It's been an exciting few weeks and we are expanding left and right! The wonderful part is seeing the vision of this company come to life moment by moment, day by day.
Last Tuesday was the first meeting of the amazing people interested in jumping in while everything is coming together. Thank you to each of you for showing up, sharing ideas, and being supportive as we take steps toward some really innovative thinking.
On the older adult front, some free groups for those interested in having art therapy as a part of their program have commenced! Some lovely older ladies and gentleman painted, shared stories, and seemed to have a delightful time all around. We'll be continuing on this week and look forward to reaching many older adults in the coming months.
More news to come soon and until then enjoy the adventure!
We are jumping in and launching our new website with all the information for the first Water & Stone services!!!
While waiting for our name to be approved, and all the paperwork to get processed, we have been busy designing workshops and services for the community!! From art and meditation to business development, we are hoping to reach out and bring others together to create, explore, and inspire. The overarching goal of all our workshops is to build confidence and lower anxiety while allowing each individual to develop within a supportive community.
Find workshops here.
Therapy services here.
Supervision and Mentoring here.
Email, call, or leave a comment on the blog if you have any thoughts or feedback!
Coming in the near future:
- online courses!
- our first crowdfunding campaign!!
- pursuit of NBCC CEU provider approval!
- and more workshops!
It has been an exciting couple of years and I am about to start a new chapter in my life and career, so am starting my blog back up with the goal that my interns will contribute starting in the fall as well. With that said I am founding a limited liability corporation in Brooklyn, NY!!! A very exciting and scary step in a good direction.
I left my hospice job in May and took a couple weeks to travel to Scotland with my friend Olivia. We hiked along some of The West Highland Way and camped. It was an amazing experience and really helped me transition onto my new path.
So, here is what has been going on:
2014 was mostly about adjusting to living in Brooklyn. (I love it!)
Still teaching at School of Visual Arts in Manhattan (Love this too!)
Traveled in Argentina in January 2015 (So much fun!)
Decided to leave my hospice job (scary, but exciting)
Began researching and planning how to start a PLLC.
Traveled to Scotland for a backpacking trip (Amazing!)
Here is what is on the horizon:
Writing my 2nd book, this time focused on Alzheimer's disease.
Attend and present at 2015 AATA conference.
Find an office by September for Creatively Healing, PLLC.
Found Creatively Healing, PLLC.
Interns start in the fall!
Develop workshops for CATs.
Start groups and sessions for clients.
Go after funding possibilities.
Teach a class of Chilean students in Aug.
Pursue NBCC CE provider status.
Get license in NJ when it is available.
Hire part time employees or independent contractors (already have people interested!)
Expand and reach more amazing people!
I would love to hear your thoughts and questions, so feel free to reach out any time!
How do you get through times of inactivity, when you just can't muster up the energy to send out the next round of letters or make that first mark on the blank canvas?
I have moved and am settled in Brooklyn with boxes everywhere. I love my new apartment and the life that has started to take shape. It is invigorating to see potential everywhere I look while at times daunting as well.
The most interesting thing that has happened from a business perspective, is the complete flip in how I am working and where it looks like this path will take me. If I continue this way I will probably end up doing a combination of teaching, business mentoring, house calls, private practice, and work for organizations (Alzheimer's Association, Hospice) with a contracting job or two on the side. This is a change, although it seems like a natural progression, from my 7-15 jobs a month that I have been doing for the past 6 years now.
The lesson has been to stay flexible and see where the road leads.
I am relearning that self-employment can mean using the momentum created by unexpected twists to keep moving forward.
Just last Tuesday I began teaching, as adjunct faculty, for the graduate art therapy program in the School of Visual Arts located in Manhattan. It's amazing! I love it and am very excited to inspire and support students on their way to becoming art therapists.
This did not happen by chance or in a simple way. Last January I sent every program in the area my cover letter and resume to both share about the upcoming publication of my book and also the idea that I was interested in teaching. I heard nothing back. I let it go, deciding to follow up after I figured out where life was taking me and put it out of my mind.
Then I got a phone call in June asking if I had any interest in interviewing for a position at SVA. I was thrilled! However, after the interview I heard back and didn't get the job. I was reassured over the phone about how impressed they were and asked if maybe next year I would be interested in teaching a section of the thesis class. I was enthusiastic about the opportunity and thanked them for considering me. After the conversation I put it out of my mind and looked forward to trying again next year.
A couple weeks later I received another call. I was asked to come in for another interview and the head of the program said they were considering adding another section to the thesis class thIs year. I was stunned and immediately jumped into action, pulling together a new syllabus and interviewing packet.
