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                                         Master the Art of Giving

This is a guest article by Tess Marshalll from The Bold Life
>“Give others all that is alive in us—our interest, understanding, our knowledge, our humor, everything in us that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a “heightened vitality” of what it means to be human.” –Erich Fromm

With our changing economic times, everyone is asking for help in some form. There are as many reasons to give as there are ways to give.

Some people give for recognition. They want their names in programs, on park benches and in hospital lobbies. Others give expecting to be paid back or thanked, they give to get. Some people want a hands-on-experience and are generous with their time. Some like to give anonymously and don’t want any recognition at all.

People who truly master the art of giving give out of the goodness of their hearts with no self-serving motives. Giving becomes a blessing for the giver and receiver.

It’s human nature to believe, “When I have more I’ll give more.” If you come from this mentality you never have enough of anything to give.

Generosity is a choice that feels right and joyful. Generosity comes from believing you have enough to share.

The following are gifts we all have that can benefit others.

1. Give of Your Talents
Give someone an hour of coaching, a signed copy of your book or a golf lesson. Can you offer child care? Or do you have plumbing, painting, or landscaping skills?

Give things. Clean your home and clear out your closet of unwanted things. Give what you don’t use or need to charity. Your junk is someone else’s treasure.

2. Give blood.
Save a life. I’ve done this on several occasions; it’s a great feeling to know you are helping to save someone’s life.

3. Give of yourself.
Make someone feel loved, special and appreciated with a visit, phone call, email, text or card. Give a hand made gift. Give praise, gratitude and appreciation. This creates heart-to-heart connections.

4. Give someone a lift.
When you encounter a quotation or a good news story, pass it on with a personal “thinking of you” note. This is spirit-lifting. It can make someone’s day. Today hand written notes and cards are rare gifts.

5. Give a recommendation.
Enrich someone’s life by sharing the discovery of a great blog, book, restaurant, product or service. The message you give is “This was a great find for me and I want to share it with you.”

6. Give the gift of laughter.
Laughter brings health and happiness to others. It offers physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits. Laugh loud and laugh often with everyone.

7. Give an invitation.
Being invited to any kind of event means people want to be with you. When you invite someone into your life you are saying, “I want to spend time with you, you are important to me.

8. Give affection.
Appropriately offer a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back, a touch on an arm or a tender look. We never lose the need for affection and acceptance. Touching heals emotional wounds.

9. Give good advice.
Ask the question, “Do you want advice or to you want me to listen.” If needed and wanted advice can be life-saving. Shared insights and wisdom is a precious gift.

10. Give encouragement.
When people are filled with doubt and fear they lack courage. When you inspire and motivate someone to act on their dreams, it can be life changing. You are making the world a better place.

11. Give without keeping score.
Real giving is expecting nothing in return. Give when you have the opportunity not because you received something and want to return the favor. Never hesitate to give because you gave last.

12. Give forgiveness.
Forgiveness offers healing to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Forgive yourself and others in spite of memories of unlovable times. Drop the story of what they did and what you did and the meaning you have given it.

13. Give money.
Giving stuff is easy. We usually don’t need or want it… But almost everyone likes to hang on to their money. Giving away money is more difficult because it means less for you. Give money because others need it. Give money because we’re dependent on one another.

14. Give An Act Of Kindness.
Kindness is the easiest and most abundant gift we have to give away. Buy Girl Scout cookies, always open the door for the person behind you, return your grocery cart, make cookies for your neighbor. The list is endless. Kindness brings joy to the giver, receiver and anyone witnessing the act!

15. Give love.
It’s easy to love those who love us back. Challenge yourself to give love to those who deserve it the least. Make your love unconditional. Make the world a more loving place. Everyone will reap the benefits!

Tess Marshall is the mover and shaker, at, where she’ll hold you accountable for being the boldest you’ve ever been in every area of your life! What would you do if you were 10 times bolder? You can sign up for her RSS feed and receive her updates or follow her on Twitter


The Art of Giving

The true Art in Giving is to give from the heart without any expectation of a return.

True giving comes from the same place inside you as your deepest happiness. They are inexplicably intertwined.

A gift is something that is enjoyed twice. First by the giver who revels in the pleasure of giving something special and then also enjoyed by the person who receives the gift.

A very special form of giving takes the form of small, personal acts of kindness. Very often it is not money or belongings that people need, it's the things that can't be seen, such as advice reassurance, a kind word, compliments or a smile.

The act of giving doesn’t have to be limited to an exchange of presents at Christmas time or Birthdays. You can treat every person you come into contact with as someone who you can give a gift to.

You may be a bit sceptical, wondering what exactly do you have to give? Everybody has something of value for another person. It could be a kind word, a simple smile, some appreciation, the sharing of some special knowledge, even a helping hand or a bit of support during a difficult emotional time. 

You have something to give everyone.

The act of true giving is something wonderful and amazing. With most things in this world, there is only a limited amount of what you can give away. Fortunately, generosity and kindness are not bound to these same material limitations.

