I haven’t been still long enough to write for the last few weeks, though there’s been much to write about!!! One of the most exciting things is that I’ve been focusing on the Lego side of my business, which is Coming Soon to a location near you!! Developing course material and even hosting two awesome young women who were willing to work through a Lego exercise with me was so exciting!! I received great feedback from them about how helpful the exercise was for them, and also ideas that could help me launch this addition to my business. After the Lego exercise, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning who had shared her gifts with friends, and it led me to the title of this week’s blog.
What does sharing our gifts really mean? For me, it means placing time, attention, excellence and authenticity into what we believe we’re good at, and then sharing those things with any and everyone who can benefit from it.
I believe I’ve always had the gift of creativity… Not only with my love of Legos, but also just my pure love of photos and art and using different methods and materials to connect with people. Unfortunately, I missed out on the gift of fashion, but we can’t have everything! As a teacher and a trainer, I strive on a daily basis to provide knowledge and information to people in new and different ways because it’s a great way to keep their interest and increase their retention!! I’m sure we’ve all been to lectures or shows that have stayed with us for years!! What was it about the presentation that was memorable? Was it the presenter, the subject matter or both? We’ve all probably been to very boring presentations as well, and I’d give anything never to be associated with that category.
I want my presentations to have an impact and be engaging, otherwise I feel like I’ve wasted participants time!! I just recently began showing Powerpoint slides in presentations on my book. I really hate bullet points, so there isn’t one bullet in my presentation.. Every slide is a series of photographs. When I arrived at one of the book tour locations in Chicago, one of the administrators in charge of the program told me she didn’t want me to use my presentation because her audiences don’t like it. I said ok, but shared with her that my presentation was simply family pictures to illustrate my story. I have the presentation on my phone, so I showed the administrator a few of the slides. She immediately got excited!! “Oh this is great” and began ordering people around to quickly set up the laptop projector. Today, I’m thrilled that I was able to use the presentation because one of the women in attendance sent me an email telling me that the pictures and story of my grandmother made her miss her grandmother whom she hadn’t spoken to in years because of a family squabble. She said she called her grandmother from the car immediately after my presentation and that they had forgiven each other for the past. That’s what I’d call a presentation having an “impact”. The woman’s email concluded by thanking me for giving her the “gift” of having her grandmother back in her life. What do you even say to that??
This picture is one of the ones that persuaded the woman to reconnect with her grandmother. It’s from Christmas 1995. In the front row are me and my grandmother Alberta. Back row left to right is my mom Doris, my sister Renee, my niece Nia and my aunt Diane.
Last week, I was also told I had another special gift. During my presentation for a Caregiver Support group at a Baptist church in Maryland, the woman who was chairperson of the group was so moved by my presentation and interaction with the group, and my empathy for their stories that she told me that I had the “gifts of the spirit”. The Chairperson shared that you can’t just practice a presentation and have it be as “engaging and embracing” as mine had been. She stated that my gifts were God-given, and that I needed to continue to share my story with as many people as possible. I was moved by her words, and by the end of our night together many of the group were in tears of joy and support. I will remember that night for years to come.
I hope to continue to share my gifts this coming Saturday, June 21st because It’s a big day in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease!! It’s an event called The Longest Day, where participants can choose any activity they wish for all or part of the 16 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year. Of course, to honor my Mom, I chose to walk to all of the places that have been important in the 85 years of my Mom’s life thus far. I’m so looking forward to it. I’m hopeful that my gifts will allow me to walk a great distance and to talk with as many people as possible about the devastating impact of this disease!!
What are your gifts, and how will you be using them this week???
Love you Mom!!
You’ve obviously found your ‘calling’! You’ve always been a good speaker, but you’ve found your special nitch. As someone I know used to say ‘soldier on!’
Thank you Carole!!!! I do believe this is my calling!!! I’ll definitely keep “soldiering on”!! I really appreciate your support!!
Loretta – what a beautiful reminder of the fact that we can achieve positive change and personal growth as a result of the most painful experiences in life. And sometimes those tragic moments reveal our true purpose in life. Your mother would be so proud of all you’re doing to honor her.
Thanks Ann!!!!! I absolutely believe that this is my true purpose in life!!! And yeah I do think Mom would be proud!