I am whimsicle by nature. I can’t help it, I just find that certain things appeal to my never ending light heartedness. Be it how I decorate my home, my workplace, my back yard, or be it how I interact with people, I just love whim and fancy!
This is part of how I operate when it comes to networking with people in the community. It really doesn’t matter if a person is in the healing field, or is an artist, or a real estate agent, I refer people ALL THE TIME. I know a LOT of people, and as a result I get to have an ear to the ground when it comes to who is really good at what. So if someone is looking for a person who is skilled at a particular thing, if I do not know anyone, then I usually know who I can ask and BAM the information gets relayed. It is that easy.
I consider this sort of thing to be part of my giving back to the community that has, for over 30 years, supported me in my efforts to do my shamanic work. There always is a time when one must be willing to give back to the community. So often as young people we are taught that the community provides for us certain things. Then, as we get a bit older, we learn that those things are actually provided by others who put time and effort into making the community a more enriching experience. Then, as we get older still, we find that we are the ones who are stepping up and giving back to the community. It really is a natural progression of maturity and experience.
There does, however, also have to be a balance in the giving and receiving. So, for example, I am not likely to give my professional services for free. After all, this is how I make my living, put a roof over my family’s heads, clothes on our backs, and food on our table. If I were to give it all away for free, then I would be homeless. People don’t often get that. They think that because of the KIND of work that I do, that I should be willing to “donate” it to whomever. They often say that our Medicare is free, therefore I should give free services as well. Let me tell you, our Medicare services are NOT FREE. It is paid for by our tax dollars. I, on the other hand, am NOT GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC FUNDED.
But there are things that I am very willing to do for free. As an example, now and then I find an up and coming young person who has a skill that they are striking out at making into a profession. I will often, once learning about this, approach this person and ask them if they would be willing to write an article for my FLIGHT newsletter about their work. If they do, then they get free advertising for a month. BUT, if they are someone I know personally and someone who is a decent human being, then I will often extend that advertising to include the friends and family of the editor rate, that being free advertising for however long it takes. But they do still need to write an article…at least once. This is just how I roll.
We don’t often see what others do to contribute to the community. I personally do not like to draw much attention to the many ways in which I serve the community, because, frankly, that is not what it is all about. Very rarely will I want to put my name to a name tag that announces, for example, that I have donated money to one cause or another. I may not even want a receipt for that. To me, it is either an act of charity or it is not. Having receipts for it and claiming it on my taxes makes me cringe. I donate because I want to, not because I want to be rewarded in any way for doing so. To be rewarded would simply take away from the experience of donating. I know others don’t feel that way, and I really don’t care what others do or do not do regarding this. I just know what I will or will not do.
The world is actually full of people who silently contribute to their communities. We are only able to see the ones who get publicity for that. Social media is full of announcements to that end. But the ones who contribute silently are the more admirable ones. It is the person whose contributions are NOT announced until way after the fact that I enjoy hearing about. It doesn’t matter if the contribution is small or grand in scale. It is, for me, about how it is done.
Quite often when I am referring someone to somebody I am asked if they should tell the person who referred them so that I get the credit for that. Whether they do or not is totally up to them. I really don’t care. So unless dropping my name will get them in to see someone much sooner than later, my answer is usually just that it is up to them as to whether or not they do that.
Now, having said all that, there are times that something rather stupid has happened. I have ended up referring someone to another practitioner for a skill set that this practitioner has that I do not. I love connecting people that way. But then the practitioner tells our mutual client that they should not be seeing me. Reasons can vary. Often those reasons are completely dogmatic, in that they, in their modality, have been taught that they need to be the ONLY person working with someone, otherwise it is impossible to know what it helping them and what is not. What this reduces to, however, is territorialism in the healing community. Once I find that a practitioner has done this either to me or to someone else in the healing community, the references STOP. Done. No more. I do not care how skilled the person is; if they are going to pull that level of bull, then they are OUT. No, I will not even tell them that unless they ask. I will just disengage any interest in what they are doing. People do need to learn, but I do not have to be the one to bring it to their attention when they screw up. As a matter of fact, I usually don’t even have to because the mutual client will do so.
This is where the whim and fancy comes into the Networking aspect of my work. I do, after all, have the right to choose to whom I will refer clients. And why would I refer anyone to you if you are going to try getting territorial with them? That is not healthy for them or for you. Territorialism has no place at all in any healing modality.
I remember when I was challenging the Worker’s Compensation Board’s decision to not compensate me for my late wife’s death. Fortunately, I had my best friend’s father as an advocate, because he offered and he is very used to dealing with these people through his own work. It came up that they felt that my late wife had been neglecting her health because she utilized homeopathic remedies. My friend’s father, a very well-respected doctor, immediately piped up with, “With all due respect, it is everyone’s right to choose what forms of healing they utilize throughout their lifetime. You cannot, on the one hand, intimate that homeopathic remedies are worthless and don’t work while, on the other hand, insinuate that her using them led to her death. That is self-contradictory, so I invite you to create a much better argument.” They could not. They ended up compensating me, which they should have done in the first place because her death was arguably a result of a slip and fall at work. It just took till the next morning for her to die from it. The thing is, though, that, being a doctor, my friend’s father could easily have fallen into the allopathic vs homeopathic debate. This would have been territorialism. He never went there. He stayed focused on the fact that they needed to compensate me for her death and not be douche bags (my words, not his).
I figure that if modern medicine can have people who are not threatened by traditional medicine practitioners, we just might have a chance at a more holistic approach to healing. Because both have their place and should be utilized. No terriroialism needs to be introduced into the blend.
This is why it does distress me when traditional practitioners start playing that game with each other. It is childish at best, and sinister at worst. Our networking system must allow for all of our clients to have information and access to all aspects of healing. So if we know someone who would be key to the person’s healing journey at this time, it is our responsibility to refer them to that practitioner. That is all a part of the whim and fancy of contributing to our community.