Doing the right work gives you self-esteem. It pulls you into the orbit of all that you are meant to be. You discover stars on your shoulder, planets in your pockets, meteor showers in the pupils of your eyes. Suddenly you can soar on solid ground. It turns out you were never weak. You were simply dormant until you were adequately used.
You do not have to feel strong before you do the work that calls you. Doing the work that calls you will activate your strength. You don’t know the power of your gifts. You don’t know the energy that can move through you when it’s needed. You don’t know what the situation or the students or clients will pull out of you. I swear they carry magic wands. Their need will yank you into destiny. Their receptivity will move you to give of yourself in ways you never have. You better have some business cards. Because, let me tell you, you’re headed into the country of awe.
There are people who need what you have to give– today. While you’re busy praying for answers, you are an answer to prayer to someone else. The gifts in you are gifts of Spirit. They’re not for you. They’re for the people you are meant to serve. It’s a cosmic joke: you’re sitting on dynamite, telling your primal scream therapist how you have no power. Your gifts are so natural to you that you do not recognize their distinction and value. You did not know that what feels like breathing to you, could save someone else’s life. That’s why you need to offer your gifts to the people who do see their value, and who will help you see it too.
I remember the first time I got an email from Iowa from a total stranger who had read my book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love. “I will never be able to thank you enough for writing this book. This book gave me back my dreams. I know who I am now.” And the email went on. I read it with tears in my eyes and amazement. She was thanking me for writing the book I needed to give birth to.
It had not significantly occurred to me that I was writing the book for her, or for others, who ached for these particular words and examples. For so much of the time, when I was writing the book, I wondered, “What if I’m not that talented? What if I can’t sell this? What if I’m just “playing artist” like a child plays dress up? What if there are a thousand other books on this topic?” (I needn’t have worried. There are a thousand and three books on this topic.) But a reader I didn’t know was waiting for me in Iowa. And then I got emails from Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, Kenya, China, Australia and more. My readers were everywhere waiting for me. Your people are waiting for you. They are waiting to teach you who you really are in this lifetime. Because you will never find out alone.
We’re all in this orchestra together. It’s a symbiotic affair of needs and abilities. You feel like you’re just compulsively organized. But someone compulsively messy feels overwhelmed and needs your help. You feel as though you just can’t get enough of Bikram yoga because it melts you into bliss and alignment. But someone elseneeds you to love the postures so much—so that you can help them love them too. Your joy has value. It can help others lower their blood pressure, love their children, and live longer and offer their love to the planet. Isn’t it amazing? You thought you were doing it because it’s fun. Turns out you’re a shaman and a sanctuary. That’s when the hypnotism of dedication kicks in. You no longer see your love as diversion. You know, now, it’s medicine.
Really, this isn’t about you. It’s about the light within you. You have a part to play. You do not lack ability. But you can lack willingness. That’s why it’s not humble to dismiss your talents. It’s self-indulgent to doubt what you love.
Can you hear them? The baby birds? They open their tiny beaks like garage doors. They chirp with hunger and demand. They are awaiting the worms and nutrients they need— food you can supply. And the amazing thing is, you’re starving until you feed them.
We all have our baby birds. We are hungry to do our work and apply our talent. And others are hungry to receive everything we have to give.