Discover the Gift. Believe in the Gift. Learn How to Use It.

“Every single being has an amazing unfathomable gift that only meeting life head on will reveal…and we can’t do it alone, so that’s why we need each other.  We need each other to discover the gift, to believe in the gift and then to learn how to use it.”

Mark Nepo on Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations

I love this quotation for the three important reminders it contains in two short sentences.

1) You have an amazing unfathomable gift that the world needs.  You.  Yes, you.  For sure. I have no doubt about that.  It’s just part of being human.

2) You won’t know or experience this amazingness of your gift without actually DOING LIFE.  Just showing up at work or home and going through the motions won’t do it (though you will likely see a few hints from time to time.)  You’re going to have to stretch yourself. You’re going to need to do some courageous things, take some risks, dream, hope, DO.

3) And you need other people in your life to help you with all of the above.

That’s pretty much all I want to say to you today.  If you’ve got it. You can stop here.

If not, I’m going to repeat these points again again in case you, like me, sometimes need to hear things more than once…coming in from different angles:

  • You have a gift and it matters to the rest of us whether you use it – or don’t.

  • Discovering your gift and using it requires that you follow the tracks of aliveness, the hints of your joy, the clues hidden in your dreams and desires, in your anger and your jealousy.   It requires that you show up with courage – one tiny step, or one big leap, at a time.  

  • And you absolutely DO NOT need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do it all alone like the American myth of the “self-made man/woman/human” tells you that you must.

Here’s a recent example of what that last one looks like for me.

  1. It looks like collaborative work with people I love.

I’ve just returned from a weekend in Austin, Texas at the home of my friend and colleague, Alisa Carr.  Alisa is a trained therapist and spiritual director (find her at and we just did our first ever retreat together for one of my clients—a shared client, actually.  She works with me for coaching and with Alisa for spiritual direction.

Alisa is one of those people in my life who helps me to see my gifts, and to use them.  A soul-friend who helps me to see what I sometimes can’t and reminds me of what I have seen before when I forget all about it. (You don’t ever do that do you?) Working together we were better able to serve our client than we could do alone.  And our time together after the retreat helped me to expand my vision for myself and my work in the world once again.

2) It looks like big investments of time and money  - investments that have led to on-the-ground action steps and ongoing relationships that continue to support me.

As you know if you’ve been around here for a bit, a couple weeks ago, I went to France with little notice or planning because I had a sense that the Your Leadership Live retreat/event/training was part of how I would gain more capacity to use my gifts.  At that event 13 people that I hadn’t known before became witnesses to who I am now and who I am becoming.  A stronger, wiser, free-er version of myself than I was before I went.

It only took 24 hours back home and I needed them to remind me of who I am and what I’m capable of…which they did.  Their reminders helped me to set a date (June 16!) for the launch of the next iteration of my course for sensitive souls who want to change the world (but have trouble just living in it most days) and gave me the energy I needed to show up fully in my current university leadership position.

And then there’s the coaching group I’m in now – they will continue to hold me accountable for actually continuing to take daily action towards the bigger stuff.

And all the paid courses and groups that have supported me before (the one that started it all for me is the Queen Sweep with Katherine North – I highly recommend it and it’s open for registration right now for the only time this year.)

3) It looks like paying for help with house cleaning, some cooking and paying for a virtual assistant…so I can focus my time on the stuff that only I can do – like creating new programs and mentoring my staff.

4) It looks like finding support in books and podcasts and music – a lot of which is free—to boost my spirits, spark my imagination, nourish my soul, help me to dance.

This is how you actually do big work in the world.  You do it with help. Lots and lots of help.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to be brave.  You absolutely do.

It doesn’t mean that you can get away with the excuse that you aren’t doing what you know you’re meant to do in the world because someone else didn’t/doesn’t support you the way you’d like them to.  When that’s the case it’s your job to speak up, stand up, find what you need – maybe even to do something all by yourself that you thought you couldn’t do alone…and finding out that you can. (You will need to do SOME things alone – just not ALL of them.)

It also doesn’t mean you should bankrupt yourself to pay for support – sometimes a financial investment is required. Sometimes it’s not.  In my experience I have sometimes spent money for “support” when what I really needed was creativity and courage. I have also spent money that was “unreasonable” and had no regrets.  It takes some experimentation and reflection to get good at distinguishing between the two.

It DOES mean that if you don’t already have the support you need to help you get past the times of confusion, self-doubt, and overwhelm that tend to show up for sensitive-soul-world-changers-in-the-making, then job #1 for you is to take a step towards getting the support you need.

“Every single being has an amazing unfathomable gift that only meeting life head on will reveal…and we can’t do it alone, so that’s why we need each other.  We need each other to discover the gift, to believe in the gift and then to learn how to use it.”

  • You have an amazing unfathomable gift.  

  • To have a joyful and meaningful life you DO need to find it, believe in it, and learn how to use it.  

  • The rest of the world needs what you’ve got to offer. We really do.  You matter.

AND the support you need to do your work in the world is out there too.

Here’s to thriving…and equity and figuring it all out together.