Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Art of Givingness (the other side of thankfulness)

Sometimes people approach the holidays with resentment. They feel the season’s been commercialized; they focus on the buying and doing aspect of the holidays and lose the possibility of joy. Yet the principle of giving is inherent in the season, thus the potential for learning how to give is an immediate undertaking for everyone. It would seem that re-framing the way we interpret the quality of giving could change our response to the holidays. Happiness lies in the spirit of giving. Often this feeling of the spirit of givingness is felt more around the holidays than any other time, and this is a wonderful thing. Yet, we don’t have to limit our experience for we could make every day a kind of Christmas. The confusion lies in the idea that we must give “things”. For often with the giving of things, there are strings attached, and that takes away the joy. However when we give freely, without conditions, reservations, recriminations, attachments, we become the greatest recipients of our gifts because that kind of giving is accompanied by feelings of great joy. We can develop the SPIRIT of givingness and experience it daily. The greatest gifts anyone can give are time, energy, and wisdom. This is similar to the axiom that to teach a man to fish is better than to give him a fish. If you give a man a fish, he will need another in a few hours, for one fish cannot satisfy hunger for long. Yet, if you teach the man how to fish, he can satisfy his need for fish as often as he chooses. Giving in this way creates growth because it moves you out of your small (egoic) self and helps you see a bigger picture -- the needs of others. Plus you get to see the value of what you give. A few moments of support to someone in need is invaluable. Some words of support can save a life. This is the way we learn the true meaning of love. Giving your knowledge, experience and wisdom unconditionally leads to joy. This is not meant to down-play giving material gifts. What is important is that whatever you give comes from the heart. Then practice giving without concern for a return. Soon you will discover that your givingness fills you and that everything you need or want, you have. Jean Walters is a best selling author, teacher, counselor, and Akashic Record reader. You can reach her at 314 566 5231 or jean@spiritualtransformation.com