Friday, May 22, 2015

The portion you give away

There is a healthy discipline in giving a portion away.  

For example, the Jewish tradition of tithing. 

The idea behind tithing is that you give away ten percent of your money. For every dollar you earn, 10% goes to someone else.  I can tell you that in practice, it has changed my relationship to money. The act of giving away frees you from the grasping that happens when you feel like you don't have enough.  It also creates a sense of gratitude because you are "giving back" which creates a sense that the money isn't yours. 

There is an Eastern tradition of meditation. 

The idea behind meditation, is that you sit and focus on a single thing or nothing. (As opposed to the many, many, many things we usually think about.)  I can tell you that in practice, it has changed my relationship to time. The act of sitting still and allowing the world to go on without you frees you from that feeling that you can't catch up. It also creates a sense of abundance because you are treating time as if it is plentiful enough to sit for a time and do nothing. 

There is an AA tradition of making amends. 

The idea behind this step is that you make a list of all of the people you have hurt and attempt to make amends. In practice, it changes your relationship to people. By taking ownership of your actions with other people, you create "short accounts". The act of attempting reconciliation frees you from the weight of broken relationships and unforgiveness. It lightens your heart and makes you move more easily in the world. 

The disciplines of giving away money, time and forgiveness are powerful. They create positive change in us...which is why they are still practiced. 

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