Shared Stories

I first heard Darden Smith on a local radio program as I was leaving town for the weekend.  Darden was on the radio promoting his newest album and I have not been able to stop thinking about Darden and the stories he shared since, that was over 6 weeks ago.

In this TED Talk Darden shares a song he co-wrote with Radney Foster, and which was likely my first time to hear Darden and his gift.

Also in this talk, and the reason I share it with you today, is he talks about the fear and excitement in using our gifts.  Darden’s gift is songwriting and he talks about some of the creative ways he is using his gift.

In many ways Darden’s story is like many of our own stories.  He shares being in an unfamiliar place sharing his songwriting and thinking he has nothing in common with those he is around.  So often we find ourselves in a group of people and may have the same thoughts, “Do I have anything in common with these people?”  “Does anyone know I am here?”  We do have something in common with those around us and we share stories with those in our space, sometimes in the most unlikely of places.  Sometimes finding the commonalities may require a little digging to find.  This past week I was sitting at the car shop all day for three days in a row.  Although I was in an unfamiliar community the shared stories of the other customers who were waiting for their repairs continue to excite me. Some of the customers shared their stories of their search for meaningful relationships, their passion to travel and find their career aspirations.  We talked of shared tastes in music and film and places to travel.

In the video Darden also shares some of the unconventional ways he shares his gifts.  He pursued life as a rock star for many years.  He has written and recorded several songs that resonate with me and have become part of my life script.  One of current ventures is using the stories soldiers share and helping them write songs.  One of the unconventional ways I have used my gifts in the past was as a Volunteer Coordinator with Grace Hospice.  Through that experience I grew and was shaped by the lives I crossed paths with.  Working with Volunteers was not something I had set out to do and in many ways felt unqualified to do.

One of the things I enjoy most about providing Career Counseling is helping clients expand their search to include career paths and opportunities they may not have considered.  Helping them find unconventional ways to use their gifts and interests and I think that is why this video is so powerful for me at this time.