Wow, what a unique experience I had being interviewed by Sheila Sornsin of ‘The Grateful Goddess‘! She is a life coach who specializes in helping people identify their deep purpose in life, and how to create a new lifestyle around that knowledge.
I didn’t know what to expect when she asked to meet with me, and I was so intrigued by her questions. We discussed my mission as a healer and acupuncturist, and how I got there from my background in cellular biology and then real estate.
Sheila peppered our interview with interesting, personal (and sometimes slightly embarrassing) questions that helped flesh out the story of my journey to the life I live today. I am so grateful for the fulfillment I experience every day, helping people with acupuncture and advocating for their overall wellness through education, empowerment…and friendship. It was really an honor to be able to discuss it.
Here’s the video of this interview, shot in my office at LightWorks Acupuncture. The full transcript of the interview is at the bottom of this article.
The tagline of Sheila’s website, The Grateful Goddess, is “Create a life your love”.
Thank you so much, Sheila! Your time, energy and interviewing skills are all greatly appreciated!
And thank you to our readers for listening in!
Full transcript of this interview
Sheila: Hello, I’m Sheila of the Grateful Goddess and with another inspiring story about a woman who is living her life’s purpose and passion. I would like you to meet Candice Thomas. She is the owner of LightWorks Acupuncture. Go ahead and tell us how you came to find your passion work.
Candice: I was a real estate agent initially. My undergraduate degree was in a pre-Med, a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. But then I went among those people, I could see I didn’t fit. I am just more alternative than that.
When I graduated, I didn’t pursue medical school after all. I just got the first job I could. I became a realtor for many years. That was not an ideal fit either. There were things that I liked about it, the social side of it. I really did.
When the market turned in real-estate, I did some soul searching about do I want to work this hard at something that is hard. Maybe it would be nice if I actually work hard at something I love as long as I’m going to work hard. So I decided I did want a medical degree but I wanted it in alternative medicine. That is when I went back to school and I never looked back. It was absolutely the best decision.
Sheila: Awesome. Just for those people who may not know, give us a real brief synopsis of what acupuncture is and what you are able to do to help people?
Candice: Acupuncture works because there are a series of points all over the body that each has their own set of signals that they send the brain. So when we stimulate them with an acupuncture needle, it is turning on the activity of that point and triggers healing action in the body. We are able to affect so many different kinds of healing because it is just a conversation with the brain. If it is emotional in nature, we use the points that talk about settling emotion. If it is pain, we use the points that are about moving energy and releasing pain. If you are very toxic, we use points that are for detoxification. Acupuncture treats almost anything for that reason.
Sheila: That is wonderful. I love how your background wasn’t an ideal fit but yet it has still provided you with pieces of education and pieces of what you love to help clarify and define the path that is a better fit for you.
Sheila: I know that some people might give up too quickly once they think I would rather be doing this than that. How long was that transition for you from going from a realtor to having this practice?
Candice: That is an interesting question. I actually was still a real estate agent while in school. I kept the license. I was very grateful in particular because how many careers can you have that will allow you to have a schedule and can go back to school. I was very grateful to be a working realtor while I was in school. But you know how things work the way they supposed to. When you are on the right path, things get easy. Magic arrives. You just get help. For example in the year before I decided to go back to school, I had almost no clients. I was making zero money and it was very stressful. Even the thought of going back to school, I thought am I ready or not if I’m not earning any money. How am I taking on more expense and debt that is good for me? But then I just kind of said “If it is meant to be it will work out.” This client landed out of the sky, who was a cash investor. He was a very quick decision maker. We were in and out of a property in 15 minutes. Yes, no, write it. Honestly just having a couple clients like that who landed out of the sky, financed me through school. It was just all played out. I received more and more messages. I felt that I was on a right track because help arrived.
Sheila: Would you say that you got all the signs that pointed you on the direction on what you should be doing? Or you had total faith and belief in what you wanted to do so that it manifested things to help you get there?
Candice: That is such an interesting question. I would say I was motivated because it was what I wanted to do. But I had done some soul searching about what I like about real-estate and what I don’t like about real-estate. And I realize about myself on what I love to do is advocate for people and to help them have the improvement that they want. I realized that if I could be more self-aware about what my natural talents are, the things that come easily to me, if I could match that to the career it would feel more natural. That’s really been the case. I would say it was a bit of both. It was the topic that excited me so much but also knowing this is such a better fit for me because now I know what I’m good at, what I like, what I want and don’t want. I didn’t used to know that about myself.
Sheila: Were there any specific steps that you took for the soul searching? I mean, what did that look like? How did you go about discovering that?
Candice: Well, you are asking me embarrassing questions because I talked to people like an astrologer and a psychic. Those are my peeps. I believe that there are people out there who get signals and who can help guide. That was part of it actually. I have had an astrology reading as a birthday present and she had said you are a healer. I said “No, I am a realtor.” And she said “No, you are a healer who thinks she is a realtor.” It did take somebody else kind of planting a seed.
Sheila: So what was the next step for you?
