(This was originally written in July, 2013. I’ve updated that post to bring you something new!)
If truth doesn’t set you free, generosity of spirit will.
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer
There is exchange —a balance of energy—available in each of life’s interactions.
Think of the circulation of the breath, whose chemical interactions in the blood nourish you, then create another chemical action that feeds the natural world.
This is the essence of life’s exchange.
Pause for a moment right now and take a conscious breath. Picture it moving through your body as light energy. There is no need to direct it—your breath knows exactly what it needs to do. As you exhale, feel the release of what is no longer needed in your body as the exchange cycle completes. Acknowledge that you are receiving as you give.
As you acknowledge what you receive, you give value to it. There is no need for you to measure what was received. That’s just expectation. Expectation within any exchange just blocks the flow of energy. Because there is no flow in tit for tat.
Balance comes in the exchange itself, not in an equal weighting of the elements. Gratitude for what you receive opens the gate for your own generosity.
Generosity of Spirit
Think on this: Generosity is gratitude in action. Your willingness to offer something true, without expectation, is a gift. Do you notice opportunities in daily life to offer something from yourself? Do you hold yourself back? Do you fear not being enough to fill the need? Or not having enough to give? Those thoughts all arise from a feeling or belief that you have limited resources.
In fact, you have something to offer to the world. Offering with a generosity of spirit allows you to extend something freely, without fear of loss or lack, or of concern about how you will be received.
When your own inner gates are open for you to receive, circulation takes place, allowing for your freedom of expression that extends from the inside of you to the outer world.
What happens next? The energy returns, just like your breath, refilling you.
Imagine yourself as being filled from within by a constantly replenishing source. Find your way to connect with this. Breathe it in.
It’s here that you experience your resources as unlimited. So when you are feeling full, don’t think to hold tightly to it, for fear of giving it all away and having nothing. Give it away, all of it. Make room for life to fill you again and again and again. Have a generous heart that looks outside of you, sees what is needed and offers it freely, without a focus on a return of your investment.
Do you feel full within yourself? How do you experience generosity of spirit in your life?
Ah! There you are. You’re beautiful! — Rumi
Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
I invite you to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It can stimulate action.
Add your experience. We’d love to hear from you!
I did take a conscious breath in and released, and it felt satisfying, it felt calming to me and it did get rid of some negative thoughts and feelings that were stuck in my body. I need to keep reminding myself, but the conscious breathing helps me feel better.
We all need to remember, Roy! It’s a constant process. Laurie
I find it rather difficult to comment since I’m frequently accused of ‘generosity’ by those who can’t understand it. It seems impossible for me not to do things for others while the focus of mind is in fact on the things I need to do for myself nevertheless in the limited amount of time left to me. I do not understand any of this.
The following is simply a fact which amazes me when I think about it.
In the past couple of weeks I’ve scanned a 180 page novel into OCR and re-jigged it for a friend I met on the Internet so she could edit it prior to my making it into a book; I’ve got two texts into book shape for publishing; I’ve written yet another long analysis of a friend’s poems – the process, which has lasted two years on a fortnightly basis, he says has got him off psychotherapy; this weekend I’m inducting a friend into how to run training workshops for nothing… on and on. Meanwhile I’ve been composing four pieces of music for various combinations, writing up my own poems and helping the spirit of the garden into spring. I continue to put a haiku a day up on Facebook – it’s a good focus for the day for me. I shall make the collection into a proper book in August.
Meanwhile I can hear bombers wasting millions of £££ or $$$ practising over The Wash (UK) to annihilate some country or other their masters disagree with.
I take a deep breath and everything floats into order of some kind…
I always love the “order’—whatever kind it may be—that emerges from within you, especially as you share it in your writing. This too, is part of your generosity of spirit in action.
When we give from our internal source, we are naturally replenished. It is an energetic cycle to keep open. In the act of giving there is a receiving, beautiful!
So glad you enjoyed it, Lisa!
“Generosity is gratitude in action.” Love that!
What we are willing to share directly impacts what we are open to receiving. Thank you for this lovely article Laurie.
Thanks for your generous comment, Paula!
Yes, I do find myself offering myself with a generosity of spirit. I aim and strive to live from a heart space…loving….giving….and receiving ….to myself and others.