Extraction or Shared

I was scrolling through Instagram and a short video from Sadhguru came up on my feed talking about extraction or shared relationships. If you don’t know who Sadhguru is, or what he talks about – look him up. You will thank me. His videos are insightful, thoughtful and always so relevant. 

I believe that things show up on our social media feeds, or in our email inboxes for a reason. I believe that there is a force bigger than ourselves putting that information, or knowledge in front of us. And then it is up to us to use it, save it, or apply it, to our everyday life.

The video talked about the two ways that we enter into a relationship. Now, I put this into context of a business relationship, or someone who I work with on a professional level.

  1. To extract something from somebody
  2. To share something with somebody

That made me stop and I watched it about 5 times.
And as I watched it, and really thought about it – the way that I approached my business in the past was absolutely to extract. Get what I can no matter the outcome. In my previous business, I provided online marketing services for small business owners. And, many of those clients were transactional. Make the transaction and move on.

I have made a complete pivot in my career and life, in how I want to show up for people, in how I want to live and the impact that I want to make. This has happened to me through many, many small changes that I made, and that I continue to make, and continue to work and improve on. 

I know that I can help business owners be better business owners just through working on themselves. By understanding behaviour, and relationships and how all of this affects their business. And ultimately their success, and the impact that they want to make.

Now, in the past, I would say that I was always in a state of extraction with clients. I wanted approval, and praise, and the all mighty dollar. Funny thing, I didn’t really get much of those. Although, I wasn’t too concerned with a relationship based on sharing.  Sure, could I support them in their online marketing efforts. But meetings made me anxious, I attracted clients who just wanted clicks, and everything came down to money. Every single time. Most days it showed up in my mood, my temperament and my eventual burnout. I was in a complete state of extraction.

Fast forward 14 months of therapy, 178 days of consecutive meditation, regular movement, mindful conversations, lots of reading and podcasts, and a real understanding of how my thoughts affect my behaviours … and now I am here for my clients to share. That’s it. Full stop. Do I get paid? Absolutely. But now I feel like I deserve it.

As a coach, my relationship with my clients focus on the positive change they want to see in their business. I don’t focus on one method, or one system to support them, I want to get the outcome that they want and that they need. And to me, this comes from a shared relationship. 

At times, I get as much from them as they do from me. I want to help my clients grow and improve from where they are to where they want to go. 

In the past, from that extraction relationship, I was always trying to answer questions for my clients, and trying to be the smartest one in the room. Always trying to be one step ahead, and never knowing if I was doing enough. Swimming against the tide. Trying to prove my worth, day after day. 

I understand that now my value comes from my curiosity and my vulnerability. And how much I want to share the journey with my clients through my lived experience, and never be the smartest one in the room.

It is definitely a journey, and one I am not yet finished.


Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.