I was the national publicity manager for a major conglomerate of recording companies in Canada. Big salary, an unlimited expense budget, a fast sports car paid for by the company, and a hard-working, loyal and fun staff.
I got to fly all over the country, collaborate with interesting, talented people, chauffeur around amazing, fascinating celebrities in cocktail-loaded black limousines, was given box seats at any concert or event I wanted to attend anywhere in the country, owned a record collection large enough to stock my own store, and… blah, blah, blah. You get it. It was quite the life for this small-town prairie girl.
Until I got fired.
I had made a recommendation to the Director of Marketing that we combine my department with another, because of the overlap in our areas of responsibilities. He thought it was a good idea.
However….. unbeknownst to me, the manager of that other department was having an affair with the Director of Marketing! Guess who got booted to the curb!
Along with that dismissal came a lot of closed doors. Without that fancy title in front of my name, access to a lot of what I had enjoyed the last few years disappeared. Poof! People with whom I had interacted – no longer interested in my calls. It was all humiliating, embarrassing, depressing and surreal. I felt like I had been punched in the gut.
I also really got how I had let my position and lifestyle define who I was. Big lesson there.
One morning, I decided it was time I answered the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
And that is when my life changed. That is when a setback turned into the biggest opportunity of my life.
I looked at what interested me, other than music. Like a knock on the top of my head, I suddenly realized how much of my spare time was spent studying and exploring what I will call, in the broadest sense of the word, human potentiality.
I didn’t know much more than that, but I did know that I wanted to contribute something that would improve the quality of people’s lives – as they defined it. I wanted my presence here on earth to make a difference. I wanted to give back, not just take and take.
I saw that everything I was paying attention to had to do with natural health and self-improvement.
So, I decided owning a health food store might be a good idea, so got myself a job in one. It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t like retail much. However, that store allowed me access to a large library of books on subjects I was intrigued by; one by one I took them all home and devoured their contents.
A passion started to percolate inside me. I started to feel like I just might have put myself on the right path, even if owning a retail operation was not quite it.
And then I discovered the reflexology books. Now, that really interested me – particularly because I couldn’t really figure out from the books how to do it! It wasn’t cerebral or academic, like most of the other topics I was exploring. It had to do with health, but it was accessed in a way that was foreign to me – through the body; specifically intentional touch of the body. I was intrigued, to say the least.
As providence would have it, a regular customer of the store’s walked in one day and told me that the Reflexology Association of Canada was starting one of their training programs. He thought I should take it. I did too. So I did.
And that is how a rocky path turned into the yellow brick road. It was 1983.
Being fired turned out to be a blessing. It gave me an opportunity, early in life, to set my priorities straight and embark in a direction that has proven to provide me a wonderful, independent life that fulfills my purpose and feels successful, on my terms.
I still get to spend my time with “stars” – only now they are my students and clients. And I get to do something I love to do: sit with others and share knowledge and experience that feels meaningful, and most importantly, to inspire others to feel their own internal spark and put a match to it!
I have never thought of a setback in the same way again (and believe me, there have been many others along the way.) Setbacks, disappointments and “failures” have all morphed into stepping-stones to the next great adventure.
God knows where I would be now if that woman hadn’t seduced our boss!
How About You?
Do you believe you were put here for a reason other than (or more than) what you are doing now?
Do you want to tap into ways you can help people feel better in their bodies? Take back control of their health? (And maybe yours?)
Do you want to lead an independent, financially-secure life on your terms?
Yeah? Me too.
I decided way back that I never wanted a repeat performance of what happened so many years ago. I knew that I never wanted to put myself in a position ever again where my livelihood and employment were under someone else’s control.
That is why I created the Therapeutic Hand & Foot Reflexology Professional Certification program, a 315-hour credit program that prepares compassionate people to build the business and life that they want.
That program serves as the vehicle for me to share 33 years of practicing and 30 years of teaching reflexology; and ways to build a successful life and business based on integrity, meaning and compassion. My enthusiasm for what I do is infectious; I know I can inspire and ignite a fire in others – people tell me so all the time!!
If you’re interested, take a look at this video I did for the Florida School of Massage (where I teach an Introduction to Hand & Foot Reflexology). It’s sort of a Reflexology 101 explanation and demonstration that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.