How I got more than I gave

The gift of volunteering

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It's been a beautiful autumn day today.

I was driving today when a radio advert came on. I don't remember exactly which charity it was but I do remember the gist of the message.

It was a reminder of what help can look like for someone who's dealing with something big. The advert went through simple examples. The one that struck me was the offer to mow a lawn. I could imagine the difference for someone as they opened their curtains in the morning to see fresh, cut grass with dew glistening on it instead of an overgrown jungle.

I was reminded how good it feels to offer help. I asked myself what act of kindness I'd done lately. I thought back to my youngest's school Halloween disco and cake sale last Friday. I remembered how fun it was, how I met some mums that I'd never spoken to before. We laughed together. We washed up, swept floors, shepherded, gave out drinks and tidied up.

I also remembered the conversation beforehand where some well meaning people had said to me, "why are you doing that?" "you're nuts, you're working, there's plenty of people who aren't who could help."

The truth is I'm so glad I jumped in to help. It felt good in my body. My energy lifted. I gained from helping out.

I felt a part of something and I saw how much these women do. Being in charge of lots of kids is a big responsibility and these mums were awesome organisers. By helping out, I was given the chance to really witness, acknowledge and thank them for what they do. I saw the impact that acknowledgment had on them.

A mentor once gave me some advice. He said, "Vanessa, when you're lost in your own shit find a way to be of service to someone else." It works every time - I just feel better.

Kindness is infectious.

And I'm curious ... you know how they say ... I thought it was just me that felt this way ...what do you notice the impact of your random act of kindness is for you?

Oh and one last thing ... don't forget this awesome offer ...

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Vanessa Anstee

Life Coach

I'm inspired by who you can be without apology and I want to help you let your real self shine. I've been a life coach for 10 years. I've always been a seeker trying to discover a way of being in life that feels soulful, authentic and aligned to what my heart wants not what my head thinks I should have, be or do. I spent 20+ year career in HR, OD, talent management and executive coaching. My kids were my biggest wake up. I saw the way I was working wasn't working anymore. I couldn't keep pushing myself harder. I had to accept I couldn't attain this perfected version of myself that I had strived most of my life to achieve. I had to find love not from accolades and other people's acceptance but from deep inside me. That's when I learnt to connect to my heart, heal my childhood wounds and fears of never being enough and set light to my passion in a completely new way. I want one thing for my clients. Be real. Be themselves, fall madly in love with that person and honour their soul's calling.


Go to the profile of Suzy Walker
almost 6 years ago
"When you're lost in your own shit...find some way to be of service.' yes, I agree. x