The Spirit of Giving
It’s the winter solstice today, the turning point of the year, the end of harvest (gathering in) and beginning of sharing or distribution. Yesterday, two conversations came together in my mind related to giving, especially at this time of year.
Conversation 1: I arranged a Christmas Eve dinner with the other person in my ‘pod’, because he has no one to celebrate with, and I made him a few gifts. He said, “I don’t have a present for you – what can I do for you?” Now, reciprocity is an important principle, and I like to receive as well as give; however, the more important concept is “autumn is our time to harvest, and Christmas/Hanukkah/midwinter is when we share from that harvest”. Thus, for me, this time of the year is less about “oh, boy, Christmas presents!” and more about “how can I align with the energy of giving?” For someone to have the satisfaction of giving, the other has to receive with grace. How can we – as givers and receivers – enjoy the harvest both on the level of having extra to share, and looking out for those who are struggling more than usual this year?
Conversation 2 took place during our usual fortnightly Geotran call. The person being worked on (representing the group) said that one change she needs to make to restore the true spirit of Christmas for her is to resume tithing. Now, I’ve been tithing since I read Edwene Gaine’s book The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity (which I obtained in a miraculous way so I really pay attention to what she says). For a lot of us, tithing has been tainted by preachers who see it as a mandatory ‘tax’; as Edwene explains it, I came to see tithing as a joyful, generous gift to the universe. She suggests tithing to the persons or organizations that assist in your spiritual education, and tells several wonderful stories of unusual people she has tithed to because they taught her a spiritual lesson, often unknowingly. For years I tithed to Dorothy Espiau, the creator of Geotran, because my practice keeps me learning about spirit every day. Every month I tot up what I have received financially, and send off a check for 10% — usually to our senior instructor, but sometimes to someone else who added to my spiritual education that month. I always listen for the correct recipient, and send the check with thanks that it will return to me many-fold. I also receive tithes from one client who sees me as adding to his spiritual education, and who wants to follow spiritual law and keep open the valve of manifestation in his life.
How do these two conversations come together? Both tithing and giving are spiritual principles that plant the seed corn in prepared ground. Both say to the Universe, “I have enough to share with others”. What we focus on is what expands for us – how much better to focus on plenty than on (say) the rage and frustration of politics? We are here to give, help, serve, teach, and allow; those are the seeds we want to plant, along with faith, patience, generosity, and grace. Giving and tithing (and gratitude) open the valve of abundance. If you want to receive, GIVE, and give what you want to receive; that puts you into the correct alignment. Because we live in society where money is the medium of exchange, most of us tithe with our dollars or euros; however, you can also tithe with your time, your talents, your energy. Tithing acknowledges that all prosperity comes from God, and the first 10% goes back to God in thanks and recognition of how we are blessed, and how we can pass on that blessing to others.
So, as well as sending or giving presents, I am writing out my check, with a note of what I wish to see it planted for, and sending it with thanks. And I think I’ll re-read The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity to remind myself of how to stay in that inspired flow of abundance…