How many times have we heard that phrase? Yet, in the vast majority of cases it’s so true.
I remember back when Stuart and I were first married. Money was always tight. I was completing my dissertation and wasn’t working. Stuart was working as an accountant and wasn’t making much since his former financial experience consisted of bank teller. Each month we were barely making ends meet. If I needed something I had to cut back in other areas so I could save up for it.
We’d buy generic store-brand food. Not the same as the name brand stuff, I don’t care what anyone says. Even today, I can tell if it’s generic. We’d use generic paper towels that were only a slight improvement over using kleenex for the same job. We hate spaghetti and hamburger twice a week (each!). I’d wear my bras until they were literally falling apart and making my boobs look funny. We even had to go without routine medical care, like dental cleanings for a brief time. Thankfully, neither one of us ever had any problems.
We all work hard for our money. I don’t care if you’re in an office job, bank job, public servant of any kind, academic, babysitter, or even a stay-at-home-mom who has to budget carefully to be sure she can remain at home with her kids. We all work hard for our money and we all have valuable skills for which we are compensated for when we get paid.
Now, let’s think about this for a minute. Let’s say you’re sick and you need to see a doctor, but like many Americans you don’t have medical insurance and you’re low on cash. What to do? Do you call your doctor and say, “Oh, you know, I’m sick, I really need an appointment, but I have no money right now. Can I pay you later?” Or – worse – “will the doctor see me for free?”
Your doctor sacrificed to go through years of medical school. He or she may have gotten a scholarship for a good part of that, but they may be up to their butt in student loans and you have no idea. The doctor is a highly skilled individual who’s knowledge and gifts are worth something. It’s just common sense that a person would never ask for a free medical consultation.
I got my hair colored a few weeks ago. Here is my new “do”. Did I ask Kevin, my stylist, if he could do it for free even though Stuart had just lost his job two days before my scheduled appointment? NO! I would never dream of it! Kevin is an artist in every sense of the word. He created this color for me. I simply told him I wanted to go lighter, but not too light, with a few highlights. This is what he came up with. A masterpiece, in my opinion, and well worth the $85 he charged me. He stands on his feet most of the day, he even eats his lunch most times standing up. I’ve seen him do it. Don’t you think this is worth $85? I sure do.
So, why do people insist on asking for free spiritual consultations??? Now, I’m not saying I’m on an even footing with a doctor. However, in my case, I can’t say for all – of course, I have over 25 years of experience behind me. Not to mention numerous classes, seminars, I’ve read countless books, and have worked hard to master what I know and the types of services I offer through my site. I’ve done this at all a great personal and professional cost to myself. I have a PhD. Not many know that as I don’t flaunt it. I just use the letters after my name or I sometimes refer to myself as “Dr. Nefer Khepri”, but that’s very rare and I’m sure many of you have never even seen that. I studied anthropology, archaeology, and the spiritual belief systems of indigenous peoples for 12 years at 3 universities as I worked hard to get my bachelor’s, masters, and my doctorate. My education left me with a student loan of over $18,000.
Yet, despite being set up for a lucrative career in academia, I turned my back on all of it when I heard the call of my guides and the universe wishing for me to be on a spiritual path. My husband nearly left me over this. Yes, I nearly lost him. It caused a tremendous amount of friction in our marriage for a few years. This issue did not go away overnight. It was years before I began to make any money.
At first, I only wanted to do as I was asked and help people. That’s it. I wanted to help people find guidance through the tarot. Help them to heal through reiki. Help them connect with their own spirit guides through classes I offered at my home. Help them to manifest their dreams through candle work, or enchantments, as I call them. All I wanted to do was help. When someone told me they didn’t have the money I’d do it anyway. They either paid me later on or they never did. I can tell you that those who never paid me would later ask me, “why didn’t it work?” Well, I did it with the right intention, with their highest good in the center of my mind and heart, but energy is energy. An even exchange must occur for the energy to be balanced and for it to be able to do its work. My own reiki master teacher explained the concept to me when she found out I had done 5 free reiki attunements in a single day and was flabbergasted.
Another thing. The more you say “yes” to people who ask for free services, the more likely they are to come back, asking for MORE free services. They always have a hard luck story to tell me. Never fails. It’s VERY rare that I’ve had a person come to me weeks or even months after I did something for them for free and they pay me. However, it did happen. Things like that kept my faith in humanity intact. Other times they’d come by my house with a plate of food. Again, energy being exchanged for energy, and those meals were always yummy as people would bring me their specialities 😀
Eventually, in order to save my sanity I had to start saying “no” to people, as much as that hurt me. I am one of those people who simply has a hard time saying no. I do not like the word “no.” I don’t like using it with others and I certainly don’t like it when they use it with me. Yet, there I was doing 3 – 4 free readings a day, giving free reiki attunements, doing few free soul portraits (and those can take weeks to complete as every single color must be correct and I get all that info through repeated meditation sessions). So I had to start saying NO, and wow, no one liked it, but then who could blame them?
People got angry with me. People belittled me. They told me I wasn’t spiritual. They said I was a fake (even though they had reaped benefits from the work I had done for them in the past at no charge!). They said I was a horrible person. I went from always having people at our house to having no one for months as I worked hard to build up a client base of paying clients. I finally succeeded, then we had to move to a new city and I lost my local clients except for a very few. I had to start all over, but I had no local base from which to draw clients, so for the past 10 years I’ve been available strictly over the internet.
