FOLLOW YOUR HEART
Embracing Your Gifts
Now that you have progressed into the empowerment phase of the work, it is time to stop doing what you don’t want to do and begin to do what you want to do. Self-betrayal must end. Self-honoring must begin.
Forcing yourself to do work that does not honor you or engage your creative passion leads to depression. There will be no energy or joy in your life. There needs to be a relinquishment of this pattern.
See how in the past you lived the life that others wanted you to live. In the process, you abandoned some of your key interests, passions and gifts. Now it is time for you to follow your heart and embrace your gifts.
Get in touch with what you really want and are willing to show up for. If you do not care about the work you do, if you are not truly committed to it, you will continue to live in self-betrayal. Don’t do that any more. Give yourself the time and space to
live your dreams.
Your creative energy comes back when you honor yourself and do what you love to do. That is what makes you joyful, and then your energy can express with natural enthusiasm and touch the hearts of others.
If you have an unhealed Father Wound, you may need to develop your self confidence by taking little steps toward reaching your goals. Small successes lead to greater ones. Shooting too high or moving too fast will result in self-destruction
and reinforce past failures along with the shame associated with them.
Honoring Yourself on All Levels
There are four components that must be present if you are to fulfill your life purpose:
1. Spiritual: express your gift and serve others (purpose)
2. Mental: see and know what you want to achieve (vision)
3. Emotional: have a strong desire to achieve it (passion).
4. Physical: show up, be grounded, have a practical strategy (commitment)
First you need to know what your gift is. Don’t be surprised if you don’t have a clue. Most of us abandon our gifts at an early age in order to get the approval of mommy or daddy. They want us to make them proud. They want us to walk in their
footsteps. They may want us to fulfill their unfulfilled desires and achieve the goals they were unable to achieve. They have their own agenda for our lives. So do our teachers and mentors.
Few people encourage us to be ourselves and to find out what we naturally enjoy and excel doing. As a result, the creative blueprint for our embodiment that abides in our Core Self or Essence may go unrecognized. We probably spend the first thirty
years of our lives trying to show up as mommy, daddy, teachers, ministers and other mentors wanted us to. We took our marching orders and began to march toward the approval they dangled before our eyes.
The problem is that this was a march of self-betrayal. We attended law school and became an attorney because that is what daddy wanted us to be. We married a doctor or a dentist because that is what mommy wanted for us. They wanted us to
have security. They wanted to make sure that we were safe and that the bills would be paid. Perhaps they also wanted us to have some of the other socially desired symbols of success: an expensive car, a beautiful home, well behaved children, and a
good reputation in church and community.
We followed their roadmap for our lives. We thought it was the one we were supposed to have. But we never verified that. Turns out it was a rather expensive assumption. Thirty of forty years later, we might wake up and ask “What the hell am
I doing?” That, I suppose, is part of the learning process. First you betray yourself so that you know what not to do. And then you learn from your mistake and begin to honor who you are.
That’s what our mid-life crisis gives us the opportunity to do. We re-assess and re-invent our lives. No matter how much self-betrayal exists in our past, it’s never too late to discover our inner blueprint and begin to honor it. The tragedy is not that
we come to truth late. The tragedy would be that we never come to it at all.
Having abandoned our blueprint, we need a strategy for rediscovering it. The first place we need to look is within our own consciousness. We have been taking our direction from the outside far too long. Now it is time to look within.
There are two primary actions we need to take.
1. Stop betraying ourselves. Stop doing what we do not want to do.
2. Ask ourselves what we do want to do and begin doing it.
This doesn’t seem like such a hard formula to implement, yet people have huge resistance to both of these steps. They think they can do what they hate and what they love to do at the same time. That seems like it is less of a risk. The problem is that after they finish doing what they hate to do they have no energy left over to do what they love. They live in a double bind world, a world of continual Catch 22s. Their motto is “I want to, but I can’t.” The truth is that they “can” but they don’t really want to.
They do not desire change enough. They do not hate their self-betrayal sufficiently to abandon it. They try to grab the new while holding onto the old. But the truth is they can’t really grab onto anything new if they are holding onto the past. It doesn’t work.
Letting go of the past is absolutely essential if we want to move into our power and purpose. So we need to see our resistance honestly and clearly. We don’t have to beat ourselves up. We just have to realize “I have a lot of resistance here. I am not ready to take a big step…..maybe there is a small step I can take.“
And so instead of quitting our job, we cut back on our hours and give ourselves one day or two mornings a week to explore what we love. That is both honest and realistic. It acknowledges our resistance without allowing it to undermine our
The key here is to move out of the Catch 22 scenario and end the untrue, self-sabotaging belief “I want to, but I can’t. As I have said many times before to my clients and students. “Stop telling me what you can’t do and tell me what you can do.
