Each week in The Wisdom of Change blog series, I share the original artwork and unpack the insights and meaning behind one of the 44 cards in The Wisdom of Change oracle deck.
This week’s card is 27 Karmic Return
Early in my coaching days I hired a business coach to help me establish my practice. She was very certain about one thing; never give your services away for free and she was quite emphatic about it. She explained that as coaches, we need to break the habit of not valuing our gifts. As someone who had tried to help many women who had neither asked for nor paid for her services, she had unsurprisingly felt burnt-out and undervalued by this way of caring for others. I could appreciate where she was coming from. For those of us prone to give to the point of exhaustion without tending to our own needs in tandem, her message is worthy of consideration. It helped me to understand one thing very clearly; in my passion for helping others, I should not be tempted to coach my friendships or romantic relationships!
The issue of being paid for my services or not, turned out to be multifaceted and more complex than I had imagined. In the early days of my business start-up, I had enjoyed all manner of ‘service swaps’ with likeminded practitioners early in their start-up phase. The majority of us were under resourced financially and unable to procure the range of services our businesses needed in the traditional way. Many of us were learning our craft, the nature and depth of our gifts and how to bundle them up as professional offerings. We were keen to understand the aspects of our calling that worked and to collect success stories that confirmed that what we felt called to provide made a transformative impact in the lives of others. I developed many symbiotic connections with people who were happy to provide social media support, photography, nutritional advice, professional sounding boards and the like, in return for my coaching services. It was a wonderful way to grow my trusted tribe, support others and feel like I wasn’t alone in my quest to establish myself.
My passion for my coaching was intense. I knew in my soul that it was what I wanted to do. At the same time, I was undergoing a steep learning curve in my own self awareness journey and I was finding out what it really took to be successfully self-employed. It would be fair to say that I found sales and marketing challenging. It has such a different energy from delivering the support for women that makes my soul sing. For this reason, I frequently wondered if I had what it takes to build a sustainable and rewarding business. Were my worst fears true; was I delusional? Was my business in fact an expensive hobby? It pained me to go there, but on many occasions, I looked a return to salaried work squarely in the eye. There were many opportunities for me to consider this as the best and most responsible option as a single mother providing for a young family.
Then one day I stumbled upon the powerful concept of karmic return and it gave me the verbiage for what my inner wisdom knew all along. We don’t always receive from the place where we give, but that shouldn’t stop us from carrying out random acts of kindness and being of service when we can, even without financial reward. Giving without expectation makes a deposit in our karmic bank account and our efforts are returned to us from another source when we need it most. It was all the insight I needed to feel comfortable to not always insist on being paid market value for my time and expertise. Sometimes there are other reasons to give my gifts. I do it just for the pure exhilaration of feeling good; to know that I have made a profound difference in the life of another. I knew in my soul that this philanthropic take on exchange for my services makes complete sense and that I am in this for the long game. I was in this because there was simply nowhere else that I felt called to be and nothing else I wanted to do.
Healthy boundaries, exquisite self-care, strong self-worth and ongoing self-exploration combine with new paradigm business awareness to create the very best entrepreneurs for the modern age. So, follow the calling of your soul and don’t panic that your practice doesn’t always fit the traditional business mould. Your efforts will be returned from another source when you need it most. Do what you do in the way that feels right and be prepared to accept a miracle when you least expect it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s connection to your inner wisdom.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments below.