The Unique Gift

Imagine this.kid-toys

Do you have small children in your life? Perhaps you have your own children, or nieces or nephews, or grandchildren, or maybe the children of friends or neighbors.

Imagine that you go to the toy store and buy the gift that would make one of these children incredibly happy. When my kids were young, it was the latest Lego set, so they could build a pirate ship or a Star Wars space craft. It could be tickets to Disneyland, or a beautiful doll house.

Now imagine that you buy that gift for this special child. You have it wrapped in shiny, silver paper with wide red ribbons and a bow. And now imagine that you take this gift home and hide it in the closet behind your clothes.

Now imagine that you never give this gift. It remains hidden behind your clothes in the closet…



Oh come on, Arjuna, enough of the emotional manipulation, what’s your point?

My point is that, sad and twisted as this story may be, it bears a tragic resemblance to the way many of us have led our lives, not just in relationship to one child, but in relationship to everyone you know. I’m sure that at peak moments – when feeling deeply in love, or inspired, or at the beginning of some new endeavor, or after a vacation – the clouds part and you absolutely know your own deep potential and what you have to give. Suddenly it’s clear: the movie you could make, the novel you could write, or maybe it’s the way you could be raising your children, or the meals you could be cooking, or the garden you could be growing. In these moments of great insight, you realize how you could be treating people, how you could be treating your own body, the gifts you would be pouring into the world if not for…

That’s right. Just as everyone has a unique gift to give, for most of us it is also buried behind the clothes in the closet. And, tragically, for many people, the deeper gift never gets given.

I think of my mother, who died at fifty-two of breast cancer. She had love in her heart. She had a keen intellect, and wit, and sense of beauty. She loved theater and cinema and novels, and she always wanted to create her own work, but never did.

I think of my father, who died a couple of years ago. In his last few years, he was just starting to reflect with me on how he’d never really loved. He tried in his own British way to apologize to me for never haven fully given me his love as a father. He knew that he had held back his love in all of his many relationships.

And then I think of all the clients that I have worked with over the past few years, where this is a common thread. The gift is there, the gift sometimes begins to flow, but almost always the gift is being held back by invisible forces.

I’m sure you’re all too familiar with what those forces are: those invisible points of view that tell us that we’re not good enough, that tell us that there’s too much to do, that tell us that nobody would ever listen anyway. These are the invisible scars we carry from old relationships and childhood conditioning, which keep our hearts locked in sorrow, and our wings unable to take flight. These are the tensions carried in different parts of the body, which have been there for so long that we’ve gotten used to them. We’ve forgotten how to feel in a deeper way.

As soon as we get a sense of these blocks – in our beliefs, feelings, and body – we start to become motivated to release them, challenging as it may be. There are now countless methods for doing that, our own Awakening Coaching Training being one of them. We train coaches to guide people back in their awareness to the dimension of themselves which is always free, which has always been free. This is sometimes called your “original nature” or the “natural state.” Millions of people are touching into this dimension of consciousness today. In this opening, it’s much easier to liberate  blocks in consciousness because we’re no longer so tightly attached to them. We can experience them as though for the first time. In our way, we use a method called “radical releasing” to briefly intensify the energy pattern beneath the block, and then to let it go so that energy can flow again.

Here’s the amazing and paradoxical thing I’ve noticed now with all my clients: the more you relax into this spaciousness, the more you subjectively feel that there is no gift to be given. You feel relaxed, spacious, and empty, you are observing life unfolding and there is no sense of a “me” with something special to give. At the same time, and here’s the paradox, something else starts happening too. Other people feel your beauty, and your clarity, and your love, more powerfully than ever before, and encourage you to let it shine.

This is a strange situation. In a condition of great egotism, we feel that we are the best at everything, and that everyone should listen to us, but other people aren’t always quite so keen. As we relax into awakening, we have less and less of a sense of anything to give, but other people feel the gift that flows though us more vividly. This is the foundation of natural humility, which is the hallmark of all great genius. When the gift is flowing though you and not from you, this is how it always is. You feel like you are nobody in particular with nothing special to give, and yet everybody else sees you as someone extraordinary with great gifts flowing.

