When I was eighteen, I told my mother I wanted to write a book. I didn’t have any specific idea for the book, I just knew I wanted to write.

Over the next 36 years I would from time to time write in my journal recording experiences, thoughts and feelings about life. It wasn’t structured and it wasn’t meant for the public to read.

The itch to write was always there but I denied myself.

Who was I to write?

What would I write about?

What could I possibly say that would matter to anyone else?

That desire to write and share it with the world stayed dormant until I was 54 years old. That was when I actually started to write and share it with the world through my personal Facebook page.

The funny thing is people seemed to enjoy and appreciate what I was writing about which was simply my life and my experiences.

I believe those things we desire to do and to become are sacred things planted inside of us. I believe they are there for a purpose and us squashing them down and focusing our life solely on work and possessions is a recipe for feeling disconnected for the entirety of our life.

For me it was writing and martial arts (and a few other things I have yet to do).

For you it may be business or pottery or medicine. Maybe it’s working with your hands or your mind or your creativity. Maybe it is music or volunteering or raising your family.

And yet we deny completely or put it off until “other, more important things,” are taken care of.

I told myself what I had to say couldn’t possibly matter. And besides I needed to work hard, build a business and save for retirement.

The practicalities of life are absolutely necessary but if we replace the calling we feel inside of us with work and retirement and the new car, we are pushing against the very thing that makes us special. The essence of who we are.

This week, my guest Philip McKernan, helps us unpack how and why we deny ourselves the very thing that would give us a feeling of fulfillment.

This isn’t a “5 Steps to a New and Better Life” type of conversation. It is about connecting to the truth of who we are. It’s an effort to bring more clarity into our life. True clarity. The kind that takes being honest with ourselves first.

One other thing. Maybe that gift you have is there for you to enjoy. Art, Music, Business, Hospitality, Nurturing. Whatever it is, maybe it is meant first and foremost for you to do for your own enjoyment.

Give yourself permission to live in alignment with your gifts. In turn, give them to the world to enjoy and benefit from as well.

After all, gifts, by definition, are things meant to be shared with others.