A 28-Day Journey to Renewing my Spirit of Giving

 

“Our giving is a reflection of the hurt held in our hearts.” 

These journal entries were written straight from my heart, meant for sharing the insight I gained over a personal three year period of building a life worth living and giving. The format and layout are simple and easy to follow. I encourage you to keep healthy notes (preferably with us, wink wink) and open your heart to the energy around you. 

In the beginning of my journey, I thought, in order to release the hurt I held on to, I needed an attitude of gratitude. My 2013 New Year’s Resolution was to give to 12 charities in 12 months. Something did release inside me, a new life of love and softness towards others. I’d been missing that in my life for some time. I never realized how disconnected I felt until nearly half-way through my resolution. That’s when my life changed. That’s when I realized my purpose and I started a small blog.

In 2014, I was afraid to let the momentum die, so I added to my formula a year of forgiving. Each month I searched my heart for old hurts that held me captive. I prayed, meditated, wrote it down, whatever I needed to do to release it from my mind and body and soul. I started easy and worked up to the grand finale. By the end, I felt like my old self again, easily laughing with others and smiling at strangers on the street.

With the new year 2015 looming over my head, I decided it was time to go out – outside of the internal work I’d been doing for two years. I decided to pick up the pace, leave the blog world behind and start something fresh and new. A new phase for a new idea.

With this new phase, came great fear. Fear that brought pain and disappointment of past failures – causing a pause in my Spirit of Giving.  An all-time low. The next 28 days were my chance to get real, be raw and express the deepest thoughts that hinder our relationship with giving. Along the way, I felt the need to share this experience with others, like you, and to find a path for renewal.

I’ve broken it down into segments over a four-week period. We will start out easy and work our way into the grit. Best case scenario, we come out renewed! Worst case scenario, we find ourselves roadblocked and unable to reach our destination.

Week 1 – Learning the Basics
Week 2 – Attitude of Gratitude
Week 3 – Livin’ by Forgivin’
Week 4 – Make a Difference

Thank you for joining me!


 

DAY ONE –

There’s a book called Give & Take, written by the Wharton Professor of Psychology, Adam Grant.  While I haven’t read the book, I have read plenty of his articles written in the NY Times, Harvard Business Review and others.  I particularly liked this article, with it’s light humor to identify the top 10 traits of takers.  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140320115939-69244073-the-top-ten-signs-you-might-be-a-taker

In his writings, I notice a theme – givers tend to have better and more fulfilling lives, and are often more successful than takers.  Now, I don’t think he is trying to say their life is any easier, but they seem to have a mindset that brings about more good things.  Givers bring people and ideas together and collaborate better to make things happen without stepping on other people.  They leave others with a good impression because of their likable character and those people will usually want to continue being around the giver.

Doesn’t this sound wonderful?  If we just have a heart to give, we will get in return.  A theory that sounds nice to the ears, and a quiet motivation to give again.  But is it really true?  I can think back through my own history and remember times when this certainly was NOT the case.  How about you?  There were certainly times when I gave it all I had and felt like I was slammed into a wall.  Maybe you can relate.

I’d like to expand on his idea of two types of people.  While his book is geared towards the workplace, I’m going to focus on everyday relationships, not just our workplaces and double his categories.  I think there are four types of people.

  1. Givers – give unconditionally
  2. Takers / Receivers – receive without feeling a need to reciprocate
  3. Balancers – strike a balance between a life of giving and receiving
  4. Empty Nesters – void of any feeling, in a low-point of mind that is oblivious to their surroundings – cannot see what they are doing or what others are doing to/for them, they are simply existing in a daze – no energy to give and unaware of what they receive

Personally, I think people tend to categorize themselves as Givers.  Takers don’t always recognize themselves as a taker – maybe they think they are just really lucky people!  Self-awareness and mindfulness of our actions and the actions of others takes discipline.  It’s easy to give ourselves credit for every good thing that comes into our life.  But, it’s important to remember every good thing is GIVEN to us.  And, it is our responsibility to find out from where (or whom) it came.

*Mindful Moment – Take some time today to reflect on the four types of people listed.  Where do you fit?  Where were you in the past?  Where do you want to be in the future?  Are your answers all the same, or different?  If different, what is ONE decision you can make today to help you reach your destination?

*Grateful Graces – What are you thankful for today?

Like this series? Click here to continue to Day 2: The Giving Tree.

 

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3 thoughts on “A 28-Day Journey to Renewing my Spirit of Giving

  1. Carla Gray says:

    Most of my life I would say I was a Giver. Until last year. Last year, I found myself in the Empty Nester category. I had nothing to give and didn’t care what I received, it never registered. I’ve made a lot of progress, not only because of this 28-day journey, but because I didn’t give up. I kept writing, kept trying, kept healing. Today, I feel like I’m a balancer. Maybe by doing this journey again this year, I can tip the scales back in the direction of Giver.

    Like

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