And then, synchronously,
the Universe responded
to my questions about giving.
I listened to a motivational speaker
who was suddenly talking about generosity
and keeping the circle of giving intact.
He said that everyone can give something,
to not wait to see yourself as “rich”
before you give.
He quoted Khalil Gibran:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
I cried to hear the truth.
I cried to be so seen
by this loving Universe
that would send me answers
so soon after I asked the questions.
And today I was sent multiple opportunities
to give spontaneously, from my heart.
It felt good. It felt right.
I felt like I was living my destiny.
teach me more about love.
Giving so much…
wanting to give…
and then feeling so tired.
Is this how to live?
Is there a giving that doesn’t deplete
but actually fills and refreshes the giver
once the giving is complete?
I want to understand
the nature of a giving soul
and the way some manage to find the energy
to perform superhuman acts of generosity.
I want to know how to give what matters.
And each night
I want to rest my head contentedly
knowing I gave my all
to this day, to this moment, to this life.
If, at the end of each day,
I can say
I gave all I could
then I can die happy
knowing that I lived fully.
what better fulfillment is there
than emptying oneself
of selfish motivations
and receiving the love
of the whole universe?
filling yourself up
with wonder, joy, and awe,
until you have no choice
but to live generously,
which is, in the end,
what living is all about.
Just when I thought I had no more energy left,
there it is, rising up in me to get something done.
How does this work? Is it motivation alone?
To take a full breath in, you must first exhale to emptiness.
To live a full life, you must die to empty expectations.
It’s simple really. What do you have to give?
Give all of yourself, and quickly.
Empty yourself of everything you have.
Life will come rushing in to fill you again.
Giving of yourself completely
and feeling the pull of contraction
only means you’re ready to receive
what life has been longing to give you.
Embracing the necessity of emptiness
as it blossoms into gracious receptivity.
This is true fulfillment.
I’m teaching about generosity
a week from tomorrow
so I figure I better learn more
It turns out that performing a generous act
stimulates the same part of your brain
that is stimulated when you:
eat fatty food
Instead of getting off on
and instead of looking
to sex or new information
to feel fulfilled,
you can get off on giving,
you can be fulfilled by giving.
Instead of focusing on
your own singular pleasure,
you can derive pleasure
from helping someone else.
And when you help someone else,
the whole world benefits.
My studies bring me to the subject of generosity,
and I’m looking at myself and my life
through the lens of giving and receiving.
I see that it is not so much about the objects given
although they are certainly important–
it is much more about the kind regard,
the compassionate understanding,
offering the benefit of the doubt,
placing a comforting hand on
the shoulder of someone who needs reassurance.
It is a genuine smile,
a willingness to be patient,
to overlook the inconsistencies
of actions and deeds
and to see to the heart of a being.
It is not conferring wealth
but inferring the profound worth
of each person,
and treating everyone–
from the greatest to the smallest–
with the respect one would show for royalty.
For we are all rulers of our own domain,
we are all kings and queens in our own right.
The difference between the generous person
and the impoverished one is this:
while the impoverished person
organizes everyone in a hierarchy of importance,
the generous person sees
the royal nature of all beings.