Last week we explored the unique gifts, skills and talents that live inside of us. We made a list to help appreciate and honor the treasures we bring to the lives of others.

What treasures OUTSIDE you are you not recognizing, valuing and letting warm you down to the cockles of your heart?

Who and what is a part of your daily life that you take for granted or don’t notice or get pleasure from anymore?  Or maybe haven’t ever!

What thoughts preoccupy you and exhaust you?  What treasures outside of you can you become aware of to restore and re-energize yourself?

Who are the folks who are not your champions; who suck the very life and the joy out of you? Who are the treasures outside of you who might enrich and enliven your life?

I live in sunny California and the clear blue sky and the warmth of the sun on my face early in the morning when my best (four-legged) friend and I go for our walk are treasures to me.  And I laugh at myself the 20 days a year it dares to be freezing cold (low 60’s) and cloudy and I’m complaining bitterly!

I was blessed to be a woman in my fifties when my beloved Grandmother, Dorothy, died at age 98. I was a devoted granddaughter and she was a treasure in my life.  There were so many special and dear things about her.  The two that stand out for me are (1) her warm, joyful demeanor no matter what was going on in our lives; and (2) the way she enjoyed me, no matter what I was saying or doing, or what caught my interest at the moment.

Make no mistake; my Grandmother wasn’t a pushover.  She was bright, articulate, elegant, well-read and insightful.  She had high expectations; was adamant and rigid about many things; and she was as stubborn as the day was long.  But rigidity and stubbornness were never the traits I focused on or remember first about her.

When I was growing up she would come into my bedroom in the morning singing sweetly… la-la-la-la-la …throw open the curtains to let in the morning sun and bend over and kiss my forehead.

Throughout my life she really got who I was.  She was not always adoring and approving to say the least; but she was always loving and receptive.

I was the first one (actually the only one now that I think about it) to move away; and not just move away, but move to California!  I was the only one to be divorced.  I was the first woman in my family to earn a graduate degree.  I am the only person in my family who meditates, has acupuncture, questions the Western Medical Model, and challenges doctors.

So, this apple fell pretty far away from the mid-western tree!  And my sweet Grandmother opened her heart and stretched her mind for over a half a century and she used to say to me, “If you think this or if you are doing that, I will think about it and try to understand, even if I think it’s nutty!”

I have my Grandmother’s small lead crystal heart with a long silver pen sticking out of it placed prominently on my desk.  And I grab that pen whenever I write a note, or answer the phone and think I might need to write a note. That old lead crystal penholder with the extra long, silver pen is a treasure to me to be sure!

Who are you to the two and four-legged people in your life? Who are you to those in your extended family? Who are you in the greater community?

Who do YOU touch in some way, just by being who you are?

Who are you willing to invite in, and allow to touch you?

And what part of your outside, existential life is a rare treasure ready and waiting to touch your heart and make your spirit sing?

I invite you to commit to taking some time this month to dig down deep and explore your gifts, skills and talents that reside INSIDE you; and become aware of the treasures that await you OUTSIDE you

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC ~
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