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Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – “Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.

We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

Travelling the Road of Life

What a challenging year.
As I slow down for Christmas and reflect upon the last 12 months, I am reminded of one of my favourite old fables. Time and again it reminds me of what really matters most of all. Despite the challenges of 2020, I hope it will give you some clues to your own purpose in life.

The King’s Highway

“Once a king had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. After it was completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to hold a contest. He invited as many as desired to participate. Their challenge was to see who could travel the highway best.
On the day of the contest, the people came. Some of them had fine chariots, some had fine clothing, fine hairdos or great food. Some young men came in their sports togas and ran along the highway. People travelled the highway all day, but each one, when he arrived at the end, complained to the king that there was a large pile of rocks and debris on the road at one spot, and this had hindered their travel.
The Finishing Line
At the end of the day, a lone traveller crossed the finish line and wearily walked over to the king. He was tired and dirty – but he addressed the king with great respect, and handed him a bag of gold. He explained, “I stopped along the way to clear away a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the road. This bag of gold was under it, and I would like you to help me return it to its rightful owner.” The King replied, “You are the rightful owner.” The traveller replied, “Oh no, this is not mine. I’ve never known so much money.” “Oh yes,” said the king, “you’ve earned this gold, for you have won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow”… Author Unknown.
As you have served others this year, what have you discovered?
It is my sincere hope that as we serve and help others along their paths in life at home, in our families, in our communities, in government and business organisations we will be ever mindful of the greatest servant of all, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas Season.
It has been wonderful working with many familiar folks this year, making so many new friends along the way too. In addition, working with new clients and organisations as well in 2020 has been incredible. To each and everyone, may I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I’d like to think that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One. Act by Act. Service by Service. Little by Little. Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – “Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough. We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous.

Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?”

“How do you walk in another person’s shoes?” asked the workshop participant…

A great question and one that I have been asked repeatedly in recent coaching workshops.

A big part of the answer is to do with 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲.

Empathy is understanding another person’s feelings, thoughts, and condition from their perspective, rather than our own.

In my experience empathy is being very present in any conversation, attentively listening deeply, being open minded without judgement, looking into their eyes and giving someone your undivided attention, in order to sense their emotions. Frequently a human connection is made, resulting in a peek or a fleeting impression into how or what they are really feeling. It is a momentary glimpse of their reality. That’s when I start to feel I am being empathetic.

The good news is – empathy is something that can be learned.

Active or deep listening and asking powerful questions helps us to develop an understanding of another persons situation and in turn develops empathy. As you seek to understand another person, simple responses are very often the most powerful and meaningful ways to help.

Try walking in another’s shoes today, go on give it a go!

Loud voices

As the flames rage, smoke billows and the embers burn, 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 loud voices argue on……good morning world.

Global Pandemic, economic carnage, climate change, terrorism, disease – need I go on!

The world is in commotion.

Welcome to Planet Earth – 2020

What can I do? What can we do?

Sure, I can make certain that I follow social distancing, recycle my waste and follow the laws of the land.

And yet, this morning, like every morning, somehow I look to the future with hope for a better world, a brighter future.

There are better days ahead. We will get through this challenge. And the next , and the next and the next.

You see, I can choose to make a difference every single day.

An act of kindness.

An act of service.

An act of compassion.

There is always someone to reach out to.

Just open your eyes and look.

It is up to you and me, to make a difference, every single day, one by one.

What will you choose to do today?

Compassion

We are entering unknown territory. One word plays constantly through my mind – 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏. It literally means “to suffer with” to show mercy, pity and sympathy for another.

I am certain that as we enter the uncharted waters of our day, in the weeks that lie ahead, being more compassionate and having an awareness of others’ distress along with a desire to lighten or relieve those difficulties will be crucial for each and everyone of us.

You can show compassion by listening to others and being understanding. Please, put yourself in their circumstances and consider how they might feel. Showing compassion can be as simple as showing genuine interest in peoples’ lives.

Think of a time when someone really listened to you. How did it make you feel? How do you feel toward that person?

Lets be mindful of our family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours, especially the elderly and infirm – consider their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Who could benefit from your compassionate listening today? Who could use your actions of compassion today?

Touched

The energy in the room was high. Then in a reflective moment one participant shared “I can relate to that” and tears started to flow freely.

The atmosphere changed.

We had already created a safe environment for sharing that day, but the authenticity in the room soared to a different level. Attentively, everyone focused on the personal story being shared. It was a moment of high emotion and an intimate turning point in the workshop. In opening up in such a manner the participant had taken a great risk in approaching a vulnerable area in their life by sharing it so deeply. The silence was palpable.

Unwittingly, by speaking so candidly and tenderly, the participant had completely engaged everyone in the room.

Then it happened.

I watched, as those on either side felt impressed to reach out in a compassionate and reassuring way by physically touching our storyteller.

The whole experience had a profound effect on all of us in the room. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a fleeting moment in time.

Deep and meaningful learning moments come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.

Can you reach out and touch someone today?

Compassion

Sadly, our dog, Fawn died last week.  However, I was a little unprepared for the compassion shown to our family.

Fawn was only approaching 3 years old. Diagnosed with a serious heart condition at a young age, her life was filled with visits to the vets, lots of medication, with lots of love she touched many peoples lives. Throughout her short life, the support we received from the Kennel Club Insurance was outstanding, in fact it was consistently world class. We’d simply taken up an offer from the breeder and it was only shortly thereafter Fawn was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Dysplasia.

It was probably one of the wisest decisions that we made, as the vet bills soon started to rocket. Claims submissions, calls for guidance and all other communications with the Kennel Club were always helpful and extremely courteous. Yesterday, was my final call, informing them of Fawn’s passing. The call handler I spoke to, Kerry, was so understanding and compassionate. I thanked her for showing so much empathy and then she explained that all those who work at the Kennel Club, are pet lovers too, who understand the situation. After the call, I realised that I have never before in all of my life been treated with so much respect, love and care. I am grateful for compassionate organisations.

A couple of days ago, we also received a lovely compassionate hand written card from Kerry at the Kennel Club.  It is great to see an organisation living up to its values.

Thank you Kennel Club.