This is the time of year when you start buying presents to give to those you love. You might think you're being generous, but if you take time to consider how you really feel, you might have underlying resentments around the amount of time it takes to find everything for everyone, and how exhausting the whole process is - making lists, struggling to find enough money, shopping, and wrapping each parcel up.
Even when you love giving and spoiling others, you could be feeling under pressure because you want to give the perfect present . . . and you feel anxious waiting to see the reaction from the recipient. Only when you see absolute delight can you be satisfied.
When buying gifts is a chore, and you feel stressed about suiting everyone exactly - the whole meaning of generosity is lost.
It isn't about the wrapping paper, it isn't about the ribbons and bows, it's not even about the content - feeling generous is about giving with pure love. That means not expecting the recipient to thank you profusely for the hours you spent battling through the crowds in endless shops, until you found the right thing for them. It's never going to happen, and you will be left feeling a little bit hurt, instead of completely happy just from the joy of giving.
The person on the receiving end is also under pressure, because they have to find a suitably grateful expression, and the right words to say thanks, because they don't want to offend your feelings.
Altogether, giving to those you know and love isn't free of expectations and attachments. The ZPoint Process allows you to release all your feelings and emotions around giving, until you reach this place of realization, and you will learn to simplify your life and see what is really important.
The best way to connect with your generous spirit is to give to a complete stranger. You aren't there to see their reaction, or receive anything in return, so you give freely and unconditionally. I don't watch the news, and make myself upset watching scenes of devastation after the disasters that happen around the world. That's because draining my energy doesn't help anyone. When you dwell in the shocking misery that results from the recent typhoon in the Philippines, you can feel overwhelmed with hopelessness.
Instead, I make donations through Global Giving (see below) who are in the position to provide exactly what is necessary to alleviate the situation. I learned taking action took me out of the fear, and feeling completely hopeless. This is a terrible place to be, even for a short time, and knowing I can let these emotions go with ZPoint has been extremely supportive. When you feel hopeless you can't see solutions, but ZPoint lifts the clouds for you to find them.
Some say, "What's the point? I can't make any difference." My small country donated £23 million within 48 hours to aid those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, on top of the £20 million from the UK government. This confirms the difference each individual can make when they join together.
This amazing generosity didn't affect our yearly BBC Children in Need Appeal, which raised the highest amount yet - £31 million.
These figures restore hope for everyone. They prove the abundance that always exists, despite any 'recession', and when you're part of such massive generosity - you're part of so much more.
I'm not saying you should spend less on presents, and give more to deserving causes - I never say 'should'. This is just to make you think about the true essence of giving. I know when you feel generous, your heart expands with love . . . leaving no room for the fear of not having enough - so you do receive too. Love will always be the most valuable gift of all.
Take a look at the couple of choices I use to give through - I know they've improved my life, as well as that of others.
To give on a regular basis I recommend Kiva loans - this link gives you $25 absolutely free to choose who you want to support. There is no obligation to give any more, but I hope you will appreciate the idea of setting up a circle of giving and receiving, as the loan is gradually repaid.
"Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity." ~ Vaclav Havel
"What I would say to the young men and women who are beset by hopelessness and doubt is that they should go and see what is being done on the ground to fight poverty, not like going to the zoo but to take action, to open their hearts and their consciences." ~ Abbe Pierre
"The more generous we are, the more joyous we become. The more cooperative we are, the more valuable we become. The more enthusiastic we are, the more productive we become. The more serving we are, the more prosperous we become." ~ William Arthur Ward
"We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest." ~ Orison Swett Marden