Theresa Byrne wants you to be a giver this year. A giver TO yourself and a giver OF yourself
I believe each of us showed up on the planet for a reason. Along the way, there are lots of fun and quirky spiritual laws we get to learn and practically apply in our lives.
That’s IF we choose to learn AND apply them as a practice, I mean. That’s right, that whole crazy “free will” thing absolutely takes precedence. If we chose to ignore these spiritual laws they’re still happily going on around us while we sit and wonder “what happened?” Many years ago I realized these spiritual laws not only existed, but were as active as my beloved laws of physics so I became a student of them and stopped being at their mercy. I’m far from perfect but along the way I’ve learned a thing or two and I love sharing them with my clients.
Now why do I say the laws have “quirks”? Because each law also has it’s own unique “ins and outs” which you can only learn as you practice them; things you can only see from the inside of them. Ask anyone who has made a practice of the spiritual laws and they will tell you, “Ah yes, you never want to pray for patience. Then you get lesson after lesson where you get to try your patience to high heaven. It’s maddening. Pray for peace instead. It’s a much less bumpy road.”
One such spiritual law is the Cycle of Giving and Receiving; now this one is a “toughie”, so many of us get stuck in places along the way.
The universe operates through dynamic exchange . . . giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe. And in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives. ––Deepak Chopra
I had someone I greatly respect say something to me recently that stuck in my mind, “In this world, there are givers. There are receivers. And there are takers. You are a giver. You seem to be a decent receiver, but I’ve never seen you take.” I didn’t quite understand what he meant at the time, and because my brain sees things uniquely I’ve been mulling over this whole concept of giving, receiving, and gifts recently.
As this is the start of a new year, I ask this of you:
What is the greatest gift you can give to yourself this year?
Here are some ideas to get you percolating and I ask that you commit to choosing up to three as a practice.
The Gift of Joy: These gifts might be time to pursue external things you love or to find something you love that brings you joy.
- If you don’t know what brings you joy, then take an opportunity to get quiet and listen to what that still small voice and see what your inner self would like you to try.
- It might be painting, writing, poetry, nature, singing, taking a class in pottery, rock-climbing, yoga, driving race cars, learning martial arts/boxing a bag, or learning a new language.
- Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to cook. Or write a novel. Create an iPhone app that could be the Next Best Thing.
- Perhaps you love spending time with certain friends that energize you, or connect with others that give you love, support, or general feeling of care. Give yourself the gift of connecting with them.
- Maybe reading is a passion but it’s not efficient or effective so you don’t take the time. Now you can make it a practice.
- There might be something that you’ve always wanted to try, but something stopped you. If you make it a practice, you can get over that block under the guise of learning.
- Learn to play an instrument, dance a certain style, or take a class in something unusual.
- Sign up for a class at Home Depot if you’ve always wondered how to fix stuff but never knew how (oh I’m so putting that on my list! I love the joy of fixing things but never learned the basics!)
The Gift of Self Care: It might be learning to take care of yourself, one of the most valuable giving practices you can take on! As anyone who has suffered through a debilitating or chronic illness can attest, they were forced to learn self-care because life became unbearable without it. Don’t wait until you’re drained or exhausted to make your own self-care a priority! (I’ve coached heaps of healers struggling through this practice so often that it’s become one of those quirks of the Cycle of Giving and Receiving. Healers often give too much, or over-give and must learn how to give to themselves as a lifeline). Many people have never been taught healthy boundaries for themselves (I teach boundaries as a practice in self-care).
“Self care isn’t selfish. It’s self-preservation.” Theresa Byrne Author InPower: 3 Ways to Unleash Your Superpowers
- Quiet time to reflect and renew. Journaling is great for getting our thoughts out of our heads onto paper or computer.
- Writing can also become cathartic if used as a way of “feeding your soul”.
- Gratitude practices help us alleviate the negativity that may come up in our bodies and in our spirits. By simply writing down and feeling 3-5 things you’re grateful for each night and WHY: you can shift the neurochemistry.
- Exercising our bodies, even if it’s simple range of motion for joints and muscles. If higher intensity is tolerated then go do that, our bodies love the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with our blood pumping! *(If you haven’t been exercising, start SLOWLY and see a professional for guidelines FIRST! I’m not a doctor and I’m not prescribing one activity for everyone. Professionals really do help. Look up “wellness coach” or “movement specialists” or “master trainer” on the internet for local ideas).
- Get mindful. Mediate or learn a breathing practice. Walk as a mediation. Use guided meditation. But breathe!
- Healthy whole foods that feel great in your body! Organic is great when it comes to meats or the mandatory fruits and veggies, but things like bananas and avocados we don’t eat the skin so they aren’t as important. Friends Dr. James and Debra Rouse offered us this: Feel Great Food
- Naps or early bed time. Sleep protocol is no screens after 9pm and treasure your restorative sleep. Trying to get to sleep as close to 10pm as possible allows our adrenal cycles to do their jobs correctly.
- Our adrenal systems can get overloaded by the amount of stress in our lives. It’s just too much: our systems get overwhelmed, overworked, over-caffeinated, and over-fed. Breathe. Calm.
- Stress is the one of leading causes of preventable conditions. Covering stress reduction would be an entire article in itself, but I have found great value in Well and Company supplements. The sole purpose is reducing adrenaline, cortisol and stress hormones in the body while teaching people how to live well again. That link is here.
- **Boundaries: Limit your time connecting with people that don’t feel great to you. It might seem strange to you that boundaries appear on a list of self-care but they are practices created for self-preservation. Please learn boundaries. I teach a free web class here.
The Gift of Receiving: Receiving can be the place where many givers get stopped up. Learning how to receive is also a practice, and it’s part of that universal flow. If we are only giving, or get our value only in giving, then we are lopsided. Learning to receive can even out the equation and helps us find balance.
- Accept compliments.
- Receive the kind words that others give to you, hear them with your heart. Know that they are a type of something I call “emotional currency” and appreciate them.
- Charge for your services, and accept payment for them. Value yourself, your time, your energy, your worth, and your ideas.
- Gratefully receive things that make you smile, laugh, feel warm, energized, or joyful. These are gifts. They may not come wrapped up like presents, but they are gifts nonetheless.
- The gift of humor, when someone makes you laugh, or see the humor in something: I treat this as a rare and wonderful gift. The ability to be light hearted is close to divine for me and I fully receive it!
- Look at around you at the gifts in your life; the people you treasure, the experiences and memories that you wouldn’t trade for the world, and the beauty and wisdom in each of your best (and worst) moments.
- The gifts of insight: you know those “Aha” moments you get when somehow something that’s been bothering you FINALLY makes sense? Appreciate those! And the people whose words or wisdom helped you find your way on that path. They were also a gift.
- The gifts of perception, one of my favorites! Don’t you just love it when you feel understood? When you feel like someone else really knows you and they just get what you’re trying to say, or they get who you really are, down deep at your core? That’s a gift! Enjoy those people and enjoy those moments!
- The gifts of inspiration, no matter if they come from the words or ideas of another wise soul (like the editors here at The Good Men Project) or the people in your life that inspire you to new heights, new challenges, new places–they are a gift! Receive those!
And with all of these wonderful gifts that you can focus on, what will you give of yourself in the coming year? I simply ask that you give. Give with a heart of service to your fellow humans, and give of yourself. After being all filled up from the inside, it will feel good to share that overflow with the rest of the world!
Photo: Getty Images