Losing students is cyclical and inevitable. We can research and attend seminars that teach us how to attract and retain students, but it is equally important to know how to lose students with grace. It is important to have the tools to shift our perspective and to allow each situation to bring us more aligned with our own possibilities and potential for growth and creation.
"Bless them on their journey....Bless them on their journey."
Every year, with a broken heart and completely distressed about who was leaving, I would call my mentor in tears unsettled with the present moment and not thinking clearly. She would repeat to me, "bless them on their journey. Bless them on their journey."
Like a mantra, I would repeat it until I found my peace.
She held space for me so I could eventually make a decision from a place of love and gratitude; She wouldn't let me off the hook until she was convinced that I could see the beauty and blessing in the situation. She encouraged me to find my state of grace. She continued, "Bless them on their journey."
I am grateful that I not only had someone to walk me through the process of losing students, but also made it safe for me to feel all of the "feels" until I danced my way back to the foundation of my heart. She helped me see the truth of what the future held.
We are hardwired with fear-based thinking. When we hear that a veteran student is leaving, our immediate thought is not "I am happy for them" rather it's "Oh my gosh, who else is leaving? What are people going to think? What is going to be left of my program?"
Many years ago, my mentor said "Your studio is a beautiful garden full of diversity and love. You are the gardenertaking care of the vision, tending to the care needed for each season. You maintain, nurture and tend to what your Heart and what God called you to create. It is a magnificent space for growth, beauty and creativity. It's a space of LOVE."
She continued by saying "Your garden attracts many butterflies. Some butterflies will stay and play in your garden for a long time, while others may fly away early. No matter the length of time, each butterfly made the garden brighter and more vibrant; pollinating each flower, fertilizing the garden, sustaining its beauty and fragrance. Every butterfly that enters your garden adds value, sweetness, and allure; fluttering whispers of creativity, possibilities and life lessons. When it is time for the butterfly to take flight once again, bless it on it's journey."
She concluded her powerful words of wisdom by saying "Thank it for the beauty that it brought to your garden and graciously await for the next butterfly to come, entering your space with new wings, new patterns and a fresh fluttering of hope and magic, supporting and sustaining the soul of the space."
Here are 5 Tips on "How to lose a student with grace."
1. See each student as a butterfly. Focus on the benefits that you added to each others' lives. Find gratitude for the time spent together. Think only of the good and "bless them on their journey, wishing them love."
2. Make the choice to leave a final positive imprint on your student; Demonstrate grace and compassion. Ask yourself how you want your student to think of you 10 years from now? What impact do you want to leave on their life? If you have loved them in your space, can you love them outside of your space, or do you love with conditions?
Practice unconditional love.
3. When fear creeps in, ask yourself "Is it true?" Question each thought that brings you fear or suffering, give it space, then allow yourself to find peaceful and inspired solutions. Place your hand over your heart and allow the whispers of your true self to come forth. Continue to align with your Higher Purpose, Vision and Mission. Come back to LOVE.
4. Remember that true growth comes with great change! Don't fear the change. Embrace it, knowing that for new breath to come in, you must exhale the old breath that no longer serves you. You need to create space for your manifestations to enter. We are constantly recycling energy. We let go of something to make room for something else. Change your perspective of what "loss" looks like and see it as an opportunity for more magic to appear.
5. Get into the space of CREATION!
A visualization technique.
Close your eyes and place your hand over your heart. Begin to breathe into this space until you feel a sense of peace fill your body. Begin to visualize the upcoming season. Allow the imagination to explore what future possibilities await you.
What does the new season FEEL like? How do your students feel? Are they happy? Do they support your vision? Do you equally support each other? What accomplishments do you achieve in the new year? What is exciting?
Get more specific.
Continue to breathe into your heart space and allow your heart to show you the magic that the future holds for you.
Stay here for as long as possible, allowing your spirit to flutter, bringing to you all that is abundant, joyful and full of Magic.
Sending LOVE to all.
If this resonates with you, please share or comment below.