Embrace Your Mastery

What are you insanely good at?

When we’re making our way through life’s transitions, we can get preoccupied with next steps and forget to rest in our strengths.

But we all have talents and skills that come so naturally, or that we’ve developed so gradually, that we barely notice them. On the moving surf of change, these qualities can be our raft.

I visited the Monterey Peninsula recently. It’s a place I love and a place where I felt immediately at home on my very first visit.

Kelly Burkhart, Life Coach

Photo Credit: Chuck Abbe via Flickr

The geography, on shore & off, and the climate make the Monterey Peninsula a unique environment with a rich variety of plant, animal and especially marine life. One species it’s known well for is the sea otter who was near extinction from hunting in the 1700 & 1800’s. From a small number of survivors, the population, while not as extensive as it once was, is rebounding.

I love the otters.

I could watch them for hours.

This visit was marked by storms. The area had received significant rain the week before I arrived and continued throughout my visit. After two days of relatively clear skies the remaining week, the coast saw a steady chain of storms, bringing nourishment to the parched forests, mud slides along Highway 1 and creating dynamic turbulent seas.

As shore line parking areas were roped off and trails under cut by the surf, the otter, master of the breaking waves, floated, effortlessly on their backs, enjoying a meal and smoothly rolling to duck under the churning water just before the waves broke near them.

These delightful animals reward our moments of pause and wonder by demonstrating what mastery looks like. As humans, we can so easily look around and compare ourselves to others and in the process get trapped in trying to be something other than what we are.

Not the otter. They are, simply and profoundly, masters at being otters. And in the process, if appearance is any indicator, are the embodiment of ease and playfulness.

In this human experience, we learn to work hard, to cultivate ambition that moves us toward our goals, conscious of our growth, our progress, our aspirations. As valuable as these qualities can be, if they get out of balance, we can forget to just be who we are and our well-intended effort can tip into less-helpful acts of force and striving and self-criticism.

So the invitation offered, with a grateful nod to the otter, is to notice your strengths, your innate talents, your long-cultivated skills. Appreciate them. Honor the lifetime you’ve spent cultivating and mastering them.

For the next two weeks, take a few minutes every day to open your awareness and let your attention rest on your skills, talents and capabilities. Feel into your being and let the appreciation for your gifts sink in. Remember to give special attention to those qualities you tend to take for granted or overlook — those parts of your nature that are like the air you breathe, the sea you swim in.

Embrace, appreciate, celebrate who you are.

There is only one you.

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  1. Laura Matthews March 26, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    Beautiful and important reminder Kelly! I love your writings and you! Laura

    • Kelly March 27, 2017 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks Laura!

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