A personal story and mini-manifesto of joy… about giftedness

For more than ten years, I sat in the chaotic and deafeningly quiet space between cultures and bore intimate witness to people’s conversations. Countless times I facilitated people taking their ideas and intentions and transforming them into words and actions in the back-and-forth dance of communication. And I taught hundreds of people to communicate across cultural and language barriers- to alter their dance steps and get much better at dancing in-step with others.

For more than ten years I was an interpreter, a translator, a trainer, and a community educator. I studied sociolinguistics, language access laws, and intercultural communication. And I worked in social justice where I fought, preached, and sang the stories of people’s ways of making meaning.

And then one day I realized that as a gifted adult, I was dancing out-of-step too. I was well-aware of the way people transformed their ideas into words. I’d witnessed, studied, and replicated that process for others innumerable times. Why was it, then, that the process of converting my own ideas felt so unintuitive? Why did I have to work so hard to be genuinely understood and honestly seen by others?

I began to practice with what I knew best- the rules and invisible dimensions of communication. I began to change the way I connected with people in everyday conversations. I looked hard at the places where I felt stifled, misunderstood, or inadequate, and I began asking hard questions. What’s getting in my way of connecting? Am I creating a welcoming space to talk? Are my own feelings about my giftedness keeping me from showing-up in the world? Is it okay for me to ask that others experience my intensity with me? Can I make that experience easier?

The result? I greatly expanded the way I thought about my giftedness. I created an unbreakable sense of belonging and connectedness. And I learned to use communication as a strategy for love, self-advocacy, authentic self-expression, and as a way to heal myself and others.

This is what giftedness needs to be for us all- a culture that empowers us, helps us connect with others, and teaches us to navigate the real world.

This is what we’re building here and I hope you’ll join me for the adventure!

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