Giving is one of the best ways to feel fulfilled and to feel part of something bigger. Helping others gives us a sense of well being, accomplishment, and happiness that is hard to replicate. What if we could always be giving back as much as we take from the world? What gifts would you choose to give back to the world?
Think about how much you take. Not in a selfish way, I’m not saying all you do is take. But the world gives you so much every single moment. From the air you breathe, to the food on your plate, to all the blessings in your life, that world has gifted you that. That’s definitely hard to repay.
Striking a balance between what we take and what we give back is a difficult thing to do. But with some mindful actions we can do it and help others, the world, and ourselves feel better in the process.
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8 Gifts to Give back to the world
Mindfulness changes almost everything for us. Mindfulness, meditation, and all of those seemingly spiritual guru nonsense things are genuinely beneficial. That’s why many have pervaded throughout the history of man.
Recently though, scientists have begun to study mindfulness and discovered what all those gurus already knew. Mindfulness makes you a better person. I have a full article on the scientific benefits of mindfulness but I’ll give you a teeny tiny synopsis.
Studies have shown that mindfulness makes you more patient, increases your self-control, helps your brain remain adaptable and open to change, and the most surprising one to me – reduces age and racial bias. Yeah, mindfulness literally helps you be less racist and ageist. *Perhaps US Congress should make more time for mindfulness in there days*
Read the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
This fable on following your dreams was literally life changing for me. It changed my whole perception of life and made me recognize the unique role each of us play to continuing to benefit the universe.
Now, I definitely don’t say that lightly. I think that if you claim something changes your life, it damn well better have genuinely changed your life in a big way. Well, the Alchemist changed my life.
I don’t love traditional personal development books but I have always loved fables, fairytales, and morality tales. Even as a little girl, those helped me change, grow, and see the world in a different light more so than any lecture or non fiction book about growth or right + wrong.
Maybe it’s because I’m defiant. Maybe it’s because I’ve always liked to make inferences for myself about the meaning of a story. The point is, the Alchemist is amazingly written, it’s short, and it’s inspiring. Funnily enough, it was the book that finally helped me take the plunge into my dream of being a writer. (It took me two years before I did it, but still it was part of the inspiration).
Also what I’m going to say next will make more sense if you’ve read the book. Any local library probably has it, but you can also get it yourself right here if you’re like me and wish to reread it every year or so.
Follow Your “Personal Legend”
In the Alchemist the story is centered around your personal legend. To sum up it’s definition, it’s basically your life’s destiny or spiritual purpose. In the book, Santiago, the main character, knows that his personal legend is to travel. So he does. And because he follows his personal legend, the universe gifts him with an extraordinary life + adventure because the universe wants us all to achieve our personal legends.
The book says that “the universe is always conspiring to help us reach our personal legends”. The thought is that our personal legends feed the soul of the universe and create a better world, thus making everyone’s lives better and more fulfilling.
Your personal legend doesn’t have to earth shattering either. Perhaps you want to travel like Santiago. Do it. Maybe you dream to be a CEO, a mother, or save the world. So do it. Maybe you’ve always had a passion for helping people or maybe a strong connection with animals. Work with that.
Most if not all of us know exactly what our personal legends are at young ages. They are our passions, our dreams, and our views of the world before we are told that we can’t be or do those things. When our personal legends are crushed we bury them to follow a more “correct” path, never feeling truly happy until following our hearts and seeking out our personal legends.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of the people who leaves big corporate jobs to follow their dreams of being an artist or writer or something else that’s traditionally looked down upon. The result is often that those people who take that risk are often happier even if they never make as much money. They are fulfilling their personal legends. They are constantly sharing the gifts they have to give with the world.
Healing Your Traumas, Hurts, and Pain
Healing isn’t cute. It’s not bubble baths and face masks. It’s quite ugly. And painful. Sometimes healing feels as though it’ll kill you and just as you feel as though you’re going to die, your pain + trauma begins to lift. And you have hope for a brighter day. Things get better and you feel better. Then you begin to heal something else and go through the same cycle again.
If healing were easy, think about how much better the world would be. People only hurt others because they themselves haven’t dealt with their own pain.
And often the people who hurt us most are the ones who love us most. Our family no matter how much we love them are often the ones who cause our traumas – some bigger than others. They are the ones who raise us, who don’t mean to hurt us, but the still bestow their pain onto us. This happens mainly if they haven’t dealt with their pain from the way they were raised and it becomes a giant generational pain cycle that’s passed on like an heirloom. But if we break that cycle and work on healing ourselves, our future families and children won’t suffer the same things and that heirloom will be left in the past.
Breaking the cycle of pain, hurt and misery that’s passed on from generation to generation improves the overall functionality and peace of future generations. If we want the world to be a brighter and better place, removing the hurt and pain that we can is one of the greatest gifts to give since future generations will have other issues to deal with….like climate change. (Just saying…).
