I had a lesson taught to me recently that encouraged me to practice what I teach. The experience showed me my own vulnerability and honestly, it wasn’t comfortable.
Some months ago I received a Message Request on a business Facebook page, from a person who was seeking another Teresa regarding an upcoming High School reunion. I didn’t know the person messaging me and responded that the Teresa they were searching for wasn’t me. Apparently they didn't receive that message.
Last week the same person sent another message with photos attached. Facebook had blocked the ability to view the photos without clicking on a link. Because of the amount of spam received as a business owner, I disregarded the message and blocked the sender. Spam for business owners is a real problem. I later discovered that it wasn’t spam.
The next morning I discovered that the person who sent the messages had given me a 1 star Google Review with negative comments. That’s where my vulnerability, as a business owner, made it self visible to me. For the past 29 years I have worked hard to build a good reputation, and to take a positive and helpful approach with clients. All of that work felt like it had all been knocked backwards in an instant, by this unknown individual, who wasn’t interested in my business nor the services I offered. Truthfully, a mixed bag of emotions popped forward…fear and anger mostly, but also a feeling of defeat.
As I tried to “fix this” situation it only become worse. Emails (the unemotional written word) sent to this person were misinterpreted, and within an hour this negative review went from bad to worse. I was described as being unprofessional, unkind, rude, and that my responses were threatening.
I began to feel a sense of hopelessness, and that I was just going to have to let this be and let my business take the hit. The question of "what was the point in working so hard these past years when it could all be wiped out in such a short time" kept roaring in my ears. I really didn’t know what else I could do…so finally I just handed it over.
When teaching Reiki Level 2, I share with students ways in which they can send Reiki. This includes sending Reiki energy to various and/or difficult situations. So now it was time to practice what I teach.
I sent Reiki to the situation. I asked that the loving gentleness of Reiki surround the situation, shine light on it and help it to heal. I asked for guidance on how else to approach the situation so that this stranger and I could have a better experience. An experience that would be filled with more light and love, and be free of anger, fear and resentment. Then I released it. What else could I do?
I carried on with my work day, seeing clients through to the early evening and as I did so my mood shifted, as it always does with doing work that I love and helping others to make a difference in their lives
After dinner I decided to go back into Google and read the other reviews that clients had written about their experiences with me, so that I could gain a better perspective. What I discovered was that the negative review had been removed. Gratitude swept over me and I can only guess that Reiki energy had worked to change both our views.
The feeling from that day has stuck with me though. The realization of just how vulnerable my business is. I came to understand that control of my business image and reputation isn’t really in my hands, as much as I like to believe it is. In today’s digital world, in order for a business to succeed, it has to be out there on the web. But it does leave it more vulnerable.