It’s a word that has become an integral part of all our lives. It seems as if we are living life under constant stress. In struggling to achieve the balancing act between work, home, health and relationships it’s often hard to find the time to ‘give’ or even ‘give a damn’ about anything outside of our own compact lives.
We spend days, weeks and even months complaining about stress and life’s stressors when in fact just practicing ‘the art of giving’ can be a stress reliever.
Surely we can recount all those good intentions we thought about at the beginning of the year, planned to do but somehow never get around to actually executing. It’s easy to become despondent and self-absorbed in your own reality with nothing more than excuses to move you through to the next day. So what’s the solution? How can we create moments of giving in our busy lives and celebrate these as opportunities to share our inspiration and energy?
We can start by redefining giving as creating fulfilling exchanges throughout the day. It can be as simple as giving a stranger a smile as you are walking through a doorway or even offering a colleague or co-worker a compliment on something that you may have noticed but not expressed. The mutual connection a simple smile can bring unlocks that authentic state of being that you both share. And don’t be turned off if they don’t smile back. Share your joy without expectation- you never know how it will impact someone else’s day.
Redefine your attitude of gratitude! Stop and express personal gratitude for some of the simple acts of kindness that you may experience during the day, whether it be at work, at home or even to the security guard in the office or parking lot. Often I take a moment to roll down my car window and say “thank you” or “good morning”. Giving respect and acknowledgement to another human being tunes you into the frequency of humanity.
Giving a little bit of positive energy can go a long way in stirring the spirit of a stranger, friend or family member. I often end my phone conversations with “have a lovely day” in a truly heartfelt tone of voice. Whether I’m speaking with a client or just trying to secure an appointment, the energy I give to the exchange elevates the rapport I have with that person.
For me personally the most challenging is giving of my time. Sometimes relationships and friendships can get sidelined or sacrificed when projects are running and deadlines are due. I cannot always make it to “the girls’ lime”, lunch dates or dinner parties. But I have found a few ways to stay connected. I often phone a friend to join me at an exercise class or an activity that’s part of my healthy living routine. You would be surprised how grateful someone may be, to both to see you and have company to kickstart their own routines.
I love the idea of giving simply, whether it is a mango, a bag of fruit from your tree or a chocolate, it symbolizes one thing: I’ve been thinking about you.
For all of us there are opportunities to give of ourselves and share our spirits daily. No big plans, commitments or financial exchange required, just a little exchange of personal positive energy.
Writer: Natalie Alcantara