Over the holidays…whoa, wait, what?
Did I just type over the holidays? Aren’t we a few months past the holidays, anxiously awaiting Spring and trees with leaves and flowers blooming and sunshine and warmth? With an emphasis on warmth? Yes, yes to all.
Don’t judge me. I am so awaiting warm Spring like everyone else and so done with winter…but yes, I’m still back there dreaming in the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, sipping hot chocolate and dizzy with the wonder and magic of that season. And in those dreams are wine glasses made by a local friend with lettering that said I make wine disappear, what’s your superpower?
And so I giggled and thought, what is my superpower? That wine disappearing trick could be one of them, but really, if I had to pick a real life superpower, what would it be? Who is Jodi? *sips wine*
Yeah, too deep.
But if we’re just talking superpowers then, well, I think we could have some fun. Your superpower could be specific like you make the most killer gluten free pancakes in the whole wide world, or more general like you are great at making anyone and everyone laugh. The superpower could be big like you are a badass at leading large corporate teams to profitability or really small like you have a magical green thumb for keeping plants in your home alive and thriving. Maybe your superpower is physical and you’re a super athlete gifted in sports. Or maybe your superpower is your empathy and you feel so closely to your heart what others are feeling and can identify in such a deep way. Maybe you’re a really great mom and a really great dad. Anyway you want to look at it, you have a superpower. You might not think so, but I am telling with certainty that you do. Maybe you have seven superpowers. Make a list, heck, design a crest and make a cape!
There are two reasons for writing about this:
1) If you do anything from this point forward, I want you to follow your dreams.
2) I want you to ask yourself how you are using the gifts and talents you were given?
I know, this is big. Find your superpower. Use it to pursue your dreams because I know your superpower is ultimately part of a much bigger dream, even if it is making wine disappear. Be honest with yourself and put your talent to use in its full potential.
But first, don’t quit your day job just yet. Your superpower could be a hobby, maybe it is a future career, or maybe it just makes you happy. Like making wine disappear, in moderation. The ultimate take away is this: do what makes you happy.
Oh sure, you will make mistakes. Things, life, won’t turn out perfectly. Maybe the end product isn’t really that good, right now. Does it matter? No, because if it is your superpower and you practice and you show up everyday and you are happy every single time then you will get better and it will be your trademark and it will be your superpower.
My superpower is creativity. That is a vast non defined superpower, yes it is. I can tell you that any time I am in the flow of creating, especially with my kids, I am in super bliss mode. Smiling from ear to ear. Focused and mindful. In. The. Zone.
Do my projects turn out to be the prettiest things ever in the whole wide world. No! I mean, sometimes maybe. And sometimes definitely no. Not even close. But I’m happy.
Other creative outlets for me are writing. Planning activities for something like my daughter’s girl scout troop. Making up elaborate stories at bed time.
I am also known for my world famous gluten & dairy free pumpkin bread, Sunday morning gluten free pancakes, and true real-deal Maryland lump crab cakes which you might be surprised to know, are also gluten free.
I believe in myself in these roles. What makes you happy makes it easier to believe in yourself. You can never doubt yourself doing something that makes you happy. Because you won’t care what others think, if you really suck at it, or what the end product is. Your superpower is all about transcending those negative self talk sessions that fill our minds.
Keep cooking. Keep bringing beautiful plants into your home. Keep telling jokes and bringing the laughter in new ways. Keep conditioning your spectacular body. Keep volunteering. Keep finding leadership roles. Keep mommy-ing and daddy-ing in the biggest way possible.
I think one of the most important aspects to identifying your superpower is to figure out how it also serves others. Serving others could be serving your kids not in a mom-chore-sort-of-way, your family, a neighbor, your community, a company, a stranger. Serving others is a powerful tool for generating both happiness and gratitude and also…healing.
Healing is not always physical in nature. For me, when coping with the chronic illness multiple sclerosis, to begin my healing process I had to start with believing in myself first on a very basic level. Not exercising more, not finding that magic pill, not any other remedy for fixing my body. Simply believing in myself and unraveling years of judgment helped me drop a perfectionist attitude for a positive one. I didn’t even know I needed this until it just sort of happened.
I only recently within the last year realized I am the happiest version of myself that I have ever been. Happiest even though I am disabled, I cannot walk and I have daily challenges associated with multiple sclerosis. I could be very upset that I was chosen to be led down a path of struggle in this way for the rest of my life. I can kick and scream and have tantrums day in and day out and be miserable. I could, it is a choice. And at one time I was. I hid my illness, hid my declining mobility, hid my feelings. And in doing so I created a swinging pendulum that was bringing down everything around me and continually knocking me down each time it swung in another direction. I hid because I thought I had done something wrong to have caused my illness and I needed to figure out how to make it better. Surely if I created this problem, I could reverse it. Erase it even. My superpower used to be fixing things. I was a problem solver. And I was damn good at it, until MS showed me I wasn’t.
When I couldn’t hide any more, when people started commenting on my limp, when I wasn’t fixing it, the house made of cards came toppling down. It was like someone had hit the fast forward button on a cassette tape recorder. The words were jumbled and high-pitched and sped up and I went from leg fatigue –> limp –> pointless botox injections in my calf muscle –> cane –> tripping –> falling –> walker –> scooter. It was dizzying until I found peace in personal development. When it felt like everyone thought I was doing everything all wrong, I got lost in books. And that too was by accident. I’ve always loved to read, but I was reading for an escape, not expecting to find anything. In the books I found…myself. The books I read helped me out of the self-pity hole, the ego hole, the dark tunnel of uncertainty that swallows you until you say: enough.
In the beginning reading was my therapy. We all have different ways of receiving therapy. Listening, talking, drawing, crying, exercising. I found a voice through writing and here I am today.
The story from how I journeyed from there to here is too long. The shortcut I am giving you is to identify your superpower. Simple. If you can do that right now, you are years ahead of where I started.
Do you want to know why your superpower is so awesome? Because…
1) You now believe in yourself.
2) You have pride for yourself that comes from nowhere but within you.
3) You are strong and just proved to yourself that you already have everything you need. To conquer the world. Or at least conquer today, which is all that matters.
4) You’re lighting the fire to dream big.
And with a flash of my cape, and a twinkle in my smile, I am off to
slay dragons, conquer the world, crush my to-do list, enjoy this day.