>What do you do when you have a gift that is under-appreciated and valued? (I was going to say that no one appreciates and values, but that wouldn’t be fair to my current subscribers and readers- and I thank you).
I was liberated yesterday, while on my walk I realized what my gift is. I gave a loud chuckle to the “man upstairs” (even though I know it is also my soul’s doing), and said thanks for bestowing upon me such a gift.
What is the gift, you ask? Awareness. I bring awareness- to the self. Some people bring awareness on dressing up a recipe. Some bring awareness on dressing up a cause to raise money. Some bring awareness on dressing up your style, or your home. I bring awareness- on how we dress up or dress down the self, and that is rarely a “hot” topic. Because of this I have been suppressing this gift. Sure, it gets air thanks to this blog, and when a few people listen to me, but mostly it doesn’t. Except in my own life.
Socrates said, an unexamined life is not worth living, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how not to live an examined life. But, living to give this gift- a little trickier.
Example- a woman said to me, “We should get together soon. I am so honest when I am with you.” Do you think we ever got together?
My daughter, when asking me what to wear, and I give her an insightful answer. She rolls her eyes and says, “Mom not everything has a spiritual/personal lesson attached to it.”
“Oh yes, it does dear. Yes, it does.” I suppose a reason why self-awareness isn’t such a “hot” trend, is because it seems intrusive, and totally unattractive- How can I have fun or look cute if I am reflecting on my thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Or it sounds exhausting- Why would I want to be aware of my thoughts, behaviors and feelings when I have so many other things to keep track of, like my job, my house, my family? Or because we don’t know what it means to be self-reflective, we blow it off- Self-awareness, shmelf-awareness.
At the garage sale, a woman picked up a book by Melody Beattie, called, Stop Being Mean to Yourself. Do you think this woman’s soul/unconscious mind was trying to tell her something? Do you think she bought the book? It wasn’t but a few seconds after picking it up that she put it right back, and walked away from the bookshelf.
I witnessed several people like her- for all I own are self-help and spiritual books. For a moment there’s a small whisper to go beyond limitations, but then because of the unknown, because of fear, that opportunity goes by the wayside- at least for that moment.
I do, however, believe souls are stirring, so there is hope to broaden my gift. The other day on my walk in the suburban neighborhood- a small hand-made buddhist prayer flag hangs in the window. At the sale, a little girl pulling her mom to the yoga mat for sale, and her mom saying, “She is really into yoga, and is taking classes at the Y.” And the woman in a bobby pinned bun buying the yoga tapes saying, “I have heard a lot about yoga, but I have never tried it.”
Now am I saying having self-help books, buddhist prayer flags and yoga mats means you are a self-aware person? Well, sort of because these books and practices can’t help but bring awareness. But, the question is, are we assimilating the self-awareness these tools bring to create lasting, and significant change through self-reflection? We can do all the yoga poses we want until our limbs are like jelly, and read every self-help book, have them highlighted and dog-eared, and spitting out “new age” cliches, but if we truly don’t live an examined life, it all becomes like superficial clutter upon a table that gets purchased but never used. We must assmiliate self awareness or it matters not what we have come to know about ourself. However, after that little rant, what I am saying about having self-help books, buddhist prayer flags and yoga mats is- it is a beginning, and a small sign of a new, (which is actually a very old) door opening.
As this door opens, I ask myself, how can I teach awareness? When you have something that is second nature to you, it is easy to take it for granted, and assume everyone does it. But I have noticed with self-awareness this just isn’t the case. At the state fair yesterday, at the pronto pup stand (and yes I let go of all gluten-free living yesterday) Chuck asked if we should share the foot long or get our own smaller one. I said, “Well it isn’t really a fair deal to share with you.” And he was like, “Why?” And Alyssa and I both said at the same time, “Because you take really big bites.” He just laughed, and I laughed because he laughed (It’s a rare thing, Chuck sorry). But I also thought to myself, how was he not aware of this? It is so obvious.
We all have areas where we are completely unaware. I have an area like that, and it is in my relationship. One night, while I cried about it at my dad’s house he called it my “blind spot.” I got that, and when I got it, I was even more motivated to shed more light on that blind spot. Because for me self-awareness isn’t exhausting, (okay maybe a little), and I don’t worry about being attractive, especially when I am crying at my dad’s house. And I don’t find it intrusive because the opportunity self-awareness brings for real and lasting transformation- well there’s nothing like it. It is like looking at a space, once full of clutter and chatter, and seeing it clear and free of all unnecessary things for the very first time. And as far as fear of the unknown- that is what makes it exciting, and humbling. To know we have all these little blind spots just waiting for us to examine them, and breathe life into them so they can transform themselves into tiny white butterflies, and flutter away- or perhaps join into the space, that is now free of the clutter.
I still don’t really know how to teach awareness. But I do now know it is my gift. And as Chuck said when I asked him what we do when we have a gift that is under appreciated, “Give anyway.” And I am. It’s what I do. It’s why I’m here. The way in which the gift is given may change. I can write books and bring it. I can ask questions to a friend or foe and give it. I can speak to a room full of moms and give it. I can make movies or music or poetry and give it. It does not matter because the intention is the same- planting the seed of self-awareness and reflection.
Like I said, I just realized this is my gift. It has been in my shadow, and would not have been found if I weren’t willing to look within.
The lesson for me is: once we own our gift, we can begin to use it- consciously, and joyously, which is what happened when I let loose my inner chuckle, and looked up, and within. Thanks God. Thanks Soul that Knows for giving me such a gift.
What’s your gift? I bet it comes so second-nature to you, you might be overlooking it?
One of the next posts: how we dress up and dress down the self (in case you have questions about that).
The Soul Reporter