Having glimpses of awakening on their own, I have noticed, will not necessarily allow the gift to flow. There are many people today who have strong breakthroughs into liberated consciousness, but continue to feel stuck in their contribution to the world. This can create the feeling of a pressure: a gift is trying to push it’s way through you, like grass through concrete. And that impulse cannot be ignored.

I’ve come to discover that this is one of the  the primary reasons to work with a coach or a mentor, and it has become the primary focus of my own coaching practice. It can be a delicate affair, rather like midwifing a birth: to become sensitive to the original gift that wants to be given, to clear the blocks to its expression, and to find suitable channels for it to flow freely into day-to-day life.


There are certain key elements I’ve been working with in this way with clients, and also with training coaches.

  • Recognize the unique gift that wants to come though you. The gift is not actually for you, it flows through you, and therefore you may feel it much less than other people do. The key is to know who are the right people to ask in your life, and what exactly to ask them, so that the gift can be recognized.
  • Recognize the specific blocks in belief, feeling, and even in posture, breathing, and flow of energy which inhibit the gift being given.
  • Discover ways to evaluate if your life as it is now is really an expression of your gift, or how much is lost in distraction.
  • Find ways to slowly align your day-to-day life with the flow of the gift.
  • Allow yourself to become more and more skilled at clearing the pathways that allow your gift to flow, often through mentoring or coaching.

This is a very rich and multifaceted area of investigation, and it’s the area where spiritual awakening and worldly success find their common ground. I’d love for you to join me for a free tele-seminar on this topic, Thursday, June 24th at 6 pm PST.

If you can’t make the live event, don’t worry. Just register anyway, and you can listen to the replay on the same page afterwards.


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15 Responses to “The Unique Gift”

  1. sher June 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm // Reply

    I can’t seem to register for thurs talk on Blackberry (no flash)–?

    Could you email me the phone #/conf ID?

    Thank you


    • Arjuna Ardagh June 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm // Reply

      dont have that handy
      can you register on a computer?


  2. james julian June 21, 2010 at 7:03 pm // Reply

    Who would not want to discover and deliver “their gift” ?

    But it feels surreal.

    Reading about it makes me feel –but worse with guilt added.


    • Arjuna Ardagh June 21, 2010 at 10:13 pm // Reply

      so sorry it had that effect, James! It was not my intention. Please join the teleseminar, and things will become clearer


  3. Yair Aviv June 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm // Reply

    I would like to listen to the replay


    • Arjuna Ardagh June 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm // Reply

      welcome, please register, and the same page is for the play and replay


  4. Karin June 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm // Reply

    Hi I would like to listen to the work you are doing


  5. biren shah June 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm // Reply

    dear arjuna,
    since about past 2 weeks or so, this is exactly what i have been dealing with. there are some flashes of recognition i have about this ‘gift-economy’ of humans and natural world.
    the reason i have falshes is not because the revealation is coming in spurts. no. it is there, surrounding me like water surrounds a fish. but i can see only things which i have some past context to compare and give form to the soup.
    from these few flashes, what i am recognising is:
    1. unlike all other natural beings, entities, processes… we are (the only ones) obsessed with the ‘inner realm’. it is a fallacy. like a pipe that sees the water flowing thru it’s inside as a constant packet of water, as if it is a part of it.
    the nature of nature and life is not like a computer network, where the stuff resides in the nodes. it is different. the stuff is in the life that flows through us – TO the other windows like us. in other words, life is not inside us, but in the connections, in various different interactions that we have.
    if so, there is no point looking inside. we should be looking outside, actually. to the connections, the flow…
    this is NOT how life works, it is just a MODEL to try and understand what is happening.
    and if you see, you have said this SAME thing in the above post:
    “When the gift is flowing though you and not from you, this is how it always is. You feel like you are nobody in particular with nothing special to give, and yet everybody else sees you as someone extraordinary with great gifts flowing.”
    2. a better way to understand our blindspot, and how our words, images become a limiting things – IF we get stuck to them like a rung in a ladder:
    the gift boxes you refer to, above… they are not the gifts lying inside us. WE are the boxes. and we cannot open the box and give the gift. all we can do is BE the box, and the receiver picks up the gift. there is NOTHING we can do to BE the gift, or to REACH the gifts to others. what we CAN do is stop WANTING to BE, and just be. wanting to BE the gift, or open the chest is as bad.
    3. we will NEVER know what gift we are. it is something like wanting a fish to recognise what water is. it needs to get out of the water first, to know what water is. the ‘gift’ as we see and say, becomes a gift, not BECAUSE of us, but because of the ‘need’ of the other nodes… which again is not their own ‘internal’ need, but a resource (if you will) needed to allow the flow of life… the ‘process’ of life that is a result of specific interaction between the giver and receiver.
    let me try and see if i can make this a little more simpler. if a flower thought it had a gift (of vibrant colour, or exotic smell) to give, it would strain to pull itself out of the branch, and land at the feet of the bee. would that be a gift to the bee? would it even take it?
    and why is the colour or smell a ‘gift’ to the bee? is it because it is artisitic, or sensuous? is the flower actually the bees need? or is it, that the flower is seen as a gift by the bee so that life can flow in form of the transmitted pollens?

