I have a radical belief: if we are not receiving, we are not really giving.
If we are refusing to serve ourselves, we are not truly serving others.
If we are not showing up in our own lives, in service of ourselves, it is impossible to show up and effectively live in service of others.
I am a poet, a writer.
My “why” for everything I do is to empower people to thrive, to live their truth, and to be committed to joy. I do this by talking about the things most people would rather ignore. I do this through poetry, through words. I do this through life coaching and mentoring.
And for a long time, I firmly believed that my mission, my “why” in life was to serve others.
I was dead wrong.
Because I wasn’t showing up and allowing myself to receive.
I would get on long calls with clients and feel guilty if their breakthroughs triggered a breakthrough in me.
I would feel pressure to be a “teacher.”
I believed that relationships had to be one way—me giving what I had of value to them, not the other way around. It’s no surprise that while I was serving from this belief, I was scraping by, hardly able to pay rent, and feeling insecure about whether I was adding value to people’s lives, which of course led to no value being added to my life.
I was using my clients to validate the story I had long held, the story that I was not enough just as I am.
They would validate me by giving me feedback, telling me that my coaching was changing their lives for the better, but then they’d often flake out after a few weeks or not continue after their introductory calls. I wasn’t making the impact I had hoped to.
I was flopping consultation calls because I was showing up from a place of lack, a place of “I’m only here to help you, and that’s that.”
I was showing up with an empty cup.
I was showing up with the mindset of “I’m not good enough. Please let me teach you and tell me I’m good enough because of it,” rather than showing up with my cup overflowing and asking, “How can I help?”
When I changed my mindset, I was able to start a dedicated self-care practice. And I was finally able to accept a crazy amount of wisdom from my clients.
Now, I show up on calls and share where I’m at, when relevant. I even share when their breakdowns and breakthroughs trigger me.
Sometimes, helping means “doing it wrong.” Sometimes, helping means receiving and learning from those you help.
Sometimes, helping means making a mess of a situation first, and then figuring out how to prevent the mess from happening again.
With open arms, I offer this to you:
Where are you giving, and not receiving, in your life?
How would leaning in to receiving in this area add more value to your life?
We have to receive as much as we give, from our own self-care practices and from those we serve.
If we only exhale, our lungs will collapse. We need to inhale. We need expansion.
We need full bellies and lungs and hearts in order to show up in the world and offer all that we are, as we are, for those around us.
Author: Annabelle Blythe
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina