I certainly learned my lesson!

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare think."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy March, y'all! Can you believe we're already into the third month of 2016?!?

This week, I had one of those big realizations that caught me off guard. It all started when one of the students in the acting class I'm mentoring asked me to meet with him outside of class.

The class is taught by the amazing Jon Menick, my teacher and mentor of the past 4 years. Jon, founder of Screen Artists Co-op, is singularly talented, incredibly experienced, and one of the most generous people I've ever met. His effect on my life has been nothing short of extraordinary.

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A few months ago, Jon asked me to help him by mentoring the Co-op's "Blocks and Fears" class. This class is the first taken by members of the Co-op, and is designed to clear out anything that could prevent an actor from being open in his/her work. To say I was honored is an understatement.

To be honest, I was also scared to overcommit myself. I didn't want to accept the position and then not have the time or energy to give it my all.
But if I have learned anything from Jon and my time at the Co-op, it's this: giving to others gives us life. CLICK TO TWEET

You see, I never considered myself an very generous person. I honestly was always more on the self-centered end of the giving spectrum. My rationalization was that there were so many things I wanted to achieve, that giving my time to others wasn't the best use of it; I could simply write a donation check instead.

But looking back on all the time and energy I've put into the Co-op, I realize that I've gotten SO much more back in return. It's not even close. The time I spent with that student reminded me of all I've gotten, including:
  • Deep, meaningful relationships with 26 people;
  • A chance to share what I've learned over the past 4 years, which will hopefully save them some time and mistakes; and
  • The opportunity to give back to my dear friend and mentor.
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Of course, this isn't to say that you should over-extended yourself at the expense of your own self-care. Because just like on an airplane, you need to take care of yourself properly so that you can take care of others effectively. 

But to hold back from giving from a place of lack (i.e., "If I give, I won't have enough left over for myself"), robs us of the plethora of benefits we receive by giving. Benefits we could never even imagine, but are worth everything.

Your turn - have you ever checked your own self-protection instinct and chosen to give instead? Maybe you volunteered on your vacation or made dinner for someone going through a rough patch. Whatever it was, please share your story on our Facebook page.  I know it will inspire so many!

Giving you my all,
Emily