Do you ever 'shut down' another's generosity by refusing their help? Or equally unhelpfully do you have difficulty asking others for help? I have a tendency to both of these things, out of ignorantly believing it is important to be 'independent'.
The truth is that we are all interdependent and cannot survive a second without the kindness of others in all areas of our lives. In some circumstances it is helpful to take responsibility for doing things ourselves. At other times, refusing to accept help denies others the opportunity to feel good about themselves, and denies ourselves the opportunity to be grateful for their help.
Just the other day, I watched a woman board a tram with a small wheelie case. She had carried the case from the curb and appeared able to lift it onto the tram. A kind man intervened and asked her if he could help by lifting the case onto the tram for her. The woman graciously accepted the kind offer. I could see they were both happy about the outcome. This opportunity for a mutual feel good moment would have been denied if the woman had said, "No, thanks I don't need your help".
As I have been preparing for our road trip I have watched my mind go to that unhelpful spot of of martyrdom and resentment many times. Time for me to reread the 'From Resentment to Joy - I'll Do it Myself Little Red Hen' blog post which explores the idea of refusing to ask for help, as well as, what to do when we ask for assistance and others are unavailable.
When I am reluctant to ask for help, I find it useful to be aware of how unhelpful that stubborn habit can be. This refusal can lead to feelings of martyrdom, resentment and being an 'unhappy camper' as well as denying others the opportunity and joy of helping.
While it can be tricky to ask for help in the first place, it can be even trickier when we ask for help and others are unavailable to assist. We can feel like the 'little red hen' and decide to do it ourselves, as I did when the chicken coup needed rebuilding. However it is very useful to remember Gandhi's wise words here. He reminds us "Service which is rendered without joy neither helps the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy".
We have a choice when something needs to be done.
I find it helpful to remember when asking for generosity, to ask without expectation. Often when we ask for help we have the expectation of receiving it, often right away and to a certain standard!! Like everything we do, our intention behind our actions is what counts. While it is helpful to ask for assistance when needed it is best for our own minds if we can ask freely without expectation, especially unrealistic demanding ones. .
The pom-melbourne website is revamped! Yay and many thanks to the generosity of Sam, Tara Alice, Tenzin Lekdron, Sashi and all of you.
I hope you all enjoyed a Happy Easter. The next blog is on 'Being Generosity to Ourselves', so I have decided to put it into action and have a weeks break next week and connect with where I am. Have a great 2 weeks ahead. I look forward to connecting with you the week after next.
Many thanks, kind regards and very best wishes
Thank you all for your continued support, friendship and generosity.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
Have you ever had the experience of doing a generous act, like giving a present or a compliment only to have it 'shut down' by the recipient? Or have you been on the receiving end of a kind generous gesture and refused to graciously accept it, with a 'shut down' response like, 'you shouldn't have' or 'that is most unnecessary'? Out of ignorance I have certainly done this many times.
Recently, I was reminded how yucky it can feel when someone is unable to freely receive a gift. I had this great idea for a gift for a friend,and was so excited when I was the winning silent auction bidder! I gave it to them and they said "Oh, you shouldn't have done that, I can't accept it! I felt deflated, and recalled the many times I had 'shut down' another's generosity. Being unable to freely receive the generosity of others robs them of the opportunity to feel great about being generous. It also denies me the chance to be grateful. Both generosity and gratitude are simple ways we can create a happy self image and positive state of mind. Gratitude is an instant pick me up, when we are feeling down. It really helps when I can let go of judgment, of myself and others, around generosity - both as a giver and receiver. Now I understand how it feels to 'shut down' someones kindness and generosity I will do my best to remember not to do so and not to judge others who do this too. We are all doing the best with what we know at the time.
