"Really, what do you do?" On being "legitimate"

I am an entrepreneur of 27  years in a profession that has no name really, no organization to hold conferences, certainly no certification, and, in some people’s view, no credibility. When people ask me what I do, I usually hesitate a tick, scan their aura for clues as to how open I can be, and then answer with the following only partial clues as to what I actually do: Counselor and inspirational speaker are often my first picks, followed by interfaith minister, business consultant, spiritual teacher, and sometimes: shaman and healer. Oh, and writer and author. To say it’s been a challenge to feel “legitimate” is to put it mildly.

I know other colleagues who’ve gone through various machinations of “real jobs” so they can not only get paid on a regular basis, but so they can feel a part of the “legitimate” world. One of them now, with my gentle assist, is back to being a wise-woman and healer…and successfully so. I am so proud of her.

And I am so proud of folks who are creative and self-made. And I am, well, proud of me too. For years, I had sought legitimacy in various ways. Every once in awhile, I’d find a Masters degree program that almost fit (I took lots of classes, but got bored mid-stream and transferred too many times to get the letters) and I’d say to my husband: “Hey look what I found,” He would then give me The Lecture: “You don’t need it.” Then I would whine about all the best selling authors of my inspirational genre have PhDs or Mds and so I should at least get a Masters degree… and finally I would “get it”: I am excellent at what I do, and I have an unusual training to back it up: Bachelors degree in Psych, followed by training by shamans and teachers from around the world who noted my gifts (aura seeing included) and gave me hundreds of tools to use to do what I do, plus life experience. “And just what is it you do?” you ask.

Simple answer: I inspire. More: I remind people of who they are, and what their unique purpose is, and I support them to be that purpose. Ya know, I see a forming group amongst my FB friends: Maybe we can have a loose knit association: World Association of Inspirers, or WAI, which is pronounced “why” funnily enough. Bless you all. You have my permission to declare yourself authentic, legitimate and wise.

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Elke Macartney

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