I came across a definition of generosity recently that really sunk deeply into my core. The idea is that generosity is the absence of judgement. And boy are we familiar with judgement! Even on a good ‘being present and aware’ day, thousands of mini judgements race through our mind. It’s too cold, that wind is fierce, this coffee isn’t very strong, that line is so long, this lift is taking ages to arrive. . . . it really can be relentless and stepping back, perhaps a mild form of madness.
And, of course, our moments of being a quick-witted judge all too frequently extend to virtual strangers and with habitual regularity, to ourselves as well.
What would it feel like to be absent of judgement? Perhaps a great starting point is with ourselves. Can we catch ourselves midstream of self-critical mental talk? And if we can, why not replace that moment of negativity with a kind thought instead? It sounds like an amazing and endless gift we can give ourselves. And flexing our generosity muscle is sure to make everything just a little bit more JOYful.
Have you noticed the number of emails we receive is on the rapid incline? It started out with work correspondence and the added bright spot of personal notes from friends and family. Added to that were reminders for your upcoming bills, acknowledgement that you’ve paid your bills and of course daily or monthly subscription feeds that you may or may not have remembered signing up for. And now things are in full tilt. Inboxes are littered with reminders from your dentist, airline, and even a local cafe or co-op. If you decide to make an online purchase I guarantee the process will evolve to include no less than 10 separate emails. One to let you know you’re now ‘signed up’ even though you tried to avoid it. Another one asking you to verify the commitment you didn’t want to make, and then of course the receipt of purchase which inevitably follows with a promotion or survey request. And don’t look away from those incoming messages yet! Now you can track your package, know its left the docks, has entered your post code and even who signed for your package at reception. And what would stellar customer service be without a follow up email asking you to rate their service and an unending stream of sales notifications of future items you surely must want to purchase.
It got me thinking . . . there’s one rather important thing all of these electronic messages have in common. And that’s the sign off. The choices are overwhelming. Cheers seems to be the new sincerely and chat soon is a preference from strangers hoping to start a dialogue. Kind regards starts to inject some humanity and love is offered more and more.
So, what’s your sign off? Does it change depending on the audience? My current favourite in a professional setting is ‘In happiness’. After all, its a sign off, meaning it’s the last thing your reader will absorb. Why not spread a little joy and plant some positive seeds? You might just be surprised at the reaction.
A gorgeous friend of mine recently shared that ‘a lot of wonderful things have happened in my life as a result of not coming in first’. This got me thinking . . . we’re such a competitive bunch – we humans. And we can be rather unkind to ourselves when we aren’t the first choice or deemed top of the pack.
After resigning my CEO gig, recruiters were quick to put me in front of companies who were looking for a leader. I went along, I did my research, I even had a bit of enthusiasm for a few roles. But, none of them came my way. I wasn’t chosen. And wow – I thank my lucky stars! After I had time to really jus stop and reflect, it became crystal clear that I didn’t want to run another company – at least not now. Instead, I was gentle with myself and focused on healing both body and mind and was clear with my next chapter. And now I’m living the ideal career life I imagined – all without the CEO title.
Not getting what you want, or at least what you think you want in the moment, can be tough. But the real opportunity is to bounce back, flex your resiliency and perhaps trust that there is another even greater path unfolding for you.
Maybe second place should be our new ideal. After all, the Universe is constantly conspiring for our JOY. Sometimes we just need to get our ego out of the way.
Thanks KT . . . xx
It struck me recently how our entire body works in perfect unison. We don’t need to think about the muscles, tendons and nerve endings that contract and release so we can sit, stand, walk, or even skip down the road. This seamless work of continual motion is so far off our radar we greedily take it for advantage. Until, we’re forced to take notice. And yes, this typically comes along with an injury of sorts.
Suddenly we’re acutely focused on an area of the body that is malfunctioning. We think about it, we talk about it, we Google it, and we gather reinforcement from others that our sore neck, back pain or broken foot is the ‘absolute worst’ sort of pain and ailment we can have. We become focused on our suffering and limitations of the body.
For me I can’t currently practice yoga or run – which can both be a bit soul destroying under the right cloud. So why are we programmed to focus on our faults and limitations? Instead, perhaps we can celebrate what we can still accomplish, even in an injured state. For me, its swimming. I can still glide through the water (or at least that’s my optimistic image of my swimming) with my entrapped groin nerve. Hooray! And as soon as that wee little nerve is roaming free again, I’ll be sure to thank my body for once again moving in JOYful synchronicity. In fact, why wait? We should all be offering gratitude to our amazing little bodies and all they offer us – even if its not the same as yesterday.