What you can’t do is none of my business. And it really should not be yours either. It is not an empowering idea. It is the language of a victim. Remember,
In Phase Three, there are no victims, so don’t be one. In Phase Three there are only creators. Be the creator of your life.
You don’t have to be flashy and take big, sweeping steps. Small steps are fine. In some way, they are preferable to big steps because they lay the groundwork for the big steps. They create the foundation that we will build on when we are ready.
Connecting with your Desire
Many people say “I want to do this or that” but they are just kidding themselves and everyone else. I can’t tell you how many people have told me “I want to write a book.” I always tell them “Great idea!” But then when I run into them in six months
or a year I ask them “How’s the book coming?” and they look at me like I am from some other planet. “What book is that?” they ask. “The one you told be you were going to write six months ago,” I remind them.
“Oh,” they say and then proceed to tell me all of the reasons why they couldn’t write it. “Save your breath.” I want to say. “You might need it for something you really want to do.”
The bottom line is that you will only do what you really want to do. Writing a book isn’t what you want to do or you would do it. Nobody has to tell a writer when or how to write, or an artist when or how to paint. Nobody has to motivate a musician to practice or a swimmer to swim laps. All of these people are doing what they want to do. The motivation comes from within.
Of course when you spend the first thirty years of life doing what other people want you to do, you might have a little difficulty getting in touch with what you want to do. You haven’t had much practice tuning into your desires. This is a skill that you
have to learn. So don’t bullshit yourself. Don’t try to impress your friend who runs marathons by telling him you are training for a 5K when you haven’t had a day’s exercise in the last twenty years. Don’t tell people what they want to hear. Tell them the truth. Tell them “I have no idea what I want to do. I have spent my whole life listening to others. I’m a novice here.”
You can’t start your journey to empowerment by lying to yourself or others. You have to be honest. And you have to take the time to get emotionally connected to yourself. You have to keep asking the question “What do I want?” or “What feels
good to me?” until the answer comes.
Please don’t be impatient or put pressure on yourself. That just slows down the process. Take the time and the space they you need to connect with your true desire. Only when you know what you really want and care about will you be ready to move
forward. Until then, just “Do no harm.” Refrain from self-betrayal.
It is a simple truth that caring and commitment go hand and hand. You can commit to the desire of your heart. You can show up for it every day. You can do what needs to be done. You can overcome obstacles. You can get up when you fall down, because you are moving toward a goal you really care about. You can’t do that when you don’t care about something. All you can do is show up like a zombie and go through the motions. A lot of people live their lives like that. But not you. For you those days are over.
Healing with Daddy
Father wounds hold us back from doing what we love to do. We don’t have the self-confidence, the belief in ourselves, and the needed preparation to succeed. We don’t know what our gifts are or, if we do, we don’t trust them. We don’t know how to
show up and get things done.
When you haven’t had the Father energy modeled for you, you often have difficulty taking risks or you take foolish ones. You need to learn to take small steps toward your goals. You have to stay grounded and put one foot in front of the other. People with daddy wounds often dismiss the preparation phase and try to skip steps. As a result they keep falling down. Yet they don’t learn from their mistakes. They keep shooting for the stars, crashing to the ground and burning. They are often addicted to speed. They do things fast, but not necessarily well. They include The Hare and The Speed Demon. Their incessant activity is driven by fear and insecurity. They are impatient and under-prepared.
Others who show up in bad form are The Charlatan who knows how to fake it but can’t make it, The Scam Artist, who knows how to sell it but can’t deliver it, The Bullshit Artist who talks big but can’t walk his talk and The Leap Frog who skips over the
On the other hand, some people who have father wounds can’t get out the door. They are just as wounded. They do not trust their gifts or express them because they are afraid of rejection. They stay in their shell and hide. Often they over-prepare and
obsess on details. They make everything much harder and more complicated than it is. Their belief is “I am not ready to do it.” They include the Procrastinator, the Dreamer, the Professional Student, and the Perfectionist. They insist on taking time to get
more skills and training. That’s true even if they have already earned six PhDs. They are under-motivated and over-prepared.
Conversely, The Workaholic, The Martyr, The Slave, and The Savior or Guru believe “I have to do it. If I didn’t do it no one else would.” They think that they are here to sacrifice their own needs in order to meet the needs of others. They are here to fulfill their duty, to serve, save, or redeem others. They aren’t here to enjoy their work or to have fun doing it.
