Monday, March 2, 2015

Semper Caveat Emptor

In my chosen field for rewarding, part-time work, I am the regular recipient of offers to improve and build upon my credentials, to expand my work/client base/spiritual practice/financial security/knowledge/wardrobe. Sound familiar? At least some of this will sound familiar to people doing any type of professional or client facing work. When I worked in law the firms paid for continuing education and I would also see the occasional sales pitch for retreats or self-care aimed specifically at lawyers. My husband, a financial analyst, receives a small amount of promotional material to help him build on his knowledge as a CFA or to improve his managerial skills. 

My chosen field is holistic health and personal growth (yoga teacher, interfaith minister, spiritual coach). I know: when I signed up to do these things I also signed up for a continual onslaught of sales pitches from a growing number of people who want to help me do my job better and just generally be a better person. 

Since I graduated from interfaith seminary and was certified at the 200 hour level to teach yoga, I have been continually offered more opportunities to train further, many of which I have accepted. I am currently completing anatomy studies for yoga teachers, another 108 hour training, to further my knowledge of anatomy. I have attended a four day retreat to learn more about restorative yoga. I have attended many workshops to learn more about yoga therapy and tailoring yoga sessions to the needs of the individual. I have read countless books and articles about spirituality, yoga, religion, psychology, philosophy, nutrition and personal growth. I am truthfully running out of time and energy to maintain this level of dedication to my continued training. I know of no other professional field that approaches recent graduates or trainees with the intensity of prompting I am receiving to up-level my credentials. 

Apparently, I need to do 300 more hours of training (at a minimum) to teach yoga well. I also need to do another certification program through the same people who trained me in interfaith ministry, so that I can do the type of spiritual counseling they deem professional and competent (because in any initial two year training, there is never enough time to cover everything). In addition, this seminary has changed its name and mission and would like me to swap out my former ordination for a new ordination under a new ordaining body, for a fee that I do not consider modest. Also, I need to do a coach training in order to work with coaching clients, because the training I received to work professionally with clients as an attorney, a yoga teacher, a spiritual minister and a pastoral care volunteer is simply not sufficient to "hold space" for people who want to buy coaching services. 

Simply put, no thank you. I am well equipped to serve any clients who come to me, now, without any further "official" training or certification, which I very well may choose to do in the future. 

I do plan to complete a 300 hour yoga teacher training (at some point) to bring me to the 500 hour level. I have a suspicion, though, that once I reach the 500 hour level, another level, perhaps 1,000 hours, will be recognized and become the new yoga teacher gold standard. 

At some point, we all have to have the confidence to step into our roles and do our work based on our own unique talents and knowledge base. Additionally, we all have a right to enjoy the life we have, right now, without the need to feel it is falling short somewhere. I truly love the life I have. It is fulfilling. It is enjoyable. My dreams have actually come true, already. I really don't feel the need to keep paying other people in my line of work so that bigger and better dreams can come true. My dreams are/were good enough. Not only am I happy, I am content. That's not something I paid someone else to give me. It's not written on a certificate. I don't have to pay annual dues to register it.
I don't need a new ordination, a new designation, a new and better mentor, a bigger following or higher internet traffic.

Finally, for future reference, as a tip to myself and possibly to you, if you're reading this, maybe not that many of us really need to get certified and credentialed to do the things we love, and dare I say, to do them quite well. 

Caveat emptor, my friends. 

No comments:

Post a Comment