The following post was written by teacher and guest blogger, Monette Chilton.
Let me just acknowledge that this post is out of my comfort zone. I like talking about deep, heartfelt awakenings in this space. I like sharing ways that shifting our vision can profoundly change our experiences. I don’t really like talking about how people like me who devote themselves to this kind of work are compensated (or not) for the work they do.
I am writing about this now because I’ve had a deep, heartfelt awakening that it’s time for me to value what I do in the world enough to make sure I’m compensated for it. Maybe you’re in a similar spot. Women, in particular, tend to give much of their energy away in this world. When we mother, we’re not looking for a paycheck that acknowledges the kick-ass job we’re doing raising responsible humans.
But sometimes that benevolent spirit spills over into the rest of our lives and we forget that there is value to our contributions. Correcting this imbalance is more about claiming our worth than claiming our paycheck. And this inner dynamic looks different depending on your circumstances and stage of life.
If you are in the trenches of mothering little ones, it might be valuing your contributions even when you’re not earning a paycheck. This could look like investing in your own well-being (think yoga studio membership or housekeeping help) and not feeling a shred of guilt about it. If you are in a high-stress job, it could be recognizing that you deserve blocks of time off your electronic leash. Your well-being demands space to recoup and regroup.
If you are in your later years, it may look like taking on new challenges and recognizing that your wealth of experience makes your work more—not less—valuable. My mom, in her 70s, has been asked to illustrate a book. She just called to ask me what the going rate was for illustrators. I didn’t know, but I reached out to one of the best illustrators I know to ask. Because we are worth it.
One pitfall to avoid is self-blame should your work not be valued (monetarily or otherwise) by others. Your are not spiritually off-kilter if the money or accolades are not flowing in. This is my problem with the Law of Attraction philosophy. Claiming your worth is an inside job. The outside rewards are not an indication of your spiritual fitness. You can run around aligning chakras, lighting up your aura and carrying the “right” crystal. There is nothing wrong with these pursuits. I do them all!
But do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can smudge away your worth problems with the right amount of sage. Yes, meditate. Yes, keep your vibrations high. But don’t assume you have missed the magic unicorn if the world doesn’t respond the way you anticipated.
As I began focusing on ways to monetize my work more effectively, I decided to reach out to an editor of a major publishing house who once vowed he would publish my work before he retired. Guess what? He’s retired. Does that mean I made some cosmic mistake by waiting to reach out to him? I don’t think so. Was I disappointed? You bet. But I have to think that my discovering this during the same week I began this worth-quest is significant.
Other opportunities, though, have fallen into my lap once I set this intention, including some exciting collaborations. In the coming weeks, I’ll be leading Lilith Circles in yoga studios and bookstores in Houston and North Carolina. I am excited about helping women embody the wisdom found in the pages of Original Resistance: Reclaiming Lilith, Reclaiming Ourselves. The first of this year’s offerings is happening at Body Mind & Soul this Sunday, 1/19 @ 3 p.m. I would love to see you there.
So, I have to ask you—what is your work and how are you valuing it?No matter your age or stage of life, you have something to contribute, and it is valuable. As we move into 2020 armed with our word, resolutions or vision, let’s cloak ourselves in worthiness, knowing that what we bring to the world is valuable.