Wednesday Work Day is a series started by editor Hillary Leftwich to showcase and support creatives who offer services, both in-person or online, and are impacted by the pandemic and the shutdowns both statewide as well as in other countries. The series will showcase one business or individual that is still able to provide a service during the shutdown, whether via remote service or some other way. The hope is to overcome the struggle creatives are enduring through these times and have you, dear reader, get to know some folks who might be able to help you or someone you know with their services. Read a conversation with Iternant Creative Content & Coaching LLC Founder Deanna M. Rasch below.
Rasch writes speculative fiction (as D.M. Rasch) and poetry, informed, in part, by her experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Injury and as a gender nonconforming person. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) were instrumental in freeing her own vulnerable creative voice, as well as those of a growing number of her creative coaching clients, thanks to her decision to become an accredited practitioner. She taught in university and workshop settings for 11 years before forming Itinerant Creative Content & Coaching LLC, through which she coaches and mentors struggling creatives through mental/emotional blocks, works as an author and editor, and continues to teach classes and workshops. She is the author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: The Classic Tale and An Anthology of Twists, Retellings, and Sequels (2019, S Shane Thomas). She lives in the Denver, Colorado, area with two sister kittens who like to write poems on her laptop.
Hillary Leftwich: How did you become interested in Emotional Freedom Techniques (Tapping) and sharing this gift with others?
Deanna M. Rasch: I first discovered EFT as a self-help tool a decade ago. I was drawn to the use of acupressure points as a way of quickly calming the nervous system. It made sense to me based on my previous studies in Chinese Medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, and Counseling Psychology. I was immediately impressed with the ease and simplicity of the self-help practice and added it to my personal toolbox for managing PTSI symptoms.
When I felt the pull to weave together the threads of my background into a Creative Coaching practice, a deeper study of EFT was one of my priorities. The fact that I might be able to accomplish with clients what I previously had with Asian bodywork modalities, Craniosacral Therapy, and counseling was intriguing. The bonus of being able to do that virtually, without the need for in-person touch or years of work, clinched it for me.
As I pursued my studies, the work I received from other students and mentor-practitioners accelerated my own healing and development in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I knew I had to share this work with friends, colleagues, clients. I was motivated to continue with the highest level training offered.
HL: Taking the leap from a traditional job into owning your own business is a huge, scary decision. What was your motivation for doing so and for being fearless?
DMR: It’s a big leap, for sure. Don’t let try to convince you otherwise.
It’s one thing to do gig work—I’d done that for years, on the side and even trying to make it self-supporting. What I discovered is that creating a sustainable business is a completely different animal. It takes planning, patience, persistence, and a lot of faith in yourself. Which means you have to do a lot of self-healing and development so that you don’t sabotage your progress and serve your clients in a way that honors both of you. It also takes good mentorship and support. There’s a lot to learn. Doing it on your own can be a recipe for burnout and running out of steam to persist.
For me, it was a matter of being able to use my education and skills—the fullness of my background—in a way that I could make the decisions about how I would show up to serve. Deciding who I work with, what that looks like, how much I charge, which and how many hours I devote to certain aspects of it—these became priorities after so many years in public service, operating within the limits and purposes of those organizations. I have my own purpose to fulfill and it needed more room to grow and mature.
HL: You teach everything from T’ai Chi Chih to EFT to life help. How do you practice self-care?
DMR: I practice what I teach!
I have a daily meditation practice. I tap for myself every day and have sessions with a practitioner for continued healing and development. I practice T’ai Chih Chih 4 to 5 times per week. I write and walk or hike most days. I study spiritual and personal development by reading and working with my own coaches/mentors.
HL: You are a strong force in the writing community, as well as the LGBTQ world. How does your business support those in both of these communities?
DMR: I position myself as a creative coach who uses EFT and practical tools to help struggling creative minds past blocks to doing life AND creating.
My own experience as a creative struggling with many of the issues I now support others with—all around managing our minds and emotions, what some call “adulting” in life, and finding/staying in a creative flow by balancing the rest—makes me an informed, empathic coach for fellow creatives. EFT makes me especially effective at helping folks back to creating quickly, changing “rules,” beliefs, habits holding them back (suffering artist, anyone? :), and managing thoughts and emotions that have been managing them.
As a genderqueer lesbian, I’m all too familiar of the trauma inherent in growing up and navigating life as an LGBTQIA+ person in this world. I support my community through my writing, coaching/EFT services, and through writing/healing workshops.
HL: You have two young cats who are sisters. How hard is it to do service online with them continually wanting your attention?
DMR: We seem to be working it out.
They are expected now in online business meetings I attend. And clients welcome their supportive presence. They seem to have a sense of when I’m online with a client, versus friends and colleagues, and are respectful of that space. Mandy, especially, will sit in camera range quietly, as an emotional support animal will do. Harley, on the other hand, loves to walk across the keyboard when I’m just chatting and meeting online. The life of the party, that one 🙂
HL: What would you say to someone curious and interested in your services, but knows nothing about EFT and is scared, on the fence, or not sure it would help them or a particular situation they are looking for help with?
DMR: Great question!
For those who like information and science, visiting scholarly articles, clinical research studies like this one may satisfy some curiosity and answer questions.
I’ve also just finished a week of posts on my LinkedIn and FB business pages (links above) that answer FAQs I hear often from potential clients. Reviewing my posts, in general—especially #TappingTuesdays tap along videos on those pages can help folks get to know me and my work a little better.
The best way, in my opinion, is to DM on Facebook or LinkedIn, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a chat to meet with me virtually. You can ask all your questions and receive an assessment of what needs to shift for you to get where you want to be and how that would look, working with me, if it’s a fit for us both.
Hillary Leftwich earned her MFA in fiction and poetry from the Mile High MFA at Regis University in Denver. She is co-host for At the Inkwell Denver, a monthly reading series. Her writing can be found in print and online in such journals as The Missouri Review, Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, Matter Press, Literary Orphans, Sundog Lit, NANO Fiction, and others. Her first book, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock, was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in October 2019. Find her online at hillaryleftwich.com.