#19
February 2006
Deepen your practice of generosity

You love the Breath and Water Club!

I've been hearing from you. You've been practicing Breath and Water for a year and have seen profound changes in your life. You just started, after getting the newsletter for a year, and already your perspective on life has changed. You just started getting the newsletter and are excited to begin the practice. You've suffered from anxiety for decades and since you began your Breath and Water practice you're relieved of it.

You love Imbue and Imbibe, the Breathe of Wonder is perfect for you, you're teaching the Hug Your Heart Breath to your coworkers.

Keep writing, that's part of it too!

A NEW CHALLENGE FOR YOUR PRACTICE: Is there a way you can deepen your practice of generosity?

I recently heard this analogy about giving and receiving: If you want a breeze, you can open a window to let air in. But you get a much better breeze if you open a second window to let air out. To bring air in, you need to produce a flow. In other words, if you want to receive, it works better if you also give.

This was said in a sermon in a church. The topic was tithing — giving 10% of your income. Churches generally like you to tithe to them. But this preacher made a different suggestion. She suggested tithing to whoever or wherever you've received inspiration from.

This was exactly what I needed to hear. I'd been thinking about generosity, and if there was a way I could deepen mine. It began when I did a reading for a client who couldn't afford to pay me. She said she was grateful for my generosity. But I love doing readings, there is nothing I'd rather do. If I love to do it, is it still generosity, I wondered?

I thought I would challenge myself to be generous in ways that didn't come so easy. Was there a way I could structure generosity rather than have it always be spontaneous? Would generosity that was structured and predetermined still be so pleasing?

Then I heard the sermon. So I have been tithing 10% of my income. Whenever I make a bank deposit, I look back over the time since my last deposit and notice where I received inspiration. Then I send a check. Sometimes my tithing is anonymous, sometimes not.

This is a new kind of generosity for me. This is generosity that is challenging. My income is small, and 10% can sometimes feel like a chunk of change I can't afford to lose. This is generosity that is structured and predetermined, rather than a spontaneous expression of goodwill. But I am finding that this challenging and structured generosity is also pleasing. I'm beginning to look forward to that next bank deposit in a whole new way.

This practice of tithing is also making me more aware of inspiration in the moment. Plus, because I so easily forget, I'm keeping track. The back page of my notebook has my inspiration list. That way, when it comes time to do my tithing, I just go over my list. And because of the list, I am re-inspired every time I read it!

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU COME UP WITH TO DEEPEN YOUR PRACTICE OF GENEROSITY.