll be bankrupt and out of work within months.

I foreseen getting myself into what I call “Groupon debt”.  Groupon debt is when you sell a bunch of online deals, get one lump sum of cash, spend that cash before redeeming all those online deals, and then you’re left with no money to pay your employee’s – no money, but still a shit load of clients who need massages.

Groupon debt…..

I’m not exactly there yet, but I can foresee it happening.  Even before opening my business, this was one possibility that I had no control over – one possibility that I had no plan for.  My plan for success revolved around having those clients re-book, but here we are going into our third month and still most (about 95%) of our clients are new.

In the meantime, my arms want to fall off.  They want to detach and clatter to the floor like hard brittle rocks.

When I’m playing receptionist, I answer phones sounding so mellow.  Mellow, efficient, zero stress or emotion in my voice.  It’s like I’m doing exactly what needs to be done despite everything – I’m giving myself no choice and because I’m giving myself no choice, I become emotionless.  I’m like a stereotypical massage therapist who’s akin to being a backdrop – a tool, a prop – a secondary character of no consequence.  Someone who does her job so perfectly adequate that she’s disregarded, an after-thought.  Thumbs up and great reviews though.

Where is my heart?

I’m questioning myself.  Just like my tarot reader said I would.  I went to see her weeks ago (I already wrote about it), and she told me there’s a key.  A key I’m waiting for that will open the doors of success.

“It could be a contract, it could be knowledge about a particular software, it could be a skill set, it’s not a big-picture sort of thing, it’s a very specific thing.  Credit with a proper bank….  One key factor that has to be there in order for you to start to… open the doors.”

Those were her exact words.  I recorded the session and I already listened to it more times than I’d like to admit.

I had no idea what she was referring to.  Not only did this “key” not apply to me, but it was the first time I questioned the validity of this specific tarot reader.  “Are they all scammers?”  I wondered.

But then it came.  The key she was talking about.  And yes it is very specific, and yes I’m waiting on it like it’s a matter of life and death.

I have a marketing idea that is so absolutely, irrefutably awesome, that I have no doubt it will work.  At least it should work.  Just enough to keep me out of Groupon debt at least.  If it works better than my realism advises, I’ll be out of this dreadful stress zone and possibly start living inside a fairy tale.

If my idea works, everything, my whole life and everything leading up to this moment, will indeed feel like a fairy tale.  It won’t be a fairy tale ending exactly, but a beautiful beginning.

I’m not going to give you the full details of my plan.  I’m fearful right now, and fearful people are extremely superstitious, so it’ll remain a secret.  All I can tell you is that I’m waiting on my stupid mass emailer provider to kick on.

(My tarot reader said it can be knowledge of a particular software!)

SpaBooker uses MailChimp as their main email provider.  I sign up with MailChimp through SpaBooker (because they are partners), and they allow me to send out mass emails to all my clients.  I have not heard back from them.  Waiting to hear back is like listening to teeth grinding.  The fate of my business (the fate of my fairy tale ending), rests upon the shoulders of MailChimp.

This is the part of my life where I’ll look back on and cringe.

“Oh you poor girl.  You made it through though!  You wouldn’t be this successful if it weren’t for these strength and faith building years.  You are a true hero.  Oh shit, I’m my own biggest hero.  I sound like a damn ego-centric narcissist.  Stop that right now you!”

That’s my future self talking.  Am I accurate future self?

I hath no patience.

And that’s where I am right now.  In this semi-surreal summer of waiting and hoping.

I have quite possibly an awesome post about faith vs hope, but I can’t write about it now.  I have too many buckets.  When I’m carrying too many buckets, I have to put certain writings aside.  They expel too much energy and require full brain capacity.  When I’m operating on full brain capacity, that means I’m utilizing only one bucket.

While I wait for my key to arrive, I’ll have to settle on half a brain, if that.

Maybe that’s why 90% of the population are ignoramuses.  We’re all just waiting.

My new employee works tomorrow from 10-3, which gives me my first real break since I started this business.

For rest periods I now have all day Monday, and Tuesday and Sunday afternoons.  Friday nights can also be blocked off because I have two therapists working.  I unblock myself when their schedules fill up.  Starting tomorrow, it will be the first week of having a little extra rest time.

I’m paying a high price not to be there, but you have to believe me when I say I can’t keep up working all those hours.  8 hands-on hours 6 days a week – it’s impossible.

