A week or two ago I shared with some friends that my practice was going through an abrupt slowdown. I was touched by how many of them offered thoughtful replies. One of the remarks that really hit home suggested that I was probably just “coasting” and possibly losing focus a little bit.
I also acknowledged current life stressors and that the universe was likely sensing my energetic unavailability and, perhaps with some cosmic compassion, just giving me a little rest time. Good to pay attention to these things – thanks universe!
But I didn’t just sit in an autumn leaf pile contemplating my belly button. Outside of work, I got to bed earlier, spent more time with my family. At the clinic, I shifted gears and began to investigate patient retention. I strategically called back people who had been to the clinic recently and asked for their feedback. Mostly, I talked to a lot of answering machines, but it was good practice communicating a sense of interest in people’s lives – inviting them to participate in what we have to offer without being pushy.
We did a Free day collecting food donations for local food banks in recognition of World Food Day. 32 people showed up for that last Friday, bringing a fresh new wave of energy into the clinic.
I updated the CommuniChi Facebook page. And of course, I kept showing up at the clinic with a positive attitude, looking forward to treating everyone who walked in the door, silently inviting the phone to ring.
Today, I posted a blog. Without dismissing the wisdom of what my colleagues had suggested, I decided to put a positive spin on the whole episode – something that might be beneficial for patients (and encourage them to make appointments). So far already two of my esteemed colleagues have given me thumbs up for that little quickie
I basically came to accept that, yes, the clinic is slow right now. Is that a problem? No. Perhaps I’m just imagining it (knock on particle board), but in that final moment of acceptance, a cosmic switch was turned. Two regulars walked in without appointments just as I started writing this piece, and things are showing signs of turning around.
One of the regulars and I joked as I put in the needles…
“Some people plant seeds, you plant needles”, she said.
“Maybe I should call myself Johnny Apple-needle.”
She laughed. “You run a bliss factory here. Is the oven on?”
“You’re bakin’ now sister.”
Happy autumn. May everyone’s harvests be golden.