Giving and Generosity; both are worthy investments of our time, our energy, and our spirit.
“Wealth, thought the people of old, is found not so much in your possessions, but in the ability to give generously of what you possess.”
” Dr. George Kanahele, KÅ« Kanaka, Stand Tall
Managing with Aloha has brought incredible enrichment to my life. Seldom does a day go by that I am not counting my blessings with a deep sense of mahalo (thankfulness, appreciation, and gratitude) for what has become ‘normal’ day to day living for me.
One of those frequently counted blessings, is that I have newly learned to give again. Because Managing with Aloha is being recognized as the gift it is, in sharing the MWA philosophy for worthwhile work, I have wonderful opportunities to give much of the coaching of it away. I give much of me away. As a result, I am able to live with aloha because I am living with the value of generosity.
Giving, and being able to give of your talent, skill and knowledge freely, is absolutely wonderful, for it serves as a kind of acknowledgement of your worth. It’s like beautiful music playing in your head and sung as “yes, this is my life, and I’m supposed to be here living it as I am.” When thought of this way, giving becomes a kind of self-discovery.
Further, giving of what you have and who you are simply feels good and right, and afterwards you can experience such warm-hearted contentment. There is this magical kind of creation which happens within acts of unselfish giving. You actually seem to collect greater abundance in life because you’ve given a good part of yourself away. You’ve made room for more capacity.
In Hawai‘i, we call the value of generosity lokomaika‘i (lo-ko-my-ka-ee), a word which literally means ‘of good heart.’ When we give of ourselves to others, our hearts open up and connect to our aloha spirit within, and as a result, the goodness of heart we may possess is renewed and fortified. Our hearts beat stronger, and the spirit coursing through us is enlivened.
It took me a while to get here, to this place in my life where I’m successful enough to handle all my responsibilities, and still have the ability to give. I suppose that is why I am enjoying it as much as I am; it has felt like a pretty long journey in getting this far.
As satisfying as it can be to do so, giving can be tough for us as we get tugged at by the different forces in our lives. And often, money and our financial freedom actually has quite little to do with it. The big culprits are time and energy, that is, our perceived lack of having both in greater availability. This is why our self care (mālama) becomes so important, for no matter how much we might want to, we can’t give if we ourselves find we are running low and dry.
So there will be a two-stepper for us this month as we adopt lokomaika‘i, the value of generosity into our lives and into our much-more-often practice:
First, we will commit to taking better care of ourselves. Self-care is not selfish; it is necessary nourishment, and the fuel which enables us to give.
Second, we will give of ourselves, exploring all the different ways we can thrill and thrive in generosity, and thus be lokomaika‘i, of good heart.
Tell you what: There are thirty-one glorious summer days in the month of July. Consider joining me in a one-a-day habit, where lokomaika‘i, you give of yourself in ways that will serve to boost your own spirit. It doesn’t take that much; close behind the lack of time and lack of energy, the third culprit which prevents us from giving more than we do, is the lack of inspiration and creativity.
When you pause to think about all of this, Lokomaika‘i can definitely give you a new view of success, can’t it. Success becomes having an abundance of time, energy, creativity, and the inspiration to fully put all three things into your best possible use of them.
So this month, my very generous Ho‘ohana Community, I call on all of you to help me by giving your inspiration and creativity to this lokomaika‘i connection of living with aloha. What are your ideas with giving? What suggestions do you have for a one-a-day new habit of lokomaika‘i? I’ll get us started with a few of mine:
—On Day 1, we can Give our undivided attention to those who engage with us – ignore that blackberry and cellphone!
—On Day 2, we can Give our willingness to try a new idea at work we’ve been resistant to up to now.
—On Day 3, we can Give a Daily Five Minutes.
—On Day 4, we can Give an encouraging comment to a brand new blogger, or a book review to a new author.
—On Day 5, we can Give a compliment to someone in our family we’ve absent-mindedly taken for granted lately.
—On Day 6, we can Give of our network, and introduce one of our friends to another who can benefit from knowing them.
—On Day 7, we can Give some encouragement to someone we know is struggling with a challenge.
—On Day 8, we can Give more hugs to our children, no matter how old they are.
—On Day 9, we can Give our understanding, resisting the urge to speak the quick judgment that may have come to mind first.
—On Day 10, we can Give our appreciation, sincerely and genuinely saying thank you to those who positively impact us.
—On Day 11, we can Give our knowledge, and share some coaching with someone new to a job we have experience with.
—On Day 12, we can Give our aloha, by doing whatever it takes to bring the joy of unconditional love to another.
Add to the list!
Ho‘ohana with me, and lokomaika‘i this month; learn of your own joy within the generosity of your spirit.
Let’s talk story: The comments are open for your one-a-day suggestions!
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