Journey to Generosity 

Generosity is a state of consciousness.  We cultivate it by being generous to others, by being willing to share our resources, instead of hoarding them or keeping them to ourselves.  By giving to others, we help them to be productive and this benefits the community in which we live.   In time, what we have given returns to us in full measure, whether it be through the gratitude and appreciation of others, or through the actual flow of resources back to us.

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Hoarding, Stinginess, Being Cheap or Miserly, Stealing, Scamming, Cheating or misappropriating the resources of others. When we recognize that we have more than we need and are withholding resources that others need, it is time to open our hearts and give what is needed.   As we give, we open ourselves to receive and energy is re-circulated. 

The Teaching

When we are fearful it is hard to be generous.  We feel threatened by others who have less than us.  We are afraid that they will break into our houses and steal our prized possessions and we spend a lot of time and energy trying to protect what we own.  
      One of the lessons we need to learn is that resources that are not shared are squandered and without purpose.  If you have a hammer and don’t use it, you may keep it new and shiny, but no houses are built.   What good is a tool that is never used?   What good is money that is never spent, shared or invested?  
     No economy can survive if money or resources are hoarded and kept in the hands of a chosen few.   In order for an economy to thrive, money must be spent.  It must be invested in new equipment, research, training, and job creation.   Having money is not enough, it must be spent in a way that improves the lives of people or there will be no healthy growth. 
     A healthy economy constantly renews itself, so that it is stable even though there are ups and downs.  Waves come but they are ridden out.  A healthy economy does not yoyo between ridiculous highs and lows.  It is not a boom or bust affair.  
     Boom or bust economies have artificial highs and lows.   The highs are higher than what is real and sustainable and the lows are lower than what can be tolerated by the majority of people.  
     Wealth concentrated in the top one percent of the population creates the conditions for economic and political collapse.   It is not sustainable.   In order to avoid catastrophe, wealth must be redistributed, through social programs that uplift the poor, as well as through the philanthropic efforts of wealthy individuals, companies, and foundations. 
      On a personal level, those of us who have more than we need are challenged to share our resources with those less fortunate than us.  And those who have less are encouraged to speak up and ask for what they need.  
      In a healthy society people of means are encouraged to open their hearts and their hands to those who are needy.  Companies are asked to support social programs that help those at the bottom climb the ladder of success.  When the poor and the disadvantaged have opportunities and become upwardly mobile, everyone benefits.  There is less social discontent, less crime, and greater safety for all.  There are more people paying taxes and leading productive lives.   
      It is a spiritual law that we receive as we give.  The more that we give in good faith the more we can receive and then we have even more to give. This is the choice that leads to abundance in our personal lives and in our world.
      Yet what comes around goes around only if you pay it forward.  If you try to keep your good fortune for yourself alone you will break the spontaneous flow of energy that intensifies as receivers become givers and pay it forward for the next person or generation.  Then energy does not renew itself. 
     The cycle of abundance is broken and there is scarcity. The rich get richer and live in greater fear of losing what they have.  And the poor get poorer and become more angry and resentful because their basic needs are not being met.  Economic and political polarization result. People separate into different economic and political camps.  Fear and mistrust rule the day. 
     Change comes only when one person has the courage to reach out and share what has been given to him.   He or she does not have to be rich.  Even a poor person can share what s/he has with others.  As I have said before, it does not matter how much you have, but whether your arms are folded over your heart or extended out to others.
     Generosity comes from an open heart.  It is an act of love.  Think of all the people who have loved and supported you in key times in your life.  Parents, teachers, friends, even strangers have extended a hand to you when you need it and changed your life for the better.  Don’t you want to return the favor to someone else in need?
    Generosity comes when we open our hearts to others.   Then giving is natural and spontaneous.  It is a privilege and a joy to share with others what sustains us and makes us happy.   And whatever we share with others intensifies the energy and extends the arc of its expression, like ripples reaching out across the water. 

The Practice

Today, pretend that you are a rich. (Of course, it you know you are rich you do not have to pretend). Pretend that you have abundant resources so that it will not be a fearful proposition to share them with others. Today use every opportunity that arises to be generous toward others.  Be generous not just with your money, but with your time and your attention.   When someone needs something and you have it, give it gladly.   Be grateful to the universe for giving you the opportunity to help.  Be aware of how helping others keeps your heart open and enables the energy to renew itself and eventually return to you.
     Today, notice when fear rises up and you feel yourself contracting and withholding your resources from others.   See if you can soften and come back into your heart.  See if you can make eye contact with others.   See if you can breathe though your fear and remain emotionally present.  Ask yourself, “Is there something here that I can give?  Is there something I can do or say to help?” And, if there is, say it or do it gladly.
     Maybe all you can give is a smile or a few words of encouragement.  Don’t disparage that gift.  It might be exactly what is needed. Imagine that God put you in this person’s path today to cheer her up, to let her know that she is loved and appreciated.  When you speak those words of encouragement, God is working through you to extend a blessing toward others.   
     Today see how the cycle of giving and receiving is manifesting in your life. See how the energy dwindles when you are fearful and selfish and how it comes alive when you give freely and trust there is enough here for everyone.
     Today think of all the people who have paid it forward for you and see if the opportunity arises for you to do the same for someone else.  If that opportunity arises, know that it is heaven-sent.   
      Today, you will have your own laboratory experience of scarcity and abundance.   What does it feel like to shrink back or turn away from others, believing they don’t deserve your help and support?   What does it feel like to doubt yourself and believe that you have nothing valuable to give?  On the other hand, what does it feel like to open your heart and trust that every gift you give will be helpful to someone?
     Today, do not be a miser or a cheapskate.  Do not hoard your resources or withhold them from others.  Be generous.  Give without thought of return.  Pay it forward for someone else.

Journaling Questions

Did I have opportunities today to give my time, attention, support and assistance to others? Did I pay it forward for someone else or give without expectation of return?

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