Mr. UT and I are now fully vaccinated, and I am slowly making my way back into the world. I actually met a real life fully vaccinated friend for coffee, and it was just delightful. I went to another yoga class, which was way too hard for me, but I loved it anyway. I walked with and hugged another friend. I have plans to lead an outside yoga class with my close neighbor children. They are so cute and funny! (Of course it has to warm up here. Minnesota takes its own sweet time about this.)
I have recently read The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. There were some uplifting passages on generosity and how being generous with our time, money, and spirit, makes us happier and more joyful. How true that is for me!
I had been feeling down for a few days when a friend sent me several small gifts, which just helped me come out of my funk. Another far away friend helped me laugh! I got a surprise gift from another friend! These were gifts of time, money and spirit, and how much they helped.
Along with being grateful, generosity is vital to our mental health and human connections. I love sending random small gifts to people I know, especially if they’re down, but even just for fun. I love buying my mom a new outfit, which helps her mental health at 95. I love volunteering. I love making someone laugh, although I am a horrible joke teller. (Mr. UT says I also ruin any funny stories I try to tell!) Just listening to someone makes me feel as if I am helping them as well as making me feel good.
This generosity applies to myself as well. It’s hard to be generous when I am mean to myself. Being compassionate to myself is absolutely necessary to my well being. I forgive myself for flaws, mistakes, and therefore I am able to forgive others, and be generous to others.
What is generosity of spirit? “Generosity of spirit is the openness and willingness to share our own ‘gifts’ freely with others, joyously and willingly and without expectation of receiving anything in return. Generosity of spirit is created through respect and compassion for others; it involves experiencing and celebrating that which is important to another person.” (Global Leadership Foundation)
This isn’t always easy! Sometimes I judge someone instead of having compassion, or I expect a thank-you when I give something, instead of giving freely without expectations. However, the times I can leave someone laughing, a random act of kindness, even saying hello to people I meet while on a walk, are the ones that leave me with a sense of peace.
Today, I am grateful for all I have, and all I can pass on to others. As Mr. UT and head out for a freezing walk, I leave you with a poem I wrote for children:
Sunlight peeking through the clouds,
Dare I say anything out loud?
Will the sun finally show its face?
Or will it cower in disgrace?
It’s time now sun, we all await,
Please come out and don’t be late,
Leaves on trees, and seeds we sow,
Everything’s ready to start to grow!
With Easter Candy,
On Day 2401,