In the spirit of this season in which we’re surrounded by materialistic gluttony, I find myself clinging to this book I started reading this past summer. Ever the Oprah favorite, “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach was originally penned during the recession of the early 1990’s and it was published in 1995.
I’m a little disturbed at the ongoing similarities of what was happening then and what’s still going on now; families have had to pare down their standards of living, people were living beyond their means by succumbing to the pressure to keep up with the Joneses etc.
Will we finally learn the lesson this time? Instead of giving and acquiring more things that then require ever-expanding space to store them, can’t we give more of ourselves, of our authentic talents?
Just bear with me…I’m not saying Santa should completely disappear, but as we toggle between the gift-giving season and beginning a new year with fresh resolutions, can we begin to imagine and implement something different?
On the September 2nd entry Sarah wrote, “Each of us was created to give outward expression to Divinity through our personal gifts. Sharing our gifts with the world is our Great Work, no matter what our job description might be or how our resume reads.”
What are the unique talents innate to you? Make a list of everything you’re good at, even the things you think don’t matter. Whether you’re an organizational guru, an excellent restaurant picker, a good listener, or give amazing hugs; can you contribute more of those qualities?
“Sharing our gifts with the world” means using the neighborhood or your family and friends as your platform.
We can get caught up in believing we have to be able to sing, dance, act, or offer something that’s largely impactful to the masses to believe we’re “talented.” But that’s not true. That’s only what the media values.
We first have to recognize and be aware of our abilities and be truly grateful for them. It’s only when we feel abundant that we then begin sharing, giving the “gift” of us.
And yet, sometimes the spiritual cheapskate comes out and we don’t want to give to certain types of people. You know…the ones who are never appreciative. We get annoyed and defensive as if we’re being abused when we’re constantly the ones who do one task for others and we start to complain, “Why am I always the one who does —–?” (I’m totally guilty of this.)
When this question pops up it’s the perfect time to reevaluate our original intention. Were we seeking recognition or gratitude? Did we have a subtle expectation? Because when we then, hold back and refuse to do one-said task anymore we withdraw ourselves and become less open.
But, what I call, “The Bank of Karma” is not so discriminative. It doesn’t have individual, siloed accounts that you give and withdraw from on a person to person, or situation to situation basis. It operates on a random collective; what feeling you put in, you’ll get back from someone, somewhere.
Giving selflessly is giving love. So do what you do unyielding, with grace, without expectation. Practice daily the gesture of love with no strings.
Everyone is talented every day. It’s part of our “Great Work” to serve through the greatest gift we have, the beauty of our individuality.