The Gift of Generosity

True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possessions you can share. Suze Roman, author, financial advisor

’Tis the season of giving. There are “duty gifts” and “love gifts.” We give both. The greatest gifts are those given freely with no attachment. No expectations. As Suze says, true generosity is an offering. I take this to mean offering as in the biblical sense, a sacrifice. 

Humans are inherently insecure creatures. The accumulation of things offers us a sense of security. This is why giving generously out of love gives us such a feeling of satisfaction and joy. In addition to all those duty gifts you’re buying, consider giving at least one love gift with no strings attached. Spent your money, your time, or use your talents—all are gifts. 

Affirmation: I give out of love.

Coaching questions: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? What’s the best gift you’ve ever given? What gift of love will you give this season?

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Three Steps to Grief Recovery

When you throw your bread out on the waters of life, it comes back buttered. Rev. Stanley Weems, Presbyterian Pastor

As I spoke with daughters who had experienced profound mother loss, I heard three things that seemed to be universal in their grief recovery.

  1. Focusing on others while moving away from your own troubled and grief-stricken mind, is a key to recovery. Nearly every  daughter with whom I spoke, felt a revival of their spirits when they began to reach out to others. 
  2. Gratitude is a key. As we look at the glass half full, expressing gratitude for the time we had with our loved one, gratitude for the inheritance we received, gratitude for the comfort that came our way, grief begins to dissipate.
  3. Seek professional help if you need it. All daughters who sought help said it made a profound difference in their recovery. Life is short. Don’t wait too long to seek help if you need it.

Whether we are generous with our stories, our empathy, our talents or time, the flow of energy into the world enables it to return in abundance.

Affirmation: I can recover.

Coaching questions: If you are struggling with grief, what one step can you take to move toward recovery? Do you want to move forward? If not, in what way is grief serving you? 

Not A Dead Sea

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. Muhammad Ali, Professional boxer, activist, philanthropist

The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and Palestine to the west. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. The Dead Sea receives beautiful fresh water from rivers and other sources but it has no outlet so no water passes out. With no outlet, the water in the sea goes dank, it goes bad. That’s why it is called The Dead Sea. It is dead because it receives but doesn’t give.

We are a part of nature just like the Dead Sea. As we receive, we must also give in order to not turn dank, shrivel up and die inside. In other words, generosity, caring for and about others is what gives us a joy-filled, healthy life. When we focus on ourselves…our own misfortunes, grief, slights, guilts, trials and tribulations…we lose the thread that attaches us to joy. We begin to unravel.

Affirmation: I find joy in giving.

Coaching questions: What keeps you from becoming a “dead sea?” What is one new way you can serve? What difference might it make in your life?

Generosity

When you throw your bread out on the waters of life, it comes back buttered. Rev. Stanley Weems, my Presbyterian Pastor 47 years ago

The above quote is one of my very favorites. I believe it 100 percent. Which is to say, I think that when you are generous without expecting anything in return, good things frequently come back to you. Not only that, I believe that generous people are happier people. However, once when I told an overwhelmed friend of mine who was a very giving person, she responded, “Just be careful it doesn’t come back jammed as well.”

Archbishop Tutu in The Book of Joy says, “I’ve sometimes joked and said God doesn’t know very much math, because when you give to others, it should be that you are subtracting from yourself. But in this incredible kind of way…I’ve found that to be the case many times…you gave and it then seems like in fact you are making space for more to be given to you.”

Affirmation: I am generous.

Coaching question: In what ways can you become more generous? What difference might it make in your life?