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One woman’s experience of the Core Gift workshop

After Jennifer Abrams took the Core Gift workshop, she sent a newsletter out to her subscribers:

May 2012

My Superpower

I want to let you in on a little secret…

I am a softie.

Whaat? The woman who wrote Having Hard Conversations is a softie?

Nah…Can’t be…

Yup. Getting emotional at kindergarten assemblies? Yes. Tearing up at off tune middle school orchestra concerts? You bet. Shedding a tear watching kids who are swallowed by anxiety eating their pencils while taking tests, jumpy seniors bumping each other in line at graduations, girls giggling with each other at lunch on the quad? Absolutely.

And, sometimes all this softness gets expressed differently than expected.

I am a big heart all rolled up in a bunch of bluster. A dramatic bundle of caring.

I found out last week that all that “Sarah Bernhardt-edness” is my superpower.

Last Thursday, I spent time with Bobbi Emel, a therapist/workshop facilitator here in the Bay Area. She led a group of us through a Core Gifts workshop. A core gift is a “‘secret power’ at the core of your being. Your gift gives you energy and directs your focus. When you identify your secret power, you can employ it on purpose.”

What I came out of the workshop with was this affirming insight…

My gift is to give a sh-t and do so boldly.

I care BIG.

I want others to see the meaningful in the mundane; to know how precious their students are and their patients are and their clients are and respond with right action. Not mediocrity or ambivalence. Not with insensitivity or disinterest. With care.

To recognize this as a gift was honestly a surprise as my so-called gift has gotten me into “trouble” a lot. I have been hushed, shushed, tisked, censored and ignored. I have been shut down, dismissed, had eyebrows raised up against me and been told my words were ‘not ready for takeoff.’

AND, I realize that at times the metaphorical ‘decibel level’ of my care might have not been the right sound for the moment. Yet underneath the ‘noise’ that was too loud for some is a striving for conscientiousness and craftsmanship, a desire for high consciousness of action and word, a plea for justice, and a bold articulation of how things can and could be. And those ways of being with students and with patients, and with all people, is worth caring big about.

You might not see my core gift written on a business card (yet), but the statement does capture my essence with passion and clarity. A big softie with a provocateur’s bravado. A big heart with a nudger’s disposition. A substantive diva. One fiercely compassionate gal.

Just to give you a taste of some of the other gifts discovered by others at the session…

  • Capacity for creating safe environments no matter where I go
  • Bringing logic and rational thinking to whatever situation I am in
  • Stirring the pot and keeping folks on their toes
  • Watching out for the underdog
  • Helping people to overcome
  • Bringing a sense of harmony to tense situations

Wouldn’t it be great for all students to know what gifts they bring? Before going into a new grade or new school? Before graduating and leaving home? Wouldn’t it be awesome for people in transitions in their lives to know what they will bring forward with them no matter what comes next?

Here’s to discovering gifts within and living in appreciation of each other’s abilities, capacities and talents. What’s your core gift? Find out. We need it.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Bobbi Emel is a therapist who helps people in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View and the greater Bay Area manage their stress and develop their strengths.
She is effective in helping people dealing with anxiety, worry and grief; and also those who want to improve their effectiveness and performance.