How to Give Joyfully

Take stock of what’s awesome in your life. Make a list if you need to.

First of all, if you’re reading this, you probably have internet access. You’re pretty intelligent. You’re a forward-thinking person who’s always looking to grow and become better. Chances are good that you’ve got some kind and loving people in your life, and most of your basic needs are met rather reliably.

We remember Maslow’s hierarchy, right? The more of your basic needs are being met, the more freedom you have to go be awesome. When you’re not worried about where your next meal is coming from, you can think about things like art and literature. You can go dancing or enjoy the sunshine. You’re able to look around and appreciate all the goodness in the world.

When you’re feeling good and grateful, ask yourself: “What if everyone was this lucky?” What if everyone could marry their best friend? What if everyone was healthy and felt good about their bodies? What if everyone had enough to eat and a safe place to sleep? When I notice how lucky I am and how good life is, I feel compelled to share it with everyone I can in whatever way I can. For me, that’s teaching yoga and writing. Especially when I’m teaching yoga, I have the opportunity to give people an experience of joy, compassion, and well-being that I think is priceless. And the joy I get from this? It’s immense.

That kind of giving is really receiving. I may be giving you a yoga class, but I’m receiving the immeasurable honor of connecting with you on your path. If you love cooking, giving a meal to your friends or someone in needs is wonderfully fulfilling. If you love fashion, helping someone assemble a perfect date or interview outfit could feel great. Anything you do can be turned into a gift to the world. You can coach coach a little league sports team, lead writing or art workshops, teach a friend to knit, or volunteer to support a cause you’re passionate about. If you share what makes you happiest and the most grateful, giving will feel like a blessing, and you’ll never want to stop.

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