17 years journey in a nutshell

Janet DeHart

Holistic Health Practitioner and Wellness Business Mentor

Michele

Hello Janet, thanks for accepting to share your experiences with me today as part of the transformational interviews series. For those who don’t know her, Janet is a holistic health practitioner and a wellness business mentor. Tell me what this means to you?

Janet

As a holistic health practitioner, through my training at the college, I studied lots of ways to work with the body. Various therapeutic methods, new ways of understanding, and Eastern philosophies, about how to create a lifestyle around the whole being and a different way of existing.

These are ancient methods that have been around a long time, and the word holistic means to be whole. In modern-day society, we have learned to compartmentalize and work with technology, and that expands some version of ourselves. Especially during this pandemic, it’s like, I’m gonna do this virtual thing and I’m using filters to be like this person and these are different ways that we can show up partially. A holistic mindset, attitude, and lifestyle are how you are showing up, moment to moment all of yourself, aligned and awake.

And that has continued to develop over the years. It’s been 16-17 years of working with various modalities to continue to understand what that means in direct experience. As society has been evolving, a collective awareness accelerated in the last decade or two as well.

I started when I was 18, working as a physical therapist aid, and taking some initial courses to become a physical therapist. When I was 20  is when I started going to a holistic health college. I shifted to an alternative or integrative type of approach rather than the Western medical approach.

For the last 13 years I lived and had my practice in San Francisco. I didn’t want my practice to have the typical business structure. I hired a team of professionals to completely renovate the space and align it with my vision. The result was an absolutely beautiful space. Do you know the Danish term “hooga”? It denotes coziness and warmth and it was the design concept, behind everything that I placed in the space. It’s very inviting, soon as you walk through the door and you start feeling that you’re healing on some level before even going into your appointment.

Michele

Did you make the design yourself?

Janet

I did. I had some input from clients that were interior designers and architects. I had input but I didn’t hire anyone to do the design. I just did it bit by bit. So, energetically it was a very intentional space.

Michele

Do you consider this period to be your “peak”, the moment where you felt the most successful?

Janet

Correct. So that was the apex or the climax of my career in San Francisco. And I wasn’t foreseeing that it was going to end. Maybe, change it to a co-operative. But in the end, my lease was ending and the landlady doubled the lease. Two of the team members agreed to take her offer, cutting me out. I could have fought to keep the space but I decided that I didn’t want to use my energy that way. And that’s what I chose to do, just to let it go. 

I’ve been kind of recovering from the abruptness of that. I felt like I was betrayed a little bit by the two team members that were with me for some time, one of them from the very beginning. I wanted it to be as clean as possible and I also looked at my actual intention for why I opened that space. It was to be a healing space for the community and the fact that it had my name on it, was just beside the point. So, when I looked at my actual intention it wasn’t about money and it wasn’t about being mine.

Michele

What did you learn from that experience?

Janet

There were so many lessons. Not just one, but I would say it gave me a very tangible experience of how I handle things under stress and when things are bigger than I imagined.

It gave me confidence in myself and also showed that I have the capacity to lead. My leadership is a lot subtler and it’s more a peer-to-peer dynamic. A lot of people are not used to that.  I realized that often people don’t know what to think of it, because I don’t establish myself in a hierarchy position, even though I was the owner. I do things from a peer-to-peer way. Something I could perhaps improve is to clarify the business model, and secure it a little bit better.

Michele

Now you are in a transition phase, you are telling me that you are writing and you’re planning for the future? What’s the grand idea?

Janet

Now I’m working on a collaborative project and it’s a very creative process. I’m working on a Tarot which is utilizing cards and it is the oldest structure of cartomancy. My sister is the illustrator, I’m the writer, I have a digital designer, and an editor. That’s moving forward and it is beautiful, and artistic, and it has healing as the intention. Also, it has a deep message that’s woven into it. That’s taking a lot of my creative energy and focus right now.

In the same time I’m finishing my bachelor’s degree, which I stopped when I opened my own business in my twenties and took off as an entrepreneur. It meshes spirituality and ecology. It’s about how spirituality is weaved into climate and ecosystems. Spirituality has actually been a backbone of society, you know, it comes through as religion. But I think that where we’re evolving as a society is accepting spirituality more than religious institutions. That’s a little bit more of the esoteric side where I’m going to go personally, over the next 10 years.

