June is about the theme generosity.
One of the aspects of generosity is the circle of being generous and at the same time being open to having others be generous with us.
The circle of giving and receiving.
This is a short post with a call for you to consider how round your circle is. Both sides of the circle are important and can lead to fulfillment and happiness. Miss one side of the circle and there are consequences.
In working with clients for so many years, I have had the opportunity to be in what I would describe as a learning laboratory. What I have seen is that most people are good at giving. We are taught that we should be giving, and that is what we do.
On the flip side- most people are not great on the receiving end. From not allowing someone to hold the door, to accept having dinner bought for them, to big favors or gifts- no matter the size– we seem to be programmed from a young age to say- no thank you, I couldn’t accept, that’s okay, you don’t need to do that. It even shows up in our words- it was nothing, no big deal, don’t mention it- and the likes when someone tries to compliment or edify us.
No one teaches us that there is a circle. (Except Catherine Ponder who’s book Open Your Mind to Receive and learning from Toni Stone once I grew up and was fortunate to cross paths with their wisdom!) Missing one side, a circle can not turn.
If we give and give and don’t accept the return, we become resentful. We can get depleted. We shortchange ourselves from receiving some things that could bless our lives, lighten our day, really help us out, or just let us experience kindness!
When we don’t allow ourselves to be the recipient of the generosity of others, we shortchange THEM, too! How? Well, you know how great you feel when you do something nice and are generous for someone else? It feels SO great to be generous with others. If you do not allow the generosity, you rob the would be giver of those great feelings. Because you won’t accept, they don’t get to feel great.
Think of how you feel when you attempt to be generous and someone won’t accept. How does that feel for YOU?
What to think about:
How are you with giving? What was the last generous thing you did? How was it received and how did you feel?
How are you doing with receiving? What was the last thing someone offered you, said to you- they were being generous toward you? How did you react? If you accepted, how did you feel? If you rejected, how did you feel? How do you think they felt?
This does not mean you have to accept everything offered to you if you truly don’t want it, but I encourage you to really think about it instead of offering the reflex “no”. Remember: programming.
For instance- This morning at CVS the man at the check out offered me an opportunity to get a CVS card. I didn’t want the card, so I did not accept. Instead I said “no thank you, I don’t want that right now, but I appreciate you offering it.” That is a line we can practice saying whenever offered something that does not work for us.
In the meantime, let’s not get distracted. What I am talking about here are those times when you are turning down something that is great, would work for you, would help you, might even save you, you would enjoy or could use the help with. THOSE are the ones I am talking about.
Your homework, should you choose to accept it, is for the next week notice all of the times you attempt to be generous and what happens when you do. Also, notice all of the times someone is attempting to be generous with you and how you act/react. No judgement, just awareness to take stock of where you are at here. Just notice.
Getting that circle running around smoothly WILL affect your life in a positive way. Experiment with it to see for yourself. Please leave any comments or email me directly with what you notice! Enjoy generosity, coming and going!