Yet, every once in a while someone will send me an email of their story, explaining why they can’t pay me, yet they know my services are valuable. Their story may be true, then again, it may not. I have no way of knowing. I respond the same every time. I nicely explain I had to pay for all of my classes, seminars, workshops, and books. I underwent a 3-month unpaid apprenticeship to my reiki master teacher in order to fully master giving reiki sessions and passing attunements on to others. Often, I had to postpone my spiritual studies because I didn’t have money to take a class or attend a workshop. I explained that my time, knowledge, and energy were valuable to me and therefore I had the right to charge for my services (something for which every once in a while I receive criticism).
Now, in all cases, until today, the person is NICE. Remember, they’re trying to get something for free, something they know is of value so they are as nice as possible hoping I’ll say yes. After being taken advantage of so many times, though I never say yes anymore, as much as that pains me. Then today I receive an email on Facebook from a young man who obviously found my FB through the links on my site. He starts off by asking if I’ll give him a free reiki attunement and says he doesn’t have the money to pay, but yet he knows my services are valuable. Same ‘ol, same ‘ol. However, in the next sentence his tone changes as if he’s got multiple personality disorder. He tells me that if I don’t answer his email that will prove I’m just a fake and full of BS.
Well, I did reply because I thought he at least DESERVED a reply. He did take the time to write, after all, even though he was out to get a very valuable thing for absolutely nothing, for no exchange of energy at all. I would understand if he was a reader, for example, and offered me a reading in exchange. But he came with hands held out and his hands were empty. I simply told him what I tell everyone else, exactly what I wrote 2 paragraphs ago.
He wrote back full of venom claiming I’m a fake, that I “prey on gullable, innocent people.” Why was he being so ugly, I asked myself? Why was he insulting my clientele by claiming they were gullable? Had I written something to offend him? I looked back at my response to his first email. Nothing there was offensive in the slightest. I had concluded that email by telling him that if he didn’t have the money for a reiki attunement now then it was not the time and the Universe would work to get him the money when the time was right. I have found this to be true in my own life countless times. I told him that, too. Yet, there he was claiming I’m this horrible person out to steal everyone’s money from them. Then he said if I didn’t respond I was truly full of BS, yet he concluded by thanking me for the information I provide on my site!
Well, if I’m full of BS, then why is he thanking me for information I provide? Isn’t that also full of BS by association with me??? I wrote back and simply asked, “why do you feel so intent on spreading hate? I feel that before you can be attuned to reiki you need to pray and focus on clearing yourself of the hate you so obviously feel. I’m praying for you and wish you nothing but the best. When the time is right you will be attuned to reiki. I know that.”
Then I did something that is still troubling me. I blocked him from my Facebook. He can no longer email me and he can’t access me in any way through Facebook unless he creates a new profile. He can, however, email me through AOL if he took the time to see the numerous email links I have spread all through my web site. If he does, I’ll block him on AOL, too if he continues to be hateful.
If you’re a spiritual practitioner, just because the majority of people may not believe in what you do, YOU know it to be REAL. You know you have a gift, you have talents, and you’re opened your mind and heart to share them with the world.
Every spiritual practitioner has sacrificed to get to where they are today. Some, like me, have given up a guaranteed $50,000/yr income to make peanuts doing what I do. Most months I don’t even make enough to cover a single house payment. I have for the past 2 months, praise the Gods and thank my clients since Stuart’s been out of work, but this is an anomaly, but perhaps the start of a new trend (let’s hope!). I don’t begrudge anyone that regular income. In fact, I consider myself MUCH MORE blessed to be in this line of work than to be an academic who is always under the gun to “publish or perish” and always having to brown nose to get ahead (I have never been good at kissing ass, nor is that something I aspire to). My old friends from grad school – the majority of them are divorced due to all the stress, some are on medication and some have health problems. I’m thankful that I’m not among them. Sure, I have up a lot to be here, but look at all I have. I set my own hours. I can work in my pajamas if I want (and have done so – many times!). I stay at home and raise my daughter. I don’t have to put up with a boss or any crazy co-workers. I have it MADE. I am so blessed and so very thankful.
This guy obviously really upset me. His emails brought back a lot of unpleasant memories from the past that I thought were gone. I guess this is a good lesson for me. It showed me that although I had convinced myself I had released all those memories, I clearly have not or they would not have raised to the surface so easily and so immediately. This young man taught me something important. He taught me that after all these years I am still in some way holding on to some old resentments against those people who took such extreme advantage of me in the past. I haven’t even seen or spoken with any of these people in YEARS, yet the feelings are still there when I think of them.
I am taking my own advice here. I suggested to him that he work on cleansing himself of his hate. Meanwhile, I am starting to work on releasing my old resentments so I can finally allow the past to be the past so it will stop influencing my present and future.
This is an excellent example of how a great lesson can come to us through adversity. Back when I used to channel St. Michael (who since 2002 has been too busy, it seems, but he’ll be back again one day, as he promised me), in his words:
“Humanity’s greatest Teacher is Adversity. Through Adversity the most difficult of lessons are mastered.”
Amen, Michael 🙂
Many Blessings to You All,