What Inspires Me

Embodying Your Gifts (What It Feels Like)

I always imagined that when I embodied my gifts it would be like the happy ending of a Disney Princess movie.

  • I would be beautiful because my inner beauty is now shining out.
  • People would celebrate me. I’d have lots of followers. I’d be in demand with lots of invitations to go to exciting events and parties.
  • I’d be famous. I’d be know by the people who matter.
  • I’d be an “influencer” with people wanting to know know what my opinions, my favorite vodka, and the names of my cats.
  • I’d be rich. Because when you’re a famous, celebrated influencer your fabulousness is naturally well rewarded.
  • I’d be happy because how could I not be with all this good stuff happening in my life!

So far none of the above has happened in my life. And yet, my life is so much better in unexpected ways.pm

What I’m learning

Embodying your gifts isn’t something that happens once and then you’re done. At 6:30pm you weren’t in “Happily Ever After”; At 6:31 Embodiment Happens and Boom, you’re in “Land of Happily Ever After.”

In my experience embodying your gifts is more like starting an exercise program and over time you begin to see positive changes. You can climb a steep trail without breathing hard; perhaps a month ago you could barely get halfway up.

Let me give a small example of what it’s like to embody your gifts.

In the state of Colorado, older cars require emissions testing and I needed to bring in my 1999 4-Runner.

While your car is being tested, you sit in a small waiting area until someone calls out the make and color of your car (“Green Subaru Outback”) to let you know they’re done.

As you often find at government facilities, there’s a strange collection of people in these waiting areas: construction workers, seniors, moms with kids, people who are a little dodgy looking, etc. 

On this day I found myself sitting across from a woman who was probably in her 80’s. Normally, I do everything possible to ignore the people around me. I pointedly look at my phone and act like I’ve busy checking messages.

This time something in me made me look directly at the other woman.

She grunted a little as she sat down, “These chairs are hard on my hips.”

Now I could have said, “They are.” and left it there. That’s usually exactly what I do. I’m good at avoiding conversations.

But I didn’t.

As in most spontaneous conversations with strangers, we didn’t exchange names but I learned that she was widowed, lived in a nearby assisted living place that had a great work out facility, she had one hip replaced and was going to get the next one done this year, and she dearly loved her red 1991 Volvo sedan. It had 200,000 + miles on it and still going strong. 

I found myself actually enjoying the conversation and felt perfectly happy asking questions, occasionally commenting, and otherwise gently encouraging her to tell me more.

I was actually sorry when they called me to come out and get my car.

That kind, non-judgmental person who enjoyed spending 20-minutes talking with a garrulous older women was not the person I usually am. I really liked this open-hearted, kind person.

I got into my car feeling happy and content. 

This is a taste of what it is like to embody your gifts. It was a small, quiet moment which, in the past, would have barely registered on my consciousness. I wouldn’t have allowed this gift to emerge. Even if it had, I would have been too busy worrying about the ten other things I still needed to take care of.

When I embody my gifts more often than not it feels like a moment of grace when I’m not caught up in how I look to my ego and in the critical eyes of others.

It’s not what I imagined and at the same time it’s better than what I imagined. 

Shhh. Be quiet. Pay attention or you may miss it.

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