What gift or ability would you give to a newborn baby if you could? Why?
This was the selfology question I posed as one of my free weekly food for Thursday prompts (sign up free below).
It seemed a fitting thing to ruminate upon as the symbols of birth and beginnings swirl around me as Spring unfurls here.
Initially, any responses could be used as an indicator into anything you perhaps feel consciously or subconsciously, are lacking in your own life, or hold up a mirror to reflect what abilities, traits or skills you value as most important.
I pondered gifts of confidence, positivity, empathy and connection.
I thought about how as an adult struggling with feelings we are driven to many things. How overwhelm effects us and what we do to numb and avoid feeling.
Of how feeling and unfeeling could be a blessing and a curse, therefore the ability to cope with them a gift surely? What would that be? Resilience?
I’m surrounded by resilience training in the HR circles around me professionally at the moment. That’s probably why the word swam into my thoughts. I looked it up in the dictionary:
1a) capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture.
b) able to return to shape after bending, stretching etc.
2. esp of a person: able to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change.
Wow. The gift of resilience. How…practical? Certainly not uplifting or dare I say it ‘present’ like? I’m not sure I would be the favourite fairy godmother after turning up at the baby shower with this one?
The ‘returning to shape’ did remind me of Mr Fantastic of the fantastic four and that led to superpower gifts.
Surely bestowing a kick ass superpower would boost my gift giving creditability? If in any doubt of such popularity check out this Action Movie Kid YouTube video it is awesome:
Yet, if I had to choose just one superpower, without doubt it would have to be flying.
Back on my selfology quest, what could this reveal? Well flying in dreams signifies a sense if freedom where you initially felt restricted and limited.
What do I desire freedom from the most?
If I’m honest (which is rather the point of this blog and selfology quest) I would love freedom from anxiety. Worry.
What gift could possibly combat that?
It took a while for me to ponder as perhaps it’s not my most natural response, but it came to me:
After thought, pause and meditation my own answer is hope. I would give hope. A powerful force in the face of anything. As a parent, this question has another dimension for me. I now ponder on what I have done and more importantly what I can do, to gift hope to my own children. Do I foster it? How could I embody it more?
What has stopped me in the past? What’s the shadow of hope, naivety? Foolishness?
Does every gift you could bestow have a possible negative connotation? The rather wonderful coach David Herz responded to the prompt and emailed me to say:
“I can’t imagine a gift I could give that might not have some negative side that could come from it. For instance, the ability to not take criticism personally could also manifest as limiting one’s ability to reflect on one’s own motives and actions. I think there’s a certain perfection in how we are formed. I’m more interested in what we can do to avoid messing with that.”
Just like that, a whole other layer.
Do we need anything more than we are? Would therefore the gift be to truly understand and accept one of my favourite quotes:
“We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released” Jean Houston
So if we shouldn’t change the newborn, I leave the last thought to David:
I think the best gift you could give a newborn is sane parents. In this regard I’d have the newborn’s parents read and digest Alfie Kohn’s “Unconditional Parenting.”
If you like ruminating and want some prompts to muse over, sign up for me free weekly emailer below ‘Food For Thursdays’
Sometimes there maybe just a question, other times a fill in the blank, quote or exercise. You don’t have a deadline, just a focus for your daydream, journal writing, meditation, walk or art work. Always something to ponder and always the possibility of uncovering more about yourself.
If you feel like it email me back a response or comment below and we’ll get to know each other better in the process as well.
Lots of image credits today:
and Fingerprint which I adapted.