Thanks to its unique economy and environment, West Cork is home to many multi-skilled, entrepreneurs who have integrated more than one profession to create a career unique to themselves. Samira Branch epitomises this in her business; Samira Branch – Acupuncture and Yoga. She shares her experience.
Breaking away from the traditional career path I’d followed took a huge amount of courage and brought up all sorts of confronting emotions but when I asked myself the question, ‘why would you not do it?’ The answer boiled down to fear. Frankly, the prospect of getting to the end of my life and not having really ‘lived’ felt more frightening. So, in 2010, I decided to swap Manchester for Nanjing and become an acupuncturist. It was something I’d wanted to do since my early twenties and the fear quickly turned into exhilaration once my plans set into motion.
Fast forward to 2018. I’d been taking Jessica Hatchett’s yoga classes for several years when she decided to run her teacher training course. One autumn night I came home from class and had a look at the curriculum. I was fascinated about learning the reason for the asanas, the history and philosophy and developing my own practice. It’s been a challenging, life-changing year and I’ve gained so much from it. I took the course for personal interest, but really enjoyed the teaching practice during the year and now teaching my classes lights me up.
What delighted me most was realising how very similar and complementary Indian and Chinese approaches are. I knew they developed from the same root but was pleasantly surprised that they corelate in such a harmonious and practical way. This means I can draw on one to inform the other and vice versa, which adds a unique richness to both of my practices. My values are living in harmony with nature, connectedness and support; all of which are the foundations of Chinese Medicine and Yoga.
Since committing to my acupuncture career amazing things have happened. In a few short months, I have set up my new clinic above the Green Dot and am hosting Community Acupuncture sessions with my friend and fellow acupuncturist Bairbre Crowley, as well as teaching weekly yoga classes. I’m blown away by the kindness and goodwill of my local and extended community; everybody wants to help and see me succeed. It’s been a beautiful, humbling experience and I feel so blessed because I couldn’t have done it alone.
My advice to anyone thinking of setting up their own business is to figure out what you really want to do and why. A strong sense of purpose gives you the confidence you need to keep moving forward. Start doing what you love, achieving even the tiniest goal is evidence that you can do it. Get as much help as you can and be flexible, the best opportunities often come from unexpected places. Make mistakes! As Thomas Edison once said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’. May you have fun finding the way that works for you!
Contact me on 087 9024274 for more information on acupuncture and yoga.