    from past 2 weeks, whatever has been showing up (inside me? :>) ) seems to tell me, it is time we left this preoccupation of ‘finding our gifts’.. or ‘voice’…
    not because we don’t have a unique voice… but because we will NEVER know the voice EVEN if we encounter it thousand times – one, because that gift is NOT what WE need, but a need of the ‘other’; and two, it is so much a part of us, that we will never see it.
    then, what is the solution?
    may be, we need to be tuned, not to our gifts inside, but our ‘sensations’ inside – when do we fill the ‘glee’, of life’s full flow. and to be tuned outside to the other – when do we see the other ‘glow in glee’ as the SAME life flows through it fully. or, if we could, see the life birthing in the interaction between the 2 nodes – we and the other.
    being in nature, seeing in nature – the processes, the life-transfer, and life generation – may help us turn our focus from life as being a ‘form’ (our bodies), to another fact and facet – life being a process.


    • Arjuna Ardagh June 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm // Reply

      thank you for your comments, biren. Please join me on Thursday by phone, and we can dialog together. Seems we are on the same page here!


  6. Sandie Hum June 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm // Reply

    Yes Arjuna, I really resonate with what you’re saying. I look forward to your call because this has befuddled me.

    When I am simply present in the moment, something comes through in the synergy that is wondrous, yet I don’t know what it is. Even the few times where I’ve had the wherewithal to write down some of what’s said in response to the moment…it doesn’t really help me, though I’m grateful that whatever it is has been meaningful.

    (It’s also really strange to have people attribute it to me when “I” don’t feel to be there as much as the flow & the moment. I want to say, “It’s not me” yet I am there & I’m part of the moment too…I want to honor it and yet not start building something that isn’t there, if you know what I mean.)

    On a practical level, I’d like to enjoy financial flow as part of the exchange, so my income can either be more aligned with the gift or at least be more supportive of it occurring more frequently. I can feel the space available for both and more, but am not sure how to support its fruition in my life.

    It’s frankly disconcerting to try & navigate and, at a deeper level, feel the groundlessness of it all.

    There isn’t a lot said about this so I appreciate your upcoming call. I may not make it live (depending on my work) but I will definitely listen to the replay. Thank you for exploring this!


    • Arjuna Ardagh June 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm // Reply

      hi Sandie
      try to come live, so we can talk! glad this resonates
      please forward and invite your friends


    • Sandie Hum June 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm // Reply

      I forgot to mention…I’m really glad you’ll be talking about clearing the pathways to allow the gift to flow more and more in everyday life. Clearly this is of interest to me.

      If you have time, could you also address ways of aligning our gift with the world’s needs? Because there is much that the world and all beings could benefit from, and it seems to me that each of us allowing our gifts to flow through us would benefit us all. That’s when we’re truly living in our fullness, as Biren has said. But I like things at the practical level too :). Thanks!


