Monday, May 4, 2009

Giving to receive

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

— from “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver

It seems like a lot of us are worrying lately. Worrying about money. Worrying about health. Worrying sometimes about whether our lives are headed in the right direction and whether there is time (once again) to change course and accomplish anything. Sound familiar?

I find that when I focus on what I think I need and don’t have, life seems small, constricted. I feel a kind of panic in my body as if I’m fighting for air. To me, greed isn’t so much a sin as an affliction; it keeps me isolated and miserable.

Fortunately, there’s a reliable cure: generosity—to myself and the world. Instead of focusing on what I lack and scrambling desperately to get it (“Oh, please, hire me, feed me, love me …”), I wake up each morning and think, “What am I going to create today? What am I going to give the world?” And life becomes more spacious. I feel peaceful and calm and powerful—and excited. And that’s a gift to me.

Maybe you thought I was going to say that gratitude is the cure. It is if it takes form in action. Recognizing and appreciating who we are (our genius, our beauty) and what we have (the people, relationships and resources available to us) are a good start, but only that. To be “married to amazement,” “to take the world into our arms” requires honoring what we have been given by using those things to make a difference in the world.

Today I want to cultivate a healthy body, an animated spirit, a clear mind, and a generous heart. I want to dwell in my highest self: Alert and powerful. Amazing. Connected. Confident. Sexy. Dangerous. Delightful. Insightful. Smart. Talented. Spirited. Reverent. Irreverent. Courageous. Compassionate. Creative. Funny. Alive!

I want to contribute to a world that’s kinder and more peaceful and more generous. I want to help others in whatever way I can to find their own truths and power and happiness. I want to experience the joy that comes with giving freely of my talents, my “gifts.”

What about you? What do you want to create today? Share a comment here and tell me about it. I’d really love to know.

My best to you,

Gene Smith
Life & Wellness Coach
Life Turned On™

Wild Life personal growth practice group
meets Saturday, May 16 • 1:00–3:00 PM
in downtown Asheville, NC
For details, visit our page.
(You don't have to join the group to attend the meeting.)
Have tea with us and share a lively exploration of how we can create the lives we want to live!

Copyright 2009 Eugene Y. Smith, III. All rights reserved.

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