Posted by Laurie J Cameron
Gratitude gives rise to generosity. When we feel the abundance in our life by deliberately turning attention to it, sharing our time, love and resources flows more easily. Being generous is a practice that can help define who you are - but keep in mind that you actually have to practice it. According to sociologists who study the effects of generosity, this action has to be sustained over time to become a trait.
Try these steps below to cultivate a mind and heart for generosity.
Be present for loved ones. The greatest gift you can offer anyone you love is your presence, according to Thich Nhat Hanh. Before you spend time with a loved one, close your eyes, breathe, and allow your body to settle, letting go of any stress or tightness. Now you are ready to be fully there for your companion.
Listen generously. Pay attention with an open mind. and genuine interest. Make time and space to take in not only the content of the spoken words, but also the feelings and emotions of the speaker.
Embrace gratitude. Make a list once a week of things you are grateful for and why they matter. Focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t will build a sense of abundance and make it much easier for you to be generous with others in all aspects of your life.
Give your time. Align your skills and strengths with your community’s needs. Volunteer at a school, cook a meal, mentor someone who is learning. Every small act counts—holding the door, carrying groceries, fixing a neighbor’s car.
Generate positive thoughts. Make it a habit to be generous in how you think about others. Counter your tendency to judge or compare others with focusing on the good in each person you encounter—especially your loved ones. Express appreciation specifically and frequently; send “thank you” notes, emails, texts—whatever gets the message across.