T’is the Season for Generosity
In “The Universe Is a Green Dragon,” physicist and cosmologist Brian Swimme identifies certain principles that govern the cosmos and applies them to the human experience, because, much to the surprise of some humans, we too are part of the cosmos and are therefore ruled by those same principles. He writes beautifully and powerfully about the cosmic generosity evidenced when a supernova explodes and gives up its form. In that act of ultimate generosity suns, moons, planets are born. Life occurs. Swimme points out that more than 99% of the atoms in our bodies are the same as those found in the stars, which means that we are literally made of star stuff. We are star beings. Therefore, we too embody that sense of cosmic generosity. We are hardwired for generosity; we want to give ourselves away. We are a star being tribe, a clan of the heart.
For many, t’is the season for giving. Despite what some conservative pundits attempt to frame as a “War on Christmas,” commercialism is the real threat to the spirit of that holiday which has become a frantic and stressful shopping frenzy. In malls and stores tempers flare as people jockey for parking spaces or a place in line, often missing the very heart and purpose that give the holiday any meaning.
Giving store-bought gifts is for the most part easy. If we in fact have cosmic generosity in our very cells, how do we give ourselves away in a way that is congruent with our deeper spiritual longings and heritage?
We can give of our time, not just to family and loved ones but to those in need, by volunteering. We can give a memorable gift by fulfilling a promise or completing a project we said we would do. We can also give back to the earth by planting a tree, cleaning a stretch of roadway or a beach or by making a donation to an environmental organization in someone’s name.
Similarly, we can give to a favorite cause in the name of a recipient. Heifer International is a great organization that makes it possible to gift in someone’s name a cow, camel or goat, or an irrigation pump that will make a huge difference in real human lives.
We can gift our attention. We can commit to practice deep listening with those in our lives, especially the children, in these times of confusing and violent events. Deep listening means we give them our undivided attention, not a half-assed, partial listening as we respond to a text while watching TV with a stack of mail on our lap. We listen not only to the words they are saying but to what’s unsaid, to the spaces between the words.
We can give our creativity, our self-expression, perhaps an experience that requires forethought and planning, that is tailored uniquely to them. We create a memory and give from our essential selves, not out of a sense of duty.
We can give forgiveness. To forgive is to “give for.” We give another — and ourselves, which is often more difficult — the space, the room to be human, to make mistakes, to be less than perfect. Ultimately, forgiveness is the gift of freedom–for them and for us. Giving compassion, understanding, support, encouragement is so much more valuable than anything we could buy and results in deepened relationships, personal empowerment and emotional wellness.
We can gift ourselves some alone time. In the Northern Hemisphere, with shortened days and longer nights, this is the natural time of the year to go within. When we give ourselves a little time for introspection — for personal discovery, for clarity and purpose — amidst the craziness of the holidaze, we don’t have to start the year off depleted and exhausted, stuck in the same old rut. How do you want not only the next year to unfold in your life, but the next 26,000 year cycle in our world? What kind of projects will you give birth to in 2013? Within is where all the answers lie.
Sharing the same root as “generosity” is “generate.” This is a time to to beget, to start, to give birth to. Like many others I know, I have been deep in transition, experiencing completions and new beginnings, midwifing the birth of a new temple in Coconut Grove.
Unbeknownst to me, Janelle and Maria Gueits, amazing, beautiful beings and supporters of my work, set up a CrowdTilt campaign. In these days of social media it’s increasingly difficult to keep a secret. Someone reposted it and it appeared on my Facebook timeline. The impulse and the act are deeply appreciated. The timing was perfect, as others were beginning to ask what was needed and how they could contribute.
So, for all those who would like to feel a part of the miracle that is being generated here in Coconut Grove, click here. Tax-exempt contributions can be made to QSpirit. Please contact us for the mailing address.
Acknowledgment is due to the following people for their generosity in helping to make possible the move to the new temple: Albert, Ana, Christine, Isabel, Carolina and Tommy de la Huerta, Mike Hine, Allyson Orme, Juan Wulff, David Ardelean, Maria Gueits, Robert Becerra, and Gerrit Schultz. Thanks as well to all those who have been sending prayers of good wishes and tending space from afar.
And none of this would be possible without the steadfast generous support of the John D. Evans Foundation. Words are not enough to express our gratitude, John. Thank you!
Wishing you a Spirit-filled holiday season and countless blessings on the new year,