  7. Drishana June 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm // Reply

    Hi Arjuna
    I enjoyed (the replay of) your webinar about “our unique Gift/ Purpose “, as it resonated strongly with my experience during the last few years: the moments of awakening, appreciation and expansion, the loss of all my worldly possessions in a fire, blissful love and unity and the falling away of identifications, the desire to give and share the awakening process and the subsequent void and failing to see The Gift. Only lately do I get glimpses through the responses of others… and it’s got nothing to do with what I thought I am doing but everything with who/how I am, which is playing out unselfconsciously…
    You could say we are colleagues in what we do (even if you seem to have become ‘successful’ while I have not…) I went for the big retreat to consolidate my experience and qualify as ‘teacher of the tradition’ but not being a follower I came out the other end seeing the fallacy of that ‘new identity’… I lost my partner, acquired some physical damage (wakeup call) and spent my last resources training as a life coach and ‘emotional detox coach’ (My own coining for The Journey ™ and Radical Forgiveness ©Coaching) and trying to set up business… Alas, very little business is happening and although the few clients who worked with me testified amazing grace and healing… It has all but dried up. (The mind of course says: You have done it wrong…”)
    I now live on the dole and spend my time growing organic vegetables and flowers and facilitate a beginner’s meditation group… I also live by my very own ‘authority and strategy’ (being a Generator type according to “Human Design”, the study of which I recommend highly for people who really want out of the matrix/program…) and that includes waiting for something to respond to (from the sacral chakra) rather than initiating (from the mind) – and that despite the immense pressure to ‘make a living’. I have run aground initiating – and yes I am also trained in recognizing limiting beliefs and all that. But there is another dimension to all of this, a dimension that requires stepping back from this new ‘content’ as well…
    It ‘s rather ironic but my whole ‘seeking’ seems to have come to a halt and taking into account the timetable of the transits in my chart, which make total sense in the context – there is only one thing to ‘do’: ongoing Surrender and the cultivation of Trust/Faith/Wisdom. And of course the mind says: “You cannot just sit here and wait!” Yet I sit and wait till it becomes obvious that the transformation is finished, something else is arising… Archetypes: ‘The Hanged Man’ and ‘The Hermit’…
    I has occurred to me that even when we have moved with the awakening wave we tend to look for ‘navigation aides’, we are still trying to do it all right according to someone else’s notions. We are still looking for systems and maps for our own journey… we are exchanging the rule of the Matrix’ mind programs for the rule of ‘being awakened beings who have to do certain things a certain way to bring about the Shift’… And here I was – tempted by your presentation and agreed with most of it  – and yet a small voice said: “Second Hand Stuff…”
    I am saying this despite being a coach myself – isn’t this strange? I have no doubt about the validity and value of our motives… I know that coaching is not imposing or teaching … and yes, we seem to need to make a living… I very much liked the way you talked about giving your gift a little at a time and letting it grow into your professional calling , yet it doesn’t always work this way either.
    Why am I rolling this out before you? I guess I responded to the resonance – I don’t have many peers here in rural Ireland. Even a hermit wants to communicate sometimes… And I‘d deeply appreciate if you would care to respond to this ‘blog post’.

    Here a little Rumi for enjoyment…

    I was dead, then alive. Weeping, then laughing.
    The power of love came into me, and I became fierce like a lion, then tender like the evening star.
    He said, “You are not mad enough. You don‘t belong in this house.”
    I went wild and had to be tied up. He said, “Still not wild enough to stay with us.”
    I broke through another layer into joyfulness.
    He said, “It’s not enough.” I died.
    He said, ”You are a clever little man, full of fantasy and doubting.”
    I plucked my feathers and became a fool.
    He said, “Now you‘re a candle for this assembly.”
    But I’m no candle. Look! I’m scattered smoke.
    He Said, “You are the sheik, the guide.” But I’m not a teacher. I have no power.
    He said, “You already have wings. I cannot give you wings.
    But I wanted HIS wings. I felt like some flightless chicken.
    Then new events said to me, “Don’t move. A sublime generosity is coming toward you.”
    And old love said, “Stay with me.” I said,” I will.”
    You are the fountain of the sun’s light. I am a willow shadow on the ground. You make my raggedness silky.


  8. biren September 25, 2010 at 1:26 pm // Reply

    if you read this, i would love to chat with you.
    what’s your HD profile?
    i am 5/1 projector.
    could you email me? i am at birenshah64(at gmailDOTcom)

    dear arjuna… i hope this is okay – my using your blog space and talking directly with drishana.


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