If you have manifested any of these sub-personalities, you have ignored your true talents and gifts and given your power away. You have spent your life preparing for something you don’t want to do, doing something you hate, or sacrificing your joy
and fulfillment in order to please or meet the expectations of others.
All this happened because daddy was unable to show up for you or showed up in an unhealthy way. He was either absent from your life, physically and/or emotionally, or he was always breathing down your neck telling you what to do and how to do it. If Daddy was the critic, chances are you internalized his opinion of you. Chances are you feel inferior, just as Daddy did. Chances are he passed his wound onto you.
Often you have to take some time to heal with Daddy in order to move into your power and learn to express your talents and gifts. Don’t be surprised if an opportunity to stand up to Daddy or to make peace with him comes into your life when you are working on this step. It happens for many people.
Natural Gifts and Experiential Gifts
Natural Talents/Gifts are the gifts at birth that you came into this life to nurture, develop and ultimately express. These may be creative gifts, emotional gifts, intellectual gifts or physical gifts.
We all know people who are talented singers, dancers, painters, writers, or entertainers. They uplift others by sharing their creative gifts. We also know great teachers, lawyers, doctors or business people who excel using their intellects. We
have met therapists, nurses, and a variety of caregivers who support and heal others with their emotional gifts. And we know great athletes who amaze and entertain us with their physical gifts.
You may have more than one of these gifts. You may also have paranormal gifts like clairvoyance or clairaudience, or spiritual gifts like inner wisdom or connection to healing energies.
If you are lucky, you were able to tune into your gifts at an early age and begin to actively nurture them with the support of your parents. If you are not so lucky, your parents may have ignored your gifts or pushed you in a different direction. Or
perhaps your parents put a lot of pressure on you to develop your gifts and you developed a bad taste and turned away from using your talents.
Hopefully, you have begun to heal whatever wounds you received here and can return to reclaim your gifts on your own terms. This will make it easier for you to value your gifts, heal any money issues you have and connect with the natural flow of
abundance in your life.
In addition to the gifts that you were born with, you also have experiential gifts and talents that you have learned in this lifetime by facing challenges and hardships. By learning your lessons and healing your wounds, you bring new skills to the table that can help you express your natural gifts. Indeed, it is the combination of your natural and experiential gifts that enables you to show up where you are needed in life and fulfill your true creative purpose.
Step 9 asks you to make a conscious effort to do what you love to do and be open to opportunities to share your gifts whenever they present themselves. If you have not nurtured your gifts, begin to develop them through study, training, apprenticeship, or volunteer activities so that you can acquire the skills and experience needed for success. Be sure to set realistic, obtainable goals and learn to take small steps toward reaching them.
Be patient and committed. Learn to show up even when it’s hard. And let go of your perfectionism. It is a major obstacle to self expression. Be willing to take risks and push through resistance. You can’t stay locked within your comfort zone or you will not grow and step into your power. Say yes to new opportunities. Walk through the open doors. Don’t let fear or habitual paralysis hold you back. See obstacles as challenges instead of setbacks. Accept the outcome and learn from your mistakes. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you know what your gifts are? If so what are they?
- What do you desire? What is joyful for you? What do you care about? What can you commit to showing up for?
- Were you encouraged to develop and express your gifts by parents, siblings and teachers?
- Were you pushed in a different direction by parents/teachers/siblings or did they put pressure on you to perform?
- What father wounds do you have that make it difficult for you to find fulfillment in work and career?
- Do you have a pattern of setting unrealistic goals, shooting too high, and failing?
- Do you have a pattern of procrastinating, making excuses, not taking risks?
- How is this related to your father wound?
- Do you have money issues? Do you have difficulty valuing your talents and gifts?
- What gifts, talents, passions, have that you have neglected or pushed aside in order to please or take care of others?
- What natural gifts have you nurtured, developed and felt free to express in your life?
- What is your greatest achievement in life?
- What do you aspire to achieve?
- Who is your greatest role model for the expression of the Creative, Father energy and what can you learn from him or her?
- Is your greatest passion congruent with your greatest gift? In other words, is what you want to do supported by what you are good at doing? If not, are you sure this is your true passion and just not another story about yourself you bought into?
- What are your experiential gifts and how have you integrated them with your natural gifts?
- What is your greatest failure in life? What have you learned from this?
- What is your greatest achievement in life?
- Do you have the skills necessary to express your passion.on? If not, how will you acquire them?
- How can your gifts can be used to serve others with wounds/beliefs similar to your own?
- What would I like your career to look like five years from now?
- What steps can you take right now to trust my gifts and to move into power and purpose?