And I’m so tired……so unbelievably tired and stressed and worried.  I can’t wait until that moment when I can put it all down – all those buckets.  Like I’m returning home, to a safe place. Coming around full circle only to bring back treasure in the end.

Be strong Mel.  You’ve got this!

A client came in the other day with certificates of sponsorship.  He’s sponsoring a child from the Philippines.  I’m offering free massages to anyone who sponsors a child – and I do it happily!  That’s the crazy part.  I don’t enjoy manual labor, but I enjoy it when clients do this.  So if anything, if I completely fail at owning a business, at least I got to save a few kids before going down with the ship.

 

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There is no snake

A snake slithered into my dream the other night. He was violent, vicious. Without hesitation, I tried grabbing him by its head.  “It’s the only way,” I thought to myself, “for it to stop biting.”

But the more I grabbed for him, the harder he bit me. I physically felt the sting of his fangs.

I knew that if I didn’t capture him right then and there, I’d have to live in fear.  Anticipating his next move.  Not only that, but I was already bitten.  If he was poisonous, then I had nothing to lose – the poison was already in me. To stop now meant that all those previous bites served no purpose. To run now, expelling the poison, healing myself, only to get bit later on, will cause the process to happen again and again.  Attack.  Pain.  Heal.  Attack.  Pain.  Heal.

Walking away was not the strong choice, but the cowardice choice.  Choosing fear means to live with it.

And so I decided to capture him.  No matter how much it hurt, I chose courage over fear.

And I did end up catching him in the end.  I grabbed him by his head and watched his jaw unhinge baring watery fangs that shot poison at me like water guns.

I’m not sure if poison actually shoots out of fangs, but in my dream it did.

He flailed in my grasp.  The poison in me was gone.  The snake could no longer harm me.

I woke up and looked my hand over to make sure it had no bites on it.  No bites, but it felt sore.  I had a lingering ghost pain that was all in my head.

Damn my dreams….. Ever so vivid.  Blood, puncture wounds, real pain.  My brain is so damn powerful.

What does it mean?

Sometimes you can’t choose your battles.  Nobody chooses what snakes bite them.

“So basically your dream is telling you to seize your fears by their head, correct?”

Yup.

“And by walking away is in fact, the weaker choice?”

Uh huh that’s right.

“Can’t you see that both choices are not actually choices at all?”

Please don’t over-think and complicate things. You know how seriously I take my dreams.

“Hear me out for a second, I think I’m on to something.”

What-ev buddy, it’s late and I need sleep.

“In both cases you’re letting fear govern your actions.  They’re not self-aware or realized choices – they are not awake choices.”

You’re not sounding like my normal snarky rational brain.  What’s with you tonight?

“It feels to me like it doesn’t matter.  Whether you walk away or you don’t, it doesn’t matter.  There will always be another snake, you know?  If you really want to grab fear by its head, you’ll have to grab fear itself, and not the thing you’re afraid of.  There is no snake.  There is no fear.”

I hate to do this to you, but I need sleep.  You’re not acting like your normal self.  We’ll talk more about it tomorrow.

“Right.”

Seriously though, you’re sounding crazy.

“Okay okay goodnight.”

****************************

It’s a couple days later and I’m laying in bed completely exhausted.  I want to hide away from the world.  Am I depressed or legitimately tired?  Tired.  Definitely tired.  And okay, maybe a little depressed.

I saw my tarot reader today, the Wise Woman.  She was at the Guilford Renaissance fair.  She told me that money will soon come and I’m better off than I think.

It’s just that…… I’M SO FREAKING TIRED!

I’m working a lot now so I won’t have to work anymore later, but I’m missing everything in the meantime.  I’m missing the here and now – my LIFE.  Those buckets I wrote about a few days ago – that’s all true.  Totally true.  Even when I’m here, or out in the world socializing, I’m not here exactly – you know?  It’s like I need more time.  Just a little more time for myself.

The tarot reader today told me that I needed a place to go to be alone.  But being alone won’t pay for my $4,000 in monthly bills.  Being alone won’t empty my buckets.  It’s not just about having time alone, it’s about finding contentment.

This is how everybody lives; First money, then love.  First fix your life to avoid worry, then find your passion, find your voice.  It can’t be found at the bottom of a worry bucket.

