I am fascinated by the power of generosity, specifically as it relates to serving others.  Whether we volunteer at a soup kitchen or give protein bars to someone on the street, the idea that we are meant to share what we have with others has been transformational for me and become a life long spiritual practice.

There are countless ways to share our resources:  Maybe we give to a charity that charges our credit card a recurring amount each month?  Or maybe we have donations deducted from our paychecks so we never see the money at all before we give?  Maybe we pick up an empty soda can on the ground and get it to the proper receptacle, or look a stranger in the eye and say hello.  From dusk to dawn all we need to do is open our eyes and we will see opportunities to be generous.

But is generosity always about others?  Must we repeatedly consider the needs of others, and tend to them, possibly at the expense of self-care, self-love and even self-indulgence?  

I remember hearing what I considered an “answer” to this dilemma while at a meditation event with Author and Teacher Tara Brach several years ago.  

Tara quietly and confidently stated: “We have two hands:  One to serve and one to savor.”  

As we open one of our palms and give generously, the other palm automatically opens and is necessarily replenished as the flow of abundance washes through us, taking on the spirit of our intention.  This live circuit of abundance merges and circulates with our wish to be generous, just as this live circuit so too, can be oppositely activated with an intention of harm.  In that case, as our toxic wish leaves the palm of our open hand, the other hand opens and is necessarily replenished with negativity.

Connecting this concept back to the question of whether generosity has to always be about others, the answer must  be “Yes.”  And is it always about us, also?  Actually, the answer too, has to be “Yes.”  Once we truly understand the inter-connectedness of our intentions and actions towards others and ourselves, and vice versa, we then make decisions that bring harmony to all.  When our intentions are loving, it matters not what happens after we act.

If you’re not sold yet, take a quick peek at this post from last year about a spiritual community that raised money for a family with an ill child, only to later learn it was a scam.

But let’s get back to “Serving and Savoring”:  One final point is that in as much as we act in service to others, we are also accountable for our personal “savoring” element of the instruction.  When we give beyond what we have to share, when we are generous with others and leave nothing for ourselves, when we block Joy, Love and Harmony from ourselves, we are not fully keeping up our duty to not only serve, but also savor, all the Goodness that surrounds us here, now, always.

As you maneuver through your day today, bring your attention to both of your hands and contemplate the nature of the energy running through them like a circuit.  Is it comforting?  Is it painful?  Are the waves nurturing or are they destructive?  As needed, make some adjustments to see if you can equalize the balance of the “Serve and Savor” practice and let us know how it goes!  Remember, if you’re feeling negativity, try practicing random acts of generosity and watch the energy begin to shift!  If you’re feeling goodness and nurturing energy, keep, well, doing what you’re doing!

Have fun with this!

Click to access the login or register cheese