The Gifts We Share
Someone told me the other day that I am very good at making other people feel that they are very good at what they do. Lovely compliment. It was in relation to my herbal class. Funny thing is, I always feel that people ARE good at what they do or who they are. Being authentically myself, whatever the heck that means (think about it) and celebrating others' authentic selves has been of utmost importance to me.
Long ages ago, when I was teaching art, I remember a student said to me, "You make me feel like I AM an artist." I thought that was funny, because I believed that anyone who created anything was an artist. I wasn't just saying it, I believed it. And because of this belief in her artistic ability, she began to believe in herself.
I also had a young man call me a few years back. He had been one of my art students as well, and was showing some of his work at the Expo building on the waterfront in Vancouver. He had found me and wanted to let me know he was where he was largely due to his beginnings in my art class. That's heart warming.
When I teach my herbal students, I want them to know they also can work with herbs in whatever capacity that they "get" it. As soon as they know one herb well, they too can share that little bit of knowledge they have with someone who doesn't know yet.
Interestingly, I am not always as kind to myself, though I've learned with age and sorrow to be better to my own soul. Perhaps it is the lack in myself that wants to make sure others are aware of how capable they are of most things. And as I encourage others to be themselves, dare to risk, try new skills and endeavors, I am also encouraging myself.
I was just watching a TedX talk the other night that claimed to be able to tell you what your purpose in life is in 5 minutes. ha ha But there were some wise questions. 1) What do you do well? 2) Who do you do it for? 3) How does it change them? There may have been a few more...can't remember. I thought about that.
I've always loved sharing information and encouraging. I had a great teacher in first grade who I never forgot, who influenced the few things that really gave me self esteem in my somewhat lonely, low self-esteem growing up years. And one in 8th grade who taught me to write songs. They were lights where I felt I didn't have much in the way of talent or beauty or strength. They showed me where I WAS strong.
Teaching is my highest joy and I love to see the development and growth in my students. I love to see the changes and the emerging. It's the same at my little retail shop, the slow realization that we're all about self-acceptance, working with what we've got, and no body shaming.
Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself. Gawd! I've gotta learn that one every single new day!
So, although there are days when I wonder what the heck I'm doing here on the planet and I just want to squirrel away and sing songs to myself on my baby grand and watch Netflix, I am aware of the differences I make when I take the time to share my gifts with the world. Think about the gifts you have to share.