If I said, “I’ll give you a million dollars if you come up with more time, more money, more health and more love in your life – fast,” what would be your first thought, your first inclination? If you’re like most people, you’d either react with some fear-based emotion reflecting a feeling of not-enoughness, or your mind would quickly begin to create a strategy about how to go out and get what you need, right? Well, that’s to be expected. This is a human knee-jerk reaction. But it is totally counterproductive. And when you look at it from a metaphysical point of view, it is easy to understand why.
As soon as you move into the energy of “I need to get this thing,” you immediately tell the Universe “I don’t have it.” This is because in “wanting” a thing your awareness becomes focused on the lack of it. Consequently, because your consciousness creates your reality, you will create the experience of “not having it.”
If, however, you focus on giving the thing you desire… presto! It comes into your life. This is because when you give, you are telling the Universe that you have something to give. And because the same universal principles are at work, you create more of the experience of having.
So, how do you give something that you think you don’t have to begin with? You do it by jumping off the “scarcity gerbil wheel.” Just like the gerbil that runs and runs and never gets anywhere until he gets off the wheel, the only way to change your experience of lack is to stop placing your attention on scarcity and start paying attention to abundance. This means that you must embrace the discipline of gratefully acknowledging and circulating that which you do have, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is.
How to Give
If you want to tap into this expansive flow of abundance, it is important to understand that the act of giving is only part of the picture. If you don’t align your energy with the correct consciousness, you could easily find yourself giving and giving and never see the flow of abundance in your own life. This happens all the time with people who give out of guilt, obligation or with strings attached. True giving is pure, from the heart, with no desire or expectation of anything in return. It is an expression of generosity. The act of true giving brings pleasure to the giver. When one awakens to the experience of true giving it often becomes a necessity for joyful living.
What to Give
A great place to begin is to explore what you have to give in terms of time, talent and treasure. The key is to focus on what you can give versus what you cannot. In order to do this you must decide right now that you will refrain from comparing yourself to others. Simply start where you can.
For example, could you be more emotionally generous in your relationships? A little goes a long way. Sometimes emotional generosity is more about what you don’t do than what you do. Decide that you are going to give your loved one fifteen minutes of your undivided attention each day. Or anticipate a need or pleasure, like bringing a cup of coffee to bed in the morning. Just asking, “How are you?” and really meaning it can transform a relationship. All it takes is the small but powerful effort of taking the attention off of yourself and putting yourself in your loved ones shoes.
What are your talents? They might be activities you do effortlessly every day. How could you offer that to someone else? Are you an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom who feels like you haven’t a minute of extra time to give? Are you cooking meals anyway? Could you make an extra dish for someone in need? Are you the organization queen at home? Could you make check-lists for teachers at school? It doesn’t matter what you give, it only matters that you do.
And if you really want to get into the flow of financial abundance, give of your treasure. Give money and give regularly. Spiritual teachings guide us to give 10% of everything that we receive to a person or place that is a source of spiritual nourishment. But if you are struggling financially, start smaller. Even 1% primes the abundance pump of the Universe.
How Much to Give
When people take on the opportunity to learn about true giving, they often fall into the trap of thinking that more is better. But this is not necessarily true. Remember, your consciousness is of utmost importance here. If you can’t give freely, then you’re missing the whole point. The most important guideline in determining how much to give, is that you must feel good about the giving.
If giving is new to you, then it will require a leap of faith. This is because when you believe in lack, you think that in giving you will lose something. So start small, but give something. Pay special attention to your mind-set when giving. Your job in this grand opportunity is to circulate that which you have from a place of acknowledging how blessed you are. Remember, even if you think things are tough for you, there is always someone less fortunate.
And if you have the opposite problem: You give a lot, but feel depleted and resentful, consider pulling back from giving to others and practice giving to yourself. If you don’t give to yourself, then you have nothing to give freely to others. To engage in giving, without a connection to gratitude and trust in the Universe is like playing an instrument which emits no sound; you are performing the act, but the magic is missing.
And here’s the paradox: Yes, it is true that when you give you receive back even more into your life. But to hold an ulterior motive of giving in order to get will completely sabotage your efforts. Unleashing abundance in your life is about so much more than receiving. By giving, we remember our true nature as individualized expressions of the infinite. And when you remember your true nature, there is no limit to what your life can become!
Seek illumination and begin to discover your untapped power.
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