There have been many surprises being a small business owner. One of the more emotional ones is the impact of the coming and going of staff. My staff have pushed me further on my evolutionary life path, rivaling my birth family (or perhaps simply playing out dynamics from my birth family). I’ve had to let people go, feel the sting of someone’s disappointment, not measure up to expectations, be weirder than expected, not be able to pay enough, have my hopes dashed, have my heart broken, and be disliked for reasons I have yet to uncover all in the course of the six years that I have owned Be Yoga & Wellness. I’ve had conversations with staff that have left me bedridden and my stomach tied up so many knots it would make a boy scout envious. One would think I would have left screaming, slipping easily into the relative quiet solitude of being a solo acupuncturist. I have thought about it. Be Yoga makes less money for my time than acupuncture does, so it is not about the money. Why then?
I do it because with every inch of inner growth I find greater acceptance of self. As I come up to those places of self loathing, that get exposed with the coming and going of staff, I truly have no choice but to heal with love. It is a process with plenty of moments of grief, anger, and confusion AND after going through it several times over six years I know that love wins. Each time I accept myself a bit more. I truly believe that the reason why several times a week now students at Be come up to me expressing their gratitude of finding a yoga home that is so incredibly accepting and welcoming, is because of my own deeper self acceptance. So the coming and going of staff not only move me forward, but move the entire organization and community of Be Yoga forward BOTH in their coming (their actual work at Be) AND their going.
It remains, of course, a challenge having staff leave and I try as business owner to avoid turnover as much as possible. We all know it costs a business a lot of money to lose someone and to train someone new. The emotional cost, to everyone in the organization, is even greater. I have discovered this to be true in both the positive and negative sense. I feel my own inner turmoil and eventual growth so acutely and I’m sure so do the rest of the staff still doing the work at Be Yoga. Ahhh, more room for growth as I hold space for other people’s feelings and process.
I’m not sure why this surprises me: business being a reflection of “real” life with real feelings and certainly the yoga business has a lot of feelings, expectations, and big emotions. I remember my Dad talking about his sleepless nights because he had to fire someone, and the larger than life story of the government agency where he worked being locked down because a disgruntled employee had made life threatening remarks. One’s work life is no joke. The weight of this responsibility is a big one for me, which is maybe a little less surprising. Still with the same answers: self acceptance, love, and letting go of being perfect. The weight of responsibility for my staff, asks me every single day to let go of being perfect. It shines another sliver of light into the cracks of my soul. Who would have guessed owning a business would require deep soul excavating work? I’m glad for it. Deep, deep gratitude.