This is the first in my new series of “Cups of Cold Water.” Thank you so much to Beverly Goldsmith for sharing this charming story!
We all need a hand when we’re starting off on a new business venture, as well as plenty of encouragement – myself included. It’s such a special gift when an experienced person is willing to assist you and unstintingly share their knowledge and expertise. What a difference it makes. Apart from benefitting from their experience, you receive immense personal comfort from having their support. You no longer feel that you’re struggling on your own – even when you’ve had a previous working career.
I’d had a successful singing career with my brother when we lived in Sydney, Australia. We performed on national TV, onboard eight South Pacific cruises, and did a four month stint entertaining troops in Vietnam during the war. When our singing partnership ended, I married and began teaching music and drama at two high schools in South Australia. My career in music was still blooming, but it had moved into different areas. Most Saturday nights I sang with a band. During the week, in addition to class teaching, I taught piano, guitar and singing to private pupils. I became involved in writing and producing school musicals.
Then, in my late twenties, I decided that the time had come to make a big career switch. I left the music industry and teaching to take up prayer-based healing – which Mary Baker Eddy, the originator of this healing system, set out in her ground-breaking book Science and Health.
I’d taken a two-week class in this healing system when I was 18, and had successfully practiced it for myself and family members since that time. Now the desire to help others secure better health had increased to such a point that I wanted to devote the rest of my life to this work. It wasn’t long before I felt ready to ‘hang out my shingle’ as a Christian Science practitioner. It was a bold and exciting step. One that felt progressive.
I thought that having made this life-changing decision, starting up in this work would be a simple, straightforward matter. I believed that this new field of endeavour would be as rewarding and successful as my musical and teaching careers had been. It never occurred to me that those seeking better health and healing would not contact me. Yet, that’s what happened.
I was living in Adelaide, South Australia, at the time, and there were seven other practitioners of this healing method in the area. All were older than me, and some were much, much older and more experienced. I felt that I wasn’t being called upon for prayerful treatment because of my age.
It was disappointing. Questions emerged about whether I should continue. I longed to know how others had gotten started. Surely there was a well-worn path to follow. A plan came to mind: emulate the older practitioners. Try looking like them and wear beige clothing. Try acting and talking like them. When I added blonde streaks to my jet-black hair and they went grey instead, I was thrilled. Surely looking older would help my cause.
The plan utterly failed.
Then one day, an older and more experienced practitioner, who’d been healing for fifty years, graciously took me under her wing. Inviting me to lunch with her from time-to-time, she generously shared her inspiration, her approach to the healing work, and examples of outstanding healings. In addition, she patiently answered my questions and told me how she’d begun in this line of work.
This dear mentor told me that there was no “formula” for starting out in the practice. I should forget about age and just be myself. There was room for practitioners of all ages. What I had experienced in my life thus far was valuable. The lessons I’d already learned, my healings, the ups and downs of life that I’d gone through would also help someone else in their journey as well. In other words, what I had to share as a young woman would be a blessing to others. I needed to be patient, persistent, and not give up. My desire to help others gain health and healing would bear fruit.
The wise words and example of this experienced practitioner meant a lot to me. Her kind encouragement sustained my fledgling practice. She gave me hope that I would ultimately have a healing career, and that I would be successful in this line of work. And that’s what has taken place.
It’s now over 35 years since I started my work as a Christian Science practitioner. In that time, I’ve also become a teacher of the healing system, a global magazine contributing editor and author of over 140 articles on spirituality. I’ve also been a speaker on local and national radio, on TV, in bookstores, at conferences, and at Mind-Body-Spirit and Healthy Living Expos in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. Like my generous older mentor, I too have had the pleasure of helping and mentoring numerous other women through my line of work, and this continues.
Last year a new opportunity for helping others opened up. I began work as a corporate blogger, writing on the connection between spirituality and health. Although this has presented a different kind of challenge from the previous ones in my life, I’m determined to press on with sharing ideas on how to be healthy and stay healthy. After all, every good idea has the potential to be a life-changer for someone, and that’s worth blogging about.
Beverly Goldsmith is an experienced Christian Science practitioner and teacher as well as a corporate health blogger. Visit www.beverlyg.com and blog: www.spiritualityadneahlthconnect.com. Follow her on Twitter, or find her on LinkedIn or Facebook.