To heal yourself you must open your heart to healing others

Giving opens pathways to receiving, unlocks any clogs and allows the natural flow of exchange to take place. We can experience everyday gifts if we allow ourselves to give of ourselves.

A smile.
A silent blessing.
A compliment.

When we give of ourselves-- attention, time, money, effort, love --  wholeheartedly, we are happier. Social scientists continually show this human phenomena, the more people give, the happier people they say they are. Giving, studies show, strengthens the immune system, it reduces stress and anger among many other fantastic benefits. It's called the giver's high and when it comes from a space without preconditions, is a powerful healing antidote for both parties.

Giving and receiving is a dynamic exchange that is the essence of life. This flow of energy is all around us. The sun gives light, we receive life. Giving, if it comes without attachment for the outcome, from a sincere space and from an abundance mindset, confirms to the giver what the subconscious mind knows: nothing lacks. There is boundless love, warmth, joy and resources in the universe. Believe it. It's truth.

This giving and receiving cycle starts from the moment we are born. A mother gives birth, the baby receives life, the cycle continues. At the cellular level, cells cooperate with each other to give what the other lacks. Cells don't negotiate what they are gonna get fist, they just do what they are supposed to naturally do: give. Sometimes even with their own lives. In the material world, consider the word currency, which means money, but is also the root of current. Currents flow, so should money. 

There is a natural flow that is cut off when people hoard, when they have too much stuff, including too much money (and yes there is such a phenomena) too many shoes, cars, houses and just plain stuff. Consider that those people, social scientists show, are no happier than those with one pair of sneakers, one car and less money.

I am not making the case against affluence, just a case on behalf of the natural state of the universe: the constant flow and energetic exchange between giving and receiving. Having more material stuff does not correlate with being happier. But giving, both in material and spiritual form, does. It's like the ancient Chinese proverb that reminds us that a little of the fragrance of the flowers lingers on the hand that gives them. Or like Winston Churchill said, we make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
I've had curious challenges from my yoga teachers during this month long spring cleaning challenge: wish five strangers an amazing Sunday, give to a favorite charity, call a friend you've been thinking about and haven't spoken to in years, buy a stranger a tea or cup of coffee.  With each task, I received the most radiant smiles, generous thank you and connections. The strangers that I gifted a beautiful day and the young woman I bought a cappuccino, I'll probably never see again, but the look on these stranger's faces, the sound of my friend's voice when we momentarily connected I will not forget: pure joy. And connection. That is the essence of a gift, it  lingers with that, blesses the gift giver. 

Give of your time.
Give a smile.
Give a compliment
Give love, without condition

Give and as the sages say, and you shall receive.