Deb Sofield

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    May you respond to the call of your gift

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    May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path. (From the poem: The Blessing by John O’Donohue)

    Recently, I was introduced to the words from the poem that prompted my title today.

    May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.

    I will give the full poem in a bit, but for now, I want to stop your world and ask you to focus on the idea that you have a calling. You have a gift, and you need, with all you have in you, to find the courage to follow its path.

    I have shared this before, but I keep a quote on my desk that says, “Our Father does not inspire us to do that which cannot be done.” Every day, when I look down at my desk, I see that quote, and every day I think to myself, what am I supposed to do today?

    I’ll admit that some days I find myself questioning my own path. Not because I don’t know what it is or because I don’t think it can be done, but because it is hard and sometimes I have no idea how to even start, but then I (figuratively speaking) strike another match and light a bit of my path and keep walking. Why? Because I am blessed and just bullheaded enough to have the smarts, guts and courage to follow the path before me, and you do too if you’ll learn to listen, trust and act on your intuition.

    When you finally admit to yourself that you are not happy in the place where you are, it is then you will find the courage to start walking. And when you finally and soulfully respond to the call of your gift and dig deep inside your heart, mind and body, you will find the courage to follow its path. When you honor your God-inspired gift, it will become an all-consuming fire. Wherever you find your inspiration, I encourage you to name it and claim it and then live it and stop acting like you are not gifted because you are. Everyone I know has been given a gift of a path; how you choose to find it, follow it or forget it is your personal decision. Make no mistake about that. It is about how YOU choose to use your gift in the world.

    The hard work is figuring it out and dusting it off, shining it up and learning how to interpret your calling in your way.

    Let me go back to my quote.

    Our Father does not inspire us to do that which cannot be done.

    What that means is you and I have a duty, a right, a calling to follow the path that we have been given. Do we always know where it will take us? No. Should we care if we get lost? Actually, no (for goodness sakes, for once in your life be confident that you can find your way back), but the most surprising thing is this: no one else can walk the path for you or me. It is our path to our destination. And let me remind you, dear reader, because we are getting older, we need to get going.

    Tell me, have you responded to the call of your gift? Have you found the courage to follow its path? And if not, as your friend I ask you, please tell me why? Why are you not responding, reacting or redirecting your life to follow your call?

    I am going to suggest that fear is what is holding all of us back. Even though we know that fear is a fraudster, a deceiver, a fabricator, a cheat and a liar, it is made up by our own insecurities and self-doubt and yet, for so many of our friends and family, it rules their lives.

    I am sure you know the acronym for fear, False Expectations Appearing to be Real, or my favorite, Forget Everything And Run.

    Hear me, we all have the power to push through the wall of fear to the goal that we have been given, thinking about, praying for, and working towards. Do not let the shadow of the unknown cover your light or steal the gifts you’ve been blessed with. Do not deny your own power to make things happen. Seriously, you need to wake up and see the world for what it is and then figure out where you are standing (or should be standing) to get the job done.

    Let me share with you the full poem, so you will understand my urgency to push you to your path.

    A Blessing by John O’ Donohue

    May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

    May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

    May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

    May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.

    May the flame of anger free you from falsity.

    May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may anxiety never linger about you.

    May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

    May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

    May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

    Now you can probably imagine what I felt when I first read these words and realized that I wanted to live and experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder. But that is only going to happen if and when I respond to the call of [my] gift and find the courage to follow its path.

    As a speaker coach, every day I meet people who tell me what they want to do, plan to do, hope to do in life. And more times than I care to count, when I walk away, I feel profoundly sad because all they did was chatter about their highfalutin dreams without any explanation, understanding or reason for the path they were going to create or follow to achieve their dreams with the gifts they felt they had been given. Katherine Peterson is famous for saying, “a dream without a plan is just a wish.” Listen, with some fairy dust from Tinker Bell, your wish might come true. And frankly, I hope it does, but in the meantime (while Tinker Bell is trying to find your house), maybe you need to step out of La La Land and get to work on your calling and start walking or better yet, running down your path.

    And while I know that may sound snarky and harsh, the truth is this: when you finally admit to yourself that you are not happy, you are not fulfilled or you are not content in the deepest part of your soul, that may very well be the place or the moment when you catch a glimpse of a vision of where you should be going. And I can say with certainty, at that moment, you will see with wonder how the gifts you’ve been given, whether you have used them or not, could be used to change your life if you will respond with courage and finally learn to trust yourself.

    You have a choice. Choose wisely and know my prayer for you is that you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.

    I love this poem. I am going to print it and put it in a place where I will see it and always be reminded of the truths of this blessing. I trust you will do the same acting on every part that speaks to you so your life may speak to others.

    Deb Sofield

    Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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