Less than an hour after the interview I was offered the job!
There is no way to know what will come out of something. Just stay positive, gracious, and patient while always putting your best foot forward.
Now, back to unpacking and settling in. My next break will be to prepare for class number two on this coming Tuesday. Oh how I wish these boxes would unpack themselves!
Happy new school year everyone!
Next Tuesday I move to Brooklyn!
Very exciting and also scary. I'm packing and planning. I have some work lined up with a good balance of downtime in order to make the transition easier, but there's just no way to anticipate everything or know what will happen.
Luckily I will be living with a very good friend in a great neighborhood.
The even more exciting news is that I recently accepted a job offer at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan! I will be teaching a section of the Thesis Project class in the MPS Art Therapy program. This is a big step forward and something I have seen as a part of my career path, but didn't expect to happen so soon. Needless to say I am ecstatic.
Many more posts to come as I restart my contracting, continue consulting,and add in house calls, private practice, and teaching.
I hope you all have had a wonderful summer or winter, depending on where you are!
Please feel free to email me any time with questions or comments!
Along with your cover letter and résumé include a business card. This offers something small the person can hold onto. I had one place that I sent a letter to 5 times over ~6 months. Turns out the program director really wanted me, but kept forgetting to call. She kept my business cards on her desk and, when she finally called, thanked me for continuing to send my card.
Which brings us to the most important point:
If you don't hear from anyone or can't make contact just send your information again. Try different people or departments. If there are multiple units or levels of care than send multiple sets of information. Do not assume people will share your info or talk to one another. Assume that it will take several tries to find the right person and that every 6 months to a year staffing could change, so you should send your marketing information again to places that turned you down before.
Persistance will pay off.
Where do you find places?
Just a reminder that you will have to create most of your own positions because many people do not know how much they can benefit from hiring you as a contractor. With that in mind, you can send your information anywhere. It doesn't matter if there is a job advertised or not. I like to go on google maps and focus on the area around where I live. Then I just type in key words that apply to populations I work with
Adult day care
Nursing and rehab
It can be anything and once started the headers or categories that pop up might give you more words you hadn't thought of. Than you just copy and paste the addresses plus any contact names you find. If a place has a website, go to it and do more research.
I suggest sending info to 30-50 people and facilities at a time. Think of it as letting them know you exist so they can hire you.
PS after a week or two you can follow up with phone calls. Be open and prepared to set up a meeting or group.
The last move I made was from Washington, DC to Huntington, NY. I spent a few months preparing and turned my ~15 groups over to 2 art therapists. It was quite a process to train others in the business and logistical side of contract work, but also a tremendous relief to know my clients would be taken care of once I left.
Now I am embarking on a new kind of move from Huntington to Brooklyn. Very exciting and different in that I will only be an hour or so away from my current jobs. This has allowed me to transition more slowly. Some of my work will end before I move while a couple jobs will end after and one I will keep until I am more established in Brooklyn and can afford to let it go.
There are many different ways to make transitions like this. I think the most important part is to realize what you're leaving behind and how it might be able to help someone else.
Questions to ask yourself:
Can you hand off your jobs or at least find someone interested in interviewing for the facilities?
This could create jobs for other art therapists and continuity for your clients.
Will everything end at once or can the transition be gradual?
There are benefits and challenges either way.
Are your facilities open to taking on someone new or will the art therapy program end with you?
Sometimes there is no control over what will happen next and it's up to you how hard you push to keep it going or if it's something that will have to sort itself out.
No matter his close or far away the move will take you it is a big change. The last month will include packing, changing addresses, and doing all those crazy little things that get you to your destination. One of the smartest things to do is make the jobs as self sufficient as possible during that time. Projects that don't take a lit of prep or at home work, doing things that are not pivotal on your use of home supplies. If supplies are not already at the site than this might be a good opportunity to broach the matter. The less chaos the better and realizing you packed a key ingredient for a project in progress can be stressful, costly, or just plain frustrating.
So, take your way of working into account, plan ahead, and remain flexible. It's a tiring process to move, but the load can be lightened by a little planning and support from friends. Decide what works best for you and realize there is no right way to do this. A new chapter is about to start, so don't forget to enjoy it!
