Artist of the Month
Liz Kramer is a school teacher. Her husband Phil is an Operations Manager for a heating company. And while they both enjoy aspects of their careers, they do not find their jobs to be completely fulfilling. This is true for many of us. But unlike the majority of people, the Kramers took the time to examine what was and was not working for them in their professions and in their day to day approach to living and they have implemented both life and career changes. Their relatively new business venture, Soul Synergy LLC, is one outcome of the changes they have made.
It was a cold and gray afternoon when I met with the Kramers to learn about their new careers and life strategies. Phil offered me a cup of herbal tea and Liz lead me into the space in the lower level of their home where they meet with clients. I followed Liz into a moderately sized room which has been decorated with soothing colors, a gas fireplace, and a comfy seating area with a beeswax wrapped candle flickering on the coffee table. The room has a homey and welcoming atmosphere. Behind the seating area is the very luxurious massage/spa therapy table, towel warmer, and shelving holding assorted creams and essential oils. Through double glass doors in the massage area, clients can take in the view of woods that extends back as far as the eye can see. The whole space has a comfortable and relaxing feel - perfect for clients who are looking to "Create the life they are destined for, to live to their full potential."
Liz and Phil's individual journeys started several years ago, before they were a couple. The idea of becoming a counselor began for Liz when she herself was undergoing counseling while going through a divorce. Liz found counseling to be a "moving, life changing experience." She learned to take the time to reflect on what she was doing with her life and on what would bring her the fulfillment that she was missing. Liz realized that she had a passion for helping others. She decided to go back to school to study to become a Holistic Counselor - Holistic counseling is an approach to psychotherapy which targets the mind, body and spirit. Liz was on the path to becoming a Holistic Counselor when she and Phil became a couple. Similarly, Phil felt the spark to one day become a massage therapist the first time he had a massage. And after he and Liz became a couple, with encouragement from Liz, Phil followed her example and set down his own path to fulfillment, training to become a Licensed, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist.
While keeping their "day jobs" the Kramers committed themselves to starting second careers. Liz's Holistic Counseling practice (The Voice Within) and Phil's Massage Therapy and Spa Practitioner practice (It's All About You) help them fulfill their own life goals as they guide others to do the same. Through the couple's joint efforts, client's are helped to release, both physically and emotionally, what is no longer working for them. The Kramer's named the business of their combined practices SOUL SYNERGY LLC. "Synergy comes from the Greek synergos working together." Phil takes care or the physical aspects of release for their clients, Liz guides them through the mental aspects - in conjunction with each other the applications offer both physical and emotional stress release. The goal Liz sets for her clients is to "have each person be authentic and true to themselves." Liz says it is "a great honor to witness a person's process - to be present with them ...and to offer them the tenderness that they need to help them to access what recognitions and life changes will improve their quality of life." But it is not just the clients who gain insight and wellness from these sessions, both Liz and Phil say they too are affected - "it is Spiritual experience."
Clients of Soul Synergy tend to be seeking out a less clinical approach for resolving what is not working in their lives, for one example, folks who do not want to go down the path of pharmaceuticals as a way of treatment. One application Liz directs her clients to try is Expressive Arts - "a holistic therapeutic process in which art is used to express emotions, and when it comes to healing the emphasis is place on stress-producing emotions. Here the client is asked to express his/her feelings through drawing - Liz asks them to "notice how this emotion feels in your body." The idea is to "Access and release - to get it out of the body and onto paper." The concept is to "notice stress producing emotions, then transform this image into a positive one." With these and other tools now in their repertoire, clients are more able to help themselves. Phil speaks with passion about the techniques he uses in his practice.
For Aromatherapy, the warm towels he wraps clients in have been infused with essential oils ( "heavenly" adds Liz). Phil also applies Facial Energy work - affecting the whole body through the face. "Body centered Emotional releases happen with every massage", Phil tells me. The overall goals Liz and Phil have for their clients is to come away from their counseling sessions with "positive feelings and life strategies and following their inner voice. Each person has everything they need right inside of them." Phil's goals from massage therapy are for clients to leave "feeling peaceful and with less pain then they came in with." Phil encourages everyone to drink water to help flush toxins out of their system and to stretch regularly. Phil specializes in not only relaxation/pain relief but also in exfoliation, hydration, body contouring and detoxification.
As for keeping themselves healthy, the couple meditate every morning and take long walks together. They have cut back on caffeine intake and are eating organic as much as possible. They also give themselves a day off here and there, to slow their pace and live balanced lives. They actively work on their relationship and they "have fun together". Liz and Phil hope to open a Wellness Center in the future, a place where like minded people can come together and offer a body/mind/spirit approach to healing. Meanwhile, Phil has his begun an off-shoot venture - creating his own all natural line of skin products, which are available at an affordable price. They both of course are also keeping healthy by following their dreams and find their work as counselor/therapist more fulfilling than their day jobs, Liz says, "I work out of passion. It never feels like work. In giving, I receive."
Both Liz and Phil have made healthy changes to their lives to succeed in their quest for fulfillment. They choose to now spend a large portion of their free time (while continuing to work at their "day jobs") working in fields where they can offer help to others. They both feel the rewards for this go far beyond the monetary - the process of healing apparently being symbiotic. Liz says, "I gain from what my clients discover." Phil adds, "I feel a passion for the first time in my life. I feel that we were destined for these careers."
To visit the Kramers' website: soulsynergyonline.com
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