Sunday, October 24, 2010

Energy and Reciprocity

Sistahs, I think one of the greatest gifts in life is to be generous. With generosity you open up doors of opportunity. A small act could influence an outcome that you are not currently aware of - a future event could actually depend on it. We live in a dual world - on one hand our lives depend very much on the energy we put out. The actions we take shape and mold our lives. On the other hand, we are fueled by the energy coming towards us - that energy gives us the means in which to carry on with our mission.

I notice that many Sistahs are depleted AND I include myself in that situation sometimes. I went to a workshop last week and a man mentioned "compassion fatigue", a situation where you no longer have the energy to even care - where injustice could get the upper hand because you are depleted - there is no more to give to ANYONE. As Wombyn we are natural nurturers - we are even biologically set-up to give - we have a womb to carry a child, breast to give milk and blood to give back to the earth. In a patriarchal society many wombyn are taught that they need to be of service - this is their role - you cook, clean, organize, take care of - at work, at home, in your place of worship, etc... You are worried about this person's problem and that person's problem. You find yourself up at night talking on the phone to people about their problems and trying to solve it all. Where are you?

Remember, energy has to be put out... We can't just sit around and do nothing in life (right??). I am naturally generous, I give often without expecting anything in return - for me that is ok AND I find that I am often in a place where I have to just take a longggg break. I can literally drop off the face of the earth to re-charge. I am beginning to realize that this feast or famine attitude does not work for me - I need more of a balance in life.

Sistahs, if you are feeling depleted or just tired of being tired. Look at your ratio of energy out put to input. Meaning, what situations/people are taking a lot of your energy but not really offering much back. I exclude children from this equation but if they are "grown ass adults" maybe not. With spouses and partners you hope for 50/50 but there are just those times when it is more of 60/40 but lets hope that at times there is flexibility to take either position.

Business wise, are you giving away more that what you are getting back? Reciprocity is not difficult. I mean a small action could be a generous gesture. In business, when you partner with someone, does the partnership leave you depleted? When you promote a person's project do they reciprocate? Do they offer to promote your business as well or send you customers?

We also have to realize that the larger issue of feeling depleted is that we may have feelings that we are not worthy of any reciprocity. We may feel as if what we offer is not WORTHY of respect and VALUABLE. Don't put yourself on sale! Don't lower the value of what you are doing and offering. Your time is worth A LOT! If you close your eyes and think of all the things you could do with 2 extra hours a day - what kind of value would you give those hours? What if in those 2 hours you could finish writing your book that would bring you an extra $10,000 of income. Wow, those 2 hours suddenly become very valuable you may not want to spend that time talking to Betty Sue about her boyfriend's mama's problems. They may be able to read your future book and get the help they need!

Again, this is about energy not selfishness. Being SELF-CENTERED - focused on your goals, mission and output is NOT selfish, it is wise. Many people do not expect for Sistahs to feel this way about themselves -some don't even expect for us to have our own dreams, mission and goals but we got to break the mold of that expectation.

In Love,
Sis. Camara


SabaG. said...

Thank you so much for this article. I've found it extremely challenging over the past couple of years to find time for me, or to put self first. As silly as that may sound, I was raised in a environment that encouraged my servitude to the whole instead of enjoying the life that I was given to live. It's comforting to reassure myself in these times of Query...Working to navigate through my emotions.
I appreciate you sis for reflecting on it to provide a perspective that's rarely voiced.

Sistah Camara said...

Thank you, Sis SabaG.,
We need time for ourselves to be whole and to truly be there for others...I find I am at my best when I am centered in who I AM not what others want me to be or do. The Sistah is more powerful than a one dimensional existence based on serving everything outside of herself...I am glad you are re-newing yourself!
Please join us on -we talk about this alot and encourage each other often.
Peace and Hugs,
Sis. Camara