What if the only thing that stands between you and the life you want – the savoring & serving that calls to you – was seeing how brilliant you already are?
Now wait a minute. I know reading that could have raised your “new age be gone” hackles. It would mine. But let’s focus on the how in the above sentence. As in how are you brilliant? How does your uniqueness show up in the world and – here is the kicker – are you seeing it?
I would wager no, you aren’t, at least not fully. It seems built into us pesky humans to downplay what we are brilliant at (“But anybody can do that, Jen!”) and focus more on what we need to improve.
But hear me and hear me clearly: You cannot heal yourself or help heal the world from the self-improvement ghetto.
Darling, I am not saying you aren’t a little ragged around a few edges. Aren’t we all a bit frayed, dented, and down at the heel? Um, yes. We all get to work on ourselves (it’s an art and a privilege). But first, always, and many times a day it’s lovely and beneficial and just plain delicious to rest in your fundamental goodness.
Why? Because otherwise you are never here for this life. You rarely here in this body. You are always in the future when you will finally be _____ and he will finally ________ and she will stop ________ (we like to improve others, too but only on alternate Fridays.)
One way to rest in our essential goodness is to see and appreciate our natural talents or gifts. The things we can’t help but be and do.
Consider yourself warned – this is not the path for the faint of heart. In the Shero’s Journey, a class I recently taught (you can purchase the archived edition here) I gave the following assignment to the 200+ students. There was, shall we say, a tad of resistance. Even a twinge of anger.
And then, exhilaration. Reclamation of lost creative desire. Shivers of authentic power seen. Energy unleashed.
Ask 10 people (that is not a typo. 10 – more than 9 less than eleven – although if you want to go for more than 10, yee-haw!) 3 or more of the following questions:
- You come to me for…
- You think of me when you need… (if someone says clean underwear, delete)
- You are grateful for me because…
- I am known for…
- What you see is easy for me (I may downplay or ignore it)…
- What I don’t see about my gifts is…
- What you see is possible for me as I claim more of my gifts…
Send a few of these potent questions to 5 people, a few others to 5 more. Send the ones that make you want to hurl. Send the ones that make you blush. Send the ones you are afraid to hear the answers to.
Who to send to?
Your best friend, your ex, your beloved, your 7th grade teacher, your children (age doesn’t matter), your across-the-street neighbor, a safe loving on-line group you are a member of, your book group, your women’s/men’s group, your brain trust/ masterminds, your dog (just kidding), your mom, your dad, your siblings, your biggest fan, your therapist or coach (might have to do that in a session).
Who not to send the questions to?
People who tear you down, whether they know it or not. People who are sarcastic, passive aggressive, or prone to competitive jealous hissy fits (by the by, why are those people still in your address book?). People you don’t trust. People who have hauled you up on pedestal (you’ll value what they say too much). In other words, don’t betray yourself.
Here is where I sweeten the pot – a reward for your courage. Ask your 10 people – via email, phone, carrier pigeon, I care not – by April 6th. Post in the comment section of this post 3 of your gifts – yes, for all to see. I will randomly select one brave soul to receive an hour of coaching with me OR TeachNow (stand alone version). Your choice.
What have you got to lose? (a lot but none of it you need)
P.S. Thanks to Master Amazing Coach Laura Berman Fortgang for helping me with the questions.
P.P.S. If you want to add or change any of the questions, before you do, ask yourself why. Clarity great, hedging no.