We had the good fortune of connecting with Gira Schofield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gira, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was in tennis for 28 years. I started when I was 4 years old. I played national and international juniors, collegiately, professionally, and then went into coaching higher performance junior tennis players. When I was playing professional tennis I started having low back pain. I was doing an exercise that I have done a thousand times but for whatever reason that day when I did it I felt something pull in my low back. Before I knew it when I went to get up I could barely move. Now I never had a specific accident. However I did find out 8 years later after going to a chiropractor that I had a grade 3 fracture in my L5. As time went on it gave me issues some days were fine and other times I would have excruciating episodes. It wasn’t till after 10 years of dealing with this chronic pain where I saw every kind of conventional doctor to holistic therapy. I knew there had to be something out there, I just hadn’t found it yet. This is where I started looking at more spiritual practices and was led to Reiki, which completely changed my life. I was 30 years old and couldn’t get out of bed nor put on my clothes without crying. It was this pivotal point in my life that I had to make a choice. Stay in tennis, the sport that I love and the players I love to work with while being in physical pain. Or take a leap of faith and pursue a career in reiki and spirituality. At that moment in my life, I didn’t feel like I had a choice if I wanted to have some vitality of life not only in my 60s and 70s, but in my 40s and 50s.
So I decided to take that leap of faith and pursue a spiritual business.
Reiki and incorporating the mind-body-spirit connection completely changed my life and I was passionate to share it with others. If it could help me with my back issue, I am sure it could help others who were open-minded enough to give it a try.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Having a Spiritual business is not like any other kind of business. I am my brand. I am my service. I really struggled in the beginning and had a long learning curve, because before starting my own business, I was in tennis my entire life. I didn’t know much about marketing, sales, websites, branding, networking, social media marketing, or really much at all in that area. And I absolutely hated it and would stay away from it as much as I could when I was in tennis. When I started my own business I couldn’t do that anymore and the market is so saturated with different marketing tools I did not know who to trust. People would tell me what is your brand? What is your niche? Who is your avatar? I literally had no clue. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. Let alone explain to someone what kind of service I provide when I didn’t even know me anymore. Back then I wish someone had asked me. What message do you want to share with other people? Or how do you want to share your story with other people, because that is more relatable when you are not only starting from zero. I was starting from negative 100.
As I went deeper into understanding myself and how I wanted to share my services with others. My brand naturally came out. Honestly, I don’t think branding is the most important thing (when you are starting with nothing). Sharing your message, sharing your story, sharing your struggles this will automatically attract people who feel the same as you. The rest will unfold on its own. And that is what happened for me. I had to be vulnerable and allow people to see the real me, the authentic me. From there providing Reiki, Spiritual Life Coaching, Alchemy workshops, guided meditations, sound healing, intuitive card readings, etc. it all started to come together as I allowed my authentic self to express freely. I see now more then ever it is an unfolding journey and when you try to put yourself in a marketing box it can feel very limiting to someone who sees themselves as mind, body, and spirit.
Now I am Gira, but I will not let marketing confine me to one or 2 things. If it changes it changes. People will always come for the message, the story, the relatable struggle and remembering that changed my approach to branding myself.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
O gosh this is a tough one. I am also not good at doing itineraries. Even when I travel I like to be spontaneous. It really depends if someone likes being outdoors or not. There are so many fun hikes to West Fork Trail in Sedona, Az. to Tom’s Thumb in Scottsdale, Az.
Wonderspace is a really cool art exhibit and they always have new ones going on all the time.
I love True Food Kitchen at the Biltmore. Then after wards you can do a little window shopping or buy something you really like.
On Saturday’s there is the Uptown Market where you can get all things local from fresh produce, coffee/tea, gluten-free bakery, plants, spices, crystals, and so much more.
Also, I love La Kuna on Saturday nights where you can listen to great DJs and have a mocktail.
Joyride is one of my favorites for tacos.
I love attending spiritual workshops, community, and shopping at Abundant Space in Scottsdale, Az.
One of my new favorite coffee shops is Valentine in Phoenix, Az.
My favorite Vietnamese place is Banh Mi Viet.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shout out to my parents, Sue and Dr. Fred and my brothers, Dr F.J. and Dr. Paxton, who have supported me from day one. My best friend, Yawna, who was always there to listen no matter what I was going through.
And my mentor, Pamela Aaralyn, who has helped me, guided me, and supported me through my own spiritual journey.