It was this week three years ago I treated myself to my first week-long yoga retreat in Costa Rica.
The retreat was lovely - I ate delicious food, practiced yoga with my teacher, and had wonderful conversations with great people.
But there was one night, near the end of the trip where I started feeling depressed. I felt really off, like something was missing. When I tuned in to feel the feeling it felt like this deep unknown hole of sadness inside of me and I had no idea what it was about.
Everything on the surface was great. I was in a beautiful tropical location. I was surrounded by loving people. I just didn’t know what it was.
Then, the next day in my yoga practice, I had a realization, “I haven’t been sharing my gifts!” A week had passed without writing a blog post, or leading a group coaching call, connecting with a client, giving a speech, singing or teaching a yoga class.
I realized the sadness that was setting in was simply a sign showing me it was time to be of service, and share my gifts.
Depression and sadness have been a real teacher for me - as a watery Pisces (my birthday is this Thursday!) - I feel a lot, and I’m sure many of you can relate.
And now I know when I start to feel this way, I can at least first ask myself, “How can I connect more deeply to my community and be of service?”
Over time I’ve discovered it’s that place of authentic sharing, space-holding and teaching, that I feel most ALIVE, JOYFUL and present in the moment.
I believe that for those of us that have a deep soul calling to be teachers, healers and space-holders in this life, we are going to start to feel pretty miserable if we are not fulfilling that mission.
Do you feel like you have a soul contract to help and uplift others? If so, jumping in and saying YES to that mission is going to deeply impact your sense of well-being.
So the next time you are feeling sad, try asking yourself these simple questions:
1. How can I share my gifts?
Find small ways to give back, right now.
Is there a friend in need?
A way you can start that healing practice?
Someone you can be a coach or a guide to right now?
Sometimes we feel like we need to have it “all together” before we can start helping people.
And it’s not the case! You don’t need the perfect website. Or social media brand. Or the big email list. You can start helping people right now!
The world needs you! And the truth is:
You only need to be one small step ahead of the person you are helping.
So how can you put yourself out there? Teach that class or workshop? or reach out to someone in need? It may not look the way you thought it would at first, but the simple act of giving will bring so much joy and meaning to your life.
2. Am I balancing “input” with “output”?
While going to retreats and trainings are great (and taking time off is pretty essential to reconnect with your creative flow) if you are only signing up for trainings, courses and retreats without sharing or putting anything out into the world, it can start to feel pretty imbalanced.
I call this balancing your “input” with “output.”
How much information are you consuming on a daily basis? How many online trainings or retreats did you sign up for in the last year? And how often were you releasing content, and digesting that information into something that could be of service in the world?
I’m careful now to not take on too much “input” so I can always be in balance with how much I am releasing “output,” or creatively sharing with others.
3. What fears am I ready to face?
It’s through doing the work, that you are going to gain confidence, and it’s the work that is going to fill the void you may be feeling from not fully sharing your gifts.
And often we need to take a step before we feel ready. To take authentic action. To pick up the phone. To have the conversation. To put the workshop on the calendar. To practice the free consultation. To teach the yoga class. To have the art show. To give the speech. To write the post. To share your story….
So today I encourage you to face the fears. To put yourself out there. To help someone in need. Because the truth is, everyone benefits when we ask the simple question, “How can I be of service today?”
Want to join the conversation? In the comments I’d love to hear: How will you share your gifts this coming month?