In the first week of this month you practised being awake to your gifts. Last week we challenged you to identify them and recognize what gets in the way of doing so. This week it’s about being alert to how to develop them.

One of the things which I see happening all too often is that people walk away because they don’t value their strengths, or they can’t make them work for them or it’s too hard, life is too busy or a variety of other reasons and they feel a failure. Working with your intuition and purpose is about working not playing. If you find it easy to tune in to someone then it’s not so easy to control that gift until it operates when it works for you rather than all the time. If your strength is about supporting others then it’s about working to ensure you develop this without losing sight of yourself and your own needs. Most importantly, it’s about learning how to use your strengths in ways that empower your purpose without disempowering you.

There are many courses and programmes you can use to develop your intuition. There are many ways to learn how to help others. However, at this stage being Alert is about you. It’s about being Alert to how you want to serve others, how you want to use your gifts in service and not sacrifice. I once worked with someone whose only goal was to serve others fully. I tried to talk to her about setting boundaries to avoid burn out. She smiled and nodded – and I knew she would not do so.

I met her again three years later. She was not working with others. In fact, she was broke and struggling to make ends meet. When I asked her what had happened she told me that she had undercharged so much that everyone wanted to work with her. She then began to do 18 hour days to help them and pay the bills. Finally her health broke down. She got a serous dose of flu which kept her in bed for a month. When she recovered, her ‘clients’ were gone. They could not wait one month for her help. Not only that they happily paid twice her fee to have help now.

This is not about money. This is about not being awake to your unique service and not valuing what you are able to offer. She gave her strength away to her clients and now found she had to take time to rebuild for herself. Being Alert to your gifts is great. Being Alert to how to develop and use them wisely is essential.

What are your boundaries? What support network is in place for you?

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