The Wise Woman also told me that I’m battling what’s important in life.  Love or money – the two cards intersected each other portraying a conflict of interest.

It’s only been three months since I decided to expand my business.  I’ve been open now for a little over a month.  But in those three months, I’ve done nothing but work, worry, and spend money.  I HATE spending money.  And where’s my blog in all this?  I need to write.  I don’t want to, I need to.  At least just a little. But I can’t (this post has taken me weeks to write).

There is only DO, not try, do.  And I’m choosing money over love.  Snakes everywhere.

Okay, I gotta go. Thanks for the chat.

“But what about our discussion about the snakes?  When I said there is no fear, there are no snakes?”

Oh yeah, about that…..

“Well?”

It’s a faith thing.  We fear because we worry and we worry because we lack faith.  Courageous people tackle their fears in order to rid them and in return, they gain confidence and faith in themselves.  It’s just that everybody either runs, or they forget everything.  They forget how amazing they are.  Plus, being that we’re all interconnected and can only evolve together, we’re stuck battling everyone else’s fears.  We’re entangled in everyone else’s shit until we wake the EFF up and make the connections.  Seeing the connections, how our fear meshes with other people’s, that’s when we wake up.

All of us have snakes because we all lack faith.  This is why we’re here, to learn faith.  It can’t be learned while running and forgetting.

“So you still believe then, that walking away is the cowards choice?”

Yes.  Absolutely.  Walking away, living in denial, any type of escape, to me, is cowardly.

“What about the power of letting go?  Ayahuasca made a huge stink about it, don’t you remember?  Or are you too stubborn and living in your own denial?”

Denial is not the same as letting go.  Finding ways to distract yourself is not the same as letting go.  Letting go can only happen with compassion, and most of the world is bereft of it.  If we felt compassionate towards the snake, if we understood him, we’ll have nothing to fear from him.  If he attacks, we’ll be able to understand his pain – his fear.  It’s the snakes fear, not our own, that causes us to run, to judge, to hate.

“So in a sense, we become the snake?”

Exactly!

“Alright, I have no more arguments. Only, how do you stop the pain from the attack?  Even if you are compassionate and understanding, how do you stop from bleeding?”

Once you’re compassionate enough, the sting won’t hurt.  The snake loses his power to harm you.  That is of course, speaking metaphorically about the snake.  As long as you’re living in fear, the sharper the snakes fangs are to bite you with.  The only snakes that attack are the ones attracted to your fear (karma).  You can’t let go of your fear without confronting it.  And while you’re confronting it, it WILL bite the hell out of you.

“When does it stop biting and hurting you?”

When you find its truth.  When you make the connections, see the entanglement.  And in most cases, it lies in our weaknesses.  The strong understand and confront truth while the weak lash their fangs and defend.

“Which one are you Melanie?  You’re running from a future of work, you fear failure, being a loser, an embarrassment.  Do you think somehow that fear can transform you into greed?  Into becoming a snake yourself?”

I can’t say.  Telling myself that it won’t, may just be denial.  Adhering to any belief, narrows my perception in a way where I can’t see my own truth and if I can’t see my own truth, I’ll be bereft of self-compassion, bereft of compassion for others.

“A simple yes or no would’ve sufficed.”

I wanted to end this post long ago, nothing is ever simple for me.

*******************************

It’s now about a week later.  I woke up today and checked my email to find yet another person asking me for a job.  I get a few a these emails a week, only this time it’s different.  This time, he’s a young guy.

Not only is he a young male, but also cute (I found him on Facebook).  Ironically his name just happens to be Adonis.

A young, attractive male therapist is a very hot commodity for any massage clinic.  I called him and left him a message on his voicemail.  I hope to hear back.

I have a long hefty list of To Do’s today and it’s already rolling into 4:30 and I still haven’t left the house.  My one day off, the only day I can get things done – the only day I have to rest and recoup is spent editing a blog post that pretty much nobody will understand while carrying these damn buckets of To Do lists and hoping Adonis will call and rescue me.

The notebook I use to write down blog idea’s is overflowing.  Nothing’s getting done, nothing’s getting written, nothing is escaping my brain to turn into pink permanent butterflies flittering on the inter-web never to be forgotten by me again.

I’m forgetting things, forgetting myself.  Well, I’m forgetting everything except for that looming $4,000 I have to pay every month.  Is hiring another employee really a good decision Mel?  You’re not a damn accountant.

