My Lunch with Wendi

I parked my rental car in front of the Dushanbe Tea House, my first stop on the way home from a wonderful weekend assisting at a Core Transformation training in Boulder, Colorado. It was a beautiful, sunny Monday, the last day of February, with only a slight chill in the air. Since I was a half-hour early, I took a little walk, though Central Park and past the bandstand, towards the gleaming mountains that seemed almost close enough to touch, then right on Broadway, exploring around the block (but as Wendi told me later, I missed the fabulous Pearl Street Mall, only a block further north).

The Tea House is a gift from the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Boulder’s sister city in Central Asia (next time I am in Dushanbe, remind me to check out Boulder’s return gift). When I got back there I was still fifteen minutes early; I went inside, glanced around to make sure I was first, and was seated at a table where I could see the door. At the table next to me a young mother was trying to keep track of the items her youngest child was throwing from his high chair onto the floor. The baby turned around and smiled at me, as his slightly older sister proudly introduced herself.

I was sure I would recognize Wendi when she came in, and I did; she smiled at my wave, walked briskly over and sat down. She looked trim and fit, wearing black slacks, a silvery top, and a small jacket. I half expected her to say, in her low hypnotic voice, “Hello, I’m Wendi Friesen,” as she does at the beginning of her recordings (establishing rapport from the jump). But of course that was unnecessary – we knew one another, though this was the first time we had met in person.

My acquaintance with Wendi goes back to late 2006, my first contact (well, almost my first) with hypnosis and hypnotherapy, when I stumbled upon her website and downloaded some introductory recordings (see Into Hypnosis, Part I). A couple years later, after I had become a hypnotherapist myself, we exchanged several emails around working with addictions and some other topics, and more recently, followed each other on Twitter.

I had known that she had moved recently from living on the beach in Southern California to the foot of the Rockies in Boulder. As I was making my travel plans, I realized I would have several hours that Monday before I had to get to the airport, so I decided to see if, by any chance, Wendi would meet me for breakfast or lunch. Famous people are not always that easy to contact – I finally found an avenue in Twitter and she graciously agreed.

We ordered (salads, both of us) and she listened intently as I told her the story of how it was through her site and her recordings that I stopped cracking my knuckles and set out on my path to become a hypnotherapist. She told me about her current project to make scripts and recordings, by herself and others, available cost-free to military veterans suffering from PTSD.

Let me tell you, this lady is the real deal! Yes, she is a brilliant marketer, at a rate of several million per year from her site, TV, radio, and appearances – and there is real substance and depth to her as well. She rarely sees individual clients now, but for many years she did, developing her skills, her insight, and her voice to high levels of mastery. And beyond that she is bold – she does her research, develops her approach, her methods, and her scripts, but then she puts it out there: she does not wait for it to be the best ever, for perfection, for anyone else’s seal of approval; she just does it.

We talked about her upcoming vacation trip – by herself with no staff – to . . . oh, I can’t tell you just yet – she is running a “Where in the World is Wendi?” contest, which I am not going to give away.  But I can tell you it involves elephants.

I told her about what I do, about Quantum Focusing and Core Transformation. I asked her for some advice, on building my practice, in becoming better at what I do. “I used to hold weekly ‘open houses’,” she told me. “I would rent a room in the library, put out flyers, and people would come. There was no charge; I always did things that would be interesting – informal talks about hypnosis and hypnotherapy, short demonstrations, that kind of thing. Many of the ones who attended became clients.”  “How much do you charge?” she asked me, and I told her. “Really, you should think about charging more,” she told me. “You do wonderful things with people – they expect to compensate you well. If you don’t ask enough, they will wonder about you.” She has used radio advertising successfully, on a national scale. Not appropriate for me, perhaps – her business is her website, offering hundreds of recordings for purchase on CD or download, whereas mine is hypnotherapy for individual clients – but it is something to think about.

After a delightful hour-and-a-half it was time for me to leave for the Denver airport. But first I posed with her for a couple cell phone photos. We hugged, and as I walked to my car I saw Wendi putting on her helmet and getting on her bicycle to ride to whatever was next.

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