One of life’s most basic laws is "every single act of love, kindness and generosity will multiply and return to you many times over ". The more you give the happier you will feel.

Many thousands of years ago a great sage in Babylon said "The reward of charity depends entirely upon the extent of the kindness in it."

It is one of life's wonderful paradoxes that you limit the power of your giving by having an expectation of getting something in return. When you give without any thought or desire for something back, your returns will be truly limitless.

Your life is like a river of energy, continually flowing. What happens when a river stops moving? It get very muddy, and stagnant. A fast flowing river is full of life and clear water. Where would you rather drink?

The acts of giving and receiving are a continuos process of circulation that continues the flow of your life’s energies. For one person to receive someone else has to give. It’s a cycle of energy that flows continually onwards.

Pause for as moment as you read this, and take a big, deep breath. Hold it for as long as you possibly can. As you hold it inside, notice how uncomfortable you begin to feel when you are holding on to something that is meant to be released.

Now, breath out, completely and hold your breath with your lungs fully emptied. Feel how uncomfortable you feel when you are resisting taking in something that you need.

True giving, without expectation of anything in return is as effortless as breathing.

How often do you expect back from the person you gave something to a gift of a similar or greater value? Is this true giving or merely an unvoiced expectation of an exchange of similar goods?

Have you ever heard anyone saying " I just give and give and give until I have nothing left "? 

This behaviour has many other names. Self denial, self pity, martyrdom, self righteousness to name just a few.

This is an ego based form of giving. It is giving with an expectation of something in return. In reality, this is not giving at all but an unvocalised form of barter. If, through the act of giving, you feel that you have “lost something or are somehow lessened” then the gift was not truly given from your heart.

Truly giving something from the heart is an action which will fill your life with joy. This is where the expression to “give whole heartedly” comes from.

The intention behind your giving is the most important thing. The intention should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver 

If you experience resentment and a feeling of “I don’t really want to give this to this person, but I feel that I have to” or “I really should give them something,” this is probably what ultimately will come back to you. Perhaps in this case, you need to consider not giving the gift at all !

What you give out is what comes back in direct proportions to the feelings you have in the act of giving.

It’s very simple. If you want to experience more joy, give joy to others, if you want more love, learn to give love, if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give appreciation to others. These are some of life’s most precious gifts and they don’t cost you anything.

When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing, wishing them happiness, joy and laughter. This kind of silent giving is very powerful. Do this, (with no thought of return) and you will suddenly find people around you opening to you in joy and happiness.

Make a descision that wherever you go, to whoever you meet, to give. As long as you are giving, you will also be receiving. The more you give, the more will flow back to you and be returned many times over. Giving creates a pattern of happiness, joy and love in your life beyond your wildest expectations.

In ancient China, Lao Tsu wrote "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in Giving Creates Love.”

May your life be filled with love, happiness and inspiration

Rochman Reese and Sofan Chan

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The Art of Giving What You Don’t Have

What if we were to discover something very strange – what if we discovered that all our giving, our kindness and charity, had come from a place of lack and misunderstanding?

The time of giving and love is upon us, and it’s natural for the world to be buzzing about the beauty of giving. But this post is a little different. It’s about giving, yes, but not just the common misunderstanding. 

What do I mean? For many, Christmas is about stress, fatigue, finding the right presents, endless parties and functions. For others, Christmas is loneliness, made worse by the fact that others are celebrating. 

And many people yell back – “This is not the true spirit of Christmas! Christmas is about giving, about love!”

And what is the true spirit of giving? I was humbled to find out that even my definition of giving was wrong. 

The true spirit of giving
A few weeks ago, a reader sent me an old essay by a Christian monk named Nicolae Steinhardt. I read it and enjoyed it very much at that time, but the full impact only hit me when I sat down to write about it.

I cannot explain it any better than he can; all I can do is rewrite it with a modern eye.

I was not foolish and unknowing enough to believe that Christ asks us to give from our surplus… I was however unskilled and lost in the darkness enough to think – what seems entirely in accord with Christian teaching – that we are asked to give from the little we have, if not even from the very little. 

This hit me square in the face. We all know that giving from our surplus, giving a fraction of what we have, is not a sign of a big heart. But the common interpretation is – give all we have, that is true compassion! 

And I had fallen into the exact trap he had, I had even referred to the same parable he did – a widow who had given her last copper coins to the church treasury. Wasn’t she displaying true compassion, I thought, giving everything she had?

“How blind, unwise, and of a narrow mind I was,” said Nicolae in his essay. “How could He have called us to actions so simple, so of this world, that is, so possible!” 

Giving our entirety is not enough – it is too simple. We are asked something entirely different: to give what we do not have.

The man who did not have
Nicolae tells a story of a man who sought entry into a monastery, although he didn’t feel qualified. The man approached the abbot, and confessed:

Know, Father, that I have neither faith nor light, nor essence, nor courage, nor trust in myself, and I cannot be of any help to myself, much less to any others; I have nothing.

