One of the basic human desires is to be of service. It may not be a top priority at all times, but this desire to improve life on Earth is a thread that runs through most people.
Some people know at a very young age what their gifts (or strengths) are. However, most of the population spends a good chunk of their life searching or exploring their gifts. While most of us have a deep desire to contribute to life by sharing our gifts, it’s not a surprise that our culture deems some people unique and special for qualities other than the service they provide to others.
But there is hope. And I want to share with you a story from my own life that makes me believe, without a doubt, that it’s possible to get crystal clear about what you have to offer this world.
For me, it started with an interest. That’s it. I’m a professional yoga teacher now, but it all began 11 years ago when I was introduced to the practice of yoga in high school. Then I went to college, majored in chemistry and went on to become a research chemist. My life felt wildly unfulfilled at that stage.
Meanwhile, I kept following my interest in yoga and the healing arts. I began training to become a yoga teacher. After number of challenges, roadblocks and part-time jobs later, I am doing just what I dreamed of doing. The reason I share this with you is because I have experienced a deep fulfillment that comes from doing what feels purposeful and natural to me.
Here’s the thing: It’s usually not just one thing that fits nicely in a box. What feels natural and often enjoyable for us can change and evolve. That’s exactly what happened to me. I started with my dream of becoming a yoga teacher, and now I actually focus on retreats and private healing. One curiosity or experience leads to the next. We don’t have to know exactly where we are going and how things will unfold, but if we orient ourselves with our curiosities, interests and passions, then we’ll stay on course.
It doesn’t mean we don’t stray or make missteps, but it means we’re walking the path of natural unfoldment.
The reason I call this process an unfoldment is because it’s gradual. Little by little, as we pursue our interests, passions and curiosities, we start to gain insights into our gifts, our path and our purpose.
Not only does pursuing natural gifts add a new dimension of fullness to life, but when we contribute by exploring and living our gifts, we make the world a little brighter. In yoga, we call this “dharma.” Think of it this way: If each of us is a specific music note, when we are “tuned-in” to our gifts, as a whole species we create a symphony.