When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I run my own business, 'oh how lovely,' they say, 'what type of business?' When I tell them it's a holistic health spa for women, I see a faraway look appear and their eyes glaze over.
I'm sure they don't mean to tune out, but when I mention 'holistic' or 'alternative' people seem to automatically jump to the same conclusion. They believe I spend my weekends running bare foot through a meadow of grass with a crown of wildflowers and a dress made of wheat.
Even my dad thinks I dance naked in my back garden when it's a full moon - I assure you, I don't and I'm more than sure my neighbours are relieved at that.
I recently launched a range of Workshops 4 Women, to be held at a local venue. This is a huge step forward for my business and one I am very proud of. Getting bums in seats is the next hurdle I face, but I will take this challenge on with determination. The workshops are designed to help women feel motivated and inspired, to take control of certain areas of their life that may have gone astray. We've all had those years when career took over or family matters dominated. The 'Motivate Me' workshops are a way to hand over a tool box of goodies that will help.
My feeling of pride was somewhat dented when I chatted to a colleague who told me 'the workshops weren't her cup of tea.'
Intrigued, I asked her what she thought I would be doing at the workshops.
'Well, it's all that hippy, new age stuff isn't it. You'll have everyone sitting in a circle holding hands and singing.'
If I hadn't been so shocked I may have laughed. She couldn't be further from the truth.
Anyone who knows me understands that my interest in spirituality and alternative therapies comes from self-work following an abusive marriage. I have never purchased rope sandals, I do not hug trees and I don't wash my hair in a fresh water stream. I would, however, love to interact with people who do because I have an inquisitive thirst for finding out about people. This doesn't mean I will adopt their ways.
So this odd conversation got me thinking about how her perspective on life created a tunnel vision. She wasn't open to new opportunities, she wasn't even willing to hear me out.
I don't think we will ever change this about people but maybe it would be wise for us to not instantly ridicule something we don't initially understand, but to learn a bit more about it and make a more informed judgement.
After all, something out of the ordinary may be the one thing we've been looking for all our life.
That's only my opinion...what's yours?
Photographs courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net