Kira Elliott has given us today’s prompt which Kat McNally prefaces with the words below. You can catch up with these ladies here.
Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?
When I think of giving I think of gifts, money, sponsorship and tithing, if one is a church goer. Generosity on the other hand, for me, is about spirit. I help where I can with sponsorship funds and give to one or two organisations I believe have the integrity to ensure the money reaches those for whom it is intended. That isn’t generosity; it’s giving and I do it willingly and regularly. It doesn’t make me better than anyone else as the giving is from my abundance which I am blessed to have.
I believe compassion, empathy, concern for others flow from a heart that is warm, and tuned in to the human condition. To understand the emotional need of another person and respond to their need is showing generosity of spirit. I believe that as we respond to others in this way we fulfil our destiny, which is to care for others, do no harm to others and to help elevate those less fortunate than ourselves. When we exercise our generous spirit, I believe we walk in our destiny.
I am not sad that this year is drawing to a close. I’m looking for a smoother ride in 2015 which means some things have to change. YAY!
The first will be endeavouring to lay down my tendency to over give of my time and patience. If something needs to be done (at work), watch my hand go up; when the photocopier is jammed I am the go to person and the list goes on. I enjoy being able to do these things and like that my brain works in ways that problem-solving is a joy; I get off on finding solutions, they ring my Type A bells! There is a deep satisfaction knowing I can be practical and set my hand to many tasks outside my counsellor role. However, I am laying down the expectation from others that I will do whatever, whenever, wherever, for whoever. I seem to be the only one in the office who has time to do any of these irritating tasks; everyone else is too busy. Hello! We all do the same job, for the same pay and work the same hours.
One of the down sides to being a generous soul (the givers) is that others feel obliged to take advantage (the takers). In 2015 some of that generosity of spirit will be re-directed towards those outside of the work place. I am hoping to spend more time with folk who share interests, and to whom I can relate without effort. I would like to reconnect with some friends I don’t see that often as well as resurrect the creativity I once enjoyed to make cards again and remember the special days of friends.
What I am speaking of is generosity of self. Giving of myself to others instead of people pleasing. In 2015 I hope to be able to leave each person with whom I spend time feeling a little better than when we first met. I would like to be more attentive, appreciative and observant of the endeavours of others. I will be looking for opportunities to show affection, be involved, show gratitude and listen without agenda.
No one practising generosity of spirit does so for reward, yet there are benefits for the generous and warm hearted. I am constantly surprised how different I am when I have spent time with someone either in a friendship and/or helping role. Literally my spirit is lifted when the spirit of the other person is lifted. It has to be. The law of reciprocity is a universal truth. What goes around comes around. Maybe for you it’s Karma. Sowing and reaping.
In 2015 I would first of all like to be more generous of spirit and secondly I am looking forward to a better year, as a lovely spin off from opening my heart in a different way to others.