Posted by: Lisa | December 31, 2014

Living our Gifts

A few years ago (I won’t say how many!), when I was in high school, I took one of those career placement tests that help students decide on possible careers.  There were about eight sub-tests, everything from clerical speed and accuracy to mechanical and spatial reasoning.  The whole test was fun for me because I was eager to see where my greatest skills would be.

I still remember my result.  It said I should pursue a career in one of three areas:  science, communications, or fine arts.  I laughed and thought the test must have been bogus.  I mean, could I possibly be skilled in all those disparate areas?  And how should I decide which path to follow?

The test also gave recommendations for college or other preparation for the suggested careers.  It said I would need many years of college for the careers in science or communications but I might not need any for fine arts.  At the time, I would’ve loved to be a ballerina, yet I knew I wasn’t good enough for the world of dance.  The thought of college was repulsive to me so I wouldn’t choose that route, either.  The test left me feeling sad and thinking I had no answers.

However, I didn’t realize I was already following the best career path for me: I’d started teaching aerobics during my senior year of high school.  Over the years, I learned to teach several types of group exercise classes and became certified in group  fitness and personal training.  When yoga became popular in the mid-90s, I felt an immediate attraction to that form of “exercise” because it reminded me of ballet.

I still teach aerobics (occasionally) but I relate more to teaching yoga – especially for its spiritual aspects.  This is fascinating to me because I didn’t plan any of this; I didn’t consciously choose this as my career focus.  (In fact, I now have a BA in Anthropology – but that’s another story!)  It almost feels like I fell into it.

Recently, I realized my teaching fulfills all three of my suggested careers at the same time!  Teaching fitness and yoga requires a strong foundation in anatomy and physiology (science), the ability to express/share the details of what I am teaching (communication), and a strong sense of creativity and intuition (fine arts).

The lesson is:  We don’t have to try so hard to discover what we’re meant to be doing.  Knowing our gifts is certainly helpful – but if we’re doing what we love and what comes naturally, then we’re going to be using our gifts.  Living our gifts means we’re more likely to feel fulfilled.  What an exciting thought at the beginning of a New Year!

Happy 2015!

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