May was a slender attractive brunette, around 5’6″, maybe 35 years old. She responded to my “What’s been a highlight of your day?” question in several steps of progressively greater openness – startling to me and maybe even to her. “I had a really good hypnosis session….We’re working on fear….I’m a cancer survivor and lots of little symptoms bring up fear.”
My response was in its own way a little startling to me. “Are you familiar with A Course in Miracles?” Now why did I bring that up? I’m sure not getting paid to promote far-out, channeled, New Age metaphysical programs. I do know why I brought it up – because in my life A Course in Miracles has been a very powerful lever for working with fear. But it still feels like a risk to be recommending it to a customer, maybe especially a customer who is at such a vulnerable point in her life.
May’s next response was also surprising. She got positively electrified (I get goose bumps recalling it): “Yes – love is letting go of fear! My hypnotherapist was telling me about it today! This is total affirmation that it can be good for me.”
After May left, I had no mixed feelings about having recommended A Course in Miracles. I’m a big believer in synchronicity and felt as convinced as her that her hypnotherapist and I both recommending it within a few hours of each other indicated it could be good for her.
What did all this teach me about taking risks with customers? Sometimes I’m the first one to risk – to offer something personal or unusual. Today May disclosed first. But is it really so easy to know who opens first? Did May know from the way I asked my question that I was a safe person to open up with? I don’t ask the question to everyone – did I pick up something from her that indicated that asking her the question would go someplace? Was I in a more trusting place because of the enchanted interaction that I had had just an hour earlier? (“I’m vertical…”, 1/7) Why did she end up in my line? Why shortly after this hypnosis session?
Sometimes it makes sense to think in terms of taking risks. I want to develop my sense for which risks are worth taking and which are perhaps too risky – and to recognize when my customer has taken a risk, has made themselves vulnerable, and needs to be supported. Yet it also seems equally valid to hold that we are always totally supported – and that love means to recognize this, to trust it, to surrender to it. And as we do this we progressively let go of fear. I learned that from A Course in Miracles.