You already know that you have spiritual gifts, the problem is that we forget… and by forgetting, we mean every day that we forget. If you’re like us, you forget every hour. Gifts are underused all the time.
We have created a list of personal resources to develop your spiritual capacity so that you can enter your life with more power and grace. Throughout this list, you will find short activities that can be done now to develop your spiritual gifts. A little a day will go a long way.
16 spiritual gifts that you often ignore:
1. Your inner voice’s wisdom:
We so often let the intellect prevail over our inner voice. Think of intuition as residing in the body as your physical sensations.
When you are confused as to what to do, double-check your bodily sensations, especially the belly area. “Yes” usually feels more expansive and “no” feels tight and constricted.
You can cross-reference your intuition with your thinking mind, but don’t let the mind call it all; often the body, the inner voice, knows best.
2. Your outer voice’s power:
For many of us, tension mounts in the neck and throat, inhibiting our ability to use our voice with confidence. Take the time to sing a favorite song every day, singing and laughing at the tension of the body. Also, think of daily cleansing breaths with sound.
Try this: Inhale your arms upward in a “V” above your head and exhale with a long “ahhhhhhhhhh” slowly increasing the volume as you go. The universe wants to hear your voice!
3. Deeply connected silence:
Do you feel lost or confused about a decision? Going on a hike in nature and being quiet for a few hours will allow the deeper answers to find you.
At least once a week, I try to go for a walk in the forest and it is then, in peace, that my emotional blockages and my passions of life become clear.
Challenge yourself to stop along the way and stay still to be open to your silence.
4. Breathing yourself into being:
Whenever we remember to breathe deeply, we stimulate the nervous system to “rest and digest” and get out of the panic mode “fight, run away, freeze”. In our conscious breathing, we reduce stress and anxiety and invite calm. As I mentioned, we forget to breathe deeply every day, every hour.
Try this, for one day, set a timer so that it goes off every hour. Let it remind you to take three inhalations and long exhalations. Be aware of the calming effect of your breathing.
5. Your stare:
As a yoga teacher, I see students, even advanced, in a very still pose while their eyes wander. Wandering eyes mean that the mind wanders too. Go to the next level and always the eyes. This is true not only for yoga poses but also for communicating with others.
Challenge yourself to stay connected with your gaze to others. For fun and focus, try the tree pose while seeing a fixed location for a minute, several times a day. Yes, yoga can also be portable and deployable, and your gaze will become more focused.
6. The power of your relationships:
Many of us have the “lone wolf” mentality when it comes to self-improvement; we think “I have to solve this problem by myself”. Imagine the people in your life as part of a personal growth tool belt.
There are so many people around you waiting to be there for you, to pierce and reach out; call on them for their comments.
First, brainstorm a list of 12 people you’d like to be closer to, then schedule meetings with them individually. I try to have at least one meeting a week with a friend to maintain and strengthen my openness and connection.
7. Being help for others:
This goes hand in hand with the previous gift. You are part of someone else’s community, someone else’s tool belt.
Step up and reach out to a friend. The greatest gift we can give is often to be there and listen to a friend and tell them that they have been heard and are not alone.
8. Being someone’s teacher:
Selfless service makes you feel good. If you are not already volunteering, can some of your time, for one or two hours a week? I have been a volunteer yoga teacher for teenagers in detention for drug and alcohol offenses.
It’s quite difficult, and yet each time I leave, I feel so energetic in being the change I want to see in the world.
Try volunteering at a soup kitchen, senior center, animal shelter. It will fill your heart with compassion and joy, and your time will be well spent.
9. Your 9-5 job:
If you are currently working, whether you like it or not, use your current job as a laboratory to see what activities you enjoy doing. Over the months, years and careers, you have the opportunity to do more and more what you love to do.
I have had at least 20 jobs in seven different careers. With each one, I do more and more what brings me joy. So allow yourself to consider your work as an experimental laboratory.
10. Your bliss:
What do you like to do? Get a clear answer with this one. Try this: Write five activities you like to do on a piece of paper and place it on the wall where you will see it every day. I did it several years ago and it’s amazing. All five are now in my life in a much greater way.
When you do things you love to do, you create more joy and self-esteem and you have more energy to conquer the world, in happiness!
11. Your pains and aches:
I’m talking about physical and emotional pain. These pains help us to be more compassionate with ourselves and empathetic with others. Our pain is really just to say “I need a little attention.”
Try this for two minutes: focus your attention on the physical or emotional pain you are currently experiencing and send your breath there.
Let the pain subside with each exhalation. These moments of personal care will have repercussions in your life, increasing your ties with others.
12. Your humor:
Everyone has a unique sense of humor. Enlightenment is about lightening up and not taking yourself too seriously! Here’s a challenge: get together with a friend you can easily laugh with and dive into places where you have felt a little avoidance.
Change roles and act like each other. Make random voices of other people talking about difficult subjects. What would Katharine Hepburn say? or Sean Connery? or Daffy Duck? Laugh long and well.
13. Your history:
Aging is incredible. Each year, you acquire 365 days of data that allows you to see trends in your beliefs and behaviors. With this information, you can make wiser choices.
Allow yourself to look at your story with wonder and gratitude, then bring this wisdom to the present to help you make your decisions. Integrate your friends and share stories together.
14. Your life’s screenplay:
You write the story of your life from the day of your birth. Stop and ask the question: “What did I write that I am currently playing?” At this point, you may realize that you are not only an actor who plays the story but that you are also the author and the producer!
You can change the story AND the meaning you gave it to serve your highest purpose. Write the story of a hero, not a story of “your luck.”
15. Your creativity:
When we are in alignment with our hearts, ideas are not filtered by fear of being rejected or the attachments of being “good.” Put yourself in situations where you are brainstorming. Help a friend find a slogan for their business, invent random songs while you are doing the dishes, create new yoga poses based on Lord of the Rings characters.
The important thing is to simply diffuse it, to erase it, without attachment to the result. Let yourself groove and improvise, feed your creative muse.
16. Your alignment:
This is looking at the big picture. It is the meta-consciousness combining body, mind, and spirit. Are you in alignment? Are things in motion?
Your task is to pay attention to your alignment and take action to bring you back to your place of power, joy, and focus. If in doubt, go back to this list and see what is not activated.
By: Daniel Flynn is a yoga teacher, health activist, musician, and comedian. You can find his take on yoga and personal growth here. He is also a core staff member of Creator Course, an Online School for Conscious Living which is currently being built.