I am asking myself a few questions these days. Holidays are always a great time to check in with my intentions around giving. I check in with myself and try to get clear on what I believe, how my ideas have changed, and what I really feel about some shifting concepts that float around.

What is giving?

I wonder because when we sit down to mediation, we can have an idea about our agreement to mediate being this generous, giving act. Firstly, we can feel that we are 'giving' the other person 'the benefit of the doubt' or 'giving an inch' or 'giving a care'. We can feel ourselves releasing our grip on being right just a little, just enough so that we can sit in the room and face the other person with a modicum of humility. Secondly, we admit to ourself and others that we care about the situation or the relationship enough to interrupt and sit down to discuss things. And, we give ourselves a break. We realize that coming together as a team to solve a problem is a more effective way to affect change than going it alone.

Why do we give? Is it because of that sticky idea about getting something in return? Do we openly or secretly pray for the present or future payout for our generosity? Can it really be called generosity if we are being paid for it? What do we get in return? I often think of that fuzzy and warm feeling I get when I give, and the feeling of connectedness, the joy of sharing and developing my gifts with others. I think this is why collaboration feels very good to me. I believe that the best I have to offer is developed in community, and in collaborative and creative settings. This is how I approach mediation.

In this season of giving and getting, checking in with your intentions can help open your awareness around what really brings you joy, and the ways to further those feelings. It can be very stressful as well, and going into robot shopper mode can be efficient, but leave you feeling dead inside. Take a few moments to reflect.

How do you take care of yourself so that you can give with a generous heart?