Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Daring to Share: the Lifelong Journey to Soulfulness

Giving of oneself fully and unashamedly to this world, that is to say, the sharing of one's talents without reservation or fear of rejection, is perhaps the greatest gift we can offer to the world. To my mind, there are at least two reasons why everyone can and should do this:

First, it is the guaranteed path to achieving one's smallest wishes and biggest dreams. When one shares their own unique vision, ability or creativity they will most assuredly distinguish themselves from those who would only mimic another's success. Keep in mind, though: small wishes can only ever lead to small achievements! If you dream big (and plan accordingly) you will achieve your greatest desires. I am finding this to be true on a daily basis in my own personal and professional life.

Second, giving of oneself fully and unashamedly to the world is the noblest thing one may do on behalf of not only oneself, but on behalf of the planet. This may sound astounding to you, but I fully believe it. Think about the best people in any field and you will see a list of people who became successful because they dared to be different and dared to share their uniqueness with all of us. Are we not more enriched by their decision? If not for these inventors, scientists, artists and philosophers we would not have the computer I am typing on, the guitar I compose with or the roof that keeps me dry when it rains. We are all grateful and enriched by those who have came before us and left their mark for all time. (By the way, if you are ever feeling blue, I suggest that you make a list of things or people you are grateful for - it's a sure way to get past past one's own "poor pitiful me" moment.)

But, you may be wondering, how can I offer something unique to this world? What contribution is mine to offer? And there are so many obstacles to my success: money, time, energy, family responsibilities, insecurity, lack of contacts or support to name just a few. The list goes on and on when we choose to list our challenges, right? Let's take the "what do I have to offer" part of the problem, first.

You were born with a talent, perhaps more than one, that you have always known is your greatest gift. It may be years since you named it out loud, but I can assure you that it is inside of you today just as it was the day you were born. Let's call it your "soulfulness". More than likely, it is manifesting itself somehow in your life. Perhaps you are a nurturing, gentle mother. Since you were a child, you loved and sincerely cared for others and you are still doing so with your family. This is an amazing gift! There is no doubt that mothers have an important role in our society that extends for generations. But you may want more and I want you to know that this desire to expand is a good one that should be nurtured. Like you love others, you must learn to love yourself so that you can create time in your busy life to expand and share more of your gifts.

This gets to the second part of the question: how do I overcome all the obstacles preventing me from expanding and growing? It may be that you have to ask your spouse, your neighbors, your parents or your children to help you carve out some time each day to start fulfilling your dreams. Ask them and they will surely help you! You have only to start and the answers will become clear - perhaps in a matter of hours. Everyone I have ever met claims to be "too busy" to try new things, but this is your life. Do not take the easy route of claiming to be overwhelmed. Perhaps, if you are truly without time, you need to do some spring cleaning in your life. Start by saying "no" to those offers to be on a committee or to volunteer at the local library. In doing so, you will be saying "yes" to your own dreams. When we spring clean our lives, we get rid of the items that are preventing us from having the room to expand.

In closing, I would like to offer the following advice: do not give up looking for or creating your dreams even when circumstances or other people try and dissuade you from your purpose. As a model, one has only to look at Al Gore's recent success in helping all of us to understand the stakes involved in helping our planet survive. Couldn't Al Gore have thrown in the towel after losing the presidency? Of course, and no one would have expected him to be anything but angry and very bitter. Except, of course, Al himself! He knew he had something to share, a belief that he felt very strongly that he had to offer. For years, he traipsed across the country and it is only in the last few years that people are not only listening, they are acting!

If it makes you feel better, please know that many are with you on this journey. I also have dreams that I am working on and obstacles to deal with, too. But each one of us that chooses to follow their inner path unquestionably influences and encourages many others to do the same. It is my hope that you will find that part of yourself and dare to share it with the world. We need people like you!