Jenny Thow | Stepping Stones Learning

Using, Giving & Sharing Your Gift

We all have gifts.  Not only that, but we all have very unique gifts to share with the world.  Often these gifts get given other words to describe them.  Some people refer to them as their passions, or their interests.  Some people talk about them as their hobbies.

You see, the interesting thing about your gifts, passions, interests, or hobbies is that they are something you get pure enjoyment from.  They are activities you can spend hours on end doing and not notice the time go by or how engrossed you become.  As a kid, they were the things your parents tore you away from when it was time to do some chores, got to bed, or come to dinner for.  As a teenager they were your sanity amongst the chaos.  As an adult they may be your guilty pleasures or your escape from the real world.

 

Using Your Gift For Yourself

Take a moment to think about your hobbies, interests, and gifts.  Do you actively practise any of them today?  If not, where did you lose them along the way?  What were the kind of things you did as a kid, teenager, or young adult that you got so much joy from?  Was it painting, drawing, or dancing?  Or model making, knitting, or music-related?  Was it outdoors or indoors?  Was it something with others, or an individual pursuit?

giftAll this talk of mindfulness these days is mostly about taking time for yourself.  Taking time to get out the busyness of every day and calming your mind to notice what’s really going on both in and around you.  It’s about focusing on something without letting yourself be distracted.  If you remember the times when you were engrossed in your activities, were you aware of what was going on around you?  Were you focused on what you were doing?  Were you making connections in your mind you might not have made otherwise because you were now focusing on something else?  The connection between mindfulness, pursuing hobbies/gifts, and being happier is really strong, so maybe it’s time to re-engage with your gifts to bring some joy for yourself?

 

Giving Yourself Permission to Use Your Gift with Others

Once you’ve allowed yourself the time and space to get familiar with your own gifts again, you’ll notice that you will be introducing a richness to your life that maybe wasn’t there before.  It may be something that you do daily.  It’ll be challenging finding time to add something into your busy schedule, but you know what they say – “you’re never to busy for the things that are most important to you”.  Instead of sitting in front of the TV and checking FaceBook, you might have signed up for a dance class.  Or some kind of fitness activity.  Or an art class.  It may be something you do at home – cooking, organising, writing.  What you’ll notice is that whatever it is, you are creating something.

As humans we were born to create.  We are unique and we can bring unique interpretations to this world.  Yes, there are understood processes and patterns to many things, but the real joy tends to come out of the messy and the space between the lines.  Once you’ve rediscovered this joy for yourself, you may notice a difference in your approach to your day, your relationships, and the other activities that fill your life.  It’s time to give yourself permission to involve others in your gift.  And for some people, that may be easier than for others.

 

Sharing Your Gift with Others

If practising your gift involves others, it’s easier to use it with others.  If your gift is something you do alone, then you may just want to show or talk to one person about it first, then another, and then another.  Share with them what you’ve done, what you’ve achieved and what it means to you.  However, be careful who you share with.  Share it with people who deserve to know.  Who will be supportive of your actions.  Share it with someone who will meet you in the a space of kindness.  Ask that they don’t judge or make any constructive criticism.  This is not about being right or wrong, good or bad.  It’s about expressing yourself in a way that feels right for you.

The first time you share what you’ve been doing with others may feel very vulnerable.  That’s OK.  You feel vulnerable because it matters.  Because it’s a piece of you that you are putting out there into the world for others to see.  But with vulnerability comes courage.  And with courage comes happiness.  And with happiness comes joy.

 

What Next?

So take a bold step.  Rediscover a hobby from your past.  Find something now you can put your heart and soul into.  Dance, draw, run, create, organise, write, sing, perform, get involved.  Start small and watch how you will find time to do more and more of it.  Watch your world and your perception of it evolve as you incorporate things you enjoy and that fulfill you.  Be curious on how it evolves your relationships too.  Don’t be surprised if people around you feel a little threatened and uncertain – you’re pursuing something that makes you a better you.  Some people in your life won’t understand that.  Some people can’t.  Don’t let their insecurities become your own.

And if you want some help to re-discover your passions, interests, and hobbies, contact me to set up your free introductory coaching session where we can talk about it a little more.

 

Photo credit: Aih. via Foter.com / CC BY