As far as business entrepreneurialism and work, I’ve created a group program called self-care sovereignty, which is a six months program taking a group of people through six different themes around self-care. It’s helping people establish their own self-care methods, rituals, and structure for themselves, through nutrition, movement, meditation, arranging your space to cycles and seasons. It’s helping people design their own lives in a way that centers around their own self-care.

The program is open to anyone, but it’s not for beginners. What I’ve noticed is that people that are drawn to it, already have some history, they’re yoga teachers or they’ve been practicing meditation for a while or they understand the basic concepts of self-care and they want to deepen their understanding of it. Essentially, the ideal person will exit the program having their own practices in place, where they don’t have to follow a teacher. That’s the idea of self-care sovereignty. They can be sovereign themselves as they move through the world and all of the different things that we have to do to navigate in the world.

Last year I designed this six-month program to be in-person in San Francisco. And then when the pandemic started I changed it all to a virtual program and I created a curriculum so that I could take people through it virtually. 

The missing piece of the puzzle is a website that presents my offerings and services to the public and shares my personal and professional achievements so that people can find me. 

Also I would love to open another business space. Probably a coworking-type cafe. With maybe one or two offices to rent out. And then the cafe would bring the community in, something really simple. Having local artists and musicians in the evening. It’d be a community center based around connection, just bringing people in to connect around creativity. And because of who I am, it would definitely have a healing type of vibe.

Michele

I can see that you have experience being an entrepreneur for many years. And how does going to college fits into your schedule?

Janet

I utilize my calendar a lot, and I organize. Owning my business in San Francisco, I relied on my calendar. I had many overlapping projects and I was booked out three months in advance. Everything had to be scheduled all of the time.

It helps me be fluid because I can be fluid within that structure. I’ve learned to trust the structure. And sometimes because ultimately I’m the boss, I can just scrap the whole structure if it isn’t working. I think ultimately it’s being empowered with utilizing the structure, but then also utilizing the natural fluidity when I need it.

One of the main things that trips people up a lot is the need to perform, and to look good, to be correct, to be right.

And then the opposite is guilt or shame when you do something wrong. And those are the things that bog any entrepreneur or any individual down from productivity or being clear, and being precise in their actions.

Michele

I can see that you put a lot of thoughts into it. Is it going deeper into everyday’s activity and not acting in autopilot something you do on every area of your life?

Janet

I do the deep work so that autopilot can function from the center space. I don’t want the autopilot to happen from a superficial space. I would say I do it in a lot of areas of my life and ongoing. I would call it a ritual, or a ceremony type of thing that is infused into all of my interactions, choices, and things, and it wasn’t always that way. I learned that and now it’s just like breathing.

Michele

Do you have any daily ceremony that it’s particularly dear to you?

Janet

This is a really simple one and I share this with clients a lot. It’s just using your hands. For me, I will place them on the central line of my body. It’s a practice of connecting with somatic, which is the body. It’s somewhere on the heart and then the abdomen. But, it might be higher or lower sometimes. And that’s a practice of intuition, where do my hands want to rest for the moment? And it’s just brief, it could be three breaths or five breaths, but just like breathing into that space with eyes closed. And honestly, that’s a ceremony. Immediately I’m connected to my center channel. Not only physically, but energetically. 

I also do a lot of writing, and every three months or so, I map out what my values are.

I section them out into personal, business, community. And then I organize my calendar, to be honest, feels ceremonial to me. I will put an emoji or change the color. And rather than just being practical it becomes an enjoyable thing and it elicits some sort of emotional response. It’s not just a mental thing. It’s like a center channel, everything’s online in the body.

Janet DeHart

Holistic Health Practitioner and Wellness Business Mentor

I’m a Holistic Health Practitioner and Wellness Business Mentor utilizing extensive methods and personal experience to support my clients. I offer customized private sessions, group classes, curated programs, and collaborate on events or immersions — virtual or in person.

My work is educational and activating, encouraging students and clients to maximize their regenerative capacity. My business approach is creative as an entrepreneur and artist; currently partnering with contemporaries on local and international projects. I continue to manage an evolving private practice and provide consulting for Wellness entrepreneurs and business owners.