I knew I wanted to find a unique internship experience for my final semester here at Temple, but I never thought I would be so lucky as to intern for a local Usui Reiki Master here in South Jersey. I started my work with Danielle, an energy worker and channeler, in September to help her with her new business, With Love & Compass. She established this business earlier in the year to provide her holistic services to people to help them with their energetic alignment, to help them realign their inner compass.

Prior to working with Danielle, I did not know much about energy work, what it entailed, or what it was “supposed to do”. Through my meetings and conversations with her, I came to the understanding that energy work is essentially energy healing, and the different services and approaches work to restore the balance and flow of energy throughout the body, mind, and soul. Energy healing works directly with the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of well-being, navigating the “human experience” and realigning oneself to following our hearts. This obviously is not a typical business for an advertising student to internship for, so I was unsure of what my experience would be like interning for her and what I would learn from it.

My main purpose going into things in September was to help her expand the business’ online presence and help solidify the social media branding. There is a large community of energy workers and channelers in South Jersey, so it was essential that I also complete a competitive analysis to see where Danielle’s business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are online and in the community.

While working on the content creation, however, she expressed that she was unhappy with how things were looking. It wasn’t that I hadn’t executed things as we discussed, but that she was having a change of mind of what she wanted her online presence to be like. This raised doubts for me, making me question a lot of things about the business’ mission, purpose, and stability. I felt frustrated, feeling like I was going to be ineffective, and that my work for With Love & Compass wasn’t going to amount to anything or make a difference for the business.

Speaking with Danielle about her work, her own doubts and frustrations about the business ended up making me understand the value of realigning our inner compass much more deeply. We are all on our own unique journeys, but “sometimes static or dissonant energy and experience, gets in the way of us living in alignment with our truest self in this life”. (With Love & Compass) Trying to make a name for yourself and your business is tough, especially in a saturated market and community. We can lose touch with our true vision in the midst of trying to make things work, leading us to question what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what (or who) we’re doing it for.

Our life’s journey is not linear and “how we navigate through the twists and turns, and how we choose to handle the events that inspire us to change our direction can feel like trying to navigate a labyrinth without a bird’s eye view”. (With Love & Compass) This is why energy workers and channelers are so special– they offer their services so that we don’t have to navigate through the uncertainty alone. Danielle’s change in heart for how she wants to represent her business is not because she has an unclear mission or purpose, but because she is living the human experience.

Better understanding this has helped me reflect on my own wants and needs, hopes and dreams in my personal, academic, and professional life. I’ve realized during this semester interning with Danielle that advertising might not be the path for my authentic self. I can now see that I have a lot of self-work to navigate through in order to realign my own inner compass, to get back in touch with what I’m truly passionate about. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience with social media branding through this internship, but the greatest insight I’ve gained is that knowing yourself and living your truth, personally, academically, and professionally, is the greatest strength anyone can have.