I have recently being designing new workshops, retreats and journeys I wish to offer as part of my coaching practice. After the vulnerable process of sharing my creations with the world, the even more vulnerable phase of waiting for the responses has started. Who, if anyone, is going to join these retreats? I recently started smiling at myself, realizing that I could finally relate to the millions of shopkeepers in India who go through agony every morning waiting for their ‘bauni’- their first sale of the day.

In many parts of India, if you are the first person to enter a shop after it has opened, you may notice a certain reverance with which you are treated. This is because your purchase may give the shopkeeper her or his ‘bauni’. They may do a small prayer of gratitude when receiving your money, and may feel desparate or even upset if you don’t decide to buy something after browsing their goods. Once the ‘bauni’ has been made, the shopkeeper can relax into the day, knowing that more people will come and their business will run well.

I have been pondering about why the ‘bauni’ effect works- if millions of people in India believe in its power, maybe there is some truth to it? And since the entire drama of waiting and hoping, hoping and waiting happens in our minds, the key to the ‘bauni’ effect must, by default, lie in our minds! So is there a way to simulate the ‘bauni’ effect?

What if I could pretend that I already have my first customers? How would I behave if I could imagine that all my events are already full? For one, I would stop obsessing over my emails and would focus on further creative projects. And I could stop agonizing and start fully enjoying my day. I have the theory that this is exactly how the ‘bauni’ effect works- once you start believing that something will work out, it usually does! Have you ever truly experienced otherwise?

Though in theory the ‘bauni simulation’ sounds pretty doable, I have discovered a catch. I simply cannot proceed into pretending to relax without first feeling the intense agony of the uncertain. And what a pity it would be if I didn’t feel the flutter in my stomach when I recieve the first email saying ‘I would like to sign up for your event!’ What a pity if I didn’t do the dance of joy and the prayer of gratitude for my ‘bauni’?

Creating anything new in the world that is close to my heart comes invariably with the vulnerability of embracing the uncertain. I have started realizing that however agonizing it is, it is so worth it to relish this uncertaintly, to cherish the first, second, third and even tenth person who signs up for my offers. Whether people sign up or not doesn’t affect my sense of self-worth, and certainly doesn’t become a yardstick for me to judge the value of my work. But when people do sign up, they become valuable co-creators of the ideas that were born through me. And this is what makes it so worth it to be waiting for my ‘bauni’!

With gratitude,
Sharmishtha