An interesting challenge has come my way lately. A client who—despite the 24 hour cancellation policy I have in place—took advantage of me and my time by repeatedly cancelling last minute.
Eventually, I could not avoid facing the issue any longer. She was clearly mirroring for me that I was not valuing my own time and my services enough by letting this slide more than once. The more often I let it slide, the more she took me for granted.
I had to overcome that part of me that wanted to be the “understanding spiritual coach,” sympathetic to the plights of a fellow mother, to set clear boundaries. My shadow counterpart to this understanding part was the one that wanted to accept no excuses. Apparently, I denied that part too long so that the two were not in harmony. From now on I will not deny that shadow aspect any longer and I will stand up for myself earlier.
However, what else was she mirroring for me?
How about taking advantage of others? Yes, I have to admit a couple of people come to mind that I am taking for granted. My best friend, for one, who over the years has given me so much more than I can ever give to him in return. I have become used to the fact that he is always around to ask for advice or practical help. He gets to hear thank you and an occasional invitation or present but on the whole, the give and take is unbalanced and often I have taken his existence and help for granted, counting on him to always be there for me.
Then there is my oldest daughter. I take her and her help for granted as well. She is my computer expert, my proof-reader, and in general the practical go-to person in our house. I have become so used to her always doing these things for me that I need to shift into a place of more thankfulness and let her know more often how much I appreciate everything she does! When I have a deadline to meet or a problem, she often re-arranges her schedule for me. I need to honour her time and work more as well.
And what about interacting with other professionals and cancelling last minute? Until I became self-employed, it did not occur to me that the person providing a service to me is losing income if I don’t come for an appointment and they cannot fill the time slot last-minute. So, yes, I have done that. Thankfully one therapist colleague of mine spoke up one day, enforcing her cancellation policy, and I realized how unfair that was—not just towards her but also towards the person who could have seen her in my missed time slot.
What about filling my week too full with appointments and then having to cancel some like this client did? Yes, I do that, too! She was clearly mirroring not only honouring my own time and services more, and appreciating other people in my life more, but also how I handle my schedule.
All these learnings are a great gift and I very much thank this client for bringing them to my awareness to integrate them more into my psyche for my own growth.
For information on the Shadow Energetics Workshop coming up next weekend (May 10-13, 2013) go to calendar.