Connect with self, Happiness, Learning

The Gifts We’ve Been Given

gift

In this season of gift giving and receiving, let’s talk for a moment about another kind of gift– the kind of gifts we are all born with. The gifts that make us unique. Yes, I do believe we are all special snowflakes.

I’m not sure I’ve accepted my own gifts with grace and gratitude. Much of the time, I’ve kept them hidden away, unopened, unexplored, unused. Why? Maybe it’s because sometimes the pieces of us that seem most unique and special also seem like a reflection of our truest selves. So a rejection of our gifts can feel like a rejection of that most tender, inner part of ourselves– a rejection of who who really are. And that’s a scary thing.

When I look at what I’ve done so far in my life, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what I’m capable of. I have had a nagging feeling for a while now that I’m not doing what I am supposed to be doing, without knowing what that might be. But this is one thing I’ve learned:

The answers have been with us all along.

Glinda told Dorothy that with the ruby slippers she had the power to get herself home all along. Dorothy, of course, didn’t know that. She still had to walk the Yellow Brick Road and conquer the Wicked Witch. Maybe that’s true of all of us– the key to unlocking what we want has been with us all along, but we still have to walk the Yellow Brick Road first. Maybe those ruby slippers are already on our feet.

There are parts of me, and of you, that nobody else has– our DNA, our experiences, our perspectives, our voices. These are gifts that only you possess and only you can give. The world doesn’t have that yet. Here’s to having the generosity of spirit to truly accept and embrace our gifts, so that we might have the ability to share them. That, I believe, is key to unlocking our biggest and best lives.

 

Connect with self, Learning, Mind

Realm of Possibility

narrow walls

Lately my daughter has been musing aloud about what she might like to be when she grows up. Maybe an artist. Maybe an astronaut. Maybe a scientist who cures cancer. Maybe the owner of a luxury dog hotel (?). I love listening to her talk this way. I don’t want it to change– I want her to continue to dream, to ponder all the possibilities. But one of the things that happens to all of us (or maybe just some of us?) is that the number of options available to us, of who we are and what we can do, shrinks over time. And then it shrinks some more. It’s almost bound to happen. We make one decision, and it means not choosing something else. And we continue choosing as we go along, until what’s left is incredibly narrow and specific.

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Connect with self, Happiness, Home life, Mind

Multitasking is Turning Me into a Zombie

foggy road

I have a bad bruise on my left arm. It’s several inches wide and currently fading from blue to brown. It  looks like it hurt. It probably did hurt. I have no idea, however, because I have no idea what caused it. This is a bad sign, my friends. It means that I’ve been in a fog, on autopilot, and not fully aware of I’m doing. It means that I’m hurtling my body through space and time, occasionally ramming into things, and it doesn’t even penetrate my awareness.

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Connect with self

Let’s Talk About Authenticity

women with arms out

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit. 

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ 

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ 

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 

-Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

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