I was sitting with my Buddhist Monk friend, Geshe, yesterday and I told him

I am stingy.

How do I become more giving?

Let me start by saying that I am giving. I want to own that I love to give but only of very certain things: my time, words of encouragement, love, and acts of service.

I was recently at a dear friends house who was moving and I asked her what I could for her, she said in a quiet voice would you mind washing my baseboards. Of course I said and was elated to be able to do something to help her.

Yet there are some areas of life where I am not giving: money or my material things. I tend to grasp and hold tightly onto my money and my things.

When I brought this up with Geshe he said many profound things and here are a few I want to pass along:

  1. The desire to be stingy is based in fear, fear that there isn’t enough.
  2. He said, Kimberly the only reason you are stingy with money and material things is because you have forgotten that all money and things are not actually yours they are the Worlds and the Universe’s. They are part of the collective of everything that exists. 
  3. He also said true giving has no expectations attached to it. True giving is just that. It is giving without expecting anything in return. It is trusting that when you give that it will come back to you. It might not come back to you in the same form but understand and believing that it will indeed come back.
  4. He also made a profound distinction for me. Giving is not about what you do. Generosity is a state of being. It is a way of living. It is who you are. When generosity becomes your truest nature then everything you do, you do in a generous way. It isn’t like you are generous one moment and then not the next. It is the way you breath, walk, and do everything.

I took what he said and I sat with it last night. I also am reading a book called Self-Observation by Red Hawk and in it, it states “the act of self observation is the only change a human being needs to make in her behavior, everything else, all fundamental changes in behavior, emotion, and thinking arise as a by-product of this practice”. (9)

Combining all of this new information I have concluded this:

In order to become more generous I must just become aware and observe my current relationship with giving. Notice the moments when I want to be stingy or I am living in fear. Simply notice. Notice time and time and time again. Notice the patterns and then watch them break down overtime.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something. I believe this to be no different. It might 10,000 times to see a pattern before it breaks or before you can guess that it is coming before it actually comes and to be able to in those moments change direction, path, or behavior. It is in the continual observation without judgment that it becomes possible to do something different. 

This brings up another huge thing for me and it is around judgment. When we simple observe and don’t judge ourselves then we stop destroying ourselves, our hearts, our souls, and our confidence. We just see what is happening and allow it to be which gives it space to evolve, grow, and shift or change.

I also believe that to become generous it takes simply asking yourself in moments of awareness if I were walking my life in generosity what would it look like?

And in those moments if it feels right  to play with shifting into what my vision is and trying something new. Experimenting with how I am. In those moments practice giving without expectations. Practice walking in generosity. Notice and practice.

Notice and practice.

Now it is your turn to share! I want to hear from you.

In what ways do you notice you struggle with giving? Or in what ways do you love to give and how does giving make you feel?

Please share below and also if you are so called share these words with anyone you think could gain something from them!

In deep gratitude,

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