7 Ways To Give From The HeartWritten by shayna hiller
When I was in Kindergarten, every Thursday was the ‘school store’. My parents gave me a few dollars and I could choose from a wide array of pencils, notebooks, and fun erasers. I absolutely loved the school store. Unfortunately, I always came home empty handed. My mom found it strange that she had given me money and I was not coming home with anything from the school store. Not only that, but I was sad. One morning, my mom secretly followed me into school and watched me at the school store. What she witnessed was a bunch of kids asking me if they could borrow a nickel, a dime, or a quarter. I said yes. I liked saying yes. Yes was good. So I gave all my money away. Then I had none for myself. And then I was sad because I could not enjoy the school store, which was one of my desires. In this respect, giving is not authentic. Of course, at a young age there are many factors that may have contributed to my lack of awareness in the moment. I said yes because I thought it was the right thing to do, not necessarily because I truly wanted to give away all of my money. I wanted a damn eraser!
There is a difference between people pleasing, obligation, and truly giving from the heart. And when we give from our heart, regardless of the ‘size’ of the gift, whether it be a fresh picked flower, a home cooked meal, or a Mercedes Benz… that giving goes deep. It has meaning, love, and depth to it. I don’t believe that we should not exchange material gifts. Material gifts are lovely, but only when the offering stems from the heart… from awareness… with no intention or expectation to receive anything in return. Giving for the pure joy of giving. Similarly, when we give out of obligation or duty, in the long run that type of giving is not sustainable. Either the giver will eventually feel resentment, and/or the receiver will never feel fulfilled. When a gift comes from the heart, it is received from the heart. And that type of exchange is pure nutrition for the soul. I also happen to believe it is our sole purpose as humans on this planet…
Here are 7 ways to give from your heart:
1. Surprise someone. Think of someone in your life you would like to surprise. Leave something on their doorstep, on their car windshield, or at their desk at work. It can be something as simple as a note telling them how wonderful they are. Do it because it makes you feel good.
2. Think of what the other person actually wants. Many people do not actually want a new shirt. Fine, maybe some do. But if you take the time to dig a bit deeper, especially if the person you are giving to is a lover or a close friend or family member, perhaps the desire for a new shirt is actually a desire for a compliment on how beautiful they are. It can be as simple as that. When we take the time to truly think about what the other person is craving, it is usually something emotional and not physical. A little bit of both never hurts. 🙂
3. Think outside of the box. One of my favorite gifts of all is to send people tickets to a show or event. I believe that experiences are what shape, define, and inspire us far beyond anything physical. Take someone on a weekend getaway that they will enjoy. Take someone for a hike and create a healthy picnic lunch. It doesn’t need to be fancy to be fantastic.
4. Prepare food with love. Speaking of picnic, cooking and preparing organic food is not only a meditation for the one who prepares it, but when you pour your heart and soul and presence into the food you create, guess what type of nourishment the receiver gets? You guessed it! 100% Vitamin L (Love)
5. Listen. One of the most powerful gifts we can give another is our full undivided attention. Be there for someone. If they need to talk, cry, get something off their chest, whatever it is… just listen. It may seem simple and it actually sometimes difficult. Do not give advice. Do not personalize it or compare their story to your own. Just be there. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us without trying to ‘fix’ us or ‘solve’ a problem. Your silence and presence is a true gift from the heart.
6. Smile. Smiling boosts your immune system, and it has the potential to brighten someone else’s entire day. Don’t smile because you feel obligated to smile or because it’s the right thing to do. Smile because you want to… smile as you look into a friend’s or better yet a stranger’s eyes and acknowledge that you two are connected. Smile when you pass someone on the street. You may be surprised that all of the strangers you smile at will smile right back. You get what you give when you give from your heart. Karma, baby.
7. Self-Care. When you take care of yourself through proper nutrition, getting enough rest, movement, yoga and meditation, you are literally more able to serve humanity from your very center. When you can move from your own center… the core of who you are… when you feel whole unto yourself, you are capable of inspiring others to discover their own inner radiance and peace.