Please welcome my guest blogger today - my fellow energy coach, Hillary Mecham. I love having her on my team, and I love the perspective that she offers in our coaching practice. Thanks for guest posting, Hillary! - Jen
We all have gifts. Yes, every single person that lives and breathes has a gift, and far more than just one actually. We each have multiple ways of being and doing that bless ourselves, our family, our friends, our communities, and the world. Yes, even the world.
You might ask, “What are my gifts? I know my mom is good at sewing, and my brother is super athletic, and my next door neighbor knows everything there is to know about rocket science, but I’m not good at any of those things! What could I ever have to offer this world?”
I’ve asked those questions too. When I was younger, I didn’t feel like I was really that good at anything because I didn’t excel in the same things my siblings or friends excelled in. I was not very athletic or musically inclined. I didn’t learn things as quickly as my peers. And it wasn’t because I didn’t try. I would hear people say, “You just need to practice more and then you’ll get good at it.” And that’s true. The problem for me was that I tried to get good at things I thought I wanted to be good at but didn’t really like.
But later in life, I discovered a surprising gift related to something I’ve loved my whole life – FOOD.
I’ve always loved food. Anyone that has known me or my family knows how much I love it. I love the tastes, the textures, the experiences of eating food with loved ones, the whole shebang.
In college & grad school, although I loved food, I didn’t really cook. I didn’t think I liked it because it took some planning and work. I got by on peanut butter sandwiches, apples, carrot sticks and microwave dinners. Then I got married, and oh, my poor husband. He would come home after a long day of work, ask what was for dinner, and I’d just be lounging on the couch, reading a book, and say, “I don’t know, I just ate some salad. You can heat up a frozen pizza or something.”
When it came to preparing meals, I was always about making something easy, convenient or just going out to eat.
Then I experienced changes in my health, and discovered the importance of eating real, whole foods that nourish our bodies. Foods that you don’t really find in microwave dinners or frozen pizzas. Foods that you have to buy raw and cook yourself. So I got cooking and guess what happened? My health improved (of course), and, surprisingly, I also realized that I liked to cook!
I liked finding recipes and buying ingredients at the market; I liked the chopping, the roasting, and the sautéing. I loved creating something that tasted delicious at a fraction of the cost I would’ve paid to eat at a restaurant, and I loved being completely satisfied with my efforts after taking a bite of something delicious that I had just made. And as I kept doing these things that I loved, my cooking got better and better.
Now, not all my meals taste good. I’ve had some major fails in the past, and sometimes I still do. However, the point is that I discovered I had a gift that was also my love and it was something I could do that would bless myself, my husband, our family, our friends, and even strangers.
From this experience, I also learned that some gifts & talents come in ways we don’t expect, and that we’re usually led to discovering our gifts through the things we love.
So to help you on your journey in answering the question: “What are my gifts?,” I answer your question with a question - or, actually, a few questions:
What things make you happy?
What are some things you love?
What comes naturally to you?
Take some time to reflect on your responses, and then give those things a try. You might find you’re really good at something you’ve never even considered doing. And this goes for more than outward talents or skills. This goes for those abilities and qualities that come from the inside like patience, kindness, or thoughtfulness. Does it make you happy to think of someone and then give them a call to see how they’re doing? Then do it. Do it a lot. You’re going to be really good at being a good friend.
One last thought: when you’re doing something that makes your heart happy, or “following your bliss,” you will not only discover your gifts, but getting better at them won’t feel like work or drudgery because you love it.
So really, give yourself the gift of doing something you love today and every day. And have a very happy new year!
The Power of Starting with You
February 22, 2017
What Bali taught me about being in the flow of life