On (Temporarily) Closing a Practice…..
I, like so many of my colleagues, have shuttered my practice. This is the first time in 16 years where I have said, “I’m walking away and I don’t know when I’m coming back.” This is not a long weekend away from my practice to take a class or a longer planned break for a vacation or even an extended hiatus for an unexpected broken leg. Broken legs heal and the time frame for that healing is known. This situation is an abyss. This is an unknown and hazy path.
The decision to close my practice for a few weeks was SO HARD. Why?
Partly money, obviously. But partly my practice is part of my identity and is absolutely a major component of the fabric of my life, an integral pattern of interconnected facets around which I organize my thinking and my movements. Partly I have a strong desire to provide comfort and ease to folks that need support …. and I know that support is desperately needed now. I need it too.
To close a practice is to become untethered in so many ways. We lose connection to our source of income and survival. We lose a daily connection with our clients whom we care for in intimate spaces with our hands and bodies and voices and ideas where we provide nourishment and are in turn nourished. We lose the close, warm comfort of routine.
We struggle with the knowledge that our small space on the web can and does affect the whole but it’s hard to visualize clearly, to understand how exactly that is. But we feel a friction in our bones that hints at the need to step into the abyss, away from what is safe and known in order to help the whole.
We visualize our clients and their families and our families and their friends and start to really *see* the web and how we (I) cannot pretend separation from them.
So, we choose, to step into the abyss….angry and bewildered and frightened.
And…. from here, in the abyss, we can see more three dimensionally, we can see threads of connection that we could not discern up close. We note more readily the others that are sharing this specific experience, our professional communities who also cannot “work from home”, whose livelihoods depend upon hands and bodies and close proximity and we can see from the abyss the threads that connect us to the larger world and and how that larger web can be supportive and nourishing. We see how we can turn our desire to support and nurture to this larger framework and we find ourselves in hesitant new patterns that will strengthen over the coming days and weeks into a new, larger, differently shaped integral patterns of interconnected facets. We will find new ways of organizing our thinking and our movements. We will find again warm comfort of routine but in new ways.
I have been particularly fascinated with my internal struggle around stepping away from my practice and the process that I (and others) are going through to come to this point. I don’t have much to offer than some random thoughts but in closing my own practice, my bones are at peace. I know for sure I have not made the wrong decision even if I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing.
If you need toilet paper, let me know. I have extra.
Amy Bennett LMT, BCSI