Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Billowing or Extinguishing Your Gift

We do plenty of this on our own in regards to our gifts—billow and extinguish. Our calling, our gifts are like fire inside our souls. Some people fan the gift while some stifle it and attempt to turn it to ash. Today I’m going to address ways to identify those who billow and extinguish your gifts in your life. Time is precious. It’s worth it to evaluate who does what and how often.

Those Who Extinguish:

Make Sarcastic or Cutting Remarks
It’s obvious Uncle Larry doesn’t take you seriously when every time you talk about the book you’re writing you get the eye roll and “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Ignore Your Gift Altogether
Sister Sophia neglects to mention that project you’ve been buried in for months. Who knows why, but it’s become the proverbial elephant in the room. (Did you know that supposedly elephants like alcohol? Got this from Water for Elephants…too funny if it’s true. Carry on.)

Turn It into a Joke
“Hey, did you hear this whirly bird has written herself a little novel?” Aunt Patty smacks your arm and waits for the rest of the family gathered at the holiday table to burst out in laughter as you bask in being the butt of the joke instead of the life of the party.

Keep You Busy & Distracted
“Oh, sure you can mail out five hundred letters for the school fundraiser. It’s not like you’re working or anything.” PTO rock star Mandy doesn’t get it, does she? This group is most likely to do what they do unaware. They get the least likely to own culpability stamp.

Those Who Billow:

Use Encouragement as a Motivator
You hear it. You feel it. It nestles in your bones every time Aunt Serena pulls you aside and whispers, “You’re going to make it. I read your blog. I believe in you.”

Speak Truthfully, but with Your Best Intentions in Mind
You shout out joyfully whenever you receive feedback from Best friend Becky that’s chock full of wisdom and insight for you to keep on keepin’ on.

Act Supportive & Positive about Your Vision
“It takes a certain kind of tenacity to keep at it in your line of work. Tenacity I’ve seen in few, but I see it in you.” A mom’s billow still burrows deep.

Help You Focus & Strive for Your Goals
“I’m open to hosting the holiday party this year. You’ve told me you’re getting ready to face a tight deadline and I can’t wait to read your work.” Brother Todd words ring bells and give angels wings.

Know who you’re hanging with this holiday season. Oh, and when you click here be prepared to get billowed!

Can you think of any more clues you’re talking to one who billows or extinguishes?

*I am in no way implying in this post we are to hand the power over to others to dictate how we handle our gifts. Only, it does influence the way we think about our gifts—who we choose to spend time with.
**photo by stock.XCHNG


  1. I want to solely hang around the people who billow! :) But even more, your post really made me think: I want to be someone who billows.

  2. Most people in my life billow my gift and I'm thankful for that. :)

  3. I have a lot of billowers in my life and for that, I'm super grateful!

  4. I remember when I told my grandparents' friends what I was majoring in in college, and the woman said, "Oh okay, what do you want to do with that?" and her husband replied, "Go to tech and get a real job." I was really upset with him for years, because of that remark, but I knew I would get flack for majoring in English and focusing on the writing track, so I tried not to let it get to me, but it's only recently that I think about what he said and doesn't bother me so much anymore. I don't really have a lot of people in my life who "billow" my gift. I had two amazing writing professors in college who did, and I am so grateful I happened to register for their classes and not another professor's.

  5. I'm thankful I have bollowers in my life, but those who extinguish don't usually know what they're doing, so I try to remember that. Great thoughts here, Wendy.

  6. I agree with Melissa. After reading this, I'm asking myself, "Do I billow?" Food for thought...or for thoughts that move. ;)

  7. I'm blessed to have friends and family who encourage the gift. It's a Golden Rule thing. You support others, and the circle never ends.


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