“How could such a man be accepted into a monastery?” one might think. 

But the abbot replies, “What does that have to do with anything? You have no faith, have no light; giving them to others you will have them, too. Searching them for another, you will gain them for yourself. Your brother, your neighbor and fellow man, him you are duty bound to help with what you do not have.” 

And with that, he accepts the man into the monastery. “Go, your cell is on this hallway, third door on the right.”

The thoughts of this man are echoed in the minds of many men and women around the world. I have neither faith, nor essence, nor courage. I cannot be of any help to myself. How do we develop these things? 

How, indeed? The abbot’s answer: Giving another that which you do not have – faith, love, confidence, hope – you will acquire them as well.

The economy of the heart
The economy of the external world, the exchanging of money and material goods, is simple. Give, and hope to get something back. Simple mathematics – your wallet gets lighter as you give. 

But the economy of our heart is different, it is the direct opposite. The more you give, the more you have! 

This cannot be doubted; you must have experienced it for yourself. The smallest example is enough: when you play with a small child, and you laugh, and you give, and you kiss – you must have felt the love within grow stronger. 

There is an excerpt from Publisher’s Weekly:

In May 2001, in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, a Tibetan Buddhist monk donned a cap studded with hundreds of sensors that were connected to a state-of-the-art EEG, a brain-scanning device capable of recording changes in his brain with speed and precision. When the monk began meditating in a way that was designed to generate compassion, the sensors registered a dramatic shift to a state of great joy. “The very act of concern for others’ well-being, it seems, creates a greater state of well-being within oneself,” writes bestselling author Goleman (Emotional Intelligence) in his extraordinary new work. 

The state of abundance
And what of the external world? Anyone who has been in the world of personal development will have heard of all the metaphysical laws that have gained popularity recently. 

I just said that your wallet gets lighter as you give. On the physical level, that cannot be disputed. But what if there is more? This is something I’ve always hesitated to write on, as I can never find solid proof of this – it is just book knowledge. 

The classic success literatures, Think and Grow Rich, and the Science of Getting Rich, are based on one rule: Your inner world reflects the outer. Hold an abundant mindset, act abundantly, think abundantly. Believe you are rich now, and one day your external world will match it. 

The state of lack
What you think about will determine your reality. I can’t speak for material riches, but I can speak of the opposite. If your thoughts are always on lack – of respect, love, money, whatever it is – then it will always be a part of who you are.

Believing that your needs are not met, believing that you don’t have something – that thought will sabotage everything, even if opportunity comes knocking. 

When I was younger, I was extremely shy. I didn’t think that I deserved love, respect, or even a quality girlfriend. And because of that, whenever a girl would confess their feelings for me, I would sabotage the budding relationship unknowingly in one way or the other. Immediately my thoughts would jump to: Maybe she wants to use me. Maybe she is just lonely. Maybe this, maybe that. 

And this carried over to money and business. I had lost many lucrative contracts and offers because of the way I thought. 

Eckhart Tolle put it succinctly in A New Earth: Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world. Deep down inside you think you are small and that you have nothing to give. And if you don’t give, you don’t receive.

How do I give what I lack?
Steinhardt’s essay continues:

Let him not worry, not fear, not be anxious, the monk who feels his inner-self deserted, haunted by lack of belief and weakness, full of darkness and aridness; let him not mind these in the least. 

Don’t fear your lack. Acknowledge it, yes. This is not asking you to pretend, this is not asking you to act as if you were cold in the middle of a burning summer. The problem lies when we sit down and we despair, when we think it is a permanent condition.

Give out whatever you think people are withholding from you. And soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. 

This can be hard, Tolle acknowledges. So simply acknowledge the abundance that is already in your life. See the fullness of life all around you. Be grateful for it. The warmth of the sun on your skin, the magnificent display of flowers. The rain drenching you from the skies. Nature is abundant, we just have to open our eyes to see it. 

Build your inner mind in this fashion, and let your life change to match. 

Let the weak, thus, say: give me, Lord, when I am lost and naked, strength and impudence to be able to give from what I do not have.

Link Love
Lyman Reed runs Creating a Better Life. What I love about this blog is the honesty and the writing style. In his latest post, 6 Components of the Certain Way to Getting Rich, he discusses the same abundance principles we discussed in this post. 

Next up, are Puran and Susanna Bair. They publish a meditation book, named Energize your Heart, and a similarly named blog. It’s got lots of free material in there, and I’m working my way through the review copy of the book they sent me. A scientific approach to what is often a spiritual topic, it looks great so far.

Lastly is Swami Tarakananda, from the Hindu blog The Atma Jyoti Blog. Lots of insightful commentaries, not only on enlightenment and yoga, but on the other religions, as well! A recent example would be The Imperishable Thinker.

  See also greed and capitalism which contradicts this article.