The Joy Is in the Giving
One of my favorite sayings of my spiritual mentor, Jane Elizabeth Hart, is “The joy is in the giving.”
It has taken me many years to appreciate this as more than just a pretty platitude--especially this time of year!
Finding joy in giving means to understand that when we are acting only for ourselves, that energy has no where to go but back to ourselves. This is important, to replenish and refresh ourselves sometimes. But when we give freely with joy and loving kindness, that energy ripples out into the far stretches of the universe! For that moment, we have expanded ourselves far outside of where our energy normally resides. It is like an amazing, huge yoga stretch!
Plus, finding joy in giving makes us want to give more—to re-experience that joy, that refreshing stretch beyond ourselves. Once we get out of our box, we don’t want to go back inside that small space!
Recently, I helped some friends pack Christmas gifts for children in other countries. There were several boxes, and as we filled each one, we were silently blessing each toy and piece of candy. I could imagine the love and joy the child would experience as she or he opened the box—an explosion of love and light! I could feel my own energy expanding beyond myself, beyond this country, rippling throughout the planet.
The song I sung in childhood that reminds me of this concept is “Magic Penny”. Do you remember singing that song? Did you ever realize that the magic penny symbolized your own energy, multiplying and supporting you in infinitely greater ways? Here are a few of the lyrics:
Love is something if you give it away;
You’ll end up having more.
It’s just like a magic penny:
Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the floor.
As you give this season, no matter how big or small a gift, put your energy of love and joy into it, and don’t let it stop flowing at your gift’s recipient—see that love and joy rippling out, sending a wave of blessing throughout the planet.
Happy Holidays of every kind!
Who Is Running Your Show?
Do you know the many "yous" of you--the conglomerate of many selves that make up your whole self?
At a recent women's retreat that I facilitated, we took an entire day to examine and become familiar with different parts of ourselves. We met Responsible, the Pusher, Do-Nothing, the Child, the Spiritual One, and many others. We asked them what they needed from us, how we could better support them. With some of these aspects, we asked for cooperation. By the end of the weekend, we were more conscious of the many parts of us than we have ever been before!
Why bother with such a process of getting to know our many selves? Because there is one Greater Self that is hidden among this committee of selves. The parts come in and run the show, often times without our awareness or permission! The more we get to know the parts and learn what their needs and desires are, the more consciously we can decide if those needs and desires are aligned with the intention of the Greater Self. If so, we can go with it because it will align us more with the Whole. If a part of us has needs and desires that do not align with our soul's goal, then we are able to set clear and firm boundaries within ourselves to keep us on track with our Greater Self.
When we feel stuck, we can ask, "Who is running the show?" As we become familiar with the many different expressions of self that we have, we can more easily answer this question and make choices for ourselves accordingly--conscious choices that keep us on track, instead of unconscious impulses that pull us every which way.
What are the many different parts of you? List them, one by one. Ask them what role they play in your life. What do they need or want from you? When do they like to run the show?
There is great power in being aware of these aspects of ourselves. We become freer to "run the show" in ways that bring us more and more into alignment with that Greatest Self, the One we truly are.
Lynn Barrette, LCSW Blending psychology with spirituality, I offer tools for forgiveness, acceptance, meditation and relaxation, and positive parenting solutions.