Posts made in August 2019

The Value of Your Gift

When we were younger people would ask:

“What do you want to be when you grow up”

To which a reply might be:

“A fireman!”

“A secretary!”

“The boss!”

No matter the answer there was an encouraging smile or giggle that would support the fantasy of being something great. But what is not asked is what do you value most and how will you build your career around it? Pretty heavy question to ask a six-year-old right? How about a 16-year-old who is starting to plan their lives? Still a little heavy right? What about at age 25, 35, 45, and so on? An adult should be able to answer that question right. Surprisingly enough, many don’t know what their core values are and have gotten so far away form them that their values equal their bottom line.

Let’s examine this a little bit. If someone asked you what your core values are as an individual would you be able to name them? Would the values be: honesty, integrity, being organized etc? These are not bad values to have, but they are typical. What truly matters to you? Is it your family? Is it stopping a generational financial struggle? Is it a spiritual conquest? There is no wrong answer as long as it is inline with your gift.

 

 

The Gift

I think  something we forget about is that we are capable to live our lives however we want to. Circumstances are challenges not a condemnation to live a certain way. That is our first gift, we can choose. The second gift is whatever skill(s) or talent(s) that you have.  This does not necessarily mean a physical skill such as IT, management, graphic design. The second gift could be your gift to heal people, a great listener, a fantastic speaker, or…your experience. Being in tune with those types of gifts filter out into career and life choices.

A young woman had the natural gift of being a story teller since she was a child. She could talk your ear off, but she’d also listen very well especially if you were ailing. Yet when anyone would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up she’d say “I’m a writer!”. The spark of youth that ignited her life passion began to fizzle out as she got older and economic demands withered her passion. She became many people throughout her various ‘get by’ careers that pleased others; unfortunately, she lost her core values of being a great listener, speaker, and healer that fueled her ability to tell stories to the values of her circumstances. One day she said enough and had a great ‘Aha’ moment that realigned her different core values into singular ‘super powers’ to be able to tell stories effectively through many different mediums. And now her core values became her funnel to success.

This young woman had to make a choice to either allow her circumstances to dictate how she functioned or to tap into the power she has had all along and become who she is meant to be. From what I understand her story is far from over. Yet she is relieved that she found the woman she is meant to become. One day I believe she will write a best seller, in the meantime she is telling other people’s stories to heal, educate, and speak to the souls of their respective audiences.

Identify your gifts and values

It’s not unusual to be out of touch with who you are at your core; especially in a culture where people value what you do over who you are. You’re not your job, you’re not your skills, you are your core values.  I would like to invite you to do an exercise that may narrow down who you are vs who you have become.

  1. Make two columns
  2. In one column write down your top five virtues. (Example: Family, Healing, Spirituality etc)
  3. In another column write down the top five things you are doing in your life or your career.
  4. Draw lines that connect each virtue to your career or something else your doing.
  5. See how your virtues line up with what you are doing.

After this exercise see how what you have chosen or what your circumstances have chosen for you correlate with who you are. And if most do not connect, that means you need to realign yourself with your core values. Doing this will not lead to guaranteed financial abundance. However it will align you to your gifts that you carry naturally that will put in to your ‘wind’ and allow it to lift you into you mental, emotional, spiritual and possibly financial prosperity.

 

 

Ride the Wind, Eat the Cupcake

With the passing of an incredible Author, Toni Morrison, I began to look up different things she said and relived the passion of her stories over the years. She walked us through the experience of Black people on a spiritual level and the literary world was better for it. As I was reflecting on her impact, I started cackling when I overheard  one of my associates say to her co-worker who was rejecting sweets to maintain her diet, “Girl life is short, eat the cupcake!” .  And just as I finished laughing and turned back to my screen I saw one of Toni Morrison’s quotes:

Hearing about the cupcake and reading this quote again, it made me ponder on what we view as freedom. In a political sense, people view freedom differently. But how should we view our own personal freedom? What I interpret from this quote is that we only have but so much power and eventually we will have to surrender to will of a situation, but when we surrender we can begin to control our own freedom.

The Wind

Do you remember being young, dumb, and determined? I giggle thinking about it. I’ve had this conversation among friends about how we were running in circles piecing together our lives and livelihoods. Then hearing the echo of elders saying ‘If I knew then what I know now.’ Well fortunately I do know better now, and the best thing you can do is let it all flow.

Somewhere along the ‘adult’ education it was learned to have a handle on your life in every aspect, because that is what a well functioning adult does right?  I agree with this quote because I remember being my 20s and running into possibilities and dead ends and all the fun in between. But as I watch these young people today I see a lot of them being overworked, stressed about what they call ‘adulting’, and not taking the time to tap into the inner parts of themselves to become who they wanted to be when they were children; free.

Life is always going to be complicated in one form or another. That is the wind.  It’s never perfectly structured and may whip you about. Yet it is always moving, gently lands a petal or fallen leaf, moves the ocean, and blows your hair all in it’s own perfect way. So if you are able to collect all of your broken pieces from trying to control a circumstance, release them to the wind and let it be. There is no sin in letting something just be. That is the freedom we dream of as a child; letting things go and being ourselves in the best way possible. And every once in a while breaking the barrier of being responsible.

The Cupcake

Who doesn’t love a cupcake? They are sweet, wholesome, compact, and beautiful…much like many things in life that are worthwhile. How many times have we withheld ourselves from love, opportunities, or just having a wonderful time, because we deemed it to be irresponsible to do so? Why would anyone want to trap themselves into a space where there was little enjoyment to keep them in their sophisticated trappings that they or their communities uphold? Because that is what we are taught.

‘I’ll just have a small piece.’

‘Maybe just for a little while then we need to do xyz.’

‘No I can not do such a thing, it’s just not proper.’ 

These types of phrases come from thinking that too much of a ‘good thing’ can ruin you. To an extent that is true. We must have some self-control. However, why suppress our inner child in to thinking that experiencing some of life’s smallest and greatest joys is wrong? It’s not. There is certainly a time and place for anything that we do. However every once in while we have to throw that caution to the wayward wind and let the moment, the opportunity, the love, the adventure just be. You never know what beauty and growth will come from such a small sweet thing.

Life is short, find your freedom, ride the wind and eat the cupcake.

Thank you Toni, be free.