This weekend I took part in the Shambhala Level II training in NYC. Meditation has been a part of my life since 2004 when I started studying at Naropa University and my personal practice has been an interesting on again off again process with varying levels of intensity and breaks. In one of the discussion groups we were talking about fear and fearlessness and the misconception of the meaning behind the words. One person brought up Nik Wallenda crossing a canyon near the Grand Canyon. It was one step at a time, keeping faith that he could do it (and had done everything he could to prepare), and letting fear exist to keep him safe while driving him forward without letting it overwhelm him.
Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It's being willing to do something and to be informed by the fear that arises without letting it become panic or immobility. Fear keeps us safe and alerts us to things we need to pay attention to. Without it we would have very short lives and our ability to make it over the mountain or across the abyss would be much less meaningful.
We need fear, but how you work with it or how much power you give it is up to you. Think about a scary obstacle you overcame. How did it feel once you made it through? Many people describe fear as a wave that, when doing something that scares us, at times seems overwhelming and will then fade back for a minute. It comes and goes until we either back out or push forward. What did you feel after pushing forward? Relief, exhaustion, exhilaration? What about the times you backed out? Neither is wrong or bad. It's okay to back out and sometimes the fear is very insistent for valid reasons that we should all listen to. It's tha ability to engage with the fear that allows each person to make an informed, courageous decision.
So, go out and face your fears. Let them help teach you and you will be surprised at how full your life can be.
Here is a excerpt from a talk Chögyum Trungpa Runpoche gave on fear. Read it!
It's official! I'm moving to Brooklyn, NY! I just signed a lease and now have about 6 weeks to get ready. The excitement of new possibilities is great and there's also the wonder about how I will find new jobs, will there be enough, what if I can't find the jobs I need?
My friend's answer "You literally wrote the book on how to do this. You have nothing to worry about."
I understand her perspective and I am still worried because picking up and moving, no matter the circumstances, requires a leap of faith. Faith that there will be the jobs and everything will turn out okay. A belief that it's a move in the right direction both personally and professionally. When moving because of a job offer it's the hope that the job will be as amazing as we think it will.
So, as a contractor, what can you do to make the transition as positive and smooth as possible?
1) Apply for jobs
This may seem obvious, but it's the hardest step. Update your résumé and cover letter. If you need a little boost, get new business cards. Most importantly send everything out! Don't wait for it to be perfect and don't procrastinate (which is what I'm doing right now, but at least it's productive!). Just get your info out there. Bottom line- if they don't know you exist how can they realize you are perfect for the job?
2) Be Creative
How many places can you send your info? There does not have to be a job posting in order for you to send your information to someone. You can send things anywhere at anytime. I target different places for my traveling art therapy work versus my private practice, but even there I have some overlap.
Adult Day Programs
Basically anywhere the issues I deal with (seniors, adults, Alz disease, grief and loss, bereavement, caretaker support, respite) or people I work with miget be. Again, the bottom line- if they don't know I exist how can they ask for my support, help, or services?
3) Follow Up
Call or stop in to make sure they received your information. If they have no idea who you are, introduce yourself and take the opportunity to briefly (2-3 sentences) explain what you do. Then ask about them and their program or facility. Use the opportunity to figure out who you should resend your info to and connect with. If they aren't sure and suggest more than one person or position, recreation and HR, send more then one copy of your info. Can't hurt!
4) Get Your Foot in the Door
Figure out a way to have a face to face interaction. I offer a free group for my traveling art therapy. This gets me in the door and I have only come back out twice without a job. That will happen when people just want to take advantage of a free group, but more often than not it's worth it.
For other types of work try to get a meeting with someone. If it turns into coffee or lunch than just make sure you aren't the only one talking and order something that is easy to eat and drink while holding a conversation. Most importantly, order on the lite side. Not to impress the other person with healthy eating habits, but to make your time flexible. For me, it's so I can talk and eat at a reasonable pace without feeling rushed or messy on either account. What if things aren't going well? What if the lunch meeting needs to move along? What if everything is going great and it's time to go back and discuss scheduling? Having something that is easy to eat or take home helps and you can always suggest coffee/tea if you both want to prolong the meeting.
5) Send Out More Info
Do it again. Even while having meetings and making follow up calls you can send out your info to other places and people. Don't wait. It's better to have too many offers and interviews than not enough. Keep the cycle going and make the contacts/connections.
Alright, I hope my procrastinating from sending out my own letters has helped. Now I am off to print out my résumé,get some snail mail out, and send some emails. Can't wait to see what Brooklyn has to offer!
I'll post again soon to let you know how it goes.
Emery is excited that Water & Stone is becoming a reality and hopes this blog will inspire others and be a place to share challenges, success, and exciting moments.