December 2011 - The Art of Giving…
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What are you giving this year? The holiday season is a time of year when our thoughts turn to giving to others, whether it be a physical gift, thoughtful act or gesture, or a charitable donation.
The art of giving however is more than just a season. Giving is beyond gifts, how much you spend or what you think you’ll receive in return. The true art of giving is a state of mind and it represents your generosity. It represents an inner sense of wholeness, selflessness, and a knowing that you possess a vastness inside of you that is limitless and ever full.
I believe when we give for the pure joy of giving it says a lot about us. When we hold back from giving to others it really is a reflection of our inability to receive from the universe and others. When we choose not to give in meaningful ways it can suggest that we’re coming from a place of lack, of insufficiency, of not being good enough; that if we give too much of who we are we will be left empty or tapped out.
The commercialization of the holidays may often leave you feeling obligated or guilty if you don’t spend enough or pick the perfect gift. You then end up feeling resentful or angry in your gift giving because you have over extended yourself financially. And, of course giving with resentment is not truly giving. It can actually energetically backfire on you. When we feel resentful we are actually blocking the universe from giving to you in wonderful and unexpected ways. When you joyously give, whether it’s of yourself or in any other way, you feel really good and that is a gift in itself which needs no compensation or reciprocity other than the joy it brings you. It is priceless. That joyous feeling, which carries no resistance or negative feelings is like opening a door of allowing, of new possibilities.
Commercialization of the holidays is all about convincing you to spend more than you may have. It does make a great quarterly return for the stockholders of various corporations. You’ve been programmed to over-extend yourself and make a good impression through over spending. But, who are you pleasing? Remember, there is nothing more important to your well-being than feeling good. Practice the true art of giving and your life will overflow with the priceless gift of joy.
I’d like to share some excerpts from an article on giving and receiving by Painter Sofan Chan and Sculptor Rochman Reese.
“Your life is like a river of energy, continually flowing. What happens when a river stops moving? It get very muddy, and stagnant. A fast flowing river is full of life and clear water. Where would you rather drink?
The acts of giving and receiving are a continuous process of circulation that continues the flow of your life’s energies. For one person to receive someone else has to give. It’s a cycle of energy that flows continually onwards.
Pause for as moment as you read this, and take a big, deep breath. Hold it for as long as you possibly can. As you hold it inside, notice how uncomfortable you begin to feel when you are holding on to something that is meant to be released.
Now, breath out completely and hold your breath with your lungs fully emptied. Notice how uncomfortable you feel when you are resisting taking in something that you need.
True giving, without expectation of anything in return, is as effortless as breathing.
Have you ever heard anyone saying, "I just give and give and give until I have nothing left"?
This behavior has many names. Self-denial, self-pity, martyrdom, and
self-righteousness to name just a few.
This is an ego based form of giving. It is giving with an expectation of something in return. In reality, this is not giving at all but an unvocalized form of barter. If, through the act of giving, you feel that you have “lost something or are somehow lessened” then the gift was not truly given from your heart.
Truly giving something from the heart is an action which will fill your life with joy. This is where the expression to “give whole heartedly” comes from.
What you give out is what comes back, in direct proportion to the feelings you have in the act of giving.
It’s very simple. If you want to experience more joy, give joy to others; if you want more love, learn to give love; if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give appreciation to others. These are some of life’s most precious gifts and they don’t cost you anything.
When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing, wishing them happiness, joy and laughter. This kind of silent giving is very powerful. Do this (with no thought of return) and you will suddenly find people around you opening to you in joy and happiness.
Make a decision that wherever you go, whomever you meet, to give. As long as you are giving, you will also be receiving. The more you give, the more will flow back to you and be returned many times over. Giving creates a pattern of happiness, joy and love in your life beyond your wildest expectations.
In ancient China, Lao Tsu wrote "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in Giving Creates Love.”
Happy Holidays to you and your family from Deborah Lindemann CHT
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