The Key Ingredient

Growing a thriving wellness practice is like baking a cake – omit a Key Ingredient and the result is hard and flat as a pancake. Follow the recipe exactly, and you end up with a light and delectable life experience!


My life journey to creating my coaching and wellness practice may be very similar to yours.

My parents divorced when I was in kindergarten. Although my dad lived close by, I didn’t get to see him very often. When I did spend the weekend with him, we’d frequently go camping or motorcycle riding – activities I love even today but that my mom and I never did.

I craved the visits with my dad. Then, when I was with him, I dreaded going home and returning to waiting for him to call again.

As a result I dealt with many feelings of loss and abandonment due to his absence in my life.

My mom remarried when I was about 11 to a man who physically abused me, and emotionally and verbally abused her.

All of this impacted my ability as I was growing up to feel like I fit in. I always felt different than the other kids.

In my early twenties I was tormented by my difficulty in forming relationships, especially with men. I always seemed to end up with men who were emotionally unavailable to me.

I also had difficulty in not only creating, but maintaining, success in my life. I lived my life with this overriding feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”. Whenever I reached a certain level of success in my work or career I would have this fear that it was all going to end, because it usually did!

It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Fast forward 20 years.

I was managing one of the biggest projects of my technology business – a 6-figure nationwide project for a very large tech firm, when I had the opportunity to experience a life-changing Reiki energy healing.

I didn’t totally process what occurred for me during that initial Reiki session, or how my life journey up to that point, would serve as the foundation for my business until years later. But that was because I didn’t have anyone to help me connect what happened to me in a practical way in my life. I had to figure it out on my own!

But you don’t have to! It doesn’t have to take you years to create the thriving business you crave.


Just like me, your life journey up to this point and the life lessons that you’ve gained from it, speak to why you are here. They are your gifts and message to the world. Without them you are a commodity – just another yoga teacher or massage practitioner or any other wellness provider that can be shopped against your competition.

It doesn’t have to take you years to create a thriving business. You don’t have to flounder around trying to figure out what step to take next or wrestle over what is and is not the “right” decision for you.

Combined, your life journey and the related life lessons (or “gifts”), are the Key Ingredient to growing a thriving wellness practice.

If you build your practice around your unique gifts, you can capitalize on what makes you different and set yourself apart from anyone else in your field.

Below is an exercise that will help you connect with your own unique gifts and message to the world.

In my next article I will address another key ingredient for the recipe, or Blueprint, for creating a thriving wellness practice.


With good energy,




P.S. Because I know that walking this journey on your own can sometimes feel difficult, I’m hosting a Fast-Track to Business Webinar on November 16th at 1:00 p.m. PST / 4:00 p.m. EST. This FREE webinar will take you through each step of the Blueprint. During the webinar I will show you my secret to transitioning from an hourly practitioner to how I created long-term residual income in my business. You can do it too! I will show you how. I’ll tell you later how you can tune in for that.



What you will need:

Two sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and one or more pens, perhaps in several different colors.

The Process

  1. Find a quiet, nurturing space where you can connect with yourself without being disturbed.
  2. Take a few minutes to center and ground yourself. You can either do a brief meditation or just take a few moments to close your eyes. Focus your attention on the center point in the middle of your chest, your heart space. Allow yourself to observe your breath going in and out of your body. Notice your belly expand as you inhale and collapse as you exhale.
  3. Take one of the sheets of paper and turn it lengthwise, horizontally.
  4. Draw a line in the middle of the page, from the left to the right edge of the paper.
  5. On the left edge write the date you were born. On the right, the current date.
  6. Starting as far back as you can remember begin to record your major life events, assigning dates to each, from left to right, creating a timeline of your life.
  7. Above-the-line record the high points, the events that occurred that were celebrations, achievements or other great points in your life.
  8. Below-the-line record the events that were painful or difficult in some way.
  9. Now, close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are sitting in front of a very wise guru, someone who has walked your life journey with you every step of the way. As you look into the eyes of this guru, ask them, “What are the life lessons I was to learn on this journey? What messages am I here to give to the world?”
  10. Stop and listen for the answers. Listen to that small, still voice in-between your breaths.
  11. On another sheet of paper, write down what you see, feel or hear.


Debra Wilson Guttas, Mid-Life Transition Doula™, HTP

Author of the forthcoming book “Personal & Business Success through the 7 Gateways – Spiritual & Practical Tools for Crafting Your Life from the Inside Out” and co-author of the book “Women of Spirit“.

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