I recently decided to go back to work in the restaurant industry to supplement my income. I like to be able to focus on healing work as a yoga guide and reiki practitioner without feeling financially strained. In the past few years, I had transitioned into the HR and office support role of hospitality. This time around, I decided to go back into hostessing so that I can easily detach from my workday and continue to invest time in my other projects. I hadn’t worked on the dining room floor of a restaurant since 2012, and in all fairness, I was a little nervous about going back.
Working in the service industry can be very difficult at times, especially in the fine dining industry in New York City. In the past, my way to unwind after a hectic shift included a stiff drink and several smoke breaks. But over the years I have found healthier ways to deal with stress that don’t include harming my body. Yoga, meditation, veganism, working with healing energy and the daily practice of staying present and mindful have completely changed my demeanor when challenging situations arise. I am still required to know who Pete Wells (restaurant critic) is on site, and master the art of standing in heels with a tray of drinks in one hand, while pulling a table out with the other so a guest can fit into the banquet seat comfortably. The game of “seat and greet” is the same, but I noticed that a few things have drastically changed since the last time I used Open Table, and it’s not just the software.
I don’t take things personally.
I can recall many times that I left work feeling totally worthless because a guest had yelled or spoken to me in a manner that did not match my worth. Everyone is living in their own reality, and no two people are ever having the exact same experience. Our upbringing, past life issues, values, perceptions and a host of other factors create how we interpret what is actually happening in the present moment. Whatever was going on with someone before they walked in the door is going to be reflected in the way they behave towards me. Hurt people hurt people, and as a host, it is my job to simply offer to do my best and make them as comfortable as possible. If they are uncomfortable and fussy after that, then all I can do is extend them compassion and not absorb their projected negative energy.
I value my ability to hold space for others.
I used to always feel a strong separation between myself and what I deemed “upper class customers”. I made judgments about people who tipped me $20 to check their designer coats, wondering if these gracious tips were a way of showing me pity for being the “lowly girl waiting at the door with her hand out”. I walked through the dining room feeling like a small, meaningless part of a world that I was not a part of, simply running errands and doing others’ bidding.
Talk about a negative self image! Not only are we all just the same, but my role in life is just as valuable as everyone else. It is an honor to be of service, and even though the circumstances may differ, we all have the opportunity to offer our gifts through the means of service in our lifetime. So to the generous patron with the ability to tip me so handsomely, thank you for this even energy exchange. I now understand that it is not a means to make me feel inferior; that was my own projection.
I am a lightworker everywhere the Divine sends me.
I am aware that I am put in specific places for a divine reason, always. My ability to connect with people immediately is a gift, and helping people relax and take care of their own needs is also the basis for my work in the healing community. When people come to a restaurant, they are expressing their own right to self care. This is an opportunity to feel well taken care of and celebrated! You are greeted at the door with open arms and smiles from people who are there specifically to ensure you have the best accommodations. A team works together to ensure you have everything you ask for, and the things you request are made with love and care by the hands of someone who is dedicated to the art of nurturing through food. Guests are there to celebrate special occasions, impress new clients for work, make an intimate connection with a new love interest and a plethora of other reasons. Even when someone shows up in a funk, they come with the intention and desire to be taken care of for the few hours they spend inside.
So thank you, fellow light beings, for coming into the sacred space I hold for you at the door and trusting that the present moment will provide for you. I am happy to be of service.