Generosity: A Re-Wiring Process

Generosity: A Rewiring Process
Does generosity mean giving money?

In the last three weeks I’ve been examining my relationship with generosity and giving. I am very fortunate to have dear family and friends who are and have always been very generous with their time, love, advice, finances, support and so much more. However, I found myself wondering, “Am I as generous as them?” Not that it’s a competition. I just was curious. Little did I know asking that question would stir such a shake-up inside. I immediately answered no…which threw me off. What’s that about?

Why would I consider myself not as giving as my friends and family? Well, first I had to determine what I considered generosity to be. When I really looked at this question I realized I considered generosity to be a grand gesture, usually involving a gift of money. Huh. Isn’t that interesting. Considering the fact I’m building a new business, I don’t have a lot of extra finances to shower upon others. I do trust that time is coming; however it’s not where I am at the moment. So, no wonder I was viewing myself as less generous than my friends.

But, why weren’t things like listening to a friend share her feelings after experiencing a heart-break, or allowing a stranger to move ahead of me in line at the grocery store valid in my mind? Those things are generous, yes? But for some reason I just wasn’t counting them. It was like I had a point system. If I gave someone money I got 50 points and if I held open the door for someone I got 2. At this point I’m scratching my head. It was like all of a sudden I realized I was playing out the concept “I’m not good enough” in a whole new way. What I was able to give wasn’t enough in my own eyes. Well that’s just silly. Even though I highly value non-financial gifts and kindnesses I receive from friends, family and even strangers, I wasn’t counting the ones I was offering. I mean really, who doesn’t love getting a big smile from a stranger walking down the street. Or, receiving an unexpected card in the mail.

Needless to say, I was a bit perplexed. How did I want to proceed now that I had this huge awareness? How could I rewire my brain? What came forward was…a lot. Things like examining my beliefs around money and spirituality. Offering myself kindness during this process and participating in self-forgiveness for misinterpretations I’ve bought into along the way. But, the most valuable for me, has been what I intend to share with you here. I’m kind of a big ritual girl. I have a routine in the morning that is 100% devoted to me and my growth as a human being. It’s not a huge chunk of time, just an hour. I believe it’s really important to take time for ourselves each day and I like to practice what I preach at my workshops! (I could go on and on about this topic, but that would be a big tangent, so I won’t!) I don’t do this ritual every day, but I aim for at least 5 days a week.

The routine I follow has some flexibility within it, but I always include a meditation. For example, sometimes I’ll walk my dog and then come back and mediate. Other times I’ll do some type of spiritual reading and then meditate, etc. What has helped me the most in this rewiring process is simple, yet profound.

I started a new ritual right before bed that takes a total of 5 minutes. I call it acknowledgment and appreciation time. It’s a moment of time devoted to acknowledging myself for an act of generosity I participated in that day, as well as expressing something I appreciate about myself. For example, I ask myself, “What is one generosity I offered today?”, followed by the answer. Then, “What is one thing I appreciate about myself today?”, also followed by the answer. In the beginning I found myself getting caught up in the point system. I observed my thoughts searching for the “best” generosity to share. When I found myself doing that, I forced myself to speak the one on the bottom of the list, as it was worthy too, gosh darnit! What has come out of this process has been very rewarding. I now see great value in the small kindnesses, not just the “big ones”. And, a surprising (or not so surprising) benefit has been that I’ve received an even greater amount of generosity.

By focusing on giving, I’m drawing in more gifts. That’s not why I started this ritual, but it certainly is a welcome reward. I will fully admit, I like that a lot ☺! And, as if that weren’t enough, I’m finding myself feeling good more of the time. It feels good to be generous…and that is awesome. I invite you to take on the experiment and see how focusing on giving affects your own life. You just might start feeling even better than you do right now!

Amber Krzys
www.bodyheart.com
amber@bodyheart.com

(PS – The photo I’ve shared for this blog is from a recent volunteer, or better stated, ‘generosity’ trip to Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary in Utah. Dogtown is were I spent my time. I have a special place in my heart for dogs and being of service there continues to be an act of great reward and an experience of unconditional love. If you are unfamiliar with their organization, they are worth a look into. You can find out more at www.bestfriends.org.)

First Tuesday About First Tuesday

First Tuesday is a Professional and Social Network for Extraordinary Women. Gatherings are held in private homes or public venues on the first Tuesday of each month. Each evening includes unstructured social time, dinner, networking and a program on subjects that span the mind, body and spirit. Newcomers are welcome to join us!

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