By Brenda Titus, BCH
I was a drama kid in high school, and I admit I sometimes think of my hypnosis office as my own personal stage. Everything is carefully arranged to set a mood and tone to assist my work with my clients. There is lighting, sound/music, even the recording equipment. I even have my “costume,” or my work clothes. With this idea in mind, I am very aware of “waking up the office,” or “setting the stage” for my day when I walk in the door. It’s kind of an interesting way of thinking of things, and it also helps me set energetic boundaries around my work. I have found that thinking about things this way has helped me a great deal, and is worth sharing with the 5-path community.
Why would we set boundaries around our work? I hear people say all of the time that hypnosis is a calling and a passion, which is great, but there are other things in life that many of us need or want to attend to. There may be spouses, friends, elderly parents, other hobbies or commitments that need our time and attention. Being self employed, without having boundaries in place, it might feel like the work is never done or there isn’t time left for these outside things (or for self care!). In my office, I maintain “normal business hours” for phone calls and email/text communication with my clients, as well as my “busy work.” This helps me maintain that boundary so that I can walk away and enjoy my life without feeling tied to the phone or to the neverending to do list.
Setting boundaries helps us teach our clients to set boundaries! You might notice this with your clients. As you talk to them, you might notice that it is hard to separate them from their phones. (Gasp, Someone might need them!!) I make a big ordeal with my clients that the time they are in my office is “their time for them,” and that whatever anyone else thinks is important can wait for an hour or two. Sometimes their relief is palpable as they set the phone aside. As hypnotists, we need to be able to do the same.
We also need to be clear about setting boundaries around how much we are thinking about our clients when they are not in the office. This could include overthinking before they come in or running a session through our brains after they’ve left, holding onto their issues or their stories. In my office, I give myself enough time between clients to complete the paperwork of one client and review the next. During the completion process, I allow myself to cut the energetic cord, so to speak. As I pick up the file for the next person, I prepare for their session, reviewing notes and plans. This way everything is fresh in my mind as they walk in the door without having to hang onto it in the week between sessions.
At the end of the day, it’s time for the curtain call and the lights go out! I recently realized how important this was. I used to be rushed to get home to my nightly walk and dinner, but now I am more intentional about turning out the lights, just as I am intentional about turning them on! I do admit I often say “goodnight” and “I love you” to my office, because I DO love it. Having set some great boundaries around my work, I love it even more after a good night’s sleep where I haven’t been thinking about it all night!
I hope these thoughts on boundaries with your business are helpful for you. Hypnosis is a passion and a calling, but we are also all called to passionately live healthy, well rounded lives away from our offices and clients!