You are one of the amazing individuals that feels inspired to bring healing and wholeness and support as someone you know is dying. You want to assist somehow and that is what you are doing here.
Based on your answers in 1 — 3 below, you will know whether to continue on through to #20 and make a serious roadmap for yourself as you and the people you will serve surely deserve that.
If you are not inspired to serve in that manner, then truly, this is something to see where the winds take you and your main take away I hope is to know how whatever and however you choose to manifest this desire, you will be bringing healing to your part of the world.
If you change only one person’s life for the better (our own) than we are able to further expand this compassion and love to others, in this case, through the accompanying through dying and death all who are affected.
Blessings to you and may we meet on this journey somewhere where end of life doulas meet.
You are inspired to serve. Let’s see what it’s all about.
Get your favorite dedicated notebook or 3 ring binder to capture your exploration here with the CareDoula Pathway. It is a dynamic process that you will add to over time as you continue to learn and grow in how you want to serve.
- You know you are good at it or feel you would be or have experiences that show you are. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
- Do you want to learn more about the art of the practice of accompanying others through dying? Why? What is your end goal? What is it YOU want from this experience?
- Do you want to provide professional services as one who accompanies (many presently call this End-of-Life Doula/Midwife/Coach or Death Doula/Midwife/Coach).
a. If no, simply enjoy the process of learning where you feel it. Know you are learning for the beauty and power of knowing and being this go to person in your circles. You are the neighbor helping a neighbor. Community CareDoula. Family Service and Volunteer Community Service. Experience is your greatest teacher. Observe, witness, love, offer care and learn to reduce suffering around you.
b. If yes, see rest of pathway. Go to #4.
Do you see that you want to serve professionally without a shadow of doubt? then please know you need to have as much support for yourself so you create something that is responsible and honoring of your strengths and weaknesses.
If your exploration in the process above in our first 3 steps has brought you to the following journey, my suggestions below comes from hard won experience —not just from my own but from mentoring many people from around the world over since 2005. Enjoy the process!
- Know this. Have a guide/mentor. A person more experienced ahead of you in private practice serving others. In exactly what you want to do is best. Next best is an experienced home care provider if that is what you want. Or experienced clinician in the office setting offering palliative or end of life services in this alternative space. Or Holistic Practitioner who understands the sensitivities of our end of lifetime period, who serves themselves in nontraditional ways.
- Know this. Do not develop this alone. Be in presence of people smarter than you and more experienced than you. They must be available to you.
Group/Support/Honest Feedback. Develop this for yourself. Or this support may come with your mentor.
- Action: Assess deep desire. What unique thing do you want the world to know? That will add to the collective wisdom, that you want to be a part of awakening in others. Envision yourself giving a TED talk. What would you say in your 15 min. Huge clue what your biggest desire is.
- Action: Assess your skills now: all of them: general and specific. About education, work, special gifts, natural abilities, life experiences. Pick your top 3 unique to you aspects you love the most. It does not have to be most desirable to the public, what you think people would want, etc. It is what YOU value most.
- Action: With the support of your unique 3 strengths, decide what your main offering to the world is—this thing you envision yourself doing to serve people at the end of life. Do not think of anything else (needs, possibilities, reality checks, nothing but your desire and skill set and how you want to manifest this.
- Action: Take your answer to #8 and make sure your service/s that come out of this is one main service, not 12, not “l can serve everyone, anytime, doing 100 modalities. It may be true but that
speaks to no one. If you cannot let go and just choose one service, consider no more than 1 – 3 services based on #8. Try for 1 main service.
- Action: Once you have #9, at least in thought. You know its solid and if doesn’t “feel” solid yet, spend some time with it. Let it gel. Meditate on it. Journal about it. Go within. Don’t focus on it. Just be with your discovery or your validation of what you have always known. Sit with it for a couple of weeks and make sure you are 100% behind committing.
- Action: Study the needs of people in advanced illness and dying. Unless they are wealthy, they usually need money. Everyone needs respite from care giving. Everyone needs practical support. Also, is there a particular subgroup that you want to serve? Certain spiritual community? Certain cultural community? Certain demographic? Claim that. If you don’t and want to “serve everyone” then you will focus on who will benefit the most from what you decided, you want to do in #9.
- Action: Set up your business aspects:
a. Set up business in county/state
b. Set up Square, PayPal, Venmo and a business bank account
c. Set up phone number if different than your present cell (recommended)
d. Set up family contract/agreement
e. Set up how you protect yourself professionally
f. Set up your paperwork for your practice. How will you organize what you are doing?
g. Trust that you will learn the next business skill as you go.
- Action: Decide the structure of your sessions. How many hours are in each session? What are the limits of each session? What are the boundaries in service, in geographic area? What will you be doing in this session? Can it be weekly? Monthly? Must it be daily? Can it be hourly? Must it be at least 2 hours? 3 hours? Get this part straight.
- Action: Decide the value of your service.
a. Step 1. Calculate the best you can the total value of what you bring to the table. Not what you think people will pay, not what you think people can afford, not based on who else is doing what. What is the actual value of your service to the consumer?
b. Step 2. Research what other home services are charging in your community from the plumber to the caregiver to the massage therapist. What are going home bound rates for services? Especially check out personal companion companies and non-medical sitting services and respite services.
c. Step 3. Have an hourly rate that you will base your package rate from. Decide if you will charge hourly or by the day or by the week. Figure out your terms. When will payment be due? Do you want a retainer?
- Action: Decide how you will get the word out and support this. My personal favorites are education sessions, conversation sessions and networking meetings. There a so many ways, those 3 are the best in my personal experience and that of the doulas I work with.
- Action: Volunteer Your Services in the beginning. See how it feels to serve without money expectations.
- Action: Radical Self-care. Nurture the sacred CEO (you).
- Action: Lifelong learning. If you think you know everything, please stop serving asap.
- Enjoy! It all integrates, it really does!
This is the CareDoula® Pathway–a process to becoming crystal clear about how you want to serve and the road map to get you there. Enjoy the journey!
All my love,
Want More Help?
If you are seriously interested in creating your own unique end-of-life service,
you may be interested in our brand new program option, Business QuickStart for the End-of-Life Professional
Our unique Business QuickStart for the End-of-Life Professional is full of powerful business tools to jumpstart your practice creation. I’ve distilled the best professional lessons from my full mentoring program, “Certified CareDoula.” It will help you create the structure of your practice, pricing and packaging and promotions strategy. If all you need is business guidance and a plan to get out there, this is it!