Someone has to choose to heal and break the cycles of pain + trauma. You just have to ask yourself if you’re the one brave enough to take on the task.
In a world where you can buy anything and often have it shipped to your front door in 2 days, any gifts seems to be within reach. However, one of the best and most powerful gifts to give is one we forget to give all the time. Kindness is one of the most beautiful things to receive. It is free, limitless, and spreads through everything that it touches.
In a world that can often be harsh, cruel, and dark for many people, being kind is one of the bravest things you can do. Refusing to let the bad steal away the spark that radiates your kindness, takes strength.
Choosing to be kind to someone who is a total ass, doesn’t make you a doormat. It makes you strong, brave, and resilient. Kindness is the world’s greatest gift to give because it can feel so hard to give.
Smiling at a stranger, complimenting something good in someone, telling someone that you love them are all things that take less than a minute to do. And although it’s only one minute for you, it can literally change someone’s whole life.
Something you feel is a small thing can make someone feel loved, important, and seen. It’s hard even to begin to imagine how big of a chain of reaction you can start. So yeah, kindness matters. It is a priceless gift.
Patience is an underrated skill. It is also one of the more thoughtful gifts to give to the world and yourself. Patience is much like kindness in the fact that it affects everything it touches.
Be patient with those that frustrate you, we all struggle, we’re only human. I guarantee that no one’s perfect and we all mess up plenty.
But when we do make mistakes, ridicule, criticism, and mockery never leave us feeling better. When someone chooses to be patient with us, to help us figure out our shit, and to teach us to do better without condescension or an attitude we value it so much more. We feel valued. And heard. And better.
If we feel so much better when someone gives us a little more patience, imagine how good you can make other people feel by extending them that same courtesy.
And this doesn’t just go for other people. Have some patience with yourself. You are a human being too. You mess up and you succeed. You’re doing the best you can so cut yourself some slack. Don’t let your worst critic be the one you face in the mirror every day. Don’t allow yourself to be the one who takes everything wonderful away from you.
Be as patient with yourself as you’d like others to be with you. Stay patient with others because life is hard and honestly, we all kind of suck at it.
Pick Up Trash
I think most of us are pretty good with our manners already. Saying please and thank you, being courteous, and chewing with our mouths closed are pretty standard things for all of us (I hope, at least). But what about going beyond the basics? The basics are expected, things beyond that are gifts you can give.
Help the planet by picking up trash – not just your trash – trash in general. You don’t have to make a big thing of it, it can be as simple as picking up a candy wrapper off the ground when you walk by.
One of the best lessons I have learned in life is to leave a place cleaner than when you found it. I learned in preschool and at the time, holy hell did I find it annoying.
However, in college I realized how good this gift was. I had a roommate. She was filthy. Like flies buzzing around our room because she had so much rotting food laying around filthy. Nothing was worse than coming back to our dorm only to find a mess and a stench. I hated being in my own room and I know she hated my obvious discomfort and the several arguments we had over the mess. It still to this day bugs me that someone was always so inconsiderate in a shared space.
The point of that story is, your actions and choices can affect others. If you leave a place a mess, you might cause discomfort to another person. You may force them to waste time cleaning up after you or cause unnecessary stress.
So, leave a place cleaner than you found it. Someone else’s inconsiderateness shouldn’t be a standard to which you allow yourself to lower yourself to. Making a place nicer than when you found it show integrity, respect, and a love for your planet, your fellow humans, and yourself. Let your mark on the world be something more beautiful than when you found it.
At the risk of sounding like a generic cliche, be authentic and be you. Your unique talents, quirks, and personality makes the world a more colorful and diverse place.
The first law of thermodynamics states “energy cannot be created or destroyed”. Therefore, your body, your soul, and whatever gives us life is part of the original universe. You are part of the big bang….theoretically, of course.
This means that you maintain a certain balance to the world and frankly, you matter. Your skills, your talents, your personal legend all matter.
So simply being yourself and showing the world all you have to offer are fantastic gifts to give. Authenticity is a rare and beautiful thing now-a-days. Let your weirdness shine, friend. Let all your other weirdos find you!
You as an individual, have so much to give to the world. Even on your worse days where the universe seems to be against you, the strength you show by simply pushing through is a gift in it of itself.
You’re a smart, capable, + bad ass lady who brings so much to the table. Live authentically for yourself, follow your passions, be good to the earth + to those around you, and stop doubting all the gifts you have to give. You are enough.
The universe gives you so many blessings as well as challenges to help you grow. Nurturing the whole give + take thing really helps the world reciprocate the kindness you show.
And I know that it can be hard to realize how much you have to offer. We are told from a young age to question everything about ourselves that it becomes rebellious to love who you are and think that you are good enough.
I know it’s crazy but mindfulness helps with almost anything you can think of. Be a more thoughtful, self-loving, and accepting person with mindfulness. Start now + choose to sign up for a bunch of great free resources below. You’re smart. You know you want them.
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