(c) 2010 Joan M. Newcomb
There's a worldwide, grassroots network called Freecycle whose mission is to keep usable items out of landfills. It's really quite an amazing phenomenon. People give away items they don't need, and people ask for items they want.
When I first participated, I gave away some (fairly good) furniture, because someone had gifted me theirs. It was quite exhilarating to see the looks on recipients' faces; they couldn't quite believe they could have a futon sofabed or a recliner just for doing me the favor of carting it away!
And it's equally wonderful to see people receive items they've asked for, be it school supplies for their kids or an item for their home. All freely given, freely received, no strings attached.
The energy of giving makes you feel better, pulls your attention away from your own troubles and into the abundant flow of life. In 12 step programs, newcomers are encouraged to take on a task, like making coffee for their group. It gets them doing something that other's appreciate. And gives them a feeling of accomplishment that they're probably not experiencing in the un-manageability of their life's storyline (that caused them to come to the 12 steps in the first place).
Giving actually strengthens your connection to Source and increases your ability to receive abundance. It's the principle that tithing is based on. If you give away 10%, you find your 90% expanding. Even if you can't quite manage 10% of your income, you can give your time or your compassion. Gifts of service count towards the Flow.
As with everything, balance is needed. We all know burned-out givers, who volunteer for everything yet can't make ends meet. They need to learn to moderate their giving with receiving.
Receiving is essential for prosperity. You need to be able to allow the flow come to you as well as out of you. Gracious receiving validates people who give to you. Even if it's a compliment. If someone says something nice to you, accept it and thank them (even if your tendency is to minimize it).
Receiving well sends a message to your subconscious that it's an abundant and benevolent universe. It also increases your connection to Source.
A couple simple steps to increase your participation in the Flow:
*Give $1 or $5 or $10 away to a worthy cause. It can be anything. Put it in one of those plexiglas boxes at the convenience store, stuff it in the tip jar at Starbucks. Do this often enough and the energy builds and opportunities arise as well.
*Notice how the Universe is giving to you. Receive compliments. Receive sunny days (yes, the Universe did make the sun shine just for you)! Appreciate your surroundings, notice synchronicities. Breathe them in and notice your inner expansion.
Try these for a week and see what happens! And email me the results!