By Virginia Nava Hieger
We are taught to put things in boxes and to choose labels. We are constantly labeling ourselves, the world around us, and putting things into the various boxes of life.
Living with boxes and labels feels somehow comforting; it feels like this is the way to understand something, to comprehend it better. As I became a mother, I experienced even more of this phenomenon of labeling: Mother, working mother, single mother, stay-at-home mother, mompreneur, soccer mom, art mom. As I stepped out of the corporate world, I went from being an executive and corporate woman to being an entrepreneur and a solopreneur to being a mompreneur, a marketer, an author, an artist, a messenger, a cleaner, a dog walker, a wife, a writer, and a craft jewelry maker.
The truth is, none of these boxes or labels truly fit me; it’s as though they simply become more confusing and less of who I truly am. Labels and boxes are limiting versus expansive; they shrink conversations, minimize our views of the world and others. We start forgetting who we really are. I started forgetting who I am, as I began associating myself with all of these labels, and then I suddenly had to live by all of them.
As I grew as a mother, I realized there are no words in any vocabulary that truly describe my motherhood style. There’s no book that offers the right words to describe me. I am the author of my whole life, I am still actively writing the story, and the words are given to me and created by me along the way.
I started realizing how much of my life, I had been so concerned about the box and the labels that I had forgotten was inside. I had forgotten to ask myself what it was that really wanted to be expressed through me.
A GIFT is indescribable. Beyond words, it grows and expands, and has a transformative nature all its own. It’s deeply humbling and so very warm; it makes your heart come alive at one of its deepest rhythms possible. Its unique feeling is even bigger than having butterflies in your stomach when you fall in love; it’s more like having a dove within, a beautiful white bird opening its wings wider and wider, and it comes from within. It’s a light that pours from inside, outward, the highest expression of your soul, where your body, mind and heart all come together to serve one and another. It is being and feeling alive. It is connecting with your deepest self, the end of the longing for something else, because right there, there it is.
A GIFT is beyond words, it is expansive; just as you wrap it, it naturally unwraps itself as a constantly expanding game. As the Dalai Lama says, it is “a smile from within.” It doesn’t play by the rules because it is free from judgment, to be graceful and loving. It grows in depth with love, and it can see and feel beyond the world of boxes and labels into something deeper. It has a vision that is deeper that eyes can see, a heartbeat that continues to keep it alive, and it finds a vessel from which it can serve and share. It wants to feel an expansive community where each gift supports another, where the gift is honored and serves as an offering for the world, for humanity.
A GIFT is as big as the sky, as tall as tree, as beautiful as a bird’s song, as grounded as roots on earth, and as genuine as a child smile, It has many rhythms, like a symphony. It is both rooted and ethereal; it is magical. It is beyond normal understanding, and is only understood with the heart and spirit. It is shared by open and willing minds and hearts who seek to open the gift within who choose love and courage as a way of being.
A GIFT is your own art form, your own unique real self-expression; a genuine style that is in total alignment with yourself and is grounded in love, compassion and openness. It encompasses a fullness from spirit, and is a gift for you to both receive and to share.
A GIFT’s unique voice is your own. Giving a gift a voice is a way to share your story, your wisdom, and your learning; to honor and pay it forward to re-gift it for all humanity and future generations. We share the gift of our stories on our journeys and are serve as their vessels, their messengers. This is how we give back to our villages, tribes, and communities. When we move from knowledge to learning and then to sharing our learning with the world, that is when we shine light onto the paths of all gifts on the path.
A GIFT of stories from our ancestors, and were given the words, art, creation, and imagination with which to lovingly serve as the continuing voice that breaks through the darkness of life. We each have within us inner wisdom, resources, value, and power that are aligned with a deep inner why or reason for being, and in this way we share our gifts beyond the labels and boxes created by the world, where others can hear our voices and find their own unique gift expression within. There, they can reunite, reconnect, reintegrate within the deepest sense of themselves.
Being a GIFT has been the most humbling experience of my life. Sharing stories that richly illustrate my own gift journey continues to help me grow and expand. It’s given me the deepest experience of a human expression, and taught me to appreciate more, to stop more often and ask myself whether am I in the presence of a gift. Am I only looking at the label or the box? Am I sharing and expressing my gift? Am I having a gift conversation? Am I teaching from a gift place? It’s brought me to so many beautiful questions like these to reflect upon throughout my life and my journey.
May your GIFT journey be magical, beautiful, and beyond words. May you find the courage within yourself to receive your gift, and in that receiving, come to recognize that it wasn’t ever yours to keep. In truth, it belongs to humanity so that it can experience the depth within your heart, mind and soul in the spirit of