Candice: I started thinking about it. I had been having headaches and found my way through acupuncture the same that my patients find their way through acupuncture. Which is I couldn’t find help in the western paradigm. Nobody had answers. So I started pursuing alternatives and had come upon acupuncture. I didn’t know much about it. I knew how much I liked it, receiving it. I did start researching acupuncture school just kind of out of whim. I was so attracted to it. I set up an interview and I really liked the people I talked to. The questions they asked me were questions who to ever ask. It just felt really good. After I had that initial interview, I knew. So I am a pretty quick decision maker because I am pretty intuitive. I know what yes feels like. There is a sense of excitement.
Candice: If we just glance over it, it would seem like it was just too easy. You knew exactly what you wanted to do and you just went for it when there are actually steps in the soul searching.
Candice: That is a really good point because I didn’t tell anybody that I was thinking about enrolling in an acupuncture school because I was afraid of being discouraged. I hadn’t completed the career with the first degree, then I had this other career and now I am making a change again. I felt some shame in not succeeding in that or not seeing it all the way through. I didn’t want to talk about it with other people. So it was very scary for me to announce to my family “Hey guess what, I am trying acupuncture school next week.” Even you never heard me mention it before. To me it had been happening for a year or so. I had been thinking about it, getting acupuncture and thinking what can I do different. I have been having an internal dialogue but it was scary to talk about it with other people.
Sheila: As on the enneagram, the way people perceived you as “Oh, she’s jumping around from one thing to another rather than finding her soul’s purpose and moving towards what you were really intended to do on this planet. So that is also something I would like to touch on briefly is if you could say what the enneagram is all about. How you incorporate it into your practice because I am not sure if that is across the board acupunctures do.
Candice: I am pretty sure I am the only one. I am 100% sure I am the only person in the country having their patients take a personality quiz on their first appointment. I was exposed to the enneagram in acupuncture school. There was a life coach who was teaching classes called self-actualization for the practitioner. So the idea was that the better the practitioner knows themselves, the more they can be present and helpful for other people, which I believe very much. Just to the time that I was learning that stuff from her, my then boyfriend and I moved in together and blended our family. We are each single parents. We went from having an amazing relationship to things was not okay. We were arguing honestly almost every day. We were bickering. I was very concerned and upset. And I took the temperament quiz and I had him take the temperament quiz. We quickly saw that we are very opposite kinds of people and we have different values and concerns. Just by being given that information, everything changed. We learned how not to trigger each other and what the best way to communicate with each other is. It was just so empowering that I become very passionate about it. Then I started guessing what my kids types were and what types my friends and family were. I just quickly started to see how much insight and how much more harmonious your relationships can be if you have better understanding.
Sheila: I like how it is a helpful tool to learn how to better communicate with different ones rather than “Oh, we were just on opposite sides of the enneagram and so the end.” There is a base of love here, there is so much that we have going for each other, how can we work through our differences.
Candice: The truth is now that I have been working with people for years, I have taken their temperament and I know opposites commonly get together. It is the more common situation than to be with someone who is the same type as you. You are much more likely to have paired up with someone who is opposite.
Sheila: So that they can meet you?
Candice: In some way, so that you balance. These different temperaments, they care about different values but the truth is all the values are equally important. By focusing very much on this, we are ignoring something else. It is good to have somebody who is paying attention to that. You will feel like as a couple you have your basis covered. In medicine, I just really had the feeling that if people had some insight into their own motivations, they would probably make better choices around health. It started as an experiment where I ask people to take the quiz. It has been four years now and I am suddenly collecting data of patterns that I see among the types. The things we think about definitely transforms into the way our body behaves. I’ve been finding it fascinating and my patients really find it empowering. It usually does not only help the pain that they are in, but they take it home and they repair their relationship with their spouse, child or friend. It is exciting.
Sheila: It is going so far beyond just the care of the body and into their relationships, their mind and spirit.
Candice: Correct. We hear the talk about mind, body and spirit medicine but I have actually been a little frustrated with it because in general, the advice that you, as an integrative practitioner, is that your goal is you want to reach the entire person. But usually in mind, body and spirit medicine, the spirit is go to yoga, go meditate, leave disappointment at a later time change your habits on your own and go figure it out. If you are not a meditator, you are not going to magically turn into a meditator. And so I don’t find that advice very useful. I felt like we need to engage the spirit right here right now by talking to people really about the real stuff. You come very awake when you start hearing information that is suddenly explaining a pattern you had your whole life. In shining a light bulb, you feel very alert. You are more willing to see the inter-relatedness of the way you are thinking and feeling. You just feel more empowered and encouraged. I am just been very excited.
Sheila: It actually is sort of a blend of coaching along with practice of the acupuncture.
Candice: I am not trained in coaching. I am not a certified coach. I really am a teacher of the enneagram, I teach the enneagram. So I try and come to it from that is here is what we know, here is what we learn and this piece of information might illuminate what you are trying to say here. It usually does. People is such an easy fit. People get it. It is cool.
Sheila: You definitely tell that you are living your life. I totally light you up.
Candice: I am. I love it.
Candice Thomas, L. Ac.