I think I am tempted to fall into this unhelpful habit of 'shutting down' another's generosity because I feel embarrassed or unworthy. I remember one time when I was feeling lousy, and a friend kindly bought me flowers to cheer me up - I saId "no I don't deserve them' as I gave them back to her!' Feeling inferior or unworthy is just the other side of the pride coin. Both are about comparing ourselves to others. pride feeling better than others and inferiority feeling worse than them. Both pride or feeling better than others, and feeling inferior or unworthy, are unhelpful and unkind and destroy our peace of mind and confidence, as well as deny others the opportunity to feel good about being generous.
There is a difference between humility and feeling inferior. Inferiority is when we put ourselves down. Humility on the other hand is the absence of pride or feeling better than others, it is not about feeling worse than others. Humility involves not taking yourself too seriously, being able to laugh warmheartedly when we make mistakes, and also to freely accept the generosity of others with gratitude. As we explored above, being unable to freely give and receive robs ourselves and others of feeling good!
Another thing I find helpful to remember when it comes to generosity is to give without expectation. Often when we give we have the expectation of receiving thanks or something in return. Like everything we do, our intention behind our actions is what counts. While it is always nice to receive and to give thanks, it is best for our own minds if we can have the intention to give freely without expectation of thanks or some pay back.
The pom-melbourne website is revamped! Yay and much thanks to the generosity of Sam, Tara Alice, Tenzin Lekdron, Sashi and all of you.
Happy Easter to you all.
And once again thank you all for your continued support, friendship and generosity.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
Don't you love generosity? When we have the opportunity to be generous ourselves and being on the receiving end of someone else's generosity, both feel great. I have been thinking lots about generosity lately. I seem to be seeing beautiful generous people everywhere recently. It is so funny when you are on the lookout for something, you begin to see it all over the place, good and bad. So why not focus on the positive!
We were fortunate enough to be invited to a MS charity fundraising ball on the weekend. The event was organised by generous twins, Millie and Sarah to raise money for MS research. Their mother, and my friend Antoinette, has had MS since before they were born. And raise money they sure did, half a million dollars! I was struck by the generosity of so many people there. Not just those donating money and buying auction items but the donors of prizes organisers, volunteers and others who had given their time freely and shared their expertise over the last twelve months and on the night. And I am sure there were many more behind the scenes people who gave generously of their time, money and resources too. Other acts of generosity were apparent too, including smiles, compliments, kindness, expressions of gratitude, sharing of stories of inspiration, humility, gratitude and courage, and support.
It was such fun getting ready for the ball. I felt a bit like Cinderella, in need of a spruce up. My hairdresser friend Jenny, came to my rescue and cut and styled my hair. She did a great job which left my family wondering what she had done with the previous me! When she had finished she generously said "no charge, donate the money you would have paid me to POM". I was so touched by her kindness and generosity. She was just like a fairy Godmother!
Generosity is such a great word. A teacher of mine prefers it to the word 'giving', in relation to the first of the 'Six Perfections', in Buddhism. The 'Six Perfections' are like the job description of a person doing their best to live a good life. In case you are wondering what the other five are, they are Kindness, Patience, Joyful Effort, Meditative Concentration and Wisdom. My teacher says generosity refers to open handedness; being generous with the world with our money, possessions and ourselves. We can be generous with our body, through acts of kindness, our speech through compliments, support, and encouragement, and our mind, through wishing others well and having compassionate kind thoughts. This open handedness or open heartedness opens us up to share with others and the world. It involves sharing ourselves in all dimensions, our time, support, smiles, listening ear, money, compassion, kindness, skills, knowledge and resources. As the Dalai Lama says "Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving kindness." Generosity is the opposite of being fearful and protective of ourselves. Generosity feels great!
We all have things to generously share with others, no matter how skilled, rich or well resourced we are. It is fun to use your imagination to think of ways to share generously with others, a smile is always a good starting point. I would love you to share you ideas with me, and I will include them in the coming blogs - anonymously if you wish. Email me here
Work on revamping the pom-melbourne website is done,for now. Yay and much thanks to the generosity of Sam, Tara Alice, Tenzin Lekdron, Sashi and you all.
Thank you all for your continued support and friendship and generosity
Kind Regards and Best Wishes