 

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Another Adventure Into My Head

Ugh, I had another panic attack.

The build (the trace beginnings of the attack) happened when I was depositing money at the ATM – the second day in a row, over $200.

“This is fantastic!  This whole business venture just might work.”

I went home and stared at my accounting chart.  Last week I was negative $359, and this week I’m positive $143.  All my clients today, both new and existing, sounded interested in the membership program, and a new client rebooked for a couples massage next month.  My employee’s are happy and hard working, my goal of reaching 60 members is daunting, but not unfathomable.

My employee has her first full paying client tomorrow – a returning client who specifically requested her.  That puts $58 dollars in my pocket, but only $17 in hers.  My morals are ping-ponging back and forth with wondering how fair this is.

“That’s highway robbery!” Versus, “I paid her $520 these past two weeks for having no clients.  Putting $58 in my pocket doesn’t come close to closing that gap.”

“What if she gets four full priced clients a week?  She’s going to start closing that gap and you’re going to profit off her.”

Versus,

“But isn’t that the whole point of having employee’s?  This is what we agreed on.  She agreed to this.”

Basically what my panic was all about, was my fear of success.  Not just my fear of success, but vilifying my means of obtaining it.  Is it right?  Is it moral?  If it’s so easy, something must be wrong with it.

I can literally feel a physical blockage.  One that doesn’t believe, one that doubts its realism.  With 60 memberships, I can stop taking new clients and only massage members.  60 memberships and my business will be stable enough to run on its own.  60 memberships and I can open a new location….etc.

Not to mention all those full paying clients – the one’s that I don’t personally have to massage.

Snowball effect.  The hardest roll is the first one.  The first 60 members…The first return clients….

If I had 60 members, I would be positive $843 this week in pure unadulterated spending money.  But it’s not that easy, is it?  Nothing can be that easy, right?  If it’s so easy, why isn’t’ everyone doing it?

Another reason for my panic is due to imbibing tea, coffee, and my nicotine e cig.  It’s 2 AM and I can’t sleep.  My panic attack peaked around midnight, I drank a ton of water (I learned from experience that dehydration plays a huge role), and now I can’t stop going to the bathroom.

During my panic, I speculated that it might have something to do with having a PH imbalance.  If our bodies are more acidic than alkaline, would that activate an emotional or mental imbalance as well?

I immediately bought PH strips on Amazon so I can test my urine and bought a book about alkaline diets.

What are you doing Mel, you’re crazy….

Shhhh, shhhhh…..I’m fine.

Then I decided I wanted to be a naturopathic physician and so I Googled how I can become one.

Eight years….med degree…..internships…. expensive schooling….not enough time in life, there’s never enough time.

I went back to thinking about my business.  Wanting to put together an iMovie skit with me and my two employee’s acting to the theme of Charlie’s Angels.  Whipping out our massage bottles like guns, talking on the phone to “Charlie”, all three of us posing at the end in that iconic, memorable stance.

“It’ll be perfect for YouTube, my website, Pinterest, Yelp, FaceBook!  It’ll get us more likes and more notice!”

So many idea’s….stop idea’s….just…. stop…..

“I can do massage bombs!  Ask clients to like me on Facebook and once a month I’ll send a Massage Bomb to one lucky liker for half-off their next massage!”

Brilliant.  Brilliant.

I ran to the bathroom for the 15th time while trying not to disturb my brother and his girlfriend asleep on the fold out couch.  I envisioned what that conversation would be like.

My brother – “What’s wrong with you?  Why are you going to the bathroom so much?”

Me – “I had a panic attack so I drank a lot of water.”

Zugzwang.  The only viable move is no move.

Nothing seems viable.  Nothing seems real – all is too fantastic – too grandiose.  Too perfect.  Shall I not make a move?  Or should I go on ahead?  Continue down this unknown path?

There is indeed a fear of success.  It demonizes you, demoralizes you, shreds your conscience into oblivion.  The only thing that makes sense, the only way to earn it, to deserve it, is to work hard – extremely hard!  That’s the only way I can eliminate the fear.  That black void, the plague, the plaque that corrodes my selfless fibers.

Work hard until I resurface once again at the beginning.  It’ll just be one big cycle, a loop of never-ending hard work and struggle all because I don’t believe it can be that easy.  If it’s so easy, why isn’t everybody doing it?

 

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