Is your Work a Labor of Love?

labor of love

labor of loveIs your Work a Labor of Love?

I love art and poetry and I love combining them in creative ways. Here is a mixed media piece I started recently. I am not sure it’s finished or even if I love it but I wanted to share it with you today because life is a work in progress and so is business.

One of my favorite magazines is Spirituality & Health. In each issue, they have a column called “Saved by a Poem.” This poem, Love After Love by Derek Wolcott, was featured in a recent issue. Wolcott writes:

“The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

Living an Integrated Life

The word INTEGRATION has been on my mind a lot recently – wondering how I can  live a more integrated life. This poem reminds me to sit down and feast on all of who I am, to celebrate the good, the bad and the work in progress that is the story of my life, my art and my business.

Often as women entrepreneurs or creative spirits, we find ourselves living divided lives – pulled to be something different at home, at the office, in the art room, in our spiritual practice, in our workouts… but all of these facets contribute to the beautiful whole that is you or me.

Living a divided life is an exhausting challenge. I see it with my coaching clients all the time. They are trying so hard to be everything for everyone that they have forgotten who they are when they are alone with themselves. Perhaps that is why we are seeing more and more women jumping into the freedom of the entrepreneurial life, women who are called to live a WHOLE life that allows us to freely express, celebrate, and be all of who we are.

A Labor of Love?

At the same time, the entrepreneur’s life can be a challenging one, the allure of freedom isn’t always founded in the reality of how to build a business that makes you money. That is why I asked the question – is your work a labor of love? Are you laboring without progress, without getting paid, without having time or energy left for the rest of your life?

I had someone on Facebook reach out for some help recently and she said, “I love what I am doing so much that I would gladly give it away for free.” I understand honor her passion and willingness to serve. Yet I would offer that leading an integrated life of freedom, flexibility and service to others includes honoring our gifts and talents by charging what we are worth!

I find that entrepreneurs, especially creative women entrepreneurs, struggle with what to charge, how to ask for the money and how to price their products and services. We don’t want to feel like used car salesmen, we do want to feel in integrity and we want to love the woman in the mirror.

Charging What Your Worth is the Key

Being a successful entrepreneur is about claiming our strengths and understanding that we value ourselves most when we are willing to be paid well for our services and products. I am on a mission to help women make more money by reclaiming the art and soul of marketing. I help my clients map out a visionary new path to building relationships where both parties receive and give equally. Marketing today is all about relationships, connection and collaboration but to be successful, we first have to be willing to stay connected to the truth of who we are.

I invite you today to “Sit. Feast on your life.” Grab your journal and spend a few moments in quiet contemplation and writing about the following questions?

  • What are the different faces that I am inhabiting?
  • Are they serving me?
  • How could I live a more integrated life?
  • What do I value most about myself?
  • Am I willing to charge what I am worth so that I can create financial freedom?
  • Am I investing too much time and energy into a labor of love?
  • What is one next step that I can take to claim my value?

Whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur, an artist or mom, you can benefit from living a more integrated life. If you find that you are struggling to create a life of  that supports all the many facets of who you want to be in the world, let’s talk. I am looking for a few women to interview who are longing to live a more integrated life or who would like to share how they are successfully doing that already! Click here to schedule time with me.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Chara on August 27, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Minette, I love this article! Integration is a huge focus for me right now, too. And this is a beautiful poem to which I can really relate right now. The questions you offer here are excellent.

    • minette on August 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Thank you, Chara! So glad you stopped by!

  2. Shelley Lundquist ( on August 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Your posts are always so lovely and insightful. Thank you for sharing this poem on embracing life. I am going to grab my journal to answer the questions you’ve posed and look forward to seeing what i will discover with some open and honest soul-searching. Thank you!

    • minette on August 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Thank you so much, Shelley! Would love to hear from you how it goes with the journaling.

  3. Kim Klein on August 27, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful post, Minette. Gives me lots to think about and reflect on. It definetly helps to break down our lives in different sectors, relationships, health, career, etc. and find where are cups are full and which cups need filling. Good reminder that it’s time to do my own check-up!

    • minette on August 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much Kim! I used to teach a lot of parenting workshops and one of the analogies I always used was the “love cup” and the “hurt cup” to help parents understand what kids are experiencing! As adults we do have so many cups and I too often fill mine with coffee or wine instead of hugs and walks…

  4. Debra Reble on August 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you Minette for this lovely post. I am blessed to have integrated my work/life balance after years of an overdriven life. If you still need interview candidates I would be happy to assist. Blessings Debra

  5. Vatsala Shukla on August 28, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I loved your poem, art and words so much that I’ve shared them on the 3 social media platforms where I am most active in the hope that the message will reach others who need it too.

    No one will respect us or our gifts until we start to respect and value them ourselves, Minette.

    From the moment that I decided that I was going to own my worth and ask for it, the freebie seekers started to disappear and the consultations and discussions that I have nowadays are with prospects who are serious about finding solutions to their problems and who acknowledge that I can take them to their solution.

    It’s good to be integrated back into who I know I am. 🙂

    • minette on August 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      What a lovely response, thank you for sharing your journey here Vatsala.

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