Your Gifts and Moments of Grace

When you’re lucky enough to experience a rare occurrence where your natural gifts and skills lend themselves to a moment of grace, you experience a profound change. It can feel mysterious and awesome all at the same time. The key is to discover and nurture your natural gifts and skills so you create a life fertile for these breathtaking moments of grace.

I’d like to share with you a special quote from writer Anne Lamott:

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

In March, I posted a blog titled “Psychology and Success: The Magic of Your Talent Advantage”. In it I wrote:

“When you use your natural skills consciously and intentionally something interesting happens. Your skills and talents don’t just develop, they blossom and transform in ways that you cannot predict. By leading you into actions, environments, and situations that draw upon and support them, your innate gifts and skills open you to new possibilities that you could not previously imagine. New layers, new depths, and new meanings unfold that will draw you into new, unexpected manifestations and applications. You will not just discover; you will live your unique skills and talents. It’s magic!”

A recent experience encouraged me to consider that rather than “magic,” I should use the word, “grace”: “a moment of unmerited divine assistance given humans.”

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I went to California to attend a family reunion of my wife’s relatives on her mother’s side, and to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. She comes from a-long lived family in which seven of the nine siblings lived to at least 90 years of age (the ages of the three remaining are 105, 95, and 90).

Part of the weekend’s events included gathering to remember one of the recently deceased sisters (who died at age 98), and spread her ashes in a beautiful place along the Big Sur coast. I had previously only met a few of the approximately 50 people who gathered, so after people had spoken their memories and we had re-arranged ourselves to watch the spreading of the ashes, I was not surprised to see a man whom I didn’t recognize walking toward where I was standing alone on the path.

It was a cold, misty, rainy day, as it so often is along the Northern California coast in late spring, and we were a curious bunch ranging from 18 months young to 105 years old, obviously gathered for a purpose.
The ‘stranger’ and I acknowledged each other, and then he revealed he was not a part of the family when he asked me, “What’s this all about?”

I explained it was a family reunion, and that we had gathered to remember a recently deceased member. I pointed out the two sisters of the deceased, but was cautious regarding the spreading of the ashes, since I wasn’t completely sure of the legality of what was happening (I have since found out that is technically illegal, but that it is a common occurrence and officials generally look the other way).

As we continued to talk, it was obvious he was just curious, unconcerned about legalities, and I ended up explaining exactly what was happening. His face lit up with a smile and he told me that his mother’s ashes were spread on the hill right behind us; that this was a beautiful final resting place. He explained how he was seeking to photograph a Swainson’s Thrush, but was unlikely to see one on such a cold and wet day. We stood silently for a few more minutes observing the scene, and then he wished us well and went on his way.

Even though I knew the woman whose life we were remembering, I had not shared any memories with the group. None of mine stood out as particularly significant, especially in relation to those of her sisters, children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. But I had liked her very much and had been feeling a little diminished by not participating.

But the interaction with the ‘stranger’ left me with a warm, happy feeling and a sense of completion and closure.

It wasn’t until later, during a quiet moment reflecting on the morning’s event, that I was struck by the aspect of grace in my chance encounter.

As I mentioned, I had been feeling a little disconnected from the memorial because of my lack of participation, but the arrival of this total stranger presented me an opportunity to use one of my natural gifts – the ability to provide to others contextual understanding of what is occurring, in a way that includes them and makes them feel “a part of”.

Grace is rarely a one-way phenomenon, and I don’t know all of what the stranger received from our encounter, but I do know that in our brief interchange he got to remember his mother fondly, and share with a group of strangers a moment of connection and common experience. The experience remains a powerful one to me.

Discovering your natural gifts, talents, and skills is not just about success in business; it is integral to becoming you in all aspects of your life and sows the seeds for amazing moments of grace.

“If you work on your gifts they will make room for you.” – Jim Rohn

Gary Jordan, Ph.D., has over 27 years of experience in clinical psychology, behavioral assessment, individual development, and coaching. He earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology – Berkeley. He is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary psychological assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their deepest potentials for success. He’s a partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., a consulting firm that specializes in helping people discover their true skills and talents. For free information on how to succeed as an entrepreneur or coach, create a thriving business and build your bottom line doing more of what you love, visit

Pivotal Gold rewards this week – articles and discounted books

For Gold members

13% off Kathy Reichs’ latest – “Bones are Forever

Links to the articles

How to have better family conversations
Sadly, many families and groups of friends who come together during the holiday season have only superficial conversations. However, by using some simple agreements and some questions as conversation-starters, they can have a much richer and more enjoyable time of sharing their life experiences.
First, what gets in the way?
Five main impediments to quality family conversations:
Public Speaking Tips: More Hiding Places for Your Notes
1. I sometimes place a chair, back to audience, next to my prop or projection table. I may take off my
 coat and place it over the chair, but I also use the chair back to tape up notes, or even put them in the seat.

Learn How to Control Anger in a Relationship
Keep in mind that anger is controllable and a choice that you can choose to do something about if you want. If you tell your spouse or partner when you are angry, then it will help avoid a situation that could be otherwise pushed to the boiling point.
Are you beginning to see how choosing to control your anger is an important first step?

For Pivotal Gold + Members only

43% off the bestselling “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker

Raising the Bar: The Role of ‘Social Information’ in Charitable Giving

Suppose you work at an organization — like a public radio station or library — that offers a free service of value to society, such as quality radio programming or the ability to borrow books at no cost. And suppose you decide to launch a fund-raising drive to help cover your organization’s operating expenses. How would you structure that drive? Are there steps you could take — besides offering gifts or other incentives — to increase the amount of money that individual donors commit? =>

Improving your life, health, & wealth (FREE DOWNLOADS)

Self Improvement Gifts 5 is LIVE and that means…

Here’s your personal link to get your hands on the largest selection of FREE ebooks, audios, videos, courses, memberships and more relating to the Self Improvement, Business & Marketing niche that you will find anywhere!

Download all of these products TODAY because Stephanie Mulac, Carolyn Hansen & Dr. Joe Rubino vowed to make this 5th Annual Self Improvement Giveaway Event the best yet – and they made good on their word!

This is YOUR OPPORTUNITY to tackle any challenge (personal or business) that’s facing you in 2011!

So don’t delay – the solutions are waiting for you right here:

To Your Success In 2011!

P.S. Download all the gifts immediately and check back often because more are being added all the

Halloween cards to make

Create spooky (but fun) cards for your friends, this Halloween

Need a heartfelt gift in a hurry?

We are proud to announce that Hay House now offers a beautiful selection of Virtual Gift Cards.

You choose the amount, add a personalized message, and the card will be delivered right to the recipient’s inbox.

Choose one now