A Gift

I have a tendency to get a bit serious when I am doing something that is good for me, like hiking or cooking a good meal. Between moments of full presence and enjoyment, I am going through the motions. In preparing to co-lead a retreat with the theme of The Connected Heart (proposed by Amita Schmidt, my co-teacher), I have been doing a lot of reflection,which has jump-started my interest in writing again.

Consciously bringing my awareness into my heart when I am engaged in such activity has brought a sense of juiciness and pleasure. While I was reveling in this on a recent walk, the thought came to me, “this is a gift to myself.” I’d already been playing with giving to my future self by doing the dishes so I didn’t have to the next day, and even going on those walks so I’d be more likely to be mobile as I aged, but this gift was one I was giving and receiving in the here and now. I’m always looking for good motivators to add to my tool kit

Now I find myself asking, “in this very ordinary activity, is there a gift being given right now?” It can be to myself and/or to someone else. For instance, I enjoy being kind to and interested in people as I meet them at their jobs; wrapping this kindness and interest as a gift makes it even more enjoyable. Generosity is a foundational practice in Buddhism, so it’s great to find an easy way to practice it:  look for the gift in everything I do.

These amazing cupcakes were one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  Thanks, Trish!

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2 Responses to A Gift

  1. And you, Kathy, are one of the most generous people I know. You give gifts to so many, so often, and on so many levels. You’re my role model for generosity!

  2. Constance Alexander says:

    Today’s message is such a gift and your question is one I’m happily taking into my life.

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