Giving is a form of receiving. I get to know that every single time I meet with a client. My work is my way of giving love to the world and making it a better place. Seeing other women celebrating their growth and achievements – it makes my heart sing.
One of the things I find amazing with many of my clients is their power of giving. Some donate money to charity organizations. Some offer their time – and what a precious gift that is, as time is Life, and never coming back! Others offer their skills and talents pro-bono to people in need of their service.
One thing all these people have in common is their big heart, and they all say giving is a great source of joy and fulfillment.
Sometimes giving comes out as a way of being, deeply connected to a sense of meaning and purpose. And it is very good for our health. Research has shown that a simple act of kindness directed toward another improves the functioning of the immune system and stimulates the production of serotonin in both the recipient of kindness and the person extending it.
Practicing connection and service to others can involve formal volunteering but it doesn’t have to. It can mean only looking for opportunities to help and cultivating an open-hearted attitude towards others. Just think of a smile that can brighten someone’s day. A good word you’ve heard at times you were sad. Feel the freedom of being with someone who takes you exactly the way you are. No judging, no labeling, and no expectations. Being kind doesn’t cost anything. It’s free, and it brings us closer to our true nature: unconditional love.
Life taught me that kindness starts with ourselves.
Yes, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t treating myself with love and compassion. Saying yes to things I didn’t really want to do, to make others happy. Putting other people’s needs first, not daring to speak my truth, set healthy boundaries and say no. Telling myself things I would have never told a good friend: “you’re not good enough,” “this is too much or too expensive for you; you’re not worth it.”
One day, I found myself empty; I simply didn’t have anything more to give.
Taking care of our needs and desires in the same way we take care of others is not selfish, but fair. We are also people, worth of our own love, care, and attention. If anything in here sounds familiar, make sure to fill your tank first.
Let me invite you to the following exercise. Make time to answer the two questions below, and see what your heart knows to be true about yourself:
What is one precious gift you commit to offering yourself in 2019?
It doesn’t necessarily have to be money related. It could be more time for yourself and some extra self-care, learning a new skill, practicing a new hobby or pursuing an old dream. Magic is something you make!
How can you serve the world, in your own way? What makes you feel alive?
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Harold Whitman