“You have a gift”, she said as she walked out of the massage room. A phrase I had heard before, yet still didn’t understand. “Thanks”, and a smile, my conditioned response. Inside though I’m wondering ‘what she is talking about’. A gift? I gave her a massage. She paid me for a service. No gifts. Sure, I have heard the phrase describing someone with special talent or skill, but I studied this, practiced it, worked for it. Gift? Still didn’t get it, or didn’t want to get it? The deeper I dive into my own journey as a spiritual and conscious human being, the more I am faced with needing to understand and accept this phrase. I’ve read it for years, yes we all have gifts, we all have talents, we all are unique, but what does my connection to my own “gift” have to do with it? I have heard people say this and continue to give them my conditioned response, never actually accepting the truth behind the statement. I thought all I was doing was keeping myself humble. Keeping the honor in the work, not taking it on as my own. But I have been very wrong. There is no humility in deflecting recognition for my life’s work. There is no honor in avoiding the truth behind my uniqueness. What I have actually been doing is avoiding the opportunity that comes with accepting the gift, because in doing this, there is a responsibility that I have looked at with fear, rather than empowerment. I have also taken from the generosity of the client in sharing their experience with me, not allowing their truth to be heard. A dear friend pointed out to me that all I am doing is looking at the gift, enjoying the moment of holding the package, but never actually opening it up. This is a great analogy for the years I have spent “accepting” the recognition of what I have to offer. But until I chose to open it, explore it, experience it in all its glory, I will be doing a disservice not only to myself, but to those who come through my doors. Finding a place inside myself that recognizes the gift I have, will not only fill me with deep gratitude, but will help me to always see the gifts in everyone around me. If I continue to deny my own gifts, I will be unable to fully see the beauty in others. I end every yoga class with the word Namaste. My understanding and appreciation of this word has changed over the years, and I am always learning new and deeper meanings of it. Simply put, “The light in me, bows to the light in you”, but first, I must see the light in me. Jenny DeDecker, LMT, CLC, is the owner of the wellness studio, Full Moon Rising, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she offers bodywork, yoga and meditation instruction and maternal health services. She resides in the U.P., up the hill from a creek, with her husband, and two small children.